You know that moment when you get into the back of a taxi with your sobbing child, who looks nothing like you, who keeps looking out the back window and cries uncontrollably for the duration of the ride? Or that moment when you realize the taxi driver, who doesn’t understand enough English for you to possibly offer an explanation, is suspiciously eyeing you and your husband in the rear view mirror? The best part is that I know some of you really DO know what that moment is like, and the rest of you can imagine.
I’m really not sure how best to sum up the goodbye party from yesterday. The long term benefit is that James was given an opportunity to say goodbye and he will have video and pictures of him with his friends to look back on. The short term result has been that he is keenly aware of his losses, and though we are glad he is able to grieve openly, it is extremely difficult to comfort him well while the language barrier and newness of our relationship is getting in the way. We need prayer for these things and take comfort in the knowledge that we aren’t walking this road alone, or first, for that matter.
The orphans. I’d love if some of you would share links to your blog posts about your orphanage trip or some of your thoughts on your orphanage visits in the comments on this post. Perhaps some of you will read these and be moved to action or prayer. There were about 17 children in James’ group, with varying degrees of special needs and institutional behaviors, and each one should be in a family. As we handed out balloons and stickers and the playtime was underway, most of them made some attempt to catch our attention and interact with us. One girl would come up every few moments and show me where she had placed a sticker on her body. Her face was marred by a massive scar, but she was a smiley one. One small girl would come up and insist that I separate the sticker from the backing for her. Several kids approached us and made sure to double check that we weren’t their mommy and daddy, also. One very small boy (3?4?) seemed to have learned that he could get attention by reaching up skirts or pinching legs, and when my attention wasn’t on him, he would plow into other children. Anything for a bit of attention.
The chaos in that room. The needs going unmet. The utter brokenness that had brought each child together in that place. There aren’t words, friends.
It isn’t right.
I think we all know it in our hearts, but we need to start moving. The least of these is worth our time and our effort and our own discomfort… But I don’t feel like preaching at you all, so I won’t.
I feel more like begging.