If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.
Vincent van Gogh
Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever-fresh and radiant possibility.
Kate Douglas Wiggin
A new baby is like the beginning of all things, hope, a dream of possibilities.
I’ll never forget walking into the upstairs room at Mae Tao where the babies had been staying for their first month of life. We stepped inside out of the glaring heat and sunlight of the afternoon and there they were, 2 tiny boys lying on a rice mat on the floor. They were dressed in thin jumpsuits; swaddled in blankets. They were so tiny and quiet; almost lost on the big rice mats, under those blankets. Just a few days after birth, their mothers simply got up and walked away, leaving them behind. The two boys had lived here in the clinic for a month. We have no details of their families, except that they were Burmese. San-ya, a plump little, sleepy-eyed boy, was born July 28. Ta-waay, bright-eyed and watchful of everything happening around him, was born August. 13. We had come to bring them home to Compasio.
Kneeling down on the rice mat, I gently picked up Ta-waay—the youngest of the two, and held him close. My friend Beth reached for San-ya. Everything in me wanted to shatter the lies of rejection and abandonment they had already experienced; to wipe away all of their difficult beginning, with love. Tawaay was so tiny in my arms but I pulled him close and snuggled him deep in my arms. His bright eyes, already so alert at only 3 weeks old fixed serenely and peacefully on mine. As I gazed back, my heart stirred with intense love for this abandoned child. He was so beautiful; so innocent and full of promise. The clinic and Compasio staff completed a bit of paperwork, and then we stood and carried the babies outside.
It was the beginning of something beautiful.
One of the sweetest moments of my life was to carry Tawaay away from the clinic, knowing that in that moment, he was being given a chance and a hope. His and San-ya’s lives are no longer defined by abandonment and rejection, but by love and adoption. The sweetness has continued as I interacted with these 2 little ones over the next 3 months and watched them grow. Best of all has been watching their unique personalities begin to emerge. Sanya is the laid-back, easy-going one. He loves to sleep, and is content to lie quiet, by himself, occasionally rewarding us with a soft chuckle or smile.
Tawaay is like a beam of sunlight in my life. From the day we came home from the clinic, a special bond has existed between us. He has become an energetic, alert, bright-eyed child who is incredibly vocal for his age. The first day he giggled at me, it was like a sunburst. Now he laughs easily—outright and sweetly. It’s one of my favorite sounds in the whole world. It’s difficult to describe the mysterious and beautiful bond that has grown between his tiny heart and mine; I’m not Tawaay’s mother, but my maternal heart stirs deeply for him. If I could take him home to be mine forever, I would.
Leaving these babies behind will be difficult—Mother Theresa was so right when she said that grief is the price we pay for love. Yet my experience with Tawaay has taught me that loving deeply is always worth the price. It’s one I’ll pay when I kiss the babies goodbye for the last time. But it will be worth it—for all those sweet moments of loving them, praying over them, seeing them smile, watching them grow, and feeling my own heart stir with compassion for the orphans of the world who need someone to reach out and take them in.
The name “Ta-waay” means “offering”; “San-ya” means “blessing”. These are names of hope and promise—not despair and rejection. God is their Papa, and even though I can’t hold them forever, I know they will always be safe in HIS arms.