It isn’t often that you watch something on TV that makes you cry, but sometimes it does happen. Like this evening. I was watching a documentary on the Discovery Channel about feral children, which are basically children who, through extreme neglect, have ‘gone wild.’ The most famous case would probably be Genie, who was kept in isolation, either strapped to a potty chair or tied to her bed for 13 years.
To me, the most shocking and outrageous thing is who treated her this way. Who could treat a child with such contempt? In Genie’s case, it was her own MOTHER. How, my God, how can anyone in their right mind do that to their own child? And it’s not just that one case, it hasn’t been just Genie who suffered. There was Edik who, at the age of four, was living in an abandoned apartment with stray dogs while his mother disappeared for weeks at a time. Then there was Isabel, whose parents kept her in a chicken coop for eight years. And Oxana who was kept in a damn kennel for six years! What the hell is wrong with these people? If they don’t want their children then they’d be better off leaving them at someone’s doorstep, because even state care is better than years of solitary confinement in a cage for an animal.
As I was watching this program I thought, “*&^#%^@ dead-beat parents, if you hate your own child too much to care for them, then give them to me!”
That was what I thought, but then I hit a mental speed bump. “My life has so many problems,” I thought, “I wouldn’t want to bring a child into this.” And, “I’d be so bad at it, someone else will do a better job.”
My answer to these hang-ups (and I can answer them because they’re my own) is this: You think you have problems? Try living in an abusive family, or try surviving in an orphanage. Yeah they get food and clothing, but they need more than that. They need love, they need a family, they need to belong. Your life may not be perfect, but no one’s is. And so long as you run a sane, loving, secure home, you will be giving a child exactly what they need, no matter what the ups and downs.
As for doing a bad job, think of it this way. You want kids right? Then you’ve got to learn to deal with them sometime. And a loving trial-and-error beginning is better than hateful neglect or orphanage deprivation. Kids are humans. It isn’t rocket science. You can learn. I can learn. And Insha’Allah I will. Insha’Allah.
I wish I was married already, because that way I would have a home to bring a child into. Right now I myself am a child living with my parents, and I have no home to provide. But I’m not going to forget about this. I want to remember this, and I want other people to remember it too. If you have a house, if you have a family, if you have more than two pennies to rub together, please adopt. And don’t wait to see if you can have your own children first, because it makes no difference in the situation. Just because you have your own children doesn’t mean that there’s no longer any need. You need to adopt because they need to be adopted.
By the Glorious Morning Light, And by the Night when it is still,- Thy Guardian-Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased. And verily the Hereafter will be better for thee than the present. And soon will thy Guardian-Lord give thee (that wherewith) thou shalt be well-pleased. Did He not find thee an orphan and give thee shelter (and care)? And He found thee wandering, and He gave thee guidance. And He found thee in need, and made thee independent. Therefore, treat not the orphan with harshness, Nor repulse the petitioner (unheard); But the bounty of the Lord – rehearse and proclaim!
-The Holy Qur’an, Surah 93