Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Simply Inspirational ...
“The other day I did something I haven’t really done before, I shared part of my own personal adoption story with some of the children I serve. It was a way to build trust – and to my surprise, it built something in me too.
About 125 boys and girls play soccer here at the center in Soweto. I help teach or coach some of them. It’s a game I love, and now I love sharing it with them. But today, before we started playing, I decided to open up my mouth and - my heart.
You see, for those of you who don’t know – I too was an orphan and I almost died at birth. Like many of the children here, I was very sick and abandoned. It is a rough way to be propelled into this complicated world. As, I was speaking to the kids, I couldn’t help but drift away – lost in their wide eyes. They were spellbound and so was I, but for different reasons. They children are all 3-to-18 years old and although they all overcoming their own challenges, they were so open and eager to share, learn and bond. I was taken aback. My heart was full.
Although we were born decades and worlds apart -- in this moment, the a bridge was being forded between us that would last a lifetime. It was one colossal cantilever. I knew it and so did they, even if none of us stopped to mark the moment with words.
If for one moment I wanted to feel sorry for myself and how I might have come into the world, their sobering reality put everything in perspective and very quickly.
These children face with a population where 26 percent if those around them are HIV positive and 15 million children are orphaned due to AIDS. It is crippled their country, along with rape and poverty. All stemming in part, from the ravages of apartheid.
But what I find so amazing is that these children are not depressed or hopeless. In fact, they are full of life and joy. You can see it on their faces. They are as enthusiastic as any child anywhere in the world! They are full of happiness and they have the expectation of love. So, after out talk we got up.. and we did what we love to do.. we played soccer and we laughed and we had a great time.
These children are nothing short of inspirational! (Contents by Sydney Harrison/TN)”