I have recently started affectionately calling Ntokozo my 'brown daughter,' and then Kieren my 'white daughter.' I like it.
We were asked to foster Ntokozo as a 'safety family' in November, and she spent about 5 weeks with us until she went to Durban, South Africa to spend the holidays with her family. We had no idea what to expect, but had an instant connection with this girl, and welcomed her into our home. Those five weeks were really nice, we all worked well together, talked and laughed a lot. Kieren was the skeptical one, and it took really the entire time she was with us for her to open up and really like this new family member (I think we saw Kieren's strong jealous side in those day). Then Ntokozo left to be with family, and it was really sad for me (not helped at all bye Kieren asking daily, even hourly, for her 'sissy!). I grew to love this crazy girl, and through our conversations about her past, abuse, and family life, was very protective of her. Then she suddenly was back with us in January for a few days, then to Hillsong's summer camp for a few days, and now back in our home. And NOW she is really showing her colors - all the beautiful ones and the dark ones, as well. We are seeing a teenager these days, with attitude and laziness sprouting up more and more. But what is really interesting about her personality, is that when she feels someone has hurt her, or she gets angry, she just completely shuts down and won't talk. She stops communicating and turns off. I KNOW that many teenagers do this too, but she takes it to a whole new level, where it takes hours or even a day for her to break out of it. Last week she got mad at Casey because he started to question her list of new school supplies and then she just freaked and turned off. I can only guess that because she has been hurt SO many times that she just shuts people or situations out when she feels she is about to get hurt. But we are realizing there is a lot of work to do in this little heart, as Ntokozo really doesn't know how to work through problems or communicate at all when things get tough. I mean, ALL of us struggle with this, so we have a long road ahead of us as we learn together.
We are meeting with the ministry that has taken on Ntokozo's case next week, as they have still not found a permanent home for her. We aren't sure what her or our future holds, but we would covet your prayers in this journey. Only God knows what is ahead!