by Dr. Sherri McClurg
As you can imagine, interview trips are one of the most amazing experiences… you not only get to see the countries our kids come from, but you see their culture, their life, and their experiences…. that is the glamour of an interview trip. It is beautiful. But with all that also comes the reality of what you don’t see… you don’t see loving mom’s and dad’s. You don’t see plenty of food and nurturing caregivers. You don’t see a community surrounding these children. You don’t see brightness, laughter, or innocence emanating off these children.
While most of our orphanages are decent places and a few are even good – the reality is they are the place where unwanted children reside. A place for those left behind. A place for those who have no one building into them, loving them, telling them it’s going to be okay, wrapping their arms around them saying we will get through this together. These trips are really, really hard.
This morning as we prepare to go to yet another place, our hearts are heavy. So many hard stories. We had a little extra time this morning before heading out… and in that moment we reflect and the flood of pain comes rushing through. We feel the heart ache and hurt. It’s been a morning of tears as we grieve over these children.
Yesterday, we saw 3 amazing teen siblings — who we’ve interviewed three times and still they have never been chosen. They asked if we thought maybe this time…
We spent time with twin sisters who had a really rough time… who age out in just a few shorts months…say… “we just want a new family.”
We played with little one’s who were desperate for hugs and attention. We hugged on everyone and cried with a sibling group when the oldest teen boy who cares for all his younger sibs told us how the littlest was taken away and his hope is to become educated and make enough money to bring them all back together again as family.
We met the little boy who has lost the ability to walk – no one knows why – and they live in such a rural area they have little medical support. To us it looks like a neurological disorder…. he can’t walk, he doesn’t even have a wheelchair… he is totally dependent on someone to carry him from one place to another… yet he is smart and caring and he tells us he hopes he can come to America and see a doctor who can fix his legs.
These trips are raw. They are painful. They hurt like you cannot begin to imagine…. but we trust and we hope… and we pray that for some of these children an amazing story of redemption is just beginning to unfold. Some of these children are going to meet Jesus. They are going to be wrapped in the arms of a mom and dad who are going to fill a need in their heart they didn’t even know they had. They are going to find laughter and joy and they are going to begin to dream. Families are going to be challenged to see the world like Jesus does and they too will never be the same.
Interview trips are brutal but they are the first step toward healing. Please keep us in your prayers. Pray for more families to come forward to meet these broken little lives and love like Jesus. Pray God’s healing rains down as we move across the country and that our touches and hugs bring a little bit of hope to these lonely places.