So we have had two full days of visits with Alina. They have been wonderful. She is showing us what she can do and areas where we'll need to work with her. She has been in this orphanage all of her 5 1/2 years. With that being said, it is easy to understand some of the little things she does. She can climb, catch and throw a ball, ride a rocking horse and even manuever things to where she needs them to be. :) We are thrilled with what she can do and look forward to all the things she will do. We have heard her wonderful laugh and felt her hugs. She gets our undivided attention for 4 hrs a day. We are learning about her and loving her more with every visit. She likes being in motion, such as swinging, rocking, twirling. We told her that her sisters love to swing and that her brother will keep her in motion. :) She's going to love her siblings! God created her the way she is. Thank you Lord for bringing us to her.
While we were having our first visit with Alina this morning, we noticed several other people there "visiting" different kids. We weren't sure if they were adopting too because we were told that local adoptions were on the rise. We are very happy to hear that.
Our other thought was that maybe these adults were actually there visiting their own children. We're not sure as things are confusing without a translator. We believe sometimes if a family cannot afford to keep a child, they can take them to the orphanage and let the "state" take care of the child. The parents contribute some "child support" and can have visits. My heart was very sad as I thought of parents that have to do this. To leave their child/ren somewhere and only get to visit them. Then I thought of Alina. Did anyone come and visit her over the last 5 years? She has seen other kids get visitors and has seen other kids' new parents come for them. Does she understand any of this? Does she wonder why not her?
Most of the other children in her group are not special needs as far as we can tell. They do understand when visitors come. Eventhough we have only been there two days, the other kids in her group (ranging in age from about 2-4), see us and start saying "Alina Mama" and "Alina Papa". They are full of smiles for us and several come up and hug us only to be called back by an orphanage worker aka "nanny" or "mama". And the ones who don't come and hug us want to. I can tell by their faces. They are holding back when what they really want is to run up to us and hug and say "my Mama" "my Papa".
When we visit Alina, we get her ready and take her outside to play. There is only a small space inside to visit and only if it rains. Outside there are 4 main play areas, we take time at all of them. Only we have to make sure to stay away from the other kids when they are outside too because we can be a distraction. When we are around other kids, they stop what they are doing and come up to us for hugs. Even when we are holding Alina in our arms, they still hug our legs. The kids that don't venture up to us will wave at us and get as close as they can. It breaks our hearts. We would scoop them all up if we could. There are about 14 kids in Alina's group. Then times that by 4 for how many are there from birth to 4 yrs.
The "mamas" are with them 24 hrs a day. They do what they can, but they are not "Mamas". The workers have been very friendly and cooperative with us. We appreciate their care of Alina.
I can't help but think about the other kids. When they turn 5, they will be transferred. Either to an older child orphanage for typically developing children or to a mental institution if they are special needs. If we would not have committed to Alina, she would have been transferred to an institution, but she turned 5 during our process so they have held her for us. Thank you again Lord!
I'm sorry if I seem all over the place, I have a lot of emotions going on right now. It's hard to put them all in logical order. Please pray that someone's heart would be touched for all of these children, whether they be local or international. That all of these children will get forever families and won't have to watch other people come for other kids much longer. They are all so precious.