Monday, February 25, 2013


We have been racking up on sleepless nights. The diagnosis is a simple runny nose. The symptoms are continuous coughing, gagging on post nasal drip, and the vomiting. We are burning through sheets, pjs, and carpet cleaner, but this is nothing new. This is every runny nose and something that is par for course around here.

I am a light sleeper, I hear everything. A blessing and a curse. I am usually awaken by coughing. I lay there listening, try to gage how bad it is and where it's going. Then the alarm sounds. Wrapped around Maaike's big toe is a laser sensor, glowing red, sending second by second oxygen levels and heart rates. If the numbers are below satisfactory the alarm starts to sound. Still I lay in bed. I'm waiting to see if the alarm stops, maybe caused by a long breath or a kick of the foot. I wait for two sounds of the alarm, if it goes to a third I'm up at her bed side. But last night there was no cough or alarm that woke me at this moment. This time she was calling for me, yelling for mommy.

When I got to her crib she was visibly unset. I started to brush back her crazy locks with my hand and asked her what was the matter.

"Bad dream. I had a bad dream."
"Oh no." I said, "What happened?"
"My friends were making fun of me."
My heart sank.

I continued to smooth back her hair until she was back to sleep. I climbed back into my bed too, but I couldn't fall back to sleep for she had just spoken of one of my worst nightmares.

Miss Maaike is only two years old, three in May, so I can only imagine she was repeating something she heard one of her siblings say or that she was speaking of being teased in the most general sort of way, but I can't imagine that this is the last time I will hear those words and it will mean the most specific and hurtful sort of way.

The momma bear in me wants to protect her from every stare or rude comment. I want to get vigilantly on any kids on the play ground who point or tease. But I know, "sigh", I know I can't.

I cannot be the sword of revenge. I must be the voice of confidence. I cannot be the wrath of undeserved pains. I must be the love of healing. I cannot be there for every unkind thing done. But I will strive to prepare her to know of her beauty, to be radiant, to be strong.


  1. the momma bear - or should i say aunt bear?- in me has tears in my eyes right now. sweet Maaike. the need to protect is so strong. if only we could.

  2. So I must be the friend bear because my heart breaks for her and you. She is so sweet and it makes you want to punch whoever says anything negative to her right in the face.

  3. Bless her little heart. I pray she makes good, sweet friends who love her for who she is. Praying for rest for you and that Maaike feels better soon!

  4. I do not follow your blog, I just come across it from time to time while looking up things pertaining to my daughters life.

    I remember reading one of your posts quite some time ago about a conversation you had with someone on a plane.
    I don't remember all of the details, but I remember being in tears as I read this womans advice on not forgetting your other children.

    that has stayed with me since the day I read it and it comes to mind as I read this too.

    I do not know how I will prepare my trached 1 year old for the mean people in the world, but I would imagine that it wouldn't be much different than how I will prepare her older sister. Kids are mean, regardless of disability.

    she will come across hateful, nasty, mean people. but she will also come across accepting, loving, wonderful people. she will be loved by plenty.

  5. *sob*. It's a mother's heart and calling. *sob again*.

  6. Rian! Wow, what a small world. Long story, but the way I found you was through puj and then I HAD to find out if you have a glad you do. I knew you at BYU. I'm pretty sure we were in the same ward...Santa Barbara maybe? When I saw your face on the video it only took a second to make the connection.

    Anyway, I have spent the past hour perusing your blog. (My plan was to clean house and catch up on laundry, but this was time better spent!). Your story is amazing and beautiful and brought me to tears several times. Maaike is such a beautiful girl and the journey you've all been on in the past few years (CHINA!) is incredible. So glad you've documented along the way.

    Wishing you all the best!
    Nicole (Pedersen) Pasquini

  7. Maaike is beautiful, inside and out. She will come across hateful people, but she will also know kind, wonderful people.

  8. thinking of Maaike often, and hoping that all is well. best wishes from renee in western australia