They come weary. Hopeless.
They come to us from far away, and from just around the corner.
They come to us desperate, unsure, and fearful.
Some come with their bags and stay until they become part of the family. Some only come with their child expecting to leave them behind, and are angry when they realize we are not in the business of relieving parents from their duties to their children, but in the business of empowering them.
Sometimes they are just relieved that we are here to help them.
Sometimes it works. Sometimes they change their minds, and begin to see the worth in their child. They begin to take pride, and love them better. Walls that society taught them to build against the disabled come tumbling down. It is an honor to sit sideline to this miracle.
Sometimes we don’t need to tell them the worth of their child, they know full well. They just wanted to be around people who could see that worth too.
So we fill the gap, in many different ways. The room in the boys quarters is usually full, full of mothers and children. Full of fresh, new, hope.
Mama Mercy came with her reservations, and her doubts. She came very young and weary, with her severely malnourished daughter. As the both adjusted to life here, Mama Mercy was angry. She did not want to be here and did not want much to do with her daughter. After about a week, something changed. Mama Mercy now loves her child with a fierce passion, and has begun to see the true worth in her daughter.
Mama Denise came to our gate, with empty pockets and no place for her and her daughter to rest their heads. She thought her only option was to put her daughter in an orphanage, until she got back on her feet. We insisted that was not an option, and we could offer her a job and they could stay as long as she needed. Mama Denise was so excited you would have thought she won the lottery. Her fierce, unwavering love for her daughter is an inspiration to all of us.
Mama Ronald came to our gate, after traveling across the entire country. She was fearing for her childs life, who had untreated spina bifida and hydrocephalus. We quickly got the surgery Ronald needed, and Mama Ronald and her son recovered here at Ekisa.
These women are my heroes. Too soon they will leave the comforts of Ekisa, and go home. To their families, to their loved ones. But they will carry with them the love and acceptance they experienced at Ekisa, and my prayer is that it will give them the strength to carry on loving these children even when the going gets rough.