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Haven update

Thank you so much everyone for your prayers as we seek God on what to do about schooling Haven. Thank you for the wisdom shared with me in the comments. We have taken it all to heart…and to prayer. We have been given some wise counsel from a friend who works with non-verbal children–thanks Sonya :). Anthony and I have spoken about it a lot this weekend. We have decided to walk through the open doors—if and until God closes them. So, this week I am going to set up a meeting at the school with everyone that would be involved in Haven’s education. This is not something that we had ever considered, but we know all too well that God very often puts us on another road from the one we started on. If public school is where Haven needs to be for this season, then I know we will have peace in our hearts to put her there…and God will take care of her every need.

Phew, this is such a new journey for us. Some days we feel like we are taking two steps forward and three steps back with Haven. Other days we look back and see all that Haven has learned in such a short period of time, and our hearts are encouraged. There is no doubt in our minds that she DOES have the capacity to learn, there is no retardation or permanent brain dysfunction happening (at least that we can see). She seems to learn new things fairly quickly. She is just SO incredibly delayed.

Over the last couple of weeks we have come to the conclusion that Haven was NEVER given the opportunity to do things for herself. We figured that because of her “needs”, the staff at the orphanage probably just completely gave up trying to teach her to do things for herself–it was so much easier to just do it all for her. We are working hard to get her independent with the basics–brushing teeth, washing in the bath, not eating with her hands, changing her clothes, brushing her hair, putting her own shoes on. The things that any eight year old can do in their sleep. She’s getting it—slowly, but she is getting it! On the whole she is doing amazingly well in her development.

We have years and years of abuse to undo. There are so many areas she still needs to trust us fully in—she is terrified of being in trouble. If she senses that she has done something wrong (even if she hasn’t) she will literally put her hands up to her face–in a self defense position, as if we are going to hit her. She will cower away from us, and even back into a corner. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see. Oh my goodness, if only she knew that she is safe–always! We know that it is going to take time. She is doing so much better now than a month ago. We just shower her with hugs, hugs and more hugs. I guess it is just years and years of coping with what life dealt her. My mommy heart breaks for her.

God has been gracious with us as we are learning to parent this sweet girl. Some days we feel completely uneducated and clueless as to how to meet her needs, but God always provides wisdom. We are learning each day what her needs are, and she is learning how to express them to us in her own way. What a blessing to be able to witness the baby steps that she is taking–the things that she is learning. She is like a little sponge–taking in everything around her. What joy! We are so excited to see what she will become in her life–she is tenacious and brave, a strong little girl with a desire to try anything if given the chance. She is an overcomer! What a blessing to be her mommy 🙂

Loving doing things with her family

I can wash my hands on my own

Cutlery is so much less messy than eating with my hands 🙂