Sunday, May 29, 2011

little girl, one year later

Loss, incredible hurt and pain, it all doesn't go away in one year.  Even with full strength formula, with milk and more food, with more hands to hold you when you feel lost and lonely, even then, healing takes time.  And healing is hard when you live in an orphanage, when there are so many other little ones need time and attention, and there are chores to be done.  Healing is very hard.  A year ago, when I first met little Chito Wambili, I didn't think she would live long.  She was little, and so very vulnerable.  But most of all, I thought she would die from a heart that was broken, that she would just give up.

But she didn't.  She lived.  And she grew.  She learned to sit.  And last week, I even saw her walk for the first time.  I have seen her smile, two times; a small, protected smile.  I wish I could say that I see her laughing, smiling all the time, being held often, playing.  I don't.  Honestly, she still breaks my heart.  She IS doing better, she is.  But such a deep hurt doesn't heal in one year.  Or two.  It takes a long time and a lot of love and commitment.  What I do know is, that if so many of you hadn't reached out and helped the orphanage over the past year, her life today would be much different than it is now.  A sincere and heartfelt thank you to those that have helped us buy formula, milk and hire more women to work with the children, and by praying.  She is on the path of healing, because of so many who have reached out from so far away. She is not forgotten.

She is one of the many reasons why I wanted to do something to help the kids up at the orphanage.   Not only were the kids up there lacking basic needs like formula and milk, but they desperately needed more women to care for them.  Thankfully, there is a donor that regularly supports the orphanage each month for most of its needs, but funds have been hard to come by and so they couldn't hire any more women or provide enough formula and milk for the children.  This is where Tumaini comes in, we are raising funds for formula, milk, and for more staff for the orphanage (and school fees for the older children).  And some other projects as funds allow.

One distinctive factor about this orphanage is that once the children are 5 years old they either go back to live with their families (if they will accept them) or with foster families (if they can be found).  What this means for the little ones in the orphanage is that there aren't older kids to hold them and carry them around.  To play with them and to touch them.  That is why this orphanage has a desperate need for extra staff.  It is just as essential as food.  Touch is that important.  It is life giving and brings with it, hope.  Please feel free to email me or check out our website if you are interested in joining us in our work.  Or, you can check out this blog entry to read more about sponsorship of children like Cito Wambili.

**follow up note, please read this post, amazing little girl***

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