We arrived at the center and then went up several flights of stairs. It then opened up into a courtyard. It is the same courtyard where the video we received in January was shot. The center was passing out weekly supplies of formula and diapers to the foster parents. We did not see Emma's foster family at that time. We were able to talk to the center's director and his wife. He gave us this picture which has Emma in it. This is a picture of the foster families and their children. I think he said that this was only the younger children. He told us that at least 20 families were not able to make it for the picture.
That is a lot of children without families. Do you see the banner proclaiming that God is love? Most of the families associated with this center are Christian.
Various people knew Emma and stopped to talk to her. She appeared fine and was showing no sign of distress. A few minutes later, her foster grandmother showed up. Emma appeared happy to see her and went to her, but she quickly wanted to come back to me. I really believe that they cared for Emma, but I think it is just not the same as a family. It is really like Emma could tell the difference. The foster grandmother (FG) wanted to know how Emma was doing. Our translator told her that Emma is doing so well and has already attached to us, especially to me. She told the FG that I carry Emma all the time. The FG commented that Emma wanted me more than her. She also stated that she was happy to know that Emma is loved and taken care of by her family. She told me that her daughter really loved Emma and that Emma was a little princess in the home and that the mother would take her with her all the time. The FG was very concerned about Emma's cleft and was really happy to learn that Emma already had an appointment set with the doctor. Emma really did not seem to care about spending time with the FG and she did prefer me over the FG. I am so very thankful that we were able to see her. I thanked her for taking care of Emma, and I really believe that she did take care of her as best she could. I am grateful to her.
The area where the January video was shot.
Emma found a riding toy that she clearly loves and was familiar with. She rode and rode on it. Mark went into part of the center, but I stayed outside with Emma. I was finally able to go in after Emma was done playing.
Having her FG get her the riding toy.
Her FG telling her goodbye.
Emma sat right down and joined in with music class. We did find out that she received some speech therapy at this part of the center.
These are just some of the pictures we took. I will write a separate post specifically about the center. This visit changed me, and I don't believe I will ever recover. I thought I had a heart for orphans before this trip ever happened, but I was wrong. Honestly, I can hardly stand to think about it and keep thinking that we have to do something. I am struggling a bit. My precious daughter is sleeping next to me. I love her so powerfully and can't imagine her living her life as an orphan. I feel so incredibly blessed to have found her. She has already changed me, changed all of us. There are so many children who do not have families. I have seen the difference a family has made to Emma in less than a week's time. Why can't all children have this? I feel so heartbroken.