Saturday, July 09, 2016


Starting last week, I switched my orphanage days from Saturdays to Fridays. I've been wanting to do that for a long time, and I think it's going to be just as good as I was hoping.

During the school year I was just worn out, because I would teach our children from Monday to Friday, which takes pretty much all of my energy. Then, as soon as I finished with them on Friday afternoon, I'd start planning my lesson and activities for the next day at the orphanage. I'd be up and out early Saturday morning, for a high energy day with the kids there. Saturday evenings are also often when we have social events. So, on many Sundays I felt like I could barely move. Will does a wonderful job of making Sundays easy for me. (We have traditions and habits to help with that.) But it was still too much. I felt like I could never catch my breath (or do laundry, or...). Plus, all our children are busy on Saturdays, so they couldn't regularly go on visits with me. Not to mention that the orphanage worker who is in charge of "our" groups on Saturdays is just hard to work with, and being with her all year long was draining.

So, last week I switched. It was so much better! The wonderful weekday caretaker was there; I've barely seen her all year. The older kids were happier and more relaxed. I was able to hold and feed the little guys without fighting for that.

(Recently I have been very upset by what seemed like a run of "you can't hold them, because they'll cry when you leave." That's a pretty standard orphanage line, and it's heartbreaking and wrong. But, happily, I don't hear it all the time here. However, lately it seemed to be pretty constant. Last week, when I switched days, I was so glad not to hear it. I got to hold the little ones, and actually explain to the nanny who was in one group that crying is a good sign. I told her that I'm sorry, and I do hope that my little friend won't cause trouble for her, but that crying when I leave shows that he has opinions and isn't afraid to express them. I think she understood that I'm not just a weirdo who likes make children cry... because I definitely don't! But silent children, lying in rows of cribs are the horror of the orphanage system. They don't cry, when they know that no one cares and no one will answer.)

If you pray for me on Saturdays for my visits, you can switch that to Friday now. Thanks! I hope to be able to keep this up, even in the fall when school starts again, but we'll have to see how everyone's schedules fit together then.

Oh, and next Friday will be the yearly, much beloved picnic for these kids. Happy! Please pray for good weather and that it all goes well.


Mom said...

I hear your heart here; the beauty of your life shines in the brokenness.

Praying the switch continues to work well for you and for the children. We love you.

Baba Julie said...

Very good! I'm glad to hear that you've been able to do this! It sounds like it will be better for the children and for you, too! Praying with you!! Love you all!!