Hellos and Goodbyes
This summer, we have had some bittersweet hellos and goodbyes. The past few months have seen some changes in our Thailand Girls Home that we need to update you all on.
First, we had two new “hellos”. There are two precious little girls who have become a part of the Baan Choo Jai family. Please allow us to introduce Panida and Nipha, who are both 10 years old.
While we are thrilled to meet these beautiful little ones, and welcome them into our home… hellos are always difficult, because they represent deep loss. Little girls do not come into our home “just because” – they are added to our Baan Choo Jai family because they have lost their parents (or another primary caregiver). While we grieve these losses with them, we are so glad we were able to bring them into a safe, loving home, where they will be well provided for. They are settling in well, and the other (older) girls have been helping take good care of them.
Ironically enough, just a few weeks after Nipha and Panida came into the home, two of our other girls left it. This was not planned, and we are all still surprised by the timing. But we are thankful that two of our other girls’ mothers were in a healthy enough place to come pick up their daughters.
Most of the time, our Children’s Homes function as an orphanage. The boys and girls who come in have deceased parents, or they have parents who are completely out of their life (and who never return for them). But occasionally, our homes can function somewhat like foster care. Sometimes our kids have parents who want to take care of them – but who just aren’t able to. That can be because of illness, poverty, the loss of a job or loss of a home, or another specific circumstance. And sometimes, when those circumstances change, family reunification is possible. When that happens, the “goodbye” is bittersweet. We rejoice with the child’s biological family – because family reunification is a beautiful thing! But we also grieve the loss of one of our beloved children in the home.
In this situation – one of the girls’ parents had separated, and have since reunited. They were so happy to be home again together as a couple, able to care for their daughter. Another was a single mom with two children. Now that a few years have passed, her financial situation has improved, and her son is old enough to help care for his little sister. So these two moms (from the same village), came this summer to pick up FaaSai and Sumeetra.
Saying “goodbye” to these two sweet girls was very hard. It has been a difficult adjustment for our House Mom and the other girls in the home. They miss their “sisters” terribly. It has been hard on FaaSai and Sumeetra too.. but we are grateful they are together in the same village, and their parents let them call the House Mom (Rapee) occasionally. Rapee told us that she knows they are in good hands and being well cared for… but she still misses them every day! We are all hoping they’ll be able to visit a few times this Fall during school breaks, and maybe again at Christmas too. Children who have been in our homes at any time are always welcome to return for visits (or to stay if needed!)
So after all these bittersweet “hellos” and “goodbyes” – we are back to a house of 8 beautiful little girls in Thailand. It has been a challenging summer with lots of transition, but the children are back in school now and they are excelling at their studies! We recently skyped with them, and it was wonderful to see their smiling faces!
We’re grateful to all of our donors who help us support these precious girls month after month. It’s because of you that all 10 of our Thailand girls are safe, loved, and thriving. Thank you for helping us give them HOPE!