Last Thursday, we got to spend some time talking with Winnie, the woman in charge of adoptions through Buckner, and spent the afternoon at New Life Orphanage playing with babies, feeding them, taking care of them, and putting them to bed. Because they are orphans, there were no pictures allowed (which was a huge bummer because they are adorable), but it was an amazing experience, and I learned so much.
It gave me huge joy to hear from Winnie all about the extensive process of adoption and why every single step is important. They are careful to make sure that the child is truly an orphan and completely abandoned before they allow anyone to adopt the baby. If there is a mother who wants to give up her baby because she feels incapable of caring for her child, they help provide for her what she needs to get on her feet and be the capable mother that she wants her child to have. They do extensive background checks to make sure the adopting parents will provide a caring family for the baby. They always seek out kinship adoption primarily if it is an option and encourage adoption within the same community in Kenya, especially for older kids.
Learning about the adoption process was beautiful and encouraging, but being at the orphanage was an entirely different experience.
It broke my heart to be in a room full of babies who need a somebody in their lives to be their constant. They don’t know the familiar face, voice, and touch of a parent that brings them comfort. They are used to being handled by different staff and volunteers: always fed, bathed, played with, and put to bed by a different set of hands. They are constantly surrounded by other babies, and often left laying on a chair or on the floor crying for quite a while until someone is available to attend to whatever their need is. Even as infants, they don’t know what it feels like to have somebody they can rely on to always take care of them and love them.
As sad as it is to see all those babies without a home and a family, it is so encouraging to know that the huge majority of them will be adopted before they turn two. It is also amazing to see that there is a safe place for them, with a loving staff, to care for them until their parents arrive to take them home.
Adoption is such a beautiful process. Through Winnie and New Life, I have gotten an insider’s view of the whole thing, and it just makes me even more excited to eventually adopt!