This is a tiny glimpse into my first experience with what an orphan is, other than that movie with that curly red head.
Because truthfully, I never used to ever think about adoption in my life. That was until my very first trip to Romania. I will not be able to put into words here what I experienced for two reasons; first because it’s hard for anyone who hasn’t been there and seen the orphanages, and seen the many children locked up in those rooms to really understand a short paragraph about how horrible it was. And second, it’s wimpy but it’s hard for me to let my heart even go there again. It is much easier for me not to think about it.
There were so many babies there, and after being the only one holding them day after day, you start to feel ownership of them, like they really are your babies because I was the first one to pick them up and greet them each day, and I was the only one who held them with love, maybe ever. These babies are beautiful, and they don’t cry. They just lay, stiff, staring at you, tiny, alert pupils watching you, expecting you to pass them by.
While holding these beautiful children, my heart couldn’t even break because I just stared, numb to what was the reality around me. This is not how it’s supposed to be. Babies where I live are fought over and championed. They are adored and obsessed over. Why are there so many babies here? Why is there no one to even hold them? How can a baby seriously lay in a crib all day? As reality set in, I went through many emotions. I would just make a frantic mental list of people who would be able to take one of these children in and save their lives. I thought of my elderly neighbor, and how she would adore holding and loving one of these babies, truly, most people I could think of would be so able to help one of these tiny, forgotten and neglected babies. I mean, babies! Then I started feeling upset and dire. Why don’t people know about this? Why don’t people adopt? Maybe people don’t really want an overseas baby, especially one who might be stiff in their little bodies from lack of being held. I found myself being mad at the utopian state of mind previous to seeing this place and shared by those back home, a state of mind that was mine only 2 weeks prior.
So, each day I would lay my babies down, and I would walk away, until the day came that I laid my babies down forever. Any progress they had made with me would be forever erased with months of staring at white ceilings and crib slats.
I would have taken one. I would have, at 18, taken Rebekah and smuggled her out. I often dreamt about foiling that stupid guard at the entrance. I would bring her home and raise her on my own, or find a family for her who would love her and her tiny pixie nose, long curvy lashes and dimples cheeks. That sweet girl who practiced smiling with me, and stretching, and falling asleep in loving arms.
I can’t really think about her too often, because no one wants to be around a crying person.
Since Romania, I have been to many orphanages around the world and met some of the most amazing children who would light up the life of any family who would take them in, if they were only given a shot, but no orphanage as bad as Romania. Kenya’s orphanage has less food, less clothing and more disease and dirt, but the children seem so much healthier emotionally. Nothing was like Romania.
So, God had to lay some scars on my heart to have me care about adoption. I literally celebrate when I see an adoption story, because I know what these children are being saved from.
Ok, now I’ll go wipe my tears and end this post! I hope I explained myself at least a little.