Today was a good day. After arriving, I heard the screams and cries of my kid’s in the background. I thought to myself today will be a great day. Christine Revell relies heavily on volunteers in order to help the staff members with the daily activities of the kids. In the winter months, the numbers of volunteer begin to decrease and ultimately zero out, which requires staff to make adjustments. This is starting to happen now. Last Friday three volunteers left to go back to their home country. This leaves me and eleven kids (3 and under) alone for lots of fun. Here is how a relatively good day usually goes.
“AHHH!!!” screamed by six happy toddlers running towards me with open arms for hugs. I make a point to hug and kiss every child so that they fill just a hint of love and affection in the morning. On a wonderful day, there is no fighting, biting or crying, but because we do not live in a magical world after five minutes of being in the room, I have broken up five fights and comforted three kids. Now its time to play, whether it is blocks, puzzles, cars, or buttons there is always something for the kids. Four kids truly enjoy the activity, three are crying for only God knows what, two that are fighting and two are just staring into space. Already two kids have pooped in their diaper and three are running back and forth to the bathroom trying to play with the water. The trick is always trying to figure out which kid is the culprit.
The typical toy time though each kid; Sinclair (the Girl with Autism) sometimes is crying constantly. There are days that nothing can calm her down. She will try to escape or climb all over the room and I always have to keep a close eye on her for her safety. I must make sure she does not hurt any of the other kids because she is older and does not communicate so she is unable to articulate her feelings. I must also watch out for Tyrese. If there is a crying kid near him, he bites their arm to get the toy they are playing with. Aiden and Asher are my troublesome two. The twins are constantly fighting and rough housing with each other causing one to cry. Caleb and Bradley are screaming from excitement while playing. Tatum and Pearle are usually having temper tantrums because they did not get their way. Kyle and Immunati are my quiet ones, but if they are crying, it is because one of the older ones was picking on them. Lastly Karen (the youngest one), although she is the smallest she causes the biggest problems with swearing and hitting.
Lunchtime can be a struggle with only two people assisting. We always begin with folded hands and a prayer, “God is great and God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. AMEN”. In about 5 minutes, food has been thrown all over the room. Food is covering some of the kids from head to toe and some are crying because they do not want to eat. I never realized how big of a difference fifteen minutes could be until I came here. In fifteen minutes about eleven kids are fed, I have chased three around in order to get them to sit down and two have thrown food on the ground. I also have placed five kids in their cots to sleep and chased the other five around in order to use the toilet. Most days my prayer is just to not lose a kid, because the transition from eating to sleeping is extremely hard. Luckily, I have not lost any kids, so my prayers are working.
After everyone is in their cot sleeping it is finally my break time. It is only 12 pm and I had one eventful morning. Even after all the running, screaming, crying, bathroom accidents, and different personalities I love all my kids. My kids bring joy into my heart each day. I wouldn’t change my morning even if I could. I will say that after being at the orphanage for a few months I do not want to have my own kids for a very long long time.
Until next time.