We Moved Part 3: Jessica’s Perspective
So the day after the meeting with our girl’s family, we went back up to the orphanage like normal. Everyday for the last year we have gone up at 5:45am, done breakfast with the kids, then dropped them off at school. Many of the kids were still very standoffish toward us. We came home, sat down, and tried to talk it out and figure out what to do. We decided that afternoon we would have a meeting with the older kids and explain a few things to them. This meeting did not go well. Whatever Audancin had said to the kids to convince them we were not on their side ran deep. We got nowhere with the kids so we left the orphanage early that afternoon and decided we needed a couple of days to think, pray, and decompress. We did not go back to the orphanage for 2 days after that. We continued to send our employees but Matt and I really needed time to figure out our next step. Things could not stay this way.
After much time praying, Matt was convinced we needed to give both Audancin and Rosie an ultimatum. He said we could no longer pay them because of what they had done. While I agreed wholeheartedly, it terrified me. Because I knew what type of people they are, I knew what they would choose. I knew that even the mention of us suspending their pay would send them over the edge. Matt and I went back and forth about it but it in the end we both felt like it was what we had to do. We could not let these people threaten us, turn the kids against us, and manipulate the kids and continue to employ them. We set a meeting up with Rosie, Audancin, and Herold for that Wednesday afternoon. Although I still held out a little hope that they would do the right thing, I went into the meeting terrified that this would end our relationship with the kids.
At the meeting, Matt very clearly laid out the choice Rosie and Audancin had to make. He explained that we no longer felt safe at the orphanage because they had stirred up people against us. He explained that this was unacceptable along with a few other things (using Herold to translate). Both Rosie and Audancin began to talk over each other while Matt, Herold, and I just sat there and listened. They tried to spin what had happened to make themselves look good and they told many lies (which everyone in the room knew were lies). In the end, both Herold and Matt told them none of it mattered and they just had to choose. Both said that they no longer wanted our help. We reminded them them that this would affect their own children who we were taking care of and they said they did not care.
We knew that Audancin would very quickly begin to tell the kids lies about what had happened in the meeting so we immediately got in our car and drove up to the orphanage to tell the kids goodbye….this 20 minute drive felt like 2 hours and I was close to getting sick the whole way there. When we pulled up the kids were thrilled to see us because we hadn’t seen them in the last 2 days. This made it much harder. We had all of the kids sit down and explained that we love them very much but Audancin had asked us not to help the orphanage anymore. Matt did the talking through a translator while I stood next to him and cried. We left quickly after that.
Through all of this my main concern was how the kids would eat. There were a lot of other things that they would now lose (laundry lady, rides to school, tutors to name a few) that they could live without but I had no idea how they would eat. We ended that day having dinner with our friends Matt and Cara at Hope Rising. Although it was hard to go and talk to other people after the day we’d had, we now know it was exactly where we needed to be that evening because of what happened next. That same night, Cara sent me a message and offered to let us use the Hope Rising Guesthouse for a meal and tutoring for the kids each day. We ended a horrible day with a little hope that we could continue to have contact with the kids. The question was, how to make it happen?