‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Are You There God? It's Me, Keri

Nothing can dilute this sadness today. It is an all-encompassing sadness. For my daughter. For all the mother-less daughters and sons left behind in her orphanage. For her sister, alone and waiting for her government to care enough to set her free. For disrupted children. For children holding out a hope for a family that will never manifest. For the tiny infants I saw tied to their cribs in Baby Home #2 in that forgotten Siberian village. For the children in our fractured and dysfunctional foster care system. For the orphaned street children of Moscow and Port-au-Prince and Phnom Penh.

Some days the immense sorrow that exists in our world, in the hearts of millions of children, just hits me, hard, and I weep and weep and weep.

When I'm this sad, there are only three things that are a balm at all. First is making a difference: sending a care package, collecting items to send, calling Anya to offer her support. And then there is prayer and poetry. They both help me.

This is the poem that helped me today. It is by one of my very favorite poets, Rainer Rilke. This translation is the best one I've ever found. I thought I would pass it on, as a gift to all of you that grieve today, too.

by Rainer Maria Rilke

How shall I hold my soul, that it may not
be touching yours? How shall I lift it then
above you to where other things are waiting?
Ah, gladly would I lodge it, all-forgot
with some lost thing the dark is isolating
on some remote and silent spot that, when
your depths vibrate, is not itself vibrating.

You and me — all that lights upon us, though
brings us together like a fiddle-bow
drawing one voice from two strings it glides along.
Across what instrument have we been spanned?
And what violinist holds us in his hand?
O, sweetest song.


  1. I too feel powerless when i think of all those innocent babies all over the world, of every creed or colour who don't have a loving mammy to hold them in their arms tonight. What can i do? How could i help them? I'm not rich, i can't 'buy' a child and by doing so set them free. If only every one of us, who have some love to give, could take a baby in our arms and take them home to stay. I'm sorry Keri, i wish i could do more but unless the rules and red tape change, we'll not get through that door, all the wishing in the world, no matter how well meant, can get by the prejudices and secrecy that condemn children to half lives and tears. No one to love them and no one to care, as long as our countries secrets and shames never become public news xXx

  2. Beautiful post. I can empathize completely. I PRAY PRAY PRAY that the next couple years will go by fast so that we can be in a financial situation that we can foster again. Even with all the problems the system has I love to help a child and their family.

  3. You and I must channel each other :) For those who are not sure what they can do: write to your legislative representatives. Not sure what to write? Go to www.kidsarewaiting.org/ and see what they are up to. Every month they focus on a component of foster care and letter campaigns. I write every week. It DOES help. Your concern does make a difference.

  4. That is so sad that children and babies hsve to suffer that way.

  5. I think that grief...our own intense grief...is yet another thing we adoptive parents are never told about. Bless you for caring so much about kids!

  6. I'm there beside you. Just yesterday I passed a little girl in the hallway here and she sounded and looked identical to the Butterfly when I saw the first video of her in the orphanage and those feelings (and tears) came flooding back of all those children. Wishing so much I could hold them all and let them know they are loved.

  7. just saw your comment on my blog on AT. THe post was 2 yrs old and I did run for the hills. I will check out that book you requested though.

  8. My heart is for all of these children too. I wish they were all adopted!

  9. I'm so numb today.. wish I had sadness..

  10. Keri, I just read this article, and wanted to share it with you.


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