I wrote this story yesterday for the Watoto Website - its up there now on http://www.watoto.com/ but I honestly was so moved by this experience that I wanted to re-post it on my own blog.
Last night when I got home all I could think about was these beautiful children who have had their lives completely changed in a day. The awe and amazement mixed with uncertainity and aprehensivness was so visible as I looked into each childs eye. It is so hard to grasp the reality of the situation when you are amongst the noise and the flurry.
But when you step back and realise what is really going on here...a life completley changed, a new forever home, a Mum and brothers and sisters they are going to grow up with. Noone in the world apart from Watoto that knows where they are....its really...I dont know...i cant think of the right word.
Here's the story...
Arriving at Suubi Village this afternoon, 20 children, originally from a government run center, have finally found their forever home here at Watoto.
Welcomed by their mothers and new brothers and sisters their two week long orientation at Watoto’s Buloba Village came to an end today when their Mums came to pick them up and take them to their new home! During the children’s stay at Buloba, their orientation with our staff included an in-depth look into what their new lives would look like, what would be provided for them and what would be expected of them. To help ease the upcoming transitional period of moving from Buloba the children’s mothers were sure to make regular visits and spend quality time with each child.
The 30 minute drive taken today from Buloba to Suubi was a mixture of anticipation and nerves as the children anxiously awaited the sight of their new village. Arriving at Suubi Village the children’s faces were practically glued to the glass windows as they drove past children happily playing, mothers cooking dinner, boys playing soccer and girls chatting under a tree.
Once the bus finally pulled to a stop the children piled out, took their bags and followed their mother to Cluster 3. Each child was given a new backpack, fresh clothes and shoes and a special blanket. Each mother then took her new children to their particular home and showed them to their room, gave them a place to put their things and helped them to prepare their bed.
Walking around Cluster 3, one little boy was absolutely thrilled with a soft toy airplane that was given to him and was showing it to anyone and everyone that would look! Others were eager to set up their bedrooms with their special blanket and new mattress, whilst some were trying to just take in the fact that the new shoes and clothes they were putting on were theirs for the keeping!
Today was a very special day for these 20 children, and one they will no doubt remember for the rest of their lives. It’s important to remember that the children that are part of this intake have come from a background of extreme poverty, abuse or abandonment. Even though this is an exciting time of change and progress it is also a delicate time where the children are learning to trust and feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Please do keep these precious children in your prayers as they continue to make this big adjustment.