Actress Danielle Lyn (Queen Sugar and The Divergent Series: Allegiant) is a Filipina adoptee using her platform to advocate for orphaned children and kids in impoverished communities. Here, she shares her hopes for 2018.
We embark into a New Year, another holiday season come and gone. Festivities fading with the Christmas tree adorned in lights and memories captured in the ornaments we care for year after year. As we pack away the decorations, there is quiet again, where just days ago the sounds of family and friends filled our homes.
The time for one’s own introspection is made for moments like these. Taking down treasured mementos that tie us to thoughts that warm our hearts, sorting them neatly away. This mindfulness of time is an invitation to reflect on life.
Here, I bring your awareness to this special sense of self-reflection that we share. We share this present luxury so often forgotten in the midst of living: our ability to dream. For a better life, a better tomorrow. Trusting that we will be given tomorrow. How overlooked the privilege to dream for the future.
In my 27 years of living, I have journeyed a distance unmeasured by miles, measured instead by love that carried me here.
A future that millions of impoverished and orphaned children are unable to hope for. Beginning life without. Born into conditions and circumstances where provisions are not met. Deprived the luxury to dream for who they will someday be. Kept from the present assurances that they will be loved, tended to and cared for, burdened by worries of survival, denied the innocence of childhood.
If you are reading, you too share in the abundant wealth and privilege of literacy, opportunity and care. We take the journey to discovery of self. Often, I drift to the beginnings of my own life. It is easy to do, for in my 27 years of living, I have journeyed a distance unmeasured by miles, measured instead by love that carried me here.
Far from where you are, a small orphanage on an impoverished southern island of the Philippines once flourished. For a time, it was my home. Through kindness, giving and offerings, I was sheltered, fed and cared for. Provisions were bestowed upon me in the most vulnerable and vital chapters of my infancy. All the while, the love and care of many led me home, to the family who made me their own.
This love, the overwhelming thankfulness felt for family, my loved ones, those I am home in, travels the distance to the not forgotten caregivers who once nourished me, the orphanage that kept me from harm, the facilitators at Holt International who helped bring my family to me. You are all the beloved, who continue to empower dreaming. For dreams evoke action. Together, we give the kindness back to mankind, for it is not lost when our actions towards one another inspire goodwill.
I pray that we together help provide for our forgotten and vulnerable children. Who, like me, may begin life far away with little means, met with our love, can live to discover their own unlimited dreams.
We may pack away the things we hold dear for another year, but I find it is the act of kindness that we leave behind. This I pray will carry us into this New Year. I ask you tend to the warmth this season has given your hearts, the home you welcome your family into and ever grateful for what has been given to you. As I am ever grateful to know these feelings of great care and share with you now, wherever you are.
For all of the children who have not yet come home, not yet found care, not yet spent a season in the warmth, let us not forget them. Let us tend to them, giving as we can, in time, in service unto others, in sharing of our stories. I pray that we together help provide for our forgotten and vulnerable children. Who, like me, may begin life far away with little means, met with our love, can live to discover their own unlimited dreams.
Danielle Lyn | Holt International adoptee, advocate and actress, as seen in Queen Sugar and The Divergent Series: Allegiant. Upcoming film work: Nappily Ever After and An Actor Prepares.