My favorite part of Christmas Day

Later in the morning, after we were finished with our own gift opening and family time, we set out to vist our other kids.
They were expecting us and were all standing by the road waving when we pulled up. It was so cute. They were all dressed in their best clothes and their mom had even saved some dinner for us. Pazole con mole, y pollo. It was a "muy rico" meal for them and I felt very honored that they were sharing it with us. They had also bought a jug of Coca Cola to pour for us. It was one of those moments when I knew we would most likely be very ill should we recieve the gifts offered but at the same time we were very very grateful for the gesture. Awkward decision. We prayed silently for protection as we chugged coke from grimy cups and exclaimed that the meal was delicious.

Minerva and Alvaro had seen children open gifts while living at the childrens home so they knew what to do, but the three little ones just held their boxes and smiled. Aili ended up opening two year old Louisa's for her eventually (Inside was a big snuggly stuffed puppy and a little backpack). Ramiro just sat grinning from ear to ear holding his pretty box. It was so cute! It gave me a taste of what it must be like to distribute the Samaritans Purse christmas shoe boxes. SO rewarding to witness. Just look at that smile and he hasn't even opened it yet! He just sat there giggling.

One of the most remarkable things was how excited the children were for each other. Alvaro was oohing and aahing over his little sisters doll dresses and his big sisters scarf and purse. They were so happy for each other and will undoubtable share everything they recieved.

Most of these gifts came from "stockings" sent down to all the kids at the childrens home from a couple of churches. Since Minerva and Alvaro left just before recieving theirs we were able to deliver them the gifts. We had to send back the cloth bags( the gifts came in)so we decided to wrap the gifts up in boxes. The donors were so extremely generous that between the two stockings we were able to wrap up a box for all 5 kids. I added a few things from our own toy stash and it came out just right. I also bought and wrapped up a few more items of clothing for the kids and bought a gift for the mom.
There were a few more big gifts that came in the mail for Minerva and Alvaro from their other sponsers. After a lot of thought, and discussing it will some others at the orphanage, we decided to save the other gifts (unopened) until they have a house to put them in. It would have just been too much considering the neighborhood and the complete lack of space to store "stuff". It would have been appropriate to open that many gifts at the orphanage but out in this neighborhood it would have just set them up for problems.

They will be getting a new house built in February!! They will have beds, chairs, a table, a door, a floor, and a propane stove! Just the thought of them all being able to sleep out of the dirt makes my heart happy.
We initially had no idea how it was going to happen, but God has totally provided a way to have a 2 bedroom house built for them this winter through IDT. It is a house building organization. There is usually a long wait list but there was a cancellation. A group is coming to build a house and they need a family to build for. We will still be very much involved with the build and I'm looking forward to "outfitting " the house for them. We will need paint, blankets, sheets, furniture, dishes, cutlery...we will be doing some shopping at the local market for the items. I want their house to be homey and a little oasis of some beauty. Can you tell I'm VERY excited for them?

This is one of the gifts sent in the stockings by a donor. We have no idea who sent the gifts but I would love to thank them.

Every little girl deserves to feel like a princess. The Belle doll came with a little tube of body glitter. Her big sis explained, as she rubbed a little on Carmela's cheeks, that it was to make her sparkly like the doll. What a smile when she realized that she and her doll would both sparkle! The doll came with 3 extra dresses too. I told her she was as beautiful as a princessa. She just beemed me a huge smile and said "Si!" (Yes!). She felt beautiful. Something as simple as a princess doll. Every little girl I know has some sort of princess doll. Usually boxes full rarely touched and stuffed into a closet. The ornate beauty of the doll was such a stark contrast to the dirt and signs of misery all around it. I don't think there will ever be a Belle doll so appreciated though. No, she doesn't need "stuff" to be happy but every little girl deserves to feel special, loved and to imagine beauty and parties in a palace....and because of a thoughtful stranger she experienced that. :)

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