Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Things We Didn't Know

There were 10,000 things that we didn't know when when we started all of this. But more specifically, I am thinking about the things that were going on in our kid's heads.

I shared before that we didn't know that all the prior parents had taken the kids on the first day. The kids had to have been so confused when we left without them that first day. 

A week or so into things in Uganda, Josh told me that he heard JoAni telling the other kids that they better be good or we would send them back to the orphanage. I was so angry with her. I assumed that she was manipulating the other kids. Thankfully there was some reason that I didn't have a chance to talk with them about this for a little while. So when I finally had time, I sat them all down. At this point their English was still very limited and I had to keep it super basic if I wanted Sylvia to understand me so that she could translate for Sarah and Ryan given that at that moment I was not trusting JoAni to translate properly. I told them "if you have good manners, I love you, and if you have bad manners, I love you, no orphanage, no more." Much later, I learned that a pair of siblings had been picked up from the orphanage by a muzungu (white) mommy and daddy. Later those kids were returned to the orphanage without an explanation. Our kids had reason to be afraid of this happening to them. They had seen it happen. JoAni was trying to protect her siblings and herself when she told them that "bad manners" would get them sent back to the orphanage. 

Just recently Sylvia told me that those parents packed up in the night and left without saying goodbye. I have no idea what their reason was. Maybe there was a good reason. The information I have is all through the eyes of children. When Sylvia gave me this extra detail I suddenly realized, we had moved hotels multiple times while with the kids while in Uganda. I asked her what she thought the first time we packed up all of our stuff to change hotels. I asked if she thought they were going back, she said a rather firm "yes." Remember when I told you about Sarah going into meltdown after the first time that we packed up and changed hotels? She cried herself to sleep. I thought she was just stressed out. I had no idea that she was completely utterly and totally terrified. 

I often wonder what I will learn months from now about what we are dealing with today.

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