By Kelly Shank –
We love to celebrate the big moments in our children’s lives. Last month we had the chance to celebrate Myra’s 15th birthday with a traditional quinceañera.
Similar to a Sweet 16 party in the United States, a quinceañera celebrates a girl’s transition into womanhood. In Guatemala, these are important events, complete with fancy dresses, special meals, music, dancing, and lot of family and friends. Little girls dream of their quinceañera and we couldn’t imagine letting this special day pass by without celebrating Myra.
Creating an event as special as Myra took the work of everyone in our home. The day of the party our backyard was transformed by Abel and friends for the special event with decorations and balloons. The littler children helped prepare “fancy” place settings for the dinner party and assembled gift bags for guests. Come evening our home was filled with people who love Myra—our staff, their families, the children from our home, and Myra’s friends from school. Having so many people come and celebrate Myra was overwhelming.
Our children had the chance to get dressed up for the night and share in the festivities. For our girls it was a chance to experience the fun of getting their hair done and dreaming of how they would like their own quinceañera to be when they are older.
Myra enjoyed a day of pampering thanks to our staff and friends. Watching her as she had her hair, makeup, and nails were done was like watching her grow up before our eyes. We could see how much she appreciated and enjoyed the whole day. The final piece for her dream was a beautiful blue gown. Her joy and thankfulness reminded us that all of our children just want to be loved and celebrated. That day it was Myra’s turn. Before heading down to her party Myra shared with our Director Alejandra that she felt “like a princess.”
We have the great pleasure of helping to usher our children into adulthood and we want to do so in a way that lets them know just how special they are as individuals.
As part of our celebration, we took time to thank God for Myra’s life and to ask his blessings on her future. One of the most special moments of the evening was the first dance when our Director’s husband shared the first dance with Myra. As we think about that evening, watching Alejandra’s husband share the first dance represents the heart of Dorie’s Promise. Even though Myra couldn’t celebrate this moment with her biological family our staff created an evening that showed her how much they love her and are willing to support her during both the happy and sad times of life. Our employees, and their families, have become her extended family.
A friend at the party shared these words, “To think back just 10 months ago we served Myra in the State Orphanage, then to see her enjoy a day like today is ONLY Jesus! Many, many tears were shed.”