These past few weeks have been slightly more difficult than I would have liked. I am getting to know my kids better than I ever hoped. However, this also means that I’m getting to know their disabilities. I have to come to terms with the fact that they will need care all their lives. It’s unlikely they’ll be adopted.
While working at the hospital, I visited a child who has very little chance of living much longer. We can’t even hold the kids there, because, unlike at the orphanage, we don’t know their conditions and could make them worse. Literally the only thing I could do for this child was touch him through the bars of his crib and hope it would ease his passing. I couldn’t stop thinking about it: If I wasn’t able to save his life, what was I doing wanting to be a foreign aid worker? I will see death and decay and poverty so many times, and I won’t be able to do anything in many cases. So why try?
At the same time this was going on, I learned of another senseless shooting in America. Comments surrounding the event were divisive and full of rage and hate. So many people fueled tensions by pointing to the gunman’s self-professed religion as the reason for the atrocity.
As I told my father that week, “It’s not hard for me to believe in God. It’s humanity I have a problem with.” I don’t believe people are born good. We steal, we lie, we kill each other in the name of religion, racism, and selfishness. My goal in life is to become a much better person than I was when I started, but sometimes it seems hopeless.
So I made myself take a closer look. And I saw a group of coworkers who very generously donated money to me for the orphanage before I left my job. This week, Teo and I were able to buy diapers and supplies for all the kids using that money. Every June, while the orphanage is renegotiating discounted supply contracts, it has to find money wherever it can. Without the support of my kind friends, they might not have had enough to go around this month.
So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for not only restoring my faith in the goodness of humanity, but reminding me why I want to do humanitarian work: these children, and all others, need and deserve love, no matter how physically or mentally broken they may be. Sometimes, that will be all I can give. But I believe that love can work miracles.