Friday, December 3, 2010

Buwa of the House

Today is the second day with Junu. We arrived around 1:15. It was still naptime. Dad and I went upstairs to find all the kids on a small futon-like cushion snuggled up with one another. They looked like little sausages in a bun. It was the sweetest sight. I wanted to take a picture, but felt I should ask permission first. The picture didn't happen, but this sight is etched in my mind. There were approximately 11 toddlers together, 8 side by side (Junu being one of them) and 3 at the crown of the other children's heads. Beautifully precious.

Dad and I went outside into the small courtyard and sat in the sun while waiting for our girl to wake up. One of the younger didis (pronounced "dee dees" which are the nannies) brought Junu out. She was still waking up, still very sleepy and teary. She came to my lap, but I could tell this is still difficult for her. Difficult to let go, difficult to trust, difficult to be herself, difficult to respond, difficult to look at me. Once again, I am so grateful for the patience God has given me and for the love which permeates all of these appearances. I can handle this process of bonding. Junu broke into tears, she cried and cried. These tears seemed deep. Deep in the sense it had to do with her awareness of what is happening, her own fears perhaps, her sense of vulnerability. One of the other didis came to comfort Junu. She held out her arms for Junu, but Junu didn’t want to go…she wanted to stay with me despite her tears and discomfort. I can’t tell you how this felt, it is beyond words.

Junu continued to cry big crocodile tears; Dad gave me his hankie to wipe them away, which I did lovingly. We joined the other children back in the building and yes, Junu was still crying. Her main didi, Sanu, brought Junu into her arms and she calmed. Sanu has been with Junu since she entered the orphanage at 5 weeks of age. It’s hard at times to walk this road because I know given time, she would calm in my arms, but it seems the didis don’t really want Junu to cry. I’ve never minded tears, I just know a calm quiet presence can change it all. I am not yet able to be myself, but in time, this will change. I keep trusting.
While we were up in the playroom, we played with my pink scarf. Sanu and I wrapped it around Junu’s head, hence the photo. As you can see, she tolerated the experience, but was still distant. Dad hopped in for a quick photo opt, of course with a little one attached to his hip. And speaking of Dad, we have decided he is the Buwa, grandfather, of the house. The kids are nuts over him. He was swinging them from their feet. They couldn’t get enough. Really, they’d lay their little bodies down in front of him and put their feet in the air, ready to go for another ride. He was soooooo tired, but he couldn’t say no, he just kept swinging and playing. A wise teacher once said “Playing and praying are the same vibration”, therefore today Dad is a holy man. Actually, everyday. And so….that’s why he is now buwa, the children’s name for him.

The most precious time of this day was when Junu and I sat together while Buwa was playing with the other kids. She sat and let go. She explored my heart necklace with her tiny fingers (I’ll probably never take if off or at least until she can come home with me), she played with the beads, looking at them intently. She rested with me, it felt so wonderful. The little bear we brought her the other day has now become her favorite. The didi said that after we left the first day, she went to the bear and carried it around the rest of the day. Even the other kids know it’s her booba (bear) and will spontaneously bring it to her. She seems to be very respected and cared for by the other children.

Upon our leaving she was up and playing with the other kids. Here’s the picture. In the playroom there is one traditional rocking horse with two kids on it, a plastic rocking toy that Junu is in and one of those rocking wooden boats filled with at least five kids. They were in a full on rocking frenzy while simultaneously yelling “bye bye” with all their might. It was a hypnotic mantra of shear joy and child energy.

After four hours of play, it was time for us to leave, I never want to leave. She was still in her rocking toy, but stopped to receive a big buwa kiss and a sweet mama kiss. As Dad and I descended the stairs, the children rushed to the stair rail waving and saying “bye bye” “bye bye buwa”. I think these children have stolen Dad’s heart. He woke up in the night with tears streaming down his face. The situation is so sad and I will describe more of what is going on in a later post. For now, however, lets leave this day knowing that we, Dad and I, will NEVER be the same again. We are forever changed by Junu, the other children and the people who are devoted to caring for the children who have been left behind. Junu is the last one to be adopted from her orphanage. With adoptions being shut down in Nepal, it is unlikely they will have a family. Their life may continue to be in this orphanage. Despite the love and nurturing of all the didis, it is not the same as the love of a parent. Dad is really touched and deeply sad. We will do our best to make our time there fun and full of love. We are soaking up each moment, each hug and each laugh.

And so, before I close for the day I want to take a moment of thanks for my father. He has been the most incredible support. He has cried with me, made me laugh, protected me and inspired me. This trip has been physically challenging for him, but he is always there with a smile, a hand to hold and shoulder to cry upon. Sometimes I call him my little Sherpa. He is so comfortable with Junu and already swoops her up in his love. He has been willing to go the distance with me on this adoption and also feels the plight of all orphans on his heart. I pray there is a way to change this world so every child has a loving home. It is my prayer, it is my conviction, it is for all the children and it is for Junu.
Peace and blessings,


  1. Sharlyn, you must write a book about this trip and the children. I am so amazed by the depth of emotion expressed. Your Dad is a wonderful man and thank God every day for him. The children will miss baba!! Will you be able to bring Junu home when you leave there? We are all praying for your trip home with Junu and Baba!! Much love, my friend and hugs to Junu.

  2. Damn you girl..i have had to stop and get some tissues more then once in this post Honey!
    Much Love,
    Ty & Rob

  3. tears. tears. tears. bless you. bless your father.bless Junu. bless her siblings...XOXO