Sherri Gragg

Writer. Mom. Daydreamer. Dog's Best Friend.

The Journey

The anniversary of her homecoming whispered some secret incantation over her soul and summoned the ghosts of the past.  They swirl about her heart and mind, one moment drawing her into longing for land and first family lost, the next flinging her into old terrors and griefs.  Somehow, here in the present, part of her is submersed in what came before and she acts out all her old parts in the play of her life.

Such a effervescent child, but day in and day out eyes that normally twinkle with humor and mischief are rimmed with tears.  She lays her head down on her arms as she watches me prepare dinner.

“What is wrong, sweetheart?” I ask “You look so sad…”

“I don’t know, Mommy,” and her voice breaks with tears as she struggles to understand what is in her own heart.

Such a sweet child, but now she is sullen and uncooperative.  I take deep breaths and we take breaks from each other so I can pray.  I am frustrated, and selfishly do not want to go there again.  I know it is not logical but part of me just wants her to be free, to be whole.  But the journey to wholeness is long and at times, the going is slow.  Sometimes we lose our way and find ourselves backtracking over the same rugged terrain so familiar we know every stone in the path.

I pray some more and there I find strength, comfort, and sweet hope sufficient for us both.  I call her to me and we sit on the upstairs porch of our home.  It is cool and dark, but we are wrapped in the soft white glow of  lights hung on the railing.

“”Let’s talk about Haiti.” I say.  “I’m not angry, sweetheart.  I just want to understand and I want to help you.  I want you to try to remember,” I say softly.

“I was in my bed,” she says.  She is breaking now at the memory.  The tears flow freely down her face and she grips my hand desperately.  “It was when I first came there and it was so dark.  There was no light.”

“What were you feeling?” I ask.

“I was so, so scared!”

And then she is in my arms.  She molds herself against me and wraps arms and legs around me.  I hold her near and we both weep for awhile.  I whisper in her ear how sorry I am that she was afraid and alone.  I grieve with her for all she lost. img_1942-1.jpg

And then I lead her to Hope.

“God is big,” I say.  “He is big enough to heal all hurts.  He is so big, he can take anything that happens in our lives, no matter how terrible, and turn it into blessing.”  “Do you believe that?” I ask.

“Yes,” she says.  “I believe.” 

And I think we have made it to a new path in the journey.


4 comments on “The Journey

  1. dontmesswithmommy
    March 22, 2008

    God bless her and keep her.

  2. Candis
    March 23, 2008

    You articulate so well our babies’ early losses. From time to time we will look through photos from Haiti, pointing out people and places with the usual commentary (Oh, Peanut, do you remember Miss X, or Hey, that is your old playroom). But no matter how excited he is to look at the pics, he inevitably becomes quiet and melancholy and wants to be held.
    He was much younger than C when they came home, but on some level he is aware of the unsettling nature of his early life.

    May all of our children move on to robustly confront wrong and contribute righteousness.

  3. Leanne
    March 24, 2008

    I have spent a couple of hours reading back through your blog this weekend. I truly, truly enjoyed sharing your journey of adopting your girls. We have had our own trials with our adoption from Haiti. I long for the day we have our little girl home and we can experience all those firsts you mentioned. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Erica
    March 25, 2008

    Thank you so much for this post. I needed this today.

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