Saturday, September 18, 2010

Turning 16

 Another note from a friend:

"A few days ago I went to my 16 year old brother’s performance.  Over 200 high school students held their heads high and played their memorized music, knowing that their parents were watching from the stands.    As they showed off their skills, hundreds of proud parents looked on, eager to capture each moment on camera or film.  In the middle of the moment, it felt so obvious, so right:  this is what a 16 year old child should have . . .  someone interested in their life.  It is what I pray for each of the kids in the orphanage.

People often ask me what the hardest part of my job is, and I can say without  hesitation that the hardest thing is watching a child’s 16th birthday come and go with no family stepping forward to adopt them.  2010 has been especially difficult in this area.   This year there were no families deciding to file paperwork at the last minute to keep a child eligible for adoption.

Instead, 16th birthdays of children I know well and love dearly have come and gone over and over again.  Each of them hold a special place in my heart, a place that will now be a little bit broken and hurts every time I think of them and what awaits them outside of the orphanage.
Each of these children is so different, each has unique needs and challenges but in one way they are all the same-they desperately wanted and needed parents, but parents never came.   They will never have a chance to show mom and dad what they can do.  They will now face life on their own.   The commitment of an adoptive family to love them no matter what, could have changed all this, but for those 16 and over, it will never happen.

At the same time that I smile watching my brother, another part of me cries inside for the 16 year olds I know on the other side of the world who have gone without parents for so long and now will go without them forever.    Please pray for these kids, as well as others in the orphanage who will be turning 16 this school year."

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