At one point last week - one of the 6 year olds decided he wanted to take a shower right after lunch, without asking, WITH HIS CLOTHES ON, and to top it off he convinced a 2 year old and a 3 year old to join him - all with clothes on. I couldn't help but laugh. I think the 6 year old is autistic- honestly - I'm not just saying that. Many things are just not right with him. He needs a lot of extra attention. But that is why we are here. His mom has said out right that she doesn't want him. He is a handful yes - but also incredibly sweet and affectionate.
The most difficult thing for me I think is bed time. The hour before bedtime is bath time and they brush their teeth. They love this part of the day. But bedtime - that's the craziest. If you have kids you know how hard it can be to put ONE kid down - let alone 14 and most of which have special needs. Bedtime at an orphanage has got to be the saddest thing on the planet. For the rest of the day - I can convince myself that we are all alright and that they are just like any other kid but not at bedtime. They are desperate for love and attention. So much of what is necessary for their development has been robbed from them.
I for sure had many moments where I had to stop myself and just in the moment beg God to fill me so I could keep going- for energy, for patience, for peace in the midst of insanity.
The day goes like this:
5:55 am -I get up
6:06 am - wake up the kids and change them into school uniforms for breakfast
6:25 am - breakfast then cartoons and craziness till school starts
7:20 am - the oldest 9 goes to school and we feed and entertain the youngest 5
8:40 am - my 2 pre-schoolers go to pre-school, leaving me with 3 who are too young for pre-school
9 till 12- clean, do laundry, play with little guys and eat breakfast myself
12:20 pm - the 11 school age kids come home and need to be changed out of uniforms and into play clothes
1 pm - lunch. sitting 14 little boys down at one table together creates an environment of throwing food at times, yelling, spilling things and hitting the kid next to you. This however is improving i think.
1:30 till 3 - play and continue to do laundry, keep kids out of things they shouldnt be in and entertain them which mostly means split the kids up as much as possible so they don't fight. Find different things for different groups to do in areas where you can keep an eye on all at the same time
3 pm - homework. homework with kids who have undiagnosed ADHD and learning disabilities. But thanks to the amazing Kurt Kersey - Fernando completed his homework everyday this week which is such an accomplishment that Fernando himself sang about how he finished his homework everyday for an hour afterwards.
4 - 6 pm - entertain
6:30 pm - dinner
7ish or 7:30 pm begin bathing all 14. one at at time while controlling hte other 13 you arent bathing and brushing teeth with
8:30ish or 9 - try to put them to bed and then sit around till 9 or 9:30 to make sure they dont get out of their beds
9:30 till 10:30 ish - eat dinner myself and shower
The next morning - kids are never where you left them. In the middle of the night different kids get up and move beds and get in bed with a different kid. I have beds for 12 so 2 kids have to share a bed with someone else but they dont seem to mind at all.
My Picture of the week: Adrian's smile. It doesn't happen hardly at all. He is a very hard and angry 7 year old. He's been through a lot. But I got to see him smile and laugh quite a few times this week because he thinks bath time is awesome and I let him throw the water wherever he wants.