Ann and Nick
Dorie’s Promise is amazing. All of the children were so healthy and happy and so well taken care of. It was easy to see that the special mothers take great care of the children and really care about them. There was a room of infants that I grew fond of and spent my time at Dorie’s Promise playing with them, feeding them, and holding them. They still have a special place in my heart, especially Isabela who was the only child born after the adoption hold and was without an adopted family.
We traveled to Mama Carmen’s, an all boys orphanage, Eagle’s Nest, and an orphanage in Panajachel as well as to the Mudslide areas.
At Eagle’s Nest most of the children were sitting in front of a television and looked glazed over. I tried to interact with some of the children, but none of them really seemed to respond back to me. I felt overwhelmed so I continued to walk until I found an infant sitting in a swing all by herself.
I started talking to her and swinging her. I tickled her feet and she smiled. I picked her up and started to walk around with her. I was still feeling overwhelmed, so I started to pray. At that point, she laid her head against my chest and seemed to relax. I prayed for her while I held her. I just held her the entire time. She never lifted her head. She just snuggled against me. When it was time to go it broke my heart to put her back into that swing and walk away.
At an orphanage in Panajachel, there was a small courtyard area where all of the children were gathered. Their clothes were dirty and they didn’t have any toys or anything to do in that space. They stood facing us and we stood facing them. Again I felt overwhelmed, especially because these children were older and my Spanish from high school didn’t really come back to me like I hoped it would. I started to walk around and eventually found a little girl. She held out her hands towards me in tiny little fists. She motioned for me to pick one. Inside one of those fists was a tiny rusted key. That was her toy. We played this game the entire time we were there. I would try to guess which hand held the key. She would giggle and smile the entire time. A few other kids noticed what we were doing and they joined in.
One child had a leaf in his hand and another child didn’t have anything in either hand. It broke my heart that they had so little and yet they seemed so happy and I was able to connect with them.
It was those experiences that changed my life. After our trip, I knew that I was committed to the efforts of Dorie’s Promise. My husband and I began supporting Dorie’s Promise financially. All of the children that I met, the orphanages that we visited, and Dorie’s Promise remain in my prayers, thoughts, and heart. My husband and I would like to adopt from Dorie’s Promise Guatemala one day as well. We hope to return for another mission trip sometime in 2010.