Yesterday morning with my little ones I got filthy dirty. After lots of hugs I always leave with a good snot trail on my shirt. Yesterday one of the preschoolers was home from school, and he wet his pants and then sat on my lap so you can add some pee to that snot trail. Then we played outside for a total of 5 minutes and we stepped in mud, which I can't figure out because it hasn't rained in well over a month. So I came home covered in snot, pee, and mud. Since I was already really dirty I decided to work out over my lunch hour, and then took a well deserved shower. I love those little ones, and I'm super thankful that I can take a good shower and have clean clothes whenever I want them!
"I am counting on the Lord, yes I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word." Psalm 130:5
These are my two favorite little ones. Alexis and Angel. I don't know if it's wrong to have favorites, God doesn't have a favorite "child", but I do have favorites and here they are. Playing with them and showering them with love two days a week just isn't enough. They need a mommy and daddy. They have caregivers, but they're also responsible for the other 40 children in the home and are stretched thin. They have mothers and fathers, people who gave birth to them and usually take them home on school holidays, but mommies and daddies are different. They're someone who gets up with them in the night, who snuggles them when they're teething and cranky, who cheers over their first steps and first teeth, who buys them cute little matching outfits and shows them off, who delights in them, who takes care of them all the time and not just a few days out of the year. Sometimes I am frustrated that I can't take them home with me, it seems like my ideas to take care of them are better. Today was one of those days, when Angel was screaming except for when I held him. Or when Alexis stood up on his own for the first time and no one else noticed. But I have to trust that God's plan is best, and go back to all of God's promises for Alexis and Angel. Alexis, God promises to rescue you and to defend you. Angel, God promises to hear your cries and comfort you. I don't always know how God will accomplish those things in your life, but I know that he will.
These are 10 of my favorite people back in the States. While I was at home this past week, those little kids went through their toy boxes and picked out toys for me to take back to my little ones here in Mexico. They knew that they were giving up their toys to children in Mexico who don't have mommies and daddies or enough toys to play with. I came back armed with fantastic puzzles, baby books in Spanish, hot wheels, stuffed animals, and play dough toys. These parents are teaching their children even now the importance of being generous and caring for orphan child. The babies at Del Norte were so excited this morning when I pulled new toys out of my bag! They kept peering in to see what other new things I would bring out. So to my friends back home, THANK YOU! Thank you for your generous hearts and for helping to provide hope for the orphan.
Let me do a delayed introduction to the little kids I work with at Casa Hogar Del Norte. There is just one woman, Ana Louisa, who is responsible for all 6 little ones from 8-5 every day. She loves those babies a lot, but is so overwhelmed trying to care for 6 orphan babies who have lots of special needs. We're doing our best to stand "back to back" with her and support her, and after several months I'm starting to see the burden lift.
Meet Carlos, who is 16 months old. Carlos is extremely attached to Ana Louisa and the other caregivers, and screams at the top of his lungs when we walk in the room. Carlos is walking, but not talking, and loves to play with balls and puzzles. This is Alexis, one of my favorite little boys. He's my special friend. He's the most delayed baby, but also the happiest. Alexis is 13 months old, and just recently started crawling and pulling himself up to stand in his crib. Alexis is easy to please and is always smiling. Edgar is 2 and makes me laugh a lot. He just recently started smiling and giggling and now he can't get enough of it! He only says one word, which is Edgar. Edgar loves puzzles, play-dough, and toy cars. Ximena is also 2 and has always been the most friendly. Ximena loves to color, read, and do puzzles. She's curious but sweet, and wants you to see each page she colors or each play-dough creation she makes. Angel, another one of my favorites. Angel is 14 months old, and just took his first steps in the last few weeks! Right now it's just 3 or 4 steps, but soon he'll be off and running with the other kids. He loves to snuggle and has a very ticklish neck. Gaby has changed so much over the last few months! Gaby is two, and until this last month I'd never seen her smile and she had no interest in playing with us or any of the other kids. Now she's excited to see us and loves to dig around in my special bag for toys and activities.