Last night, I sat on the lounge doing uni work, reading Martin Luther Kings incredible, "I have a dream" speech, when I found my attention zoned into a story on Australian, Linda Shum.
Linda, an incredible woman living in China, operates 6 foster homes and has taken on the role of legal guardian for over 60 orphaned kids.
It's an incredible feat, made only more remarkable by the fact that many of these orphans are disabled & highly dependant, children who were not just given up for adoption, but abandoned very literally in the wilderness.
Seeing the beautiful little faces of these seemingly unphased, very loved orphan children who call their amazing guardian "Nai Nai" (mandarin for grandmother), I realised that these children, despite their many struggles, were in fact lucky.. lucky to have an amazing guardian & the loving support of someone as generous of spirit & kind of heart as Linda Shum.
It made me think of children who weren't so lucky,for example, Kiesha Abraham, who was tragically murdered by her own mother.
It made me realise that like Martin Luther King, I have a dream.
I have a dream that all children, no matter their ability, their background, their skin colour or culture, no matter their religion or their parents relationship status, be loved & provided for, to be educated and invested in.
I have a dream that a child's innocence is protected and their imagination encouraged, that a child knows the safety and comfort of home and the unequivocal and unwavering love of a mother, father or guardian.
I have a dream that one day I will turn on the 6o'clock news and there will be no tragedies like that of Kiesha Abrahams or stories like the Morcombe family.
But until my dream is realised, I make a promise.
I promise to love my children with every ounce of my being, to teach them right from wrong, to protect them, to fight for them, to be their biggest supporter. I promise to understand that they won't always be perfect and neither will I. I promise that no matter the struggles we face, I will hold their hand & carry the weight of the world on my shoulders to overcome it with them, together. I promise, for their sake & the sake of the next generation & the generation after that, that I will do my best to raise children who become loving, encouraging, supportive, decent adults. Adults that will make the same promise to their kids.
I hope that all parents and guardians will do the same.
Every child deserves unfaltering love, endless support and the chance of realising their dreams, reaching a goal and living their life to its fullest potential.
Make the promise. Help realise a dream and create a better tomorrow for the children of today.
Image by http://ninamphotographyblog.com/