We are seeing TV pictures of children and babies being pulled alive out of the wreckage of Port au Prince. Still alive, dehydrated,... each life saved brings a lump to our throat. But the media is often negative about the long term future for such children, often left without family in such a difficult place. To get some idea of th
e real future ahead for these barely alive children, perhaps now is a good time to reflect on past earthquakes and children pulled out of rubble back then.
As an example (one of three hundred in our care in Pakistan), this little girl was a nine month old baby in her mothers arm when their house collapsed in the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake. Her mother died as a wall collapsed on her back but the little girl was held close, protected by her mother's body and was dug out of the ruins of their house; the sole survivor they thought.
But three and a half days later her twin baby sister, who had been in her mother's other arm and had stayed buried unnoticed was dug out still alive as well! A miraculous but miserable start to young life, in a poor part of the world without a mother's love. Fortunately in Pakistan, SOS Children had been made temporary guardian of unaccompanied children and soon they were both in our arms. We kept them in a safe home until, a year later, after we had exhausted avenues to find their own relatives who could take them, we took them permanently into an SOS family in our Children's Village in Rawalpindi.
There, they became part of an SOS family. Their experienced and well trained SOS mother (and their new older brothers and sisters) surrounded them with love. They live near where they come from and SOS mothers live in their family home 168 hours a week just like any mother.
Today, they are still in Rawalpindi and a huge handful. They love each other and their family and are very well adjusted and happy.
Is giving this kind of future what everyone offering to adopt is dreaming of for earthquake orphans? This example serves as a powerful illustration that you do not have to bring an orphan home to give them a future, hope and love.