The Journal of Hope

May 23, 2012
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What do you say to the fatherless child who cries because someone told them they don’t belong? How do you explain to the child that they are adopted and you’ve been pretending to be her parents for 13 frustrating years? Who was there to lift the child’s face up and dry her flowing tears? Where do you turn when everyone seems to leave you and you don’t know who to trust? Why does everything go wrong for this helpless child? When will things get better for her?

Lightning strikes everywhere on this stormy night. My life’s been through many storms, but none like this one. The winds have knocked me down, but never carried me away like this storm does. The rain has poured down hard and fast. Darkness is everywhere. I watch as people get to safety and wonder if I’m safe where I am.

How do you comfort the little boy in the room next to yours when he’s crying so hard he can’t breathe? His brain is two years slower than everyone else his age because he has autism. He doesn’t know what’s going on. You tell him his big brother will be back, but we all know he won’t. He’s packed all his things and left, and he’s not allowed to come back. His tears match the raindrops outside on this stormy night.

When will things get better? I’m locked in the highest rom of the tallest house I’ve ever lived in. Like Cinderella, I work hard and obey my stepmom. Like Rapunzel, I let down my hair and try to feel free. Like Ariel, I argue with my dad because I want to see the world, and like Snow White, I live with seven other people (now 6). I sleep like Sleeping Beauty and hope that someone saves me on this stormy night.

I wake up from four hours of sleep. Didn’t do my homework cause I was too worried. Woke up every 15 minutes and grabbed my pillow even tighter when I realized…he’s gone. Out of all my step family, he was the closest one to me. We were the ones who got in trouble the most. We were the ones who tried to change things. We were the ones who took every punishment together…now he’s gone. I pass his room and look at how empty it is. They told him to take everything, to go and never come back. Go. Never come back.

My little brother still has dried up tears on his face from when he cried himself to sleep. My little sister acts as though nothing happened. My big sister feels remorse because her and my big brother always argued, and said they hated each other. My stepmom ignores me. My dad just stares. My step-grandpa just goes outside for another smoke. And me…I think. Think about all I’ve gone through. My life would make an interesting movie. It would be one of those ones you can’t forget. A classic.

Miss Elmo
You say to the fatherless child who cries because someone told them they don’t belong, you belong, and you are loved. If not by your family by God. Pray to Him, talk to Him. You say to him I love you. You belong with me. You have a place in my heart, if no one else’s. You can lean on me. I will always be there for you. God will give me the power to be your guardian angel.

You explain to the child that has been adopted that you’ve pretended to be her parents for 13 frustrating years, even though you are not my child by blood, but I love you as my own. I have bathed you, fed you, and taken care of you so therefore you are mine, and I need you in my life, because your life and happiness is more important than my own.

I am here lifting up the child’s face and drying her flowing tears. Here. Letting her know I care and she is important to me. She is engraved in my heart. Her name burns my heart with love when it is spoken because it is her name, the name of the person whose tears I am drying with my own skin, my own body, because I care for her so much.

You turn in my direction and you trust me, when everyone seems to leave you and you don’t know who to trust. You can trust me who has always been here for you. Me, who dries your tears while lifting up your face. You can trust me, who cares and loves for you like you are a part of me, because you are. Me, who without you, there would be no me. Me, who will never leave, can’t because you are me.

You ask why everything goes wrong for this helpless child? Because it doesn’t. What helpless child? What helpless child that can walk, and is not ashamed or afraid to do it alone? What helpless child that walks with her head held high, smile on her face and bright eyes? What helpless child that wears nice clothes, and has pretty hair? What helpless child? I see no helpless child. I see a strong, independent, black young woman who, yes, has gone through many storms and maybe even tornadoes, but with her head held high she walked through it, fought through it, never giving up. Me? I know no helpless child.

You hold the little boy in the room next to yours when he’s crying so hard he can’t breathe and tell him you love him. Tell him every storm has a rainbow at the end promising life and survival and tell him if he needs it you will be his rainbow.

You say to the woman you’ve hated since you were nine that’s packing the bags for her son to leave, I sympathize for you. You, who always tried to push me down when you aren’t even off the ground. You, who tries to make me cry, when I am already sitting in a pool of tears. You, who tries, constantly, to make me angry when I’m already red with rage. Yes, I have sympathy for you, because you try to bring me down when all I know is up. I have sympathy for you because the more you try to break me you get broken. I have sympathy for you and I hate you, but at the same time I am here for you because you are the reason I am me.

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