Jan 27 2012
My daughter and I spent some time over Christmas break volunteering at For His Children
Orphanage in Quito, Ecuador. As orphanages go, this must be one the best in the world. The kids are loved and nurtured by their tias. They have plenty to eat, they bathe everyday and go to school, and they receive therapy as is appropriate to their needs. They live in a sweet house with lots of little beds and a great yard in which to play. As orphans, they pretty much have it made, but the fact remains: they are still orphans.
Playing with Mateo brought this fact home to me. Mateo is a bright-eyed 3-year-old. His eyes really sparkle. He is big for his age, and he loves to play soccer. I was so impressed with this kid. He had a great soccer kick and Spanish that I understood. Among a group of a dozen or so kids, this one stood out. It was obvious that he really had something going for him. I found out later in the day that he really does have something good going. Mateo has a family. Mateo has a Mom and a Dad. He was hanging with the kids at the orphanage the day after Christmas because he had come to work with is Mom.
While every one of the kids who lives at For His Children is lovingly taken care of by the tias and any number of volunteers that come to help, they don’t have a Mom or Dad, and it shows.
If I was a great writer, I would have some poignant way to end this little story, but I don’t. I am just haunted by the eyes of Sofia, Belen, Jeremias, Josue, Jofrey, Leslie, Daniella, Nati, Vilma and Assiato—all the little ones at For His Children who do not have what Mateo has, what I have, and what most of you who read this have: A Mom and Dad. A family. A home. Lord Bless those children and every child whose eyes don’t sparkle with the knowledge of family.