When we first came to the Philippines to work at this orphanage one year ago, I was totally enthralled with the babies. And some things do not change, in a year, orrr in a hundred years. I am still totally enthralled with the babies.
The other day I was standing in the yard and I saw one of my most adored babies – one of the ones that actually liked me back right from the beginning – walking around holding an auntie’s hand.
Wait, WALKING? When did that happen?
I immediately flashed back to the first week that we were here, when I would lift her high in the air to see her smile, and hold her, and roll the balls to her, and watch her laugh hysterically whenever I would dip down with her on my hip in anticipation of the bounce back up.
I just stood in the yard, totally captivated watching her walk around like such a big girl. I was crouched on the ground trying to get a picture of her and trying not to get overly emotional thinking about how much she had changed and grown in just one year, and all of a sudden the most ridiculously perfect thing happened:
she ran to me from across the yard with a flower in her hand and threw her arms around my neck in a giant baby hug.
This is the same little girl whose feet barely used to reach the floor from her bouncy walker when I first met her.
How? Why? Wait, time, waaaait!
Time has passed. It has left us. The sweet pea who used to need holding and feeding is now not only walking, but running, squatting, jumping, falling, getting back up, and bending down to pick flowers. And that’s just the beginning. It’s that kind of happy-sad that makes you get a little knot inside your stomach.
And to add to my mushy heart today, I always feel especially emotional about the passage of time here because this is an orphanage. These kids have yet to meet their forever mommies and daddies. Every day, another developmental milestone is reached, another funny moment happens, and another part of their personality emerges. Every child gets another day older, and that the people who will eventually be these little ones’ parents aren’t able to experience those moments. Praise the Lord that this place is full of loving aunties, house parents, and staff who take joy in the little moments that their future parents will have to miss.