It is been more than a month but I am still on a high. Our visit to Saint Rita Orphanage is definitely one of the highlights of the first half of 2014. It all started when I was sorting the items for our garage sale. There were items like a well-loved baby bolster pillow and 3rd-degree hand-me-down baby blanket that I did not have use for but it did not feel right to sell them. I was not comfortable giving them to preggy first-time-mom friends because these items, although still useful are not as cute as they used to. What to do? What to do? And then a lightbulb moment. Why not donate? Soon, almost half of the baby and toddler items that were supposed to be for sale, were transferred to the “donations” box. I mentioned in one of my blog post of my plans of visiting an orphange. Leslie contacted me thru FB and said she wanted to join. We asked our online group, Newlyweds@Work, if anyone wanted to donate. Last June 22, a total of 10 families went to orphanage with us.
Maybe around 15 more were not able to come but gave donations in cash and in kind. You know who you are. Thank you! Special thanks too to Unilab for the medicines and URC for the noodles.
I am so amazed at what a small commited group can do. Wednesday before the scheduled visit, I got another lightbulb moment. What if we have friendship bracelets that our kids can give to the orphans. The bracelets would make great reminders to our kids and to the St. Rita kids of our outreach activity. I got that idea at around 11PM. By the next morning, we got so many pledges for loom bracelet donations from our N@W sisses. We received so many that we still have a lot left for maybe 2 more orphanage visits. To this day when Aki wears his red and blue loomie, he remembers the new friends he made that day. The one he remembers most is John Bosco, a 3 year old boy with cerebral palsy. Every night, Aki and I pray that God sends loving adoptive parents to the kids of St. Rita. Please include them in your prayers too.
This is Aki chasing a little boy named JR.
Let me give you a tour of the orphanage. St Rita is home to 13 babies with ages 6 months to 1.5 years old and to 8 toddlers from 2 to 5 years old. Most of the kids were abandoned in the hospital where they were born.
This is how the place looks like from the entrance.
I love that there are open spaces where the kids run.
In the receiving hall, there is a statue of Saint Rita.
While our kids played with the toddlers, we, mommies stayed mostly at the babies’ room. I can’t find the words to describe how I felt when for the first time, a St. Rita baby looked at me and raised her arms, asking to be hugged and carried.
By 5PM, it was time for dinner. We ordered kiddie meals from Jollibee and a bilao of pansit malabon for the Ate’s.
Allow me to share with you the poem posted in the receiving hall.
“Legacy of an Adopted Child”
Once there were two women who never knew each other,
One – you do not remember, the other you call mother.
Two different lives shaped to make yours,
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
The first gave you life, and the second taught you to live in it.
The first gave you a need for love and the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent; the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears.
One gave you up – that’s all she could do.
The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.
Now you ask through all your tears the age-old question through the years;
Heredity or environment – which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling – neither – just two different kinds of love.
For those who want to donate, here are the contact information of Saint Rita Orphanage.
These are what they need
– XL Diapers
– Milk. Please call first and ask for the specific milk that the kids need.