Our family adopted Roberto from Hannah’s Hope (now Dorrie’s Promise) in late 2003. He came home with us on Christmas Eve, dressed in a red fleece outfit and a little blue hat, a pacifier wedged firmly in his mouth. Christmas is thus an extra special time for us, as we recall receiving the greatest gift ever, our very own “El Nino.” In April 2010 we returned to Guatemala and visited Dorrie’s Promise. The special mothers all hugged Roberto, and he spent time holding several of the babies. He seemed contemplative, and we wondered if he wasn’t comparing the lives of these children to his own.
Recently, while baking gingerbread cookies for Christmas, our family discussed how we could share what we have with others. We looked at the Dorrie’s Promise website, and Roberto saw photos of several children he’d met during our April visit. He asked how he might raise some money to help one of the kids. Together, we decided to try selling gingerbread cookies in our neighborhood, at his school, and at his soccer games. For two nights we turned the kitchen into a full-on bakery, with Roberto and his little sister Stephanny (adopted from Hannah’s hope in 2007) cutting dough and decorating faces. The smiles were crooked and the eyes were crossed, but that only made the cookies better. The children pasted pictures of the kids they wanted to sponsor on sheets of cardboard, then donned Santa hats and took the cookies door-to-door with their dad. We sold them for $1 apiece, although some people donated more. One neighbor wrote us a $100 check for just four cookies. After a week the children counted up the money and proudly announced the grand total – $218! As a family we learned the true meaning of Christmas.