I really wanted to write a big post with pictures and videos about my trip to the orphanage yesterday but we found out that it might jeopardize the adoption of the little girl I went to see. Instead I am just going to post the e-mail I wrote to her mother Susanna who is in the US. I think you can get an idea about some of my experience there. After the little girl gets adopted and is in the States I might post some of the pictures. Here are the e-mails:
I had a great trip today. I am full of all kinds of emotions that will take time to process. We left early this morning and after about a three hour bus ride, me and a friend of mine (another American missionary) arrived in Katerina’s town. When we got to the orphanage we met with the director.The director quickly made arrangements to have the orphanage driver take us to the wholesale vendors where we would buy the needed nutrition and supplies for the orphanage. But before that she let us make a short visit to Katerina’s floor for mentally disabled children.
Katerina’s room is at the end of a hallway. And when we got there I knew right away who she was because of the pictures on your blog. It’s hard not to fall in love with her as soon as you see her. She is beautiful, sweet and absolutely precious. She was very calm and alert the whole time. She definitely has a personality though. At first she didn’t want us to touch her much and was irritated because she didn’t know us. But later she got used to us and became very calm and content. I was amazed at how aware she was of everything around her.
After we spent some time with Katerina we left with the driver to go to the wholesale vendors and buy the food (mostly baby jars and cereal) and the rest of the supplies that were requested by the director. This only took about an hour. After that we went back to the orphanage. This time when Katerina saw us she was all smiles and was super happy to see us. She was changed into another outfit and looked very cute.
I got to hold her a few times. It was great fun. She really is precious. She doesn’t like to be held for long periods of time though. I think she is so used to being in that crib that it’s almost unnatural for her to be out of it. :( Or she just feels safe there.
She looks so alert and aware of everything. It almost seemed like if she could talk she would let us know what is going on.
We also got to see and visit with some of the other children there. There is a program called granny/child where some of the children including Katerina get to spend four hours a day one on one with an older lady. The ladies there said they have seen a significant improvement in the kids that do the program. I can just imagine how great Katerina will do when she meets her family that loves and cares about her.
Toward the end of our visit I also had the chance to [bottle]feed Katerina. It was really fun and she ate very well. She ate a blended potato and meat puree and she seemed to really enjoy it.
[Look at her!!! Isn’t she precious!]
It was so hard to leave there today. I felt better about leaving Katerina because I knew good things are coming for her. She already has a loving family that can’t wait to bring her home. But these other kids have no hope. I would bring them all home too if I could.
I also took some videos and more pictures that I am going to send you. Thank you so much for the privilege of meeting your sweet girl. What a blessing.