In Memory and In Hope
This has been one of the hardest winters I can remember in all of the years I have worked with orphaned children. As the temperatures drop, we know that pneumonia and other illnesses will spread quickly through orphanages, and we always pray for an early spring. I don’t think many people even stop to think about how fast a sickness can spread in an institution when 20-30 babies live in just one room. And for babies struggling with medical issues already, such as heart defects or cleft lip, they are very vulnerable indeed.
I always try to put a smile on my face each day, and be cheerful and optimistic when I talk about our work. But if you’ve ever lost someone whom you cared about, I am sure you will understand when I say that sometimes you can just be going along and then suddenly the weight that they are no longer here causes you to crumble. Today was one of those days. I was watching a young mom with her tiny baby as he grabbed tightly onto her finger in that wonderful way newborns do. I think it was when I saw her smile down at him as if he was her sun and moon combined that it hit me so strongly that little Riley and Gabe and Wren and so many more precious babies this winter left this world before they had a chance to be fully loved in a parent’s arms. Their lives ended too soon. And I cried tonight for a good long time as I asked again why so many babies around the world are orphaned. Babies aren’t supposed to be alone.
As I tucked in my son, and kissed him for probably the ten millionth time since his adoption, he asked me why I had been crying. I told him I was sad that every child didn’t get to be in a family and that I was sad that so many babies were sick. He said without missing a beat, ‘Why don’t you tell your friends? Just let them know the babies need help.”
Thank goodness for the wisdom of seven year olds. We just need to let people know the babies need help.
This week, we have been the featured charity for Sevenly, and I have been so humbled to see how many people who had never heard of LWB bought a tshirt to help babies in our healing homes. Tonight as I looked at the number of shirts sold so far this week, it suddenly hit me that almost 2000 people will be wearing a shirt that will call attention to the fact that millions of children each day go to sleep without parents. Who knows how many conversations that might start with people who just don’t know. How many tiny ripples will join together to become a wave? I think my little boy has it right – that in every way possible – we need to ask our friends to spread the word that the babies need help.
So to everyone who takes the time to pray for those who are orphaned, to those who give what they can to heal those who are hurting, to those who sponsor children and promote adoption and who volunteer their time to make a difference for the kids who wait — I say thank you. Collectively we can be a powerful voice – for those who often can’t speak for themselves. Together we can remind the world that as long as children are hurting and alone, we as adults must do better.
~Amy Eldridge, Executive Director
In loving memory tonight of