"Children of the Moon"

Yesterday started as just another "ordinary" day here in Oaxaca (although I feel like no day here is ordinary) but it ended with feelings that were overwhelmed with tears. Feelings of confusion, wonder, sadness, and hope. In the afternoon we visited an orphanage here in our city. I knew before I went that I had to prepare myself, and my heart. I know myself well enough to know that children are my weakness, my heart breaks for children who desire love and attention. Such simple things that are far too often and easily taken for granted. Loving a child shouldn't be a challenge or burden, it should be a privilege, a blessing.

As we entered the gate to the orphanage I saw over 40 beautiful children, ranging from the age of 2 to 12. With my heart guarded, I walked over to the tire swing and instantly began pushing the children on it, laughing with them and smiling with them, something that we didn't have to interpret or try to understand. Smiling is smiling, and it's the same in every language. We played tag, climbed the playground, ran around in the dirt, played jump rope and limbo, and the children sang as they hit the pinata until it burst. Within no time, my walls came tumbling down, and I fell in love over and over again. Not always knowing what they were trying to say, we still managed to have an amazing time together. I found multiple children in the comfort of my arms, especially a little guy named David who is three. He just wanted to be held, tickled, and to know that in that moment he was safe, cared for, and loved unconditionally. In that moment it felt like enough- but I realized too soon that it was not.

These children don't ask for anything. I watched them patiently and politely eat the cake we brought for them. No complaints about the flavor or what piece they got-just 43 plates licked clean. My heart broke as I learned more about the "Home for the Children of the Moon" orphanage. The name refers to the children, because most of their mothers work at night and therefore they need a place to call home during the dark hours of the night. Most of the kids end up living there because the mothers sleep during the day or don't want to take care of their kids. The home provides them with a new family that comes with lots of brothers and sisters. It also acts as a school, and they learn daily there what they would if they were in an actual school. The adults try to keep the kids busy with school work, and other activities like art and dance. The kids grow accustomed to their home, and find themselves with a new Mama and Papa.

The orphanage has a policy that you must visit your child at least twice a month, some of the parents don't come back for years. Their maximum capacity is 38 but they can't seem to turn down children who need a home. This was all started by a woman, in her home. They need so much and yet they don't ask for anything. I realize that I can ask for them, I can ask people to donate supplies or money to this orphanage, but I've decided that I want to be there. I want to help in a bigger way because I truly feel compelled to do so. So I do ask for this- for your prayers. Pray for the home, for the children, their safety, for the adults spending their time there, for the mothers and fathers, and pray for guidance for myself. To figure out how and when I can get back there to love on all on those little children of the moon.

Link to orpahanage's website : http://www.hijosdelaluna.org

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