Before I begin writing about my busy week at the baby home, I just want to say how happy I am that Cacey is having such an amazing experience in Kenya. How awesome are her blog entries?! Wow Cate!
So yes, I have been very busy at the baby home. Last week, Michael and Aika left the baby home to go live in Mavuno Village. They were both so happy and excited for their new mom and dad. Michael waved with a HUGE smile on his face as he got into the car to go. I stayed with the other kids for a while on the other side of the fence. Not only was it sad to see Michael and Aika go, but perhaps the most sad part was seeing the faces of the kids who were not going. Pilli and Esther seemed to be the most affected by seeing their friends go. As Michael and Aika packed their little bags and said their happy goodbyes, Pilli and Esther stood on the inside of the fence with tears in their eyes. They wouldn't talk and didn't want to be held. They were just taking it all in. Esther and Pilli are pretty happy-go-lucky little girls and besides the occasional four-year-old issue, they aren't really "whiny" and definitely don't cry that often. I think this might be why it was so hard to watch them watch their best friends/siblings leave them behind.
I actually was getting so heartbroken by the whole thing that we finally picked Pilli up over the fence and took her to give Michael and Aika one last hug goodbye. They hugged and kissed each other, looking each other right in the eyes the whole time. It was like they knew they would never see each other again. Everyone was trying to be so brave. They knew that they were going to their new mom and dad, but I think they also knew they were leaving Forever Angels, and more than that their "family." (Ugh, I'm getting all teary just thinking about this again).
For those of you who watched my Africa video that I made last time, I don't know if you remember, but at the very end of the video, I had recorded a little baby voice saying "I wuv you." That little voice was Michael and at that time he was about two-years-old. It took me weeks to teach him to say that the first time I was here. So as he was leaving, I just kept thinking about that little baby voice, so innocent, so young. I asked him if I could have one last big hug. He gave me one of the biggest, best hugs I have ever received. He just held on so tight and squeezed. I kissed him and said, "I love you Michael." He said, "I love you."
Okay, I can't write about this anymore. My heart hurts. Okay, one last thing...I know that them leaving the baby home is a good thing. They are going to get to live in a family environment now. The one little thing that scares me is that the place where they are going is brand new. So if it turns out to be a not so good place or if they run out of funds or the parents decide they don't want to do this anymore, then Michael and Aika are abandoned again and Forever Angels can't do anything about it anymore because they will be too old. That's not going to happen. That's not going to happen. Just keep them in your prayers. I will miss both of them so much.
The baby home also got a new baby this week. I was on shift in the "tiny baby" home where there are (I think) 10 babies all under six months old. It's a little piece of heaven, the tiny baby home. They are all soooo sweet and just want to be cuddled and cooed at. Anyways, while I was working in there, Amy came in with a new little bundle of joy. His name is Joshua and he is one month old. Apparently, they found his mother naked, wondering in the streets, so the police just took the baby from her. I think I heard she is a psychiatric case and just ran away after they took the baby. These cases are particularly sad because when the baby has relatives that are alive, they can't be adopted. So think about that for a second...this baby is going to spend literally is ENTIRE life in an orphanage. From one month, to 18 years.
He is so precious. He weighs about 8lbs and has more hair than any baby I have ever seen. They are perfect little ringlet curls that are as soft as silk too. So cute. I'm happy I get to see him grow for the next five months. Oh, and I am also happy to report that he does not have malaria or HIV! Yeaah! Pray for him too, okay?
On a happy note, guess who I got to see?! SEBA and OMARI!!! They are baby twins that were at the baby home when I was here last time. Their mother had died during child birth and their father couldn't care for them for the first few years. They went back to live with their dad about a year ago. So, I was working in the tiny baby home and one of the "mamas" (nannies) said her name was Felista. To make a long story short, Felista worked at the baby home two years ago when I was here too. Apparently, Seba and Omari were two of her favorite kids and she would take them home with her for overnight visits sometimes. Well, I guess she met their dad and fell in love with him and they got married! So Felista and I got to talking (I guess that is what you can call trying to communicate in two different languages), and I told her how much I LOVED Seba and Omari, blah blah blah. She then invited me to their baptism which was the next day! I can't even begin to tell you how happy I was.
I was on shift that day in the morning (I was actually called to cover Felista's shift ironically), so I couldn't attend the actual ceremony, but she said I could go to the reception afterward at her house. It was quite an adventure getting there. I went with Lillian, the baby home assistant manager/Tanzanian woman, and another volunteer who also knew them before. We took two dahla dahlas to get there, which are the minivans crammed with people (I counted over 20 people in ours!). I had to stand up right by the sliding door that they keep open while driving a majority of the time. I don't know if I've ever held on to anything so tight in my life! haha! Anyways, Lillian wasn't 100% sure where she was going either so we got a little lost wondering this little village. Eventually, we made it after a hike up this big hill and lots of people pointing and shouting "Mzungu!"
Felista's house is very tiny. Again, the living room is probably smaller than my bathroom at home. We felt very honored to be guests of this occasion because it was only us three, the new god-parents, two aunts, and Seba and Omari's parents. SEBA and OMARI are EXACTLY the same as they used to be!!! Seba is kind of quiet and shy and Omari is a little flirt! As soon as they saw us though, they ran up and gave us big hugs, jumping on our laps. I almost cried! I have thought about those kids every day for the last two years. I never thought I would see them again, ever, and here I was holding them on my lap! They were so big (now three-and-a-half). We brought them a coloring book and crayons and some gummy bears. I have never seen kids so happy to get a coloring book. They wouldn't put it down the whole time we were there. Kids at home have no idea how good they have it. Seba and Omari might never see another coloring book ever again. I was so happy that we could make them so happy. I only wish I would have brought more!
So the reception was kind of like a little mini wedding. First we had a big dinner which consisted of (SO MUCH) rice, meat, and cabbage. They filled my plate so full that I was worried I would burst if I ate everything on it. Then, it was so cute, Felista had Seba carry out the cake. The cake was nothing fancy; as basic as a cake can be. Seba made it all the way from the door to the table and then she dropped it right on the floor! It was so cute! She was so proud to be carrying it and she was being so careful and then, oops! We all ate it anyways. :)
Seba and Omari both cut the cake together (like at a wedding) and then they fed each other a little piece. They then went around and fed each person a bite on the end of a fork. I swear, it can't get any cuter! I wish I could find my camera cords so I can upload the pics!
For any American child, I can imagine that they might be quite bored sitting in a tiny room with a bunch of adults. However, Seba and Omari's friends kept calling their names to go play outside with them,and they kept shouting, "Sitaki, Sitaki!" which means basically, "I don't want to!" Seba would turn to Omari and say, "Sema sitaki!" which means, "say you don't want to." HAHA!
Anyways, seeing them made my entire month. They both didn't want to say goodbye and they walked us all the way back to the dahla dahla. I love them so much. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to see them again. It was such a random, chance thing that I just happened to start talking to this woman who just happened to be their new mother! Thanks God. :)
Sorry this is so long. I'm running out of internet time. Pray for my babies.
I love you all!