My heart is happy

Finally, after missing these kids, worrying about them, praying for them, and hoping we'd see them again this year I'm filled to the brim with warm fuzzies.   My heart is so full that it might explode, and this could get messy.  
We told them a few days ahead of time that we'd pick them up on Sunday and when "Tio" arrived they were all scrubbed, washed, and dressed in their finest clothes ready for the big event.   It's funny how just coming over for a play day is such an event.  Even their mom was bustling around making helping them get ready.   They were all so excited to come!

We had a perfect day.

For some reason we had made it into a bigger deal in our minds than we should have.   We wondered if we should bring them into our house or just take them out somewhere.   Both would be fun but our motive wasn't so much "fun" as it was based on fears and doubts about dirt, parasites, and illness.  We contemplated our water supply (town water only runs for an hour or so every few days), we contemplated fleas, lice, dirty hands, laundry, and all the unknown micro-visitors that would hitch along.  I let it paralyze me a bit and I let it tempt me to put up walls of self protection and keep these beautiful little "messy" lives at arms length.   
At arms length where we could give them stuff,  take them some icecream, pass them a blanket and wish them God's blessings.   None of those things are all bad...in fact they have their place and we do those things too...but God is calling us to more.
He's asking me to love them.  
For us loving them means travelling across borders and cultures and entering into their "mess".   It's asking me to get my hands and floors dirty.  It means inviting them into be a part of our lives...to be a part of our family.  As I was contemplating how I could successfully love them from a safe distance I was brought to me knees again with the reality of God's love for me in my own wretchedness.  He left the comforts of home, he pursued intentional relationship, he crossed borders and cultures, he entered into our mess, he took up our burdens on his own shoulders, he bore our pain in his own body, he touched our disease at the cost of his own life.  How can I receive all that and yet love someone else at a self preserving arms length?  
So after some repentance and allowing the gospel to right my thinking....
we opened ourselves to an amazing day filled with little blessings. 

We had so much fun with them.   I really couldn't get enough hugs and snuggles from these kids.  I love them so much it hurts already to think we'll say goodbye again in a couple weeks. 

It was fun to just give them a chance to be kids, let them play and forget the weight of responsibility they carry.  Let them relax and not have to worry where their next meal will come from. 

We ate lunch out on the patio, then spent a few hours just playing, and then we broke out our travel DVD (dual screen) players and watched Despicable Me.  I've never seen kids giggle and laugh so hard at a movie.  Carmela could hardly catch her breath she was laughing so hard.   

{This picture is totally random but these two are such loveys.  It's been cold here at night and in the morning they snuggle up under blankets while waiting for their oatmeal to cook.  It's so much warmer here than in Canada in November but at home our house stays a nice 20 degrees Celcius.  Our house here fluctuates between about room temperature down to 10 degrees C at night}

This marble run thing was a big hit.  

Tio taking the kids pictures and using an App to give them mustaches.  It got some good giggles. 

Baby Carla stayed home with mom but next in line Gabriella was now old enough for a play day at Tio and Tia's.  She konked out part way through though.   She's curled up on the couch with some of the blankets we sent home with them.  Thank you to the quilting ladies at my mom's church for sending them with us.  

Alvaro is looking so grown up this year.   He has a little mustache started and his voice cracks.  Everytime we come I wonder if this will be the year he'll be getting into trouble, or too cool to come and hang out, or out running in the gangs (which is the pattern).  I was encouraged to find out he's still in school (6th grade...not bad for starting school three years ago!), and he is still such a nice boy.  

It's amazing how a bucket of Little People and some modelling clay can keep everyone happy for hours.  Alvaro was really into building with the marble thing....so focused.  I told him he'd better stay in school so he can be an engineer some day.  

The little mama Carmela still isn't in school :(  I think she had been for a while but she's back to being the childcare at home while big sister and Mama work int he fields.   She is such a bright (and crazy responsible) little girl...it breaks my heart that she isn't able to have an education.  Maybe someday.  I'll be praying that eventually she'll be relieved of her babysitting duties long enough to learn to read.  

Gabrialla was so surprisingly easy and comfortable at our house.  Last year she was terrified of the strange big white people that kept showing up at her house but this year she was excited to come along.  

We finished our perfect day with Tacos Carne Asada.   Super yummy.  We filled everyone up (those kids can EAT!), bought soda, and sent three tacos home for  their mom...for about $26.   It was fun being one big family for a day.  Sigh.  My affections for them have been re-ignited for sure.  I can't wait to have them over again.  

Soli Deo Gloria,


Lynnea said...

LOVE all of this post....
and falling in love with Mexico as you share! xoxo

We Are Family said...

I just love this - LOVE.IT!