Today was such a big day! Taking Ivelina out into the city of Shumen for visa portraits. Taking a walk in the park. Meeting a few of her friends at the orphanage. Showing her a picture album of our family. And playing doctor for hours of course! Whew!
In a way, today was the best day so far for us. In a way it was also tough for me. Right before we left the orphanage for our lunch break, we saw a group of children come into the dining area for lunch. These were not children from Ivelina's group, but this was the first time we had any contact with any of the other orphans. Ivelina's orphanage is a medical care center for children with special needs. This group we saw were the most severe in their special needs. These children were so sad. They were smelly from soiled diapers. They were rocking and moaning. They were hunched over and they were all older in age. It was all just heart-wrenching for me. I know we can do nothing for the "other" children right now. I also know that the reality is that their future is bleak. The chance of them all finding families to take care of them is slim. Even more heart wrenching is that many of them have living families in the area who just can't or don't want to care for them. We met one boy who was crying because he wants so very badly to go stay with his family for the weekend. This boy was 18 years old. We said hello to many of them. A few of the children who could walk came to hug us. The interaction only lasted for a few moments, but it was enough to bring me to tears once we were in the car.
It's too much to process. Too much to put into words in one blog post. The needs are so great. Just pray for these children we saw today. Some are healthy (like two twin girls we met this afternoon) but many have very special needs. As one of the workers said to us as we were leaving today, "Pray for these children. They need so much and all we have to give them is love."
On a lighter note, here is a beautiful photo of the mountain near Ivelina's village of Drumev. There evidently some very famous very ancient carvings in that rock face.