In honor of Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, we asked bloggers to share their thoughts on motherhood -- and the importance of caring for children who have experienced the loss of a parent. Today’s second post in this series comes from Jill Anderson.
Miss the first one? Read it here!
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This Mother’s Day, I am acutely aware of what it means to be motherless. Not because I don’t have a mother. I actually am blessed with an amazing mom, mother-in-law, and step mother-in-law. Three amazing women, three of my own children. My heart is full. But this Mother’s Day, I am also a mother to a child who will spend the day separated from her mother. Her mother is not yet capable of caring for her. So this is my first Mother’s Day as a foster mother. I can fathom what it must feel like to not be able to parent your child. This past week when our foster baby’s mom was asked to fill out a form about her biggest concerns for her child’s development, she wrote, “I am worried she will be adopted by another family.” My mother’s heart broke for both mother and child. World Vision steps in much like a foster parent and cares for children around the world who are parentless, or whose parents simply can’t care for them properly. One such family they are helping is Pyae Sone Kyaw and his mother, Daw Mee Nge. Daw Mee Nge was widowed when her husband died of HIV at only 36 years old, leaving her to care for her son and young daughter. She soon realized that he had also left her with the same deadly disease that killed him. Pyae Sone Kyaw quickly assumed the role of the “man of the house,” dropping out of school and going to earn money in the market, leaving home at 6 a.m. and returning at 9 p.m. I think we can all agree that this is no life for a 13 year old. A mom in Myanmar isn’t that different from a mom in America at our core. We both want the best for our children. For them to have the best possible life. For us to be able to provide our children with a home and stability. This isn’t Daw Mee Nge’s reality.
“I was very ill and had to stay in the bed. I am very sad to see my son working for the whole family at a very young age and I couldn’t do anything for him as a mother. There’s no one to help us. We were very helpless. At that time, another problem came. We needed to pay for the rent. We needed to pay 100,000 kyats [U.S. $120] for six months’ rent. How can we pay that amount of money when we struggled to have daily meals? We had no place to stay and nowhere to go, so we stayed in the market.”
Homeless, poor, subject to the elements, and very unsafe. This was the best this mother could do. In America, when a mother can’t provide for their children, agencies step in and make sure that children are safe. Thankfully, in Myanmar, World Vision has stepped up and alongside Daw Mee Nge to help her provide a better life for her family. Pyaw Sone Kyaw is now enrolled in a non-formal education class where he can learn and have meals. World Vision also secured housing for the family and helped Pyaw Sone Kyaw find a more stable job. Daw Mee Nge also benefits directly from World Vision. She has access to anti-retroviral therapy and is feeling much healthier these days.
“I felt I was alone and there’s no one to help me. But I’m now really happy to know that World Vision cares. I’m very grateful to World Vision for encouraging me and giving me strength to hold on my hope. I’m now selling the salted fish and saving some part of the profits so that I can pay for the rent for next six months. I’m happy that I can send my daughter to school again and very pleased to see she’s studying in grade 1.” She smiles.
Hope. It is what I hope to offer the baby in our care. It is what I hope to offer her mother as she is able to focus on getting better while her child is well loved and cared for. And it is what World Vision offers families around the world. Be part of that hope. Sponsor a child today.
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Jill Anderson writes at Just Jilly, where she blogs about her love of fashion, family, and fun. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, three children, and foster baby.
Read the first post in our Mother’s Day series: An orphan's story Consider sponsoring a child: Your support will help bring life-giving necessities such as nutritious food, clean water, education, and healthcare. You will also have the opportunity to develop a personal, lasting relationship with your sponsored child through cards and letters.