Friday, April 20, 2012

"They take care of each other" -Hayden

'Tis a beautiful thing to witness a child who receives so little,  willingly give SO much. 

 "I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance."
                                                                           - Pablo Casals 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"I think Heavenly Father and Jesus love them and miss them" -Aubree

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? 
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; 
we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter...

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, 
nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, 
shall be able to separate us from the love of God, 
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
                                   -Romans 8:35-39

"Can a woman forget her sucking child,
that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?
yea, they may forget,
yet will I not forget thee.
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands"
                                                  -Isaiah 49:15-16

~A painting of some of the children in the OSSO special needs orphanage.
by Del Parson~

Monday, April 16, 2012

“Sometimes they eat the same things over and over again, but they don’t complain.” -Jacob

We were blessed to spend time in four different orphanages.  
There were differences between each orphanage, but there were always a few common factors: 
First and foremost-- the kids were ALWAYS cute! 
Second-- the orphanages were always understaffed.   
With six children I often feel that my own home is understaffed as well.... 
but this was a whole new level.  
It was a great blessing for our family to be able to help out in these orphanages 
and spend time meeting the basic needs of these sweet children.  
Much of our time was often spent feeding the kids who needed extra help.  
What a blessing it was to see their sincere gratitude for food... 
even when it was the same meal day after day.  

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not,
 but rejoices for those which he has."

Friday, April 13, 2012

"They don't have very much at all, but they are happy and laugh" -Seth

Some orphanages were better off than others.  
Some were poorly staffed with 40 children per 2 workers.  
One toilet for the entire orphanage of 50 children.  
Running water was hit and miss.   
Therapy and medical help for children with special needs was infrequent.  
Other orphanages had more funds available to them and were much better off.   
But regardless of the conditions… 
the children smiled.

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness
 and just be happy."
-Robert Brault

"One joy scatters a 100 griefs"
-Chinese Proverb

"Happiness is found in the quiet and simple moments of life."

"Gather the crumbs of happiness 
and they will make you a loaf of contentment"
- Author Unknown

 "Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.  Happiness is the spiritual experience 
of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."
-Denis Waitley

Friday, March 30, 2012

"We can't speak their language but the kids still like to play with us" ~Hayden

Within 2 hours of our arrival in Cuenca, Ecuador we were on a bus headed to an orphanage. The bus driver had his two children on the bus with him, a young boy and girl.  Our youngest two kids, Hayden and Seth climbed onto the benches nearest them.  I wondered if their shy nature would overpower the situation.  Within 30 seconds the four of them, unable to communicate in any other way, made eye contact, offered smiles, spoke their own names, then began to PLAY!  
Rock, Paper, Scissors.  Thumb Wars.  Crazy Faces.  
It is a universal desire for children to just PLAY together.
We found this to continue to be true everywhere we went.
“Play is the language of children”

~Making friends with the bus driver's children~

~Soccer at the orphanages~

~"1,2,3.... JUMP!"~

~Fist bumps~

~Shoulder Rides~


~Gathering rocks on a walk~

~Girl Talk & Snuggling~

~Sticky-Frog on a bald head is funny in ANY language!~

~This little girl had such a cute sense of humor!
She would keep her eyes open when we said "Uno! Dos!", then quickly close them when we said "Tres!"
Such a tease!~

~Climbing into an empty lap for some play time~


~Baket ball and Soccer in the Amazon Rain Forest.  
The kids were so happy to have visitors playing with them~

~Back of the bus shenanigans~


~More Soccer!  Our favorite pass time with the kids at the OSSO orphanage.
These kids played soccer long and hard!~

~These kids loved being pushed in their chairs,
but sometimes they just wanted to play goalie without any assistance!
So inspiring!~

~We played SO MUCH SOCCER that we popped the ball!
We brought the kids a new ball the next day.... GAME ON!!!~

~Being a kid and playing so hard is exhausting work~