Tuesday, February 05, 2013

A Day at the Orphanage

Today we had nothing planned except to spend as much time as we were able to with Akeem at the home.
We got there at around 11, a few hours early for visiting hours, but no one seemed to mind.  The workers there are very relaxed with us and seemed thrilled that we are visiting Akeem.  They actually refer to us as 'Akeems mother and father', and when we come, they say to him "Akeem your mother and father are here!"  It's awesome.  And probably very strange for him to wake up one day and all of the sudden you have a mother and father in your life, and they look nothing like you, and you have never seen them before.  Akeem seems kind of confused about the whole thing, understandably.  For the most part, he's very comfortable with me.  He will sit in my lap sucking his thumb and leaning his head on me.  As soon as he starts having fun though (like if we are playing with his stuffed dog, or anything that makes him laugh), all of the sudden he shuts down.  I think he is afraid of getting attached to us or something because it happens everytime he starts having fun with us.  Then he starts hitting or pinching me, or slams a door, or just runs away.  He has very little interest in Derek right now.  I think he is pretty suspicious of him, although there has been a few moments where he's let down his guard and Derek was able to make him laugh.  It's a bit sad, but it's something we had expected.  I felt we made a bit of progress with him today and it was very sad to leave him.  He's pretty shy normally, so with us, he is extremely shy.  The woman at the home said that is very normal with most kids his age in the home.  They start out really shy and over time realize they need to be assertive.  The stronger your character there, the more attention you get. 
The home is fairly nice by Guyanese standards.   The place is in desperate need of new furniture.  Everything is old and falling apart, and it doesn't smell great.  They are putting a nice new kitchen in this week.  I saw a mouse run across the hall while I was there, but it's wide open to the outdoors so it's fairly normal here I think.    The staff is wonderful, very kind and loving toward the kids. They sing a lot with the kids and pray before every meal and snack!  The kids are very well fed, and we were shocked to see how much some of them ate!  They structure their day, but are also relaxed too. All the kids here are beautiful.  I wish I could take home more than one!  They are all in such need of hugs and attention, they couldn't get enough of us.  Derek sat on the bed and he just about got mauled by 8 kids!  They took his camera case, punched the camera and pinched his cheeks.  It was very funny.  I picked up a little girl for a while, and when I put her down she yelled at me and punched me because she was so mad I put her down!  The kids are just desperate for attention.  We took some great pictures of them all today that we will post when we get home.  (I can't upload photos on the blog here, just on facebook). 
All in all it was a good day.  Also very emotional.  We feel drained.  Getting to know these kids by name, Destiny, Little Mikey, Kevin, Abraham, Devon, Devine, Tyra..... and knowing where they are, is very difficult.  We've personalized it, and now it matters to us a lot more.
Today was Ryan's birthday.  We were sad to miss it, but he's having a great time with his cousin Blake at Nana's house, and Raleigh and Cari are going there for supper, which he is thrilled about. It's hard being so far from them that even phone calls are broken up and unclear.  So thankful for the internet!  The connection isn't 100% reliable, but we have been very fortunate to be able to post so much!!  It makes the world a lot smaller :)


Anonymous said...

Loving the updates!
It almost feels like I'm right there with you:)
So happy for you all, and praying things may go smoothly and quickly!!
Keep the posts coming.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update you guys! What a blessing to know that Akeem will be well taken care of in the orphanage until you can go back to take him home this summer!
Jannyne :)