I spent most of Monday hanging out in Esther's office.
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned her- she's a social worker from Accra who moved into Good Shepherd a month after I got there and we've become good friends. She's an amazing woman and as been my biggest moral support/ally at school.
We were talking about how Esther wants twins and somehow it turned into this big joke about how she's going to mail me one, but we got stuck because I said I wanted a girl and she wants twin boys.
Tuesday morning, Esther calls me up to her office and goes, "Well, problem solved."
Three babies showed up at the orphanage overnight- two boys and a little girl.
They're not related and they were all found at different times, but Esther's only response when I asked how they all happened to come to us at the same time then was, "Social welfare knows I'm a strong woman."
No arguments there.
The newly-dubbed Mawuto (meaning "God's own") is the oldest at around 9 months. He's starting to teeth and can sit up and roll over by himself. He's the smiliest little guy who makes these ridiculously adorable faces with his turtlelike, toothless mouth. He spends most of his time babbling away to himself.
Prince is younger by maybe a month or two. He's slightly underweight and his skin is peeling all over, as if he got a bad sunburn. Between his physical condition and his excessive fussiness, he's the hardest to deal with, but he's become my little buddy.
Princess is the youngest at 5 or 6 months, and she's an absolute angel. She never cries. She just looks around with her huge, sweet brown eyes and will happily wait for you to feed or change her as long as you need. You can hear her across the room slurping on her fingers, but otherwise she barely makes a sound.
I love babies, and I've had so much fun with them the last couple days.
But, of course, infants are the last thing you want to see at an orphanage. Kids of any age are really the last things I want to see at an orphanage, but there's something particularly heartbreaking about staring into these little faces and knowing neither they nor us will ever know their exact birthdays or their original names or who their parents were, much less why they abandoned them.
The injustice of it makes me so helplessly angry.
As I said, Prince is by far the fussiest of the three. Esther is exhausted from caring for three babies and her thirty other children literally around the clock, and, understandably, she is beyond frustrated with him. We can't figure out what's wrong with him - he seems to want to cry simply for the sake of crying.
So Prince and I have spent a lot of time together to give her a much-needed respite.
In the rare times when I can calm him enough to lay quietly in my lap, he stares up into my face for as long as he can keep him eyes open. Finally, every time without fail, before he will give in and let himself fall asleep, he reaches out for my hand and hugs my arm to his chest, latching himself on to me with both of his frail little arms. Even in sleep, his grip doesn't fully relax.
It's as if he's afraid I'll be gone when he wakes up.
Certainly enough people have already walked in and out of his short life.
Just keep hanging on, kid.