Nepal is closer than you think.

Today I received an email from my niece. She wants the family to know something. And I want my readers to know something, too.

“My Nepali Adoptive Family Association has established a fund that is being distributed, by hand, to each of the orphanages that we came from.”

Sirjana is 7. To say she has thrived here in the US is an understatement. Her mother maintains close ties with other Nepalese adoptee families in the States, especially children adopted from the same orphanage. Sirjana’s roots are as firm in Nepal as in her American family, thanks to her mother’s perseverance. The Nepal earthquake disaster, as a result, is not so far away for Sirjana, for her Nepalese friends and now, for me. The earth shrank when I continued reading:

“These funds are being hand delivered to each orphanage as the needs are being assessed and allocations are being made on site. Some places need new homes, others only tents for temporary shelter. Some need medicines or food etc…. Each situation is unique and our Association receives reports each day from our person on the ground there – as well as pictures and notes.

For all the pleas we have seen for funds, her note struck me especially hard. How impossibly and unimaginably difficult the task of helping seems: Can you make a decision for funds, in those ruined villages, on an ‘as need’ basis? What is your criteria for ‘as needed’ when you look at the news coverage? Children? Animals? Shelter? Food? Roads? Our cultures are too different. Our houses too strong. I have felt helpless and privileged every night when I watch the news, shop for dinner, go to the gas station, pull a blanket over myself. I see Sirjana in the photographs.

Here are the children and their caretakers living outside of Sirjana’s orphanage, in fear of the building being further damaged from aftershocks.


Sirjana’s first grade class has also began gathering donations for the Red Cross Nepali Earthquake Relief Fund. They raised $1,000 in 12 hours. The class decided to push on and triple the donations.

Because of orphanages like the one Sirjana was raised in, we have a beautiful, smart and loving little girl in our family. Because of my donation, I will put a piece of tarp over a child’s head, or supply food, or fill a gas tank. So simple, and yet, so incredibly complicated.

I am humbled. And grateful she asked her mom to sent us all a note. Nepal suddenly doesn’t feel so far away. And I don’t feel so helpless, after all. I’ll see what I can do to help, Sirjana. Thanks for writing me. Love the face paint.

Image 2https://www.crowdrise.com/firstgradestewardshipfornepal



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