Growing Up - Skillful Cook
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Growing Up

Baby in a crib.

When we first came to the Philippines to work at this orphanage one year ago, I was totally enthralled with the babies. And some things do not change, in a year, orrr in a hundred years. I am still totally enthralled with the babies.

The other day I was standing in the yard and I saw one of my most adored babies - one of the ones that actually liked me back right from the beginning - walking around holding an auntie's hand.

Wait, WALKING? When did that happen?

Woman feeding a bottle to a baby.

I immediately flashed back to the first week that we were here, when I would lift her high in the air to see her smile, and hold her, and roll the balls to her, and watch her laugh hysterically whenever I would dip down with her on my hip in anticipation of the bounce back up.

I just stood in the yard, totally captivated watching her walk around like such a big girl. I was crouched on the ground trying to get a picture of her and trying not to get overly emotional thinking about how much she had changed and grown in just one year, and all of a sudden the most ridiculously perfect thing happened:

she ran to me from across the yard with a flower in her hand and threw her arms around my neck in a giant baby hug.

Two young girls.

This is the same little girl whose feet barely used to reach the floor from her bouncy walker when I first met her.

How? Why? Wait, time, waaaait!

Time has passed. It has left us. The sweet pea who used to need holding and feeding is now not only walking, but running, squatting, jumping, falling, getting back up, and bending down to pick flowers. And that's just the beginning. It's that kind of happy-sad that makes you get a little knot inside your stomach.

Little girl on a sidewalk.

And to add to my mushy heart today, I always feel especially emotional about the passage of time here because this is an orphanage. These kids have yet to meet their forever mommies and daddies. Every day, another developmental milestone is reached, another funny moment happens, and another part of their personality emerges. Every child gets another day older, and that the people who will eventually be these little ones' parents aren't able to experience those moments. Praise the Lord that this place is full of loving aunties, house parents, and staff who take joy in the little moments that their future parents will have to miss.

Ok, enough with the heart-deep-watery-eyes stuff. How bout a few more pictures of growing up? Cause it's happening everywhere
around here. Like holding, pointing, reaching for toys.

Little girl holding blue toys.

Rolling and screaming, aka learning how to ask for attention.

Young boy on a play mat.

Taking turns.

Kids playing on a slide,

Expressing personality.

Young girl.

Losing teeth.

Young boy missing a tooth.

Reaching the age of pulling your hair to the side for a picture.

Young girl looking at the camera.

The beauty of these kids is beyond words. I ♥ you, sweet and caring blog readers, for allowing me to bring pieces of this world into yours. In honor of growing up, and time passing, and moments that we can never have back, let's have a fun weekend enjoying our most loved ones for exactly how they are right now. And then let's come back and make something yummy together on Monday. Okeeee?


Filed Under: Living Abroad

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Beautiful post, Lindsay! Your photos never fail to put a smile on my face. As much as I love your recipes, I’ve grown very fond of reading up on your thoughts and daily life encounters. Have a great weekend!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    eyes a little watery.

    When I was younger I used to volunteer at an animal shelter in philadelphia. I was an “animal socializer” which meant I would pet and play with the dogs and cats (tough job but someone’s got to do it). Sometimes I took friends with me and some of them loved it and some of them got very upset and wanted to adopt all the animals in the building. I just looked at it like: they need love, I have love; I can’t adopt another animal but I can come here and love on them once a week or so.
    Flash forward to now, reading your beautiful post… I now have a baby of my own (an amazing, gorgeous flash of energy and love) and it is definitely making me look at the world differently. Every child I see is someone’s Madeleine (that’s my little girl)(rhymes w/ Johnny Cash’s “walk the line”). So to see these beautiful children without mommies and daddies, it just hurts my heart. Thank goodness they have you and the wonderful people you work with. And they do look happy!
    What a beautiful thing you are doing with your life.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    My future adoptive mommy heart is aching right now – both with happiness from knowing that God is caring for these sweet kiddos, and sadness that they don’t have their forever parents just yet. SO THANKFUL that I know you’ve been there loving and teaching them 🙂

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Beauty Full! What orphanage are you at? Both of my children are from Heart of Mary Villa in Malabon. My daughter and I will be going to visit in June for 2 weeks! (thanks again for the coffee tips!)

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    *Sigh* . Beautiful post, beautiful pictures. It just melts my heart every time I read your orphanage posts. You inspire me in ways unimaginable. God bless you and your endeavours more! The kids are just beautiful. And lucky to have you around to bring their stories to the world. *Sniff*.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Once again, this is such a beautiful post. I love hearing about the kids that you’re serving over there – it’s heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wonderful post! So glad you have been sharing more than your food with us this year. Prayers for the orphanage and your next steps!!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Girl, I am crying and laughing all in one post. Love this. And that “Taking Turns” photo??? Awesome.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Aww Lindsay, I’m tearing up too, and I haven’t lived with these lovely children for a year like you! Those moments are so precious… And you have a beautiful way with words that brings out the miracles in these moments. It’s so touching to read.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I just found your blog. I grew up in Manila as an MK and your food and your pictures are making me homesick! thanks for sharing everything and loving those kids. I will visit your site again soon!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I always read your blog, and I love these posts! I have an 18 month old who is always learning and doing new things each day. These children are adorable, and I pray they find forever mommies and daddies to share the rest of their achievements with!! 🙂

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Awwww…that is precious! Time really flies. I’ve only been blogging and following your blog (as yours was one of the first food blogs I became familiar with) for a short time, but I quickly fell in love with reading about all of your ventures in the Philippines. I will miss reading your stories about the precious kids when you move back to the states.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve decided you simply can’t move back, because I will miss seeing pictures of these kids too much! But I will still enjoy your recipes! 😉

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Gorgeous pictures and reflection on your time, Lindsay. It brought tears to my eyes – I identify so much with this feeling. I volunteered at an orphanage in Romania for a year and couldn’t believe how many important moments in those kiddos lives I was able to share – it was humbling for me, and made me wish their parents (some identified and some not yet) could have been there to witness it. Enjoy your last few weeks!