Mama Nico

By Alej Diaz

On June 6, Nicolasa Sumale celebrated her tenth anniversary with Dorie’s Promise, an occasion that put smiles on everyone’s face here. “Mama Nico,” as she is known, is one of the reasons we call the women who care for our children Special Mothers.

She likes being a Special Mother because she knows it fulfills God’s purpose for her life.

In addition, she can share with the children and give them love. A very active person, Nico does not like to be doing the same thing for a certain amount of time. Working at our homes gives her the opportunity to multi-task.

“Every day is a challenge,” she says. “You never know what to expect. Children can be very active or they may remain quiet for most of the day. The changes are one reason I like my job.”

There are others. Nico enjoys everything, although she does admit she faces a fight regularly—trying to keep the closets in order so she knows whose clothing belongs to what child.

Her rewards are numerous. She loves to see children happy, healthy and knowing that they feel loved.

It touches her heart when young children call her, “Mama” or just say, “Gracias.” “Sometimes they become your own children,” she says.

The most challenging task is to educate the children. All come from different backgrounds, so sometimes she struggles to do the right thing and use the right words at the right time.

That is something only God can do, Nico says, because as humans we always make mistakes.

Still, she considers teaching the children how to follow instructions and to respect others as one of her most significant responsibilities. She wants the children to learn how to be good men and women.

One of Nico’s favorite memories over the past decade is of a boy named Esteban, the first baby she ever cared for. His mother had gotten pregnant while her husband was working in another country. Her mother-in-law threatened to tell him if she didn’t get rid of the baby.

Since Esteban cried a lot, Nico would put him on her back at the same time she watched other children. An American family adopted him when he was five months old. Although Nico has never heard from Esteban or his adoptive family, she still prays for him.

“It is a blessing for me to work here,” she says.

“I know that all the mothers feel blessed, too. My dream is that we can keep working and helping other children. I want to see them keep growing and walking on the right path.”

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