‘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

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When No One Answers

I've been trying to reach the orphanage via phone for days. It's either a busy signal or incessant ringing that I get in response. The frustration of reaching out and reaching out and getting no one at the other end makes me feel hopeless. And then I realized, this is what these kids in the orphanage feel day in and day out. They spend their childhoods hoping someone will answer the call of their heart, and nearly one hundred percent of the time, no one does.

No one.

Imagine wanting something as simple as someone answering your phone call. Imagine trying to reach someone for days on end with no result. Frustration sets in. Maybe anger. Sometimes that nagging feeling that the world is against you. Know that feeling? We all have experienced it at one time or another, right?

Now imagine wanting someone just to love you. Wanting someone to care enough to choose YOU. Reaching out with your heart in prayer night after night, like my daughter did, asking for God to bring you a mom or a dad. 

No one answers. 

The line is busy or it simply rings incessantly for years on end. People are too busy to answer you call, or too scared, or too distracted with their own lives, or.......something.

Today when I made my thirtieth attempt to reach the orphanage by phone, I was flooded with a sense of what these kids feel every day of their lives. The helplessness. The hopelessness. The deep and utterly inescapable knowing that you are forgotten. Invisible. Unloved.

My prayer this day is that more of you pick up the phone. Say yes. Go out on a limb. Be brave. Say to one of them,

'I choose YOU.'


  1. Thank you once again for expressing what these children go through. I will never understand it fully b/c I have not experienced it. The only thing I can do is never forget what I now know and make sure I tell others.
    We have set up an "orphan jar" where the kids have to pay to watch t.v., or pay if I have to do their chores(the girls hate folding their clothes) or if they just want to pay. I put a picture of "C" on the jar and we have another picture on the wall. We will not forget!

  2. Thank you for reminding us about each child that waits for a family. I have two kids waiting for us in Estonia. My girl and I have been e-mailing each other back and forth. Then a week later my e-mails would not go through to her e-mail. So I could not e-mail her for a couple days. Then today she e-mailed me frantically thinking something happened or that maybe we changed our minds. I reassured her that everything was fine and we did not change our minds to adopt them. I told her that her e-mail was not accepting my e-mails. I realized at that moment how desperate these children are to receive love and to be loved. My love deepens more for every orphan!!

  3. I think that is a wonderfully Catholic way of prayer - transforming the siuation of the moment into a more significant meditation.

    It is a beautiful way of turning frustration or exasperation or boredom or fear into something more sacred.

    How I wish I could answer the call of one more little heart.


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