I've done some prying since beginning this fund raiser. First I'd like to clarify that in a way your donations are going to a tiny orphanage. UNICEF estimates that there are more than 370,000 orphans in Guatemala and at least 5,000 children live on the streets of the capital city alone. Many of these children were simply abandoned by their mothers who are too poor to care for them. I haven't any understanding of the adoption laws in Guatemala but I do know that for some reason MANY of the orphans are legally un-adoptable. The family that I am raising this money for as a gift is taking un-adoptable children into their homes and giving them a permanent home/ a real family. They have legally taken on an orphanage status so that they can give a home and a family to children who would otherwise live on the streets or in an orphanage. Granted they will only affect so many lives in doing this (I doubt they will "adopt" hundreds of children during their years on the planet) but the children they have welcomed into their family are on an entirely new path in life, one with SOOO many opportunities they would have never seen before. I believe that every child deserves a loving mother and father. I love what these two people are doing!
This family has specifically stated that: "Our vision has always been for the orphan and to give a permanent home to kids who would otherwise grow up in an institution. Our hope is to see every orphan in our country have a permanent home in a family."
I know that they pray for this vision often. The ministry that the dad from this family works for not only builds homes for widows, supplies food at feeding programs in the mountains, (employs local cobblers in their shoe shop) and hands out shoes to needy children in the community, installs clean water systems and safe burning stoves in homes in the mountains, but they also have been for the past few years in the process of building a facility to raise un-adoptable orphans in small homes with a mom and a dad just like these two individuals are doing on their own. This is the vision of many of the missionaries in Guatemala right now because there are so many children on the streets and in need.
The family just last month encountered a truly bittersweet experience. Their two oldest children have left to live with their three older siblings. These two children lived in an orphanage for 7 years before they were taken in by this family. These two individuals believed that the kids would be with them always. The older siblings had tried to adopt the children early on but they weren't old enough. The family has had a relationship with the older siblings all along and now that they are old enough to care for the two youngest they did not want to interfere with family restoration. Thus they have two less children in their home now and an ache in their hearts but they are truly happy that these two dear children have been reunited with their family.
The other three children that they have "adopted" are all siblings. They took the three in together. There is no foreseeable reason for these three to ever leave (aside from growing up). I'm certain that with the vision this family has for helping and loving orphans they will be welcoming more children into their home when the time presents itself. At present the family of 8 that I have been raising money for is now a family of 6. I do not know why, and it's not that it really even matters but I have on my heart a desire to raise the equivalent of $1000 per family member. I am lowering my $8000 goal to $6000 (unless they "adopt" more children before February 12th).
I'm NOWHERE near this goal but I couldn't be happier that people have donated. You are all awesome. This is just something that's been weighing on my heart for so long and I'm really happy that we will be able to give them a monetary gift no matter what the size.