We woke up Monday morning, packed up our bags, loaded them in the car, and made a 1.5 hour drive to Denny's region, where we would spend the next couple of days.
Even before we got to the city where he lives, our driver/translator pointed to a sprawling building up on the mountain and told us, "There is the orphanage." We drove through the city, every turn to his orphanage etching into my mind, and I can vividly remember scenes from each day at the various buildings and homes we passed along the way.
We entered through the left part of the building, which we were told was the baby house, where Denny still lives, despite being almost 6 years old, because there is medical staff there. We passed ride-on toys, walked through corridors, squeezed through doors that would stick half open, from the building settling over the years.
We squeezed past people, nodding and saying "Dober den" to each one we passed, and finally came to a small, dark room to be introduced to the director. We sat on a small couch, waiting for Denny to be brought in, and I remember a large eye shadow compact sitting open on the table in front of the couch, like we had interrupted the director finishing putting on her makeup.
After a conversation between the director and our translator that lasted only a couple of minutes, the door opened again, and in the arms of a caretaker was our Denny! I felt stuck, trying to find a way to squeeze around this little table and Scott's legs to get to my son, without jumping over the table. Very quickly, the translator suggested we go into another room, so we went down halls, ducked under lace that hung over doorways, out onto a balcony that stretched the length of the orphanage, and into another hallway, through doorways, and finally made it to the playroom.
There were probably 7 other children in the playroom that morning, and the caretakers in the room quickly whisked all the other children out, so we would have the room to ourselves to play. "Playing" for Denny meant nothing more than wanting to hold our hands, and any toy we offered was tossed aside, because toys were only in the way of holding our hands. I held him close to me, rocked him, and told him we were there to be his Mama and Daddy.
His physical therapist came in, and I knew from the moment I saw her eyes that she was a kind person, who loved my boy very much. She explained that she works with him for an hour a day, Monday through Friday, and that he had made a lot of progress, but not like being in a family. She showed us how she works with him, and we used our hands as toys, encouraging him to walk, climb the therapy stairs, walk around the edge of the ball pit, and dance.
By the time 11:30 came, Denny was tired, and his physical therapist took him to eat and have a nap. She told our translator that she would be back the next morning if we had any questions for her. We thanked the director for having us there and left, driving back down the mountain to take our bags to the hotel and find a restaurant for lunch.