How My Ideas on Health & Well-Being Were Shaped by Orphans

If you keep up with this blog, you know it can be kind of random.  I blog when I want to put up an idea, not necessarily to run a series of related articles.  Today’s a little different.  This is my third post, and it is related to the previous two posts.

My passion for orphans stems from three intensely personal connections:
1.  My grandson, Duncan (above).  Adopted by my daughter and son-in-law from Uganda, he comes from unbelievable circumstances, and has totally changed our lives with love and joy.  The entire experience over the last several years has left our family with a dedicated, unified purpose in helping orphans worldwide.  We have learned through adoption what “health” and “well-being” truly means.  Duncan, 2 weeks after arriving home, barely knowing any English, declared to his Mommy with great delight, “This is HOME!” while she was slathering him with lotion after drying off from his bath.  Even pre-schoolers know “home” when they have it.

The growth spurt that occurs post-adoption in most kids, affected him also.  He went from 2T to size 4 in a few short months!  This growth spurt is not just from nutrition.  There’s a neurohormonal connection between love and growth.  That’s an AMAZING phenomena, and nothing short of miraculous in my book.

LOVE (virtue in relationships) + FOOD + SAFETY = HEALTH!  WELL-BEING!  LIFE!

Don’t fail to see this!  I beg you!  If we FAIL to account for virtues, for love, for relationships, we fail to realize all that health really is.  Did you know that orphans would rather go with less food if it meant they were in loving relationships?  That shouldn’t surprise us, and it doesn’t, but let yourself SEE what this means!  Endeavors to improve physical health will fail without the twin need of love.  And love is informed by virtues, morals, and ethics.  We may not call it ‘love’, but when we rally for the dignity and sanctity of all persons, we’re saying all people are in need of purpose and meaning within themselves and in relationship to others.
My other blog is Orphan Health Project where you can find more on orphan issues.

2.  My mom, who was adopted at age 3 months.  My grandparents went to the orphanage, picked out this beautiful baby girl, named her Sandra Jan, and she grew up to be an artist.  Near the end of her short life of 53 years, a combination of smoking, hypertension, severe arterial blockage from cholesterol, and depression stopped her heart during a nap one day.  You’d never know she was ‘sick’.  She was beautiful, slender, outgoing, and kind.  My mom was the favorite in my group of friends.  Looking back now on my life, she seemed to have had bonding deficits, which is interesting because the orphan literature shows that early infant deprivation of affection can result in problems in adulthood, because the brain’s emotional connections do not develop properly in the absence of cuddling and nurturance.  The right thing for babies is LOVE.  Deprive a baby of love, and what do you get?  Maladaption, illness, and even death before age 3 from a lack of love.

3.  I was once orphaned from God, in need of divine love, He found me, adopted me, called me His own, and now I live in faith because of the miraculous work of Jesus Christ.  You should know that because it is on the basis of my beliefs and experiences with God that I write anything at all about well-being, perfection, health, sanctity of life, and virtue.  I cannot explain any of this without invoking the God of all who infuses me with life, love, and purpose!  My religious beliefs are from the trinitarian Christian faith:  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

In the end, my passions are all bound up together in God, people, and purpose.  When I consider the interplay between orphans and health (or well-being), then I see a beautiful analogy between redemption and well-being.  And what that should look like on earth.

Just thought you should know.  Every author needs to make their presuppositions and assumptions explicit.  Now you know.  I hope this sparks some debate in your own mind and heart about what you believe about health, life, and well-being.

Grace & Peace,

  1. I love this so much. From the minute I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago, I suspected you were a Christian. I’ve only been a nurse for a few months shy of a year, but I’m in love with nursing philosophy, and this is why.
    You are my inspiration! 🙂

  2. ZMM said:

    It is without a doubt a pretty helpful posting. bookmark to my favourite.

    Appreciate the read

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