I've heard, many times, about people struggling to reintegrate after seeing extreme poverty. And I've known about it, seen pictures, and grieved piteously just from looking at the websites in the aftermath of people's journeys. I prepared myself for it, this fight to figure out what it all means. Maybe I've prepared myself to well.
I feel hardened. I feel like I cannot allow myself to process the things I've seen or allow myself to dwell on them, because really, what happens if I allow myself to REALLY, TRULY look at what is going on, in my daughter's homeland?
I'm struggling to figure out where to go from here. Because I don't know what I can do from my comfortable, stable home to make a difference in the lives of children there. Because the corruption in Congo is overwhelming at times. But that hardness is tearing me apart, because I NEED to do something, for the children, and for me. For my own heart. For my own peace of mind. I can't sit here and do nothing. Adoption is fantastic, but it's such a small part of orphan care around the world.
This weekend, a friend of mine visited orphanages in Congo. And in one of the homes, they were present for the kids' one meal of the day. ONE meal of the day. And it was a small piece of bread that they dipped in tea for flavor, to fill their small bellies. They lined them up and fed them this small amount of food.
It's heartbreaking, when you actually stop and think about this idea. One meal. Bread and tea.
But it gets harder. What the picture doesn't show is the "older" kids. The ones who are around 4. The ones standing in the back, with nothing to eat, because the orphanage ran out. And the little ones need it more to survive. Think about that, really think about that for just a second. The ONE meal of a day, and there isn't enough for all the kids to eat that day.
Oh, Friends. That hurts.
I can't tell you exactly where I'll go from here, but I can tell you this: things have got to change. Because I'm fairly certain that I won't survive the stain on my heart from doing nothing. Will you?