Wednesday, April 16, 2014

He's a Fighter

There are days where all I can think about is the time Kirill spent in the orphanage. He's been with us for almost three years now. He will be 8 years old in two weeks. I often think about the years before he joined our family-especially around his birthday.

I wonder if he remembers the orphanage? Since he's nonverbal he can't tell us these things. Once, his teacher told me they were reading a story about a child in an orphanage in the library. Kirill started screaming and crying (which he almost NEVER does) out of nowhere as if he was hurt. I am sure it was just a coincidence, but it made us all wonder if he understood what the librarian was talking about and somehow made the connection. Who knows...we may never know what he remembers. I pray he doesn't remember anything before he came into our family, but I know he probably does. Even if he doesn't, the scars of spending five years in a crib with little or no outside contact with humans are obvious. They're slowly fading, but still obvious.

One thing I do know: Kirill is the strongest person I've ever met. These days when all I can do is linger on the hell of his first five years, I remember when we walked out of the orphanage after meeting him for the first time. Greg and I knew we were walking away from him for months (which would later stretch into almost a year). From our arms, we were sending him back into a cold, isolated existence. I wondered out loud to Greg if he would live until we were allowed to come back for him. Greg held my hand and said, "Tesney, he's going to be ok. He's going to make it. He's a fighter. I can tell."

I still don't know if Greg really believed that or if he was just trying to make his heartbroken wife feel more confident. I do know that it proved to be the truth. Kirill is a fighter. He doesn't give up. His persistence is amazing. Even after all he lived through, his spirit is joyful and he has the best smile you've ever seen.

I guess I'm writing this just to encourage you. I know we all have bad days; bad months, years, and lives even. However, I can promise you that if Kirill lived through his first 1, 871 days, you can find the strength to keep going. He's my daily reminder that Jesus sustains even when our world is not full of rainbows and unicorns. He's a fighter.

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