Friday, November 11, 2011


Children arrive at a children's home for lots of different reasons. Whatever the reason may be, the circumstances of their lives has brought them to this point. And now here it is, the life changing day that they are dropped off. Yesterday my roommate Caroline and I were working at Casa Hogar Douglas taking care of the Primario dorm (this is the dorm that includes 9 boys ages 8-12) so that their caregivers could have a day off to rest, when it happened. At about 2 o'clock Mario arrived at our door. This was the first time that I have ever been there when a new kid arrives at the dorm, and not only was I there, but I was the one in charge that day. We gave him a quick run down of everyone's names and a tried to offer some explanations about why these two american girls instead of the couple that would normally be taking care of them. We showed him where the bathroom was a found a place to put his small bag of stuff and then that was it. Here he was. One of the boys, Antonio, quickly jumped to Mario's aid and started showing him how to play N64, where everyone else lived at the home, and just how fun the giant slide outside is. I was overwhelmed and so proud of the compassion that Antonio showed him. In fact, they all did an incredible job of coming around Mario supporting him and showing him all the ins and outs of living at Douglas. At the end of the day I showed Mario his new bed and tucked him in. We then talked through everything that would happen the next day "Who will wake me up?" "Will we eat cornflakes?" "Are they all going to go to school?" I sat there and answered question after question about this little man's new life. And all the while my heart broke into a million pieces. You see, Mario also has two sisters that are 3 and 4 years old and they too were going to bed in a whole new world. This is the first time in their lives they aren't sleeping in the same room as their older brother. In fact, the 4 year old was so distraught over this that before bed she spent half an hour camped out in the boys dorm. When she finally had to leave she cried "I want my brother, I want my brother" and ultimately "I just want my Mommy". What response did any of us have to that? Of course she does. Of course she wants her mommy. This new place she's in is new and different and therefore to her, it's terrifying. She belongs with her mommy. But the brokenness of this world is creating circumstances that don't allow for that right now. The safest place at this moment for these kids is in a children's home. By no fault of their own, their world has been turned upside down. And I hate that for them. My heart breaks over the pain that their little hearts are going through. Life in a children's home is not easy. Even when it is a place that is loving and good and safe, it is still hard. We could slave away working day and night to make it the best place ever, but it still wouldn't be enough to prevent the wounds to their heart that they will inevitably experience being 1 of 70 children at the home. I don't say that to be pessimistic or as an excuse not to try our best. But instead, I say it because I honestly believe it's true. I will work my hardest to pour love and affection and attention over these children and then I will cry out with all my heart to the Lord on their behalf. That he would work to bind the wounds and heal their hearts. I will trust that this is his plan and that it is good. "God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing" Psalm 98:6

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being so open about your job, Sammy. I'm sitting here trying not to cry. I'm so glad God has given those children someone like you to love them if they can't be with their parents.