Saturday, August 9, 2014
Why do orphans need families?
I am a very, very good procrastinator. I know that I am because I am racing against the clock right now to watch 18 Trust-based Relational Intervention videos and take quizzes all before midnight tonight. They are, of course, really good and I am regretting not making time for them earlier in the summer. I have been sort of a mess this summer! As I am frantically watching these great videos..I noticed in my email that I have a blog writing assignment from August 5th...oops. "Why do orphans need families?" I have been involved in the world of international adoption for a long time and I have seen a lot of heart wrenching loneliness, and sadness. I am not sure there are any words that can answer that question. I tried to sit down and make an outline...three points to answer the question type brainstorming...definitions...the whole 9 yards. However, the thing that answers that question for me isn't anything that I have read and I doubt I will be able to purvey it in anything I could possibly write! It was the first time I physically set foot in an orphanage. A real live, not on TV designed to jerk out some tears, first hand "here hold this tiny little guy with no parents" experience. On my first trip to Kyrgyzstan in 2007, I saw lots of kiddos that were referred for adoption to other families, I took pictures for their excited parents and I was asked to make a general evaluation of a little girl with various issues in her file that made her perspective adoptive parents nervous. Meeting this girl completely changed my life. I met lots of kids that day...including my son, Zeb, but this was the moment that personifies and explains why orphans need families. The nanny brought out this little girl that was small for her age and extremely delayed in her milestones. She had a marked dullness in her eyes....not really focusing on anything, not interacting with me at all, not interacting with her nanny. She was just kind of existing, alone. I took her and started talking to her, smiling at her, holding her up to my eye level and engaging her. For a lack of better phrase-ology..I was just pouring out some good old fashioned mommy-love. Then was I surprised when she looked right back at me, right into my soul like a laser and that look totally changed how I looked at the world. She connected, she still had hope and she had a palpable pleading in her eyes that was just so basic and innocent and longing... it shot a jolt of electricity through me, gave me goosebumbs and straight-up broke my heart. She was just a baby and she was languishing and losing hope....but even a small amount of attention and love could rekindle that desire to interact and seek love. Wow. So the answer to "Why do orphans need families?" is go and see for yourself. Go, visit orphans in the time of their distress...experience what the orphan crisis is. The faces of the orphans you meet will haunt you. Once you see; you can't ignore it. My totally broken heart will always be able to see room for one more in my family because I have really and truly seen why orphans need families. The insanity, inconvenience, and scaling down that accompanies a large family really seems like a small price to pay.