Things are so much better since I wrote my last post. We aren’t waking up in the middle of the night to give Rebeka medicine, no more leaky Ziploc ice packs, and she’s back on the plasma car after a short hiatus. I thought these two pictures represented her journey from cloudy skies back to our sunshiny Rebeka. This first one was taken just last week on Nate’s birthday, February 5th. She’s trying here, but she was still all propped up, sleeping on the couch at night and heavily medicated. Even a clown nose and a party blower can’t hide the fact that she’s not feeling so great.
And here’s our sunshiny Rebeka, sporting the new Longhorn headband her teacher made for her .
Have I mentioned how much we love Mrs. Karen? Sure, she teaches Rebeka reading and writing, addition and subtraction, but she also hauls her sewing machine to our house so they can make a Valentine garland together.
There were some cloudy school days in the very beginning, when Karen first started coming and Rebeka was still so shy and we were all figuring each other out, what she knew and what she didn’t. Karen discovered if she walked across the room and said, “Good morning!” and then said, “I can’t hear you,” when Rebeka whispered “good morning,” she could eventually coax a smile and a hearty “good morning!” Karen brought sunshine to our school days, singing goofy songs and encouraging each small step Rebeka made. I watch them now, doing school on the red rug, listening in as Rebeka sounds out a Bob book, and I smile. Lots of sunshine there.
Rebeka is a pro at bouncing back. Last weekend we decided to give that girl a day of beauty. Sweet Natalie arranged for Elizabeth to do her hair, and then go get her ears pierced. Now, doing Rebeka’s hair is not always a pleasant affair. It hurts!
But the results were pretty stinkin’ cute! And check out those beautiful ears!
When I asked if it hurt, she said, “A little bit. It’s okay.” The girl is bouncy. Like all girls, she can also be a bit finicky. She decided the curly whirls had to go, but she’s taking extra-good care of those earrings and can’t wait to show her sisters back home. My dad is in Rwanda right now, and he was able to pay a visit to Rebeka’s family.
You may not be able to see it in this picture because it’s so small, but Rebeka noticed her big sister Esperanza’s earrings first thing! While he was there my dad delivered a special photo album we put together. Mrs. Karen spearheaded the project, helping Rebeka come up with the things she wanted to say and then helping her carefully hand write it. Rebeka spent a long time on the album, and I think all that hard work was worth it when we saw this pretty smile.
We’ve decided to take Rebeka to Disneyland for Spring Break, and I’m not sure who’s more excited, Rebeka or the rest of us. What I do know is that there are many sunshiny days ahead. And maybe it’s those gray days that make the sunshine all the warmer. There will be some more gray days. She’s got two or three more cast changes that will require anesthesia, waking up wincing and arched back and back to nighttime medicine. Hopefully she’ll recover faster. And by March 11th, those cloudy days will be well behind us as we don our Mickey ears and head to California.