Pattaya – May 22, 2010
On the last day of our mission trip, a team of us spent the day with the orphans from the Ban Jing Orphanage.
Originally, we were supposed to have 23 kids, but they grew to 36 kids. There were only 18 adults, so we all had 2 kids each to look after.
We took the orphans to the Tiger Zoo in crazy hot weather. The sun was beaming down on our sweaty heads and overheated bodies. The children lined up one-by-one as they waited to be distributed to their pseudo parents for the day. My children were Bo, a 7-year-old-girl and Cham Poo, a 2-year-old-girl.
All of us had a sticker to place on our shirts. I thought Cham Poo, which means Pink in Thai, was worried about her sticker falling off because she kept pointing at that particular corner where the sticker was stuck on her shirt. It turned out, she wanted to know if I thought her shirt was pretty. I thought it was an odd question because she had on the same shirt as all the other children. Then it dawned on me that it was a treat for them to have nice clothes. I noticed that people could see the light bulb popped over my head. Doh!
We took the children through the zoo watching different shows. We saw the tigers jumped and slept with the pigs. We watched man against alligators underwater, elephants dancing and throwing darts at the brave volunteers. Had ice cream, lunch and plenty of tamarind candy.
Cham Poo pretty stole my heart when Ping told me that Cham Poo calls me mommy. She ripped the rest of my heart out when she cried every time I left her side and was out of her sight. Cham Poo made me understand what it truly felt like to be a mother. I have no children of my own. The love I felt for these girls were different from the love I have for my nieces and nephews. I love my sisters’ children greatly, but this love was something I have not felt before. This love was a reciprocated kind of love between a mother and her child rather than an auntie and her sibling’s child. This motherly love, it was not even mine to have, but I felt it strongly. It marked me. I have watched this kind of love in my sisters for their children, but never truly felt it for myself until this Saturday, at the zoo, with two orphans.
Unfortunately, because I am single, I was told that I could not adopt Bo and Cham Poo. And if for some miracle that the Thai government allowed me to adopt in Thailand, the child will have to be HIV positive or a cripple.
I felt crushed when Malina told me this. My heart was saddened for the girls and for myself. I wondered when God will bless me and allow me to feel that kind of love again. Then, it made me think of my own mom. She has missed so much not knowing me, not wanting me, not accepting me. She actually denied herself of the greatest achievement – to simply be a mother.