It's Like Time Stood Still (well mostly)
Its crazy how easy it has been to just jump right into things here in Colombia. In the taxi on the way back from the airport at almost 2 in the morning (my flight was 5 hours delayed) we flew through one red light after another. The tiendas on each side a blur (literally, we were flying) and it all came rushing back to me: bus routes, cool shops and markets, the statue of Jovita (an icon in this city) safe neighborhoods and other to avoid, friends, …. everything. And as we pulled into Magnolia’s apartment, I was struck with this feeling of did I ever really leave this place? And when Magnolia walked out of her house in her pajamas and chastised me for arriving so late, I definitely realized that a part of me never really had left.
This feeling of time standing still, that I had been here all along, continued as I walked in the gates of Chiquitines, an orphanage that I had spent so much time in over a year ago. The guard, the same. The secretary at the front, the same. The director and majority of the staff, the same. I rounded the corner to the courtyard and thats when it hit me…. time had, in fact, not stood still. The kids, the few that I knew anyway, were gigantic. They weren’t babies anymore but full blown kids. And there was a whole crew of brand new little bitty babies recently taken under custody of the state. These kids had been living, learning, experiencing life for 15 months, the were growing up.
What a difference a year makes!! There was one adorable little girl many of you will remember from my blog last year. She is one of my favorite people on this earth…. a smile and sweetness that will break your heart! I left this chunky little baby with her first braces and walker 15 months ago:
And arrived to find this giant!!
You are probably thinking… that just doesn’t look comfortable (and those shoes are huge). And you would be exactly right. This walker is definitely not working for her anymore. So we brought her a new one (and some shoes that fit too). And for those of you keeping score, no issues with immigration at all (unlike previous trips)… I was totally prepared with all the necessary documents and they didn’t even flinch as I walked through pushing the gait trainer.
So here is our girl in her AMAZING kidwalk that my AMAZING friends at CMC in Dallas helped me get in an AMAZINGLY short amount of time (thanks so much!)
She is leaving with her forever family very soon. I am sooooo excited that this little girl is being adopted! Can’t wait. So later today we are going to go back to Fundamor to try and find a forever home for the kidwalk.
For now, I think she likes it!
Use your imagination here. Imagine if you will, feeding over 15 toddlers at the same time. No, no, no, its not just you. There are 3 of you…. 3 caregivers that have to keep all these kiddos rounded up, in their high chair and fed. To put it lightly, its an impossible task. The only hope of keeping up with the demand these caregivers have is slopping heaping spoonfuls of food in one kiddos mouth after another. Some kiddos attempt to refuse, but these attempts are quickly thwarted by getting a quick spoonful shoved in their mouth. They get fed… but it’s not always pretty. I would actually say its one of the most stressful moments throughout the day. Abby, the occupation therapist that has been working here at Chiquetines has been fighting the good fight, the food fight, to try and make things a little less stressful for the kiddos.
Here’s a glimpse:
All lined up and ready to get started…
I think this little guy got tired of waiting his turn…
So did he… this poor little guy passed out for a while in the saucer before he got his lunch
Here’s Abby helping this little guy with oral motor issues have an enjoyable meal
And for those of you wondering what I, Keely O’Dell, was doing during all this chaos. The answer would be loving on these adorable little things… oops.
Also, we went to Fundamor (another orphanage) today and the little boy that I had met last year is still there and definitely will be able to use the kidwalk when the little girl at Chiquetines is done with it. I couldn’t be more feliz….