Life in Nicaragua

Why do ‘goods’ always have to come with ‘bads’?

I formed a very special bond with three sisters, who happen to be the newest additions to the orphanage:

Maria Teresa (or Tere) – 12           Ana, 7          Maricela – 9       
from mels cam 078

Ana and  I were the closest from the beginning, and it was the hardest to say goodbye to her.  On my first few return visit, she was so happy and excited to see me – yet kept asking ‘what did you bring me?’  We then had a talk about presents, and the fact that I don’t bring presents doesn’t mean I don’t love her.  I ended up explaining that I wasn’t going to be bringing her gifts…to which she replied, “but all the others do.”  This was a tough concept for her to wrap her mind around seeing as all she knows of the ‘gringos’ are presents and fun.   They fly in, bring candy and toys, take them to the beach, and then *POOF*, they are out of their lives again.  

Once I told her that I was going to keep coming back, that I loved her, and that I was going to bring my friendship (which doesn’t mean gifts) she understood and we were both happy.  Leaving after my first visit was very difficult-  more tears and sad goodbyes.  After the second time it was better, and even better on the third.  Unfortunately I was unable to visit one week and she was not there when I returned the following week, making this last week my first time seeing her in a while.  Sadly, things were not the same.   She was angry with me, she seemed hurt, and she was completely closed off.  After a few hours she couldn’t keep up her front and she melted – we had a great time playing hopscotch, chatting, and she showed me all her latest test scores 🙂 

Then she asked  when I would be coming back to stay for good…..ugh.  It broke my heart to tell her I’m not – how can I explain that yes, I love her but no, not enough to come live there?  If I could take her with me I would!!  Explaining this to a 7 year old while looking at the emotions flicker across her face (extreme sadness that gets shoved inside and comes back out as a cold tough front) is truly heart wrenching.   When it  was time for me to leave she wouldn’t even look at me.  She acted as if she didn’t know me and didn’t care…and it hurt.

I don’t know  how to make this better, or exactly what I should do.  Please pray that I can have an open heart and that I am able to pour as much love on her as possible.   That I do not get offended when she has on her tough front and is being a brat; she has had a hard life and is very fragile.  And finally, that I can continue to visit, to love her, and hopefully show her what a healthy relationship looks like – that I’ll love her no matter what.


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  1. * mel.redd says:

    thank you for your raw honesty

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 10 months ago

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