Saturday, July 7, 2007
The Baby Hospital Visits
The Baby Hospital trip - what an adventure! We took a taxi to the Maxi-Taxi station to ride the 49 km treck to the neighboring town of Ludus. Let's just say, a fast driver of a full public bus with no deoderant is a lovely way to start off the morning! But God was so good, a seat opened up about half way so that I could sit and the little Romanian woman sitting in front of me didn't mind me opening up the windows so that I didn't loose my breakfast. It's a small cultural custom that takes a while to get used to - they don't like the breeze or drafts for they fear it may cause an ear infection. The silver lining was that we made it safe and sound! We went to Ludus both Thursday and Friday to spend time with the little babies and the toddlers. There aren't any more baby homes in TM where we are staying - most have been sent to foster care homes or placed in the bigger orphange. The way around it is to add a wing to the back of the hospital to keep the little ones who have no where else to go.
The little ones - what a joy they are! There were two rooms full of cribs, one room contained 5 little ones and the other had one baby in there by himself - he was evidently "healthier" than the others so he got his own room. One of the interns brought all kinds of diapers and new clothes to change them into once we arrived and got settled. They wanted to be held so badly - and let out all kinds of squeals when we opened the door! One little one, Florin, loved bouncing and looking out the window. Jeff and I rotated using the front carrier to strap him in - he was delighted! One little one, five months old, had no name. We nicknamed him "Joe " and he stole my heart. We giggled, bathed, changed a few diapers, and on the last morning he fell asleep while I was rocking him - it was one of those moments you wish you could bottle up and keep forever. It was very hard to lay him down in his crib to move on to the next rooms, but I was thankful the Lord gave me that one sweet moment to sing about his loving father in his little ears and pray over him. Holding the babies came very easy to Jeff - but not changing those awefully smelly diapers! He decided it was best to entertain the others while we took care of that fun duty:)
The toddlers - down the hall were 5 children ages 15 months to four years. These are kids who have progressed to eating something other than liquid from a bottle. Not always was the food recognizable to us, but at least it filled their empty tummies. Jeff bonded instantly to a little boy names Sebi. He was a hilarious little guy, about 3.5 years old and bow-legged. He had the best laugh and loved to climb all over Jeff. By the end he nicknamed Jeff "papa" was very sad to see him go. Once again, after I tackle how to attach videos, you can see him with his new papa. I got to play with the others - several seemingly healthy, one with the onset of what appears to be autisim (Gabi), and another little guy (Olympio) who is at least 15 months and had absolutely no muscles in his arms or legs. He can sit up, but has no movement in his limbs. It was very sad when it came time to feed them - we were instructed to prop him up in the corner of his metal crib, swaddle him, and then spoon feed him his tastely mush or stew. Even though he had no mobility, his eyes were bigger than the sun and a smile as large as the Atlantic. He loved to giggle at the others and just grinned when we tickled his little feet. He was a very happy baby and ate more than you'd imagine.
The hopsital itself - a team had come in previously and really took time to paint the walls, the ceilings and replace the floors. It was bright and "cheerful" which helped remove you from focusing on the stinch, the cold beds and the dirty clothes. The kids were full of energy and very happy to see us coming. Some of the caregiviers were very responsive to the kids and tended to them often. This was a nice breath of fresh air to see in action. We played Christain music for them, read books, bounced the ball and just rocked them until they couldn't take it anymore. God is so gracious to even allow us to go in to visit them and we walked away thankful that teams from Livada go often, even daily to see them and care for them. Although I prayed God would supernaturally come in and swoop them right out of there right in that instant and place them in a loving family, I know that he is watching over them despite their environment. Jeff and I prayed that we would represent the love of Christ to them in some form or fashion - that we would be vessels to jump at every opportunity he gives us. It was a true joy to love, kiss, wrestle, and rock his little children!