Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Looking Back: One Year Ago Today–Another Orphanage Visit

Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010

Pastor Peter came early to go through our documents for DGM. He was going through our stuff and asked Hubby for one particular form for Lauren. He looked through the stuff the Embassy gave us, but there wasn’t one.  In fact, we had never seen one for her.  Pastor Peter looked very concerned and got out his phone to make a call. We were so nervous. Here we were, thinking we were all set and then there’s a document missing. He hangs up the phone and says that she doesn’t have one. We were gearing up for more hurdles, and feeling more tummy flip flops, but then he says, “Not a problem. She doesn’t need it.”  Evidently, because of the way her birth certificate was created, we don’t need that other form. Whew. That was close. Thank you, Lord!

That afternoon, we headed out of town a little to visit another orphanage.  It was not easy to get there. It was quite a long drive and we had to go down some very narrow dirt roads. At one point there was only one lane carved out of some hills. At two different points on that road, there were other cars coming and we had to back up the entire road to let them through before we could go! But, getting out to Jean Marie’s where there was fresh air, some green spaces, and some pretty views was wonderful. We had seen so much of the dirty city, and it was a blessing to get to see the true natural beauty of Africa.


I’m so glad we were able to go Jean Marie’s.  The kids are well cared for there and loved. It’s a medium-sized orphanage (maybe 50 or 60 kids?) and Jean Marie treats them like family.  None of the children there have been placed for adoption.  When we first got there, there weren’t very many kids there because they were at school, but soon they started trickling in. They were very shy and reserved, but once I got out the beach balls I brought, they began acting more like kids. The totally sweet thing is that they sang for us and prayed a blessing for us. They were very appreciative of all we brought - the books, the balls, the food, etc.


The children are well loved, and you could feel the difference between this orphanage and the one that Blake and Lauren were taken to, but this orphanage has so many needs.  Our group was able to do some painting a few days ago and we were working on finding mattresses for them.  This is what the children sleep on.  : (


I waved at one little girl and she came over by me. She didn’t leave my side after that. I asked her what her name is and she told me Claire. I told her my name and I just put my arm around her and rubbed her shoulder and arm. She didn’t really smile much, but wouldn’t leave. I had James ask her how old she was and she said 7. I told her I had a 7 year old at home, and everyone seemed shocked that I had other kids. I told them that Blake and Lauren made 5 kids and they were so surprised and kept telling me how great I was. That always makes me feel awkward.  I said that we just love kids.


It was time for us to go and Claire and I walked out together. I told her that she was very pretty (I wanted to say so much more, but my French didn’t go very far.)  I gave her a squeeze and then we had to go. She smiled at me and then stood by our Jeep. They all were out there just waving goodbye. I just pray the Lord watches over them and meets all of their needs. Especially Claire, God. I got tears in my eyes as we left.


The rest of our afternoon we hung around MPH, playing some games, looking at each other’s family pictures from home, and finding each other on Facebook.

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