Mother's day thoughts: Offering hope

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.

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    We often think societal heroes as police, military, firefighters and rescuers but there is another breed who deserve their accolades: our parents - mothers and fathers and grandparents. An utopiah dream, I hope one day mothers will see a world without wars, a globe without poverty, food for all and social injustices a thing of the past to see us pass on a better legacy for future generations. We can do much better to ease the heartbreak and tears of mothers around the world who see their families suffer hardships, wars, poverty and injustices. Love your family and keep your kids close to our hearts and show them support, forgiveness and affection. Respect and care for our aging parents as they're not disposable - when they're gone its too late and the baggage will weigh you down. Happy mother's day to all those who raise our children, cared for us as youngsters when we are sick or hungry and made sacrafices out of love for the unity of the institution of the family. We chase the almighty dollar in a crazy mixed up world and often take things for granted, our parents in the short circle of life. The real unsung heroes are our parents - mothers and fathers who take their duty to heart to make tomorrow a better day. I buried both parents, like others around the world, and am thankful for their love, devotion and role model guidance and vaules that helped me throughout life. Happy mother's and father's day.....To those who do not have a parent through death, wars, famine, tragedy or illness, remember they gave us the gift of life and never forget their kindness and love and fight to survive to make a difference. To those who provide loving homes for adopted kids; your compassion is valued at the highest level. Thank you to all moms and dads who do their best, even though we all make mistakes as humans. Every day is mother's and father's day to see your child grow healthy and learn. I can only hope we can have affordable education for all, fight illnesses that inflict many and help people in need including kids without both is short, don't take it for granted.

    Imagine a world without suffering, wars, famine or poverty; any parent's wish for their child to hope for a better tomorrow. We often think heroes are paid professionals who donn uniforms, they are but there are others who wear an invisible heroes uniform, our parents including grandparents. Our mothers (and fathers) do so much for us to keep us from harm and illness and bestow their wisdom and morals to pass on a better legacy for tomorrow. Whether we are healthy or sick, they are beside us and teach right from wrong. Love you mother and father while they are here because when they're gone its too late to make a difference. Being a parent is a special gift without manuals to guide us down a path as we raise our children. The institution of the family is the single most important element in society and we often take that for granted in chasing our dreams and the almighty dollar in a crazy mixed up world. Remember your aging parents, take care of them when they are in their prime time of life; don't discard them like they are disposal, they have a wealth of experience and knowledge. In the circle of life, we will be in their shoes one day, karma. I wish every child could grow up healthy and have both parents with them in life and for the many orphans out there without a parent, your tears are noticed. I can only wish the rich class would adopt more kids so they can grow up and have a normal life and many need that loving home and sense of security. To those who adopt with loving and compassionate hearts, you make the world a better place. I buried both my parents, one at a young age and my mother later in her 80's, its never easy for anyone to see a loved one depart this world. Treasure every moment whether we disagree with their ideas or want to control our destiny, our mothers and fathers are the real heroes of society. Independent of being a parent, never forget your guardians contribution, sacrafices, hard work, love and devotion. It's the best unpaid job in the world and I am grateful that this Canadian had a wonderful parents. To those who can financially afford to provide a loving home to an orphan child (not all can do this) make an effort to be a difference. Bravo for the many celebrities like Madonna or Angelina Jolie, for example, who make extended families. There are many kids out their suffering a loss of both parents through insufferable wars and famine; give others a chance to have a normal life like you had if you possess the resources and finances. Your rewards will carry on for a lifetime in leaving a positive footprint in the sand of time. Life is short, don't leave baggage behind.....Happy Mother's Day & Happy Father's Day 2014, every day is a celebration of life to see our kids grow in the circle of life. Thanks to organizations like World Visions, orphanages and others who try to fill the void. No matter religion, culture or race...we can do better. If we limit the growing rift between rich and poor and stop senseless wars so many lives could be changed for the better, not worst.

    Kerwin Maude,
    Vancouver, BC Canada

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