One day we brought diapers, diaper rash cream and chocolates to the groupa that we knew had some special needs children. The caregivers were so appreciative. They asked us if we wanted to see Leeza's crib. I was shocked honestly, I had no idea this was her regular groupa. I assumed I guess that she was always in the infirmary. I was so grateful that they had offered us a chance to see where she slept most of her nights for 3 years. I got my camera ready.
We followed four caregivers to a back room. It was dark and so quiet. One of the nanny's went to a crib in the corner, I followed her passing 3 cribs to my left on the way. There it was!!!! That was the place my sweet beautiful daughter slept!!!! I took some pictures and I think I was just a tad bit out of it since I had no idea what was going on behind me. I just kept picturing Lyla in that crib, Thanking GOD that she wouldn't have to ever lay there again. I must of snapped out of it because I noticed movement to the left of me. I looked over and there was a beautiful little boy with Down syndrome in one of the cribs I passed. It must of been his nap time, although he wasn't sleeping but he was so very quiet. I realized there was a little one in the crib next to him as well. Not asleep, just staring at the ceiling. Just laying and staring!!!
I was not even close to being prepared for what I would see next. HOW DID I NOT KNOW??????
I turned around realizing Dave wasn't next to me. So I looked for him!!! I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I really couldn't. My mind and my heart could not make any sense of it.
FIFTEEN CRIBS!!!!!!!! A CHILD IN EACH!!!!!!!!!
I entered a room that I thought was empty!!! Quiet and Empty. I honestly thought the children were out on a walk. I WAS SO WRONG!!!!!!!
I had to hold on to the empty crib next to Lyla's because I felt my knees giving out. Why was I in a room with SEVENTEEN children and it was so incredibly QUIET??????? Oh those poor beautiful children. The tears were streaming down my face. Our beautiful translator noticed that I was struggling and said to me "this is the room for the laying down children". Oh my, she was right!!! That is absolutely all these precious children were doing - LAYING DOWN!!!! Not a peep, not any movement!!! Just staring at that disgusting ceiling. IT WAS AWFUL TO WITNESS!!!!!! The playback of the realization is something I see at least once a day, sometimes more. I am sure it will be something I see for the rest of my life. Reminding me!!!!!
I would say these children ranged in age from 3 to 6 years. One was 12 months.
Dave had been visiting with each child as I was off in la la land staring at Lyla's crib. I still, one year later, can't believe I didn't know what was going on behind me.
Dave and I went to each crib. We visited with each child. Holding their hand. Caressing their face. Showing them as much LOVE as we possibly could in such a short amount of time. The caregivers told our translator that they were happy we were not scared of the children and that we cared for them. We spoke to each precious one. I don't even know everything we were saying. Some of the children were terrified of our touch at first. You could see the fear in their eyes wondering what was going to happen. Most of the little ones warmed up almost immediately. Every one of them was soaked. SOAKED from head to toe!!! Some had two or three bibs on for reflux. Some smelled absolutely horrific. I was able to sit in a rocking chair with three of the children, one at a time and just rock and sing to them. I kissed, I hugged and I told them how much GOD loved them!!!!
Dave too was allowed to pick up some of the children and just hold them tight. Allowing them to feel a fathers LOVE!!! A Beautiful LOVE that I PRAY to GOD they one day will experience and it will be FOREVER!!!!!
I HATE THAT DAY!!!!! and I LOVE THAT DAY!!!!!! I was BLESSED to spend a moment with each of those children and I will cherish that for the rest of my life.
I did not got to the evening visit that day. I was physically sick!!!! Even though I had been to two different orphanages countless times for our visits, I just never realized. Even now, as I write this, I check with Dave to make sure I am telling the truth. I mean how could this really be????
Crib #5 WAS Lyla's crib!!!!!
Here is the post I wrote that day: http://luckytolovelyla.blogspot.com/2012/08/one-day.html