Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Bari Good Thing

You might be aware of my nieces' and nephews' stories, if you've heard me talk about them. Katie, Echo, Brayden and Tyson all came to our family as foster children. All but Brayden have been adopted.

The official word, as of a few days ago, is that all systems are go for Aaron and Susanne to adopt Brayden, as well. I haven't met him yet, but I spoke to him on the phone and he sounds very sweet. I think he's seven or eight years old.

Anyway, the kids all came into our family at different ages--but none of them were adopted as babies. This blog is a little "brag" about Echo, who came to us at the delicate age of ten, from a life, beforehand, that wasn't always pleasant.

Echo, being a preteen girl with a history of abuse, has her emotions to work through. Rome wasn't built in a day, and damaged children aren't cured in a day, either. Add puberty into the mix, and, well, let's be honest--it hasn't always been pretty! Puberty can be a pretty horrifying time in a girl's anyone who has been there, done that can attest.

Time, counseling and love are doing their part to help Echo along. She continues to grow stronger every day, and, according to Susanne, she has three close girlfriends through school and church. Their church has been supportive of all of Aaron and Susanne's children, knowing that these are children who need a lot of love and acceptance. Echo is maturing and taking on more responsibilities at home. She does what she can to help look after her younger brothers, and is looking forward to a time when she is old enough to babysit to earn some extra money.

All of this is wonderful, but it's not the point of this blog. This blog entry is to brag a little on something really, really cool.

Last weekend, Dad mentioned that Echo has taken up the baritone in her school band (she just started 6th grade). The first words out of Auntie Music Teacher's mouth were, "Right on!! That's COOL!!!" Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes in my company knows that I am an Advocate (with a capital "A") for music education, and the power of music in a person's life.

On Thursday evening, my phone rang. My phone with caller ID isn't working, so I've been using an "old-fashioned," non-digital phone on my land line--and making most of my calls via cell phone. So I answered reluctantly, because I didn't want to deal with anyone annoying. But I picked it up, anyway, figuring it might be important.

"Hi Aunt Megan...this is Echo."

"Hi Echo! How are you?"

"Fine. I wanted to tell you that I'm playing baritone in band at school."

"I heard! I'm so excited for you."

From there we went on to talk about how much she likes it, and band, and sixth grade. Then she put the phone down so she could play for me. They were those first akward notes of a beginning musician...and the most beautiful sound I've ever heard.

I praised her up one side and down the other, telling her how much fun I had in band in my school years, and all the wonderful things I got to do because of my musical career. Then Echo, who has long had a dream of being a vet one day (certainly a very noble goal) said, "I might change my mind and be a music teacher."

Can someone please pass a very proud Auntie Meg a tissue...or twelve?

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