Most nights are normal for our little family of two. I tuck my child in, sing her a song, read the bible, and she will drift asleep and then peacefully wake me up in the morning. She’ll tell me the sun’s up, and that its time for us to get up and time for me to drink some coffee! Most nights we function as any other family would, but there are some nights that expose just how far from “normal” we really are.
On these nights my child will go to sleep and wake up multiple times in the night crying desperately for “mama,” unable to be comforted by my hugs and kisses. She will mourn, feeling the pain of the three times she experienced abandonment in her life. She may not remember what truly happened, she may not even understand where the sadness is coming from, but there is one thing I’m sure she knows: she has lost something so valuable in her life.
I won’t go into details about what’s happened in our lives, but my child is not my biological one. Although she keeps in touch with her biological family, she was not raised physically by them. She was raised in an orphanage and then by me. Too often people will see her big bright smile, aspiration-filled eyes, and spunky attitude and believe she’s totally fine, that no matter what happened in the past she’s just like any other child. I can assure you, although she has recovered drastically, she is still hurt beyond comprehension.
The reason I’m blogging about her tears in the night is not to ask for a sympathy vote, but to show the real reason why orphan prevention programs are so necessary and why ROOM works its hardest to come alongside families in keeping their children. That initial separation between mother and child creates a scar that cuts so deep its unable to be filled by anyone, no matter how great of a caretaker they are. While new bonds can be formed, formidable and healthy, that child will forever be scarred from that one separation, no matter if they were just born or a teenager.
My child is not the first child I’ve seen cry in the night for a mother that left her. This story is a story as old as time, a pain that many other foster and adoptive parents have to experience. Adoption is one of the most beautiful things in the world, but for a child to never have to experience loss in the first place and thrive in a loving family is the best option they can be given.
I wish my child never had to experience the pain she does. I wish someone had come alongside her mom while she was pregnant, and aided her so that the initial separation never had to happen, even though she is the love of my life and I’d never want to see a world without her.
Now, that being said throwing a child back into their family isn’t not always the answer, as was the case with my child. While reintegration needs to be handled with much care and cautiousness, we strive to come alongside mothers and families to keep their children before that lasting scar is ever torn into their children in the first place.
Won’t you come alongside us and donate to ROOM’s prevention project? Save a child from tears in the night, save them from a lifetime of hurt from the loss of their family. Save a family from the loss of their child, provide for those who can’t just because of poverty. Sometimes the answer is not to be the mother, but to save the mother.