September 6, 2014

Invisible Orphans

Most likely it  is not any of the children at the birthday party.  She wasn’t invited.  How can a child learn how to make friends when she doesn’t stay in one place long enough?1

It’s probably not the kid on the soccer team.  How can a child learn how to play a sport when he doesn’t have a dad who will kick a ball with him?  A mom who will drive him to practice every week?

But maybe it’s the young girl who sits next to your daughter at school.  The girl with the slumped shoulders who never makes eye contact.  The one who shuffles her feet a little bit when she walks, a result of growing up with shoes that never fit quite right.  Or the one who, when the teacher asks her to read out loud and she stumbles over the words, gets teased and laughed at by the other students.2

Perhaps it’s the little boy you see when you go to the store.  The boy who keeps touching everything within his reach, and who has a tantrum when he hears the word “no.”  Or the one who bats his eyelashes at everyone he meets, knowing that they will inevitably say, “Ah, he is so cute!”

It could be the kid on the swings at the park.  Or the one in the Sunday School class that you teach every week.  Or the one who visited Vacation Bible School last summer.   

They are all around you, and yet they remain invisible.  They are foster children in our own community – in our schools and neighborhoods and playgrounds - who are waiting to be adopted.  They are our country’s invisible orphans.