I hear them talking, laughing, expressing, and roaming. I see them freely enjoying and living life. I watch them discovering, learning, and growing. I smile at the lives that shine - the personalities, the gifts, the aspirations and dreams. I appreciate the faith, the hope, the love, the joy, the life they have brought into our home and lives.
And I can't help but wonder about the other children in their groups - the ones who called out to us - desparate for attention; the ones who watched us from afar - scared; the ones who understood - Amirkhan & Murat had a mama & papa now; the ones who ran to us - wishing for their own visitors. I think often of the babies and todders in Uralsk Baby House #1 & #2. I remember many of their faces, I remember the smells and sounds, and I remember the understimulation and the crying.
My heart bursts and aches all at the same time. How happy to see my boys thriving, how sad to know how many children are not.
Many of those children - the children who shared a home and toys and food with my boys, for the first year of their lives - are still a part of the over 140 million orphans worldwide - 140 MILLION.