A couple of years ago my wife and I were in Vietnam completing the adoption of our youngest daughter. We were there for three weeks. Our daughter was almost four at the time. Because of the losses she had experienced, she wasn’t taking any chances anymore of being abandoned or left behind. So every night before bed, she would put her shoes in mine next to the hotel room door to ensure that I wouldn’t be able to leave without her.
It broke my heart – that a child so young would be so concerned about being forgotten. She was resolved and determined that it would not happen again.
I see a similar determination in the children we partner with at Love146. Many of these girls and boys, have lived most of their young lives in the shadows. The only people noticing or remembering them were those who wanted to use them for horrific reasons.
Yet in spite of (or as a result of) what they have experienced, I see a steely determination. You can see it in their eyes. You can see it in how they begin to excel in school. You can see it in how vigorously they become active participants in their own recovery. You can see it in how they are reaching out to other children at risk. You can see it in how tenaciously they pursue their dreams. You can see it in the fact that, no matter how many times they fall along their journey, they get up again. You can EVEN see it in how they get fierce on the huge punching bag that hangs from a tree on the safehome property. They shout with their lives…
”I will not be forgotten. I will not be left behind.”
My daughter is no longer leaving her shoes in mine next to the door. She is confident that we are not going anywhere. We’re in it together for life.
The children we have the privilege of partnering with at Love146 are convinced of the same. And it makes all the difference.