Looking forward to this Saturday!
Filling a Hole; how we started our horse program (p. 2 of 3)

Filling a Hole; how we started our horse program (p. 1 of 3)

Nearly 11 years ago, we took in our very first orphan. Two days later, a second orphan joined our family, and within a few months, we added nine daughters to our family.  Our familyNine girls who had trauma in their lives at some point. Either they saw the murder of their mother, or the slow death of of their mom to AIDS, or their mother abandoned them and was still living but just didn't want them because they could barely feed themselves through prostitution or selling illegal brews. Most of these children have no clue who their father is except the ones whose father died before their moms. Needless to say, our daughters came with trauma. I am proud of them, because ultimately, they have been SO STRONG through it all.
In 2007, the ages of our new daughters were mostly preteens and teens with a seven year old and four year old in the mix. Our own four children were ages newborn up to 9 at the time. We added two more babies over the next 11 years, too. I had never been a mom to teenagers before, when suddenly, I had several under my wings!
I just knew in my heart that LOVE would bond these children into one happy family and heal all wounds. If I just treated them like my own kids, and loved them the same, surely they would be happy and content...
I was naive. And, I am extremely glad. Love covers a multitude of problems, but...
I had NO idea that adopted children would still have issues no matter how much love we poured into them. I kept trying to make things fair. I wanted each child to feel equally 'loved.' I assumed love would fill all of the broken places, and they would love back and eventually begin to act like normal children... The bottom line was, they didn't ask to be born into the situations life threw at them. Sure, we took them out of poverty, out of abandonment, away from starvation... but they weren't necessarily grateful, and I don't blame them. I can remember asking them to 'remember where they came from' in my frustration, and one of them snapped, "Why do you keep reminding us and asking us to do that?!" I explained, it was because I wanted her to see how far she had come, how much she had attained, but the reality was... I also wanted her to fill part of my own need of wanting acknowledgement of my own sacrifices for her well-being, and that was a bit selfish of me. I wasn't caring for her because of her gratitude. I gave up my own family, my familiar culture, my everything because of my faith, and I don't do what I do out of the reactions of those I am helping. I believe every person can and SHOULD make a positive difference in the lives of those around us, even if it is just a tiny drop that turns into a little ripple. 
Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!
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