Those we left behind
June 27th, 2011
We’ve been home from Ethiopia three weeks now. Right now our sons are sleeping soundly in their bedroom – happy, full-bellied and enjoying new discoveries every day. They’re safe and where they belong. And after a year of waiting, that’s a blessing we don’t take for granted.
But as happy as we are to have them home, I can’t help but remember the children left behind. We spent a day in an orphanage and met beautiful children. Our agency works with this orphanage and most of these children had families they were happy to tell us about:
“I go to Texas.”
“My mom and dad will be here soon.”
But unfortunately this wasn’t the case for all the children, and three continue to haunt me.
As soon as we walked in the room, children ran to us. One boy, about 10, grabbed my arm, kissed me and said “I love you.” He held my arm and wouldn’t let go. At that point, nobody had shared any of their stories. I didn’t know if they had families or were waiting. But with this boy, I knew. I saw the desperation in his eyes. He knew that all his friends had families. He also was well aware that older children, especially boys, have a slim chance of being “chosen” by adoptive families. When we walked in the room, he saw his chance. He was looking for a family.
We also spent time with an amazing set of sisters – about 7 and 10. Precious, precious girls. I was told the older is a huge help with the younger children in the house. And I was also told they had been on waiting children lists for over two years. Two years! For two years, they’ve watched friends come in and out of the orphanage. They’ve seen other children be chosen by adoptive families while they wait. The director told me that the prior week the older girl had asked, “When will my family come?” The director told her honestly, “Honey, I just don’t know.” Then the older sister told her, “I don’t really need a family. I know I’m too old. But my sister, she needs a family. Please find her a family and let her go without me.”
To think that a ten year old girl would consider herself “unplaceable” and would give up her hopes of having a family so her sister could have a chance to be adopted….just blows my mind. No child should be in that situation. No 10-year-old should believe they are too old to be wanted. Every child deserves a family.
Our hands are full with two toddlers. I know my role for these children. As we walked out of that orphanage – me, my husband, my sister, and my brother-in-law – and drove away in silence, I knew that I was responsible to tell their stories. To let people know that I had personally met, hugged, played with and spent time with children who just need a chance. Children who so desperately want an opportunity to be loved. To be part of a family.
I truly believe their families are out there. If you would like more information on these children, please contact me.