Monday, May 14, 2007

Adios, Antigua

We said adios to Antigua today. I am so glad we were able to spend the weekend there. It was relaxing and pleasant-and I think we would have been bored out of our minds in Guatemala City. Antigua is a ‘happenin place’ on the weekends—with many tourists and local families out in the city square, bands playing and people just enjoying some time off work. It was a very festive atmosphere which we enjoyed experiencing. One thing we have never seen before…the horses wear diapers! No kidding!! I think the folks at Mackinac Island should take note. Whenever we have been at Mackinac, we spend the day dodging large horsie pies, which not only look gross but emit a very offensive odor. ha

Ever wonder where all those old school buses go?

We will be getting up at 4AM tomorrow (Tue) to catch our flight home. If anyone would like to meet Jacob, we would love to see you! We are flying Spirit airlines into Detroit from Ft.Lauderdale and our flight arrives at 7PM. Jacob will not become an American citizen upon arrival because Jeff and I did not see him prior to his adoption being final in Guatemala. Don't get me started on the logic of that USCIS rule......

We were able to visit the special needs orphanage today, that is run by Steve and Shyral Olson. Next to getting Jacob and meeting Melissa, it was a highlight of the trip! The kids are absolutely precious and get such wonderful care and nurturing. The home is called Amor del Nino and the Olsons have been running it for 10 years. What a stark contrast between this happy, clean, place filled with love and the hospital of utter despair that we visited the other day. The children are all bright eyed and full of hope of a future. AND….they are ALL available for adoption!!

I absolutely fell in love with little Hannah. She is eight years old and has OI—better known as brittle bone disease. Kids with this condition break bones VERY easily and consequently some of them end up with very twisted limbs. Hannah also has a younger brother named, Jose, who lives there with her. They are both in wheelchairs. Hannah was very shy when I met her and didn’t want to speak—although she speaks perfect English. After I joked around with her a little, she started to warm up. We went off to see the babies and when I came back, I stood next to Hannah. All of a sudden a warm little hand slipped into mine! Hannah looked up at me and when I kneeled down to talk to her, she said, ‘Do you remember me?” My heart stopped. I knew she meant, “Do you remember my name?” I was stricken because I didn’t remember…so instead, I asked her to tell me all her names. She had about 6!! Thankfully, it saved the moment and I told her that I would never forget her, or her name.

Soon the courtyard filled up with children who had been told a visitor was there. They came in with looks of curiosity on their faces. Shyrel introduced us and I opened the suitcase and pulled out the first bags. I wish you could have heard their, “ohhh’s and ahhh’s” as they saw what they were about to receive. It was so adorable! They all waited patiently—albiet a bit anxiously—to get their bags. Each child said ‘thank you’ very politely. They carefully and excitedly examined each item. Some of the children ate the candy first. Some played with the bubbles. Some put their Salvation bracelets on and began to adjust them to the correct size. No matter what they chose to play with first…one thing was the same…their SHINING EYES. I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to be there and hopefully the video will reward our small group as they see the kids getting the things they donated.

Chloe….honey….Hannah loves the color pink. When she saw the pink poodle that you donated out of your stuffed animal collection, she wanted it soooo bad. I was able to pull her aside and give it to her. I took her picture with it and I told her you would pray for her. Taylor…the little cars you bought for the boys were a huge hit! When the boys saw those cars come out of the suitcase, they squealed, “CARS, CARS!!” (In Spanish—but I knew what they were saying!) They were nudging each other and pointing to the cars. There were only 7 or 8 boys, so they each got two cars. They were soooo happy!

It was pure joy for us to spend those precious few minutes with the children---and humbling that such a small gift could bring so much excitement. We have it within our power to do something to ease misery and spread joy. There are so many children in this world who do not have a Mama or a Daddy to care…to remember their birthday’s or care enough to know that they like their sandwiches cut in triangles instead of squares. .

“Will you remember me?” It is the cry of a child’s heart. Does anyone care? Will you remember me when you are gone?

“The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people….I have heard them crying…and I am concerned about their suffering….So now, go. I am sending you…’
Exodus 3:7, 10

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