We’ve all met old souls. That person in a group who seems to speak truth and wisdom beyond their years. The one who can communicate volumes with their eyes that perhaps most others won’t ever understand.
In this group of children, Estuardo is the old soul. If you’ve been following this blog since June, then you may remember his golden smile and heart-wrenching story in our post “Final day with the children”.
Estuardo was either abandoned and/or abused by his family. We have heard different stories from different workers. Now that he’s living at the Baby Home, he seems to have taken the role of older brother. When the other kids don’t understand something or miss out because they were playing, inevitably they go to Estuardo with their questions. When the adults need to communicate something to Jose, who is deaf, we often ask Estuardo for help since he connects well with Jose and understands a bit of English. What an amazing kid!
I think Estuardo, out of all the kids, would most benefit from being adopted. It’s a tragedy that he hasn’t been. And because he’s an old soul, I think (at a 9-year-old level) he gets this. He wants so badly to be a part of a family. He wants the long-term love and commitment of a mother and father. He asks when he’ll get his parents like Juan Pablo.
Although he’s getting close to outgrowing some of the make-believe that the other kids so readily engage in, Estuardo still greatly enjoys visits from Spiderman. Other children are still in awe when Spiderman shows up, but Estuardo (and Jose) are very aware that I’m not there and have pointed out that I wear the same shoes as Spiderman. I think a part of Estuardo will always want to hold onto the ability to immerse in the fantasy world of superheroes. Who could blame a kid with this much pain, wanting a light at the end of the tunnel, a bringer-of-justice to his unfair world?
All this would seem so hopeless if not for a few things I keep reminding myself. God knows Estuardo. He deeply cares for orphans and victims of injustice. I am constantly reminded when looking at these kids that God’s word says this, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Perhaps a bit of Estuardo’s hope-filled future is already being revealed. It just so happens that Estuardo’s birthday is next week when we are in Guatemala. We’ll get to be there to help celebrate his life and make him feel extra special! Beyond that, there’s a possibility that our translator from June, Edwin, might be able to foster and/or adopt Estuardo! He saw Estuardo’s tears when we left at the end of the week and recognized how very badly Estuardo wants to have a mommy and daddy. We’re praying that the paperwork and legal issues move ahead without delay and that Estuardo goes home to live with his new family very, very soon.
Ultimately, my hope for Estuardo is that he will grow up knowing that he has an advocate on his side against injustice. He has a friend even better than a superhero who will never let him down or turn out to be just a well-intentioned human. Jesus knows Estuardo quite well, and I hope Estuardo will live out his days seeking to know Him.