In the setting most of us are familiar, we can usually go through the proper channels to make sure something is done about it.
In America, when we suspect child abuse, we can report it to child protective services.
When laws are set, they are actually enforced.
People actually have to have licenses and proper training to practice medicine. They are held to ethical and medical standards they can be put in prison for not following.
Vulnerable families have access to Food Stamps, Medicaid, WIC, free public education and other resources that give them a real shot at raising their kids despite their level of income.
When systems are in place, you don’t realize how much you rely on them.
And when systems aren’t in place,
if you aren’t careful,
you’ll find yourself trying to take their place.
I fall into this too often.
We are told about pedophiles running orphanages. Multiple charges have been brought against them and there is often no legal follow through. If there is, the perpetrator will probably end up paying his way out of his sentencing any way.
The laws in Uganda support children in families, not orphanages, but we hear of another orphanage opening in our town set to house up to 500 children.
People without the proper medical training are taking children’s lives into their hands and are playing doctor with no real repercussions.
American missionaries take children from vulnerable families and offer adoption instead of offering to help them keep their children. Birth families are manipulated and we are praised for “rescuing children” who just needed to be supported to stay in their families.
Justice seems to rarely be the outcome.
And when the vulnerable are getting trampled, I have a hard time turning away.
“Someone has to say something. Someone has to DO something”
Like a reel, these situations play through my head.
I have a hard time letting go because I feel responsible to do at least SOMETHING once I’ve been told about instances of abuse, negligence, corruption, child trafficking…the list goes on.
That something, in America, as I’ve said, is usually just reporting it to the right authorities. Even if justice isn’t served, you’ve done your part by informing the right people about the situation.
We don’t have that option here.
The systems built to protect and give order are either broken or totally absent.
After getting involved in or having contemplated getting involved in one too many of the situations like the ones I’ve explained above, I’ve realized how important this concept of letting go will be in living and working here long-term.
This doesn’t come natural to me.
I have a few close friends here who “get it” and when I am contemplating a full on private investigation of an unethical adoption I was told about, they remind me that letting go doesn’t mean giving up. Letting go doesn’t mean I’ve accepted the injustice I have seen or been made aware of.
It means giving it to God, focusing on what I am here to do and understanding what I am realistically capable of.
I can’t pour into my work if I distract myself with trying to fix situations I have no business or power to try and fix.
For now, I’ll work to better love and serve where I am.
I’ll try to remember what I am capable of and I’ll continue to work on letting go of what I am not.