Orphans or Not?

Repeatedly, we are approached by people who say that the children with them are orphans.   People throw around the term orphan in hopes that somehow they can be included in the group at Mama Tara's or House of Hope. 

Emotionally, it is difficult for me.    Sometimes these folks are straight up lying.  Sometimes they are lying about their very own children right in front of them.

On a deeper level I wonder....  what would cause such desperation that a mom would tell such a horrific lie just to get her children into a home where they can have 3 solid meals, clean clothes and a little bit of love?    Is it the desperation of poverty that allows a mom to cross that boundary?

Today, this very thing happened once more.    On Monday, 4 new 'orphans' arrived at one of the homes we work with.    They are sweet children - the eldest is 13 and a leader of their little pack.  They immediately felt comfortable and smiles emerged.

Today, I took them to another home for kids here that had offered to provide some clothes.   I was excited as we found church clothes for them and a few extras.   Shortly thereafter, a Miskito woman who works there incredulously told me that she knows this family, these children and they are most assuredly NOT orphans.   Hmmmm....

I began asking around and, sure enough, most of the workers were familiar with this family and the parents.   My heart sank for these kids.    Most likely, they will not be able to stay at the orphanage because they have a complete, intact family.

Lots of investigatory work is required here...  villages are remote and travel is difficult.   It is almost impossible for a gringo to confirm information about a child;  it has to be someone who is trusted.    

On an even deeper level I wonder something.      Does the creation of an orphanage that allows kids to live 'better than the norm' in any given poor city around the world create another problem?  Does this orphanage encourage the non-orphans and their families to lie so that their kids can have a 'better life?'     Just a thought.


Robin said…
Tough to think of being in that situation, thanks for being so open and honest. It definitely requires wisdom from above to work here and discern who is really in need of what. It's good to know there's on thing we can give them ALL-the good news of the gospel, that's a need that everyone has. Keep on doing what you are, you're a blessing! Love ya!

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