Unless it is brought to our attention, we do not always grasp the magnitude of what it means to oversee an orphanage. Charity Graff and her husband, Evan, have operated Gentle Hands in the Philippines since 2002, and she carries a heavy burden for the children with whom she is involved.
A rather different aspect of the acquiring of orphanage children is related in her recent newsletter:
“She came in. Angry and hard. As expected. I asked questions; gently, but firmly … letting her know this was serious. She answered. Without much adieu, with tears in her eyes, she held the pen awkwardly, poised.
I held my breath for a moment, but she signed … in faith that my promise of caring for and loving her child was true—the document terminating her rights as mother over her child that she had not seen in over 10 years!”
You may question the circumstances. Charity had arrived at the overflowing jail where the stench of unbathed human bodies permeated the corridors. She was ushered into the warden’s office, where she waited for the mother she was to interview … the one who was to sign rights to her child over to Gentle Hands.
As Charity left the confines of the prison, the burden of reality weighed heavily upon her shoulders. The woman’s son was now in Charity’s care, and would be a candidate for adoption.
Charity prayed for strength to love this boy, as a mother should, tenderly and to prepare him so that one day, when his adoptive mother would come to pick him up, Charity can, too, surrender him to her … and wanting her to understand the sacrifice made so that he could be her son.