Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ray Team 1 Day 2 Lovin on kids

Okay diapers delivered. Check. Now what? I look around the Home for Sick and Dying Children, staring at a dozen assorted luggage bags full of diapers in the back room of a converted church. Several sisters move about through a cluster of 30 or so volunteers (other people that look like they aren't from here either). Oh. I think. There's plenty of people here, they don't need me. That's fine, because I have no idea what to do with sick kids. I'm not a doctor - I don't even know how change a diaper let alone speak Creole. I'm basically useless. Maybe I'll just go back to the bus and wait. Besides I don't want it to be overcrowded... At that moment a sister motions to our group. She has tan skin, freckles, and a beautiful smile under a blue and white habit. I shuffle along with our group to the room which I later learn is for kids under a year old. The second I walk through the door I'm drawn to a little guy in a Harley Davidson t-shirt. I make eye contact with him to deliver some silly quip about him being too young to ride a motorcycle in a language he doesn't understand. In response, he reaches up his arms to say "Pick me up dummy." I look around the room. Can we just pick up the kids? Aren't they sick and dying? "Just remember what crib they are in," I hear. I go for it. I pick him up and he snuggles into my sweaty arms — I guess all he needs is love.

Two hours later my arms start to get tired. Last night when I prayed for strength I didn't actually mean physical arm strength...God gave me what I needed just the same. A little girl in a jean dress  taps my leg wanting to be held. I can't just put down my fellow motorcycle rider, so I double up. And there I was - dude who was too scared to hold his friends newborn a month ago, holding two kids at once. "You know her story?" I turn to see a Catholic priest with long hair and Birkenstock sandals surrounded by kids. He was from Florida and he spoke Creole. "She was found in a trash can." This beautiful little girl? HOW!? She takes me through the whole alphabet in French before running off to play with someone else. She has an amazing laugh.

The bell rings. Time for lunch. I set Harley down in his crib and get through half a bowl of rice, beans, carrots, and egg before getting a firm "I'm done" head shake. I try again... "Dude I said I'm done!" Finished, he reaches up his arms to be picked up again. I'm told it's nap time and so instead, I offer up my finger for his little hand to hold. Waiting for his eyes to close, I start to slip my hand away and for the first time in hours he starts gearing up for some wet works. Okay, okay. Finger back. I wait, hoping he'll fall asleep before we have to go. No luck. He stares up at me as I pull away, but he isn't the only one that feels like crying.