Playing with two year olds here at home in the U.S. or in Peru or any other part of the world I have found to be the same. They have energy, fire and more energy. The girls are sugar and spice and boys will be boys! And I love that about the kids. The children at La Sagrada Familia outside of Lima were no different (see prior post). From the moment we walked in they were all over the three of us. Wanting to play and run and jump. Checking out the “new people” that had come into their play area.

Orphan girl and mickey
Orphan and barney
Orphan boy 3
Orphan boys
But there was a huge, distinct difference. They wanted and desperately needed hugs and love and attention. If you picked one, or two of them up in your arms, they cried and wouldn’t let go when you put them down. They clung on as though they had super-glued themselves to you. The look in their faces was so __________  – fill in the blank – you name the worst descriptive feeling and maybe then you might have captured the essence of it all.

Clamoring for attention – just a simple hug – a need to be held. Could they have been so devoid of that by the young ages of 1-1/2 or 2 years old? How do they know that they are missing love and affection? Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Still almost a month away from the visit to the orphanage and I cannot explain it. Yet I am drawn to go back. To show each of them if only for 5 or 10 minutes each that they are huggable. Just want to love on them. How do you show them that? How do you get them to feel that? I am not sure you can erase what they have missed over their short lifetimes. They need continual reinforcement and although the young women who are in charge of them do give attention to them, 2-3 people just cannot take the place of one on one affection of a parent or caregiver. So help me here. What is the answer? How do you make a difference? I struggle almost daily for an answer. And I am not sure there is one. Aside from prayer.

Orphans steph and mili

Orphan girl and mili

Orphans and Yanett

Orphans mili and steph

Orphan boy and steph
My little shadow. If I put him down, he screamed. If I held him, he hung on for dear life. And at the first “feel” of movement – when he thought he might be put down, he grabbed on tightly.

Orphans crawling on steph
The little kids just kept climbing on us all, pulling our hair and earrings! I felt like a jungle gym! But it was worth every minute.

Once again in His Grip,