When we arrived, several children of all ages were lined up to greet us. They were smiling and reaching out to us. Many were challenged developmentally, physically and mentally in various stages. I felt like when they were greeting us, they were really saying: please take me home with you, please choose me.
Those children were beautiful. Yes, some of their bodies were not perfect, but I could tell that their spirits were. It broke my heart as we smiled at them. I wanted to do so much more than just walk past them, but pass them by we did.
Inside the orphanage several rooms filled with wall to wall baby cribs. In one room there were bouncy chairs for a few of the older babies to sit in. Many of the babies slept or laid their cribs and most of these kids just didn't move. I suppose I don't need to write about how much this broke my heart.
There was one little boy in a seat who seemed more alert than others and I wondered if he was a new arrival? He sat up and his eyes lit up when he saw us. In hindsight, I wish I would have picked up that little boy and hugged him. [Update: this little boy on the left in the picture below is actually a little girl and is soon to be adopted! Her mama found one a blog of one of the families on our trip and contacted him. I'm SO happy she's going to be with her family soon - she is adorable!]
I really tried to hold it together, but I couldn't hold back the tears. Another adopting father said that it makes you feel really good about what we are doing (I don't feel like we are heroes by any means and wish we could adopt a hundred of these kids). And while it does feel good that we are adopting Anna, I was still so heartbroken for these babies that we walked away from. I was overwhelmed by the enormous need. I love my little Anna dearly, but there are thousands of babies who need a home as much as Anna.
I suppose that starfish story really is true. It makes a difference for this one, but oh how my heart aches for all those other starfish abandoned on that seashore.
If anyone is interested in learning more about adoption, I would love to answer any questions. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and my agency (which I would HIGHLY recommend) is www.ccaifamily.org.