It's been a week since I've posted. We had a good Thanksgiving at my mom's, with all my brothers and their families. My brother, Jeff, let Nia use his digital camera for the day. She took about 400 pictures in a matter of hours.
I bought Nia some powdered red pepper that lasted about 5 days before she finished it all. She covers her food with it until it's all red. I ate a small bite of food with that stuff and my mouth was on fire for 1/2 hour. My sinuses, however, were cleared for the day.
Nia has moments of moodiness, pouting, and outright defiance. It's very difficult when she gets mad at us and won't tell us why. She just pouts and ignores us. Personally, God must be pouring out extra mercy and grace on me to keep me from tearing into her when this happens. Amazingly, I've been fairly patient (so far). It's one thing when a 3-yr-old won't get out of the car at church, but another when your 8-yr-old won't budge.
Nia has experienced one nightmare that has brought her into our room in the middle of the night with pajamas soaked from sweat. It was the first time she came to us for any comfort. She said that a large black dog was speaking to her and trying to steal her spirit. I asked if she was talking about Ox, and she said, "No. It wasn't Ox." I truly feel that this child is being tortured by demonic spirits at times. Witch doctors and curses are prevalent in Liberia. If we think that America isn't plagued by demons, then we are fooling ourselves. The enemy has us so pre-occupied with TV, computers, sports, fashion, etc. that he doesn't have to be as blatant with us. Anyway, she refused to go back into her room even in broad daylight without me the next day. She now sleeps with a lamp on. We pray over her every night for protection against harm and fear.
In spite of our difficult times, I am blessed that for several mornings in a row she has come into our room around 6am and climbed into bed with us. It gives us some cuddle time that we don't get throughout the day. She still resists our hugs and kisses (ever tried hugging a tree? They don't hug back). God has really been showing me that it's not Nia's job to give me positive feedback or hugs to fill my tank. It's my job to keep loving her (with His help) and to look to Him to fill my tank.