Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Biking Towards Bliss..

“Today while repairing the bikes at Child Haven, a little girl came up to me and uttered three simple words that had a great impact on me and showed me that I had made an impact on her too. The girl named we’ll call Nike said, “Uncle Sydney… I missed you.” I missed her too. I had been away working in neighboring Soweto with a different group of children, but it was clear, a bond had been established and that made me feel great! Little did I know, I was to experience even stronger feelings – good and bad.
Seconds later another child, who had suffered twenty seven broken bones [from abuse], ran up to me and gave me a hug. “Uncle Sydney, can you fix my bike so I may ride it?” She said. Then, in an unexpended soft and vulnerable tone she said, “ Will you be my Daddy?” This little girl was just four years old, but her question left this adult man speechless.
While may not have had an immediate answer for her, I couldn’t help but be moved by unbroken spirit. Here was a child who had been physically beaten and abused, seemingly by someone who was supposed to love her, yet she still desired a Daddy to love – and to love her. I simply melted.
I asked the House Mom to take a walk with me, so I could collect myself. While we walked, she taught me that love never fails regardless of how badly life knocks you down. She believes, as I do now, that with love, this four year old will be okay. I may not be able to be her Daddy, but I can be a “positive” male figure in her life right now and that counts because male volunteers are very rare at orphanages. And in my case, while I wasn’t abused, I can relate to having a tough start in life. But from the nurses who cared for me in the orphanage and hospital, my adoptive parents, I was brought back to life – and I she will be too. If my heart can be healed, hers can too.
As I walked to The Haven, there she was riding her bike.
“Thank you for fixing my bike Uncle Sydney,” she said as she smiled on the outside and I smiled on the inside! “
(Contents by Sydney Harrison/TN)

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