I am reminded of the night that we had to say goodbye to the children and the workers. I changed the background on my work computer today from a picture of Glacier National Park to that night. Since I can’t put the picture up online (it is one of the children), I will describe it to you. There are a small group of the older children standing in front of the videoke machine. They are singing a goodbye song to our team. There is one little boy towards the back that is into the song so much that he has his eyes closed. It is the most precious view. There is an older girl looking off into the distance clapping her hands and just singing her heart out. Now over the week, we saw the children signing songs and just having a good time with it. Never did we see them sing in such unison as they did that night. They knew the song by heart, their backs were turned to the videoke machine so they could not see the words. It took me a moment at first to realize that they were thanking us for coming, sharing the smiles, laughter, and love with them. I started to cry as I knew that the moment I was dreading was knocking at my door. Kyra sat there comforting me as I tried to regain myself. The children continued to sing and I dried my tears so that I would be able to spend my last few moments with them not in tears.
The next thing I knew, the song was over and they were being instructed to grab their chairs and say goodbye. “It’s over! They have to go now!”, I thought to myself. I was hoping that this would not be our last moment with them, but somehow inside I knew that it was the end for this trip. I hugged tightly and kissed all of the children that I could. I painfully watched as they headed towards the gate and over the road back to their house. It all had happened so quickly and before I knew it, all was over. I found myself next to Brent crying my heart out. Shortly after that, Carolyn came and gave me a kleenex to wipe my tears. Then, I was hugging both Jordan and Kyra as we all cried on each others shoulders. We regained a little bit back and went to drown our sorrows in ice cream. We pulled it together just in time for the rest of the night where we managed to have some fun.
As I looked at that picture while at work, I was brought back to that moment. It drew tears to my eyes. I am glad that I was able to love on the children so much that they were telling me they loved me. Who knew you could fall in love with so many children in less than a week? I feel blessed that God gave me the opportunity to go and love on these children. They were truly worth every moment of the trip!