My Mom asked me to visit her preschool class on Monday and teach the kids some new songs. Aaron is in her class and the first thing he did when I got there was walk around and introduce me to every single kid. He made sure to clarify which of his friends were from Ethiopia. "And this is Hawanni, she's from Opia too!"
Aaron was so excited to show me around his class! There were a few times where he would instinctivly run at me with his arms raised to be picked up, but then remember his friends were around and change his mind. Although, he conveniently decided that it was ok for me to carry him when we walked up 4 flights of stairs to the gym!
One thing I noticed throughout the day is that even though I had lots of fun with all of the kids in the class, Aaron was the one I paid the closest attention to. When the other kids showed me their drawings I smiled and told them how great they were, but when Aaron showed me his I really looked and genuinely admired his dinosaur. When everyone was requesting songs I had to supress the urge to call on Aaron every time, and when he interrupted my Mom while she was teaching, I just brushed it off and thought about how cute it was that he had so many brilliant ideas.
This realization made me think about all the kids who don't have that adoring figure who looks into a room full of children and yet only really see that "one". So many kids in this world are perpetually a part of the masses. Some have their physical needs met, and even people in their life who treat them well, but no one who looks at them and thinks "wow, this kid is incredible". Everyone deserves to be individually adored for all those little things that make them who they are. They need someone who notices when they are having a bad day, and celebrates with them when they are having a good day. They need someone who advocates for them when situations become more than they can handle, and loves them unconditionally through every mistake.
There are a handful of children in my life who I like to call "my kids". All of my siblings of course, and a few of the Dinomights that I have special relationships with. I love them all so much and they bring me an immense amount of joy. But today I'm thinking about those children who can only imagine a love like that; from the 7 year old girl living alone on the streets of Ethiopia to the 18 year old boy aging out of the foster care system here in the United States, there are millions yearning to be somebody's "One". As I think of all of those waiting, I wonder what I can do to give more kids the opportunity to feel what it's like to be completely and totallydelighted in for exactly who they are...