Monday, March 31, 2014

The New Day Song

In some ways it feels like we've never left.  The same squawking geese gather behind the foster home's back wall.  The same laughter wafts out the doors and windows.  The same cacophony of horns beeping, engines chugging and birds singing on the road rises right outside the back yard's wall, sometimes drowning out everything else.

I close my eyes and listen, and it feels like we've never left.

Just over three years ago, my husband and I packed up our home, dog, and newborn daughter to return to America after nearly 4 years living, working, and loving in this place.  I asked Jacob how it felt to be back, and he said, 'It feels like we're just returning from a long visit home.'  I couldn't agree more. 

But what makes me realize just how much time has passed is looking at the faces of the children... the little ones we knew and loved are almost all at home with their families now.  My heart swells to think of the sheer number of little ones who waited and longed for a mama and baba of their own who now wake up in their own beds with their family down the hall and hear the birds singing outside their own bedroom's window.

And I see the little ones here now... faces I only knew from the blog, Facebook, and the website.  Children I hadn't met in person until this week. New faces, but it seems their histories and challenges are more dire than the ones who came before.  Their stories break my heart – it seems the cacophony of tragedy and trauma faced by these children when they were not yet strong enough to hold up their own heads would be loud enough to drown out any song of hope.

But it isn't. 

I watch a nanny cuddle her little charge as she gives her a breathing treatment... playing with her ten little fingers and toes and teaching her that she has worth and value, and I hear a song rising.

I watch a speech therapist, who was once 'just' a nanny from the village but received training from short-term therapy volunteers, coach hard-to-form sounds from the mouths of little ones who some said would never speak, and I hear a song rising.

I watch the foster home manager come home from taking a child to meet her adoptive family.  She knew just what to say to help prepare the little girl's heart – as well as anyone could - for an unimaginably big transition, and I hear a song rising.

I watch a pre-school teacher working on her curriculum and teaching children with joy; celebrating their abilities and expecting their success, and I hear a song rising.

I cuddle a tiny 6-month-old baby girl who was so small when she came, it doesn't seem possible that she could have survived.  I hold her on my lap and she coos and gurgles and I hear a song rising.

Each time I come back to this place, the faces of the children are new – but the song is the same. It's a song of hope and redemption and restoration.  A song that says while the past may be full of bitterness, brokenness, and tragedy, today is a New Day and it is worth singing about.  A song that says though the world might see these children as beyond hope, worthless, even discarded, they have value and unimaginable worth.  

It's a song I know well.  My heart sings along, and it feels like home to me.

This post was written by former long-term volunteer, Carrie McKean

1 comment:

  1. It feels like home to me too. ;)
    And that song you hear at New Day is brought to my home everyday. My ND babies always have a song on their lips!!!! We love you all!!!!