A word of advice: if you want a peaceful evening snuggling with a favorite baby, do NOT do what I did yesterday.
I walked into the room where all the girls were watching a movie and I yelled, "I'm going to Carrefour to see the New Life Link babies. Who wants to come along?"
Next thing I knew, I was sitting in the truck with 23 girls, 2 nannies, Michaelle, the carpenter, Lamarre, 5 mattresses, and 7 pumpkins! We drove in the dusk and eventually dark through awful traffic for an hour and a half. Despite the crowded conditions and the sore bottoms, we had a great ride. Kattia led all the girls in praying and singing the "Jesus is My Chauffeur" song as we started on our way. And the rest of the way, the girls kept pointing and shouting, "Men Nwel! There's Christmas!" Any Christmas decor that we could see from the street earned the "There's Christmas!" shriek. The girls ooh-ed and aah-ed over Christmas trees, blow-up Santa's, and colored lights the whole way there.
And when we got there, it was a stampede to get into the NLL house and get their hands on their favorite babies. It was already 7pm, so some of the little ones were already sleeping, but the rest swarmed the girls and reveled in the love and attention of their surrogate moms and big sisters.
The house is beautiful! It's clean, it's airy, it has multiple open balconies where the kids can play, and it has real tile floors! There seemed to be far more nannies than when they were at HFC, and everyone seemed better cared for and happier. I was so glad to finally get to see the house and the babies again. Plus, the girls who generally refuse to have their photo taken always let me take photos when they have a baby in their arms. Big time bonus!
It was hard to pull the girls away from their babies when it was time to leave. Many carried toddlers all the way to the front door before kissing them and sending them back upstairs. I saw Julie clinging to Mikerlange, and Clara looking pleadingly at Merline Guillaume: "Don't leave!" Guerdine was crying when she climbed into the truck after putting Guedline into her crib. I am always awed by how strongly our orphaned and abandonned girls can give love.
I tried to get photos of all the babies and I have put them online so NLL adoptive families can see them. This link should work to view them: http://www1.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=260409964/a=16522332/t_=16522332
Les familles adoptives: j'ai essaye de faire des photos de tous les enfants, malgre la courte duree de notre visite et l'heure (il y en avait beaucoup qui dormait). Vous pouvez les voir en suivant ce lien: http://www1.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=260409964/a=16522332/t_=16522332