This weekend my nephew graduated from high school. A very important and momentous occasion every graduate remembers; one I really didn’t want to miss. One where my brothers, their wives, my nephews and my mom and dad were all able to be together and share in this joyous celebration. I couldn’t be more happy for him and want to express my congratulations here for finishing so well too! I really look forward to the next 4 years having him so close to us attending Emerson College in Boston. May he always know he has a second home with us 🙂
This Saturday was also Alex’s 17th birthday; our unofficially adopted son from Honduras who we have been visiting and supporting since we met at Senderos Hogar in September 2015. He has very little communication with his biological family, so his loneliness is real and his insecurities have been, at times, overwhelming to witness. Leaving my family to go to Honduras was not an easy decision, but with the full support of my husband and children and a VERY cheap ticket on Spirit, I flew in to enjoy 3 days with Alex and my Honduran support system, all of who I can not thank enough for their help and guidance. As I return this morning, my heart is overflowing with blessings to share.
Friday, I was able to celebrate Alex’s birthday with his companions at CREA eating cake and pizza. We all sang happy birthday and each said some nice words for Alex. As tears were shed, they are words he will never forget… Saturday, I went to his school, met his teachers, and saw him perform in his first drama as the Bible character Sampson, the strongest of the 3 in the play. His teachers had nothing but exemplary enthusiastic reports about Alex. His behavior is wonderful and his effort is truly shining through being on the honor roll for the first time in his life.
That afternoon we picked up Alex and our team as all 6 of us piled into a small Kia picante to go kayaking in Peña Blanca. Remembering paddling in the middle of The Lake in Honduras, I can still hear Alex’s words “I feel really relaxed” ringing in my ears… Coffee ☕️ and a cupcake at El Dorado cafe, singing happy birthday with Team Alex, singing Despacito for every member piling into the car, eating fried fish, our screeching car on the outskirts of San Pedro… all memories to top off the day Alex turned 17.
4:40 Sunday morning came too soon for all of us, but the 6 of us blessed with our friend Ivan* from Senderos Hogar, made our way to the base of the mountain of the Coca-Cola sign to watch the sunrise, then hiked to the summit. At the top, we enjoyed the view, took photos, drank and ate coconuts and oranges. I was overwhelmed with happy tears. The walk down included lots of laughs, important conversations, and a time to bond as a team. Next, we enjoyed breakfast together at the hostel, then drove to celebrate Pentecost at City Hope Church. Lots of hands were raised, a great message about when life gives you lemons 🍋 make lemonade, we bumped into Alex’s teachers and Senderos Hogar’s house parents. We had baleadas for lunch, then returned the team to Senderos so they could spend the day with the boys. We said our goodbyes and went to the mall to talk over coffee, shop for a birthday outfit, then watch Wonder Woman in the movie theater… the hardest part was to come next: saying good bye.
As hard as it is, CREA is the place for Alex to be. He is truly changing before my eyes and is confirmed when he says calmly, “I am the lemon and you’re the one helping me be lemonade…” Only with God has any of this been able to be possible. And, I will continue to choose this path with Him, the road less traveled.
*Who is Ivan? We met Ivan on our first mission trip to Honduras, had the privilege of praying for and witnessing him inviting Christ into his life. Today, he still lives at Senderos, is a senior in High School, will be interning with one of our team and graduates in November. >