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Thursday, December 17, 2009

day 4

We started the day with another yummy breakfast and game of soccer at the Bejoe. The guards there are just precious and played with all of the kids really well. Apparently our group at the Bejoe wasn't typical as we had 6 kids there and only 1 was an infant. The kids did really well together and it made for a fun week.
We had a caregiver come to the guest house so we could go with Michael and Jana to The Missionaries of Charity orphange in Addis. I had heard about it several times before and knew they took care of the least of these among the orphans in Ethiopia. The dear nun that took us around said they only take those children that have no where else to go, often finding the children left outside their gates.

I felt that with Abe and his special needs, this was something we should visit and see about any future involvement there. I was clearly NOT prepared. I simply wasn't prepared to see my son in that environment- to see his face on all of the kids with cerebal palsy, the kids in chairs or lying on the ground. I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the number of children in the home, with the love these nuns, nannies and volunteers are giving to these children that will never know the love of a family, the privilege of therapy multiple times a week, just overwhelmed. I was so disappointed at myself for not being able to get past that and just love these kids. I did smile, hug and take the time to feel there tight, stiff muscles, see their longing for more, but I just couldn't get past thinking where Abe might have ended up if the Lord hadn't in His goodness given him to us.

We had a beautiful conversation with the nun that showed us around, told her Abe's story and she showed us two gorgeous children that had been adopted and returned to the home after the reality of their condition set in. It broke my heart in two. She showed me child after child that was "crippled" and then the healthy infants that have all been placed. I asked about the kids chances of finding homes that aren't "typical" and she replies, "no one wants a crippled child". She had no intention of being crass, she was simply stating a fact.

I was so overcome with gratefulness that we didn't know about Abe's brain injury before we traveled. I would have never thought we had the strength as a family to raise a severely special needs child- how could I possibly have known that in fact ABE WOULD STRENGTHEN us as family. The Lord would use him to teach us and bind us together in a way that we could have never forseen. Though it is very hard, it remains very good indeed.

I love what this home is doing, loving these kids, stretching their stiff muscles, talking sweetly to them, feeding them and clothing them, but the number of kids there and their needs is staggering.

Prayerfully one day I will be able to return there and it not be so personal, so emotional and be used better to really demonstrate love to them, but I guess it was too soon. I must still be more raw than I was aware of- if you think about these kids, pray for them, for the woman caring for them too.

After being wiped out emotionally, we went with Yoftahe for a bit of retail therapy. We had several things in particular we wanted to bring home from this trip and we were on a mission. :)

We left our shopping trip to go to the embassy for our embassy appointment. Everything there went perfectly! Praise the Lord.

One of the best blessings of the trip was going to meet the Thorne's beautiful daughter. She is so precious and tiny. We delighted in showing her the photo album that Pam and crew put together for her. The nannies were so happy to see Leul and tell Yanet that he was her brother. What a priceless moment. I love that we will have the gift of watching this child grow up as we adore her forever family and feel so grateful to do life with them! They are headed there soooo soon to bring her home and we can't wait to see her again.

Unfortunately the fumes and all of the driving wore me out this day, and I couldn't wait to go to bed! We had to pass on the cultural dinner but we experienced one the next evening. More on that tomorrow.


Kat said...

That was so touching. I'm so glad God knows the children that belong in our families...the older I get the more I'm realizing I'm placing limits and my fences need to come down. What beautiful thoughts of this day.

Rebecca said...

Still loving your experience. Still bawling my eyes out. I am praying for all of the sweet children.

Holli said...

will be praying for the children and their nannies!!! I praise God for Abe, his smile and all the lives he has changed through this blog!!!
May God be with all the children who will never have forever families!!!!

Erica said...

Thank you for the tears my sweet friend. Gods sovereignty is amazing and humbling. Especially looking back and seeing how it could have been if we were in charge. So so thankful that God sees things perfectly and He calls the shots. Blessed to read a bit more of your heart. What precious precious babies. We'll be praying for sure. Can you send me the contact info for that orphanage? I'll email you too.

da momma said...

sweet words momma! im praying for those children and thanking God for bringing yall to Abe too!

J Gutwein said...

Thanks. Love, J

The Funkhouser Family said...

Beautiful! That just made me so sad! Thank you for sharing with us.

Jen said...

Love this post on so many levels...

dbyrd said...

Emily, your and Moody's hearts are full of the sweetness of the Lord and you soften the hearts of everyone around you! Thanks for sharing your thoughts while at the special needs orphanage. Y'all are constantly in our prayers. Hugs, kisses and high fives to all the Alexanders and Merry, merry Christmas!

Rahel said...

If you went to MC orphanage with Michael and Jana, you for sure met our daughter who they were most likely visiting! We picked her up last week! For as many times as I have seen and worked in the MC orphanages, I am always still moved to tears and always feel that I must get back to work for a longer period of time!

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"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from becoming polluted by the world." James 1:27
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