Our boys stayed at our agencies care center for about 2 months. They arrived just before we went to court and stayed there until after our second trip to Ethiopia to pick them up and bring them home. Before they were at our agencies care center they spent about 1 year in an orphanage. In fact, just as we were starting the process to adopt they were relinquished to their orphanage.
Here is the memory I had after reading this blog post. We were allowed to bring the boys outside of the gate that they looked at every day and walk about one block to the other guest house. The street was overwhelming to the boys and they seemed scared of the outside world at first. Even though we were really still strangers to them, they clung on to us as we walked in the street. After a few walks down the street had passed the boys started to really enjoy walking out of the gate and into the street. The best word I can use to describe what it seemed to mean to them was freedom.
Now, I have to say that I was amazed by the staff at our agencies care center. They all did a great job taking care of the kids. But, it is not a home. It is transitional place - a place that kids stay between the orphanage and their forever family.
By the end of the week, our little guys would stand at the gate and try to peek out of the little tiny cracks between the doors. Any time the bell would ring they would run to the guard and want to answer the door with him. They looked like they were going to bolt out of the place as the door opened and let in whoever was out there. The guard would hold them in and close the door and they would be sad. At times, Solomon, one of the guards lifted Issac up high so he could see outside the gate. Issac begged for him to keep doing it.
Here is a photo of the boys with Solomon. The green double doors behind them is the gate - you can see above the doors glimpses of the outside world. That is where Solomon would lift Issac up and let him peek outside.
So you see, as I read this post I could not help but let my mind wander back to when our little guys sat on the shoulders of the guard at the care center to see the world outside the gate. Today, they played outside for hours. They are our sons. But, there are children waiting to have a forever family. Many, many children. Adoption is one way that children find a forever family. It is not the only way. I'm so thankful for families like the Benkerts at Bring Love In who are creating forever family's for so many orphans and widows right in the country they were born in. They indeed are not letting the gate close behind them and not do anything about the orphan crisis in Ethiopia. I encourage you to go to their site and check out what's happening at Bring Love In.