I hope you have gotten a chance to read about each of our kids we have blogged about so far, but if you have not, here is a list of children we have written about so far and you can click on their name to read about them: Apolon, Yolmenda, Gladine, Woodlerxe, and Vageley. Today I want to tell you about Fedeline…..better known around here as “Fe Fe” She is 7 years old and goes non-stop from the moment she wakes up in the morning to the moment her head hits the pillow at night.
I always like to start these blogs by letting you know the situation the kids came from. Fedeline’s situation before living here with us was not good. Her mom had a small house (what we would consider a shack) just up the hill from the old orphanage. Fedeline was constantly back and forth. She sometimes slept at the orphanage and sometimes with her mom although I don’t think her mom was there half the time. She has a 10 year old sister, Hiwerli, who now lives with us and a 2 year old little sister. I cannot tell you how many times we saw Fedeline walk down the hill from her mom’s house to the orphanage with her baby sister on her hip because nobody else was watching the sister. Fedeline was constantly dirty, always in trouble, and very hard to control. Where Gladine always loved hugs and attention from us, Fe Fe would squirm if we tried to hug her and sought attention from us in negative ways. She and her older sister were raising themselves as well as their 2 year old sister.
Fe Fe and Hiwerli coming to live with us was an easy decision on all sides. Neither Matt and I nor their mom hesitated. I remember the first night when we all started living together at Hope Rising specifically being nervous about how we would control Fedeline. Little did I know that a safe and consistent place to live and love, and structure was all she would need to “tame” her. Our little wild child has calmed down so much. That is not to say she does not still get in trouble on pretty much a daily basis but it is not the same. Fe Fe gets in trouble for things that a normal 7 year old headstrong girl gets in trouble for instead of the things she used to get in trouble for… stealing and fighting (and I do mean fist fights). She is sweet, crazy, loving, and rambunctious all rolled into one. She loves for Matt to tickle her and when she does she has this huge laugh that is completely contagious. One of my favorite things to do every night is tuck her in and tell her I love her….every night she tells me she loves me too and then asks me to please tell my little cat goodnight too. I have know idea why but it is something she started when we first started living together and continues to this day. It just seems to be our thing. Fe Fe is repeating 1st grade this year and we feel confident she will pass. Her environment is so different and so much more conducive to succeeding in school. Lately she has been coming home from school each day and telling me that when the teacher leaves the room to go to the bathroom she puts Fe Fe in charge (wouldn’t be my first choice but we will go with it) and when she tells me this there is such pride in her voice. Almost everyday that also includes her telling me that while she was in charge Mvinsley got in trouble which if you know Mvinsley this doesn’t surprise you…but that’s another blog. It is very clear in her voice and expression that nobody until now has ever believed in her, told her she’s smart, or trusted her and she is feeling that now. You can just tell in the way she is carrying herself.
Fedeline is an amazing little girl so full of life. It has been such a joy to watch her transition from survival mode, which I firmly believe she was in for the first 6 years of her life, to a completely different mode where she lets others care for her and teach her the right way to act. She is learning to love positive attention more than negative but I’m not sure how long that transition will take…..she is a work in progress like us all.