The other day I was making arrangements to attend a luncheon for a women's group. After contacting the designated individual for information about the event they had advertised I was told they had room so if I wanted to invite a "friend" I could. Hmm, who would I like to ask? The only person that came to mind was my oldest daughter, Amber.
As an adult she has grown into a wonderful young woman whose company I truly enjoy. I am so very thankful for this. You'd have to know us and the circumstances of our past to truly appreciate what this means. Amber was 8 when she joined our family. Originally from Russia, the beginning of her life was extremely challenging. At 4 she was removed from her birth home and placed in the hospital for a year. Initially being treated for the abuse she'd sustained, then while formal court documents were completed for the State to take control of her future. She was later placed in Detsky Dom (children's home) number 8. It was a dismal place with the structure barely in tact at the time we arrived to bring her home. Life had been extremely challenging for this little girl and though everything she'd ever dreamed of was about to come into her life, the past would haunt and hold her captive for years.
When she was able to speak some English she told us she had always dreamed of a bed of her own, a doll, pretty clothes and being able to dance. In Russia she had an older 1/2 sister who had been able to take ballet lessons and Amber had gone with her a few times. She wanted to feel special like Elena, whose birth father still contributed some and that allowed for her to have some toys and do things like ballet.
When the State stepped in an aunt of Elena's stepped forward to take her, so she and Amber were seperated. Though Amber got the things she wanted here and so much more, the pain of her early life caused her to not be able to accept the love that was available for her. Terrified of being hungry again she would hoard food. Though she had toys of her own, the orphanage trait of breaking them so no one else would want them continued. Many far more challenging behaviors were part of daily life for more years than I care to remember. God was faithful to put people and resources in our paths to pray us through or offer services or activities that would all eventually come through to help this once lost little girl find her way.
There were many days I was overwhelmed with anger and frustration trying to raise a child who fought us at every opportunity, usually not even understanding herself why. It really came down to her trying to see what it would take for us to reject her too. Admittedly some days I would be so tired of the constant battles I felt I would gladly have sent her packing if I could.
Fast forward to today and many trials, challenges and victories now behind us and I can truly say that God is faithful. He brought healing to a very wounded spirit and allowed joy to come in for her. He's brought peace in our relationship when once there was constant conflict. He's allowed friendship as well as a parental relationship to grow when for so long there was little more than an adversarial role on both sides.
So as I plan for this upcoming event I look forward to meeting new women and to introduce my daughter and my friend who I can truly say I love and cherish and whose company I really enjoy.
What an unbelievable answer to many prayers.