An Amazing Welcome Home!

Unfortunately I am still waiting for the boxes of gifts that Danone sent to my hotel to arrive. Luckily I had bought some gifts at the airport for the staff & managed to pack some gifts for the children in my suitcase.

Every time I pull into the Go Vap district, I get butterflies in my stomach; I look at the faces of the local people, always wondering if we could be related in some way…

I am always filled with a mixture of happiness & sadness; happiness to see the children again, & sadness wondering what happened to my birth mother. I also suffer from a bit of guilt, for being one of the lucky ones that managed to be adopted by a wonderful family, and a life filled with advantages, that the older children who were not adopted did not get a chance to have.  A lot of the nursemaids & carers are older orphans from Go Vap & I count them as my ‘brothers & sisters’.

So many ‘if’s & buts ‘ cross my mind; If there was no war, then I’d be with my birth mother, but then I would not have known my adoptive family,  whom I love with all my heart…

It was a beautiful sunny day & we were greeted very warmly by all at Go Vap orphanage. The Directors had put on a delicious spread of Vietnamese food for us (Son Michael, Jessica, Mum & me).  They have nothing, yet they are so generous! Let’s just say, I do not think I could fit anymore in my tummy for a whole week! Mrs Loan has a very big heart & gave all of us beautiful gifts. My mum, Jessica & I received beautiful necklaces from Da Nang, & I also received a beautiful bracelet.

Having Son Michael there to translate is brilliant, and I always feel sorry for him as he has to translate everything for me. Unfortunately the baby I am holding in my profile picture cannot be operated on; apparently the baby has missed the ‘window of opportunity’. If the beautiful baby was to be operated on, the pressure could be too much & end up killing the baby. To see a young baby who has a wonderful character forming, and then knowing that it will not live long, makes me feel so sad & helpless! I wish I could do something, but medically there is nothing that can be done. I hope my project to attract more volunteers in the medical profession gains more awareness, as it just breaks my heart to see an innocent little life end so soon!

Mrs Loan invited mum & me to go to the beach next weekend.  All the times I’ve visited Vietnam, I never made time to visit a beach, so this is an awesome gift Mrs Loan has offered me. The trip to the beach is done for the kids who have been good students.

Leanne came after lunch to feed the babies, & it was great to see her. She has a wealth of information as to where to go to get the cheapest & best beauty treatments!

An Australian lady & her husband that I met last year, popped by to see Son Michael as he is helping them with their adoption of a gorgeous baby boy. I am always amazed at his energy & giving nature! Before Son Michael departed, to visit a few of the other people he was helping, he left behind massive bags of children’s clothes & the cutest shoes for the orphans, which were then evenly distributed to the children’s wards.  You can see Son Michael’s charitable work & information on ‘Teach Me To Fish’ on http://www.kidswithnoborders.org/Home.asp

I then spent the remainder of my time with the children. Again, they nearly knocked me to the floor when I entered the room! I gave them the toys & it is always so endearing how they share with each other, and they always make sure, that if one of them has been left out, that it duly brought to attention.  To see the children trying to build the kites I had brought & happily playing with the shuttlecocks & colouring pencils, brought tears to my eyes. At this point, I also wished I could split myself in two as they all wanted to fly their kites & shuttlecocks with me. Their nursemaid Phuong is very loving & caring towards them, in fact all of the staff is brilliant with the kids! Who better to look after orphans, than people who were orphans themselves?! The children’s good behaviour is a testament to how well cared for they are!

Every time I visit Nhat, I try to spend just as much time with the other hydrocephalus babies; it gets harder watching their heads getting bigger & their life ebbing away… However, whilst they are still alive, they still need to be loved & cared for. I just wish more volunteers would be able to spend more time with them, rather than in the healthy new born babies ward. However, the ward has improved, thanks to an English teaching school who decorated the ceilings with beautiful decorations. The nursemaids do the best they can, but more help is needed to make their remaining time on earth comfortable, and to give them just as much love & attention as the healthy children.

I got to spend more time with my little baby (Nhat); each time I see him it gets harder for me to leave him behind… I know I have become emotionally attached, but when you see him, I dare you not to get too attached too!

After doing my ‘rounds’, it was time to go back to leave. Tonight we are having farewell drinks at the Saigon Bar for Son Michael as he is leaving for the US on Tuesday morning.

The Cuban band is still there, I hope it’s not their night off as I want to get Son Michael to try salsa dancing :O)

Until tomorrow!

Love & light,

Kim

xox


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