Children make emotional trips home to visit their families
Road trip! As you read this, 34 children from orphanages in Myanmar will be traveling back to their remote home villages to visit their families. During hot season (March through May), schools in this tropical Southeast Asian country shut their doors for their annual summer break. This provides our social workers with a window of opportunity to take the children with whom they are currently working out of the orphanages and into the rural villages they came from to visit their families.
Visits back to families can be an emotional time. The children and families may not have seen each other for years, and it can be a joyous reunion. But there can also be challenges. Depending on how long the separation has been, the children may not feel any attachment to their families, which will then need to begin rebuilding trust and a relationship with their children. Sometimes the children will no longer be able to speak to their families because they have forgotten their native language. The children may also experience greater freedom while with their families and away from the orphanages with their regimented schedules and strict rules.
The benefits of these visits are that the children get to reconnect with their parents and other relatives, the families get to learn about the harmful effects of institutionalized care of children from the social workers, and the social workers get to observe the children interacting with their families. These short, monitored visits are a very important part of safely reuniting children back with their families. Also, due to the children not fearing punishment from the orphanage staff, this is the time that the children will often open up the most to the social workers, and this can prove to be invaluable in helping to place children permanently back within families.
We expect that some of the children will end up not returning to the orphanages as the situation with their family is very promising and the family doesn’t want their child to go back. For others, the families and children will need more time before reunification can be completed. Please be praying for these children, that their times with their families will be beneficial and healing.
Thank you for making this all possible!
Until all children are in safe and loving families,
Director, Orphan’s Tear Ministry
“Children Belong In Families”