It's a Miracle!
Many of my fellow sponsors have expressed their concern for my little Guatemalan sponsor child Hermelinda. After seeing her living conditions in the video that Steve shot for me on his visit I contacted Children International to inquire about the possibility of getting the family into better housing. I didn't hold out much hope for a positive out come but I thought it was worth a try. Unfortunately I recently received a letter from CI informing me that it would cost around $14,000 to purchase a plot of land and build a suitable house. The family, quite understandably wishes to remain in the same village where they have family support and friends. There is a lack of adequate housing in general so it's not feasible to simply move them to another house. It's a complex situation and sadly the solution is just beyond me financially. :(
So I spent several days feeling very bummed out. I only wish I could solve every problem for my sponsor kids and it's so frustrating to not be able to do so.
Then I received these photos of Hermelinda and a report on the first special needs gift I had sent them. Look closely - what do you see??
A smile from Hermelinda!
I opened the envelope and took a look at the photos and instantly burst into tears. The very first thing I saw was that smile on Hermelinda's face! My Hubby was standing right next to me and of course was curious as to what was causing my emotion. I handed him the photo and could only say, "Look!"
Hubby took a look and said, "Oh that's so great! She got her gifts."
I said, "Yes - but who is that."
He took another look, "It's Hermelinda."
"Yes, and what is she doing?!"
Hermelinda's new shoes.
"She's holding up her new little shoes and...oh!...she's smiling!!"
I'm not going to say that Hubby got tears in his eyes too or anything because I wouldn't want to out him on the blog but I will say that he is just as big of a softie as I am. :)
It's taken about a year and a half but I finally got a smile out of Hermelinda. It really feels like a small miracle. It perked me up out of my unable-to-buy-a-house-for-my-sponsor-kid doldrums and reminded me that I may not be able to do everything - but I can certainly do something.
Last night I made a list of the approximate dates for when my sponsor kids will graduate from the CI program. Aside from the fact that I am just sort of a compulsive list maker, I actually do need to start to think about this sort of thing so that I make sure to keep the graduation dates evenly spread out. I will be able to help with further educational needs better if all my kids don't graduate at once. Not to mention the "sponsor panic" I will go into if I lose too many kids all at the same time! I figured out that my first couple of kids will graduate in about 2012. (Doesn't that just sound like a futuristic, fictional date? I still can't believe we are in the 2000's.) One of the first to go will be my precious friend Harry - which I am not going to think about.....! Hermelinda will graduate sometime around 2020. I'm so grateful and excited to have so many years to watch her grow up and be a part of her life. Getting a sweet little smile from Hermelinda feels like the first step in a long and exciting journey. Is it weird that I miss her grumpy face just a little bit? :)
I'm so happy to see all the things they were able to get. That wardrobe is pretty impressive and the new metal bed with complete with mattress, blanket and sheets made me happy. I hope Hermelinda now has a comfy place to sleep.
I'm also expecting another report soon for a second special needs gift I sent that will buy the fan that Steve suggested as well as new cookware and some other household supplies. I will update everyone about that as soon as I hear anything.
And I'm waiting and holding my breath to see the photos from Steve of his visit to Chile where he got to meet with my sponsor child Carla!! I will share those photos as soon as I can.