Her name is Saphire. It took me weeks to get that much out of her. She came to me a cowering child, clutching a teddy bear. It was obvious that was her security blanket. I had been warned that she rarely spoke. She was skittish, her short history was that of abuse.
I decided to adopt her anyway. Something in her eyes told me she was meant to be my child. I was to give her the safety of a loving home. It would take time but I knew I had to try and reach her. Saphire had spent most of her life being beaten and abused, and when someone finally stepped in she was shuffled from one foster home to another.
No wonder her files said she had attachment issues. She spent hours by herself, clutching that teddy bear. I did not know all of her stories, but her scars spoke of outrageous torture and abuse. I wondered to myself not for the first time, how anyone could hurt a child in that way. I loved children, and I could not imagine hurting a child, let alone my own child.
Looking at the scars, seing Saphire broken and abused, made me physically sick. She was a beautiful child, but her short past was an ugly one. That teddy bear was probably the only way she felt love. I could not pry it from her hands, even to wash it, without her flying into a fit of rage.
Saphire was seven when she came to me. Her vocabulary though was that of a two year old. She was intelligent, I could tell that just from seeing her, but no one had given her a chance to learn and grow. I wasn't sure she had ever been to school. Her world was that of abuse, and being shoved from home to home. Now Saphire was my child, and I was going to work to teach her. I knew she had promise, she was a child who needed a chance.
The first lessons consisted of me trying to teach her, new words, new things, and her cowering in her chair everytime she made a mistake. I had to earn her trust, I realized that. She knew nothing but abuse, and she expected that from me as well. It would take time but I would prove to Saphire I was not going to hurt her. My job was to nourish her and love her.
To Be Continued