Friday, February 17, 2012
This post was written by my sister Nori one summer when she was here and her family were with us. This is her reflection of what she learned from us and from the children themselves about Tina. Here, she says that Tina is eight years old and still missing her front teeth. She will celebrate her birthday on the 18th of February and we found out she is just turning 7. (Her teeth are finally showing up). Tina is our first “adopted” child and the she is the main reason that makes us believe that part of God’s calling to us here in Mae Sai is to care for the orphans and abandoned children (and yes even cat) . This is her story.
“Ditche, Thyanat had been crying, I do not know what to do.” Dadai’s text messages always had the same thoughts for some days. “Just keep on hugging her… She cannot express herself because she does not know what to express.” That was three years ago. Until now, Thyanat easily cries even at a slightest provocation — a simple word or a slight bump.
Thyanat lost her mother from tuberculosis when she was five … 6 months after that her father died of AIDS. Kuya recalled how thin was Thyanat’s father and how he talked about her … that if ever he would die, he begged Kuya and Narlin to take care of her girl.
Since Thyanat’s father knew of his impending death, he desired to cross the river and go back to Tachilek. Kuya and some other church members tried to do their best to help him. So, they waited for the water level to become very low and they carried him on their back alternately until they can bring him home, but since the police security was very tight, it became totally impossible. He died before making it there, and when that happened the believers panicked. They called the paramedics and when they declared him dead, the Thai police respected the body and allowed the believers to give him a descent burial.
At his death, someone took Thyanat from the Child Care Center. Narlin was so mad when that happened because children without parents are easy prey for human trafficking. Anybody can pretend to be family relative and take advantage of the situation. Narlin and Kuya did everything to find Thyanat again. Narlin went as far as barking at people just to know where Thyanat is kept. With the family’s very limited resources, she proudly asked the person who was claiming Tina as her niece, “can you feed her 3 to 5 times a day, can you send her to school, can you provide her clothes, a good home and a family? if your answer is no, then let me have her, because i can have that and i can do that for her… ” With that, the other person succumbed and gave in Tina.
The family gave Thyanat the name Tina or Tina Pie. Narlin calls her “my own”. Tina is very sensitive and the other children always bully her since she always receive special care. Narlin would say, “you all have families–some have both parents, others have lost either a mom or a dad… but Tina has no one… She is mine. She belongs to us. We are her only family.”
Tina is now 8 years old. Her four front teeth have been missing since she was five. Until now she lisps when pronouncing the “s” sound. We still tease her “All I want for Christmas are my four-front teeth”. The couple knew that Tina needs to have a general check up and let her undergo different medical tests. But they are waiting for her emotional and physical readiness. Such tests can be very stressful for her. They also need a doctor whom they can trust with her case. Plus they need financial back-up. In due time, the Lord will provide all of her needs.
Please remember Tina-how the Lord will continue to assure her that she belongs and that she is loved. Remember her health-both physically and emotionally. Mention her needs — what can a little child in her situation need? Maybe, courage to face the unknown of tomorrows, strength to overcome, parental love for she knew what it meant when she needed it most but has been deprived too soon, hope for a better and brighter future, and most specially faith in God who is the only source of everything.
May God’s grace abound in you as you adopt Tina in your prayer life.