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R


ita Machria had three sons but lost all of them before they turned 25. She had a desire for more children but knew at her age, it would not be physically possible. She used to work at an orphanage and saw firsthand the effects living in an institution can have on the development and well-being of a child. She knew she could make a difference, at least for one or two. And so she did.


“I felt I had a calling,” she said. “I wanted to touch a life. I regret that I


didn’t do this earlier. I could’ve adopted six or seven children … or 14.” She has already adopted one child, Jenna*, 3, and is in the process of adopting a second child. Jenna was found on the side of a busy road in Nairobi, wrapped in plastic. She looked sickly due to exposure to the cold all night. She had an enlarged belly from malnourishment and coughed frequently from an infection.


Rita nursed her back to health, and now, Jenna is thriving. She’s shy at first but once she warms up to people, she talks all the time. “She’s very humble,” Rita said. “I would like for my children to prosper. I would like for them to go far, with or without me. I pray for them, and I want them to have a better education. I am praying God would give me another


good 20 years with them.” Though Rita doesn’t have much, she gives her full heart to her children. She’s passionate about adoption, to the point where she breaks down in tears when she talks about the desperate need for children to have families in Kenya. “I want to go around preaching,” she said. “I want to start going around telling people, ‘Go and get these children. They won’t bring anything bad into your home. They will bring happiness.’”


She has seen many children leave orphanages at 18, and unfortunately, she has seen them struggle in life. Without personal attention and maternal love, in addition to undeveloped life skills, they don’t have a chance on the streets. Rita also acknowledges the issue of stigma surrounding adoption is a big roadblock for a lot of people in Kenya. A lot of them think adoption is simply purchasing a child, she said. “We need to reach our people maybe in a more positive way. You don’t buy children. We are only assisting these children. We are helping them like they are our own. I will start going around telling people, ‘Go and get these children.’ They won’t bring anything bad into your home. No, they might even bring happiness.”


FALL 2015 ISSUE • Buckner Today 29


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