Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 10.33.06 PMBy Saira Ijaz

My baby is lying next to me in our bed. Sleeping soundly. The only thing she worries about is where her milk bottle is so she hugs it next to her. Whenever her sleep is disturbed, she expertly puts that bottle in her mouth without even opening her eyes. Our girl warms our hearts the way we never though was possible. I know it’s cliché to say that it’s the nurturing of the child that makes you attached to him & not the biology but honestly I was always a little afraid that I might not be able to love her as much as I love my biological kids. Boy was I wrong. Now, looking at her it seems almost surreal that the idea of having her actually sprouted in me & my husband’s heart almost ten years ago.

It was October 8th of 2005 when we saw the horror of major earthquake in Kashmir & Northern Areas of Pakistan unfolding on a Pakistani News channel. Thousands upon thousands of people died in it. Cites became ruins. Happy homes became graveyards. We sat in shock, feeling helpless & guilty. Here we were sitting in the comfort of our climate-controlled homes in US & in Pakistan our brothers & sisters were crying over their dead and mourning the loss of their homes. We had so much shame for all that was given to us. The images of that earthquake somehow got etched on our memory.

As if the death toll & the destruction were not enough, we came upon yet another horror story. So many children were either orphaned or were displaced from their families. We heard stories of people randomly picking kids from the roadside because they had nowhere to go. There were many good people who out of fear of God & the love of humanity took care of these children but there were vultures & predators as well. How many children lost their innocence in this incidence? Only God knows. But as a nation these kids were our responsibility. I would tell my husband;” What if each family in Pakistan volunteered to adopt just one of this child? We will not have this problem.”

This thought took permanent residence in my brain. I kept thinking & thinking about it . Then the idea grew bigger. What if all the homeless orphaned children in this world are taken by homes that can afford a child? This world would become a much better place. I told my husband then that whenever the time is right, with God’s will, we will adopt one kid. We own it to humanity. We have been blessed with many things & giving love is one of them. He agreed. Sure it took us 10 years to actually take this step but the though was always in our heart. God has made a specific time & place for everything. When the right time came for us to adopt, everything fell into place. We adopted a beautiful princess from Pakistan who not only rules our home but our hearts as well.

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