The month of December was super busy for the kids in the children’s homes, as they wrapped up final exams and the school year. December also marks the beginning of summer vacation! Our house parents, Esteban & Gabriela, took on the task of making 250 tamales for the kids in the children’s homes. They invited Jenny (Gabriela’s mother) and Emilia to help clean banana leaves, prepare the food, and mix the masa. Tamales are a huge part of Christmas tradition in Costa Rica.
The daycare center closed it’s doors on December 15th for a two-week end of year break. That evening they put on an incredible Christmas program. Lights! Camera! Action! Every child in the daycare participated in the much anticipated event. There were over 500 parents/family members present to watch their little ones perform. The singing, dancing, and celebration of Jesus’ birth, was a joyous occasion. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed traditional Christmas tamales and agua dulce (sweet sugar cane water).
Several businesses and organizations blessed the children from our homes with Christmas parties. In fact, the children enjoyed six parties in all! A pharmaceutical company hosted a get together at McDonalds, some employees from a bank brought Santa out to see the kids, and a call center brought a band & choir out to sing Christmas carols to the children! The Christmas season was certainly festive! We all enjoyed the food, gifts, activities, and bags of candy that the different organizations contributed.
Siblings Mainor and Jenny were given some sweet news in December. The Office of Adoptions informed them that they would soon be adopted by an Italian couple! The kids have been with us for over two years while the Office of Adoptions actively looked for a family for the brother and sister. For the longest time, things didn’t look promising, because Adoptions had told us that families are somewhat resistant to adopting pre-adolescent boys (Mainor turned 13 in November). But their persistence in searching finally paid off! The Office of Adoptions has been sending a social worker out to talk to the kids and prepare them for an eventual meeting with their new family. At this time, the date for a hearing with the judge has not been set. Until that happens, we will not know when the family will arrive in Costa Rica.
At the end of October, we received another pair of siblings to add to our group of kids here at the homes. Angela is eight years old, while her little brother Jefreson is four. We received a call in October from PANI, looking to move these kids from another children’s home. The other place stated that Jefreson was difficult to handle and they wanted him removed immediately. Our supervisor has told us that she usually calls the Abraham Project when she has “difficult” cases. Although, she is not a believer, she has seen the difference that Christ makes in the lives of these little ones. She likes that we offer the “religious” component to our work with the children. Pray that Jefreson’s behavioral issues are resolved quickly, and that he and Angela feel the peace and presence of Jesus in this place.
We are eternally grateful for the love that each of you extend to our family and the kids here at the project. It is greatly appreciated!