Okay, I have to admit that one of my big frustrations this last year has been the amount of toys that have been broken. Seems like a small thing, but it really gets to me.
The girls have never had anything to call their own; at the orphanage everything was community property, so nothing has ever been "special" to them. No special "blankie" or doll or stuffed animal... nothing. So with that, they also don't know how to take care of things. They break things just because they want to.
The other day, one of them came down with a Tinkerbell doll (that she got to pick out at the store), and told me that her head came off. Well, her head didn't just come off - it was snapped off so hard that even her plastic neck was broken. There was no way to fix it. I would have told you that this was a favorite toy, but when I told her that it couldn't be fixed and we had to throw it away there was not much emotion. She just threw it away and went on with her day. It REALLY bothered me! I wanted her to care! I wanted her to have something that she really cared about so she would learn to take care of it! One of my first thoughts was, "there is no way this girl can ever have her own pet!" Ha!
The girls have broken countless dolls and dress-up necklaces, ripped stuffed animals, and destroyed books. They don't have much because we didn't want them to be overwhelmed, and we really saw a need to cultivate their imaginations. So when I see them breaking the things they do have, I am at a loss.
I was thinking about this again in the car today (one of my best thinking places, especially when I am alone!) and I asked God, "what do I do?" Immediately I heard God say, "it's just stuff; they treasure Me." Wow...
It is true; one of the very first words they learned in English was "Jesus." To this day they will sing the name of Jesus over and over and over again. You ask them to bring a book to read and they will bring you their children's storybook Bible. They ask to bring a book downstairs to read by themselves and it is their Bible. Our sweet little Milana will sing in our weekly church meeting with her eyes closed and hands raised. I asked her about this after the first time I saw her do it (I am big on my kids knowing why they do things, and not just doing it because they see others doing it) and she told me she was giving her song to Jesus. They connect with God like I have never seen before, and without most of the religious baggage that somehow attaches itself like barnacles to the hulls of our lives over time.
They didn't grow up hearing about Jesus, and it is HILARIOUS the things they get out of Sunday School class (most teachers are not teaching with the thought of two kids sitting there with English as a third language and having never heard many of the stories being told!). We usually have to explain the story a little better so they get it. One Sunday they told us about "Brian" who was sent to the lions by the "scary monsters" where he "prayed forever." This, we figured out, was from a Veggie Tales cartoon about Daniel in the lion's den. So, we correct things here and there where we see a need to.
But sitting in the car today, I was reminded that He is precious to them, and our family is precious to them, and that is what matters. Stuff is just stuff, and maybe our time and energy would be better spent cultivating their relationship to Jesus instead of an attachment to a doll anyway.
This song was also on when God spoke to me... I pretty much cried the rest of the way home.