Thursday, March 24, 2022

The world of ought and the world of is...


There are many people who believe there should be no such thing as a children’s home.  Academics have studied the issue and concluded that children in a group home don’t bond as well as those in a family.  (Blinding insight!) I have been lectured, criticized, and patronized about the disadvantages of children’s homes.  “Children ought to be in a family.” “You ought to enable the families to care for their children instead of housing them”  “You ought not to be a part of perpetuating children’s homes.” 

The root causes that lead to a child being placed in a home began many generations ago and are not just country specific or even regional.  The root causes are global in nature and deeply embedded in cultures, politics, and laws.  At LAMB, we cannot fix a country and we certainly can’t fix the world.  We absolutely agree that children ought to be in safe, loving families.  We know that children in homes have a harder time bonding.  But, in this world of “ought,” what ought we do when social services brings us a newborn who was found stuffed in a latrine? What ought we do when they bring us a 5 year old boy and baby sister whose mother sent him out to sell the baby?  What ought we do when an 11 year old girl and her 3 younger siblings are delivered to us because she was the primary (sole) caretaker of them? What ought we do when an impoverished mother begs us to take her children so they can be fed, clothed, and educated?

We live in the world of “is…” When these children come to us, we say, “yes.” We open our hearts and arms to them.  We provide for them, love them, educate them, ride very stormy times with them. All the while, we hope and pray for families for them, either their biological families or adoptive families. For the sibling groups, we encourage them to bond with each other.  For all our children we welcome them into our LAMB family.  Just like a biological family, we reassure them “once a lamb, always a lamb.” They know this is true because they have seen older lambs who went astray welcomed back into the fold. We do everything we can to strengthen the bonds with the biological families, through visits, zoom calls, and phone calls. Our lawyer and technical staff work tirelessly to facilitate other adoptions, despite the onerous and mysterious process in Honduras.  We hire loving staff but if they are not we fire them.

Today we celebrated with Isaac, age 4, who has been with us his entire life, having been abandoned at birth.  Tomorrow, he joins his adoptive family in Spain. Hopes realized, prayers answered.  One final hope and prayer we all have.  We long for the day every children’s home is closed permanently…because every single child in the world has a safe and loving family who can and will care for them. Until that day, we will continue to say yes.

These are pictures of Isaac then and now and from today's celebration during which we all hugged Isaac, told him we love him, prayed for him and his new family, and then celebrated with a huge cake! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.