I went to Jamaica. I had a great time. I learned things. I was impacted, and I was able to impact. Today I’d like to tell you a story.
First, try to imagine you have a mom and a dad. Not really hard, right? Most of us have both parents, or had both at one point. If not, most of us at least had one parent. So imagine you have both parents…and then you lose them. You can’t really see them anymore, and so you stay with many other children that you don’t know. Yes, you stay at an orphanage. You’re taken care of by other adults that are not your parents. You’re given meals and clothes and you’re able to play outside…but it’s not your yard or your house and food that your parents are providing for you.
You’re called an orphan. Are you imagining this? Can you see it and feel it? Can you taste the tears from crying for your mommy and daddy? Can you hear the noise from all the other children screaming and crying for attention (because they, like you, have no parents to pick them up and hold them).
And you’re only about three years old.
His name is Daniel. I held him and loved on him for hours. He clung to me.
I wish I could show you pictures of him. I have pictures, but we aren’t allowed to post them anywhere for safety reasons. But just imagine a cute little boy with no hair, a blue striped shirt, and a very chubby (adorable) belly.
He impacted me. All I did was love on him, but he impacted me.
When our group arrived at the orphanage, it was like deja vu. I went to the same orphanage two years ago…and I was SO excited to go back. My team wasn’t going to be able to go….but it all worked out. We showed up and I prayed that I wouldn’t recognize any of the children. Because maybe, just maybe, that would mean they had been adopted.
We walked in and all could say was, “Where are the children? I want a child. Where are they?” We went and found them and scooped them up into our arms. I held many children, but I kept hoping. I wanted that connection; that little one that wouldn’t let me go even if I tried to put him or her down.
I don’t know when I first held him or how many others I held before, but he was my little connection.
I walked around with him on my hip for a long time. We just walked and walked with me talking to him. If I walked in a direction he didn’t like, he would say “no” and point to where he wanted me to head. I asked one of the workers about what his name was, and they told me Christopher. I called him Chris, but he never really reacted. It didn’t seem right, so I asked someone else. She told me his name: Daniel.
I will never forget that. There is someone in my family with that name…God knew I wouldn’t want to forget his name. Now I never will.
So we walked around and I sang to him. It calmed him down. I put him in the swing and he finally smiled. I had been waiting for that smile. It made MY heart smile to see him smile.
Think about it. How much attention do these children get? They just want to be loved, but there are so many of them that it’s impossible for every child to be held, talked to, sung to, carried, and played with on a regular basis. They want love.
Trust me, I loved him like there was no tomorrow. Because there wouldn’t be. I will probably never see him again, but I loved him like crazy.
Back to the story. We went and stood by the gate and I waved at the cars going by. He watched me.
And then he began to wave. Tearjerker. We stood there for a while and then walked around some more.
Then he called me Mommy.
Please imagine. I’m a 17 year old girl. I have no children, but I want to be a Mommy desperately. Some day I’ll have my own children to love on and adore. Some day I will adopt.
He called me Mommy. He didn’t know any better. For one day, I was a Mommy to him.
What could be better?
He said two words the whole time I knew him: “no” and “mommy.”
I wish so badly that he had a real Mommy to love and care for him. To walk around and carry him on her hip and sing to him. To make him laugh and smile. I wish he didn’t feel the need to call me Mommy, because I wish he had his own Mommy.
I wish he didn’t know that he’s missing a Mommy.
But as I sit here crying over Daniel and all he may never have, I am honored to have been his Mommy for one day.