From Rob's email: On our way back yesterday we visited Kind Hearts for the last time. They waited for us about 1 1/2 hours past their typical departure time and greeted us like rock stars! I think we got some good pictures and when we left you could have ripped my heart out. Eh wed eh shah loh, Eh wed eh shah loh's all around. I love you, I love you, I love you . . .
The time at Trees of Glory has been bittersweet for us all. This is where 'A', the little boy we sponsor, attends. We had big hopes for what the days there would look like with him. As it turned out, it didn't go as planned. We had hoped they could spend a lot of time playing with him and holding him. Here is a little of Rob's email about TOG and little 'A':
I just got up. Last night the power went out during dinner so we ate by candlelight and flashlight. It sent us to bed early which was a really good thing as we have all been exhausted. I have to make this quick because there are people in line behind me. We met 'A' yesterday and got video of us giving him his care package. He is very shy but has a great little smile. He kept his head down most of the time and I couldn't see it but he was smiling. He does not speak Amharic, but Oromifa, which they speak in the countryside. After meeting him, Simret, the founder of Trees of Glory, told me that he was found on the streets in the village up the road, abandoned, and both of his parents are dead. He is now living with an old woman in a different village near TOG. When I heard this, I had to take a walk to regain my composure as I was devastated and wanted to put him in my suitcase and bring him home. We were only at TOG for 2 hours yesterday and handed out care packages so we didn't get to spend any one-on-one time with him but we are going back today to hang out for a lot longer. I plan to spend a lot of time with him and let him know that we love him and will come back to see him again.
'A' is very afraid and speaks very little. We got some pictures today but he would not really interact. He smiled as I was playing with some kids on a merry-go-round but he cried when I picked him up.
So . . . I am heartsick for this darling child. He was 4 years old when they brought him to TOG. Simret is the incredible woman who cares for these children and she is looking after him when he is there with her. But, my mother's heart cannot stop weeping for him. I look at my little boy who is the same age and cannot begin to describe the depth of grief at the thought of him alone on the streets and wandering. Looking for food, safety, warmth, his mommy and daddy. So many questions . . . did he see them die, what has he endured in his short life, how long was he alone? When I tuck my children into bed, I walk away and weep some more.
Father of the fatherless, please protect him, hold him in your hands, comfort his tiny heart . . .