Friday, August 27, 2010

Hug me

They say that if you are going to adopt an orphan, you are better off choosing one that hides in the corner from you than one that runs up and gives you a hug. The hesitant child has healthier boundaries and fewer attachment issues, while the affectionate one is more likely to burn your house down one day.

All the same, when a little boy named Sasha jumped into my arms, wrapped his arms and legs around me, and held on even when I moved to put him down – I couldn’t help hugging him back a little longer, a little tighter, wondering how often, if ever, he got a hug long enough that he was ready to let go.

And as I held him, I felt something inside of me release, and I realized it’s been a while since I had a good, long hug, too.

I went with Raya last week to the orphanage to deliver some blankets that the Relief Society women’s organization in Rostov made for them. Here's Raya (in red) and other members of the congregation presenting the blankets to the director of the orphanage:

The orphans are divided into groups of about ten children, and one small wing of the orphanege served each group. Here is the bathroom for one of the groups -- ten little cups, ten little toothbrushes, ten little towels.

The tables were all set for lunch.
And this ... this is a little mini sauna for children. They sit on that little shelf (height-adjustable) and put their heads out the top. Then the door is closed and the steam is turned on. The director told us it helps panicky children calm down.
And here are some of the kids:

There would have been a few more pictures of the kids, but as soon as that last pictures was taken, I was swarmed by small children with attachment issues who wanted to see themselves on the screen, millions of little fingers grabbing and groping the camera, and the battery died a few minutes later. But I still won’t forget all the little eyes looking hopefully up at me, the little arms reaching out, the sense of all the little people in this world looking for a little love.

(Insert rousing rendition of “We Are the World” or "The Greatest Love".)

1 comment:

Jason said...

oh man! there's sister hasbuhlina! and sergei! i baptized that guy! wow.....