Is there anything that tugs at the heartstrings more than children without anyone to care for them? That was a rhetorical question. Actually that was a Question With a Predetermined Answer (QWPA). And if you’re struggling with the answer, the answer is no. There is nothing out there that can do this. Apart from love stories I guess. Super sappy love stories that involve danger and separation and reuniting with long lost lovers. Ok, sometimes puppies and kittens as well but generally for the sake of this post, we’re going with Orphans. They get me every time.
There are a number of good adoption stories on this trip. TK, (real first name) is a guy from a neighbourhood in Richmond, Virginia called Mechanicsville (for real) and is an Appliance Repairman, not a mechanic (if he was a mechanic it would be better) who has two children that he and his wife took in from a lady who had eight of them. When she entered a substance abuse program, their community had to make the choice of taking in her kids or letting them be absorbed by the foster care system. The choice to take them in was made, so they were divided up among friends and cared for. Eventually, the mother made the choice to abandon them and most families made the decision to stay the course. That’s how TK got two of his kids. Feeling it yet? My eyes are obscured with tears.
Jake adopted his kids from New Orleans. I see them on a weekly basis and taunt them mercilessly in the nicest ways I can think of. They ignore my antics and dismiss me as that crazy guy. It’s OK. I’m not hurt. Sometimes I wonder where they would be today if they didn’t have Jake and Nicole. Jake and Nicole vacillate between wondering where they would be if it weren’t for the kids and being generally enraged by the antics they pick up from me.
It’s a truly wonderful family.
And our 19 month old little guy, Rex, is such a delightful bundle of joy (for real). He continues to be a great and wonderful blessing for Lauren (lovely wife) and me – and a promising start to our family. I’m working hard to cultivate a wicked sense of humour and great acrobatic skills in him.
Today we went to visit the Compassion international community project in the local village. Through the generosity of sponsors they offer after school and summer programming geared towards supplementary education, developing workplace skills, and an alternative to mischief. They do all sorts of stuff there – computers, jewelry, cooking. You can even get a manicure and pedicure if you want (for real). I opted out. Steve Jake and Jon met the kids they have sponsored for years. We played some soccer, made up games related to soccer, and gesticulated wildly to try and explain the rules. We also played card games.
Throughout the day, I couldn’t help feeling like scooping up all of these kids and taking them home (I wouldn’t do that). I know these kids have families to go home to. But their homes are the ones we might be building so I’m actually not sure on that. However, the point is whether you sponsor a Compassion kid, whether you babysit, whether you foster a child or take one in for life, and choose to care, magic happens. Because, really, we’re all orphans helplessly searching for love and I personally can’t stand to think that someone may be going without.
One more thing. Can we agree to stop twisting ourselves into knots debating the right to abort and focus on the value of adoption? Our world will be a better place for it.
Quick side note. We stopped by the market in the afternoon to locate the source of the romance discussed in previous posts. We didn’t find it today. Mostly dogs eating garbage and horrible cheese smells. We’ll keep looking, April – there’s got to be something there.