Tuesday, February 6, 2007

January Birthdays

We have been having a great time with the kids at the Alburgue. There are so many stories to be told, I can hardly tell them all on the blog. We are approaching one month since arriving to the Alburgue, which has hardly been enough time to get to know everyone. Just recently we went on our first solo outing. We are always with a Peruvian when we go to town, but this Sunday we felt confident to venture out on our own. We went to Huanchaco, a very popular beach town known for surfing. We were able to count money, order from a menu, navigate our way through the town, shop, know what buses to take, where to get off, and communicate. It was a lot of fun, and very rewarding. In church Adam was able to understand the sermon and was very excited. We are happy to still have two months so we can really get to understand and speak Spanish.

At the end of the month we celebrated all January birthdays, a tradition started by Janie Helm, who also volunteered at the Alburgue. It was so much fun and so rewarding to take the kids into town to celebrate. First we went to Rockies (a nice restaurant with a play area), then we went to the center of the city and rode in a train. They absolutely loved it and their faces glowed all night.

Adam and the birthday boys. From left to right: Abel, Kevin, Adam, Italo, and Edwin. On our way to Rockies to celebrate!

Abel turned 5 years old. He is always ready to help out and play. He cannot form many words or communicate well, but the Alburgue is a great place for him to grow and thrive. We also celebrated his brother's birthday, Italo.

Kevin is 13 years old. He has spent most of his life growing up at the Alburgue. His parents tried to drown him, and then left him in a bus, where he was then brought to the orphanage. He is very affectionate, eager to help, loves to play, but is somewhat timid. This is the largest expression I have seen on his face since we got here. He is a very happy kid, but seldom shows it on his face.

From left to right: Yulissa, Italo, Edwin, Abel, Kevin, Adam. Yulissa is a madre, "mother", for the kids.

Italo, 8 years old, is Abel's older brother. Italo has a very sad past. His mother is a prostitute and would dig a hole in the ground and place Italo in it while she was away. She would cover him up with dirt, to keep him safe. He is very affectionate, playful, and always helpful. He has trouble communicating, but with one on one attention he will surely thrive.

Edwin, 5 years old, was born with microcephalia. His father died and his mother is an alcoholic and could not care for her children. He is very loving and enjoys being the center of attention. He also has troubles communicating and pronouncing words, but has been doing better with one on one work and practice. He has quite a temper sometimes, but also lights up a room when he does something he is proud of. He is very determined in his work and play.

Abel and I on the train that circles the center of the city. They loved it. Adam bought them glowing necklaces that they thought were just too cool!

All of the children on this post are up for adoption. It is sad to know the past of these children, but it is exciting and a blessing to be apart of their future. It is wonderful to see them grow in a healthy and protected environment. Please keep these little ones in your prayers that they will find their "forever families."


Anonymous said...

Kristen and Adam,

It pains me to read the pasts of these kids, but I feel a huge warmth in my heart when I read how you are bringing love into their lives. I truly believe everyone has a place on this planet, and I have never doubted for a moment yours was to come together and share love with those less fortunate. Please keep sharing, the stories you tell are moving.


Anonymous said...

Hola amigos!! Les extrano mucho. Ahora entiendes todo en espanol? suenan en espanol? que bien que adan puede entender todo en la iglesia. bueno, que dios les bendiga!

Anonymous said...

You guys look really happy, like you are really in your element. Every life you touch will be better for it, including mine!

I bought Casey a swing, he seems to appreciate the thought, but I haven't seen him swinging yet.

Take care, don't get too confident about going out alone. BE SAFE, because I love you both so much, and Riley really wants you to come home soon.

xx00, Mom

papasapples said...

Kristen and Adam,

You both are so amazing. What help and knowledge you are bringing to those kids and other people in the community. When you tell your stories to us it makes me think what we all take for granted. Kristen, when you have the kids just follow you when you jump, walk, and run only for those few minutes...look at their faces and I guarantee, they're smiling from ear to ear, you made their day. It makes me smile!!! Love you both very much...Be safe

Carla said...

Hi Kristen and Adam! I sure hope this works! It's Carla and I wanted to wish you both a Happy Valentine's Day! I hope all is well. I can't wait for you both to make it home safe! I hope you are enjoying this though. It's sounds really neat. I'm glad your able to help people. Plus your doing this together. That's so neat. It will be neat to see how much Spanish you learn as well. I worry about you both though and your safety. Your bedroom looks nice and clean. Well better run. Hope to hear from you.

Carla Hanold said...

Hey Kristen,
Wanted to drop in and say hi! On Thursday there was a bad car accident and Ashley Hesselberg was it it. She was the only one who walked away. One man died at the scene and then one man that Seth knew who went to County High (I believe) passed. Only one other person lived other than Ashley. Well better run I'm going to wash my car since it's so nice outside. Keep safe.