Almost three years ago, I was in a scrapbooking store with my newborn looking for stickers for his lifebook. I was clueless about how to create a book for a child by birth. Adoption books for my older two daughters were what I was familiar with. I wandered the aisles slowly as my son started to fuss and then really make a racket. He was hungry. I rounded a corner on my way out of the store and was blocked by a smiling woman. She said, “I just love that sound.” I was dumbfounded for a second. What on earth could she be talking about?! That sound is the sound of a cold or hot or wet, or in this case, angrily hungry little man that I need to attend to. I quickly ducked around the woman and bolted to my minivan to feed my baby. It was a moment easily forgotten until I found myself sitting in the office of a Guangdong orphanage at rest time on a site visit to one of the LWB programs we are sponsoring.
I had just had lunch with the orphanage’s assistant director, translator, and kindergarten’s English teacher. We returned to the orphanage during siesta time. All the babies and children were bedded down for an hour. The director and teacher had business to attend to. My translator and I took a seat and rested our eyes during the quiet time.
I have to admit to dozing off for a few minutes. When I awoke it was to the sound of a baby crying. I found myself thinking, “what a wonderful sound”. The baby cried and within seconds, I could hear someone comforting the baby and soothing him or her back to quiet. It happened again, and again intermittently over the course of the next thirty minutes or so.
With closed eyes, I reflected on those good cries. Children in this orphanage are loved by their caretakers and all the donors and volunteers of Love Without Boundaries. They receive high quality formula and cereal. Babies look healthy. Toddlers and children unable to attend local schools due to disabilities attend kindergarten and school on-site at the orphanage. Children who need physical therapy receive it on a weekly basis as physical therapy students from the local university conduct internships and volunteer hours here. Children in need of life saving surgeries get them. I had seen at least ten children recovering or fully recovered from recent surgeries – all smiling and ready to take on the world. Best of all, during nap time, when somebody was wet or hot or scared a child could cry with the confidence that loving hands would touch them and attend to their need.
Tears welled up in my own eyes as I thought about all the children in so many orphanages that we have yet to reach with love and medical care, nutrition, education and loving hands. My prayer is that LWB continue to grow so that we can all hear and experience those very good cries.