It has been exciting to get to know Rebeka these past few days, and it has been eye-opening. I am amazed at how she has adapted to life with twisted feet and hands and arms that don’t work the way ours do. I’m also amazed by how brave she is, traveling to America, away from her family. The things I find most interesting, as we move through the days, are the little things. How she manages to hold a crayon and draw beautiful pictures.
We found out the first day, after writing her name on the chalkboard as “R-E-B-E-C-C-A” that we were spelling it all wrong. Her passport may read, “Rebecca,” but in Rwanda she spells it “R-E-B-E-K-A.” I had a piece of paper where I has written an “R” and an “E.” She grabbed and crayon and filled in the rest of the letters herself.
Her fine motor skills are impressive. She watched Clay set up crayons, balancing them on their ends, and then did the same. She made domino trains after Benji showed her how. She can bounce and throw a ball, and hauls herself all over the wood floor chasing after a toy school bus. I’ve dug out some of Alayna’s old bears and their clothes. Big fun. In short, she plays, just like any other kid. Only she has a few more toys here than back at home, and she has to be creative about how to play sometimes.
We went on our first outing to Target yesterday.
Before we left, Rebeka strolled onto the driveway. I realized she hadn’t really seen the front of the house yet. When we arrived the first day it was dark outside. She noticed something on the ground of the landscape bed. It took a minute for me to figure out what it was. I finally realized she was pointing to a small seed pod that fell off the Texas Mountain Laurel.
I gave it to her, and she shook it like a rattle. Aha. Her kind of toy. I walked her over to the bush and showed her all the pods, and handed her another one. Two rattles for the road. She kept them clutched in her little hand our whole trip. As we walked down aisle after aisle chock-full of colorful things, from medicines to clothes to shoes, she held onto the seed pods. And her new baby doll. The old and the new. A toy is a toy. I can only imagine what she thought of it all. When the translator asked her what she thought of Target, she said, “It was beautiful. Filled with beautiful things.”
This morning, she had her first trip to Dell.
We are waiting to hear from the doctors once they all have a chance to talk together, but I thought everyone might like to see a few pictures. She was so very brave. Through all the x-rays, the heavy lead apron, the indignity of wearing a gown that doesn’t entirely close in the back, the prodding of appendages . . . she is brave.
As she sat, waiting while one of the doctors talked to us, she tore a small strip off the paper that covers the examination table. She wound it around and around in her fingers until it was very small and pointy on either end. Then she got the baby doll we brought with us, and poked it into each of her ears. After all, little girls must care for their charges while the big people carry on with their business.
This hospital world is so new to her. So is the Davis world. And the world out the window of my car as we drive. The world of the airport. She has encountered so many worlds since her feet touched down in Texas at 2:30AM Monday morning. But already, we are seeing that Rebeka is a fighter, and she has many victories in her future.