Monday, March 9, 2009

In your Eyes

We were driving in Portland Sat evening and slowed down for a bunch of flashing blue lights. As we passed, I saw a man handcuffed and thrown across the hood of his car. Marin, who was in the rear on my side, saw the same scene. Marin's radar went on high alert and she started asking a lot of questions.
- Who is he?
- Why does the policeman have him?
- Why is his arm broken? ( it wasn't, but it was bent oddly because of the handcuffs)
- What did he do?
- What happened here?
- Where will the policman take him?
- Will he get away?
- What if he comes to our house?
- Can he find me here? and on and on and on

When we arrived home, Marin continued the questions and began to cry. She could not, or would not, explain why she was crying.

When Marin woke up Sunday morning, she picked up right where she left off, and the crying escalated to he point of a panic attack. I was rocking her, holding her, doing everything I could think of to comfort her. Nothing worked.

Finally I asked "Marin, did you see men like that in Africa?" She said yes. I asked her what happened to men like that in Africa. She said "Sometimes the policeman shoot him and kill him. Sometimes he gets away. If he gets away, he comes to peoples house and kills them."

It's really interesting how people's brains work. Just when we think Marin is totally comfortable and 100% adjusted, something quirky like this will jump out of nowhere and reawaken some frightening memory of hers. She is such a sweet kid. It's just hard to imagine the demons she harbors. We did not realize she was exposed to so much violence.


Jason said...

Good morning, I recently stumbled across your website while searching for Amharic resources in Maine. Reading through your last few posts, I'm gathering you have a younger child you've adopted from Ethiopia. I also gather that you're located in Southern Maine (you mentioned living near St. Joseph's College.

We live in Orrington Maine and just traveled this January to adopt our 11 year old daughter from Ethiopia. Just thought I'd drop you a line to say hello. Our blog is and my email is

Have a great day!!

ShannonC said...

ouch. This kills me.

kristine said...

Wow. I appreciate your writing this. It must be difficult to write about.