Thursday, October 26, 2006
It's Never Easy To Say Goodbye
My Darling Boys: Fernando, Ivo, QuiQui, Alfredo and Fernando
Tonight was our Reintegration service at church. That means tomorrow I will be taking four of my boys home to live with their families. One more will go later, possibly January, due to some extenuating circumstances.
I am so sad right now because I will miss them dearly. I have been like a mother to them these last two-plus years and I am sad at having to let them go. They are each so precious to me and our house won't be the same without them.
I have been a part of the process of deciding if any of my boys could go home so they go with my full approval, they are just taking part of my heart with them as well.
Fernando and QuiQui are brothers who have lived here for seven years. My co-worker has recently helped build their mother (with three other siblings) a new house and she wants them so we are optimistic about them living with her. They have always wanted to go until yesterday - I think they are getting a bit scared, as well as excited, as I can imagine.
Ivo is who will go in January. He has been here six years and is HIV+. But his mother is lovely now and if I could give her an award, it would be Most Improved Mother! She and her husband are both HIV+ as well, they all go to the GATV clinic for their meds and she has learned how to responsibly take care of Ivo. She has had him home with her almost every weekend for the last year and they have now built a home quite near our center, so he can have access to our clinic and school and still visit all of us. He is the star of our dorm! But also the boy I'm most delighted to see reunited with his mom permanently. He is sad he can't go tomorrow like the rest - he is more than ready to live with his mom and step-dad!
Alfredo has lived here several years. His two older sisters were reintegrated last year. We prefer not to have more than two kids go home at a time, to ease into things, unless there are really unusual circumstances. Of all the kids going home, he's the one I'm least confident of. His parents seem a bit distant and he's already a bit of a lost child. I'm not overly worried, just of the five, he's the one I'm concerned about most for the adjustment.
Fernando is going to live with his mother's sister, his aunt. She and her husband are lovely, but poor, and we'll be helping them with a twice-monthly food box. Through another situation, I was able to see how kind and generous this couple is and my educator, Juliet, who essentially makes the final decisions on these, thinks she's wonderful. Fernando can't wait to go home!
I'm putting together backpacks full of assorted things and when I thought of a towel, I cried. Our kids are well taken care of here and don't lack for material comforts, among other things. And it's a bit hard for them to lose that. But as our director always says, God hasn't changed his mind about families and whenever possible, children should be with their families, even if means no electricity, or no towels!
Please pray for these boys and their families - and for me!