Let me start out by saying..
I could have never imagined my time here in Ecuador being the way it is.
How do you anticipate, or try to predict how your three months in a different country, working nine hour days, with little orphans would be?
I don´t think that you can.
I didn´t expect it to be the way it has been.
But let me add that the past month and two days have been the most life changing, incredible, humbling, days of my life.
They have been long and hard.. but beyond rewarding.
The hardest part about being here, is knowing that at some point I have to leave.
That these childrens lives are no longer going to be in my hands.
That I can´t protect, and care for them for the rest of my life.
That these twenty eight beautiful children.. that I spend every waking moment with.. are going to stay here, and I´m going to have to go home.
They have some of the hardest lives I have ever seen, and they don´t know that.. They don´t know any different. Most are left on train tracks, under bus tires, on busses, in garbage cans, or simply on a street corner. For what ever reason their parents had no desire to take part in this beautiful childs life. Some were taken away from their parents, and some have been abandoned in their own home. Children under the age of three, left to fend for themselves. It is unbelievable how common orphans are here. So from there they are taken in, and are put in the Cuna part of the orphanage, that I spend my days in. From there.. they are given a name. This child will most likely never know their last name, if they have siblings, or what their parents look like. They are raised, and taken care of as well as an orphanage can. I have been blessed to be able to work in one of the nicest, well kept up orphanages around here.. but how can you take care of that many children, and make sure they are developing as they should be, that they are feeling well.. everything? Something as simple as what they are allergic to, they will never know? When the time comes, and they reach the age of about three.. if they haven't been adopted they move over to the casa part.. where about 15 children are raised in each house. One mom to take care of, help with homework, feed.. everything. They are raised there, until about 16-18.. and from there they are pretty much kicked out and are to fend for themselves. No family, or anyone to call them on their birthdays.. nothing.
This is why this is the hardest thing I have ever done.
I have three months to love these children with everything I have..
but the time will come when I have to move on and will only be able to pray with all of my heart that things in their life will go as smoothly as they possibly can. That they won't choose a lifestyle that resembles their parents.. that they will be able to be succesful, and find what they are looking for in life. That they will be able to set goals and achieve them.. That they will be blessed, because they have had the most basic thing in life taken away from them.. Their family.
I love these kids.. and can only be grateful that I get the spend this time with them. That though they will never remember me, what I look like, or my name.. They will be permanently imprinted into my heart. I will love these kids forever... and though the days are long and hard, I can truly say that I never want to leave them.
I am blessed.