A calling above all else

She has to ask me every once in a while when her birthday is.
She does not know because there was never a celebration.
She is memorizing the date now… over and over, under her breath,
While she plays.
She is so excited to have a cake and ice cream when she turns 8. 

She asks me too, who her mother was and what was she like. 
She asks why her mother didn’t take care of her. 
These questions come out of the blue, when I least expect them
And I have no time to prepare an answer.

As we snuggled in the big chair last night, we talked about God’s plan for her life.
And she asked if a family will want her. And if they will love her like I do. 
And if maybe she could 
Or should just stay with me.

She is a remarkable little girl. Cheerful, helpful, happy and very smart.
I gave her just a small box of loom bands the other day for helping with the dishes.
She came back to me an hour later, quiet and shy.
Mom? she said. Thank you so much for everything you give me.
And of her own accord, she hugged me tight.

I would give you the world, little one. 
As she turned to go to bed, I heard her whisper under her breath.
I hate my mother, she said. I hate her.

I called her back and we stared eye to eye for a full minute. 
Child, I said. What did your mother do to make you hate her?
We don’t even know who your mother is.

And the tears fell. The labelling of abandonment and the questions of the unknown.
The profound impact on her little heart understood only by those who have felt the same.
In that one minute, fear, torment, grief, loss, and pain collide in unspeakable ways.

We cried together. 
And we talked again about the few details we knew.
She was only two years old. No one knows how she ended up on the street alone.
With no name. And no idea who she was.
And no one really knows how she ended up being placed in a government institution. 
But she stayed there until she was transferred to us, just last year.

So, we prayed for her mother and for her unknown family. 
We spoke forgiveness over her mother for losing her.
We spoke blessing over her unknown history and prayed for a new family to adopt her.
And then we hugged and had a few giggles and she went to bed.

And I was left sitting, once again, with the monsters that haunt my children.

Every child in my care has come from a dark place
So dark, that many are unwilling to even talk about the shadows. 
But these precious children need mommies and daddies.
Ones who are willing to sit in those shadows and face those monsters
Head on, if necessary.

Many are afraid to face the horrors in the past of the child. 
Because in doing so, they may come face to face with their own demons.
And that is sometimes more terrifying than anything. 
But allowing a child to find beauty in healing, 
And joy in the morning, free from torment and fear 
Is a calling above all else. 

Do you dare?


Currently, all the children and staff are still under quarantine.
This makes almost 6 months of not going outside at all.
We are thankful for God's continued provision and goodness to us.
The children have been so patient and gracious during this pandemic.
We do not know what the future holds, but we know that we are in the palm of God's hand. 

Immediate needs: 
A high quality/ high volume photocopier as 120 children are in homeschool classes
Funds for immunizations
Monthly operational expenses
Whatever you give, will make a difference as we work in bringing care,
healing and hope to children in crisis.
Please email us at nathan.wheeley@gentlehands.org for more details.