There are many people who believe there should be no such
thing as a children’s home. Academics
have studied the issue and concluded that children in a group home don’t bond
as well as those in a family. (Blinding insight!) I have been lectured, criticized, and patronized
about the disadvantages of children’s homes. “Children ought to be in a family.” “You ought
to enable the families to care for their children instead of housing them” “You ought not to be a part of perpetuating
The root causes that lead to a child being placed in a home
began many generations ago and are not just country specific or even regional. The root causes are global in nature and
deeply embedded in cultures, politics, and laws. At LAMB, we cannot fix a country and we
certainly can’t fix the world. We
absolutely agree that children ought to be in safe, loving families. We know that children in homes have a harder
time bonding. But, in this world of “ought,”
what ought we do when social services brings us a newborn who was found stuffed
in a latrine? What ought we do when they bring us a 5 year old boy and baby
sister whose mother sent him out to sell the baby? What ought we do when an 11 year old girl and
her 3 younger siblings are delivered to us because she was the primary (sole)
caretaker of them? What ought we do when an impoverished mother begs us to take
her children so they can be fed, clothed, and educated?
We live in the world of “is…” When these children come to us,
we say, “yes.” We open our hearts and arms to them. We provide for them, love them, educate them,
ride very stormy times with them. All the while, we hope and pray for families
for them, either their biological families or adoptive families. For the
sibling groups, we encourage them to bond with each other. For all our children we welcome them into our
LAMB family. Just like a biological
family, we reassure them “once a lamb, always a lamb.” They know this is true
because they have seen older lambs who went astray welcomed back into the fold.
We do everything we can to strengthen the bonds with the biological families, through
visits, zoom calls, and phone calls. Our lawyer and technical staff work
tirelessly to facilitate other adoptions, despite the onerous and mysterious process
in Honduras. We hire loving staff but if
they are not we fire them.
Today we celebrated with Isaac, age 4, who has been with us his
entire life, having been abandoned at birth.
Tomorrow, he joins his adoptive family in Spain. Hopes realized, prayers answered. One final hope and prayer we all have. We long for the day every children’s home is
closed permanently…because every single child in the world has a safe and
loving family who can and will care for them. Until that day, we will continue
to say yes.
These are pictures of Isaac then and now and from today’s celebration during which we all hugged Isaac, told him we love him, prayed for him and his new family, and then celebrated with a huge cake!