Some moments strike you as extra special. They are ordinary moments, most people wouldn't even give them a second glance. But for the people who know the whole story they go from ordinary to extraordinary.
This moment was one of those times.
These two sisters arrived at Abide's Child Development Center early in the morning, like they always do. Mom goes out to work with her small business and the girls stay at the center to enjoy the free childcare Abide offers it's families. The girls are lively and loving, after saying goodbye to mom they always waltz into the compound like they own the place. With so much swag.
As the day progresses the sky starts turning black and we can feel the temperature dropping. It's nothing to worry about, rain is a common occurrence. However the sisters soon start to shiver, they had come to the center today in tank-tops.
As the rain drops start falling and the kids dash for cover a familiar figure walks through the compound gates holding a small bundle. She walks by smiling and holds up the two sweaters pointing to her girls. Mom came all the way from work just to bring her girls their forgotten sweaters.
Ordinary. Typical. Moms all around the world make sure their kids are dressed for the weather, right? So why is this moment so special?
It's special because it almost didn't happen.
A couple of months earlier tragedy struck this mother and her girls. I won't share details because they aren't my details to share. But it left them without any options. Soon the mom found herself standing at the gates of an orphanage, desperate for someone to take her girls and provide for them like she could no longer do. Thankfully this orphanage noticed that the mother didn't want to abandon her girls. She loved them, she was just in a really tough spot. In a country with no social supports this is common. The orphanage told her no, they wouldn't take her girls.
Instead they referred her to Abide to see one of their social workers. The mom was quickly enrolled in Abide's programs. She stayed in emergency housing and her girls attended the Child Development Center while she attended business and parenting classes. Soon she was standing on her own two feet again. Running her own business, paying bills, sending the older sister to school....
And making sure her daughters have sweaters when they are cold.
The girls were so close to being left at an orphanage. Not because their mother didn't love them, but because she had no other choice. I shudder to think about the pain all three of them would go through if they had been split up. If they hadn't been offered another solution.
Orphan prevention matters.
It matters because parents and caregivers should always be given the chance to bring their children sweaters when they are cold.