Atarah, the adoptive mother of Dafna Meir, explained part of Dafna’s life that was not a simple life at all.
Dafna was up for adoption at a young age after her biological parents were unable to raise her. Despite the hardships, “she managed to build herself up, build a home and turn herself into a kind and giving woman.”
“You came to us at the age of thirteen” said Atarah, “you were part of an institution in which each person had a family whom they could go to. But you didn’t have any uncles or grandparents. Nor did you have parents who could take care of you. I thought we could try to take you in.”
Their first meeting didn’t go as well as she would have hoped. A neglected Dafna refused to give her new adopted mother a hug. But gradually, she opened up.
“You apparently didn’t have a concept of what love was, of what a family was, a place where you can give and receive hugs. With time we got to know each other, you became our daughter and we were so happy that you were with us.”
Atarah told the crowd at the funeral what Dafna’s teenage years were like and about her decision to enlist in the IDF. She also told the crowd of her sudden decision to get married to Natan after knowing him for only a few weeks.
Atarah recounted how Dafna had made the decision to foster children at the same time that she decided to get married to Natan. “Dafna told us that when Natan had proposed she said she only had one condition, ‘no matter how many children we have, we will also foster children in addition to our own.’ And that is indeed what happened. They accepted Yaniv and Yair when they were three and the other was one and a half. It wasn’t simply to find an adoptive family that would accept two brothers together. The invested so much in both of those children and in the children of their own.”
“We lost little Dafna. Little Dafna from whom emerged a woman who knew how to give back to others.”
Dafna’s husband Natan also spoke at the eulogy and said “My Dafna, she was one in a million. One in a million who grew up in a home that wasn’t a home and succeeded at growing and rehabilitating herself. Dafna was determined to return loving kindness to the world, and she did!”