Monday, December 10, 2012

From My Travel Journal Day 5

Today would be our last day at the Fern House and last day with little "A". The reality of that was evident by the heaviness in my heart. But it would be a full day of experiences and I didn't want to miss out on anything by dreading our goodbyes.

Early in the morning, we made our familiar trek to the Fern House. Taxi to the church house and someone came with us to show the way. When we arrived, we were once again welcomed by little ones and two sick little baby boys. Both had been up all night with fever and congestion.

Emmi helped Mary wash baby equipment outside and she went out to get okra for lunch. I love how comfortable she was just jumping into various tasks and serve any way she could. I knew her to be a sweet girl, but the time we were able to spend together is priceless. I pray she stays this sweet through the rest of her teen years. Lucy and I talked more about the water situation so I could relay the information to others in the US. Once again, I was reminded that nothing is easy here (not in a complaining way, but every task just seems to have several steps and complications) and I needed to learn a lot about water tanks and how they are filled in order to grasp the situation.

Our time for goodbyes were coming and I didn't want to make it a sad occasion. The girls gave us a proper send off with an African prayer and before long we were on our way to the hotel. I hope they knew how much we appreciated their hospitality. And how much this place became a refuge to us after each visit to little "A"s orphanage. Some day I will put into words our experiences, but now I can't find them.

Next was our last visit with little "A". Ugh. She came to us sweet as ever. Smiling. Tired. Floppy. But smiling. I wanted to tell her a million things but I couldn't. I knew if I said a word I would begin to cry and there would be no end to it. She had become my daughter but as a parent we are never supposed to say goodbye. At an orphanage. It seemed so cruel. Yet that is exactly what I was about to do. This time our visit was monitored closely so it felt tense and very short. I gave her a long hug and then her caregiver took her from me. I held her hand and said "I will be back, I promise". I watched as she was carried away and I had no idea when I would see her sweet little face again.

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