One of the greatest blessings in my life is the gift of being a mother. I found out I was pregnant with my daughter three years ago, and I never could have prepared for the ways my life would change. I was so excited and a little anxious, too, but mainly I was grateful for the gift of nurturing a healthy child as I counted the days until her arrival.
When Ruby was born in July 2016, my world got simultaneously bigger and smaller. Bigger, because God had created this brand new life—and she was now occupying space in our home! And smaller, because time slowed down substantially. We didn’t travel or even leave the house as much—at least not at first—so our biggest adventure was usually our daily walk around the neighborhood. Yet that new pace suited us just fine.
Since Ruby was born, she has changed my life in so many ways. One of the things I feel most grateful for is the privilege of caring for her when she’s not well. Recently, when both she and I were down for the count with a diagnosis of croup, I reflected on one of my many visits to Ghana. It was a surgical trip for several of the children who needed to have hernias repaired. They had incurred these injuries after working on Lake Volta, mainly from hoisting heavy fishing nets that were too large for their little bodies to handle. Our team was tasked with caring for the children as they recovered from their procedures. One night I awoke to one of the young boys standing alone in the bathroom, crying. I quickly ran to him to comfort him, but while I did, I was struck by a profound thought that wrenched me to my core—he didn’t have a mother to care for him when he was unwell. Yes, he had our team, but our group was comprised mostly of strangers, people he had just met. He knew me and he knew Pam, but that was the extent of it. We were the ones who were now blessed to care for him—and it was a blessing we would cherish and take very, very seriously.
While that memory impacts me in so many ways, the gravity of it struck me to my core as I cared for my sick daughter last week. Shifting to the lens of a parent altered my perception of that memory in a way that reminded me of the responsibility of all of us at Touch A Life have been given to care for these children exactly as if they were our own. Because they are. They are our family, and we are immeasurably blessed by the task of caring for them, both when they’re sick and when they’re well.