All over the world, they peer from the shadows of deconstructed realities…
How do I summarize ten of the most amazing days of my life? I’m home now, still jet-lagged, but Kenya remains on my mind – the warmth of the Kenyans, the ever-present smiles, the stark beauty of the land, the evocative singing, animals I don’t find in my backyard, the children and the people we met, our awesome team…
A shuddering breath escapes my lungs as I take in the environment surrounding me. This is my first encounter with the extreme devastation of poverty. I see the tear-stained faces of people who know what it feels like to skip meals on a regular basis.
More than a million orphaned children live in Kenya. Yet, though I had previously worked in Mathare Valley, one of the largest informal settlements (slums) in East Arica, home to thousands of vulnerable children, I did not fully appreciate the plight of orphaned children until 2005 when I started working for an adoption agency.
If you were to ask me how old I was when I first learned about orphaned children, or in what context, I wouldn’t be able to recall for sure. Perhaps it began with “The Rescuers” – a cartoon movie about two mice who help an orphan named Penny escape from the terrible Madam Medusa.
The following is an interview with Dianna, who is a sponsor for two Hope’s Promise children in Kenya. Dianna and her husband are adoptive parents and she also serves on the Hope’s Promise board of directors.
This past summer Hope’s Promise was excited to host a Connection Team to Kenya. Taking 27 people on the nearly 9,000-mile journey was just the beginning.
I invite them: come. Come, stand on the brink of devastation, human suffering as you have never seen before.
He studied my face, streaked with happy tears. His little eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Then he leaned on my shoulder and melted into my embrace. For days after, if he was awake, he was in my arms.
For many of us in America, November fills us with profound gratitude for family, whether those we received at birth, or those we choose, or those who choose us. The loved ones with whom we gather on Thanksgiving Day are a gift beyond measure.