Perhaps because we’re in the process of adopting a child, or perhaps because India is a young nation, I noticed children everywhere in India: babies peeping out from their mother’s embrace; dusty, tired children carrying loads of sticks and bright-eyed children sporting unspoiled designer shoes.
As I looked into each face, I wondered.
Will our child have those mischievous eyes? That capricious smile? Are they scared and alone? Shivering in the coldest winter in decades?
During our travels in Delhi, we had the opportunity to meet families in some of the poorest areas of the city. There, children excitedly showed us their homes and families, posed with younger siblings and begged for ‘one more’ photo. As I held sticky hands and struggled to keep up with their Hindi, my eyes took in the scene.
And I wondered. Was our baby born in a similar home? Did her family agonize over their decision? Do their hearts break each day with the pain of poverty and impossible choices?
I saw children who needed shoes, nutritious food, clean water: children who needed hope and love. I breathed prayers for the millions of orphans who may never be welcomed into healthy, caring Forever Families.
What can be done?
If I’m honest, I’ll admit discouragement. The problems are too complex: economics, addictions, disease, greed, selfishness. The need is too great: millions and millions hurting, needing, wanting. My own contribution too small: one heart and two hands.
Hope, however, is persistent. Slowly, I begin to see the hope that is all around me: families welcoming orphans into their homes, people engaged in generous giving, the establishment of sustainable and fair businesses, slum children dedicated to attending school and providing fiercely loving care for younger siblings, friends living radical lifestyles of grace and service, and the opportunity for Varun and I to care for and love an orphan as our own.
“So, there it is. The curve ball that adds a whole lot more questions with limited answers because the adoption process is anything but straight forward. I have to remind myself not to become bitter that our lives aren’t simple like so many. It’s not like being pregnant one day and then going home with your hands full of awe and wonder. It’s having your arms full of awe and wondering if they will be yours forever or for only a short time.
It’s a constant journey, but I am telling you: there is no greater joy and blessing than opening your lives up to this kind of unknown. Taking in little strangers and promising them a good life. Promising them you will love, care, protect, play, cheer, build them up and stand up for them.
Because if we don’t, who will? I will. I will until my arms are battered and bruised. I will until my home is packed to the brim. I will until we need to drive a school bus. I will until every last cent in out bank is spent. This is what life is about. It’s about these little lives and loving them fully. It’s about ending the horrible statistics of foster children growing up and out of the system with no one to turn to. No one to run to. It’s about doing what we can. And we can do so much, we just don’t know it until we’re in it.”
-from Hello Lidy