July 25, 2008 (Friday)
The Lord’s Hand in my Life: Good friends to talk with about topics of importance.
Today was Elisa’s last day at the orphanage. Besides that it was a regular day with the kids. We didn’t go outside today so I was able to play with all of my kiddos. I loved it! Valentina was in a hair pulling mood though. None of the girls wanted her to come up from behind us because she would yank a chunk of our hair out if she did. Oh Valentina!
Poor Vali had a major freak out session today…When Whitney S. first walked in she noticed that he was biting his arms and hands more than usual so she could tell something was wrong. She tried to hold him. Then he freaked out so a worker put him in his crib. That wasn’t a smart idea, because he started banging his head against the wall. Then they took him out of his bed again and gave him back to Whitney S. That’s when Whitney S. was like “can I get your help?” I looked over and Vali was throwing and biting himself – kicking and hitting as hard as he could. I helped her restrain him so he wouldn’t bite himself or hurt us. I started singing I Am A Child of God; and he immediately settled down for the first verse, but when I was about to go to the second he started freaking out again. The other workers had to help hold him down as well. Then the nurse came and made him drink some type of medicine that acts as a tranquilizer. I wonder what was going through his mind…At one point he threw himself against the floor and hit his head really hard. I was afraid he had split his head open, but luckily he ended up being okay.
From his random freak out sessions it’s easy to see he has been badly badly abused at home. His session today was really intense. The last couple of days Vali has been smiling and playing and sitting in our laps quietly while we just held him. I was excited to see a change in him so quickly. I also noticed that he was biting himself less and with less intensity. He even stopped flinching when we went to touch him…I guess any recovery (if recovery is possible) will take a long time. Whatever has been done to him will have to be undone. His parents should be put in jail for they way they have treated him – and I’m sure we don’t even have the entire story. Apparently they kept him isolated for long periods of time….
After talking with Whitney S. she said that Vali’s behavior reminded her of a video she had seen in one of her psychology classes at BYU. In the video there was a nine year old boy who was completely isolated his entire life – even his food was slid under the door of the room he was locked in. When they found him his mannerisms were animal like – especially his walk and crawl. That was quite fascinating because he hadn’t been around humans or animals to learn any behavior... Vali runs like an ape…I know he was isolated…but I think his family might have downplayed the intensity of their maltreatment towards him.
Andrei was a stinker today. I personally put him in timeout three times, and the other girls put him in timeout as well. He is so cute, but he is such a pill sometimes. When I put him in timeout he acted like it was a game. He would start laughing. After I put him in timeout several times he wasn’t laughing quite so much. I think he started to figure out that timeout wasn’t fun.
Andrei picked up dolls from the toy shelf to play with again today. I was starting to get a little concerned, but my concern was alleviated when he started pulling the legs off of the Barbie doll. Not that that is good behavior, but that is the way a typical little boy acts with dolls…I’m glad he’s acting like a regular little boy.
When Kenz and I got home from the orphanage we had a nice chat about dating and relationships. We talked about awkward dating situations we have had. Then we chatted about having confidence in ourselves without having a guy or boyfriend in our lives. Luckily my dad has reminded me over and over again that I don’t need to have a boy in my life at all times to make me feel like I am of value. So many girls these days have to have a boyfriend all the time, and they don’t feel like they are of worth without one. That’s such a wrong thought process. I’m fine without a boyfriend – not that it’s not nice to have one - but my self esteem doesn’t automatically plummet if I don’t have one. That is one thing that I really appreciate from my dad. He always says that I need to learn to understand my own personal value so that when I find a guy we can be nice compliments for one another – not crutches …I don’t know if I’m making sense as I explain this – but it has helped me much throughout my life. My dad has given me lots of wise advice over the years about dating. I appreciate it all very much…
On the way to the hospital a couple of us were walking and this car full of guys yelled “Hey!” at the top of their lungs as they drove by. We all about had a heart attack. Whitney S. was like “I hate Romanian men!” I don’t know what it is about Romanian men and honking and yelling, but they love it.
At the hospital I visited laughing baby. She is sooooo cute. I could just sit and hold her for hours. The moms in the room tried talking to me in Romanian for an hour. I understood a lot of it, but some of it didn’t make sense. It was so funny…whenever I didn’t understand they would start acting out whatever question or statement they were trying to say. My conversation with Romanians largely consists of a game of charades…haha…The moms asked if I drank, smoked or went to the discotecas (clubs), and I told them “no.” They were absolutely shocked…Then they asked me if I had a husband or boyfriend. I told them “no,” and they were even more shocked. I loved their facial expressions every time I said “no.” Hilarious.
Annie went and bought a binky for laughing baby, and I tried to give it to her and she didn’t know how to suck on it. I held it in her mouth for like 15 minutes, and the poor thing just made faces the entire time while she rolled the binky around. She was having a really hard time…the nurse asked us to buy one for her…I’m not sure why?
The second we stepped out of the hospital it was raining profusely. Annie and I looked at each other and were like “well – here goes.” Within about 5 minutes we were drenched, and we had a half an hour walk home. I have never been so wet in my life…I was drenched down to the underwear several times over. We both looked like we had jumped in a lake with all our clothes on. Annie and I were laughing so hard…my contacts almost came out it was raining so hard. Then to make the situation even more amazing several cars went buy and splashed us with water. I’ve always seen that happen in movies, but I’ve never experienced it first hand. Annie and I decided that some of the drivers hit the puddles on purpose and some avoided them to be nice. Then of course we got honked and yelled at several times – we were drenched which means our clothes clung to us. Pervert Romanian men…
Because today is July 24th and Pioneer Day we had a church activity…it was a good time. Sister Padoru sang a song about the BYU girls. It was so sweet…it talked about how it seemed like yesterday that she just met us and then we leave and they are so sad…Whitney S. started crying when the elders translated it for us…
Later on the girls from the other apartment came over, and we had éclairs. They are one of Elisa’s favorite treats since she has been here. We all just sat and chatted about random things like we do when we get together. I love how random our conversations will get sometimes. It’s amazing how easy it is to jump from topic to topic when you get a group of nine girls together.