The mother approached us and rapidly began talking to Jerry, gesturing toward her teen-age daughter. She smiled a lot, and although we could not understand her, we could discern that she was pleading for something.
We stood in the airport at Cebu City in the Philippines, waiting for a plane that would fly us to Manila. From there we would return to the United States. The mother continued to talk to Jerry, pointing to the young lady who stood shyly by, her head slightly tucked, an embarrassed look on her face, until finally we understood. The mother wanted us to take her child with us. She was trying to give her to Jerry. That nameless, caring mother loved her daughter so much, that understanding the dreadful life her child would live, decided to take her to the airport, find a likely looking person and give her away, in the hopes that she would live a better life somewhere else. Later we learned this to be quite common there. I’ll never forget the ghastly understanding that enveloped me that morning as I stared at the mother and her teen-aged daughter. They stood forlornly in the terminal at Cebu City as we walked away.
I certainly have no way of knowing if a similar story surrounds this little boy in the following BBC account, but my haunting experience in the Philippines came to mind as I read of his situation.
I cannot help but compare the “world’s children” with my own—cherished, prayed for, bragged about and adored. Life is not fair.
The circumstances of the boy’s arrival are still being clarified
A Bangladeshi court has handed over an 11-year-old Nigerian boy to a charity after he was apparently deserted at the country’s international airport. Efforts by the authorities to locate the boy’s guardians or parents have not so far been successful.