Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sweet reunion

Today, I went to Kipkaren to take photos of the children there. As I walked onto the orphanage grounds, Olivia came running and threw her arms around me. "Sasa, Olivia?" I asked. (A way to ask kids "how are you?") "Fit!" she replied with a grin. "Do you remember me?" "You're Adele!"

After church, the other kids all came over to greet me. Even new ones who had just been taken in yesterday came to give me a hug. They had no clue who I was, but must've figured they could trust me since the 15 "old ones" did!

I took individual pictures of all of them, and checked on Jeptoo (Naomi) who had had malaria when I last saw her. She's well. Dennis came over with a big smile. "Do you enjoy singing in the evenings, Dennis?" I asked. "Yes!" I'm told that he sat down all the new siblings that arrived this week and told them that "We respect our parents here. You need to listen to them. They won't hit you. But you have to listen to them..."

These kids are so used to being hit. Olivia told her new mom to rather hit her than sit her down for a talk. "You can hit me! My sister used to hit me a lot!" Of course Dorcas explained that she won't hit her! (Dorcas simply was telling Olivia not to change her clothes four times a day. The same clothes will still be in her drawer the next day, and then she'll get a chance to wear them! The abundance was just something new to little Olivia!)

Sharon's story really touched my heart. This 10-year-old kept going over to Mike and Dorcas' home asking to hold their new baby boy, Brian, and asking if she can wash his laundry. When Dorcas explained that she could hold Brian, but it's not necessary to do his laundry, she found out that for the past year, since their mom's death, Sharon had been taking care of her now 15-month-old baby sister. Living with their granddad, Sharon was responsible for her sister. She fed her, bathed her, clothed her... She left the baby with a neighbor when she was brought to the orphanage, promising that she'll be back to get her when the little one is three years old--our minimum intake age.

It was hard to leave, but I had promised the kids in Ilula to show them a movie today since I've been gone/busy the past 3 Saturdays. They were eager to see their cousins in Kipkaren!

It's amazing how quickly all these kids crawl into one's heart...

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