Friday, October 28, 2011

Looking Back: One Year Ago Today–Our 2nd Trip to The Orphanage

Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010

We met with Pastor Peter early this morning for him to go over our paperwork to get originals to DGM. He kept inspecting two documents very closely and finally handed one back to Hubby and told him to keep it. Hubby looked at it and it was her birth certificate. He said, “You don‘t need it?” Pastor Peter said we had two and then looked at the one in Hubby’s hand and said, “This one good.”  Then he pointed to the one in his hand and said, “This one very good.” : )

We said goodbye to some of our friends from Group 1 as they headed out for the airport and then we got in the van and headed to the orphanage where Blake and Lauren were taken again. One of the dads (I’ll call him Jake), Hubby, and I were crammed in the back of the Jeep and ohmygoodness, Jake had us rolling again. He was sitting over the bar on the side of the back seat. Not exactly comfortable.  Hubby got the privilege of riding in that spot on the way home.  I hope five kids is enough! :)

We got to the orphanage and there weren’t nearly as many children there this time as last time. That place is just very depressing. The walls are dark. There’s hardly any natural light. There is nothing for the kids to do all day. I mean nothing. There are no toys. There was one little boy just playing with the scrap pieces of wood thrown off to the side. I got a picture of nails sticking up inches away from the walkway up the stairs. It’s truly no place for a child. The mamas are sweet, and I think they’re doing the best they can (at least that’s what I want to believe), they just don’t have much at all.

While we were there, though, we ran into a Swedish lady named Jane. She has been supporting the orphanage for almost 10 years. She was there now because she bought them a bus that they can use to earn income. She was so happy to meet us and she had tears in her eyes as we introduced our kids and told her why we were there. I pray God will use her to do great things for those precious children.

I picked up and held a couple of little ones. They just seem so lifeless. There is no expression to their faces. Their bodies are covered in bug bites or skin irritations of some sort. Their clothes are filthy. It absolutely breaks my heart both for these children, but also to know that Blake and Lauren lived that life for awhile before God brought them to us. No child should have to live like that. It’s really hard to visit for 30 minutes when you know that you’re leaving soon and going back to a comfortable life, but these kids have no escape. God, be the Father to the Fatherless.

IMG_1679IMG_1690IMG_1696The kitchen.

IMG_1699Blake was scared of anyone with something on their head.  He’d act terrified if I got out of the shower and had my towel wrapped on my head. : (


After the orphanage, we headed home and ate some of our snacks for our lunch. We gave the kiddos baths (which they HATE!) and took showers ourselves and then tried to Skype home. We got to talk to Hubby’s mom. The connection wasn’t great, but it was great to talk with her. Then we fought and fought the stinkin’ thing to get in touch with the kids and it just wouldn’t work. Finally Hubby found the lady who runs the guest house and we were able to use the internet phone to call home. Oh, it was so sweet to hear the kiddos’ voices. We miss them so much. They’re having a great time, though, with Gaga and Papa and seem to be doing really well.

After that, we hung out with the group in David and Barb’s apartment playing truth, truth, lie and asking all sorts of favorites, what would you do kinds of questions…what super power would you have, what spot would you sail to, what do you want to do before you die, etc. etc.  Funny quote of the day came from one of the moms,“We’re all adults here…except for the kids.“ : ) We count down all day long for meal times. They’re like the highlight of our days. Tonight at dinner we got to try Fu Fu. It’s made of some kind of flour and water and really had no taste. While I didn’t really care for it, I’m glad we got to try it.

After dinner we had a pretty short community gathering and then headed upstairs to watch a movie. The husband of the lady who runs the guest house had a pretty sweet setup with a projector on a screen. They made popcorn for us and we watched Bolt. Lauren was falling asleep and Blake was pooped, so we didn’t get to watch the whole thing, but it was a nice change of pace.  A little touch of home.  Popcorn and a movie!

**It was suggested that perhaps I should explain why we’re dressed the way we are.  To respect the Congolese culture, the ladies wore long skirts and the guys wore khaki pants and usually long-sleeve shirts.  Yes, it was very hot.  And yes, we make quite the fashion statement.  I found my lovely skirts at Goodwill.  I knew I’d be leaving them behind, so I just took what they had!

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