Friday, November 4, 2011

little jitu

i desperately want to believe that this story will have a happy ending. so that's my eternal prayer.

little jitu.

i thought the first time i met her was when she was chucking large rocks just inches from a couple naughty little boys. but after going through my pictures i realized she'd been hanging around me all week. furthermore, her half brother is one of my orphans. soul mates.

back to the rocks.

i see this tiny little girl running down this dirt street, arm cocked, rock in hand. she throws it at a little boy, stops to pick up another, then starts the cycle again. i'm like 3 times her size so i chase her down and scoop her into my arms, prying the half-boulder from her little hands. she kicks and screams and immediately starts bawling, while the little boys just laugh and stick their tongues out at her from a safe distance away.

you have to understand something. there really isn't the word "no" in ethiopia. parental figures don't really discipline their kids. in fact, jitu sat outside the church every single day, all day long. never once did a parental unit come looking for her. i even kidnapped her for an afternoon and no one even realized she was missing. parental units also throw rocks, hit kids with sticks, and chase kids down, so these kids are only learning from not good parenting. vicious cycle.

i took it upon myself to play mom. i was good at it, too. every time i saw a foot meet shin, or hand meet face, or teeth to an arm, there i was with my finger and a sharp "NO."  i know that two weeks of my "play nice" and sign language really probably did nothing, but a girl can dream, right?

but poor little jitu. every time i turned around some little boy was teasing her, pulling her hair, pushing her, or doing something to offend her. fight or flight instinct? FIGHT. her little dagger fingernails scrapped countless arms and her fangs drew blood several times.

she'd snap in an instant, too. one second i'd be swinging her around and the next she'd be punching and kicking her way out of my arms.

i loved on that girl so much. just to show her what real love is. i don't pretend to know what her home situation is like, or why she is the way she is. but i gave her what i could in the little time i had. and i know her brother does the same when he goes home in the summer.

but the day i scooped her up to keep her from throwing those rocks i got it, too. punched in the face, the throat, the chest. scraped arms and face. kicked anywhere those little legs could reach.

poor little babe.

the day she snapped she bit my arm so hard it left a mark for two days. she was laughing one second then chomping down the next.

on our last day there the church had a going away party for us. little jitu sat outside the church waving me over as i stepped out of the van. i picked her up and carried her in (kidnapping, essentially) and brought her with me to our little service. i cuddled her and kissed her sweet face the entire time. i wanted to show her love but more than that, i wanted her to know that this church is a place of refuge. as the women from the church walked around with bowls of popcorn and grains for us, tietu, the pastor's wife, thoughtfully offered some to jitu. she knew she was not a member, probably didn't belong, and it was probably rude of me to bring her in. but that just melted my heart. becasue tietu is amazing. and i hope she's part of jitu's happy ending.

ps. that's her twin sister obisee. i thought she was an angel until she tried to bite me, too.

4 loves:

  1. Larissa! I teared up at the end of this post. You are sooo so amazing. <3 I hope this story has a happy ending too!

  2. She is so precious. Good for you giving her that LOVE!

  3. she looks so sweet. it's sad that once you left, she basically doesn't have a loving role model in her life. I'll be praying for her <3

  4. what an amazing story. This really touched my heart. I hope she can find a home at that church and that they can continue showing her God's love the way you did.