When Sonja is happy she sings.


When Sonja is happy she sings.  She sings really softly to herself.  It is high and short. Quick notes. Cute notes. She moves her head side to side when she sings.  When I notice, I look at her and she smiles.  She sings a couple bars cute and loud for me.  Then she laughs at herself.  It is always an unpredictable song. Last time it was Ancient of Days.

The very first time we met Patrick he was wearing a dirty red double XL T-shirt. We took a taxi to Bulenga and got off. We had no idea where we were.  Sonja and I looked back and forth at each other. We waited for the other to have an idea-a confidence. 

Patrick was supposed to meet us. 
We stood together looking for Patrick, for the director of an orphanage.
Finally, this short young man bounced up to us in an oversized red t-shirt.  He took our hands and shook them.  We followed him up the hill towards an orphanage.
 
I had consented to visit Patrick and the orphanage, but I told Sonja that we shouldn’t commit to the orphanage.  We had two free weeks in Uganda and there were lots of options.
Patrick led us through the orphanage gate.  He began to tell us about the house but was cut off by the kids that had gathered around us.
The kids were dirty.  They had snot on their cheeks.  Their clothes were torn and brown from too much dirt.  Their smiles were huge, almost as big as their brown eyes.
They held our hands as Patrick showed us around the orphanage.  We saw the ‘classrooms’ and the ‘bedrooms’. We saw the bunks where the kids slept three or four to a mattress.  Kids held our hands and rubbed their hands across my arm hair. 
 
We were there for 20 minutes tops.  As we left the orphanage Patrick asked us what we thought. Would we come and stay with them for some time?
I wasn’t sure. It was overwhelming. So I decided to be silent. I kept my mouth shut.
“Patrick, we’d love to come back and spend a couple weeks at the orphanage,” Sonja said. She was smiling.  It was the sort of smile that is full of care and certainty. She was sold on coming back.
“Fantabulous,” Patrick shouted.  He clapped his hands.
 
After Patrick sent us on our way, I looked at Sonja, “I thought we were just checking it out!”
She looked at me, “I know, but don’t you think it will be so great? Sorry, we can tell Patrick no if you think we should do something else.”
I looked at her and laughed. Then I sighed, “I’m sure it will be good.”
We started walking back to the taxi park and Sonja began to hum something to herself.
 
Since then, a lot of good has happened. I kept my mouth shut and all sorts of awesome things happened. Today, we are trying to raise $50,000 to buy the orphanage a second house. The orphanage needs, absolutely needs, more space. We want to give Patrick and the orphanage the chance to expand.  If you’re interested in sponsoring a child or giving towards the expansion of the orphanage check out www.beautifulresponse.org.  Check it out anyways.