PHFR - Christmas in Thailand at an Orphanage

Last Thursday I dropped my husband and son off at the airport. I will pick them up New Year's Eve. They are spending Christmas in Thailand. Helping out at The Charis Project's orphanage in Tak Province, meeting the people Aaron needs to meet this trip, and continuing to lay the ground work for our self sustaining orphan care community in Mae Sot. It's the Boy's first overseas trip.

The girls have been under the weather ever since, so we have just been spending very quiet days at home. Though also celebrating Little's birthday in a small way. (The party for both girls is later on once the boys get home.)

So I figured I would steal photos from Aaron's facebook page and show you their adventures for this installment of PHFR. It will make for a much more interesting post.


They helped out with a Christmas Party in Bangkok for kids from the slum neighborhoods.

Here are some photos of these gorgeous kids.

Ok I have to stop now, there are just so many. To see them all go here.


My kid, having adventures with his dad, trying new things.
Tasting fresh killed jungle cat, and liking it. (The Lahu are hunters.)
chase games don't require translation
Sledding on a banana stalk
Pop the balloon game.


Aaron is supposed to be hitting that can way to the left of him. He sort of missed.

monkey faces

Sleep walker in waiting

After 23 hours of travel they arrived in the Bangkok airport in the middle of the night and tried to sleep for a while until morning. Aaron and I were chatting on facebook before he tried to sleep too and he said, "The Boy just got up and started walking out of the airport, only he wouldn't talk to me, just went in a straight line. I had to work hard to get him to lie back down again. I don't think he was awake."

This is one of those moments when you realize that, while you have talked about certain things with your spouse, you may have neglected to emphasize some important details. Like, you may have mentioned your son has a sleep disorder, without really thinking to remind him that this means he sometimes wanders at night. I've told him about the times I followed him as he accidentally pees in the trash can, or a child trying to open the front door to find the bathroom, but I don't think it's registered that this equals sleep walker. I've had him sleep across the door of our tent when we're camping, because we have 2 night wanderers, but may not have mentioned specifically that it was more to keep them in than to keep anyone out... Sometimes things are so normal that you don't think of mentioning them in particular. Oops. In my defense, it's been awhile.

"Oh yeah, he sometimes does that, especially in unfamiliar places. You probably shouldn't go to sleep unless you're on top of him or tied to him or something so you wake up when he gets up."

The Boy did get up several more times in his sleep. Aaron didn't sleep at all. But he did record video of the kid walking around, and all the Thai people were confused until he explained that he was asleep, and then they thought it was terribly funny. It is, since he didn't actually walk out the front door and wake up later in some strange part of Bangkok.

We have a macabre sense of humor like that.



chores at the orphanage

He got homesick the other day, and walked away to sit under a banana tree for a while. Some of the other boys followed him and just sat with him, because they could see that he was sad.

When he went to his room they sat outside his door, just so he wouldn't feel alone. They don't speak enough of the same language to be able to do anything other than sit, so they sat with him.

Sometimes I wonder how the kids at the orphanage are doing emotionally. Orphanages are so much harder to grow up in than healthy families, detachment disorders are common. That these boys had so much compassion and empathy for my son makes me feel very good about what is happening there. I think it's a testimony to how good of a job our house parents are doing to see such well adjusted kids who are capable of kindness. Especially considering the situations they came from. My heart is glad to see it.

round button chicken



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