Monday, January 29, 2007

Antonino and Arlindo

Well, before the others had even moved on, I had two new boys in the last week. The first is Antonino, five years old, who came with his two sisters. Their parents both died last year and they were living with their 15 year-old brother. A neighbor was helping look after them but couldn't anymore. Here's his photo, just one I took quickly during our farewell party for the other boys. I will replace it with one where you can see more than his hammy grin! I don't yet have a photo of Arlindo, who is ten years old. He was referred to us by GATV, the HIV clinic run by Doctors Without Borders. He was living with his father who simply couldn't keep track of his meds and his health was endangered so they asked us to take him and care for him. Arlindo and Antonino both have adjusted amazingly well thus far, at least outwardly. I pray that we are able to give them both the physical, emotional and spiritual care they both need and deserve.

They do grow up, don't they?

I can't believe I've been in my dorm 2 1/2 years now! Last night, the four oldest boys moved into another dorm. We had a little "festina," a little party, and a prayer to send them off. That's Pedro, in the red shirt, praying for his friends who will be moving up. They each left with their bag of clothes and assorted goodies (toothbrush, cup, folder, notebook, shoes, etc.) and a new soccer ball, sure to win them some friends in the new dorm! Then directly afterward, we "graduated" many of the boys from one room to the next. So the oldest boys from the youngest room moved to the middle room, and the oldest boys from the middle room moved up to the oldest room. Did you follow that? In all, 15 boys swapped rooms! So there were a lot of happy campers and a few sad faces. Even one of my six year olds cried because he couldn't go to Room 1 with the big boys. I don't think he really wanted to leave his little friends, he just didn't want to be left out of the excitement! I'll need a lot of patience in the next few days as the dynamics shift and who was the biggest is now the littlest, etc. Overall, they adapt quite well to things like this. I'm so very proud of them. I just wish they would stop growing up!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I don't like change!

I'm having a good cry as I write this. I've just had to tell my four oldest boys that this weekend they'll be moving to the next dorm. I think all four of them have lived in this dorm for the last six years so this is a big change for them. Every year our dorms shift according to age, so I always know it's coming but I still hate it! It's so sad for me to lose them (even tho they'll only be 50 yards away!) and sad for me to think of the privileges they'll lose. Because I live in my dorm and because it's younger children, we have what I'd call a more homey set-up than the other dorms. Two of them are kind of excited - the older boys' dorm has some freedoms that mine don't. The other two said it's hard and they don't want to go. So I am putting on my bravest face in front of them and saving my tears for private. I've admitted it's hard and good at the same time for me and it's ok if they feel the same. But I don't exactly want to break down in front of them either. But I know the plans God has for them are good, and that includes growing up! So I am taking courage from the father heart of God who is going before them every step! And He'll be with me Saturday night as I cry myself to sleep after seeing them off as well. (L-R: Toto, Chico, Paito and Betinho having some fun on the trampoline before they go! Aren't they gorgeous?)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My newest Little Darling - Estevao!

Allow me to introduce my newest boy, Estavao. He's on the right in the blue shirt. He's standing next to his big brother, Paulo, who has lived here for a year. They both are graduates of our Baby House, as you can see, a loose term! Because the Baby House is just about 50 yards from my dorm, they did see each other once in a while but their worlds were pretty separate. They are both delighted to be able to be together now. I love seeing family together, especially in this setting. I am praying that Estavao will adjust quickly and easily and that he will love his new home and ALL 40 of his new brothers!