It has been two months since returning home from Peru.
So rich and full was my experience with the girls of the Hogar, Edwin, and Vanessa, that it’s awkward to speak of it as history as it continues to be a part of my present mind every day. I have so many of my dear friends and family to thank for that. Not a day passes when a question is not posed, an image not illuminated, or a gesture not made that returns me to a place where tiny hands are reaching for me, sweet voices are singing, and a life too big to hold in one gaze shines brightly through an open door.
The blessings of my time in Peru continue to pay beautiful dividends. The story of the girls has moved so many people, and reconnected and further bonded me to friends who now also call the girls “family.” I have become closer to the Dodson family — the beautiful souls who introduced me to Edwin and the work of Peruvian Hearts. I have been overwhelmed at every turn by those of you who have reached out your hand to help the girls through your gifts, sentiments and love. And, all along, the gentle tender spirit of my life’s best thing has rested peacefully in my heart.
My efforts around the adoption of Sharmeli and Dheysi have been frustrating, which has come as no surprise. With the help of a friend, I was quickly able to find a home study program here in Denver for my background check, references, interview, etc. I have also been in contact with more than a dozen adoption agencies across the country, but have not yet found one that was willing to help me with the particular circumstances of what would be a private foreign adoption. Additionally, I have reached out to three international adoption attorneys — having been referred on by two of them to a third who has not been responsive.
It has been difficult to sort through the information I’ve received from a number of agencies. I have been told that, because I am a single man, I cannot adopt a girl. I’ve also been told I cannot adopt a child that I know. I have learned that Sharmeli has a younger sister, Lizeth. I didn’t realize they were siblings, and because Lizeth is younger than nine — and because I would never dream of separating them — the adoption of the sisters is not likely possible. I have learned that Dheysi was placed in the home of her grandmother after her parents split and started new families. Her grandmother is not able to adequately care for her, which is why she is at the Hogar.
There is much more for me to learn about the viability of adopting the girls. And there is much more for me to learn about how I can affect the lives of all 25 girls no matter the outcome of my adoption inquiry.
With me I will be carrying two stuffed-full duffel bags (yep, I had to incorporate another) with pajamas, jeans, journals, and sparkly things. Thank you all, so much, for your gifts. I am proud to be your courier. Through your gifts and your love, you are now part of this story too…
Joe & Jean Hayes
Robyn, Howard & Raegan McGee
Rocky Hayes & Family
JoAnn Schnittker & Family
Roxanne Linhart & Family
Chris & Sam Handel
Shannon Wood & Family
Natalie Bollinger & Family
Tina Martinez & Family
Denise & Larry Preston
Mary Jo & Terry Jackson
Glenn Fee & Jamie Burke
Derek & Kristin Woodbury
Jennifer Chavez & Family
Meg & Joel Wittenmyer
Frank & Alice Coyne
Mike & Chris Ferguson
Others, and you know who you are :.)
Look at all of you! All of that love, lightening a load. I have said of Paolo that he was too big for just me to love…it took many of us. I feel the same of the girls. They are far too big for just me to love… Thank you — all of you — each of you — to the one…for your love of them.
I depart tomorrow (Sunday). I’m so looking forward to embracing Edwin, my friend and guardian angel. The children of Pampallacta, my strong, tiny ornaments. Vanessa, my curious and lovely companion. And the girls of the Hogar Mercedes de Jesus Molina, my beautiful, joyful daughters.
Some experiences cannot be contained within a single dose.
Sometimes they deserve a second, lingering glance. To be opened back up, so that we may look inside with rested eyes and hearts worth the healing.
And some passages of our lives deserve to be written across more than a single chapter…