When we arrived at Givelight’s newest orphanage, it was just after 1 AM and the night sky was dark all around. The only thing that was illuminated in the entire neighborhood was the magnificent home that sheltered our precious girls as they slept soundlessly in their cozy bunk beds inside. As we entered the beautiful home, we wanted to run to see all our girls since we were so eager to meet all 26 of them! But, given the time, that would have to wait until morning when our girls would awake and get ready for school.
In the morning, we heard the pitter-patter of little feet as our girls were coming down the grand stairwell for their breakfast. We got ready eagerly so we could finally meet our girls. As we left our room and entered the hallways, all was silent. Our hearts dropped since we no longer heard any sounds of our girls, and all we could think of was that we must have missed the children because they had already left for school.
One of the caregivers saw my husband and I standing in the lobby, and gestured to us to follow her towards another room. She opened the door and that’s when we saw the most incredible sight imaginable- our 26 angelic girls all inside sitting at tables quietly enjoying their breakfast! Tears of pure joy swelled in our eyes and our girls stared at us, a bit perplexed as to why we had huge smiles on our faces but tears in our eyes. Fortunately, enthusiasm is contagious, and our girls could sense our sheer excitement to meet them and they were just as excited to have visitors who had traveled across the Atlantic to meet them.
We shared our names and then went to each child and had them share their name and their favorite color to break the ice. Soon after it was time for our girls to leave for school. The older girls climbed into a car to be driven to their school while the younger girls lined up in pairs and we walked them to school through the quiet neighborhood.
Our girls beamed proudly as they went into the schoolyard waving back at us while they giggled and whispered to their school friends about having special visitors from California.
When our children arrived back home from school that day, the bliss and fun continued! We made goodie bags together, blew balloons and bubbles, played soccer and tag, and then had relay races with balloons.
Each of our girls drew pictures, each displaying their own unique style and passion. We delivered them a library of books and witnessed the curiosity of all our girls blossom as they were mesmerized with the stories. Our girls sang songs for us and just expressed pure joy and gratitude for their fun-filled day. My husband and I felt truly blessed to have had the privilege of bonding with our precious girls. Our hearts ached as we said our goodbyes, but we were fully content, praise be to God. After this visit, we were content because we knew that our girls feel so very loved. We know they are so delighted to be in their new home. And we know they are growing to be confident young ladies who have an appreciation for their GiveLight family from around the world who love them dearly with all our hearts.
~Noshaba & Naeem Afzal
San Francisco Bay Area, California