Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What a day!

It started out pleasantly enough, nothing unusual about the morning. Then Paito, my hearing-impaired boy, came home from a doctor appointment too late for his usual ride to school in the city. So I told him to get ready and I would quickly take him, even though we would be late. By the way,"quickly take him" is 35 minutes each way! Well, he hadn't begun to change clothes when I stepped out ready to go. He ended up crying, saying he didn't want to go to that school, he wanted to go to our school here with his friends. He didn't do this last year. Well, I brought him to my head educator to speak with him to try and find out why he was so upset, not to discipline him or get him to stop crying even. This educator is considered out best in the center, she is a friend of mine, I would hand over the keys to the dorm to her when I left, I just think so highly of her. And yet, she's not perfect and doesn't do everything the way I would want her to. After explaining once why Paito had to go to school today, and he kept crying, she ended up threatening him with being sent out of the center if he kept crying, meaning, not be able to live here anymore! I was devastated because I don't want to breed fear in my kids but that is what people here use so often. So we left even later and on the way to school, I explained to him that this is his home here and he will never lose it. We arrive at his school, only to find out, they don't have any school today! So it was a total waste of time and gas and energy and made me late for my afternoon's plans. So I wasn't happy, and in fact, slightly-less-than-perfect missionary that I am, I burst into tears while crying out, "why can't anything ever be normal here!?!"

The afternoon turned out much better. Although we left 1 1/2 hours later than planned due to the school situation, I took two brothers, Chico (photo in the blue striped jumper) and Antonio (photo in the OKO sweatshirt), and two educators to search for the family of the boys. They've lived at our center for over 4 years and no family has ever visited and no one knew where they lived or what had become of the parents. So we just decided to take the boys and see if they could remember anything (they knew the general community they had lived in). We prayed that God would lead us to the right places and the right people who would have the information we need. We stopped at a roadside market and asked after the name of the father. One woman knew of someone with the same last name so she left her stall, hopped in the truck and led us down one narrow dirt path after another. That didn't turn out to be the home but it led to the boys remembering a railroad track near a church. This woman knew of a church near a railroad so we hopped back in the truck and drove around a while more, finally coming upon the church, after indeed, crossing a railroad. I stayed with the car and was delighted to get a call a half hour later from Juliet, the educator, saying they had found something and she was sending a neighborhood boy to accompany me to them. We found the family home!!! Sadly, it had been abandoned, however, an uncle stops by occasionally to check on the house so we left phone numbers for him to call us. One neighbor remembered the boys immediately and in fact, her son came home from school while we were there and when he entered he looked around (undoubtedly wondering what a white woman was doing in his yard!) and nearly shouted "Chico!" Several boys knew Chico and Antonio and it was so fun to see them with former playmates!

The neighbor thinks that the mother might be mentally ill and live on the streets and although that news is devastating, we are very hopeful about finding the family of the father through this uncle. At this point, we aren't looking toward the boys going to live with anyone, we just so want them to have family who can be a part of their lives, even if it's small. They, of course, would love that too. I am praying that God will open doors to reunite this family if that is in their best interest. I am so excited!

The rest of this week we will be investigating other boys whom we have little to no information on. I know some of these situations might be difficult so it is my sincerest prayer that God will lead us to them if it will be beneficial for the boys to find family. Please pray with me as well!

1 comment:

Nikita said...

Mana Laura,
As I'm still going back to the beginning of your blog and trying to read through, I read this one (duh). Do you have to search for family members a lot? Is there often a good result? How many kids there have no family?