Every so often (I am sure there is a schedule that I don't understand), we get an e-mail telling us that the orphanage called and that we need to take him in for vaccinations. We've been two or three times now and the people there have been unfailingly kind and friendly. The orphanage is quite a way out of our city and so we hire a driver who will take us there, wait for us and take us back. There is no way to either find a taxi who is willing to drive that far or find another taxi willing to take us back. So we call the faithful driver Ji and he comes and gets us.
For some reason this morning, I had all kinds of anxiety about going to the orphanage. Even though it rarely happens, I've been afraid that they would say that he looks good and should come back. We have to remind ourselves that this child isn't ours- we have no decision making power over his life. He belongs to China and to the orphanage and they have the authority over his life. That sometimes makes me feel a little vulnerable both for me and for him. I know Who is in charge and that He makes all things right in the end. Yet I also know that we live in a broken and fallen world where vulnerable children do not always end up with an ideal outcome.
Anyway, at 8:30 we got in the taxi and headed out. I took our ayi with us as there might be some time that she has to take him out there alone. We made it through heavy traffic and arrived. I've never seen children outside before (I've always been there in winter) but today there were children outside and playing. This both made me happy and tore at my heart. So many children living there. The caregivers were clearly invested in the care of the children-throwing balls and pushing swings. It relieved my heart to see this. I don't know if as a special needs child, this would be the kind of care our little guy would receive. But it still was good to see that the orphanage is a place where children are cared for.
So here is our little guy and his life right now.
Playing in his crib when he should be sleeping.
Looking out the window.
Building with pillows.
Playing with his ring stacking toy....
and successfully getting the ring on!
So today, we were off to the orphanage for a vaccination.
The nurse remembered his name and said how much he had grown. After the vaccination, we had to wait a while to see if there was any fever or reaction. She came and talked to him and asked us a few questions. This really thrilled me as I have never really known if they knew who he was. She remembered when he went out of the orphanage over a year ago and was impressed with his progress.
What's going on? Oh, this looks like it will hurt.
It hurts! But he recovered quickly.
While we were waiting to see if he had any reaction, I went outside and took these pictures.
This is the hospital that has a playground next door. The babies and toddlers were playing there. Many of the building have new paint and murals and they look great.
These children looked like they were about three. They were going to play games with a ball.
The babies and toddlers playing with the ayi's.
The babies and toddler strolling away.
The playground through the window of the clinic.
I always leave the orphanage exhausted- partly because it is a long trip and partly out of the sadness of children not having families to live with. But seeing a fresh and clean place with caregivers who were truly engaged with the children gave me some hope today. I know some of the other realities in orphan care are darker. But this was good for me to see.