I love a redemption story and this one is no exception.
After I posted these before and after photos of the restringing of Miss Helping Hands' childhood American Girl Doll...
...a friend sent me this photo of her daughter's first AG doll, wondering if I could do anything to help:
Her daughter had received this baby before the recommended play age and had used a marker to give her some purple eye shadow and fingernails.
A distressed momma then partially obliterated her right eyebrow trying to remove the ink with a Magic Eraser.
I had no experience with fixing any of these problems, but then I'd never restrung a doll before I did Molly McIntire, either.
Thank you, YouTube tutorials, you're the best!
After a few hours of online research, I decided to try to save this sweet girl.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this transformation!
This poor little baby...
...was having a really bad hair day...
...and had more skin problems than you could shake a stick at ( go ahead...make that phrase obey your grammar rules!).
I began by washing, brushing out, and trimming her hair.
Did I just calmly say "brushing out"?
It took hours, a few strands at a time and one half inch at a time, to do that little job.
Afterward, I applied a LOT of lovely-smelling "braid spray" (a black girls' hair product).
I left it on her hair while I cleaned her skin with water and my EnviroCloth (LOVE that thing) and started her first skin treatment.
I covered it with plastic wrap and let her lay in the sunny window.
After a few treatments, it was fading nicely.
It took about five days of treatments - sometimes several applications in one day - before it was all clear.
But, man-oh-man, what a thrill!
I drew on a new eyebrow using colored pencil and she was just as pretty as she could be.
(Oh dear. I just noticed she has a smudge on her nose. I'll have to take care of that.)
Phase two of hair care meant another gentle wash, "pulling" it (yes, I had to completely remove many completely unruly strands of hair), another thorough brushing, a teensy bit of trimming, and a light mist of braid spray.
It did wonders.
She is leaving foster care and being reunited with her family soon, so I made her a new dress and bought her some new shoes for her new life.
I also gave her a new name, at the family's request.
Meet Natalie Renee:
Now, take another look at the before and after photos...
...and remember never to give up on anyone.
You do not know what God is doing in secret.
Some of us He has just taken in.
Some of us are in the windowsill.
Some of us are in the hair chair.
Some of us have had a lot of work done and have new shoes and new clothes, but we still have a smudge on our nose.
And there are some who have not yet come in.
There is room.
And there is hope.
Because there is God.