My other kids

I have been writing about these kids since our trip to Baja in 2009 (which you can find back in the archives if you so desire).   They are "the kids that call me Tia" or "My kids from Santa Fe"...for lack of a better description.   I have become their Auntie and my husband is their Uncle.   I'm not sure really how and why God brought us into their story, but looking back I'm so honored to be able to share in their lives...even for only brief periods of time and from a distance.

Back in 2009, we adopted the two oldest as honorary family members while we worked at an orphanage (where we also met Amber and Saul).  Upon the children's return to live with their mother we met a whole house full of children who all call us Tia and Tio.  We promised them we'd always be family.

Three years later there are 7 little ones, we have maintained our relationship with them and we continue to love them.  It's note quite definable.  It's rather unusual.  It's kind of hard to explain.  They are our kids.  God brought us into each other's lives.

Baby number 7 was born this spring.  
Our friends in Baja have been so very kind to be our go-between...taking pictures for us, passing messages and letters back and forth, and even helping to look after this family while the single mother was unable to work in the last trimester of her pregnancy (She does hard manual field work, and the field boss told her not to come back until after the baby was born).  Where they live there is no disability insurance, unemployment, welfare, maternity leave, or food banks.  They don't have a pantry full of food to live off of like most of us do.  If you don't work, you don't eat.   When you have six other little mouths to feed the situation gets bleak very fast.   I'm so glad that God positioned our friends, and others who helped support this family, right where we all needed to be at the right time.

This spring I waited anxiously for the news of our newest little niece, and celebrated this precious little life from far away in Canada.   I was told they were calling her Esperanza (Hope) but hadn't officially given her a name.  I loved that they were calling her Hope.  Hope is a hard thing to find where they live.  
Desperation, yes.
Heartache, yes.
Fear, yes.
Addictions, yes.
Depression, yes.
Real poverty...plenty,
but Hope.  Such a beautiful tribute to our Saviors work in their lives. 

A few weeks later my friend wrote to me that they had officially registered her with a name and her name is Carla.  
It was so unexpected!  It actually brought tears to my eyes.  My little honorary niece name shares my name.

{handsome Alvaro looking so grown up, holding a letter for Tia and Tio}

These are photos that were taken by Amber and sent to me.  It's been so great this time to have someone there watching over these kids for us.  Last time we left Mexico in 2010 we had no contact with them for a year and a half until we showed up in their doorway this past December. 

We've done what we can for them over the past few years as far as making sure they have basic food, water, and shelter, but I think what's been so much more rewarding has been giving them ourselves.  Relationship.  Knowing that they are loved, that someone sees them and cares....and pointing them toward someone else who sees them, and cares more deeply than we ever could.

This woman, worn by her years of hard living, has so much of my respect.  I have moved from a place of judging her for her lack of parenting and nurture of her children, to sympathizing with what her life has been.   I see a light and a hope in her that she didn't used to have.  I pray that the Holy Spirit is working in her bruised and battered heart.

Sweet baby Carla.  I still get a kick out of that!  She reminds me of Miss Cece as a baby.

The beautiful Minerva, and little sister Gabriella.

And my treasure, the little mama of the home, Carmela (literally she looks after the babies and preschoolers while her mom works)

I miss these kids, although I must admit the longer we're away the more the ache subsides and the easier they would be to forget....to just ignore as "not my problem", "we've done our share"  
but I won't.
Because they're my kids.


Canadian Chica said...

beautiful, it encourages me that you are still involved with this family.

I have lost touch of a very special family to me and it breaks my heart that I can do now is pray for them as no one knows where they moved to. I get excited to hear about "your other kids" as they remind me so much of "my other kids" in a similar situation and help to remind me to keep praying for them.

Marcy P said...

That's a beautiful post about a special piece of your family. They are gorgeous! Hoping and praying for them.

Kim said...

You sure have a lot of beautiful children! Baby Carla... :) so cute!

Thanks for sharing who you are, Carla. I'm amazed at God's work in you to love when it's difficult and messy. You give when there's nothing to get. Sounds a lot like Jesus. Praise Him, he's doing a good work in you and encouraging others to follow you as you follow Christ.

Pamela said...

So precious it brought tears to my eyes. God must be so pleased when He sees your involvement in this family's lives. I'll be praying for your sweet "other family."