This guest blog post is brought to OSSO by co-founder Melodie Head.
One of my sons and his family spent their spring break with us. They have a two month old. As I have been watching my daughter-in-law goo at, hold, nurse, and just cherish this little baby, I have been astounded at the continual love showered on this child. That doesn’t even count the attention my son gives him as he sings goofy songs that put the baby to sleep or whistles songs just because it makes the baby smile. He’s not even their first, he’s their fourth. Witnessing this continual loving attention, I have felt gratitude they are such adoring parents and sorrow that there are so many children who won’t and don’t know this.
Nothing is as good as a loving family. Next to my computer I have pictures of my parents, siblings, children, grandchildren and the family I married into. What remarkable gifts I take for granted. Last month I was in Ecuador spending time with people who don’t take these things for granted. Some are children in orphanages. Some are children who have left orphanages. And some are people that work in orphanages – nuns, volunteers, orphanage workers.
While I was in Ecuadaor, I was privy to interviews with many of these people. During one tender interview, a woman shared how she had not had a happy childhood. She ended up in a girls’ orphanage at age 10 heartbroken, confused, and despondent. She told how OSSO volunteers working in the orphanage gave her attention, love, and encouragement. This gave her hope that she was a worthwhile person. It changed her outlook and her life. She pointed to her children, home, and husband and said her life now is very good.
Not all children will be born in to loving homes. Not all people will have children with whom to share their love. Doesn’t it just make sense to put the two together? Adoption is one way of putting these two together. Another is volunteering, serving, and helping others serve. Watching loving volunteers on this trip be surrogate mothers impressed me as much as watching my daughter-in-law with her baby. Knowing that previous volunteers turned around a young girl’s life helped me realize that this type of service matters. Hats off to all the wonderful mothers who work hard to create loving families. And hats off to all those who serve and care and love children who don’t have that loving family.