Little Theresa became part of our family on Boxing Day, 2007. She is from a little village about 1 1/2 hours south of us. Theresa's mom died when she was only 6 months old. There was never a father in the picture so her grandmother took care of her for a year before bringing her to us. The grandmother was worried that she would not have been able to look after her for much longer.
Theresa was one of the shiest little girls I've ever seen. She had a pretty hard adjustment learning to live with “muzungus,” or white people, as they are called. While we had been able to kiss and cuddle all the other new arrivals, we had to give Theresa time to adjust to a completely different environment.
My strongest memory of her first days/weeks with us was her sitting at the end of the dining room table. She would be eating her food but if any of us white-skinned people walked into the room she would throw her arm over her face, burying her eyes in the crook of her elbow.
Thankfully Theresa eventually came out of her shell and began entering in more to activities and allowing us to hug her and get to know her more.
She's still a very quiet girl who prefers to just get on with what she's doing and not have to speak much.
Every day she gets brighter and bolder. It's wonderful to see the smile on her face!
This story contributed by Amy Morrow, project manager at African Educational Services