Newborn found abandoned in a garbage bin…
Two well dressed baby boys, wrapped in blankets and placed in cardboard boxes, found at the building entrance….
Three month old baby girl found abandoned at the beach….
Two day old baby found crying and dehydrated on a hot summer day….
Are we so heartless? I asked myself when I looked at the babies. How can you abandon a child? Is it that you guilty conscience does not allow you respite when you see them? Or is it that the guilt associated with the illicit act makes them a liability? What can we do?
Over the year, the paper has reported a lot of abandoned children… I hate the paper. It reduces me to tears when I read of these children. I can’t fathom the life ahead for these precious ones. No one to love and no one to share or care for them. An old grand aunty of mine is childless. She had a miscarriage and was told at 24 that she would never be a mother again. Her life as a mother ended there.
I wondered for years how she felt. The taunts and berating she may have faced would be endless. There were countless relatives who were proud of their children and would have flaunted the fact of having them in front of her. Her arms may have ached to hold one of her own. Every child she took care of had a string attached. I once asked her why she had not adopted and the reply was,” What if they don’t love me as their own?”
The answer seemed so illogical to me. Why would they not love you? Was there any guarantee that your own flesh and blood would love and honour you all your life? Our society condemns an orphan. An unwed mother is ostracised for her decision to have a baby out of the wedlock. Does life have no value? A parent-less child is also the future of our nation. To adopt one is never a shame. A mother, who decided to bring her baby up despite the odds of not having a man attached, should be commended. The herculean task of caring, earning and bringing up a child – alone, is by every instance worth the Noble Prize. Why should an innocent child suffer? The abandoned babies are left at the mercy of a stranger or the street. They may be bullied, mistreated and abused by the same society that calls children the future of the nation. They are often not given proper education, food or even protection for the sole reason that they were unwanted or by some stroke of fate left without a guardian.
The people who want to adopt are berated and persuaded to rethink with the advise that this child who would love to have a parent is not worthy of love and cannot be trusted. Sometimes, I wonder, can a mother be so cruel or is it love that makes them abandon this child to a greater mercy? Is it better to abort or abandon? To have a child is a strong experience, to abandon one for a better future required courage in some form.
I wish that I had a chance to adopt. One may call it a romantic notion or a humane gesture. I want to adopt for the plain reason of having a heart that is capable of giving more. No strings attached. I have no guarantee that this child may love me all their life or simply hate me for choosing them. Not everyone may agree with me…but the future of the nation lies in our hands. We, the youth, must take a call in assisting and caring for these children who have no future to look to. I have begun my journey by sponsoring a child for education. My friends have sponsored food at various locales for the orphans. They have gone as volunteers to witness in first hand the use of the money they have spent. I have been telling my daughter of how an orphan prayed to Jesus for some lovely toys and clothes and of how Jesus asked her if she could spare some for this poor child. The answer would be a simple “yes” and an open hearted disposal of all her old but lovely things. There are exceptions…the lovely pink dress is for her sister and the big Pooh Bear is off limits – even for her sister!
I guess the point I am trying to make is that children in all forms are precious. We, as adults, must take a conscious approach in taking care of them. My grandmother used to tell us of our Grandpa’s generosity. If ever a child came begging for money to my Grandpa, he would bring them home, feed them and ask them to stay and do some chore if they wanted to stay for long. His heart was big enough to realise that the child was begging not only for themselves but also for someone they cared for. There was never a dearth of children at his place and no end to the tears that they shed when he died. He may have asked them to work for their food, but his intention was only to ensure that they understood that working would enhance their life and lift them out of poverty. He has not adopted anyone legally, but his heart and his attitude adopted all sorts of children. Children, who grew up to be hardworking, loyal and sincere.
Do you have the heart to do the same….to help an abandoned child? Food, shelter or just plain care is what these little seed need to flower. Don’t abandon them. Protect them. Give them a chance to grow and be the best. Can’t you be their cosy sunshine?