May 16, 2008 (Friday)
Last night was quite the miserable night sleep. I started feeling a cold coming on because my throat and head ached. I took airborne before I went to bed, but I don’t think it helped much. I woke up a couple of times with a fever – I was cold but then I would be sweating…I hate that! I kept thinking oh great I can’t get sick.
When I woke up this morning I felt a bit better but not a lot – I took a ton of vitamin C, but I can’t tell if I’m just holding off the inevitable. I said a prayer that I would feel better because it’s hard for me to be my best and take care of the kids when I’m sick. I guess if it’s the Lord’s will then it will quickly pass and if it’s not then it’s not. Anyways, I’m praying for a miracle.
Today at the orphanage was great. Valentina AKA “my little stringbean” got a hold of my hair and pulled as hard as she could. Needless to say I have a few less hairs on my head. She’s a little stinker. Valentina has fetal alcohol syndrome and is just a tiny little thing, but she has some power to her grasp.
Today I got to see Andrei! It makes my day even though he’s a little stinker. I know I say “stinker” a lot – but it’s the best word to describe most of the kids. Anyways, Andrei does this adorable little thing with his face – he will quickly raise both of his eye brows, do the cheesiest smile you’ve ever seen showing his little teeth, then he will throw his head back and forth to the right and left, and finish off the sequence with a giggle. SO CUTE. I need to make sure I don’t favor him, but it’s hard sometimes…there are certain kids each of us girls have connected with more than others – just like each one of us have certain human beings we want to be around more than others. He’s just my little cuddler and it makes me feel so good when he runs into the room at full speed towards me and jumps into my arms. He lights up when sees me, and I love it!
I thought it was quite interesting because the last girl that worked with Andrei said that it took some time for her to warm up to him, and I instantly fell in love with him even though he requires so much attention and is probably the biggest pill – but he keeps me on my toes. In our apartments we have several binders that have pictures of all the kids in the orphanage and a write up on each one of them by the girl that worked with them the semester before. I read the last and only write up about Andrei by the last girl that worked with him. It was so funny. The first line read something to the effect of this – it took me some time to develop love for Andrei – and sometimes I had to take breaks away from him and go play with the other kids - but once I got to know him he was the cutest….for me I instantly adored him – weird huh?
When I left I waved goodbye and he waved goodbye, and then I blew him a kiss and he blew me a kiss back. Adorable. Keeping Andrei in mind I wanted to ask Mario (our local Romanian who is our adult caretaker) about the adoption process in Romania. First of all, apparently international adoption isn’t open in Romania which makes me sad. I know so many amazing people that would love to adopt a child. I heard that part of the reason they closed international adoption was because parents would readily give their children up if they knew they were going to the states because they knew they would be taken good care of. Today we met with Mario for a language lesson, and I asked her about how adoption works and told her that I wanted her to work a miracle and find a family for Andrei. She said there wasn’t a lot she could do and that the older they get the less chance they have to get adopted – but she said she would pull his files and take a look. I also asked her if there was anyway to get around the “no international adoption rules” and there might be, but I think they are hard to come by. She said that we could have a long talk about it sometime soon…it’s just so hard for me to sit back and see someone like Andrei –whose only disability is that he can’t hear – stuck in an orphanage with a bunch of children who can barely move. What will become of him? Also, if he doesn’t learn sign he will have no way to communicate which will cause some severe behavioral issues with him…If you think about it that would be so frustrating never being able to explain your needs or listen to anothers….I’ve already said it a million times but we take so much for granted! Grr…
At the hospital I visited my usual babies and changed their diapers. Poor Octavian has really bad diaper rash all over his bumb. Sometimes I wonder if the hospital cares about anything else besides simply keeping the person/baby/child alive. I was chatting with Whitney Scott about it and she said that the African hospitals are even worse. I didn’t know that was possible. The conditions are absolutely horrible in every room here. For example, in Octavian’s room (which is probably 12 x 12) there are four baby cribs that line the wall. Then with each baby there is a mom who sits in the crib with the baby. It’s so funny because you see room after room with multiple women in their pjs and their baby. It was somewhat surprising to me because the women are so harsh – but some of them really do love their babies. So now with the mom and baby you have about 8 sweaty bodies in a little room. Then to make it worse they don’t open windows because they believe that drafts will make their baby sick. Plus, because all the babies are in the same room they wake each other up. There are no clocks in the room and no television. There is absolutely nothing to do…I think hell is like that hospital. Sad to say. I wonder what it’s going to be like when it gets even hotter.
After the hospital we went to the church for a Relief Society activity. At first I was pretty worn out and not all that excited to go, but it ended up being fun. The sisters showed us how to sew a skirt and blouse. Not exactly my field of expertise…but it was good for someone to attempt to teach me. Then after that we had a little mini talent show. Mindy and Elyse had a gogosi eating contest. Poor Mindy lost…but we had a blast watching the two stuffing their face. Then for another one of the talents we had a dance contest…we all just danced around and goofed off and had a marvelous time! They even turned on the Macarena – old school! I ended up winning a certificate for the dance contest which was quite a surprise. I definitely didn’t feel like I deserved it….but I got a really pretty peach/pink colored scarf out of it. It was so funny the elders walked by to do something at the church and women of all ages were dancing around like we were little girls. I bet they think all girls do that when they get together…hahah…Awesome!
After the Relief Society activity we all went home exhausted and prepared for our slumber party between the girls’ apartments. We had Pizza Hut pizza – which was quite different than the states – but still very good - and then we had girl chat like usual. It was fun having the two apartments together. We went around chatting about how many boys we’ve kissed, played the game “Never Have I Ever,” and then we watched Newsies. Actually we didn’t watch it because all of us fell fast asleep when we turned it on – even though sleeping was quite uncomfortable. We were practically all squashed in one room – but at least we had a super fun night…