Earlier this week I was having a conversation with a friend here and we were discussing some fairly deep theological questions; those things that you wonder but know that although you might scratch the surface, the answers will most likely not be found until we are face to face with the only One who can answer those questions.
A few days later one of my students asked a question that I also had no answer for. This wasnt a deep theological question, but an honest question coming from child's heart. During class one day this week I had the opportunity to give one of our kids some pictures of his family. This sweet boy has been matched with an amazing family and they are waiting on pins and needles for the day when they get to meet him and bring him home. His immediate response when he saw the pictures was "Mama! Baba!" He knew exactly who they were. Shortly after, John, who is one of our doctor's kids and in this same class asked "doesn't he miss his mommy?" I explained that he had not yet met his mommy but that she would be here soon to take him home. He asked again "but doesn't he miss his mommy?" so again, I tried to explain that he didn't know her yet but would meet her soon. Then he said "no, his real mommy...doesn't he miss his real mommy?" My heart ached at his question. How do you explain to a 5 year old why orphanages exist in the first place? How do you explain that his sweet little friend probably has no recollection of his mom? I really had no answer, because to be honest, I don't know.
As my time here grows, this has been a question that I have wondered myself so many times. Do these sweet babies miss their mommies? Do they even remember? As I get to know individual children, their personalities, their names, their giggles, their likes and dislikes; as I grow more and more in love with them I can't help but wonder, how could someone not want this child? I know that there are often circumstances that are beyond control and in reality, many of these children are getting the medical, physical, and emotional care that they may not otherwise have had the chance to get. But I just can't help but wonder. I know it is a question that will continue to go unanswered. And I am not just referring to it here, it is world-wide. 140+ million world-wide.
But the answer I can give John (and more often myself) is that these children are dearly loved. They are cared for and they are spoken for. They have a name, they have a story, and we have the opportunity to tell those stories on their behalf. I also know that although they may not have an earthly father, they have a heavenly Father who cares deeply for them and who knows the answers to all of those questions that keep us wondering.