Have you ever looked at pictures of orphans and thought that their surroundings didn’t look too bad? In Katie’s room, there are even a few pictures hanging on colorfully-painted walls. There are sheets on the beds. About a year ago, some volunteers arranged to pipe music into every room on her floor.
“It’s a Small World After All,” must have been the staff favorite. Just now, I heard it again in my mind, and along with it came the memory of the overpowering stench of that place. Suddenly, I am seeing the rooms full of cribs, tiny people lying there alone, eyes empty, waiting, waiting, waiting…
What if money was poured into Katie’s orphanage, and every last square inch of it was remodeled and decorated according to the latest vogue? What if every orphan there was dressed up in brand new trendy clothes like child models? What if the workers only played Mozart and Bach over the speakers? What if they even went all out and decided to take care of the children’s teeth?
Did you see this picture in the girls’ room post?
When I see it, it gives me a sense of well-being, peace, contentment.
Why? What makes this picture look right?
Is it the items hung on the nicely-painted walls?
The sheets on the cribs, or my baby sleeping soundly?
The fact that I know music is playing?
…those things are also true of Katie’s orphanage. Although our music is way better, and the room doesn’t stink.
What if we had brought Verity home from the hospital, put her in this bed, and then…left her there alone?
What if Verity had not bonded with someone who thought she was the sweetest little sweet pea in the whole wide world?
What if nobody came when Verity needed her diaper changed?
What if nobody understood Verity’s unique potential? Or saw her as fully human?
What if we got Verity out of bed twice a day, only as long as it took to hurriedly wipe her crusty eyes and spit-upon face and hair with a baby wipe, change her diaper, and maybe her clothing?
What if we never brushed Verity’s teeth? Never had Verity’s eyes checked?
What if Verity had never been taught how to eat and drink properly?
What if we came into Verity’s room at feeding time, and fed her in her bed?
What if we didn’t look lovingly into Verity’s eyes for even the few minutes it took to do any of this basic care?
What if we never helped Verity’s body learn to move properly?
What if we never talked to Verity in a way she could understand?
What if we never let Verity experience all sorts of activities and touch all sorts of objects in this world God gave us so richly to enjoy?
What if we didn’t fill up Verity’s days with cuddles, kisses, playful interactions, affection, touch, love, love, love?
What if Verity lived this way for seven years, before a granny came into her life to focus on her for twenty hours a week, excepting holidays and vacations?
What condition would Verity be in right now if she had lived in this pretty room for just fourteen months in the same way that Katerina has lived in her room for one hundred fourteen months?
What if we treated Verity the way Katerina has been treated??
Would Verity be making progress in crawling over obstacles on the floor, pulling up to stand, beginning to cruise, stacking rings onto ring-stacker toys, turning pages of books and pointing to the pictures, learning new words, eating table foods, using some signs, and the list goes on?
What if Verity was living in this room, being profoundly neglected? How would this scene look different to us then?
What would still be missing from this picture?
Could you please take a look at this little boy? His name is “Tony.” He’s wearing a boyish shirt, sitting in a walker in a room with cheerful yellow walls. He lives where Katie lives.
This little boy is an orphan.
That means his greatest need is for a loving family.
Thousands of orphaned and abandoned children are never listed for adoption. There are many ways to love them, and more people are always needed to do that.
But God has now made it possible for a family to find “Tony.” This is a miracle.
There is a really big mountain between this little boy and a loving family just for him.
This little boy has Down syndrome. That’s not the big mountain, though.
He looks healthy enough, doesn’t he? A healthy toddler boy with Down syndrome, right?
Remember when I told you that the children on Reece’s Rainbow who are most overlooked are the older boys?
“Tony” weighs about the same as the average two-and-a-half year old boy with Down syndrome.
We will not stop praying for him until God does another miracle and sets him in a family.
Would some of you pray with us? Thank you, friends.