Yarn Braids

31 Dec

For Christmas I put my daughter’s hair in yard braids. 

 This was my first attempt at yarn braids… but I felt like she and I were ready to try them.

After a lot of practice E could now sit for an hour of hair time.

I  had studied the Katelynylyn  yarn braid video,

 and practiced on one of E’s dolls.

So over the course of three days, during five different one hour “sessions” her braids were put in.

That’s right, I spent five hours on my two-year-old’s hair.

The idea was that during the busy Christmas season her hair could be taken care of easily.

The braids could have lasted five weeks, but we kept them in two.

I had been warned she’d look older, what I didn’t expect was how much I’d like them, she loved them.

The clickety clickety of her beads preceded her grand entrance into the room.

I loved seeing her braids pulled into two pig-tails, a glimpse of hair-styles to come.

E and I love doing her hair, when I say “It’s hair time!” the child will actually cheer…

 it helps us bond.

E has whispered  “I love you” in her native tongue as I did her hair.

When I put in E’s hair braids I thought of another little girl’s yarn braids.

While I was in E’s country of birth I met her, she was around 18 months old.

She silently moved about the small house that had just been turned into a care center for neglected and abandoned children.

Most of the children had their heads shaved, both boys and girls.

She was one of only two children I met in the country with hair.

Adorning her head was around 30 well made yarn braids, each finished off with matching beads.

And so I asked,

who braided her hair?

The day I arrived on an airplane in the country to adopt a child I’d only known in photos,

this child was found in a banana field with a bag of clothes and 30 yarn braids in her hair.

The person who had left her, abandoned her, had spend hours preparing her hair.

Experienced hands took the time to wrap the yarn around the baby’s coiled hair

only just long enough to braid into the yarn.

All the beads matched, placed on in specific order.

Did she know when she put the braids in what she was about to do?

Did she care for the child she was about to leave alone among a grove of trees?

An abandoned child, with 30 yarn braids humbles me to the core.

I can’t imagine life without my daughter,

regardless of whether or not we are of the same flesh and blood.

I fiercely love her, protect her, and praise God for the blessing she is in MY life.

I think the woman who put the yarn braids in her daughter’s hair

loved her daughter too.

I think she had few choices,

some of those choices were even worse that leaving her child alone to be found.

She may have had to choose between starvation or abandonment of her daughter.

I also saw children who were starved by their family.

So I don’t judge the yarn braiding mother.

I am not her,

 and in truth I don’t know the why behind the choice she made. 

I saw a book filled with the descriptions of abandoned children while I was there,

Children left in banana fields, taxi parks, hospitals, and inside portable toilets.

The book was big, each page the story of a child.

No page explains why.


The yarn braids of an abandoned child were on my mind

as I braided my child’s hair for the first time.



One Response to “Yarn Braids”

  1. nosurfgirl January 5, 2011 at 2:47 am #

    What a moving post. I loved it, thanks. I also enjoy putting yarn braids in my daughters’ hair sometimes.

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