from the far end

Sitting on the far side of the room, I watched her.

Our precious three-year-old daughter.

I observed as she carefully watched him sit in his usual spot–the place where they would have coffee together in the early hours of the morning.  Actually, he has his coffee and she sits on his lap and blabbers away in her adorable baby talk–naturally thinking that we all understand exactly what she’s saying.

Of course we love to pretend that we do.  Sweet conversations abound.

The toddler made her way from the far end of the room–gaining speed with every step.  No sooner had he sat down…and there she was, in her favorite spot.  She knew this was her time with Daddy.  It’s routine, and this girl knows routine well.

My hearts swells when I see her sitting there.  So loved, so treasured, so protected, so accepted for who she is…just the way she is.

So very cuddled.

You see, this lovie needs cuddles.  She just has to have them.  She can’t help herself–being in arms is where she loves to be.

I watched as she soaked in the affection like a sponge, loving every second of it.  I observed as her eyes lit up and her infectious giggle filled the room.  Joy overflowed.

As if we were thinking the same thing, Anthony casually asked me, “How did she ever survive in an orphanage?”

I raised my shoulders in the I-just-don’t-know kinda way.  Because seriously…I have no idea. 

How did she survive day after day with no arms to hold her?

How does any child survive in an orphanage, I wondered again for the millionth time.

Children are created to be loved, to be cherished, to be cuddled and held and showered with affection. 

I watched my daughter relating to her daddy that morning and I became more convinced than ever before….

No matter how many times people come here to my blog and comment on how some children are better off in institutions because “they don’t know any better” or “they will never be able to love and be loved” or “that is the only life they know and they are happy with it” or “they are too far gone!”…

I DISAGREE!

Totally.  Completely.  Utterly.  Disagree.

Every single child deserves the love of a family.

No matter what is “wrong” with them.

No matter how many years they have been deprived of that family.

No matter how delayed they are.

An institution can never replace a family.

Ever!

And no one will ever be able to convince me otherwise.

There you have it.

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