Friday, January 3, 2014

Who Have I Become?

The internet at the house has been super slow ever since New Years so there may be a few posts that are a little older making their way up here slowly but surely.

On New Year's Day we took presents to a severe special needs orphanage. The first time I went I was totally overwhelmed. I just stood there rubbing a little girl’s hands and crying. The kids are sweet and the conditions are ok there (no worse or better than anywhere else in my opinion) but seeing all those children rocking, screaming, biting their hands, and salivating was a little much for me. I have always said it was the hardest ministry related thing that I have ever done.

The next time I came I was better prepared but I still had this distance towards the kids. I’ve always commended people who feel like they are called to adopt or work with children who have severe special needs. But I always felt like that was for them, not me.

And then I meet Mirela.

Mirela is probably one of the more “normal” looking children from the outside. She is super thin but has good teeth and hair and a sweet, sweet face. One of the workers told us that she had been in foster care and had just been returned to the orphanage about a year ago. Mirela held my hand and waited patiently for her present then showed me everything she got excitedly. She really liked the hair ties and plastic rings. We played “beauty shop” for several minutes while Elena and I put in little pig tails and took pictures each step of the way. Afterwards we tried to talk with Mirela a little and that’s when her needs became obvious. She didn’t know her age or how long she had been in the orphanage or where she had come from. I think she knew that she had a sister at Voluntari (which the staff had already told me) but I don’t know how much else she was capable of understanding. Mirela will never get to go to school or have a job. She will likely not be placed in another foster family. Now that she is at the severe special needs orphanage she will be forgotten in the system. Out of sight, out of mind.

How could you not love this precious face so full of joy?!?!
As I left all I could think about is what will happen to Mirela. If she was in a loving family she might be able to learn simple tasks so she could have some sort of independence. She could never live on her own but she might be able to have a job or go to a special school. Most importantly I could see Mirela thriving in a loving family. She would bring so much joy to anyone who gave her attention. In fact, because she had spent time with a foster family I think she was better off than many of the kids there. She had some social skills that others in her orphanage lack.
Giving some love to this sweet little girl.
Of all the children I have meet I feel a real sense of urgency in getting Mirela out of the orphanage.


  1. That trip is always the hardest for me too. I'm praying for a way for her! :)

  2. So sad and her story is repeated millions of times around the world. But most never have the miracle of meeting you.