Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Starfish Analogy

We had another amazing day at the orphanage yesterday.  When we walked through the door 50 children came running to us.  The oldest is 7 years old.  They once again immediately latch on to you-they sit on your foot and hold your leg, they pull on your arm to be picked up, or they just jump up and down so excited that you are there.  85% of them are naturally happy.  They have nothing in the world, but they are innately happy.  I suppose part of it is because they have no idea what they are missing, but I also believe children don't need very much to be happy.  That idea, whether my children are conscious of it or not, has translated to them.  Even just after a few days they are not asking for their ipods, they are not bickering as much because they have more gratitude in their hearts, and because they are looking outward they are thinking less of themselves.  I wish so badly I would have incorporated more service into our family life!  We have always served here and there, and it has always been something we have tried to concentrate on, but it is different when it is consistent.  It is different when they have ownership in it.  It is different when you add it to family counsels and you come up with what you want to do together.  When things are repetitive, the fear of the unknown is gone for the children.  They begin to yearn for whomever they are serving because now they are a part of them.  My children woke up and could not wait to get there.  We had stopped at a grocery store to buy some items on their list and the kids were begging to just go straight to the orphanage.  They didn't want to have any of their time taken from being with the children.  That is amazing to me.  There was no talk of going to the beach or swimming in the pool...
The other 15% are withdrawn, some of them only at first and then they warm up and engage.  They had toys all around them that we had brought and yet they just sat there.  I tried to hand them a toy personally but they just handed it back.  We will keep trying with them.  No doubt they are obviously having a hard time adjusting or have just never felt love.  The Thai people are truly loving, so I can't imagine that, but many have come from single parent homes who are abjectly poor or have been living with grandparents who might not be able to give as much as they need-
Then there is the one 2 year old little girl I wrote about yesterday.  She did not cry as much this time.  She still cried anytime I tried to pick her up, but I did find her often just standing next to me.  I would have 5 or six kids on my lap (they all wanted their nails painted-even the boys!) and she would be right there next to me...I am hoping after time she will warm up and let us hold her.  She is so precious.
My kids are now non stop begging to adopt.  There is one brother and sister here that my children have all fallen in love with.  It is interesting to me that all 6 of them have gravitated to these 2.  Brandon told me he prayed about it last night and feels really good about it.  So sweet.  Anyone have a 10 passenger van?!  I will post pictures of them.  Hollie and Sam-kudos to you.  I now see why so many are adopting from these countries.  The principle  of the starfish has come alive.  Even if all we do is play with these kids for 3 weeks and help give them needed supplies and food-someone else will come and pick up where we left off.  A little here and a little there and we can all collectively help.  It is the only way this orphanage will make it.  The principle is true because the orphanage is still here.

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