(see song list- 'Albertine') This song is about the artist's visit to Africa and her connection she made to an orphan named Albertine who survived the genocides in Rwanda.
Her lyrics (mostly scripture) resonate in me:
"Now that I have seen, I am responsible, Faith w/out deeds is dead; now that I have held you in my arms, I cannot let go till you are;
I am on a plane across a distant sea, but I carry you in me; I will tell the world, I will tell them where I've been, I will keep my word, I will tell them Albetine."
India is my Albertine.
This little girl in the red dress is my Albetine.
This day that I anticipated for a whole year- I could not wait to spend the day at Sova's orpahnage and see where she grew up. I am embarresed to say- once we got Sova I couldnt wait to get out of there. It wasnt even the conditions, the heat, or the over crowdedness- it was the Other Children. I was so focused on getting Sova that I guess I wasnt prepared to spend the day w/ orphans that were Not going home ...it was a horrible feeling.
This little girl (red dress) wandered in our room right as we met Sova. She stood in the doorway and watched us.
Even though I was fully in the moment and thrilled to be holding my daughter- I could not get over the fact that there was this little orphan who stood near by watching Mike and I love on her little friend. Sova was getting the hugs and love she has been longing for but then...what about this other girl...why was she not being held and doted upon...it really hurt. You can see in the pics- she was trying so hard to get in our family moment and feel wanted too.
Here the same girl is 20 minutes later... in a small, loud playroom with 20 other preschoolers...passed out from either exhaustion or possibly sadness
Looking back I know we were in process overload and shock- our senses where being ambushed, but I still regret not loving on the other children more...that is one mistake we will not make in Ethiopia!
At the orphanage, children were craving our attention calling out "mommy" "mommy" to me. Once I answered a little boy's 'mommy' call and he froze- beamed and then held up a picure he was drawing for me to compliment him on.
The children love visitors but we could not help not to feel horrible for coming for only one child. Over and over again Mike and I would repeat to eachother, 'I wish we can take more home.'
You cant experience something like this and then go home and forget.
I dont want to forget either.
Sova has not forgotten...it is so ingrained her her memory I dont think she ever will, nor will she let us forget. Tonight she once again told me that she was crying for me in India...2 years home and still wondering what took us so long...
"Now that I have seen, I am responsible, faith without deeds is dead."