A humane story.
When I think about what we’re doing with these kids—doing for them, as other people phrase it, though I am fairly sure our family isn’t the result of a white savior complex—I have two persistent visions. They pop into my head and stick there (even though I’m a much more verbal person) when I’m rushing through the airport to catch a flight to a business meeting, getting ready in the morning, attending a high-school honors ceremony, or sitting idly at my desk. First, I envision my hands knitted together into a little stirrup, my knees bent, crouching next to a great blue wall. I hoist up a foot, one and then another, lifting them up and over. And in the other, I clench a dagger in my teeth, and I climb. The visions become the reason I work every day: I crouch, I hoist, I climb. Inside I feel a fierceness and, paradoxically, a tender, intoxicating weakness. A grain of mother love. Instead of pushing it away, I secret it deeper, quiet my heart, keep on climbing.