Warning: This might be difficult to read. It's a reality that's hard to handle.
Tonight while she was eating her pepper-covered rice, I just randomly asked Nia about discipline at the orphanage.
She said one of the "Mothers" used to beat people with switches, like 4 switches at one time. She knows of one girl who was beaten in the face this way and ended up with a swollen, bleeding eye. She said they would be beaten in any position and demonstrated for me how she would sit on the ground with her knees drawn up and head covered with hands for her own beatings. She told of teenage boys taken up to the front of their church at the orphanage, forced to drop their pants and underwear in front of everyone, and then beaten with switches. She said, "Mother _____ was a wicked woman." Yes, indeed. I can't even imagine the shame and humiliation this would bring for a boy. And then the anger and rage that would no doubt grow in their hearts towards the abuser.
She said children could be beaten for a number of reasons: fighting with each other, girls wearing pants, and leaving the orphanage to find their parents, to name a few.
My stomach is in knots over this. I ache for those children, for my daughter who has experienced things no child should have to be put through. I ache for what I don't know about her life....the things she hasn't told me yet. Ugh. I'm a mess.
God, help me to love her the way You love her. Help me to see her the way that You see her. Father, keep breaking down those hard walls of protection around her heart. Thank you for showing me why she had to build them in the first place. Redeem her youth and her life for Your purposes.