Saturday, June 21, 2014

I Think They Know in Their Hearts

I'm always amazed each time I go to Romania which kids end up being drawn to me and me to them. Sometimes I end up spending time with kids I have known for a long time but who drift in and out of their interest in being with me. Sometimes I spend time with kids I hardly know at all. And, of course, there are some kids I always spend time with.

Of all the places we visit I'm always most interested to see how my time at Voluntari will go. The orphanage is full of younger kids so they are less likely to remember me from visit to visit. This time I ended up being with one little boy, Alberto, quite a bit, especially during our second week.

I actually knew Alberto from the time he first arrived at the orphanage. I distinctly remember him because he was one of the only kids there who was still in diapers. He was such a little cutie with his big eyes and chubby little cheeks!

Making crafts (Summer 2012)

At the pool party (Summer 2012)

Swinging (Summer 2012)
Alberto was around the other times that I went (though I seem to lack much photographic evidence of such) and I'm sure that I spent a little time with him here and there but, overall, we haven't had a whole lot of interactions. Little Alberto got integrated into the 30 plus "grădiniță" (preschool and kindergarten aged kids) at Voluntari.
Getting Christmas presents (Winter 2012/2013)

Sitting with Ms. Cherri (Winter 2013/2014)

Front and center (in the blue stripes) to show off his snowflake craft (Winter 2013/2014)
I hate to say that Alberto got lost in the crowd but as a very quiet and very well behaved (relative to all his peers of course) little boy he sometimes got overlooked for the kids who were running in circles, climbing on the tables, and yelling at the top of their lungs. But this time around, he picked me.

I spent one day playing a little on the playground with him (I think I took an interest in his trucks or something like that) and from then on he would find me. He'd stick out his little hand and I'd take it and we'd be on our way.
At outdoor worship time the day we decided to be best buds.
I can't explain why some kids decide after all the years, after all the visits, after all the time why they are ready to let you into their little world.
The Day of 100 Selfies (literally...he took over 120 pictures sitting on my lap one afternoon).
I don't know if Alberto really remembered me from all the visits before. I don't know if any of the little kids do. But I do believe that God helps them remember in their hearts if not in their heads.

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