I headed downstairs, after some fun time with the orphans, as I felt the need to mother some of the sick children. The cribs are lined up end to end, with the sickest child usually in the corner by the oxygen. The sights and smells are not a welcome sight to any person, especially a mother. To see the desperation, to hear the sounds of sadness and to smell the aura of sickness was one that will travel with me even when I depart from here. My instincts kicked in and I dodged the IV lines and picked up a 7 month old who was too weak to cry. We headed outside, sat in the shade and we both held each other tight. No toys, no balloons, no bubbles were needed on the first floor. Just the love of a mother. To mother, was all that was required.
We stayed here for a few hours, holding these children, praying for them while they were in our arms, soaking in every minute to give them some love. We didn't know their future, we only knew what was happening then and for that moment, they were given love.
To be a mother to someone does not have to mean that you have given birth to them. To paraphrase from the book Expecting Adam, "Mothering has little to do with biological reproduction - there are women who bear and raise children without ever mothering them, and there are people who mother all their lives without ever giving birth. Not all of us have the good fortune to be born to our real mothers or to stay with them as long as we need them."
Despite everything that works against these children in this sometimes unpleasant and complicated place, mothering was in abundance today. There was no short supply. We mothered.
Written by Julie Sexson