I sang today.
With children at my feet at an orphanage, I wore my voice out singing every song I could think of. Even in the equator heat and humidity, they found their voice in each "If you are happy and you know it." When I went to the baby room, I picked up the little babies (and the bigger kids with severe disabilities that are confined to cribs) and sang "You are my sunshine" to each set of big eyes that look at me. Sometimes they even sang along with their own squeaky noises because they are all so delayed on their verbal skills.
(Did you know for every 3 months that a child is in an institutional facility, they become essentially become 1 1 month developmentally delayed? So a two year old is atleast 8 months behind even the poorest children that have the benefit of a family.)
I left the orphanage to return home to my large home with too many things to unpack. I left the rows of broken beds and no mosquito netting to return to an air conditioned home that is clean and sanitary. And when I left, this song came on the CD player in my truck. And I realized that I have the most important song to sing.
A song of awareness.
A song of advocation.
A song of drawing attention to these children.
Ultimately, these children need families. They need homes with an adult or adults that love them, and hold them and sing them to sleep. And as much as I believe that people should open their hearts and homes to children like this, the reality is that in countries such as this, adoption is difficult.
These children have immediate needs to be filled. And for this holiday, I am going to use my voice to try to get these needs filled for them. If you feel like you want to join in this song, I invite you to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here is the list of needs that the orphanage gave me today:
- shoe rack
- dish drying rack
- frying pan (large)
- plastic clothes baskets
- Clothes pins
- blocks set
- medium size diapers
- baby wipes
- bottle brushes
- measuring cups (really good quality plastic or aluminum)
- Scale to weigh the babies (they are supposed to measure their growth but haven't been able to. Because of the availability of power here, non-electric is preferred.)
- 12 sets of pajamas for the girls and 12 sets for the boys (summer weight, 12 months to 4T)
- 12 swimming trunks for boys and 12 swimming suits for girls (12 months to 4T)
- Aluminum mugs for the kids to drink (they are wary of plastic here because it is cheap imported stuff that breaks here.)
The orphanage does not care if these things are used or new. If anyone has contacts in the medical field that may know where to find a used baby scale, I would LOVE to be able to get them this big ticket item.
Email me with questions and/or let me know what you would like to donate.
Let's sing LOUD on this one!