When you first have children they talk about the challenges of parenting....the struggles of a baby waking in the night,
the toddler who won't stay in their bed, the cost of childcare, injuries from sports...
Having to take off work to pick them up from school when they don't feel well, helping them with homework, a messy house, the never ending laundry, the cost to buy school clothes, packing their lunches....
You watch their eyes light up on Christmas morning....and try to soak in the magic of those moments.
You coach them in sports, rushing to practices and ballgames...and tote them all over the country to let them play the game they love...no matter how exhausting or expensive it becomes.
Life is just so busy that you rarely even stop to think what the end of those days look like.
In fact, it's not really even something you can wrap your mind around.
You go into it thinking that 18-20 years sounds like a long time....
Then suddenly hours turn into days...days into months...and months into years.
That little person that used to crawl up next to you in bed and cuddle up to watch cartoons...suddenly becomes this young adult who hugs you in the hallway as they come and go.
And the chaos and laughter that used to echo throughout your home....gets filled with silence and solitude.
You've learned how to parent a child who needs you to care for and protect them....but have no clue how the whole 'letting go' thing is supposed to work.
So you hold on as tight as you can...wondering how time passed so quickly...feeling guilty that you missed something....
Because even though you had 20 years.....it just somehow doesn't seem like it was enough.
You ask yourself so many questions...
Did you teach them the right lessons
Did you read them enough books as a child
Spend enough time playing with them
How many school parties did you have to miss
Do they really know how much you love them
What could I have done better as a parent
.....When it's time for them to go, it all hits you like a ton of bricks.
And all you can do is pray....hope....and trust that God will protect them as they start to make their way into the world alone.
Parenting is by far the most amazing experience of your life....that at times leaves you exhilarated....while others leave you heartbroken.
But one thing is certain.....it's never enough time...
So for all the parents with young children...whose days are spent trying to figure out how to make it through the madness...
Exhausted day in and day out...
Soak. It. All. In.
Because one day....all those crazy days full of cartoons, snuggles, sleep overs, Christmas morning magic, ballgames, practices and late night dinners...
All come to an end.
And you're left hoping that you did enough right, so that when they spread their wings....
Credit to the Amazing Author:
The all Volunteer US and Canadian Surgical team, OPERATION OF HOPE targets 90 free facial reconstructive surgeries May 2020
Operation of Hope Celebrates 31 years of Good Works in 2020
Operation of Hope, a 31-year old, US/Canadian based surgical charity, is planning their 26th surgical mission to Zimbabwe. Since 2006, they have performed more than 5,000 free cleft surgeries for children and adults in Zimbabwe, alone.
90+ children and adults are targeted for a free facial reconstructive surgery at the following dates:
Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo, Screening Day: Sat. May 2nd Bulawayo
Mpilo Hospital Sunday, May 10th Bulawayo
Screening Day, Friday May 22nd at Karanda Mission Hospital, Mt Darwin, Zimbabwe, Africa
The team of Board certified reconstructive surgeons and 18 other volunteers, support the confidence and social success of children around the world. "Having an attractive smile is crucial not only for self-esteem but also for the ability to interact effectively in modern society, where smiling is one of the most basic interactions between people," says President of Operation of Hope, Jennifer Mora Trubenbach, 'Some of these children don't have a smile at all. Often, they cover their mouths and are hidden from school or church because of this relatively easy to fix problem, being a cleft lip or cleft palate."
Operation of Hope depends on the kindness of private citizens, sponsors and the services of medical volunteers as all surgeries are free of charge to patients and their families.
'We are often asked as Americans, are we independently wealthy to do this work. No, Jennifer smiles. Most of the volunteers love to come to Zimbabwe for the very reason they first got into medicine - to help as many people as they can because they love doing so. Several of our volunteers are retired and instead of playing golf they choose to do these missions. Most of the nurses raise their funds by fundraising their own airfare by sharing the excitement of this trip with family and friends. Operation of Hope's funding comes from just ordinary people with big hearts and who truly understand what it would be like, if their own child needed his surgery and didn't have the financial means. And, she adds, we love the beautiful people of Zimbabwe and their incredible spirit.
Schweppes Zimbabwe was most helpful in providing juice and water for the patients, as well as, thanking the team with a celebration team dinner. 'It's more than water and juice, said Jennifer 'If babies are hydrated before surgery it's much more difficult to put in an IV, and after surgery the water and juice is so instrumental in rehydrating the patient so they can recover faster. 'We are so thankful to Schweppes for truly understanding our mission and helping us take care of these kids as safely as we can,' she added. EcoNet has also been supportive in helping us get the word out to prospective patients, especially those on the rural areas.
The Ministry of Health waived the Medical and Nursing Council fees for the team, saving the volunteer team thousands of dollars in registration fees. We are hoping they will extend this kindness on this upcoming mission.
This year's team represents volunteers from India Canada, California, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon and Massachusetts. Emirates Airlines in partnership with the Emirates Foundation was also instrumental in helping with the volunteer's airfare.
In the US, this surgery costs $35K -$80K and the Operation of Hope team raises money all year to offer these surgeries for free to Zimbabweans. Not only are cleft sufferers given the changes they need to have a chance in society, but they also receive these improvements from qualified medical professionals, regardless of their ability to pay.
Please contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.