For the past week, three children have been staying at our home. Astrid (7 years old) loves staying at our home because of the “calmness”…a break from her chaotic house which is located in the barrio referred to as ” punta caliente” (hot point because it’s dangerous and drugs are prevelant). Noel (10 years old) loves being at our home because there’s always plenty of food. His family scrapes by on next to nothing….the previous day, they had butter (from their cow) and beans. Jairo (14 years old) loves being at our home because he craves the sense of family. Before going to bed, he will call from one room to the other “good night Mother.” Jairo’s mother went to the USA when he was a little boy, leaving him and his brother with an aunt, for several of their formative years. She met her husband there, and they are now living in Guatemala. Jairo didn’t feel like he belonged and returned to Flores and is living alone.
We will never be able to replace their families or their upbringings but we do hope our love and attention will give them a sense of worth and hope for a brighter future.
It was on our 2nd trip to Honduras, riding in the back of a pick-up truck when my husband and I looked at each other and knew, “this is what we’re suppose to do.” We feel very fortunate to have found our shared passion, and to have the ability to live our dreams…but we wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of others.
First, and most importantly, is our immediate family. I remember telling “the boys” that we would be hosting our first patients, a 17 month old girl and a 19 year old young woman. Their first reactions were of reluctance. They knew we wanted to help others, but now it was going to impact their lives. I can honestly say that it was the most positive way we influenced their childhoods.They certainly formed bonds with the children and some became as close as siblings, and they were taught life lessons from them, as well. Our boys shared these experiences with their friends, and they too became actively involved.
My extended family has shared their love and support with our Honduran children. Often times “Abuela” and “Abuelo” (a.k.a. Grandma and Grandpa) have stepped in to babysit and drive to/from the airport and hospitals. My brothers have been actively involved with the children and also shared their expertise in law and finance. Esperanza wouldn’t have been formed without their help.
Certainly our friends have made all the difference in the world. They have provided much needed respite…at the exact times we felt pushed to our limits. Friends have welcomed “our” children into their homes, and fully immersed themselves into their lives. I’m thankful to have friends with a common vision, and we have so much fun sharing our memories of the children.
I absolutely agree with the statement “it takes a village to raise a child”…thanks to all who share our journey.