It’s movie night, which means cuddling with the kids under the starry sky, swatting away the occasional mosquito, and straining with 90 other pairs of eyes to see the images on the 13″ laptop screen.
As soon as the opening credits begin, D. comes close for a cuddle. Pushing himself up into my lap and wrapping his legs around mine- he grunts, “Jane! Ainu!” (Jennie! Look!) as he points and laughs intermittently at the animated horses galloping across the screen and the bright stars overhead.
Little B’s hand reaches out to find mine partway through the film, staying attached the rest of the way. M., still new to us, crosses his legs like a little man. His rough, dry skin rubs against mine in stark contrast to the kids who have been with us for a long time- the other kids with soft skin who can’t remember chronic malnutrition as clearly as he can. His little head, with a fresh haircut, nods off to sleep, finally finding a resting place against me – my arms wrapped around him and my hand resting gently on his chest, where a small heart beats steadily.
Tonight is my night on the prayer watch. I will be praying long after these little bodies fold into sleep. Holding them, remembering their stories, and thinking about their futures makes my heart ready to pray.