*Due to the sensitivity of the situations involved, the children’s names have been changed.*
Today, I was driven to my new home in a little European car, my bags were delivered to the driveway and before I knew it, I was standing on a dirt driveway–alone, in front of a big gate outside the house I knew was to be mine. Soon I heard a child’s voice and a door opened with a broom sweeping dust from the house. A familiar face.
Minutes passed and soon Doug (one of the founders of River of Life Care Home) came out to greet me. Roberta was out buying last minute things for the house and I had arrived early. I got a tour of the house, brought my bags up to my cute little room, and followed Doug outside to get a house key.
As I’m standing in the barn, I hear children’s voices and look up to see curious eyes coming from behind the fence, a boy who was familiar only from pictures. Upon making eye-contact, he stood and smiled, slightly waved and ran back inside with the other kids.
Inside the children and other Moms started gathering, asking questions and looking curiously towards me. Another little girl with big brown eyes looked up at me questioningly, and when someone said “Camille, go give her a hug,” there was no more hesitation. She ran towards me unhindered and her arms wrapped tight around me. Hudson continued to stare at me from the comfort of a comfy chair across the room.
The next hour I went back to the house, started to unpack my un-missionary-like amount of luggage, and got to spend a little time with Doug and Roberta who had just arrived. The kids were so anxious to move into the house that soon after, I was in their room shoving clothes into laundry baskets so we could move them into their own rooms after a full year of waiting in transition.
From only about 6 hours of interaction, the two kids that moved in tonight are as follows: Camille is five, spunky, wide-eyed and curious about everything. She has a very short attention span, but so do I when I move into a brand new house! She is sweet and cuddly. While we were walking between the care home and ours, she grabbed my hand tight and before I knew it called me Mom. Her older brother Hudson is eight, about to enter the second (equivalent to our third) grade. He is handy with fixing things, orderly, initially shy but a “get to business” kind of kid, protective, helpful and likes dogs. He is already helping me improve my Romanian. An hour or so after we began moving things over to the new house, Camille’s room had everything strewn all over the floor while Hudson had things put away according to seasons and separated his “home” clothes from his “school” clothes. His floor is immaculately clean.
We had dinner with the rest of the moms and their kids, and all helped clean up afterwards before going back to the house to play games together.
After one game, we took a short walk around the village and then had some kids over to the house to see how everything was coming along. All of the little girls ended up finding my shoes and paraded around the house proudly in heels. After a bit, the kids went home and the two kids here took baths before we settling down with a few good books to read.
Then we began what I hope will become a great nightly habit. I brought out a new journal a good friend gave me, and asked the kids “what was one thing from today they want to thank God for.” Hudson didn’t hesitate and said “Having you here.” ……to say I was humbled and basically in tears (but not literally) would be an understatement. Camille had to think of something else, so she said that she was glad we could be in a new home all together. I was thankful for finally being with these two precious children. We dated the entry, wrote them down in Romanian (and English) and then each prayed together. It was so special and sweet. I’m sure there are going to be days along this journey that one of us or none of us can think of one thing we’re thankful for, but this will be a good practice to do together.
The kids are now asleep in their beds, and I only had to put Camille back in bed about 12 times so far. Parents–teach me your ways! 🙂 I will describe the house and include pictures on that soon enough. For now, enjoy a few highlights of my day through photos…and please write!!