Updated: Mar 20, 2021
As I sit downstairs in my home, my son asleep across my lap, wiped out from a day of pure, unfiltered fun, I can’t help but weep. I weep because he is here, with me, safe.
These tears keep happening, it’s become a part of my daily routine.
Once I started to peel back the layers of information out there about child trafficking, my soul started to become bruised, aching constantly.
I think of those children while I drive to work, and I cry. I think of them as I fill bottles for more babies where I nanny, safe, and I fight back tears. I hear songs on my ride home about freedom and I think of them again, the tears hot on my face as the wind pushes them down my neck.
The more I learn, the worse it gets. The more I learn the more I want to throw my phone, slam my computer in half, pull all the plugs of the TVs. I want to scream ignorance, because I want the bliss.
But once you know, you cannot go back. Because my child is here, with me now, and some people, too many people, cannot say the same.
On my very first trip to Haiti, we visited an orphanage in the worst city, Cite-Soleil. I remember the gray walls and the contrast of pink and yellow bows against those walls. I remember the chipped paint on the railings. There were no beds, no toys. I can still smell the trash in the trash river right out the back door of the orphanage. I remember their smiles, the girls. We left and marveled at the girl’s joy, how they welcomed us, played with our hair, danced with us. We left in amazement of the director, his kindness, his selflessness. I can still see him, in his blue clothes, his smile warm, hiding more than my young self could have imagined.
The next year, those girls were gone. The director had been arrested on trafficking charges. I was too young then to think past what a horror that was.
But now, I get it. I have pictures of those girls on my computer. I stare into their eyes at night, wondering if they welcomed us because they thought maybe we would be the ones to save them, to set them free from whatever hell they were living. We thought the country, in its devastation, was the awful part. But we were so wrong.
All I can see now are their eyes.
Where are they? Lord, have mercy.
And trafficking doesn’t just affect poorer countries. It is everywhere, including our own towns.
But I find it strange, the way people receive me when I speak up. When I mention what is happening in this world. They want to dismiss me. They want to circle back to Covid or BLM, which I’m also glad to talk about. But this, this has my heart. Our kids are being taken and abused. This should ignite such devastation in us that we forget how to breathe when we think of it. It should propel us into action. It should stop us in our tracks, and put us on new paths.
Ignorance is not bliss when it’s your own child. And I can’t fathom this.
I already failed once. I’ll see those girl’s eyes the rest of my life. I cannot fail again.
All I ask, is that if you don’t know any information on child trafficking, look something up tonight. Just one thing. Start there.
And if you can’t, just say a prayer. Pray for the children who have been taken, their families who will never be consoled this side of heaven.
We are one human race, don’t let the chaos of the world tell you otherwise. We’re in this together. Your kids, my kids, our kids. One.
For more information about child trafficking, visit Our Rescue– they are an incredible team working tirelessly to end child sex trafficking.