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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

One last look at the children of St. An's Orphanage


I know I've used this quote before, but it just seems all too appropriate to use it again here.

"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."
~ David Platt ~

One last look at the beautiful children so full of hope and promise.  I tried to get pics of as many of them as I could and sadly this doesn't even come close.  Each has a story and has left an impression on our hearts.  I have learned their names, looked into their faces, held them in my arms... and everything has changed.  
I have changed.  
A piece of my heart will forever remain at St. An's. 

If a child or a specific photo is speaking to you, comment here, and I'll tell you a little more about it.    



37 comments:

  1. Question 1: What happens to these beautiful kids after they "age out" of the system?

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  2. Thank you for sharing your trip with all of us. I love the quote and think you can never hear it enough! I am in love with the little one in picture 14. She/he looks to be by themselves sleeping with such an angelic face. I have looked at this little ones picture several times and pray that they are going to do well and will find a forever family to love them. I cannot imagine that you will ever forget them. I know I won't .
    Blessings -
    Ally @ Even Miracles

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    1. Ally, I'm pretty sure that was a little boy. Almost all the infants were by coincidence. And almost all the toddlers were girls so go figure. I remember very easy to please and make happy.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your trip with all of us. I love the quote and think you can never hear it enough! I am in love with the little one in picture 14. She/he looks to be by themselves sleeping with such an angelic face. I have looked at this little ones picture several times and pray that they are going to do well and will find a forever family to love them. I cannot imagine that you will ever forget them. I know I won't .
    Blessings -
    Ally @ Even Miracles

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  4. They are all so beautiful! My heart aches especially for the older ones!

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  5. Saying a prayer for those precious children.

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  6. They are all so beautiful, but two in particular stood out to me for some reason - the little girl in yellow in the first photo and the girl in the pink and brown polka-dotted dress (photo 33). Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

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    1. Barbara, the little one in yellow in the first pic is a preschooler who will start kindergarten next year. She seemed to have a smile on her face all the time. At least she certainly did when I saw her! There is a small group of little girls about the same age (about 5 of them) that are as thick as thieves and will all start K next year together. The little one in the pink/brown polka dotted dress is one of this group too. I can't help but think that they are each other's family and will share so so much. I hope they lean on one another and grow as sister do. The second girl you mentioned in the dress is a total girly girl. Always wearing jewelry and dresses. One of the sisters even commented on her "prissy-ness" when we were talking about her, but she really meant it in a good way, indicating that she's all girl. She's especially pretty and more "western" looking than the others. She's pretty tall for her age too! I can only image that she's going to be a stunning beauty!

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  7. Do you know anything about the girl in black on the far right on the fifth picture from the bottom? I have committed to pray for her every day.

    Carmen McClelland

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    1. Carmen, oh I know that young lady! Her name is Hằng, and she's currently studying for her 10th grade exams (late this month, I think it was the 10th grade ones. Not quite sure if it was 9th or 10th.) to pass the grade. There was a small group of girls including Hằng that couldn't go on the field trip because they needed to study. It's serious stuff. She's my Facebook friend. Yes, they have Facebook! Email me if you'd like her contact info. I'm sure she'd love to hear you're thinking of her!

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  8. All of them are precious. What about the little one that the blond woman is holding, it looks like she might have a scar under her eye. Her eyes are so serious. Andrea

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    1. Hi Anonymous, that little one was a little different from the other in that she was scared to death of us Caucasians. At first I thought she was scared of everyone, but after a couple days I realized that she was accepting comfort and love from the sisters just fine. It was just us new-commoners that she was so scared of. And that's actually a really good sign of attachment and healthy development. When we'd come in she'd go hide and cry in a corner. After a couple days, we held her anyway, when the sisters were too busy to help her after she would hurt herself or have a spill. Eventually she's let us hold her after a minute or so and stop crying. It's that fear you're seeing in these pics. Although I noticed she was a very serious little one even when we weren't around. ---It's not a scar but just a bump/scrape. She was one of the littler ones in the toddler room and was bumped/bruised a few places as a result of the older toddlers who are steadier on their feet. She is also in the pic 7th from the bottom.

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  9. That's too funny that the orphans at St. An's have Facebook. We spent three years in Haiti working at a Christian orphanage, school, and care center. The kids in Haiti have facebooks as well. All the kids in the program friended me and still post on my timeline (though I will NOT let any of my kids friend any of them for privacy sake, with the exception of one young lady they got particularly close to in our 3 years there). The kids in Haiti do their facebooking at a coffee shop with computers in the city. Where do the St. Ans kids check Facebook? We miss our 46 Haiti kids and we were sad when the Lord told us that it was time to go back to the states. I wanna go back. But shhhhhh, don't tell my husband I have plans for our family to relocate there permanently as missionaries in the fall! I may or may not have emailed the organization we were with and asked about it.

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    1. There are 2 computers with internet in a common room for the older kids. they watch movies on the computers too. and a few of the kids have cell phones with internet although I don't have a clue how they got them or who pays for them. I do think it's a good idea though. These older kiddos do need so exposure to the bigger world and if internet and cellphones and FB does that, then so be it.

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  10. Man, oh man, these photos are piercingly beautiful. Do you know the name of the little girl in the pink top/black skirt who is missing legs? I'd sure like to pray for her.

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    1. Jessica, that's Tien. There are 4 children that completely stole my heart and she was one of them. She's about 9 year old (I'm guessing) and is a double amputee. I don't say this to get her sympathy, but to share her story and her beauty... she lost both her legs and her parents in a car accident I think only a couple years ago. She's feisty and independent. She's smart and and beautiful and will always be labeled as limited and handicapped. I will keep a little piece of her in my heart forever.

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  11. Emailed you. Thank you so much, Nancy. That is more than I could have imagined possible. <3

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  13. How do I sign up for a PBT trip? I'm not seeing anything on their webpage.

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    1. Trish, contact Tracy at Project Being There. She'll have the info about when they are going next and the details. I think you can just write on their Facebook wall even. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Project-Being-There/103721236783

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  14. How do I sign up for a PBT trip? I am not seeing it on their webpage.

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  15. Are there any plans to go back to Project Being There?

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    1. Project Being There returns to St. An's a couple times a year. Livy is already saving up to go with them in Jan 2015. I'm not sure if my finances will allow that. But YES I'm definitely going back. And bringing more of my kids with me next time!

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    2. Do you know the January dates off the top of your head? Homeschooling gives us a lot of flexibility to do fun things like this.

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    3. It's EARLY January I think. Maybe the first 2 weeks-ish? Should be much cooler weather.

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  16. Tell me about the sweet girl with the sandal on her hands. My heart goes out to her... Our daughter was born with no fingers and is my hero!

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    1. I'm pretty sure she has cerebral palsy. I didn't see any cognitive limitations in her at all. The "scooter" was provided be Project Being There and is the primary way she gets around and the sandal is just to protect her hand since she uses it so much on the floor/ground to push herself around. She goes all over St. An's on it! There are some videos of her on PBT's site. The a very pretty little girl.

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  17. They are all so precious, especially the little ones. I am in tears looking at them. They all are God 's children, and I pray that they will grow up well to fit in with the society. I love the picture of Livy with the little one, you can feel the love, compassion she has for these children, she is such an inspiring, admirable young lady, you must be tremendously proud of her. I will frequently contribute donation to this Project Being There.

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    1. Thank you Mimi! thank you! I truly believe the success, especially of the older kiddos as they try to get them a trade, depends on it. ~nancy

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  18. I really wish we lived in a world where these kids and all the children like them could join loving families. They are obviously loved and well-cared for but an orphanage is never the best place to grow up. And I worry for their futures.

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  19. I Wish I could take them all home =D

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  20. whew. weepy. thank you for sharing these lovelies. I want to hug them all.

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  21. The little girl with the pink shirt and blue necklace, number 8 I think. She us absolutely stunning!

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  22. One thing I was curious about as I looked at the photos and read about your trip was what the children do when they become adults? I'm most familiar with China and children "aging out" of the chance to be adopted, but since St. An's isn't really doing adoptions anyway, that wouldn't apply...but eventually the children will reach adulthood. Do they face societal stigma? Are they able to get jobs and support themselves independently? I just don't know much about the situation for children who grow up in orphanages in countries other than China.

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  23. One thing I was curious about as I looked at the photos and read about your trip was what the children do when they become adults? I'm most familiar with China and children "aging out" of the chance to be adopted, but since St. An's isn't really doing adoptions anyway, that wouldn't apply...but eventually the children will reach adulthood. Do they face societal stigma? Are they able to get jobs and support themselves independently? I just don't know much about the situation for children who grow up in orphanages in countries other than China.

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    1. Project Being There is committed to helping the older kids learn a trade. while we were there, there were 4 kids who had move to Hanoi to learn a skill/trade. 1 in nursing school, 2 in the restaurant trade, and 1 in secretarial trade. THIS is huge for them. and likely not cheap. therefore the future of these kids is depending largely on the long term success of the volunteers and donations of PBT.

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