“Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Then He took the children in His arms and placed His hands on their heads and blessed them! (Mark 10:14-16)
Yesterday, Tuesday August 2nd, I had the privilege to journey with some new friends outside Addis to a town called Adama. This young couple is in the process of adopting a sweet baby boy. So yesterday we headed to the orphanage to meet their little guy!
I’ve been hoping for this opportunity since we arrived in Addis. But I’m not sure I was prepared for the VERY mixed emotions after being there for a few hours and seeing first hand these sweet babies!
(for the privacy and safety of these little children, they asked that we not post pictures on the internet, so you won’t be seeing any sweet baby faces, but know that they were ADORABLE!! 🙂 )
The orphanage was settled on a cobblestone street in a very quiet part of the town.
As you walked through the gate and into the foyer of the building, you noticed (especially as a mom of three!) that it’s NOT very kid friendly!
(a guy on a short term mission trip painted the mural on the wall around the door. LOVED it!!)
As you continue down the hall past the mural you come to a room that is SERIOUSLY no larger than most people’s living room. Lining the walls were about eight/nine cribs, some with baby’s, some without.
Then your eyes travel down to the floor where about 11 or so toddlers are staring up at you with HUGE brown eyes. Some running to hide behind the nannies, others hesitantly stepping forward to see who has come to play!
We spent a good half hour in this room playing and being silly with these guys. The couple I went with enjoyed watching their little guy (Sam) in his environment and interacting with him. After this time, one of the nurses pulled Sam out with us into the foyer area to spend some one on one time with him. I loved being able to be there and capture some memories for them as they learned, played, and held their little guy.
Before we left we slipped back into the toddler room to play one last time. First thought/impression is this is a nursery or day care. Their mom’s and dad’s will be there soon to pick them up and they’ll go home to their comfy little homes. Then the reality sinks in that no, there are no moms or dads for these little guys… and your heart breaks a little!
Then as I sat there and played, held and loved on them, I realized how blessed they really were! I am SO thankful for the sweet little ones who have forever families already, and pray that God will bring in families for the ones without. But even when everything that we know as our stability, constant, our life was taken away from them, “God took the children in HIS arms and placed His hands on their heads and blessed them!” He gave them a home. He gave them a family of other children, like themselves, to have as brothers and sisters. Mostly I was so amazed by the nannies that give up their days (and sometimes nights) to love on these treasures of the Lord. To be willing to be THAT ONE who WILL love on and take care of till God provides them with a forever family! I heard the mom of Sam say over and over with tears in her eyes “Thank you so much for taking care of him for us!”
(Now, I want to state CLEARLY, that my heart breaks for these little guys, and I pray that God will provide forever families for them soon!)
My first reaction, like you I’m sure when you think of orphans, was to pity them and their situation. But I realized how blessed they are!
It was a very real moment of understanding just how much God takes care of us, even when it seems all is taken away!
“Don’t stop them [from coming to me]! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children!”