Yesterday, Ceiba and I quickly went uptown with our driver. School was a day away, and we realized her shoes were nearly all too small. Those that did fit were not allowable (crocs, flip flops). We did buy shoes in the States, but they're in the mail along with another 15 boxes of misc that we mailed back.
While driving, or more so while sitting at a traffic light, I realized again how sad it can be to live in Dhaka. The poverty is immense. It has always been hard for me to see and hear people knocking on the windows for money... hard to explain to Ceiba what is going on, while being kind and compassionate. I know we cannot roll down the window and give to even one person, or there would be tens lined outside our home every day waiting for a handout. There would be people every day stalking our car for money.
Yesterday, maybe because we now have a tiny baby at home, the sight of limp and sleeping babies in their mothers' (or women pretending to be their mothers) arms was almost more than I could bare. Tears pooled in my eyes as I waited for the light to change to green. It was difficult not to roll down the window. I didn't want to give money. I wanted to take the children from their mothers arms and pull them into the car. I wanted to take them home.
Many children here are purchased by beggars to gain more sympathy from donators. The children are used for extra money while they are small and cute and then turned to the streets when they reach an age when they don't draw enough money anymore. There are so many homeless children, dirty and starving on the streets. You often see them in groups, barely clothed, sleeping in the busy medians. It rips your heart out. Now, it tears at me even more than before.
I wish Bangladesh had an adoption agreement with the US, as there are thousands if not millions of children in need of homes here. There are so many waiting families in the US that could provide loving homes. Before heading here, I researched in depth the situation, but it was not possible as a US citizen to adopt. Yesterday, I knew I could offer just dollars, and one of those women would probably have handed a child to me through the car window. I would have held them and fed them and loved them, but they could never have become a citizen and moved out of Bangladesh with our family. As taunted as I always am with the idea, it isn't an option. It would actually be trafficing, illegal, against policies the US is here to promote, wrong, unethical... but it would feel so good to hold just one starving baby close, feed them, love them and rock them to sleep... like I do now at night with our own healthy child.
I enjoy living here, but it can be so hard sometimes just to look out the window.