Submitted by Columnist Sarah Hudson Pierce
French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of The Little Prince wrote, “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eye.”
Love and hugging are essential.
Having been born to poverty stricken parents who I knew loved me and then to go into a loving foster home for a couple of months before going into an orphanage I can speak from experience. To be given love until one’s addicted and then to have it snatched away is one of the most cruel, devastating experiences that can happen to a child or even an adult.
Had I not just become a Christian I am not sure I would be here today!
I also just watched child star Margaret O’Brien, with the leading role in Lost Angels, which helped me to explain just what is wrong with orphanages and why we need hugging!
When we were dropped off at camp I turned my back when I saw other children being hugged by their parents. I slept with my head under my pillow to muffle my crying at the orphanage because we were punished for crying.
You can put a child in an institution with plenty of food and clothing but you can’t expect a child to thrive in an environment where all you have are people who work for a paycheck.
There are a few good orphanages but I believe it is rare if non-existent.
Doctor Andy Bison wrote, “I am a social worker who has researched and campaigned for the reform of child protection systems across the globe for more than 30 years. But more importantly, I am a parent. And so, without doubt, the most gut-wrenching sound I’ve ever heard is that of silence in a ward full of children in an orphanage. Children raised in orphanages can experience delays in terms of IQ, language, speech, and vocabulary”
Having grown up in an orphanage I am here to say that a child care institution is most likely devoid of the kind of emotional care that children need to thrive. I can speak from experience having witnessed and experience the kind of abuse that leaves a child scarred for life.
I’ve witnessed children running away at night never to found.
Without love life is meaningless.
Had I not experienced living in a loving foster home for two months I might not have ever experienced the kind of home that was overflowing with love, affection, the kind of care that I soaked up like a dry sponge and when I went to the orphanage all I could see and feel were cinder blocks that were as cold and devoid of love as they were hollow.
Yes “that which is essential is invisible to the eye.”
One of those ingredients is hugging.
My favorite author Italian born Psychologist Doctor Leo Buscaglia. author of Living and Loving had much to say about the necessity of hugging and touching. He reports that “hugging increases hemoglobin in the blood.”
Children need love to thrive.
It is easy for me to say that there are few people who have the ability, the need, to love children for a paycheck.
It took me years to get over the lack of love in an orphanage but had it not been for drawing love into my life and turning to writing as a safety valve for my emotions I can’t imagine who I would be today.
I derive great joy sharing my story never knowing who might need something I have to say.
I hope I give you the courage to share your story however sad it may be and to draw love into your life.
Without God I can do nothing.