Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Orphanage Ghosts

In honor of Orphan Sunday I wanted to share a passage from Jeff Gammage's book China Ghosts.  Gammage speaks of the experience of visiting his daughter's orphanage and how nobody ever tells us that we will forever be changed. 

It's true. 

"They never tell you what it might be like to venture inside an orphanage . . . To confront the life that your child, the person you love most, would have been left to lead in China.  To see the life that children just like her--every bit as bright and beautiful, every bit as deserving--are living now.

They don't tell you that the children of the orphanage are all coming home with you.  That these kids with their wan smiles and growling stomachs are going to follow you across the ocean, move into your house, inhabit your dreams.  They don't tell you that from now on you'll never push back your chair from the dinner table without thinking of small children--just like your daughter--whose ribs are tight against the skin.  That now, when you saunter through Toys 'R' Us, your child happily choosing a prize from among rows of pink-boxed Barbie dolls, you'll recall that during a morning-long visit to the orphanage, you did not see a single toy. . .

They don't tell you that on Christmas morning, your girl's gifts piled halfway up the wall, the extended family delighting in her presence and her excitement, your thoughts will turn to the children who will never see so many toys or experience such an outpouring of love and affection . . ."

Gammage then goes on to say, "From now on, wherever you may go and whatever you may do, the faces of the children left behind will come to you, unbidden, glimpsed in the eyes of a child scampering across the street in front of a crossing guard and in the smile of a girl skipping rope on a playground."

The reality of what Gammage says is so true.  I know I will never forget those left behind.  I will spend my life advocating for these invisible children.

I can never forget those left behind.

And, as painful as it is, I wouldn't want to. 

For Orphan Sunday I invite everyone to find a way to reach out to orphans through a donation, sponsoring a child, promoting child welfare and even adoption.

These two used to be cribmates in an orphanage.  Invisible.  Now they are best friends in America, reaping the love of families of their own.

 One hundred forty-three MILLION orphans are still waiting. 

One by one, we CAN make a difference!


"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

Vivid memories of our trip to Ethiopia will ALWAYS be there. 1,000's some not even clothed....nothing to eat....they live in my memory - daily.

Alex and Riann said...

Thankful for you...

Penelope said...

What a great post! Would love for you to add your adoption story(ies) to our Adoption Blog Hop!

The Raudenbush Family said...

Thanks for posting this --

When you are able, come visit www.wearegraftedin.com. We'd love to have you a part of things there--there are lots of preadoptive and adoptive mommies on the forum who would love to encourage you and be encouraged by you. :)

Dawn said...

Wonderful and such a right on post! Thank you..