In December while visiting the St. Louis Campus, I noticed a woman & a young boy sitting at a table upstairs where the Americans eat. We were there decorating the campus for the Orphanage Christmas Party. I couldn’t understand who she was or what she wanted. She motioned for me to come over. I sat down at the table and she opened her dirty cloth purse and pulled out this picture of Rosie.
The woman was deaf. She was signing to her son and he was explaining their story. I could NOT believe all that I was hearing so I called over Junior, Magdala, Jacques, Pierre, & Jose. There wasn’t a dry eye sitting around that table.
Rosie’s mom (Mimose) died on December 29th, 2008. Rosie was just 4 years old.
It was December 29th 2014 – 6 years to the day – since Mimose died. The lady sitting across from the table was Mimose’s mother – Rosie’s granny. For the last 11 years this lady has been searching & praying for a way to see Rosie. Before Rosie’s mom died, she gave that picture to her. She’s been carrying it around for the past 7 years.
Because of unfortunate circumstances & threats – she was unable to come and share her story with us until now. I cannot elaborate except to say that for the last 11 years – Rosie has been separated from her “real” grandmother.
Rosie was still sleeping while we were learning about granny’s story. As we were sitting around the table – Rosie wakes up. When granny sees her – she begins to cry. Without us saying a word – Rosie walks over and sits in granny’s lap.
I went and got my laptop so I could show granny pictures of Rosie growing up. Her eyes were glued to the screen – mesmerized and emotional – holding her granddaughter on her lap and looking at pictures of her life.
I had two pictures of Rosie with her mom – Mimose. When those pictures came on the screen – granny held the screen up close to her face – then she fell to the ground weeping.
There’s SO much to say and yet very little I can share. The good news is – God restored granny and Rosie and there is a happy ending!
In January, Rosie asked if granny & T-son (the little boy who is also Rosie’s uncle) could come live in the Mole. Everything granny owned fit inside a pillowcase. In fact she lived in abandoned homes and would stay until the owners would find her and kick her out. Then she’d take all her stuff and find another abandoned home to stay in. This was her life. She washed clothes in the river for others so she & her son could have a little money for food.
We made a special room for granny in the school. When she walked in and saw the bed with a mattress – she began to cry. She has always slept on dirt floors. When we gave her clothes & shoes – it was like taking a kid to a candy stores. Her face just beamed & she became like a giddy school girl!
Our staff took granny in like their own – braiding her hair, watching movies with her, cooking for her, and just loving on her. Granny tries to participate in everything she can – bingo, family nights, bonfires with teams, walking downtown with staff, etc. Granny is actually pretty funny!
While Diane & Joe were here this past month – granny became really close to them! In fact she cried when they left! She’s become apart of our family in such a unique way. It’s like she just consumes every heart that has the pleasure of meeting her. She doesn’t know Universal Sign Language – but we all have our own ways of communicating with her. Love knows no language barrier.
Granny has lived a very difficult life full of abuse & heartache – being teased & made fun of every day. But now granny will get to experience love & laughter. She & T-son can now eat every day & be cared for.
Granny likes to travel back and forth between here & St. Louis! Apparently granny has a boyfriend in St. Louis! 🙂
We are SO thankful & SO blessed that God has brought her into our lives! Rosie loves her very much…in fact the whole campus loves her dearly!
WE ARE ALL FAMILY!
Categories: Personal Stories