So where was I? Oh yes, we were settled in the hostel in Lima, and I was filled with all kinds of excitement as I got ready to go to the orphanage where our two waiting kids are currently living. I’ve decided to give them “names” on my blog, because I’m tired of calling them “the kids.” I cannot give their actual names, I’m going to be calling them Micheal and Ellie on the blog from this point on, so now you guys know who I’m referring to.
Most of our group decided to go out to eat and so they hit the streets to find some lunch. Salem and I chilled back at the hostel. I was completely pooped, and he wouldn’t stop crying. It was time for some sleep. I wanted to take him with us to meet the kids, but I also didn’t want him to scream the entire time and for it to be difficult to interact. I made a last minute decision per the offer of our awesome children’s pastors Todd and Cristi, to just leave Salem back with them.
He was happy to walk around Miraflores with them and we were happy to be able have a more focused visit at the orphanage!
My good friend Paige, Danny, and I caught a taxi and headed across Lima in terrible traffic to the orphanage. Look y’all, traffic in Lima is plumb scary. No other way to describe it or the driving! Wowza.
We arrived at the orphanage and Danny and I both could hardly wait to see the kids. Someone greeted us at the door, and kindly began to show us around the home. We didn’t see the kids anywhere. We were brought upstairs where the lady began showing us the bunks and telling us about the children in the home. When she mentioned Micheal and Ellie, my heart skipped a beat. When she showed us Micheal’s bed, I wanted to cry already, and we had just arrived! The little boy I already I hope to soon call my own son, slept right there. There were about five stuffed animals laying on his pillow. I wondered who got them for him and it made me feel good that he had some things like that of his own.
We went around the corner where some kids were working on homework with a tutor. Some little girls immediately jumped up and wanted to play with us. As I rounded the corner, I saw more children sitting and working on homework. There were about five kids there altogether. There in the corner was Micheal. I had already spotted him, but the lady giving us the tour quickly introduced us. We said hello to all of the kids and Danny and I went over to say hello to Micheal. He was obviously very embarrassed and wouldn’t raise his head to talk to us. I could tell by the pictures and videos I’ve seen, he is quite the clown. So I wasn’t expecting the shyness at all. I think he was probably wondering why three gringos were invading his house on a school night.
Danny asked him what he was working on, and he didn’t respond. He would barely blink up at us. But then I noticed he flipped back in whatever workbook he was using to a page he’d colored from top to bottom. It was obvious he’d put a lot of work into that particular page. He kind of pretended to draw a little on top of the page, which was funny. Then I got it. He wanted us to notice what he’s colored. He’d turned to a page that he thought we’d praise him for. So sweet. We told him how great it looked in our sloppy Spanish and he understood. I must add, that he is super cute. He is about Amaus, our five year old’s height and size. Of course we have pretty big kids, but Micheal is 10 years old. He is truly a doll, if I can say that about a little boy.
We played with the other kids and Micheal only spied on us as we interacted with them. We were brought downstairs where the attorneys that work for our agency waited to meet us. Ellie (don’t you love how Peruvian my made up name, sounds? :P) is at a Catholic boarding school right now. She was one of the oldest in the home and was always insisting on looking after all of the littles there. The orphanage directors decided it would be best for her to go to school where she could simply be a 13 year old girl. She has done well there.
As we got downstairs, our reps were there. They’re husband and wife attorneys, who we’ve heard so many good things about. They have has done so much to see that kids in Peru find homes. They were so special. I knew that right upon meeting them. They asked us questions and we showed them photos of our family and home and all we were doing to prepare to come and get Ellie and Micheal as quickly as possible. They loved seeing the photos of the rooms we had ready. They wanted me to email all of the photos and they wanted to take them to the director of adoptions to discuss our family. (I blogged about that meeting, which has already taken place.)
Soon after, the door opened and in walked Ellie and the orphanage director. She was just as beautiful as all of her photos, and she was all smiles as she went around hugging the attorneys and other people she knew in the room. She knew Paige, because her best friend Gina was adopted by her! If you remember, that’s how we were able to visit the home to begin with! Paige is the reason we know about Ellie and Micheal!
Micheal had come downstairs and was now feeling very sociable. He was hugging the attorneys, who he knows and loves dearly. Danny got a soccer ball and invited him over to the court-yard/garage area to play. Two other little boys joined in on the fun. Micheal was having the time of his life, and so was Danny. He was really good at soccer!
Pretty soon Ellie and I joined them for soccer. I stink and that made it more funny. Ellie is very helpful and liked to try to include others. She was trying to help me in the game too. She would give me fives, Micheal would give Danny fives. We really clicked. Sometimes that happens and this was one of those times. It was like they’d always known us.
They wanted to see photos on our phones, so we showed them pictures of our kids and pets. Micheal wanted to play games on my phone which was obviously something he never gets to do. That only lasted a second though, and pretty soon it was time to pass out the goodies we brought for all of the kids in the home. All of the children had different things in their goody bags. Bracelets, necklaces, candy, and small toys. We had put something specifically for Ellie and Micheal in their bags. Since each bag contained a variety of different things, it wasn’t too obvious
The necklaces said, “tu eres amado.” (You are loved.)
You could tell they were thrilled. They wanted us to put the necklaces on them. They were beaming.
Pretty quickly, our time had to be wrapped up. It was so difficult to leave. Danny and I lingered and lingered. Several people have asked if I thought Ellie and Micheal had a clue about why we were really there. I’m not sure about that. I wonder if Ellie did. She gave me the sweetest, long and loving hug. It made me wonder.
We went back to the hostel full of joy. As I’ve said before, I don’t know how kids can be so sweet, sharing, giving, and outgoing, after what they’ve been through. I’m amazed. I cannot wait to bring them home! Our children, family, and friends will adore them. I don’t doubt that for a second!
Part of our group hit the streets and walked to a Miraflores favorite, La Lucha sandwich and shake shop. It’s right next to Kennedy Park, a nice park at the middle of lots of shops and such. The park is full of cats!
Our next day in Lima:
We kicked off our final morning together as a team with lots of tears and sharing, all on the terrace of our hostel. It was a very sweet time.
Another spelling of my name. I still like Talley, best I think.
Then we were off to the Huaca ruins, which are around 2000 years old. Very cool stuff.
A child’s foot-print in the mud, uncovered by archeologists.
And this, my friends, is what you call bona-fide hunk.
Good thing Salem was looking away, because he was screaming his head off. Poor little dude.
Then we were off to Larco Marr, a shopping area and beautiful look off point in Miraflores. We met some very hospitable friends there, Kat and Elmo Compton, who serve as missionaries in Miraflores. We had lunch with them, and we look forward to hanging out more when we return to Peru. They stayed with our group all throughout the day as we hit the Indian markets and walked all over the area. What a sweet, Jesus-loving family!
This restaurant is called the Nautical Rose and it is over 300 years old! It is apparently quite expensive to eat here, but I sure would love to go in and look around. I wonder if they do tours. I’ll have to check on that when we return.
It was a mad-dash back to the hostel to grab our bags and prepare for the cabs to pick us up. We left a little earlier than necessary to stop by a popular spot in Lima on our way out. It’s a park with fountains and lights. The whole time I kept thinking how much our Reedlings back at home would love it! We will definitely bring the kids back there.
We made it to the airport after a super adventurous drive through traffic in Lima. Our check-ins and such were pretty seamless. most of our team had become experts at foreign travel and flying, by this point. We boarded our flights for the USA, and Salem was out.
This was pretty much his position for the next six or so hours.
Our trip was an incredible experience. From the time we left, until we returned- the Lord taught me so much, and I hope used me somehow as well. And meeting Micheal and Ellie…well that pretty much will go down as one of the most special evenings in my life. I am so excited about the things that are right around the corner, and I hope to be writing more about Peru- the country of my Heart, very soon, on a particular return trip!
Thanks for hanging in there for this extremely LONG post! 🙂