Just Call Me… Octomom?

¨Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perserverance.  Perserverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.¨

¨But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate,submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of rightousness.¨

James 1:2-4 & 3:17-18

Monday May 2nd 2011

Mhmmm.. OCTOMOM! = ) Ahaha

Today is the three-week anniversary of the day I was given the responsibility for caring for EIGHT little girls.  I am called ¨The Mama of the Little Chickens¨ which is kind of funny because FIVE OF THEM CURRENTLY HAVE THE CHICKEN POX.  Throughout the past week I have found myself frequently day-dreaming of a luxury called Calamine Lotion.. but alas, the only itch-relieving substance I have given my pox-ridden daughters is BABY POWDER.  I’m not sure if it actually works.. but five little girls running around the house looking like powdered donuts has definitely been added to my list of funniest sights I’ve seen here.  = )

I love that things like that happen every day, things that make me laugh and laugh and laugh.  Emily is seven, and almost every night that I ask my girls to share something sweet that happened during the day she raises her hand and says, ¨Today was cool because you’re here, and because you’re chula (pretty) and you’re beautiful and you’re wonderful and you’re precious…¨and without fail I laugh and laugh and laugh as she goes on and on and on and on with similar adjectives, ignoring my protests to stop until she’s satisfied with how much she’s affirmed my chula-ness.  It’s a good way to end the day.

My relationship with Emily is very much like I always imagined my relationships would be with the children I would one day work with in an orphanage:  I would adore them and they would adore me, I would teach them to read and cook and they would show me the awesome bugs they found in the garden.  I would run around the house in a flow-y cotton skirt, perpetually busy, a baby tied to my back as toddlers built block castles in the next room.  There would be lots of laughter and singing whereas all crying over scraped knees would be hushed by the breaking out of the superhero band-aids.  The walls are painted sunshine yellow in the imaginings that run through my mind, the pictures of the woman I always wanted to be.

The pictures in my mind of the woman I am here, the woman I have been in the last three weeks, also include lots of running around in flow-y cotton skirts, and yes there is laughter and singing but the crying definitely doesn’t stop just because there are cool band-aids.  Sometimes the crying wakes me up at awful hours in the middle of the night, and sometimes my tired, frustrated self wishes she could just ignore it and fall back asleep.  I never imagined I would feel that selfish someday.  One night the crying lasted from 2-3 am, and I had to wake up two other women to help me with the screaming five-year old who lashed out and hit me as if she were possessed each time I tried to touch her.  I never imagined this could be so difficult.  The woman with the sunshine yellow walls doesn´t believe in spanking, but I´ve made six journeys to the directors home, little girl in hand, when I’ve reached the point of exasperation and I can’t think of anything else to do.  I told my girls that I´m never going to hit them, but isn’t that the same as if I’d spanked them myself?  I never imagined that would be me.  The woman in my mind has time for every child entrusted to her, but I haven’t had a day yet where I´ve been satisfied by the amount of quality time I’ve spent with each of my eight girls (not to mention the other sixty people I live in community with).  I never imagined I would feel so insufficient.

But I think that’s the point.  I think that’s what He’s trying to teach me.  I am insufficient.  I will never be enough for them.  And I am not what these little girls need.  They need their Daddy God, they need their families, and I am neither.  Sometimes at night I bribe them to be quiet by offering to sing, and although I have a complex about sharing my voice with the general public I love that time in the quiet of the night when I can sing with all my might, in my own language, songs of prayer to my God.  The melodies and lyrics are generally my own, and tend to go something like this, ¨Jesus this is so fricken hard.. I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this… but I know that You can, and I know that You’re with me, so please help me.  Come Lord Jesus, come.  Fill all of me with You.. Help me to love them as You do.. because I’m nothing without You… and this is too much for me to do alone by myself…¨Ha.

I am learning so much, and some of it has been very hard to learn.  Running through my mind are memories that seem more like nightmares, holding one of my girls during her doctors appointment when Social Services had to verify that she had been sexually abused, as she screamed and screamed, so afraid that the doctor was going to hurt her like she’d been hurt so many times before.  Experiencing that no matter how much you love someone and pour into their lives doesn’t prevent them from treating you like trash and telling you they don’t love you anymore.  I think the thing that’s been hardest for me to learn though is that it’s not always possible to be everything I always thought I would become.  To realize that working in an orphanage is not as romantically beautiful as I imagined it to be, or experienced it to be before when my responsibilities were much less taxing.  So this is it, this is what it really is.  Fricken hard.  Stressful.  Yes, beautiful.  But so. absolutely. difficult.  This is still my dream, but my dream has received a very harsh reality check.

Please pray for me and my girls.  WE NEED IT.  = )

Maria (5), Jesica Ruby (5), Mina (7), Emily (7), Rosa Isela (7), Yesenia (7), Anahi (8), & Angela (9)

With so much Love,

Mami Brita

7 thoughts on “Just Call Me… Octomom?

  1. Yes, I hear you loud and clear. It is Friday here and am very glad that is so. I will pray for you and yours. I would guess you might not get the luxury of a weekend but I do. Sorry to say that to you who probably wonders what that must be like–like the old days, I imagine.

    Actually, eleven more school days, and I will take next Friday off. I love my charges, but, like you in your situation, they don’t always return the same on the investment. At any rate, they take their part of ,me on a daily basis. I am glad to give to them. I have to save some for the rest of me.

    I will deposit money for you in a couple of weeks. I would like to come see you but won’t because of money and other stuff. I miss you and think of you often. And I will pray more for you.

    Have good days and God bless my baby girl.


  2. Why exactly? I’m not sure but tears started coming down my face as I read your blog. It must be the amazing gift God has given you to write and tell stories, it’s beautiful Brittany. I miss you very much and I will be praying for you often. Thank you for sharing your heart.
    I love you! nina

  3. Sweetheart, I’m so proud of you!!! Those little girls are very lucky to have you there being their mami right now! Keep up the good work. I’m sorry it’s so difficult at times! Try “logical consequences” and “restitution” if you aren’t already. Logical consequences….ex. if they make a mess,they need to clean it up. Restitution…if they hurt another child, they need to apologize, maybe also in writing or drawing, and do something for that child to help make up for hurting them…ask the victim what do they want the other child to do to make up for what they did. (The last time your Uncle Eric punched me in the arm for no reason was when Grandma made him give me all the money in his wallet, which happened to be $7.00). Also, talk to them about taking breaks from a situation where they can go sit and cool off if they’re getting upset and get themselves centered again. At school we have a take-a-break chair that the teacher can tell someone to take a break in or the kids can go take a break themselves. The purpose is not punishment. It’s to say, “I see you’re having a difficult time right now, so take a few minutes to think about what’s going on and how you could change your behavior, and then come back when you’re ready.” Love you bunches!!! tu mamacita

  4. Thanks for the update, Brittany. I love reading your blog and learning about how God is using you in the lives of others. I will be praying for you as you continue to adapt to your new role. It sounds exhausting and overwhelming, but beautiful and fulfilling all at the same time. Keep leaning on God for the strength you need to thrive each and every day. You are loved!

    ~Amy G.~

  5. Brittany! I miss you so much! You are such an inspiration. Keep hanging on to Jesus. You are such a blessing in the little girls’ lives. I’m praying for you love.

  6. I wish I could write and write affirmations of how beautiful you are, but it wouldn’t come close to the fullness of it. You need to be a writer, you need to be a poet, you need to realize how beautiful your heart is.

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