Monday, October 14, 2013

Here's Something New and Different

So, it was very disheartening to not be able to attend worship services at all today.  It was partly my fault since I didn't do my research ahead of time and find a church here in Pasto.  That being said, I don't think we would have been able to go anyway.  Diana was up a several times last night with her head hurting.  I was beginning to doubt our decision to not take her for medical attention.  She was really quite grumpy and tired (understandably so) this morning at breakfast.  Also, did I mention that it takes about 1 1/2 -2 hours to get everyone showered, dressed, teeth brushed and ready for the day?

As the day moved on, she started feeling a little better and I was even able to comb her hair and get it into a poof without too much discomfort.  Patrice took us to UniCentro (like a small shopping mall) around 11am.  We let the kids look in the toy store first.  I think it was Diana and Yuli's first time ever in a toy store.  We walked up and down every aisle.  The boys were very patient throughout the whole thing.  I could tell they were done but they waited anyway.  It was fun to watch the girls look at all the toys.  Yuli just kept saying over and over, "Mira, Mira!"  (Look! Look!)  It was also sad.  I mean, I'm happy that we were able to share that experience with them but sad to think that they are 7 and 4 years old and never had that experience.  The funny part was, we found ourselves in the doll aisle.  Connor stood there for a minute and then said, "Well, this is a little weird."

We then found the food court.  It was actually pretty easy considering the size of the mall and they actually have signs that pointed out, "Plaza de la Comida."  I figured that one out all by myself.  I really would have liked to have the chance to figure out what/where I wanted to eat but the natives were restless (and hungry) so I just went over to Mister Pollo to order what I knew they wanted and would eat.  I can't believe I ended up eating another hamburger in Colombia.  I will say that Mister Pollo has the best plate for feeding children.  It's called the salchipapa grande.  It's a plate with french fries topped with once inch pieces of hot dog that have also been deep fried.  The kids love it.  They are really skimpy with the ketchup here, though.  [Side note: these kids really are ours.  When I first brought home Heinz Ketchup from the grocery store they all turned their noses up at it.  Once they saw the boys eating it, they tried it.  Now, they can't eat without it.]  As I sat eating my mediocre hamburger, I watched all the people coming through with plates of food from the other places... we'll not be making that mistake again.

We then stopped at Happy City.  It's like a Chuck E. Cheese, kinda.  The kids had a great time.  It's not cheap, though, so we allowed each of them to play 3 games.  For some, it's hard because they are so excited that they do all three and then have to wait on the others.  For others, it's hard because they know they only have three shots and they agonize over what to do.  All, however, had a good time.  Miss Princess Yuli was NOT happy when it was time to leave. 

After Happy City we hit the grocery store... yup, it's right there in the mall.  For a point of reference, we go through 2 loaves of bread in 3 lunches.  And I have no idea who thought peanut butter should only come in jars that hold 10 oz but they should be fired.  I have never seen kids eat as much as what Diana, Yuli and John eat.  It's insane.  The other morning at breakfast John drank 16 oz of yogurt, and ate scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, two giant dinner rolls, and a banana.  He's TWO for cryin' out loud.  Right now, I'm thankful that I only have to fix one meal a day. 

Oh, and did I mention that this whole trip was planned because I needed groceries?  Well, that's the reason but it worked out for the best.  While we were in Happy City, I was watching out the windows at a giant cloud rolling in.  The sky opened up and it started pouring.  If we had been at the park we would have been soaked.

We ended up spending more time in the room this afternoon than usual as a result of the weather.  Ken and I did pretty well with keeping everyone entertained.  However, we (I mean me in that we) had our first real experience with Princess Yuli.  I mean, I've met the princess before but this time she stayed for a while.  The girls and I were playing in our room and I could see that the tickling game was going to end up with someone injured really soon.  So I switched gears to another game (similar to tiddly-winks but a little easier).  Diana was right there with me but Yuli didn't want to stop.  I tried to engage her but she was hot over it.  She tried messing up the game and she and I ended up in a little confrontation.  I calmly (this is how I know God is here, because I'm never calm on my own) scooped her up and told her that she needed to sit on her bed for a while.  Please don't think this is time out.  The girl cannot handle being 'left' or being alone.  I would never do that to her.  It would be awful.  It's more than your usual kid not wanting to be by themselves.  She really has been left before.  Her intense fear of being left is justified.  Anyway, I sat her on her bed and then I sat down on the floor next to her bed to continue playing with Diana while Yuli worked it out.  Well, she worked it out all right.  She was so mad and crying so hard that she made herself throw up.  I'd never seen that before.  I'd like to go the rest of my life without seeing it again.  Just when I think I'm getting a handle on what's going on here with all of us... something like that happens.  I've never experienced that before with a child.  It breaks my heart.  I wonder what must've happened in this poor baby's life to bring her to this point.  It rips me in two.  And then I think about God.  He loves these kids more than I ever will.  Not only does He love them more, but He knows every detail of what has happened to her.  He witnessed it all.  He saw all of it.  These are His children.  And then I think about all of His other children that are still in the same place that my children were in.  The thought of it all, it's just too much to bear.  I wish I could bring them all home.  I wish more people realized just how great the need is.  Babies, innocent children living lives that most of us can't even wrap our brains around.  And we all, myself included, just continue on with our day, as if it's not happening.  This changes a person.  Once you know, you can't go back to not knowing.

One more thing:  Despite the fact that she was really hurting and there was nothing I could do about, there was some good that came from Diana hitting her head last night.  I had the opportunity to get closer to her than usual.  It's not that she a standoffish kind of person, it's more like she has things to do.  She's busy so it's a little more difficult to do those lovey, huggy, close type of things that help with attaching.  Anyway, after I carried her seven year old self all the way back to the hotel (one armed by the way b/c I had Yuli's hand with my other one), she was really content to lay and watch TV for a little while and I was able to lay on the bed with her and rub her back.  It was good.  Baby steps.

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