I will catch you up on the last few days! We went back to the orphanage attached to the women's prison. Our arms were full of supplies, toys, paint, hygiene kits etc. and we sat down to play with the children. There was a much different feeling there than the Holland House. It was not hard to see that these children had been through a lot in their short years. Whatever had led up to their mom being in prison had taken it's toll on these children. There were a couple of children who were 3 and still did not speak anything yet--they would only make sounds to gesture what they wanted. The children were not as quick to smile, laugh, or even play with the toys. I would hand them a toy and they would just hand it back. It was very hard to get them to engage. They were very hesitant and cautious. After we left Matt and I talked about the whole experience. He said it was hard for him to see that their "childlikeness"-the carefree and happy element to most of them was missing.
There was one boy who was a bit slow, but had that natural ability to love and smile because of it. We had brought some foam stickers with us. I pulled them out and we began to peel the backs off of them. Whenever I did that he would clap his hands and literally squeal with excitement. Loved that. It made me wonder if he had ever seen a sticker as he didn't know what to do with it. He must have had 30 all over his shirt.
After an hour the children did start to warm up and play. They loved the recorders. Those were definitely fought over. I did see one VERY cute little girl taking toys and putting them into her little bag. She had a bunch of the crayons, toothbrushes, and little pieces of toys that did not even go together crammed in there. So, Livie just helped her pack it all up. I am sure she had that feeling that any person who has gone without or grown up in a big family has had. Matt and I call it the "scarcity feeling." At our dinner table you better take 5 rolls at the beginning of dinner because there might not be any left in 1 min. -- even if all you're only going to end up eating is 2. My kids also like to hide cookies in their own hiding spots around the kitchen--that always cracks me up because hello-it is me they are dealing with. We always have plenty of that:)