Day 14: Montego Bay, Jamaica
The quiet and noise battling for position, the shadows marking their territory – and the words that cause my heart to ache for the little ones caught inside the system at a third-world orphanage. They are physically safe. But I see the search in their eyes for the something more. They want to know if those who left them here will return for them.
She was alone in a corner, rocking back and forth. The government orphanage – her home for the past two years – provided her a safe place and good food, but little girls with special needs don’t always know how to let people know the longings inside.
And this little girl longed for joy.
There was little that made her happy. The auntie who put braids in her hair and the getting too near other kids caused her to scream out in fear. Her body would stiffen and her legs would kick in silent protest of the common things the other little ones were doing.
But she came alive in flight. Arms outstretched, breeze to her face, simple swinging back and forth and back again. Her squeals and laughter told her world that joy had come today in the holding and in the tending and in the not giving up.
I wanted to pin a note to her dress – to let others know there was joy was inside, just waiting to fly.
(I wish I could show you a photo of her face or of the surprised smiles that came when she was swung high in the air – but her precious hand will have to do because of orphanage policies).