On Tuesday morning, we got to go on a grand adventure with Little Man: to the orthodontist! Most five-year-olds don’t have orthodontists, let alone five-year-old orphans, but our little guy does, because… well, he’s just that special. His condition (which we know no more about that before we went, by the way) causes his top jaw to be too narrow, which is keeping two of his teeth from having room to grow in. He has an appliance which he has adjusted each week, and his lovely orthodontist is doing all of his care free of charge. (Wow! We are so very thankful for this!)
When we arrived he had a big smile for Lovely Orthodontist, hopped right into the chair and pushed the little button to go up and down a bit before settling on just the right height. He popped out his appliance and handed it to her for inspection and adjustment. He totally knew the deal, and it was super cute. I’m glad we got to see this in action so that we can relate back to it when we take him to our orthodontists at home, especially making sure they know that he is a chair-adjustment button pro. (Sidenote: isn’t it awesome that we already *have* an orthodontist? Would you even believe me if I told you he has specific experience with kids with Apert Syndrome? Does God not work *all* things together for the good of those who love Him???)
After lunch on both Monday and Tuesday, we had a nice long break to eat and do a bit of wandering while LM and the other children took a nap, then we got to go back and see him again at about 4:30. On Tuesday, we did our wandering without Eti, and Trevor was brave and resourceful enough to find us an archeological museum to look around in. I’m pretty sure we were their first paying customers in a very long time.
When we returned to the orphanage, the children were just being led outside to their little play area. LM broke away from the group and ran to us to give us hugs when he saw us. It was very possibly the best moment of the whole trip for me. We spent our afternoon outside blowing bubbles and defending our bags against LM’s very adept little zipper-opening colleagues.
All the children were given a snack from the bounty of Hershey bars and Wal-Mart fruit snacks we had brought. The carers would bring out two or three mini-chocolate bars for the group of nine and break them up into individual squares and then place them into the kids mouths like communion wafers. The little ones all huddled around with their mouths wide open like baby birds. The fruit snacks were handled the same: one or two packets for the whole group, though we had brought 75 packets or so, fed to the kids one at a time straight into their mouths. It was adorable to watch, but the cuteness was tinged with a bit of sadness that this was *such* an unusual treat for them.
On Wednesday morning we got to go on another outing with LM, this time to get his visa photo taken. This was a new experience for him, and it was obviously a little daunting. He was a bit tearful sitting in the chair, but when the photographer told him to smile, our brave little trouper dutifully flashed his sweetest grin.
Afterwards we had some time sitting with him and his carer Diana outside the shop while Eti waited for the prints. Another woman who knew him and Diana passed by (Trevor thinks she also works at the orphanage. He also thinks he’s fluent in LM’s language. Kind of like Dory from Finding Nemo speaking Whale. Of course, she actually could, so who knows? He certainly speaks more of it than I do!) while we were waiting, and we had the privilege, once again, of hearing someone ask LM who we were, and hearing him say “Mama ee Daddy.” It never got old.
I had some cheese crackers in my purse which proved quite the hit, and filled our waiting time perfectly. If he remembers nothing else about us when Trevor goes back for him, he’ll at least remember that he was well-fed when we were around.
And that was our last day of visiting him. After a quick lunch we were on our way back down to the capital city to sign some papers and do some more sightseeing. It was a whirlwind, but he bid us farewell with a cheerful “Ciao!”, and we know that he is in very good hands until we can get him home.