This has been exceptionally hard to articulate and put down in words. We both feel we will be ‘unpacking’ this for a long time to come. But we’ve had a try. xxx
It’s called Minsk Baby Home 1 but it’s so much more than that; it’s a home, hospital, hospice and more recently a respite centre. Not all their babies and children are orphans: Many families need this specialist level of care for their child and live too far away.
We had pushed for this visit despite being advised that it could be harrowing and emotionally challenging, but we wanted to see what we could do to help and to get our blankets to the children.
First we visited their tiny babies, many with various and development issues associated with fetal alcohol syndrome, others severe birth defects. We were positively encouraged to interact, so obviously we were right in there for baby cuddles with their new blankets.
The Home is developing a respite centre with the Government pushing them; its success will come down funding levels. There were two children in the respite area. Both only in for short stays. Both with profound disabilities. Both looking super snug in their blankets. Hope their parents love them.
The palliative care section was wonderfully calm and peaceful place. Children and babies doted on by caring nursing staff. They particularly loved that the blankets were being given to these children. This was a beautiful thing to be able to do.
We found more children throughout our visit.but Everyone was left with a Woolly Hug. Such an amazing thing to be able to do from us all. Gorgeous to see children’s reactions.
The Baby Home is a loving place full of dedicated and caring staff. Observing the children’s reactions with staff tells the true story of their relationship. They adore each other. The Home is spotless but clearly runs on a shoe string budget.
Yes this day was exceptionally emotionally tough. No question. But overriding this, we have come away feeling inspired to do more. We must do more. How this will manifest itself will take time to think through.
Apologies if this post is somewhat rambling. We’ve never felt so exhausted. Huge love woollies. The Billie’s Blankets were so very perfect today. Even more so as it was Billie’s anniversary today. Thirteen years on.
Love to Billie’s family from us all. xxx