Day 6 – My Heart

October 5, 2007

I have written many times that my heart was in Africa and I couldn’t explain it. It’s just something that I have felt for a long time. Well…

I have found it.

Click To Listen

My Winnie, the little girl from the last post. She must have had it all this time. I have never felt a connection with a child like this before.

The moment I saw her, I knew she was special. And now, knowing her for only four days, I have fallen in love with this child. The connection I can only describe as primal.

Tonight she clung to me. I was holding her and her legs were around my waste and her arms were wrapped around my neck and her face was buried into my neck as she gently rubbed the back of my head.

I know that sounds odd, but all of the children have been rubbing my head since we got here. My very short hair feels nothing like theirs and they keep telling me how soft it is. I tell them I feel like an animal at the petting zoo. I have become so accustomed to it and I don’t even realize they are doing it anymore. Now, back to my Winnie.

Rocky and WinnieI love her.

How could I love a child like this that I’ve just met? I cried sitting with her today as her head was in my lap, just thinking about having to leave. My heart breaks when I think of it.

At the end of the evening, it was time to say goodnight and she would not let me go. I held her tight, kissed her cheek and then kissed her hand and told her that was for her when she got upstairs to her room. I had to push her away gently to get her upstairs before she got into trouble.

I can’t imagine my last night here. The thought of it brings me to tears. And I even wrote that I am breaking down crying right now.

But I can’t. I need to breathe. I know I should be doing a video diary, but I know I wouldn’t get a sentence across without balling.

My heart is aching.

I feel like when I go, I’m going to be leaving my daughter behind… and it’s killing me.

And I will be thinking about this until I leave. I will be heading for Nairobi in the morning and it’s going to be hard to leave for the night, let alone the country, the continent, the hemisphere.

In my head and in my heart, I think about adopting her and her little sister, who I love also. But there are so many things to think about. The adoption process is so strict here – havign to live here for three months. The cost. But the biggest difference is the culture.

Her life here, no matter how poor the orphanage is, is happy. The children are raised Catholic; church on Sunday, praying three times a day and rejoicing God through song and dance. Even ther language, Swahili, the food, the customs, their entir life is here and in this house and I would take all of that away from them. I don’t know that I could to that.

And then the brain says, “work hard.” Work hard and make St. Monica’s the best it can be. Proper food, clean water, hot water, cement the dirt, a garden to feed them, tuition and books paid for, shoes medicine for all the girls here. Not just two. And visit Kenya as many times as I can.

Would that be enough? Would that be the best for them?

I don’t know. I just don’t know. And I’m physically tired and emotionally exhausted just thinking about it.

My brain hurts and my heart aches.


24 Responses to “Day 6 – My Heart”

  1. JWT said

    This one was particularly difficult for me to transcribe. I wanted to be there with her. I wanted to reach through the phone and hold her and help her breathe.

  2. […] 5th, 2007 · No Comments i listened to her heart today to the sound of her heart pounding relentlessly inside of her chest fighting to get onto the […]

  3. amy said

    Rocky~I cannot imagine how you are feeling at this moment. I had my head in my hands as I listened to your words. I do not know what the future will hold in regards to ‘your winnie’. You never know what God has in store for you…what the plan may be. All I can offer you is this…I will help you in anyway that I can to make St. Monica’s be the best that it can be! The cool thing is (I believe) that this orphanage is smaller than most there, right? This one will be easier to help and assist the children with all that need…WE CAN DO THIS! We can make it a better place for the children. You have SO much support here Rocky. The support just continues to flow in!! You will stand in amazement! This could be the MFFO adopted orphanage! There are many possibilities…I know you have an army behind you! I am sending you a hug and a prayer!

  4. Desiree said

    I ache just thinking about it. That would be my biggest fear with going and doing the journey you are doing. I would want to bring them all home with me. And that’s what stops me from going. I can’t image the pain and mental anguish you are dealing with … but know you are doing the right thing. My selfishiness and not wanting to feel that pain has kept me here.

    Being there… being in the moment and living with and for those girls. Your trip will change their lives in ways you can’t even image … that will come with time…

  5. tarynjade said

    i feel so overwhelmed right now. i read this today before work, and here i am 8 hours later, still unable to figure out what to say. luckily, amy really expressed most of the emotions i was feeling. if this is it, and St. Monica’s is the place we are meant to be, then count me in. i’m behind you 100% my friend. my heart is aching, burning to meet these angels, to meet your winnie.

    i worry for you my friend, but i know you can handle this. you were born to do this.

  6. Namesjusgrammy said

    As an adoptive mother, I was where you are too. I think that it will be better to work to make St. Monica’s a better place for all. We can all help you with that goal, as a mother of seven, I know how stretched a mother of six would feel. You have your hands full with your little madman, I have one of my own. Lets all work together to accomplish what should be all of our goals. BTW I start my job Monday which = more money! I can help more! Blessings on your journey! Marcy

  7. This post touched me like nothing else.

    There’s always room for more.

  8. maria junesstar said

    my heart is with u rocky!

  9. […] Day 6 – My Heart here. Not just two. And visit Kenya as many times as I can. Would that be enough? Would […]

  10. Jill said

    My heart is aching for you reading this! I am praying for peace in your heart about the right thing for your family and for this little girl that i know has won your heart! I would support whatever you decide and I can see how it tears you apart to think about it! God bless you and your wonderful heart! YOU ARE IN MY TOUGHTS AND PRAYERS!

  11. Ines said

    you will have to make the most difficult decision but I am sure your heart will guide you. I know in your heart you already know what you must do. Those girls are lucky to have you there.

  12. Myla said

    Rocky has the biggest heart and I think it is getting even bigger than she ever could have imagined right now.

    I think your ability to love grows with each experience and this one is definitely a life changing one. Her heart will be larger and deeper than it was even before she left.

    I do not think that anyone can prepare you for the feelings that you will experience and the choices that will have to be made. Everyone must find their own way and whatever road is chosen, Rocky will not be alone. She has so much support; not only from her husband and her family but from all of us lucky enough to have been touched by her courage and her journey.

    Your heart touches us all and we are all better because of it.

  13. lori said

    I have never felt so close to someone as I do right now! Rocky you are truely amazing. I can not wait to join you next year and be a part of this journey…. and to meet Winnie and her sister. They and all the other girls are very lucky to have you and Juli in their lives… as are all of us. I love you!!!!

  14. Shoefreak (Cathy) said

    I read this message from you almost moments after it was posted by Jeff. It is only today that I am able to put to words what I was feeling. It made me so very sad that your emotions were at such a low point because from where I sit, you are doing the very best any human can do. You are selflessly reaching out to make whatever difference you can. You asked if what you are doing is best and would it be enough. Your dreams for these girls are bigger than any dream they can dream for themselves. And you will make your dreams come true. Do not let your heart ache, because you will and are doing things for these girls that surpass anyones wildest expectations. Rocky, you will always be doing enough, because you will never accept anything less than the best for them. Hugs to you!

  15. tracy said

    I agree with Taryn..if this is the place then count me in. I am still in awe after reading this. I can’t wait to meet all these girls. Be strong Rocky for this is what you were meant to do.

  16. nm said

    These are my wishes to you and the children.. after reading these words, spoken by yourself and typed by your soulmate.
    may your tears of sorrow cleanse your heartache and pain.
    May your impact on these children be everlasting and stronger than the mightiest of oaks’ roots into the earth.
    may your intentions and love spread like a wild fire in the largest & driest of forests.
    may the wonder of your deeds free your heart of pain and allow you to rejoice in your accomlishments, like a river dumping over a cliff into a majestic waterfall filled with rainbows.
    may you be the star they can always look up to and gaze upon in their dreams and in reality.
    may each fiber of your caressed hair be a conduit of the love those children crave to experience.
    may you be their Rock, Rocky.. a memory they carry, admire and are inspired by forever.

  17. kelleyz said

    Stay strong and true to your cause and calling Rocky. Sending tons of emotional support to be able to physically walk away, but always carry her in your heart and actions.


  18. Rocky – how can anyone read this and not have a primal connection – so moving, thanks for sharing

  19. I read this days ago and know that you are home safely. I still don’t know what to say. This time I listened to your voice and heard your tears and I am still speechless. All I know is that something inside me is telling me to find out how I can help and what I can do. I am going to read more and more. Diane

  20. […] Two years ago, to the week, I wrote this post on My Journey to Africa blog. I would have never imagined that Mothers Fighting For Others would be established and my life would be this amazing! It’s amazing to me to read and listen (Jeff had to transcribe the post from a phone message because there was no internet) and see where I was emotionally when I first met the girls! Day 6 – My Heart October 5, 2007 […]

  21. […] time I heard Mothers Fighting for Others’ founder Rocky Turner’s voice.  Her husband Jeff had posted an audio of part of their phone conversation during her very first trip to the girls… (several years ago).  I could almost feel her tears on my cheeks as I listened to her sharing her […]

  22. […] with the girls at St. Monica’s Children’s Home and two of them, Winnie and Joyce,  had captured her heart in such a way that she felt compelled to make them an official part of our […]

  23. […] always remembered Winnie’s birthday. You see, from the moment we first met in October of 2007, I fell in love. She was a remarkable young girl that I was drawn to. She laughed out loud… […]

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