In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re sharing with you a letter that our staff member Erica wrote to her daughter.
As your mama, I want to tell you about my job working with vulnerable children in orphanages. I’m on my way to the orphanage as I write this letter to you. I’m sitting next to the window and watching the cars going by. Not far away, the field is full of autumn. Every once in a while, I see some cottages in the field with smoke rising from their chimneys. The ginkgo trees here are golden and beautiful. The farther away from the city we go, the more countryside we see.
Although I have lived in this city for nearly two years, your mama has never been to this smaller, nearby city we’re visiting today. This job of mine is a special opportunity for me to visit some special children twice a week. Some of these children are only a few months old, some of them are tall boys and girls, and some of them are the same age as you. They all like to listen to princess stories, and also like to play with dolls. I often think of you and see your reflection in their eyes when I hold them and tell them stories.
When I think about it, I am very lucky to have a daughter like you in my life. You are lively, lovely, considerate and sensible. You give me so much trust and closeness, and endless warmth. I remember for my birthday last week, you walked slowly towards me with a carefully wrapped gift and sang me happy birthday; at that moment, my mama heart was melted like the candle on the cake. And every time I tell you my shoulder hurts, your pair of small hands immediately reaches out to gently rub my shoulder. I am so lucky to be your mama!
Every time I’m on the way to the orphanage, you are always in my mind. Before I left this morning, you asked me, “Mama, do you like your job so much that you’re willing to leave this early in the morning?” Your question reminds me of another friend from England who asked me why I joined the team when I first started. I think the answer to your question should be the same. I want to tell you that “if you have the power to do good, you should not refuse to do it for those who deserve it”, because there are people who need us to do good, and we have that power.
I remember one day when we were chatting over dinner, I told you that there was a child named Christina in the orphanage. She was in a very bad condition. She couldn’t move her own body, so all she did was lay in bed all day every day. Her arms and legs were so skinny. She had almost no ability to speak. She knew the world only through her eyes and ears. That day, I picked up a story book about Princess Sophia, one of your favorites, and read it to Christina. She listened attentively, smiled from time to time, and raised her little hand to interact with me. When I finished telling you about Christina, you immediately told me that you would be really good at my job. I totally agree with you.
Zion, a little boy less than one year old, always opens his arms to me when I visit him. Every time I pick him up, I can’t bear to put him down, not only because he doesn’t want to me to leave him, but also because your mama can’t refuse the eyes of an orphan who yearns to be loved.
Olivia, a one and a half year old girl, has beautiful big eyes. She knows her caregiver well and she’s very clingy. Every time I sees her, she is always with her orphanage nanny. She doesn’t have a visible special need, but I found out from her nanny that the little girl has congenital heart disease. Whether her heart can grow well or whether her body would respond well to treatment are both unknown.
There are so many other children and stories like these. Mama will tell you more someday, one by one, my sweet daughter. You know, people come and go on the earth, and we will meet many different people in our life. Most of them just pass by. When we can meet and get along with each other, it’s always for a reason. Maybe we can only listen or walk alongside them. But Mama wants to tell you that even something this small can be so meaningful. It’s a wonderful thing to know and carry the sufferings of others.
Love, your mama (Erica)
To find out more about becoming a sponsor of Erica’s valuable work, click here.