I just started reading The Boy From Baby House 10: From the Nightmare of a Russian Orphanage to a New Life In America, written by Alan Philips and John Lahutsky. The book's dedication, To the children who never made it, makes me very sad. I have read all of 10 pages so far. Eventually I know I will finish this book. Maybe. In a while, down the road. Maybe when there is a little more distance between my recent trip to Russia and the present day escapades of my little Russian boy. Maybe not. I like to think that the orphanage my son spent the first twenty four months of his life in was not like the one I will read about in this book. I felt love in that hallway of the baby hospital. I think. The caregivers smiled and laughed with the children. The doctor seemed caring. If what I saw is to be believed, then I think that my little guy was loved. He was obviously well cared for. While he came to us malnourished he was clean, free of bruises. So I don't think that his life would have been like the life of the boy in the book I cannot bring myself to read. I don't think that at all. But I did ask enough questions about the futures of the children left behind in that baby hospital to know that his life would have been hard. He may or may not have had an opportunity to go to school and he certainly would not have been able to further his education in college. He would not have known relationships or how to form them. He would have been a number. Just a name and number to a government already overwhelmed by the names and numbers of so many in need.
I attempt to read books like this one for a few reasons. I want to know. I am interested in what is happening in orphanages in the countries my children hail from. I feel a responsibility to one day be able to answer any questions my boys may have. I feel very close to the children we saw, played with, left toys for. I often wonder what will happen to them and I pray that they will find their way out. The attempt to read this particular book about a young boy who would have surely died had he not found his forever family reminded me of the moment I realized my oldest son may not have survived had he not found us. Had God not led us to China my big four and a half year old may not have survived his childhood. I came to this realization during a Stephen Curtis Chapman concert. Read about it here.
I don't think about it very often. We have sports practices and music classes, Sunday school and preschool homework. Oh my God the preschool homework! All I can say is thank goodness next year, when the big four and half year old is in kindergarten the tiny toddler will not yet be in preschool. The year after that though, with a first grader and a preschooler the homework may just overtake me. And by then, another year removed from the dirt roads, the boarded up buildings where tired citizens still work every day, the large ballroom with the beautiful gold and glass chandelier up the two flights of stairs with the peeling paint, holes in the drywall and unlit light fixtures dangling from the ceiling - another year removed from the gray and feeling of heaviness, another year immersed in giggles and kisses and hugs and potty training and preschool homework- by then I bet I will hardly think of my boys big escape.
I often wish there was more I could do. I want to go back and bring them all home. The little boy who always asks when his mommy and daddy are coming to get him. The little girl who wanted my full attention. The tiny Chinese babies, all dressed in little pink and blue outfits staring up at me from row after row of cribs. I can't, of course. But once you've seen them, hugged them, played with them- these children are real to me now, and their needs are real as well. That is why I like show HOPE. This amazing organization provides orphan care, adoption aid, and so much more to the world's most needy. And right now you can help. If you are still in need of a last minute gift for a hard to buy for loved one, consider a gift from show HOPE's online Gifts of Hope. I like this gift catalog because you can select how, and where, you would like your monetary donation to be spent. Food, shelter, baby supplies - what is your heart saying to you? Christmas is right around the corner, but it is never too late to do what God calls you to.