Thanks for the suggestions yesterday on the boy’s room and the ladder. That ladder is actually longer than any wall in our house. It stretches from the downstairs all the way to the ceiling of the stairwell! We’d have to cut it into thirds to hang on a wall or prop against in wall in our house. It is crazy long!
Shortly after his fever struck we got word that our youngest daughter might be sick too. Another family visited her orphanage and requested to see her (for us), but they were told she was sick and couldn’t be around others. My heart sunk when I read that news. It is a different kind of helplessness than I’ve ever known.
He remained sick all day. Before getting out of bed the next morning I read a blog post by the family that had visited my daughter’s orphanage. This is what she wrote about the visit:
“The room can best be described as looking like a hospital room but smelling like a potty. It was bright white with at least 32 small metal beds…. they had blankets/thin mattresses on them for the winter but in the hot weather they are wooden planks. The beds almost look like baby doll beds… very very low siderails. There was precious baby after precious baby in bed after bed…. Row after row…. enough to break your heart. And it was strangely quiet for that number of babies… some were asleep but many were laying there simply staring. The saddest part was a mentally challenged boy in a baby bed that had to be 7 years old. I had to look away for fear that I might lose it. Missing from the room? TOYS. I literally did not see a single toy or colorful decoration… it was just so sterile and white and I don’t even know how to characterize the smell…. maybe urine with vinegar? Not good for sure.”
Wow. How do you move on after reading something like that? My daughter lives there. She might be sick. I can’t physically care for her like I can the sick little boy that was laying next to me. The weight of it all rendered me incapacitated. I didn’t want to face the day. I just laid in my bed with a sick little boy in my arms. Then the doorbell rang – forcing me to get out of bed. A friend stopped by to bring me flowers and tell me how my Little One weighs heavy on her heart and how she is praying for my girl. I am so thankful for those advocating for my girl…for those advocating for any child without a home.
As the weekend wore on my oldest son, FireCracker and Chris all came down with whatever it was my youngest son had. I tried to joke about how families pass illness around…even when they are on opposite sides of the world. The reality was…4 of my 5 kids were sick. One was a world away and I could do absolutely nothing to comfort her. I think that knowledge made my patience and endurance multiply with the sick ones here. Usually caring for sick ones wears me out pretty quickly. This time I had renewed gratefulness to be able to meet their every need.
As I passed out medicine, woke up all hours of the night, held feverish kids and filled a million glasses of water…I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude to be physically able to care for them. I’ve heard wonderful things about the caretakers at my daughter’s orphanage. I’ve heard they are warm and loving with the kids, but there are a lot of babies and only a few caretakers. And a caretaker is not a mom (0r dad). So, I held my 3 little sicks ones here a bit closer as I prayed for their baby sister and felt overwhelming gratitude I could dry their tears and hold them as fevers broke.
It feels forever away right now, but soon my baby girl will be home. And she has older siblings that provide countless hours of laughter in our home even in sickness. In the midst of the long weekend, I found this:
Turns out my oldest son thought his grapes were too cold and he wanted to heat them up a bit – then forgot about them.
I’m grateful for warm grapes to bring a laugh when I sure didn’t feel like laughing. I’m grateful for kids…and their crazy ingenuity!