The Ohlinger Family Love Story

$34,918 of $50,932

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.

Some people have told us that we can't 'save them all.' In our humble opinion however, we aren't trying to save them all, but that is not an adequate reason to not try and help some.