Saturday, June 12, 2010

An Orphan's Grief

One of the things about our trip to Ghana that I haven't been able to shake was our experience at the orphanage. I've worked with children in schools in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. And, despite all of the reading I've done throughout our adoption process, I wasn't prepared for the difference. 

Orphans, no matter how young, have experienced a traumatic, life changing event - and they know it. The little girl I'm holding in the picture below was in her crib sobbing uncontrollably. Even after I picked her up (which calmed every other baby in that facility) she just sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. (I had to put a heart over part of her face to not break any laws).

My initial thought was that in all of the chaos of getting 43 babies fed, she'd been skipped and didn't get her bottle. She was just hungry.

I approached the head "auntie" and asked for a bottle for her. The auntie's response let me know that it wasn't her tummy that was yearning for something, but her heart.

She had been dropped off at the orphanage only 3 days prior. And she was sad. So sad.

I don't know exactly what tragic circumstance brought her to this orphanage. But unfortunately, her experience is shared by 145 million orphans worldwide.

These children experience intense grief at such young, tender ages. I've not only read about it in adoption books, I've seen it in this little girl's eyes.

Pray for orphans worldwide - that God would heal their broken hearts, mend their little spirits, and put people in their lives to show them love.


  1. Im sure you have seen this...but just in case you haven't!

  2. Anna, I loved reading your posts of your "journey" in Ghana! I am so proud to know you. Your so flexible, loving, and visionary. Thanks for doing this trip with the youth. I know it has changed everyone involved forever. Wish I had been there!

  3. Anna, what did you mean that you had to put a heart over her face to not break any laws?


...join us as we bring baby "Eli" home from Ethiopia and advocate for the 147 million orphans worldwide...