Yesterday was the most difficult day of the trip. We went to tour the orphanage also called children’s social welfare where Wyatt lived for the first year of his life and where Sophie lived for her whole life. Hudson may have stayed here for a few days right before we adopted him but I am not sure. The orphanage director is a kind man who clearly cares about the children. He is the one who remembered Wyatt. The hard part is that in this orphanage there are 800 children and this is only one orphanage in a sea of orphanages. Children who desperately need parents. Oh church we have failed! God has called us to care for the least of these. If these were our flesh and blood children we would be running to bring them home. Please remember they are God’s children and as his hands and feet we should be running to get them and bring them home. Oh if you could all just walk the halls of this orphanage and see all the precious forgotten ones. Your heart would be moved with compassion to come and rescue as many as you were allowed. As David Platt said “We do not adopt so that we can rescue we adopt because we were rescued”. May we the church begin rescuing so we can illustrate the gospel to hurting children.
When we arrived at the orphanage there we two handicapped boys around 8-10 years old sitting on chairs in an empty room with a worker standing in the doorway. Oh we all just wanted to go in the room and play with them and love on them but we had to keep moving. Once we got upstairs we arrived at the Lilly Care Center which is a series of rooms that CCAI, our adoption agency, helps to fund the care for the children in those rooms. They usually choose the youngest and the most handicapped children to care for in these rooms. Our precious Sophie lived in these rooms for about 2 years. In September she was moved to foster care. The workers in this room were smiley and interactive with the children. These workers in the Lilly Care room did not seem to know her and she felt comfortable enough to get out of the front pack and sit next to me playing with a few toys. We stayed playing with these little ones for about 20 to 30 minutes. Conner, Emily and Christian got some photos and snuggles and a few smiles from these precious babies.
We then went over to the foster home side of the orphanage to see where she has slept and ate for the past 5months. When the children are in foster care they sleep with the foster family and eat all of their meals at the foster home. Oh we were so sad. She did not want to be in that small home. She was afraid and started crying. The foster mom really wanted to hold her but she clearly did not want to even acknowledge her foster mom and she only wanted me and wanted to leave. We stayed long enough to take some photos, see her crib and where she would have eaten her meals and then we left. Her foster mother seemed nice enough but it was clear that Sophie did not feel attached to her or her foster mother to her. The strange thing was while we were visiting this home there were two handicapped boys siting on chairs not talking or interacting. It made us all feel uncomfortable and wonder what kind of care she received there.
We then went to the therapy room where she would have spent time each day. The young workers in the therapy room clearly knew her and cared about her. One one the workers was sobbing when we left. So glad we had extra Christmas cards to share with them because they wanted to know about our family. We got some photos of these important people in her life. One of the older woman in this room was so excited to see us. She proudly showed us her phone with a photo of Wyatt on it. They then took us in the classroom and his pictures from over 4 years ago were still hanging up on the wall. We found 3 or 4 photos of him around the room. It was so meaningful to have come back and it made me so sad that we did not bring him with us. He would have melted their hearts. Sophie on the other hand was completely traumatized by this final stop. She clearly did not know if she was angry at me for taking her away from these kind people or upset that I had brought her back. She began hitting me and screaming hysterically for the next 30 minutes. This little girl definitely grieved and I am sure we will see more grief in the days to come. We are glad we understand trauma and grief and loss and can do all we can to make her feel safe and connected. We know that while this change will be difficult children need families. They need someone to tuck them in at night, someone to read them stories and snuggle them when they are afraid. Children need mommies and daddies and big brothers and sisters. We know that Sophie will thrive in our family and we will be there each step of the way to remind her that she is loved and cherished.
After leaving the orphanage we went to Wyatt’s finding spot which was right outside the gate to a technology college. The gate is across the small street from the old gate to the orphanage. My tears just flowed as I imagined our Wyatt bundled up at 6 months old and left somewhere where he could be found. Oh so many questions and no answers. Tears for abandoned babies, tears for my own abandoned children, tears for Sophie’s grief, and tears for the precious children who age out everyday never to have a family. This was a very hard day but an important one. I pray that this post and Conner’s photos will encourage many of you to start the adoption process today. Run to rescue because you were rescued by the Great I am. Psalm 68: 6 “ God sets the lonely in families”
Mother of 11 and writes this blog.