2020 is definitely a year we’ll never forget. It was tiring, confusing, scary, but also amazing. Today seems like a good day to reflect on 2020 and remember all the good things that happened at Dorie’s Promise last year.
We welcomed our first two mission teams in the new decade! Each year, Ken Perry and Lisa Ackerman start our mission season with their winter teams. Plus, our kids started their new school year. Myra and Aracely loved meeting new teachers and friends in their specialized high school medicine and culinary arts programs. With most of our little girls in preschool, the house was notably quieter during the day as well.
Monica celebrated her quinceañera (15th birthday) surrounded by friends and family. Turning 15 is a very special moment for girls in Guatemala and Monica’s day was a perfect display of love. Our backyard was overflowing with our children, our staff, their families, special friends, and Monica’s extended family. These are the moments she will never forget.
By mid-March, the pandemic reached Guatemala. On March 13th, our children came home from school for the last time in 2020. We went from a hectic, but precise, morning school commute to distance learning for everyone. It wasn’t easy, but our staff transformed our little classroom and some other areas into workable classrooms. We set up work stations and schedules to make sure everyone was online on-time.
We found the silver lining of having everyone home full-time—more help around the house. We have quite a few kids who enjoy cooking and baking. The kitchen might be a little louder and a little messier, but we also have kids who are learning valuable skills and making meal prep easier. Abel was the biggest winner though. He acquired quite a few little boy helpers to wash vehicles. We’re not sure if more water hit the truck or the boys!
Miss Jenny took preschool to a new level in May. We had color days, a little kitchen for our littlest chefs, and lots of hands-on learning. She may be the only person in our home who isn’t afraid to enter a room full of preschoolers armed with play dough and paint. The kids did great and learned while home this year. Plus, Dulce was excited to have all of her friends home during the day again.
By June, we were really missing our mission team friends. We had to postpone all of our trips this year. Don’t worry though. We started hosting weekly Zoom activities with some of the mission team leaders who couldn’t visit us inperson. Thanks to Zoom, we did Zumba, made crafts, read stories, and had loads of fun with our friends. We’d much rather see each other in-person, but this worked well for 2020.
God sees each of us and he knows what we need. One of our biggest concerns was keeping everyone at Dorie’s Promise safe and healthy. As you can imagine, medical supplies and personal protective equipment were hard to acquire at times. A very dear friend of Dorie’s Promise donated much-needed supplies to our home. Not only did we have safety equipment, but Doc Castro also received medicines to supplement his preventative treatment program.
In August, Estela had emergency surgery to treat acute appendicitis. Although we never want to see our children sick or hurting, we’re thankful for Doc’s quick diagnosis and the outstanding care of our local hospital. Estela was quickly back to her energetic, giggly self. Plus, she got some one-on-one time with Mama Myra during her hospital stay.
Dorie’s Promise celebrates 20 years in Guatemala! Although our celebration was quiet, we are very proud to say that 20 years ago Heather came to Guatemala and started the home we know as Dorie’s Promise today. We’re thankful for the support of every donor, adoptive family, mission team participant, friend, and family member who has helped us care for our children.
During October, our home was directly impacted by COVID-19. Being upset about the illness would be easy, but we’re thankful instead. Thanks to Doc’s protocols, our first case was identified at the very onset of symptoms. Staff members volunteered to stay with sick children so others could continue caring for those unaffected. The virus was limited and our children only experienced mild symptoms. Thankfully, the school year was coming to a close as we fought the virus.
Baby Cristopher was reunited with his family. Just a few days after his first birthday and in plenty of time for Christmas, baby Cristopher’s grandmother picked him up from our home. He is healthy once again and his family is now able to care for him going forward. We can’t imagine how excited his 3 big brothers were to see him.
We got out of the house! After 9 long months, our kids finally got to take a trip out of the house. Our local children’s museum is open once again and we took our kids there for a fun outing. Our smaller children especially love this museum. It’s a great place to let them burn off some energy and play. Plus, it’s one of the only museums where they’re supposed to touch everything! It was a great day.
Thank you for helping us make 2020 a year we’ll never forget!