Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I love you. Goodbye.

We were blessed to visit the Regional Baby Orphanage again today.  A newlywed couple- friends of a friend- went with us.  They got married about a month ago and apparently it's a Ukrainian "thing" to receive lots of flowers at your wedding.  But instead of receiving all those flowers, they requested that their guests bring stuffed animals that would be delivered to needy children.  How cool is that?  So today we went with them and presented the orphanage with probably 50-100 new, stuffed animals.

And since we didn't get to see the children last week (see the last couple of blogs- last week we just met with the Chief Doctor to iron out some protocols for visiting) this was the first time we've seen the kids in 2 weeks.

For the first several minutes we were missing this one little boy- Pasha.  We were wondering if he had been adopted.  We keep hearing that it could happen any day now.  He finally showed up but we were again told that it could happen pretty soon.  We absolutely rejoice in that.  It's what we want.  It's what I want.  I want these kids to find forever families and if they are Ukrainian then I think that's even better.  Praise the Lord.

But that doesn't mean we won't miss them when they're gone.  On the way out I kissed my little favorite girl on the forehead and told her I love her and that Jesus loves her.  I've been doing that for at least 3-4 months with this one particular kid.  She never responds in-like.  She doesn't say, "I love you, too" or thank you or anything.  That's ok- I don't say it so I can hear it in return.  I say it because someday she'll understand what it means and she'll remember.  Someday she'll start hearing about Jesus and she'll remember that Uncle Clinton always told her that Jesus loves her.

And then on the way out today it really hit me that every week when we leave...it could be the last time we see some of these kids.  They'll either go back to live with parents or other family, or they'll be adopted, or they'll eventually "age-out" of this particular orphanage and move on to another one for older children (and by the way, we have been working on getting into the next-level orphanage so we can effectively follow these kids through the system).

But any given week presents the possible last time to see some of these kids.  That makes me not to ever want to forget to tell at least one that I love them and Jesus loves them.  It makes me want to remember to earnestly pray for them and over them.  It makes for a hard goodbye.

And it helps me understand what it must be like to be an Orphanage Worker.  It APPEARS sometimes that some of them are stern- cold- hard.  Of course we're not there except for an hour or so a week- but it seems like we never see them in the floor loving on the children. I would almost bet they didn't start that way. I bet some of them get as attached to the kids as we have but they've watched those kids leave for whatever reason over and over and over and over again.  It must be hard on them.  Unless they really are that stern and hard and cold.  But after spending the little bit of time that I have with these kids I'd have to say, "no". No one can be that stern and hard and cold.  So I pray for myself and for them to not be hardened by the process.
How about this sweet guy?  He's in the "invalid" room; I'm not sure what his diagnosis is for him to be there but he is one sweet, little dude.

1 comment:

Janet Tuttle said...

I am so thankful that these kids have you and your friends in their lives! May God bless you all!