As I’ve run this week, my mind has continued to come back to this series of events that unfolded as I departed Vietnam:
Yesterday afternoon a woman was in the ward of a hospital I was visiting with a baby who had doe like eyes and dimples and the sweetest disposition. She offered the baby to me to hold. I took her and asked through a translator about the baby’s name and age. She is six months old and her name is Thien. I asked the translator to tell the mother that her daughter was absolutely adorable. The translator looked at me and said this woman is not the mother, the baby is an orphan. I felt my arms clinch the baby a bit tighter. I asked if she was being adopted. The woman said that she probably would not be. It was one of those moments when you know you cannot fix the whole of the problem, but part of the solution is right before you. Obviously, I couldn’t just leave Vietnam with a child, but still, the desire for this child to have a home, maybe even to share mine, was very real.
Twelve hours later I boarded a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong and then from Hong Kong to Chicago. Waiting in line for the bathroom on the plane from Hong Kong, I met a baby named Veronica who was on her way to her new home with her adoptive parents. Veronica was to receive treatment for the same condition as baby Thien that I met the day before. Veronica’s new parents were beaming. I told them I work with children like their daughter and spoke with them about what a bright, hopeful future lies ahead for Veronica. I inquired as to who would treat her in the States – a physician I was just with in Madagascar.
Sometimes problems seem so big and unfixable. A beautiful infant with no home and the thousands upon thousands of orphans that she represents. My inability to do anything about it. At the same time, quite literally on the same day, another baby is traveling home with her new, beaming parents. There are things unseen; matters are being arranged. Love is on the move. Take heart.