Growing up Nkoaranga

It’s been a long few months. I have some ongoing medical issues that are being frustratingly evasive, and it’s not clear whether I’m going to be able to start LSE this year or not. Which would mean that I’d be another year out, and the kids another year older, by the time I could conceivably return full time to Nkoaranga orphanage and to Tanzania. I get scared thinking how big my babies will be by the time I return – and it breaks my heart into tiny pieces not to be there to see it.

Stevie’s big mouthed grin

Dainess’s expectant, “Don’t you want
to play with me?” face
Little grandfather Simoni’s appraising look 
Dainess’s melodramatic,
the-world-is-ending face

I try to remember, that getting older means getting stronger – Ebenezer is a strong, healthy baby, not a vulnerable preemie. Zawadi, who at a year couldn’t even crawl, is walking and talking in full sentences. Simoni is running and jumping, when a year ago, because of his rickets, he could only scoot across the floor.

Simoni’s cheeky grin

And then I see these. Pictures of our “big kids” now, back when they were little – and their personalities shine right through every pore. The same kids, with the same hearts, the same strengths, and the same weaknesses. And I know that even as they get bigger, they’ll
still be my babies, always.

Tumaini (left) and Dainess (right),
giggling their faces off. 

I miss the babies they were. But I could not be prouder of the kids they are becoming.