Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Changes

Change #1: Things have been busy lately… wow, I was starting to think I would never type those words! Between spending more time with the kids, a movie night with fellow missionaries, hanging out with adoptive parents, preparing for a team that will be arriving tomorrow, etc. I haven’t had a moment of boredom for days and I’m loving it.

There has also been a change in my schedule. You may remember that I had been spending time at the special needs orphanage every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening… Well, last week the director called to let me know that the kids in both of the groups I work with in the evenings were sick and I wouldn’t be able to go back in until they were feeling better. She said we could still come and visit another group though if we would be willing to come in the mornings. At the same time, we spoke to the director at the children’s hospital and she said we could not come at 1:00 (after the babies’ orphanage) as I had hoped. We know the workers will let us stay as long as we want but we need to get there before 12:00. So, I decided that on Tuesday and Thursday we will go to the special needs orphanage from 10:00-11:00 and then head over to the hospital to cuddle some abandoned babies.

So, yesterday was the first day on this new schedule. We got to work with “Group 5” at the special needs orphanage, another group of mostly older kids with moderate intellectual handicaps and several with physical handicaps as well. Once again, the language barrier was a struggle but I plan on bringing “A Barrel of Monkeys” with me tomorrow… no language needed for that!

At the hospital, the director informed us that the babies were sick and would not be allowed to receive visitors for at least a week but she invited us to visit some disabled kids instead. As it turns out, they were two girls from the special needs orphanage. Once again, my heart broke as we walked into that room. Just as with the babies, these orphaned children are left alone in their crib all day as they do not have enough staff to care for them. When we entered the room one of the little girls, Marina, was just wailing and you could see that she had been crying for quite some time. At 13-years-old, the other girl, Tanya, was completely emaciated, like something one might think only exists in Africa. For the next two hours, Lienna sat by Tanya’s crib stroking her gently while I held Marina and sang to her until she fell asleep in my arms. As heartbreaking as it was, I feel like those two hours were truly priceless and I look forward to spending more time with them tomorrow.

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