We celebrate a lot of birthdays at the orphanage. It takes us 2 weeks to celebrate all of the birthdays that fall within a 2 month time frame. A. Lot. of. Birthday. Some of you hate your birthday and hate celebrating your birthday because you’re getting “older.” Or, maybe, you’ve just been really spoiled. Meaning, you’ve always had your birthday celebrated. You’ve always had your Mom and/or Dad retell your birth-day-story on each and every birthday. When you were a kid you got to pick out your cake, your theme and, most likely you got presents. Every single year you were reminded of how loved you were and how incredibly special your birth-day was. You’ve gotten used to this, you’re over it, you’re spoiled.
Our kids at the orphanage…it’s the opposite. See, the mere fact that they were abandoned and have no life family, means that they (in their eyes) are unwanted. Their birth mom, to them, didn’t care about their birth-day or else they would be with her now. The fact that they have no foster or adoptive parents now means, to them, that they are not worth this and that their existence is not special. I wonder what they would say if they heard about how some of “us” react to our birthdays? I can imagine wide eyes and faces filled in disgust that someone would turn away such love and attention from their families and friends!
So, 2 weeks ever 2 months we try to be the loving family and friends to these kids. We celebrate their birthdays with cake, gifts, laughter and games! We remind them how loved they are, how special their birth-day is and that God created them with purpose… I try, when I hug them on those days, to pass as much of God’s love through me to them. Sometimes I feel like I squeeze them too hard and too long 🙂 trying to give some of “my spoiling” back to them. I wonder if they will ever know how loved they are by God. How special and how wonderfully created they are to Him? Sigh.
It’s a lot, you know? I can’t put pictures of the kids’ faces here on this blog but I took a picture of their spoons from the last birthday celebration. The spoons…4 spoons…4 kids sent away to a “__________” of an institution….4 kids that God allowed me to love, for Him – who was there, on their birthday.