Today was our first day at Amor del Nino, the Children's Home we're serving in outside of Antigua. I've shared this before, but for backgrounds sake I'll say it again - God has been stirring our hearts (mine & Morgan's) for quite awhile that He may be leading us to adopt a child. We don't know when, where, how, or anything other than there is a burning discontent in our lives when it comes to this subject. So for me, walking into this home today, there were several preconceived ideas - like a specific child would be magnetically drawn to me and a light would shine down from heaven through the roof and I'd hear the Lord whispering to me, "Brian, this is the child! Take him home!" That might sound crazy to you, but that's the background and baggage I walked in with this morning. Which will help the rest make more sense.
When we arrived today Sheril (who runs the home) began showing us around. 3 minutes into the tour a little boy was standing in the hall. All the girls smiled at him, talked to him, tried to get a smile out of him - nothing. Then I walked by, simply put my hand on his head, and it was over. He practically climbed up my body, latched onto my neck, and wouldn't let go. I spent the next 2 hours with Byron. Just me & Byron. No one else could satisfy Byron. And no one else was allowed to play with Brian. Just Brian & Byron. Get it? [You can probably guess where my mind & heart were tempted to wander in all of this. But that didn't happen.]
Not 5 minutes after Byron had weighed anchor into my heart I learned that he was the very child I had heard about who has been in the adoption process for over 2 years. 2 YEARS a family has been weeding through legalities and paperwork to officially make this little angel a part of their family. I didn't even have time or opportunity to begin allowing myself think, "Maybe this is the one!" What I did feel like the Holy Spirit very gently whispered to me went something like this: "Brian, don't spend a week here loving these children with an agenda. Just love them! Stop looking at them through YOUR lenses and look at them through MINE! Just love them. ALL of them!" So that's what I tried to do. That was before lunch.
Then this afternoon we had 3 visitors: 1 was a nurse/social worker from the hospital, the other 2 were the twin 14-month old boys in her arms. They had been taken from their mother for several reasons, most of which are not worth telling you. All I knew was that the first full day these little brothers were spending away from everything they knew, they were now spending in my arms. Sue Ann and I spent the afternoon loving on them, holding them, trying to bring them some sense of security. They were malnourished, scared, and had a replicated look on their faces that I can only describe as sad. I've never watched a 14-month old wipe away tears this way - more like a 14-year old - like someone who knew exactly why he was scared and disappointed and tired of being passed around. And at the same time it was heartbreaking to see these boys go through this, it was such a blessing to see firsthand the power and purpose of what the Lord is doing in and through Amor del Nino. Amazing!
Tomorrow we're taking a group of the children to Aqua Magic, a water park an hour away from our hotel. More to come....