Amazing Children

May 26, 2007 at 6:27 pm (Summer, Trip 2007)

Friday at Shangalia was difficult for me. I cried a lot. The travel to and from the orphanage gives me a sick feeling in my stomach. summer-holding-little-boy.gifWhen I am not with the kids I feel drained, but as soon as I see them and they jump on me and cheer until we are hugging goodbye as tightly as we can I feel good, in tune, happy to be with them.

But when we leave I am again filled with strong emotions that shift from label to label, trying to find one that fits: sadness, anger, passion, fear, inspiration, frustration, confusion, love. It is so clear that this trip was meant to happen and it’s hard to deny the divine intervention that is taking place. I feel in line with Purpose, but when that happens there is resistance. The changes will make me deeper, more loving and giving and grateful, but also more upset and lost and wondering. I am really nervous to leave. We only have one more visit to each orphanage. I already know I will feel out of place at home, but home isn’t quite here either. I am reshaping myself and it’s going to take a while for the entire puzzle to shift enough to accomodate the changes. That puzzle is friends, family, work, school, culture. We will all probably feel some disconnect for a period. I just really don’t know how I am going to leave. It is so difficult going to the orphanages and dealing with all of the emotions I don’t want to face, but it’s even harder not being there. Now that I’ve seen it, I can’t go back to old ways. This time when we go home, we won’t be going back, we’ll be going forward.

The connections we are making with these children do not stop here. There are so many ways we can be plugged in from the U.S.: Gifts, letters, pictures, music, supplies, awareness, funraisers. Friday, a talented young dancer, Freshia, told me she had a present for me and came running out with a letter in hand that she had written to me. It was one of the most honest, love and true letters I have ever received. These children are so quick to accept, pray for and open their hearts to people they know very little of, or don’t even know at all. They are so careful and respectful. For example, they love to wear our rings and pass around watches, but even when they borrow something as small as a hair tie, they are sure to return it before we leave. They understand that family is so much greater than blood relations. They have an awareness and a sensitivity for one another and for us that I have never seen before. They are my family and I love them with all of my heart.

What has happened with in the group is also very special. We are all in this together and we really know how to be there for one another. When I am upset it doesn’t go unnoticed and soon there will be someone holding my hand, stroking my hair or listening to me. What we are really going to need from our friends and family when we get back is grace and an open ear. The support we have received has kept us afloat so that we can continue to be carried by the currents that Spirit creates. Thank you for helping us learn when to let go and when to swim.


  1. Catherine Bourdeau said,

    Dear Sweet Summer,

    You are a blessing! Thank you for being in a part of the world where many of us will never be. I know that you are connected to those amazing children and have a special bond with your fellow travellers. It’s all life-changing for sure. I know you will come back richer than ever. Sending love and peace for the remainder of your journey, friend. Thank you for sharing your stories and emotion. I can feel the warmth all the way to Seattle!

    Love, Love, Love!

  2. Karen said,

    Dear Summer,

    Your puzzle has become three dimensional and will always shift. You are so fortunate to have this opportunity to love and experience life more deeply then before. This experience has and will always be a part of who you are-an amazing, gifted, gentle breeze who touches the lives of everyone she meets. It will be difficult to assimilate back here in the U.S., but you’ll always have an open ear and tons of grace from me….whenever you need it!!! It seems that Bono had the same experience after his first trip to Africa, and look how he’s trying to change the world. I’m forever so proud of you! And I thank you for all your blogs so we can live vicariously through this amazing experience. I’m sending you love, grace, courage, and strength to help you carry and honor all of the fantastic feelings you’re experiencing. I love you!!


  3. Gary Brady said,

    Dear Summer,

    I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. It makes my heart swell to think that you have carried our our love for music and have done so much to further the cause. I know the feeling of transmitting music to the worlk and to many of it’s children, and how that will come back to you in feelings and emotions that are unbelivable to describe. Your drive and ambition is at the heart of our family and I look forward to your return. I am blessed to have you as my granddaughter. I love you very much,
    Grandpa Gary

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