He held my hand... Dennis, that is. Today, we watched Stuart Little. That was his first movie. Ever. As in, he's never seen a movie. He's 3. He's never even watched television, let alone see a talking mouse... He, along with his 97 brothers and sisters were giggling from the moment Stuart appeared. Soon, they were cheering for little Stuart, and shrieking when Snowball (the cat) chased after the mouse/boy. Oh, the tension in the room when Stuart was stuck in the washing machine, and when he was being chased through Central Park by a bunch of cats! Even 12-year-old boys and girls were standing, pointing and shouting in Swahili, "Cats! Watch out!!"
Dennis soon found a spot on my lap and slipped his little hand in mine. Some of the other youngest ones looked at us with jealousy. It's hard to know exactly deal with that, sometimes. I do know, though, that it won't keep me from lavishly loving kids that do come to crawl onto my lap.
I love it when the kids enjoy movies. I love watching their little faces. I love seeing how they get lost in a world outside of their reality.
It's sometimes frustrating planning weekends around showing the kids a movie, quite honestly. But every time I do it, I am blessed.
"Show us pictures of Kipkaren, Adele," they ask after the movie. The home in Kipkaren is now full. There are 92 orphans and space for one biological child for each family. Ninety two lives are currently being transformed as kids learn about the Father Heart of God, about a God that lavishly loves them despite the hardships they have faced this far.
After the movie and picture time, kids swarm around, wanting to help me carry the cables, speakers etc. back to my home. I think they simply like being able to know they are helping, and they love the individual attention.
Before everyone runs off to devotions, stocky little Matasio slips his hand around my waist and gives me a larger-than-life hug. Then Evans slips a note into my hand and runs off. Later, my eyes well up with tears as I read his carefully-written note: "Dear Adele. God bless you. Thank you Adele for showing us movie and reading us stories for bedtime and giving us even sweets at time for movies. Yours faithfully, Evans Kiprono."
Obed lingers longer than the others. This curious little mind wants to explore. "Adele, where is the Barra Barra?" he asks without fail... This kid has some learning challenges, and I have a soft spot for him and his gentle demeanor.
"He's inside, on his plant, Obed. But you can visit him another time. You have to go to devotions." Obed simply smiles as he walks off slowly.
Oh, how I wish some days that I could spend more time visiting with the kids individually and get to know each one of them. But that's not possible. It's the little things we do, though, the little interactions, that do make a world's difference in each of the kids' lives. Or so I hope, at least.