Today was a fun day. We had a relaxing breakfast with Christy and Chris, and then headed straight to Casa Bernabe to pick up the 23 people from Casa Samuel (Daniel’s home) that were coming with us to see Toy Story 3. The kids in this home are amazing. They were calm, quiet, and polite. This says so much about their house parents, Jairo and Veronica.
Since the movie just came out, we were surprised that it had already been dubbed into Spanish. Nevertheless, in spite of the language barrier, at least two Americans cried. I’ll give you two chances to guess who along with the hint that it wasn’t me or Nate! I guess our traveling companions are going soft. 🙂
This sounds crazy, but I don’t know if I’ve ever watched a movie with little kids! I got a huge kick out of Daniel’s shocked gasps, scared squeals, and free-flowing giggles. At the scariest part of the movie, I had a boy on each side cuddled up next to me and clinching my arms.
After the movie, we took the kids to get pizza and ice cream. Along with two translators and the house parents, we had help from a girl from Wheaton college who is interning at Casa Samuel. It was great to be able to ask Emily questions about the home and to have her help translating.
My expectation was that the best parts of the day would take place during the excitement of the morning, but I was wrong. We had several wonderful conversations this afternoon. Nate, Christy, and Chris went back to Casa Samuel and spent some time getting to know Jairo and Veronica. They asked them about their marriage and about how they decided to serve as house parents. They are truly special. Not many of the homes have both a mom and a dad. The children of Casa Samuel are lucky to have a couple to look up to and show them what it means to be men and women of Christ.
While the others were talking with Jairo and Veronica, I got to talk with our friend (and one of the social workers at the home) Tonilynn. We talked about CB’s desire to see justice for all of the children in Guatemala (not just the kids in Casa Bernabe) and a bit about Daniel and his situation. Just like last time, my favorite part was praying together. I’m thankful that we can come together and lift up our hopes, fears, and desires to a God who hears us and moves on our behalf.
We ended the afternoon with some more play time with the kids from Casa Samuel. Daniel sat on the couch in between me and Nate and put his hands on my belly to feel the baby move. We told him it was almost time for us to leave, but that we’d return and bring the baby with us next time. He gave us big hugs and smiled. If you must leave a kid that you love, it’s best to do it with hugs and smiles.
A few weeks ago, my parents set to work on sponsoring a child from Casa Bernabe. I asked Tonilynn which child she would recommend, and she pointed us to a new girl named Maria Isabel. I know that Maria Isabel hasn’t been there long (February, maybe?), and it sounds like she has had a tough time adjusting. I believe I heard that she has a brother living in another orphanage, and there was, at one point, an American family that played some sort of role in her life. I don’t know the details, but she seems like a sweet girl in need of a “patrocinador” (sponsor) to show her love. Emily and Veronica explained to her that my parents would like to be her patrocinador. At first, she just looked at us blankly. At Veronica’s prompting, she eventually came over to me and told me to tell my parents thank you and God bless you. Then, to my surprise, she threw her arms around my neck and wouldn’t let go. I rubbed her back for a minute or two while she hugged me.
When she finally pulled away, she was crying.
Veronica asked her if she was crying because she was happy. “Si,” she said. She left us for a few minutes and came back with a card she made for my parents that said, “Gracias. I love you.” I told her that my parents were praying for her and that they were excited to get to know her more.
It amazes me how something so simple can mean so much.
I hate to admit it, but I think Nate’s sick. Right now, he’s shivering in bed under all of the blankets. What is our deal?! We are so careful about what we eat, drink, and touch, but no one else seems to get sick in Guatemala as much as we do! Please, please, please keep praying for us. Pray that we would have lots of energy for our last day and no ailments to slow us down. As always, please pray also that God would protect our baby and help her to continue to grow and be healthy and whole as she prepares to make her grand entrance in a few short months!