I’m back from Honduras and as always, it’s bittersweet. This was such a great trip as I got to spend a lot more time with the kids than in January. And the more time I spend with them the more they are opening up to me and oh how I love learning about their lives, their families, their dreams.
There are many stories that I want to share with you, but one definitely sticks out. It’s about Tania and Deybi. When I started visiting Proniño last September there was a boy that I was sure that I knew,but couldn’t figure out how I could possibly know him.
After a few weeks of staring at him (and him probably wondering ‘Why in the world is that gringa always looking at me??’) I realized that he looks identical to one of the sweetest girls in Nueva Esperanza.
I asked her if she had any brothers. (Yes.) I asked her if she knows where they are. (I think one of them lives in Proniño.) Eureka! The next time I saw Deybi, I showed him a picture of Tania on my camera. He just stared and stared and stared at her. This started a few months of me bringing messages back and forth between the two of them on my camera. And I thought that this was all I could do…
This trip, as I was going to talk to the Director of Nueva Esperanza, Tania stopped me and asked me to ask the Director if she could somehow see her brother. I figured the chances were slim to none, but she asks for so little that I knew I had to at least bring it up. To my amazement the Director said that it would be ok! So Friday morning I arrived early to the center and then set off for Proniño with an IHNFA chaperone and an incredibly excited little girl. Tania had been taken away from her physically abusive father 2-3 years ago and hasn’t seen any family member since.
We arrived at Proniño and Deybi was the one that opened the gate for us. (He earns some spending money every week for doing this chore.) I immediately could tell that as far as he was concerned today was just any other day. I parked my truck and asked him if he knew who I had with me. He looked confused and said no. I said “Really? No one told you?” “Told me what?” he asked. I said that I have Tania with me and at that exact moment she climbed out of the backseat of the truck. The blogging part of me wanted so badly to catch this moment on video or with a picture, but I didn’t want anything to distract them from their moment. So instead, I have this beautiful picture in my head of him seeing her, running around to the other side of my truck and hugging her so, so hard.
They spent a few hours together and he gave her a tour and she got to meet all of his friends.
Then she hung out with him as he got ready for school.
Aren’t they both just so beautiful??
But the story keeps getting better. The kids haven’t seen their mother for years and years. When Tania was still there, one of the Proniño employees asked for detailed info on where their mom’s house is. I thought it was a little odd that he was so interested. But then when I arrived on Sunday, there she was! The employee had tracked her down and brought her for a visit. Deybi opened the gate for my truck as usual and then practically dragged me over to where she was so I could meet her. “My mom’s here! She looks identical to Tania!!” He was absolutely glowing.
Deybi and Gloria
And I know it seems too good to be true, but the story keeps getting better. When I brought Tania back to Nueva Esperanza she was understandably filled with joy and sadness. So happy to have seen her brother but sad it can’t happen more often. She leaned against me and cried for a very long time. She cried for her brother, but seeing him also reminded her how much she misses her mom. But then on Sunday I found out that she’s not going to have to wait very long to see her! The amazing employee that found Gloria is planning on picking her up again today with Deybi and heading to Nueva Esperanza so the three of them can be together for a visit. The first time in 6 years!
I am so impressed by and thankful for this employee. It’s the one day that he has off every week and he’s still ‘working’. He’s genuinely excited that he has the opportunity to do this wonderful thing for the family. And people like him is what sets Proniño apart from other places. He doesn’t see this as just a job. He understands that he is an integral and important part of bringing joy into the lives of these kids. And their joy is important enough to him that he’s willing to sacrifice a bit in order to make it possible.
I am so thankful to have been able to witness these reunions and wish that I would’ve been there today to see Tania’s reaction to her seeing her mom. I’m sure it was more beautiful than words can describe.