Wow! Reading that brings on so many emotions it hard to say anything.
I am sitting in the dirt in stunned silence trying to figure out how I ended up in this situation. I look into Thabsile’s tear-filled eyes and finally stammer out a response, “I am so sorry. I can’t take your son. I don’t have a job or a home or any way to take care of a child. I’m so sorry, but I just can’t…” I cannot fathom the despair a mother must feel in order to offer her child to a complete stranger, but these are the desperate cries of many Swazi mothers.
I fell in love with Siyabo my first day in Nsoko. He is a precious 7-year-old boy who radiates joy as his huge smile lights up his face. Every morning when I arrive at the carepoint, Siyabo comes to find me, smiles, and reaches up and grabs my hand. We aren’t able to communicate much; only enough for me to know his name, age, and that he lives with two sisters and his mom. I spend my days hugging him, pushing him on the swings, or just letting him sit on my lap.
On Sunday afternoon after church, Siyabo was sitting on my lap as we played little games and laughed together. Then a woman comes and tells him to go and get some food (pap, beans, & small pieces of goat entrails). As Siyabo jumps off my lap and runs away, this woman looks at me with a huge smile on her face and says, “He is my son.” I could see the resemblance immediately. She has the same joyful smile and bright eyes as Siyabo. You can see her love for and pride in him. I smiled back and told her, “I just love him! Your son is so precious!”
This simple confession gave Thabsile, Siyabo’s mom, the courage to share openly. She looks at me with a fierce determination and says, “Please take him. Take him home with you…” I sat in stunned silence unsure of what to say. She continues, “His father is dead. I am sick; I have HIV. I am working, but it’s just not enough. I have nothing to give him. Please, please take him with you.” My heart broke. I asked with bated breath if her children were also sick. She told me that she doesn’t know; they haven’t been tested. She fears that she will die and her children will be left with no one to care for them.
What do you say to a mother who wants so desperately to give her son a better life? I know I am not ready to raise a child (even if my heart is scrambling for a way that I could actually make this work). I hate looking into the eyes of a desperate mother and not being able to do anything other than listen as she shares her pain.
There must be more that I can do…
Please God, make it so. Send us and so many others.
P.S. This will go up on my blog tomorrow and I’m also sharing it on fb. More people really need to ask if they are truly living out the call that God has for them.
this story is so hard to hear. the desperate cries of the swazi women are real and heartbreaking. i can’t help but think of me and my teams time we had with moses. it is a very dificult thing to hear a mother ask you to take her child so that they may live.
Lisa-please know that just telling this story will awaken people’s spirits, and more and more people will realize their calling to love and take care of children like Siyabo and Moses. thank you so much for sharing this story! i know how much of a helpless feeling it is to be in a situation like this. i’m glad you are there to love in these children and speak life into them!! know that you are in God’s will and He IS speaking through youeven if you aren’t speaking the same language as themGod has no language barriers! thank you again for spreading this story! it will touch many people and allow some people to step into action to help families like this!!
I would have left with one or two. It’s sad to hear that because people in the us like me can’t have them (or have a hard time) and I’m still young and have alot of love to give to a child just not thousands for adoption. I would take one in a heartbeat.
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