Monday, December 27, 2010

Posted by Erin Posted on 10:15 PM | 1 comment

Becoming a Mother

It's true. I'm a mommy! But, before you freak out, let me explain. You see, the organization I worked with in India is called As Our Own. They are an organization made up of people who are "caring for vulnerable children as their own. For life." From the moment I heard of this ministry, I knew I had to be a part of what God was doing through them. I had the privilege of hearing Ralph, the President of As Our Own, speak on a few occasions and every time I found myself humbled and challenged by his faith and the stories of God’s rescuing in India. What most stuck with me is the desire that Ralph and his team have to raise these little girls as their own children. Ralph says, “It is easy to raise a child as an orphan. The challenge and the joy are in raising an orphan as your own.” They seek to learn how God has uniquely formed and gifted each child and then do all they can to foster that gifting.

From the first time I heard Ralph say this, my heart latched onto the idea. I want to love these girls like they are my daughters. Each one of them are uniquely created and I want to help to nurture them into the young women God has intended them to be. For the last year my heart has held onto this idea, claiming it as truth. And as far as I knew how, I did love the girls as my own. But, I still was living my life for myself. I am a 27 year-old, single woman with no children. I have the freedom to spend my time and my money how I want to without having to worry about a family.

But my time in India changed all that. Sitting face to face with these girls, hearing their stories, seeing their personalities...I fell in love. We worshipped together. And we laughed, and danced, and painted each other's toenails. These are my girls, my daughters and sisters. They called us Didi and Dada. Erin Didi. Mitch Dada... it means big sister or brother. My heart was no longer clinging to the idea of loving these girls as my own. It was enveloped by the truth that these girls ARE my own. I know where some of them have come from. I heard the stories of abuse, rape, abandonment. I long to walk with them through their healing. And I saw their talents. One little girl was an incredible natural dancer. She needs to be in dance lessons. Another girl wants to go to seminary. Oh how I want to sit with her and talk about the deep things of God, to rejoice with her over God's works and words. There was one girl who I just wanted to hug and tell her how beautiful she is. That she is smart and talented and beautiful and God made her purposefully. That she is loved.

The night we left was one of the hardest nights of my life. As the girls loaded the vans to go back to Grace Home, it was all I could do to not cry. And those tears just kept pushing their way to my eyes through the entire flight home. I never imagined that I would know what it was like to send your child off to school for the first day or to college or anywhere that would mean separation for any amount of time before I'd even been on a date. But there it was, this horrible truth that I had to come back to Houston and live on the complete opposite side of the world from my girls. I'm sure the mothers reading this are skeptical that I could know how they feel. And perhaps it's not the same. There is really no way to know. All I know is that my life has to be different now. I can't spend my money however I want. I do have a family to think about. I have little girls that need to be in dance class and need to go to college. I have babies that outgrow their clothes too quickly and sometimes have tummy aches. I have sweet girls who have hurts and heartaches that need counseling so they have help finding healing. These are my girls.

And you know what? They are you girls too. As the church we have a responsibility to love the orphan, to help the weak. We can't expect the church staff or the people "called" to the mission field to do it all. You are the church. I am the church. You and I should be loving orphan children as our own. There is something that you can do. To find out visit
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Sarah said...

Wonderful post. My heart aches too for all the little girls and boys who don't have someone who loves them.