Thursday morning we went with an escort to visit an orphanage—the same one I got to visit in 2011. It was very nice to see the progress that had been made on the building, however small. More murals had been painted on the two finished floors, and the upper floors of the building had been finished on the outside, but no windows yet. Last visit it had 3 unfinished floors that were floors with no walls, so now there are walls up and openings for windows, but no windows yet.
It was really cool to see a photo collage on the wall with children that we know and love!
We visited with 5 younger babies (including a set of twins named Maranatha and Amen!) and 4 toddlers still under 2. Only one child was not available for adoption, and the rest are placed or waiting for referral with a family in mind. There is one baby who is HIV positive, and is being adopted, and one who originally tested positive but now is one year old and is free of HIV.
We got to hold most of the babies, and I even got to rock a little one to sleep. <<<Love>>>
Can’t show his face.
The toddlers have an appropriate “stranger danger” response right now, so we didn’t hold them, but after we had been there a while they would play ball with us. There was one American there who was taking photos as the other was assessing the development of the children, and he made a sudden move to capture a photo, and one of the toddler boys screamed in terror! It was actually really funny at the time, but probably doesn’t translate well to words on a screen. You had to be there.
It is very comforting to know that there are no children at that particular orphanage who have been waiting for many years. But UNICEF has just announced that all children in orphanages that take their money must turn out all children over the age of 13!! How is that compassionate? There is one boy who is almost 15 (at another orphanage) whose mother gave him up because she went to prison. In Ethiopia if a woman goes to prison her children come with her. So she gave her kids to an orphanage and they waited for many years to find their forever family together but it never happened. His sister aged out and is on her own now. She is not able to care for him, so he was forced to go back and live with his mom, who he has not lived with since he was 6. She is out of prison now, but is very poor and cannot provide for him. He is educated and is well liked among his peers.
If you or anyone you know is looking to adopt a teenage boy and able to fast-track, contact me ASAP.
Be sure and pray for African orphans who are older. The UNICEF announcement was a surprise, and we don’t know how far-reaching this mandate is, but today there are a lot more young people on the streets than there were last week.