As with any new environment, I had to learn through experiencing my new surroundings when I started visiting the special needs orphanage. Initially, it was hard to notice much more than all of the children requesting my attention, but once I got used to that and the children got used to me, I observed more and more within the orphanage.
One of the first things I noticed was how the staff was always busy doing something. It could be anything from changing a diaper, giving medicine, reading to a child, or feeding them, but there was always something to do. Keep in mind that at one time there were 33 children living in this three bedroom apartment, which was actually a two bedroom apartment because one of the bedrooms was used as an office and storage area. In a way, I felt sorry for the staff, because they never could get ahead of all of the needs of the children or laundry to fold, but they seemed to love the children and enjoyed helping them.
While walking around with a child or two in my arms, I would go to the large back bedroom and notice how many cribs were there. Due to the number of children sleeping there, it was almost wall to wall cribs, as you can see in the pictures below.
As you can see, some of the cribs were made of wood. The wooden cribs were very heavy, solid, and well made, but I was concerned that the paint was lead based, since they were so old. Many of the cribs were large enough to hold two or three babies at the same time!
In future blogs, I will share with you some of my other observations from the special needs orphanage. By this time, I was thinking the orphanage was called special needs, because it took so little time for the children to become special to me!