We made flowers out of clay today at the orphanage. I was so impressed with how well the kiddos did. It took us an hour and a half of intense hard work…but wow! Some of the kids made little clay pots, others made clay roses and still others colored the craft sticks we used for stems. At the end of class I stood back with admiration. These kids are amazing and they do great work.
My pride quickly evaporated as I placed the newest project next to last weeks. The walls of the hallway and classroom are quickly filling up – wind socks, painted cherry blossoms, googley-eyed bunnies, coffee-filter butterflies…the shelves and walls are getting full. Usually I enjoy the work that brightens up the orphanage…but today,
Maybe I felt differently because I just had four excited children who the day before had given me handmade gifts for Mother’s Day. I now have new paper flowers, a clay jewelry dish and a hand painted poem about mothers. I also am gathering together all the sweet projects my four treasures have made over the school year. I carefully put them together in a plastic file folder marked with the grade and year.
As I was showcasing my students’ artwork, it hit me that there is no end of the year envelope for my students. I can’t send home these beautiful flowers to be cherished by a mother. Instead I propped this weeks work up next to last weeks. I guess when there is no more room I will throw away the faded projects from the beginning of the year to make room for the summer projects.
What a loss.
The art my students make should be admired not just by me, but by a mom. Their masterpieces are worthy of a refrigerator and should not be taped to the green walls of an institution.
Just another reminder of what is missing.
There are birth mothers out there somewhere who don’t realize how far their children have come and the potential they represent….special needs and all. There are adoptive families who have yet to step out in faith to embrace the blessing of parenting these sweet ones….special needs and all.
Dear friend who is thinking about adopting, I am gathering the masterpieces of a dear one who hopes you will come soon. Don’t allow the blossom to wilt. Don’t let time pass and the art work be thrown away.
photo credit: photo by flaivoloka