Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.Author unknown
The Miracle Foundation was established on Mother’s Day in 2000, when Caroline Boudreaux was traveling in India and found herself face-to-face with orphaned children for the first time.
In her own words, this is Caroline’s story of her experience and why she chose to dedicate her life to empowering orphaned children to reach their full potential.
At age 28, I was an account executive at a TV station in Austin, Texas. I was making more money than I had ever dreamed of and had the material things that seemed to define success: a beautiful condo, new car and active social life. But even though from the outside it looked like I’d made it, I felt empty inside. I was sure there had to be more to life, but I didn’t have a clue what that was. I knew in my heart I had a bigger purpose that I wasn’t fulfilling.
It was about that time I decided to take a sabbatical from my job and life. My friend Chris Monheim and I came up with the crazy idea of taking a trip around the world and having the adventure of a lifetime. We pulled out a map of the world and began plotting our course. Chris insisted that one of the stops along the way had to be India; she had been sponsoring a young boy there and wanted to meet him.
In January 2000, we set out on our global journey. By May we had made our way to India and the small, rural village where Manus, her sponsored child, lived. Upon our arrival, we received a ceremonial welcome from the entire village. Chris was absolutely thrilled to meet Manus and see how her money had been helping him and his family. We would soon learn that Manus and his family were the lucky ones.
A few days later we were invited to dinner at the home of a local family. Nothing could have prepared us for what we were to encounter there. When we arrived, more than a hundred beautiful, hungry, smiling, parentless children greeted us. Our host, Damodar Sahoo, had taken in an orphan child nearly two decades before; over the years he had continued to take in children until his “family” numbered more than a hundred.
I had never seen an orphaned child before in my life. Every single one of them was vying for our attention, sometimes pushing each other out of the way for a hug from us or to touch our hands. It was overwhelming. They were the sweetest, saddest children I had ever seen. There were so many, and every single one was precious and perfect, desperately in need of love, attention—someone to care.
A little girl named Sheebani came and put her head on my knee. When I picked her up, she literally pushed her body into mine, in an attempt to get the affection she lacked. I sang her a lullaby and rocked her to sleep. I went upstairs to put her into her crib, and was shocked to see that there wasn’t one. Instead, the room was filled with hard, wooden-slatted beds. No mattresses, just wooden beds that reminded me of a concentration camp.
I gently laid Sheebani down, but when I heard that baby’s bones hit the board, I broke. I couldn’t believe it that any child had to live like this. Here I was, traveling around the world without a care, and these children were going to bed hungry and lonely every night, on hard wooden beds. I was angry, hurt, and embarrassed.
How many more were there? Where were their parents? How could we possibly help? How could we not?
The day was auspicious — it was Mother’s Day in the U.S. Right at that moment, I decided I had to do something about these children. I simply could not go on with my life as if they didn’t exist. I prayed that others would help me.
The idea for The Miracle Foundation was born that day. A few months later I filed the paperwork and my tiny, start-up nonprofit became official. Donors and sponsors stepped up immediately in order to help these vulnerable children. Miraculously, people of all ages, from all walks of life, and from all socio-economic backgrounds have joined us in this journey over the years. Hundreds have come to India to meet the children we support, and many more have become sponsors and are financially committed to our work. We’re appropriately named.
Today we get to transform the lives of hundreds of orphan children.
- We nurture and empower orphan children and their caregivers,
- Strengthen operational processes and systems, and
- Turn orphanages into homes where children thrive.
I thank you for reading about our work and our accomplishments. I hope you’ll be inspired to join this amazing movement. I know your support will change the children’s lives, but I think you’ll find it will change yours as well.”