To The Child Without A Mother


To the child without a mother. I see you. I have held hundreds of you in my arms; black, white, yellow, brown.

I have looked into your eyes, and seen the empty void, that only a mother can fill…

Yet, she didn’t.

I have heard your cries, deep into the night; on this land, but also in China, Guatemala, Peru, & Dominican Republic.

I have felt your muteness, saw the longing of your heart, knew what you were feeling, though you couldn’t say a word.

I knew and know, the battle is long. Hard. Unbelievably hard, at times.

I have wept with you in private. Sensed the gravity of your pain, while holding you. I have visited you in torment, across nations and many waters…

Even across the hallway of my very own home.

file000814932862Yet, I could not be your savior.

I felt that punch, saw you tug, watched you pull. Wanting someone near, but pushing them away….

Because love can encompass fear. And after all this time, neglected, abandoned, betrayed….

You were fearful of being hurt…again.

I have witnessed your cleft lip. Saw your so-called flaws, experienced your behaviors that made your mother leave, or someone come to take you away.

Still, I remember you sitting on a chair in an orphanage; no arms or legs, that pathetic whimpering cry, unable to run to someone or articulate your feelings….

So, you sat there and cried….yet nobody rescued you.

I have ventured in my heart; wrestled deep with God about how to help, what to do about all the loss….

So many walking around with holes in their hearts…

Knowing what could be more grievous than a motherless child? 

Throwing fists up to the heavens, I have pleaded and questioned, in frailty petitioned God….“What kind of difference can just one daughter make?”

I have rejoiced with you in triumph over that hesitant grin, from you, a child, while grieving.

I have seen you walk; taking steps they said you’d never take because you’d need extensive therapy.

They didn’t know what you were capable of.

I saw you lying there, like an angel. Two weeks old, cold, left, ignored. And yet, I witnessed the miracle of your resurrection just a few days later.

God still raises the dead today.

I have held your hand when you were brave enough to reach for mine, one more stranger who could potentially hurt you….

Still, you took one more chance, and loved anyway.

To the child without a mom, I see you. I sense that hollow, deep, aching hole that only a mother could fill.

Though, I am not your mom, I promise, I have wished to be. Someone to encourage you, hold you near, and never, ever leave you.

But, the world is too big, and one person’s arms too small to reach wide and big, and love each and every child, like God would.

I am just one woman after all. Clinging for my own hope. Trying to restitute my losses, hoping to be the mother of simply, those He puts in front of me.

Limited. Human. Fallible. Dependent.

And yet, when the world looks at photos of hugs, and coffee dates, and smiles, and giggles, of mothers and their children this Mother’s Day.

Please know, I see you. And I understand, today can be difficult.

Some have lost mothers. Other mom’s have left far too early. Worse yet, are you child, whose mom couldn’t be near them…

Because of injuries or deficiencies of her own.

And while we tread on hope, linger in this place where our hearts desperately desire something seemingly impossible….

Won’t we look up and know….

Our Father is big, and strong, and close and near. He has been faithful and clearly has walked with us the entire way….and won’t be leaving us now.

So, motherless child, don’t fear. Don’t grieve and miss and look and wish.  Be awe-struck, in gratitude.

Because His love can cover even the deepest emptiness. He can rescue the needy, He will be and is, near the orphan. He runs to the weary.

Yes, He is enough.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Him to show you this Mother’s Day the fullness of His great love and the power of His perfect healing. 


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Jen Avellaneda

Jen is an adoptive, foster, & bio mom to trans-racial family. She speaks, writes, & passionately advocates for the orphan domestically & internationally with her husband of twenty-five years.
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  1. This is a beautiful and soulful post. I love how it starts with just the person seeing the child(ren) and the child(ren) and ends with God being first and how God, in all of this mess and pain, is sufficient.
    I truly love and agree that God is enough and all we have to do is look to Him.
    Thank you for sharing such a great piece of work and depth into what you see in the world and your feelings for each lives you entered and witnessed.

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