May 25th, 2009
Many of you know that after my last trip to Armenia, the hope was that our staff would feel confident enough and have acquired the skills necessary to bring either Anna or Sassoon home. They are our “special two” who have been in a clinic for too long…. We had a training that was designed to this end in April, but it still felt like a pipe dream.
The week after I left Armenia, during a staff meeting, they determined that they did in fact feel ready, that it was time to try again. For Anna. I waited so long for that moment, two years, in fact. And when the news came, I cried for the hope of it all, and for all the days that I had given up hope, and for Anna, for myself, for our staff, all our residents, for the way our lives are inextricably wound together in a way that is sometimes miraculous and sometimes excruciating.
The last month has been a flurry of preparing for her to come home. We have strategized about responses to her behaviors. We have tried to build up strength. We have tried to impart courage to one another. We have tried to inspire one another. We have been afraid. We have been happy.
She was due to come home this Wednesday, May 27th.
But last night, I woke at 4 a.m. I could not sleep for the life of me. I finally gave in to the wakefulness and climbed out of bed. When I checked my email later this morning, there was a message from Alya (our director in Armenia), at 4:07 am, telling me that Anna was home two days early. After two years, my friends. After two years.
She came home early because her behavior had spun out of control in the clinic. She is afraid as well. She is vulnerable. She is over-medicated and it will take awhile to sort through all of these complications. These days are intense ones, for Anna and for our staff. I feel like I’m holding my breath. It is not going to be easy. But it is another beginning, and beginnings are always hard.
And there is hope, in this beginning. For Anna. For us all. In second (or third or fourth) chances.
Keep us in your thoughts and close to your hearts. With love & gratitude, Natalie (for us all)
PS - Here is a photograph of Anna from the last month.
-- Natalie Bryant Rizzieri Founder, Executive Director Friends of Warm Hearth, Inc.
Tel. (480) 921-1181 Armenian Tel. (374) (10) 39-81-50 Address: P.O. Box 1037; Tempe, AZ 85280
Providing Holistic Care for Orphans with Disabilities in Armenia
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I have always known that one day I would take this path though yesterday I did not know it would be today.
-Ariwara no Naribari
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