We woke up early got our donations and bags in order, had breakfast and waited for Meenal to arrive at the hotel. We were so excited to see our little girl today. We arrived at Bal Asha and found it to be quite amazing. Imagine in the middle of high rise buildings, busy streets, concrete, and commercial business, there is a “compound” – not just any compound, but one with a concrete wall and gate. You enter and you’ve stepped out of the city and into what seems like a small community. We follow the dirt bumpy road through the trees – a lot of trees and small buildings like a doctor’s office, a school for the blind, and other buildings that I couldn’t tell the purpose because of the Indian writing. We pull up to BAT and it’s tucked away in trees and another concrete wall – you protect what is precious.
They gave us a bunch of paperwork – Sunil clearly up on the details (this will prove KEY in a future post.....keep reading :) ) and we signed receipt for the papers. Then someone brought in Anjali. She was crying and clinging to her care giver. She is adorable – with the cutest purple, white, and black little outfit – pink shoes, 5 bangles on each arm, and a pearl little necklace. She immediately didn’t like the shoes and we took them off. The Director began saying…”just take her – she’s your daughter”… Anjali doesn’t want to be taken, clearly. I grabbed her despite her wishes as I was told and walked outside – she calmed a bit and continued to reach for a building that I noticed said something like, “Infant care center” – as I saw little children’s faces peeking out the windows – I couldn’t help but wonder what they were thinking. Staff members were lingering among other buildings watching – clearly Anjali is loved in this place. We walked in the courtyard area on the sidewalk because of the rain there was mud mixed in with the grass that led to the play ground area. When she realized that she wasn’t getting what she wanted (to go back to her room), she bit my shoulder – HARD – I pulled her off and she continued to try to bite me. I walked her into the Director’s office and sat her on the back of one of the couches – she didn’t calm and Sunil made his way back into the area. I said, “she bit me” – he had a look of sadness on his face but offered no answer (and did try to assure her it's ok) – there was no answer… this child was in deep fear. The Director kept telling me to smack her mouth when she bit – but I couldn’t find it in myself to do so (I have since "tapped" her mouth when biting or spitting out of defiance - more for the surprise impact and she seems to respond). I took her back outside and walked again - she saw Brad on the sidewalk a bit closer to the area where her room was and she reached out for him to take her! With a look of amazement mixed with fear on his face – he took her. She kept pointing to clearly what was her room – and screamed…. at the top of her lungs. Sunil shared with us – that was her rooming area – so try to avoid that part of the courtyard because she just kept raging. Brad took her outside in the front of the building where there were no other children. As Brad walked her – just as he did almost 7 years ago with Joshua – she finally went to sleep clinging to him with a death grip. Brad is amazing with her and Sunil said, “You are a patient man” – which I knew all along – thank you Lord for giving me my Brad.
Daily Trip must haves:
- Aveeno Calming Lotion with lavender
- Plain Cheerios (they aren’t used to sweets – she doesn’t like honey nut).
- Simple toy – cloth toddler book
God equips humanity in amazing ways: 1.) self soothing, 2.) parental instincts, 3.) protective hearts with compassion
God's creation of humanity is complex - yet fundamental and universal (who needs to speak the same language??) - even Jesus knew that creation is desperate for food - he understood the importance of food and he explained how to connect to him through a food illustration! Anjali is a great eater - and I think she was well-fed at Bal Asha - on this very day - her evening meal was not on schedule, making her very hungry and giving us a divine opportunity to begin our bonding.
John 6:35 "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty".