orphanage duty

13 09 2011

I have been on orphanage duty on weekends. I started last September 4, and so far, the experience has been extremely humbling. The kids range from 0 to 3 years old, with the exception of a 14-year old girl who has been with the orphanage since she was a baby. She has cerebral palsy and is confined to her bed. There were a total of 10 kids in the house when I started — Betsy (14), Julius (3), Martha (3), Jericho (3), Elijah (1), Angela (1), Berna (9mos), Anna (8mos), and the twins Francis and Clare (3mos). On my 3rd duty day, there was a new addition, Joy, who was a month old I think.

There’s no explanation to the feeling that I have everytime I enter the compound. As I enter the gate, I would see the 3-year olds peering out the window and calling out to me. They call me “Ate Nani” hehe.. They’re having a hard time pronouncing my name. But I’m growing to love the “pet name”.. Just thinking about it now makes me smile.

As expected, the kids were clingy and longing for attention, specially those who were 1 year old and up. They would really cling to you and would feel jealous if they notice you giving more attention to another. I became more attached to Elijah, though, since day 1. He was the same way with me. He would get excited when he sees me, and would hit anyone who would dare come near me. Haha! BUT, I have to control my emotions and my attachment. I cannot show favoritism when I’m with all of them. If they want to sit on my lap all at the same time, I tell them that they will need to have to take turns. They appear to understand the conditions at first.. Then when one kid sits on my lap, another one would do the same and they would start hitting each other. Hahaha! It’s a total chaos, believe me! But I manage and I enjoy every single bit of it.. That’s the best of it all. When they grow tired of me, or if I feel tired being their human monkey bar, I would put each of them down leaving kisses on their foreheads and encourage them to play with each other or with the toys around. Then I would just sit on a corner, sometimes with one or two babies in my arms, and just watch them. Many times I would find myself staring at them, amazed at the simple happiness that each of them have. Then I start to wonder how anybody can just abandon these little angels. How can anybody turn their backs on these innocent bundles of joy? It’s really saddening.. 😦

If only I was rich enough to adopt all of these kids, I really would. I can’t explain what they do to me.. I think they complete me. In all of my 32 years of existence, this is the first time that I have felt so happy and fulfilled. It’s like I have now found the inner peace that I have always longed for. Basta! The feeling is truly inexplicable. 🙂

Now I can, with all honesty, say that life is good. And all the heartaches and disappointments that I had are now forgotten.. And should the good Lord decide to take me right now, I can say that I am ready. It’s funny how I have spent majority of my life searching high and low for happiness and self-fulfillment.. Only to find them, in less than a heartbeat, in the faces of these kids.

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