The ones we left behind

I woke this morning early thinking about them ~ the ones we left behind. The children who gathered around me in that orphanage in Ch*na. I couldn’t write about it then because it was too hard and too fresh. But they haven’t left my heart.  Their faces are what I think of when I hear the word “orphan”.


I think of this sweet, precious girl who had lived with my daughters and been their third roomie.  She wept the day we returned to the orphanage.  Wept.  She was sweet and smiling when we first came in but then the tears flowed. Soundless and heartbreaking.  She buried her head in her nanny’s shoulder and cried for the loss of her friends.  I hadn’t known there were only the three of them who shared that bedroom.  She told her nanny she missed her friends and she was scared by herself in that room now. I realized that on the first night I had my daughters there was a little girl left behind.  While my sister and I helped my girls try on their new pajamas and sleep in the bed with their new Mama, this precious little one had cried herself to sleep ~ all alone in a now empty room.


I think of all those sweet kids who gathered around us that day. In awe and in excitement. But with longing in their eyes.  And it certainly wasn’t because I’m a beauty queen. It’s because I’m a Mama. The ever longed for, ever hoped for Mama. They have wonderful teachers and nannies but they dream of family, of belonging. Who wouldn’t? We all want to feel we are special and cared for. Who of us would want to be truly alone in this world?  No father, mother, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent, cousin.  No family members because you do not even know your family’s name. Who of us would want to feel that level of loss?








These children journeyed with my daughters through a very difficult season of their lives. However, most of these children are still waiting for their families to find them.



This is Hope. She still waits.


This is Shaun. He still waits.


And this is Lizzy. She still waits. I stood there in that room in Ch*na with Lizzy and her nannies after all the others had left.  I stood there and held her. And I wept too.  One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was turn around and walk out the door while that little girl cried out her heart. I woke this morning and thought of her face. And the tears came again.

Oh God break our hearts for the things that break Yours.


7 thoughts on “The ones we left behind

  1. I’m an advocate. I recognize some of these children’s faces. And this is one of the hardest parts about advocating. I was in tears by the end of the story. I just hope and pray there will be more and more people drawn to care for these precious children. It seems like there are so many of them, and so few of us. Praying for a family for precious Hope too ❤

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