We pulled up in the parking lot of the orphanage today, and Lena did not act happy at all. She seemed very sad. I asked her what was the matter, and Sveta translated that she is very unhappy that she has to stay at the orphanage during this time. She is ready to begin her new life, and yet she is stuck in this hot, very hot building, and parking lot.
Can you say BOREDOM, there is nothing I have experienced that I can give you a comparison for how these kids spend their days. Think of the most boring day in your entire life, and then think of it happening every day of summer. Routine over and over again, nothing changes, everything is the same day after day. Even fun things would become boring after doing them the same every day. Can you imagine if there is nothing to do to start with?
Today I witnessed a girl of about 14 sitting with her grandmother. This little tiny woman with her scarf on, bent and walking with a limp. I wondered what fate in life has caused her to have to visit her granddaughter in an orphanage? How many tears has she cried because life handed her such hardships? How fine is the line between her and I?
Not all children in an orphanage are orphans, some of them can not be cared for by their families, and they have no choice but to put them here. One of the teachers handed the girl a phone, and suddenly she began to sob and scream. Apparently, she was hoping to see her mother for the weekend, but for reasons unknown she was denied the request. She bent over in her grandmothers lap, and just cried. I can't imagine my children wanting to see me, and not being able to be in my arms within a short period of time.
There is a boy here his name is Zhenya, and he has the greenest eyes and the sweetest disposition. Everyone loves him, from the teachers to our taxi driver. Any time his name comes up, everyone has three words, "very good boy." He helps clean up and he takes care of the younger children. He is not involved with the other boys so much, he seems to keep to himself, because sometimes the older boys will go out and smoke and carouse around the orphanage and he doesn't care to be a part of this behavior. Zhenya is 15, and I can't help thinking about him and his future. What lies beyond the orphanage walls for an orphan is worse than the life they have now. I am praying that a miracle can happen for this boy!
It is so hot and no air in our apartment. The chocolate that we bought today was melted before we opened it. I am now in a perpetual state of sweat, and it is amazing, but I am actually getting used to it. I grew up in the south a long time ago, and there was no air conditioning. This reminds me of hot summer days with a cold lemonade glass pressed against your breast to alleviate the heat. There is a song called "Summertime and the Living is Easy" if you go back a few years in our history when we didn't have air, and the katydid bugs and crickets sang a melodic song, and we chased lightening bugs through long hot summer nights, you may understand why this is really not all so painful for me.
Life can be wonderful and at times very painful. Right now God has allowed me time to revisit my past in a way I never would have volunteered for. No air conditioning? Are you crazy? Yet, I have time to listen to the sounds of the summer night through the open window, sounds that have long ceased to be in my existence, but have now been ressurected, a distant memory that is enjoyable, probably more so, because I know I can visit the memory and do not have to stay here. I am thankful for so much that he has given me and how far he has brought me and not because I have air conditioning now, but because somewhere in my life I didn't!
For all that I see, and all that moves my heart, even the sad parts, I come away touched and changed, and once again thank God, that he, our great creator, has given us such an opportunity as this. What a glorious experience to share this part of his world, and his creation. It gives me chills that not only can we share in it, but we actually get to take the best part home with us. What greater gift can man ask for, then to have God allow us a hand in the future of his children. To be entrusted with this, humbles me, and never ceases to amaze me, that we, who are made in his image, be allowed to help mold his children.