She gets a clean slate.
It's true that her pain will follow her, but like a new baby, we'll carry her home to everything new. New bed. New family. New routine. New world.
She'll have opportunities for growth around every corner. Therapies for eating, communicating, and familiarizing herself with all manner of new input for her senses.
She'll see half a dozen doctors in short order, who'll look her over and treat her from head to toe, inside and out, optimizing her chances for a long healthy life.
Everyday she'll be greeted with a veritable feast of fruits and vegetables, healthy meats and starches.
And she'll never be alone again.
Whether she likes it or not, our whole family is prepared to love her for the long haul. She may push us away at times, as love is a tricky thing to learn for those unfamiliar. But over time she will likely come to know that she is safe and sound with us. Cherished forever.
We're thinking creatively about her space and how we can best make her feel at home. And shopping around for clothes to fit her long lanky little body.
We're noticing things we imagine might make her smile and and we're paying attention for any triggers that might make her nervous or sad.
We've thought through our journey home with her, three flights long and how we'll make her comfortable.
We're praising God that He would see fit to use us to bring about this sweet treasure's new beginning.
Somewhere across the country from Hannah lays another tiny teenager. Maybe she's still sleeping in a crib, too. And drinking from a bottle.
So many similarities. A lifetime of not enough. Abuse. Neglect. Yet precious, worthy, infinitely valuable.
She will have no new beginning. Her time, in fact, is coming to an end.
She will finish out her days in an adult mental institution. She will fight for food and fight for attention, of both there will not be enough. Eventually she will lose her fight.
The world is a cruel place when you're an orphan.
No one will come for this child who has already spent 15 Christmases and birthdays alone.
She has nothing.
She has no one.
Her time is coming to an end.
Chris and I were able to speak with a friend about Dawn while we were in country visiting Hannah.
Even with only one month left on the clock before she ages out, we are told that it is not too late for her to be adopted.
She is available for adoption by either a single mother or a married couple (one of which must be at least 15 years older than her). She has very little time left, so a family who has a previous homestudy that could be updated would be helpful. Dawn needs a family to be able to complete a homestudy and get immigration approval before her birthday.
There is now $15,000 available toward the cost of her adoption.
And now, within days, with the hope that someone will see her, someone will be visiting to gather new photos and videos to share with prospective families.
I know, I know. Posts like this inundate our facebook feeds too often. The need is heartbreakingly awful and can seem hopeless, especially if you're reading this and you know that you can't be this child's family.
But, who's to say that there's not someone out there who could be?
You may not be the kind of person who usually shares this kind of post because its a downer. And nobody likes a downer.
But what if, in your sharing, we were able to find a family for Dawn?
It only takes one person saying yes to change her life forever. To give her a new beginning.
Do you want to know more? Is there a chance you, crazy as it may seem, are her family?
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will quickly put you in contact with an agency that will soon have her file.
If it's you, if the Spirit is calling, please don't delay.
Lots of love to all of you.