From the moment I saw Brigita's profile on Reece's Rainbow, I was captivated. The brightness in her eyes, along with that big, beautiful smile told me that this was a very special little girl who would add a lot of joy to some lucky family with what was surely a sparkling personality. I have thought about her night and day since then, praying constantly for her health and comfort, and for that lucky family to discover her. That was last December, two months before she turned six.
One thing that troubled me then was the possibility that the big, beautiful smile in the picture had faded away as the years went by. I am not sure when the picture was taken, but I found out at one point that Brigita had been listed with RR since at least 2009 without a profile pic. So, does that mean she was about four in the pic? Or was it taken earlier for her file, and only released to RR later? She looks so tiny, like a toddler, in the photo. I really thought she looked two or three. It just might be that when people see pictures of the older children that had obviously been taken much earlier, they might just think, "cute," and move on. They might think that the available picture may bear little resemblance to the child as he or she is now - either physically or mentally. I always wonder if that disconnect is one of the things holding Brigita back from attracting the interest she should attract.
Fast forward a bit to after I had the immense good fortune to correspond with a wonderful lady who had met Brigita in the spring of 2010, when Brigita was five. She told me that Brigita was still very small, about a 2-3T, and probably under 30 lbs. In other words, about the size of my 2 1/2 year old, but a LOT skinnier! However, she walked very well and loved to play with noisy toys, despite her hearing problem. So, that news was both a relief and a worry. Brigita was ok as of last year, but she needed to gain weight and grow. She was sturdy. She was responsive. She smiled and she laughed. (Yes! Thank God! She laughed when taken - with help - on a playground slide!) But for how long would that remain to be the case? What if she got sick? What if she continued to lose weight? What if she just gave up? That's why I pray for her everyday. Because we just don't know these things.
I have great hope for her, though, and here's why:
A smile like that isn't going to fade easily. Brigita may not have that much to smile about on a daily basis (pray with me that's not the case!), but that smile that just lights up her whole face shows something deeper and more durable in her personality. Maybe in her soul. A joie de vivre that even a short visit and a turn on a slide could bring out in all its glory. I cried big tears of relief and gratitude when I saw the spring 2010 version of that smile. The smile that prompted her good and devoted warrior, Helle, to dub her "The Cheshire Charmer." She is still there, waiting for the day that purity of spirit can be shared with a family of her very own, and she'll get all the hugs and holding she so deserves and so appreciates. Family, are you out there? There's a little prayer team out there praying for you, and for your sweet girl. We haven't given up in all this time, and we won't. We are waiting to see that big, beautiful smile again. Please God, let it be this side of heaven.
Note: I had to double check the date on this picture, because if you notice, it says 2009/05/02 in yellow on the front. Those dates are just a camera error. The owner of the picture has assured me that it was indeed taken in April of 2010, just a little over a year ago. She also told me something I had never heard before - something so beautiful I just had to quote her here:
"This picture was taken at the orphanage when we first met Little Miss. She was so happy to be getting attention and she loved the warm sun coming through the window just like a little cat. I bet she would love to just sit in the sun!"
Hoping those memories give her hope to hold on in the long days of waiting for someone to come and hold her again, and let her know she's so very loved.