Elyel and Me...

By Manuel Paniagua

I love working at Dorie’s Promise.  While my official job is to make sure all the computer and electrical systems are running properly, I do get to interact with the children on a regular basis.  They are all wonderful kids and each day I see them growing up just a little more.  They truly are lucky to be in a place like Dorie’s Promise.

During my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with a lot of children.  Every child is special but if you ever come and visit – you will know what I mean when I say there are always one or two that just capture your heart.  For me there have been two…

The first was a little girl name Keityn.  I was able to see her go home with her adoptive parents.  Though it was such a happy moment, I was sad to say good-bye.  Yet, what a joy to know she is with a loving family and has a wonderful home!

The second child that captured my heart is a beautiful, shy, boisterous little boy named Elyel.  My relationship with him as forever changed my life. 

Elyel was born on May 15, 2006 and two days later his mom came to Dorie’s Promise and abandoned him.  She never returned.  In the 3 ½ years that he has been here we have seen him become an active child.  Though he can be shy around new people, his smile and curious nature always wins out.

I know why I fell in love with Elyel.  In 2005 I found out I was going to be a father.  What a thrill!  I’ve always been around kids and babies so when I found out I was going to be a father I was really happy.  Two months after we found out we were having a baby, my wife had a miscarriage.  To say that we were crushed is an understatement.

Every time I see Elyel, I see the boy that might have been my son.  Elyel is my friend.  Each day I get to see him and interact with him.  He is one of the greatest joys in my life right now.  He likes to run in the backyard and play with his cars.  He loves clocks, although I don’t know why, and he enjoys sunglasses.  I don’t know the why behind that one either.  We have developed a relationship that is special, unique, and endearing to me.

As Elyel grows, I will continue to pour myself into his life and teach him the things he need to know to be a man who loves God and cares about people.  For me – working at Dorie’s Promise is more than a job.  It is a calling and a responsibility to the children who live here.  I take that very seriously.  I’m blessed to be here to have the opportunity to pour myself into Elyel and all the children.  God loves these children.  He loves all the children who don’t have anyone to care for them. 

Thank you for supporting Dorie’s Promise and giving these precious little ones a place to call home.  I’ve lived in Guatemala City all of my life and I’ve seen what happens to children who don’t have a place to call home or people to care about them.  Thank you for all you do!  Come and visit us at Dorie’s Promise!