The Harnisch Family

The Harnisch Family

Jul 26, 2012

Post Bolivia thoughts...Acclimating...and Resentment...

So, I've been a little MIA here on the Harnisch Family blog (at least as far as "personal" blog posts go).  I've got some catching up to do.

Seems the more you have to blog about, the less TIME you have to blog about it. figures.
Once arriving home from Bolivia, it didn't take long to JUMP back into the crazy routine we call "life".  We spent the 4th of July Holiday week/weekend out at the lake.  It was nice being there with family and all...of course...but my heart & mind mostly were unsettled.  What I wanted most was to
be home, in front of my computer DECOMPRESSING. 
As you know, the way I decompress and process things, is by writing and reliving experiences (at least one more time) through photographs.  Lord knows, I had PLENTY of Mission trip photos to sort through and try to make sense of.
That's my therapy.  My release.  My way of "finishing out" and "putting the trip behind me" in a sense.  I guess I needed closure.  Not closure so much...because I know I will carry these experiences with me I guess the better word might be "COMPREHENSION"!

I was able to do that after having (I mean getting - hehe) to spend a few days out at the lake...

I still think about and pray for those children daily.  Their smiles, generous hearts and gentle souls weigh heavily on my consience.

Coming home and adjusting back into the day-to-day Regimen has been rough.  Getting acclimated to our Civilized, first-world country luxuries has been a tough pill to swallow.  A little bit of guilt exists.
But to be honest.

This is hard.

I can only think of one word. This word seems harsh and unfair.  But the word I think I am still battling with most is "resentment".  Don't get me wrong...99.9% of the time I LOVE my girls and am SOOO excited to be back home with them (of course).

But, a teeny amount of resentment is present.  :-(

definition of Resentment - "deep-seated resentment, frustration, and hostility accompanied by a sense of being powerless to express these feelings directly"

Resentment towards my girls...specifically our five year old McKenzie.
 She is such a good kid.  A sweet kid. A smart kid.  A lucky kid.  LUCKY being the key word here.  She has NO IDEA JUST HOW LUCKY SHE IS!!  How good she has it.  She has not seen what I have seen, she has not been where I have been.  So, I know it's not fair that I would expect her to understand...But seriously, she has NO IDEA just how FORTUNATE she really is.  We are most certainly not "wealthy" people by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know, that relative to the World's population (most of which is poverty stricken) we are settled somewhere in the single digits % on the Household income scale.
With that being said, why on EARTH does McKenzie whine so much.  Why does she still feel so entitled.  Each time she opens her mouth to beg for another snack...or more juice...or another just sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me.  Makes me cringe.

I just want to shake her (of course I don't) and set her straight.  

These children in La Paz, who I had the pleasure of being with, had nothing, came from nothing and have low hopes for a nutritious meal, let alone a successful future.  How many times did we hear them complain or whine?  NOT ONCE!
It was amazing, for example, when we would offer them food, how kind, polite and gracious they were.  How, when we visited Hector at his family home, and gave him an orange...he did not beg for it, he waited patiently for it to be handed to him.  And rather than peel & eat, keeping it all for himself...he peeled and distributed sections of it to his siblings.  Amazing.  Simply amazing.  Heartbreaking at the same time.

So, why can't my child be just a tad bit more appreciative for what she has?

Okay, so this frustration (resentment, if you will) has to end here.  It's not healthy.  I need to understand and meet her where she is at.  She is fortunate to grow up here.  She has the luxury of NOT knowing the difference.   Not knowing what it's like to go to bed hungry.  Go to bed scared.  Go to bed on a dirt floor.  Go to bed with only a tattered & torn hand-me-down stuffed animal.  Go to bed not knowing what the next day is going to bring.  Go to bed unsure if you will even be safe sleeping in your own "house".

So, with that being said, I need to be more understanding of her & accepting of "where she is at."  But, at the same time I need to work hard NOW.  I need to focus my energy on reinforcing and instilling an appropriate and gracious demeaner upon her. I need to be better and more consistent about not responding and giving in to her "whiny-ways".  That's the easy way out.  After-all, it's my fault she is the way she is (well mine & the rest of society and her generation - I can't take ALL the blame).

I simply want her to praise and thank god each day for all that she has.  Not ask and be sad for what she doesn't have...rather grateful for what she does.

"What if you woke up today, with only the things you thanked God for yesterday"  ~ anonymous

I hope that by my continuing to share stories of the children in Bolivia with her, she will be more humble and caring.

She get's it.  I can't expect much more.  For this, at least, I am grateful.

As far as Macy's kind of the opposite.
Not that I went on this trip seeking to get out anything 'out of it" for me.  Afterall, it was ALL ABOUT THOSE KIDS.  Once there, it was easy to understand the reason why God called on me to go there.  JUST BE.  JUST DO.  JUST LOVE THOSE KIDS!  simple really.
But, this trip and these interactions with these children did put a few things into perspective for least as far as Macy's concerned.
I will say I returned with a better sense of appreciation for all the advantages that Macy has in this world.  In this country.  In this town.  In this family.  She has so many resources and opportunities at her disposal.  More than she would ever need really.  So the days of me stressing/losing sleep over.."are we doing enough"..."is she getting enough"...etc...are over.  Girlfriend has ENOUGH!!
And by ENOUGH, I mean people who love and care for her.  People, in her circle, who would do ANYTHING to provide EVERYTHING that she should EVER need.

This is going to sound bad, but I think I'm just going to type it as I honestly feel it.  But...I can't help but feel that Macy, even with her significant & permanent physical and intellectual disabilities, has more HOPE for a better and more promising TOMORROW, than millions of other "fully-abled" children across the world, who live on the streets or who are at risk of living on the streets.  She's going to be okay.  Some of these children, who are poor, are abused, don't finish school, search for work as young as 6 to provide support to their families, most of whom are fatherless and turn to drugs to cope with the sadness and despair of their life, have a difficult time holding out hope.  And the major reason this is - is trust.  They lack the ability to rely on and fully trust anyone.  So sad.  :-(
Thank goodness for organizations like Kaya Children Int'l.  Kaya recognizes, reaches out and makes a difference in the lives of these kids.  But at the end of the day, they still live in a country that is poor, and where the government is corrupt.  My prayers are with all these kids every day!

Just makes you think.  Puts things into perspective.  I most certainly do not have any good reason to stress and fret over the opportunities and successes that lie ahead for our Little Miss Macy.



okay...I think that is all for while...I now return you to regular, normal, everyday, "light-warm-fuzzy" Harnisch Happenings blog posts.


  1. Thanks for sharing Sherri (: it's hard when God breaks our hearts for something and other people don't get it. Love your heart!

  2. That was an inspiring, HONEST post. I loved it. WE need to be the biggest example for our children to not take for granted all the 'things' we have. Do more volunteer work, read more stories, watch more programs that depict how so many people of the world have so little. Make them FEEL it in their hearts (compassion). Have the kids donate their toys to kids that don't have any...make them "Others-centered" NOT "self-centered". The more WE are like that, the more they will be like that!

  3. I found your blog through Pinterest (the special Olympics oath picture) and was excited to see your little one with Ds. She is just a couple of weeks older than my Claire is. Both your girls are beautiful and I look forward to following along.