My Life Is Crazy Too is a series of reader submissions. Your life is a story … this is your opportunity to share your stories about life, love, and mommyhood to provide understanding, hope, and compassion in the unique situations each of us face every day. “Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it! I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I’ll never quit telling the STORY of your love.” Ps 89:1 If you would like to submit a story to this series, email me at email@example.com. Today’s crazy guest is blogger, Nikki Cochrane, committed to advocating for and supporting children with special needs at home and around the world. Her post below outlines an experience at the orphanage for abandoned, disabled children in India that she supports. Go here to read more about her work, or get your blog designed here and support its continuation.
“You are living in a society where it is okay if these kids die.”
That is what was said to me during a volunteer meeting in India this summer, when I was spending one incredible month at Sarah’s Covenant Homes. Hard to stomach, isn’t it? One beautiful girl was abandoned in a cemetery. Another, who is so sweet and funny, but has disfigured hands and feet, was left to die inside a rice bag in a field. The kids come to SCH starving, abused, neglected, and forgotten. When I take a step back and think of their pasts, it makes me so sad. Not enough people are able to look past their special needs to see that beauty. I want to share it with you.
Promise is about thirteen years old. She is blind, has cerebral palsy, scoliosis, and a host of issues related to her kidneys and bladder that leave her catheterized. After my first trip to SCH two years prior, Promise was very, very sick. . It’s nothing short of a miracle that she is still here today.
It is hard to get Promise to smile. Promise is mobile, so one afternoon I took her hand and walked around the Home with her. I rubbed her back and brushed her hair into a little pigtail. I tickled her and gave her kisses, but couldn’t get a smile out of her. We sat down on the bed, and one of the other little girls came and sat on my lap. I told her to go play with the other kids, and sent her down the hall to where the group of girls were sitting. Ginger is an outgoing child who gets tons of attention and love, and I was trying to make Promise feel special. I scooped Promise up on the bed beside me and put her in my lap, and then Ginger starting crying, jealous that Promise had taken the spot on my lap. All my tickles and kisses couldn’t get a smile out of her, but in that moment, Promise started laughing joyfully. Whether it was because I had put her in my lap, or because she thought it was funny that I had sent Ginger away, I am not sure, but it sure made me smile!! (Don’t worry, I was sure to find Ginger later to play with her before I left. I don’t think her feelings were too injured!) Promise has had a really rough life. She has always struggled health-wise and has been sick most of her life. I know my thirty minutes of special attention won’t change that, but I hope I brightened her day, and I know that she brightened mine.
Another day at the Home I painted nails. With my bright pink bottle of nailpolish, I went from little girl to big girl and decorated their fingers and toes. It wasn’t perfect; the girls were squirmy and the polish got everywhere, but it sure was fun. Rhoda, who I never knew very well, was my best buddy after I gave her pink toenails, and she was following me with her arms up, wanting to be walked with. Faith (pictured) who is autistic, was squealing with delight and clapping her hands. Felicia tried so hard to stay still while I painted her toes, and then scooted on her bum across the bed when I was done and we had a nice snuggle. I know when I have nailpolish on, I instantly feel prettier. I hope these girls feel beautiful, because they are.
There are so many other stories that could be shared. There is baby Aloe, who has primordial dwarfism and is teensy tiny, but struts around the Home like she is the Queen of the world! There is Cedar, who is blind and lethargic, but who comes alive when we take him to the beach and let the big waves crash against him. There is Wendy, the big sister of the home, who gives a kiss on the cheek to everyone she meets, and doesn’t let them leave without pointing out the bracelets around her wrists and the bows in her hair, giggling when she gets told how beautiful she is.
It is not okay if these kids die. It is not okay to me. It is not okay to the volunteers that come or the staff that works with them. They have such a beautiful presence and each one is special, from Faith and her carefree dancing, to beautiful Promise who inspires each person she meets with her strength and ability to overcome. It is not okay.