We created memories on Saturday as a family along with 150ish children. The international school planned a carnival for the children at the orphanage and the two big kids and I were able to volunteer with the event. Games, Santa, balloons, prizes and snacks made for a special time for the kids whose days are often the same.
One 17 year old, who is unable to walk, was carried by four volunteers to the room of the party – it was the first time he had ever been out of his room. As I watched his eyes taking in the Christmas tree mine filled with tears. I am not sure that I ever have felt the joy of Christmas more than in that moment.
Soccer Dude helped run a game, (pin the carrot on the snowman), while I made balloon animals. Roo was asked to assist one of the younger children who was unable to walk. She pushed his stroller, fed him a special treat of unsweetened applesauce, made him an ornament and sat with him near the Christmas tree so he could take in the lights.
There are few moments that I feel truly successful as a parent, but Saturday as I watched my two kids I had a glimpse of the amazing people they are becoming. Compassion and love flowed through them in a way that made my mother heart burst. Roo explained to me later that she thought loving that boy was her Christmas gift to God. Watching her was all the Christmas gift I could ever want as well. All of the volunteers saw the children, many with severe handicaps, as precious little people made in God’s image. In that humble setting with simple games, Father was being glorified.
The afternoon flew by and before I knew it the time had come to take children back to their rooms. My two kids and I escorted our small charges back. It wasn’t a silent walk. “Oh mom, let’s ask if we can bring them home with us! We have enough love for two more brothers!” The pleas stopped in their throats as we entered the infant room and they saw all of the cribs…so many unclaimed brothers and sisters. My heart always stops when I enter that doorway too.
A new little one was sleeping on the bench in the far corner. I asked the nanny about him – one month old. All the faces at the party flashed before my eyes. This is where it starts. If there is no one who claims this child then he too will grow up as an orphan…unwanted, alone with no family name. Will he be 17 and only have seen the green walls of this room? At times it feels suffocating knowing there isn’t more that we can do.
As you can guess I now had a little one I was ready to bring home as well.
When I walk away from the children’s home, I always feel such a mix of joy and sorrow. This week two of my children walked with me. I listened as they processed the afternoon and I whispered a thankful pr@yer in my heart.
Thank you Ld for blessing our family through adoption – for teaching my children to love more deeply, to have compassion and see others the way you see them. Thank you for our adoption in JC.
We needed these children more than they needed us.