Wow, almost two months already. Time flies so quickly here, it feels like we have only been here for several weeks. As our time here is just beginning, time here for a few volunteers is ending. I have mentioned Michael in several of my previous posts. He is leaving in less than a week. Abigail, who lived up the street from us for six weeks, left to go home yesterday. Sunday night, we had them both over for dinner. Our dinner time conversation rolled around to what their purpose was here. I won't share what they thought their purposes were, because they might be too personal to share without permission. However, the conversation triggered the question for me, what is my purpose for the time I am here?
A week or so ago we were at the orphanage where Michael is volunteering. There is a boy at this home who I will call G. G and his brother are being adopted and their family was coming very soon on their second trip (the first trip had only been his parents). G is old enough to at least somewhat understand the adoption process. While we were at the home G took me to his room and showed me a book that his family had given him. He was so proud of that book. I asked if he was excited about his family coming. He said he was, but he had lots of questions for me. He wanted to know if when the family chose a referral, if it was a family decision, or just the parents who decided? Since he hadn't met his siblings before, I think he was nervous that they would not like him. G was also afraid that for some reason his visa to get into the U.S. might be denied. I was able to put these fears to rest, and let him know that his whole family loved him more than he could imagine. This seemed to make him happier and more excited. I asked him again if he was excited about his family coming. He said, "Yes I am so excited, but they will only be here for two weeks and then go back to America. When they leave I will just be," and the then took both his forefingers and ran them from the corner of his eyes down his cheek, as if he was crying. My heart ached at this. What could I do, hug him, pray for him, or tell him it would be alright? I could have done any of those things, but I was in too much shock to do anything.
The same day that this happened we were at another orphanage where kids are constantly adopted, volunteers and family's come in and out, and there is not enough space for all of the children. This is the day that the Von Hagens were supposed to leave with A and F, and the orphanage was having a going away party for them. P is a little boy who is being adopted and had just met his family a couple of weeks ago. As A and F were getting ready to leave their home for who knows how long, P had shut down. P and F had been friends and it had to be so hard to see his friend go, but we also realized he was having a hard time watching so many others from the orphanage go home with their forever families, when he knew that was still a long way down the road for him. We held P and hugged him, but it didn't help.
A day or two later I put a picture of P on Facebook. P's father commented and asked me to give P a big hug and tell him that his Daddy loves him. The next time we were at the orphanage, I picked up P, and told him his Daddy had asked me to give him a hug, so this hug was from his father. As I was hugging him I told him his family loved him so much and couldn't wait to come back and see him. P was silent, and I thought he might start crying.
This is the plight of the orphans. They feel so lonely and in most cases unloved. Then if they are adopted it is still hard. The older ones that are adopted understand that the first and sometimes second trip are not the trips where he or she is being taken home. Then while they are with their family they count down the days until they go back to the orphanage. When the time comes for them to leave, they are forced to say goodbye to their friends, their former home, and their whole culture. The younger ones who don't understand that the first and sometimes second trips are not the ones where they will be taken home, must have crazy thoughts. They are put into a paradise where they have a Mommy and Daddy and are treated with care and love. Then after a week or two are put back into and orphanage where they don't understand that they still have a Mommy and Daddy and, in some cases, are not treated with care and love. How can they survive it?
This is why I am here. This is my purpose. Not just to love on the children, but to build relationships, and to be someone who consistently comes back and does not just disappear into thin air. While I am not their Daddy (and most certainly not their Mommy), I think I can give them a glimpse of what it is like to have a family. This is where the Lord has placed me and why he has placed me here. I still feel unqualified, but I am finding that I don't have to feel qualified to do the job. The Lord has called me to do this regardless of how I feel, and by His power I will do it. I still mess up, but by His grace, I am forgiven. This is my purpose.
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.