When we were thinking of a name for our son I wanted to choose a name that would mean something significant. Not just a name that sounded unique. A few months ago it occurred to me that Aileen Quinn was the name of the actress who starred in the original 1982 movie/musical Annie. “Quin,” the name we chose; I couldn’t believe it!:)
The movie is about an orphan named Annie who lives in a facility run by the mean Miss Hannigan. Annie hopes that her parents will return for her someday. Her locket is the only thing she has left of them. A millionaire invites Annie to stay with him for the sake of his image. But in time this sweet little girl finds a place in his heart and he adopts her.
I was 4 years old when the movie was first released. I absolutely adored Annie. I would watch the movie over and over. A couple of years later I got the soundtrack record and would sit in my window sill (like Annie would) and sing the songs. In those moments and for years that followed, my little heart dreamt of a better tomorrow. Of course at the time I couldn’t necessarily see that God was with me. He had dreams for me that would be beyond my imagination; Plans to show His love and goodness. I had no idea that 33 years later I would still be living out and witnessing God’s beautiful redemptive story of adoption.
On the eve of his death, Jesus comforts his fearful grieving friends with this,
“I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you.”
Jesus knows that we need constant reminders that we’re not alone, especially when the worst hits. He knows that children (whether they are 5 or 55) are susceptible to fear, abuse or abandonment.
I think it’s likely that every child who has ever loved Annie would like to have a special locket of his or her own. Something tangible that says, “I have not forgotten you. I love you.”
As my son becomes more aware of his birth story and family history, I pray he will find the comfort he needs. I pray that like Annie, the story of his locket will remind him of how God has not left him as an orphan. But has come to give him a home, a hope, and a future.