Our Kids from Santa Fe

If you have been reading this blog for ages you may remember me writing about the kids that call me Tia the last time we were in Mexico.   Most likely you have no idea what  “Tia” means or if you do you might wonder why on earth kids that bear no relation to me would call me that.   Long story short.   We adopted these kids as our honorary family 2 years ago…our nieces and nephews.  A couple years ago the two oldest found themselves interned at a local orphanage while we were on staff.  We began a  friendship with them and started sponsoring one of them…and by custom that sponsorship gave us the title of Tia and tio (Auntie and Uncle).    We decided that “Tio and Tia” should be more than just a formal title granted to those who write a check….we would act like a true Auntie and Uncle to these two children in need of a lot of love.   Where we went, they came along.   2 Christmases ago they were unexpectedly  returned home and left the orphanage.  We were worried, saddened and determined to find them again.   Fortunately they weren’t living very far away.   We found them… and the situation in which they were living devastated us.  Our two neices and nephews became 5 as we met their younger siblings and instantly became “Tia and Tio” to them as well.  

 In the next few months before we returned to Canada we made sure that they had an actual house to live in (which God so faithfully provided), we enrolled them in school for the first time (at ages 11 and 13) and made sure they that they  had school uniforms.   Beyond trying to make sure that some basic physical and educational needs were met before we left we assured them that we would always be “Tia” and “Tio”.   I think that meant more to them than any bag of groceries or new house.   They were lonely and drifting down a stream of endless poverty.   They desperately needed to know someone cared.  They needed to know that God cares about the little messy haired, shoeless child shivering in a cardboard shack.    We loved on them….and then left for Canada.   They doubted that we would keep our promise.  

For the last 2 years I have worried about them, prayed for them and longed to wrap my arms around them again.  

It’s so strange to be witnessing poverty all around us but yet it isn’t just some nameless face on television…it’s my kids…and there are  children like them all over the place.

How to fit 11 people in a Ford Expedition...fold down the seats and pack 'em in.

Icecream at the park

{first time on a swing...was laughing, loving it,  and terrified at the same time}

I don’t know how snuggling up with 6 Triqui kids on my couch watching “Happy Feet” can reverse any of these cycles.   I don’t know if any of  it will be enough to stop them from drifting further into a life of desperation but  if all I can do is stubbornly stand in the middle of that swift stream and hold onto them for dear life then that’s what I’ll do.   Maybe years from now,  the memory that someone loved them enough to leave home and come to them during a time when childhood plodded along promising nothing but more broken hearts, cold nights, and hungry days,  will spur them on to reach for life and focus their eyes beyond the dust.  

Why these kids?   Why 6 little brown children 3000 miles from home?   Why us?
I have no idea.    I trust that the Lord knows and brought them into our lives for a purpose.
 A heart transformed by God’s grace is the only thing that can truly satisfy ,whether hungry or well fed.  I can show them the bread of life, along with the bags of groceries that I bring them,  in hopes that once we are gone they will cling to their Father,  who is a perfect father to the fatherless.  


Marcy said...

They are beautiful, Carla! I am praying for them and for you. Give them an extra hug from me, a person neither of you 'really' knows, but one who is praying and loving from a far off (cold) place. God sees us all. Blessings. I wish I could do what you are doing. My heart is there with you.

Anonymous said...

love the pics and the stories. thinking of you guys!
blessings from the Fehrs

Jobina said...

beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

Jenilee said...

these pictures are amazing!! great and wonderful post!