Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Walking on Clouds!

We are all walking on clouds today - Marquel passed her TAKS (achievement) tests!

I stopped at the school to drop off some paperwork and Marquel's teacher stuck her head in the door. "Did you talk to Marquel? She has some really good news." Miss Young was beaming.

I had seen Marquel going into the lunch room, so I found her and told her I heard she had some good news. Marquel is a little timid with us around her friends, as if she is not quite sure what they will think of us. She sat hunched down in her seat as if trying not to be seen.

"I am so proud of you!" I told her. At this she straightened up and her classmates all told me that they had also passed their tests. This brought a broad smile to Marquel's face, as if realizing that it was really OK for me to be there, that her classmates were not going to be judgemental.

A huge thank you to Miss Young, and to Teresa and Margaret for their help in tutoring, and for all those who kept Marquel in their thoughts and prayers.

With Charlie being the smartest in his Kindergarten class and Annie who gets 100's on her report card, this is a big confidence booster for Marquel, and a badly needed one.

Thank you all!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Marquel turns 11!

May 19th is Marquel's 11th birthday. As with Annie, we are reminded of the little girl that we met at the shelter 2 1/2 years ago. She was such a cutie, loving to tell stories in language that we could not understand, but she made everyone laugh with her because of her enthusiasm. She did not exhibit the symptoms of trauma that Charlie and Annie did, but of course we know it affected her as well.

Following the horrors of Katrina and the evacuation, the trauma inflicted by her mother over the following 10 months did further damage. Returning to San Antonio and learning to live a "new" life proved traumatic as well.

After so many experiences of being abandoned, left to fend for herself and mistreated by her mother, Marquel has had a hard time accepting the fact that her Father and Randy and I will not leave her. "Love" from her mother meant a show of favoritism, so it is easy for her to say "you don't love me" when one of her siblings is getting attention. Time will teach her that true love is constant, not shown by giving treats or special treatment.

Marquel has thrived under the care and nutritional food of Mr. Thornton. She is now a healthy, tall and beautiful girl. With the help of outstanding counselors, she is smiling more and learning self esteem and respect. She spends more and more of her time just being a little girl, and not trying to be the "mom" of the house, which of course is not her job. We want to thank all of you for your prayers for Marquel, we do see the results.

As we started construction on a room addition to our house for the kids, we could see that Marquel has an aptitude for thinking through and seeing the finished project. She knows what she likes, and enjoys drawing very pretty pictures and cards. Maybe we can see an architect in the future, who knows!

Marquel has worked hard on her school work this year, and we are holding our breath for the results of her achievements tests. We pray that she at least passed.

A huge thank you to all who have shown Marquel so much love and affection. She loves you all and prays for you every night "for everyone at church, and for those I know and those I have yet to know, please send your Angels...".