This past month, I spent my time working with orphans in Cusco, Peru. When I first found out my ministry site for the month of March was at an orphanage with babies, I was excited, but I haven't worked with kids very much in the past. What I did not know was how it was going to change me forever. When I walked into the Casa Josephine for the first time, I was amazed by the beauty and the light of it all. Everything from the dedicated "Tia's" ("Aunts"= workers), how personal everything was from each child's name is color-coded based on their specific outfits and diaper sizes, the amount of toys that were donated and the huge ball pit I even wanted to hop into, but you know what my favorite part was? That when a child is adopted here, they receive a big baby book with all their pictures of them growing up to show the BEAUTY behind adoption and that no SHAME should ever come with it.
I remember walking into this place wondering how I could be Jesus to these children when really they were being Jesus to me. Each day, we were surrounded with love, hope, happiness, and endless baby giggles that I wouldn't trade for the world. Is it possible to completely fall in love with little babies within the first one to two weeks of ministry? Because it happened. I went back to the host home every night planning for the next day and how it could be better. I was asking questions on what more the ministry needed like baby wipes or clothes donations. This place really showed me how "Life is ministry and ministry is life" because it was truly all I thought about.
There is a small girl who is under the age of two at the orphanage who probably has the cutest smile and I taught her how to buzz her lips and it's her new favorite thing. The other day, she was wearing one of the donated shirts that said "Daddy's Girl." Someone brought it up during our team time and we all agreed with our discomfort about it. Two of my teammates got a one-on-one with God in that moment though and it was beyond cool. God told them how we underestimate Him and that He is her Father. Like what!? How could I not think of that? She has the coolest dad ever. They all do. WE all do.
About 135,000 kids are adopted in the United States each year. It can usually take about 2-5 years in the system before kids find their forever homes. Only about 2% of Americans have adopted but 1/3 of America has "considered it." I am in the 1/3 for sure even though I am not even thinking about marriage yet being on the World Race. My dream is to adopt one day regardless of how hard it is to make it actually happen. I don't want it to be just a pipe dream, after meeting these kids, I want it to be a reality so badly. Now that I know how to tell babies how to open their mouths and drink their milk in Spanish, I would love to be a mom of a child from another country or a foster mom of one in our own.
This article is a jumbled mess of thoughts, beauty, tears, joy, sadness, anger, and overall ending with peace. I have one week left in this beautiful place and to be honest, a tear just dropped while writing that. I went in not being the biggest fan of the "little monsters" and now I'm leaving with my heart full of God's little gems. God changed my heart when I decided to become uncomfortable just to serve Him. Do you feel like this is your path? Have that one-on-one chat with Papa, He loves all of His children equally and to His fullest.
To my babies at the Josephine House, thank you for teaching me the true definition of love. Thank you for letting a bunch of strange girls come into your life and serve you. Thank you for the cheek kisses, the run and jump into your arm hugs, for peeing your pants on the floor and not on my lap, and for loving me too. You kiddos will forever have my heart.
***My babies are looking for sponsor families and there is no set amount you have to donate each month. If you are interested, visit www.josephinehouse.org.***