When Good Gets Even Better

Prelude to this post:  One of the girls came to me today right after I had taped together the slightly broken plastic vegetable bin in the refrigerator.  She said, “Mummy, I broke the box.”  I asked her what she was talking about, and then realized she meant the vegetable bin.  I said, “I thought I broke it the other evening!”  It’s true, as it gave way when I pulled it out.  OK, the amazing part is that she wasn’t afraid to tell me.  You have no idea how different this is.  The girls really feel safe with me these days.  So much has changed!  Shishur Sevay today is how I imagined it would be when we started in 2006.

Back to the blog as I had started it:

Another stretch on non-blogging.  Well, I did blog, four hours one night when I stayed up determined to write about what was going on, but as we say here, I guess it was not destined to be published.  I saved it multiple times as I worked, and as I always do, and then in a moment it was gone!  Poof!  Everything was gone except the title and the first sentence, which I had even changed.  The title was:  Tough Decisions: New Beginnings.  The surviving first sentence was, “I have had to make some very tough decisions in the past few months.”  That post is lost, but the outcomes of those decisions are really wonderful:  “When Good Gets Even Better.”

In the picture below I’m having a meeting with the current massis.  This is the most dedicated group I’ve had.   We are working out what needs to be done, and we are also talking about some of the communication that occurs.  What’s notable is the sense of relaxation, on their part and on mine.  Two significant changes have occurred.  The girls they were afraid of are no longer here ( Tough Decision).  Staff who tried to “manage me” on their behalf are not here.  I really don’t need to be managed, and I’d rather deal with what is going on than have people holding back until “the time is right” to approach me.  With less “help” I’m finding it easier.   It’s nice!

Meeting with our childcare workers -- the massis

Meeting with our childcare workers — the massis

The children are really blossoming.  When bullies are removed from the situation, all kinds of unexpected things happen.  Kids almost in hiding, suddenly emerge, and blossom.  They walk differently, smile more, pitch in more, express interests and want to do things.  The house suddenly isn’t divided into territorial lines I didn’t really know existed.

Usually time will pass and I’ll suddenly be aware of that used to happen, but doesn’t anymore.   The children with disabilities frequently had scratches, little ones…. but there was no way to know how they happened.  These things don’t get picked up on the CCTV; no one will admit, or report, even if they know.  And I try to recognize that children with mobility problems, and spasms, may get scratched in the course of bathing or toileting.  A couple of weeks ago I suddenly realized no one was bringing the kids to me with scratches… It just wasn’t happening.  I go to sleep earlier because I’m not just trying to hang on to the last few quiet minutes before the battles of the morning.  There are no battles.

The full and complicated range of abilities.

The full and complicated range of abilities.

Here is the beauty of our life here.  The older girl is in an English medium school in Class VI.  She will be having tympanoplasty in the near future.  We have another consultation Monday.   Kalpana in orange is working on a Dora the Explorer game on the iPad.  She is getting intensive speech and language therapy for her developmental delay. Ganga is watching and if she reaches out, one of them will give her the iPad to touch something.  We live together, play together and take care of each other.  When we were pulled constantly by crises of violence and destructiveness, evaluations for non-emergency problems kept being put off.    We won’t take more kids until we have our current girls all settled and cared for as I had imagined we would.

When the girls first came in 2007 I planned for the kinds of evaluations I would have done in the US.  But within weeks, we faced a crisis where the government wanted me to take more children, non orphans.  When I said no, they threatened to close us and take back the children.  Our license was not renewed for two years and then after many appeals.  I lived hour to hour afraid to leave because I didn’t know what would happen.  I remember when Bubbi’s calf was sick and I knew it was serious, I didn’t go, didn’t get one more vet, let the people caring for him do the best they could.  It was a day’s trip and I made a decision.  The kids came first.  Bubbi’s calf died.  Of course the next day the girls insisted I make a brief visit to Bubbi because she would be sad and would want to see me.

It’s not that everything is up to date… we are late in filing some papers, but it’s not crisis.  The home is not crisis ridden.

I remain so touched by the love shared especially between the older girls and the children with disabilities.  They radiate happiness and love.  I can’t imagine anything better.

Love and Joy among the children

Love and Joy among the children

March 2013
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