Some of the orphans we serve have a mom. Some of the orphans we serve get to spend the weekend or a holiday with their families every once in a while. Others children never go anywhere and no one ever visits them. After these visits or trips to “mom’s” house, the family member leaves them again. As one might expect, this is repetitively traumatic for the kids. Over my years here in Monterrey working at the specific orphanage I work at, I’ve seen this more times than I’d like to admit. I’ve been asked too many times by a mother to pry her screaming toddler off of her so that she can leave without him chasing her down the driveway. I’ve had screaming children pee on me in this process. It’s their nightmare. And for some, it happens frequently. Their little hearts just shatter. And I’m left restraining the child as we both just cry it out.
Sometimes the small child is dropped off by their mom while still asleep so that the child wakes up alone, in an orphanage, only to realize that she’s gone again.
This happened to one of my little men last week on the day I was in charge of his dorm.
I didn’t realize it at first. I woke him up from his nap because he had been asleep for far too long. And he just cried. He cried so pathetically. It seemed unlike him. He wouldn’t speak to me. My 5 year old little man cried on the floor of the bathroom with me sitting next to him begging him to use his words and tell me what was wrong. Nope. He just sobbed and screamed. So I decided to try a new location. I moved him to a different room and tried to hug him. I had to force his arms around me to hug me because he wouldn’t move. This went on for at least 20 minutes.
“What is wrong? …. Are you just sleepy? Are you still mad at me for putting you in time out hours ago? Are you mad at the big boys? What happened? Use your words please. Why are you sad?”
“Are you sad because you are back in the orphanage again?”
Finally he said yes to one of my questions.
I had forgotten that his mom had dropped him off at his pre-school and that the orphanage workers had taken him back to the orphanage at the end of the pre-school day. It was Tuesday, his usual “adjustment day” to being back at the orphanage. So he takes a nap, wakes up and realizes that this is real life…. The orphanage again.
Fighting back my own tears, I held him and told him that it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to miss your mom. It stinks that he has to live in an orphanage. And that I bet his mom misses him too. I bet she’ll change her life soon so that you can go home with her forever. I know someday soon you’ll get to go home with her forever. She loves you so much. You are her only child. You are her favorite. She probably can’t wait to be with you again. (I’m not actually sure any of that is true but that’s what I told him). And you know that I love you so much. Actually, God sent me here to be with you because God loves you so much. God is never going to leave you alone. He will always be with you. He loves you so much. He sent me to help take care of you and to love you. You are why I’m in this country.
After all that, he decided to talk to me again. On a side note, can I just mention how difficult it is to take care of 10 child at once in a foreign language who WON’T TALK TO ME from time to time?!? Or how just throw all of their anger at me for every hurt in their lives? No one ever said this would be easy.
The meltdown from this little man in particular surprised me a bit. I didn’t think he was capable of such emotions anymore. I thought he had already hardened his heart to his mom and her constantly abandoning him. But he hasn’t. I kept silently thanking God for keeping this little one’s heart soft. It’s was actually a very healthy reaction that I haven’t seen in him for over a year now.
Would you please pray for a full time Christian therapist to serve this home? Would you pray for the funding- one time gift for the year or monthly specific giving to hire someone? Would you pray for the right person to come along to help these children cope and process their stories?
Jesus you are the great counselor. You know the pain that these orphans deal with on a daily basis. We know that you are the only one who can heal their broken hearts. God thank you for the ways that you love these children. Thank you for the people you send to love them in your name. Jesus would you send us someone who will use your Word, who will use Biblical principles to help these children heal? God break down the barriers that prevent us from giving these children that specific outlet for their emotions. Jesus make a way. Send us the right person or persons. You own the cattle on a thousand hills God. You got this.