Emily: When I was 16 years old my dad took me on a mission trip to Thailand. It was there that I first learned what an orphanage truly was. We walked in and I remember seeing 3 babies per crib. We walk around and eventually ended up in a room full of toddlers. A little boy about the age of 2 ran up to me with his arms up so I picked him up. Honestly, he wasn’t the child I would have immediately sought to pick up. He had this look of fear in his eyes, and I remember wondering why this kid had run right up to me. After a few minutes I went to set him down and play with some other children. When I set him down, he immediately began banging his head against the concrete floor. I picked him back up and thought maybe he just wanted to be held. So, I asked a friend in our group to hold him. When he got into her arms he swung his head around and began banging it on a dresser. In that moment I had no clue what was going on, I was young and honestly the depth of the heartache that little boy was going through was not understood by me. I held him the rest of the time we were there. When we went to leave, I passed him off to a nanny and she had to pull him off of me. I began crying as he screamed and she told me something I will never forget:
“He just wants to be picked up and not be put back down.”
I left that orphanage a mess. I begged my parents to adopt. Even months after coming home, I still asked. I couldn’t get that little boy out of my mind.