I can’t begin to describe what kind of day we had yesterday. You know when you plan for something, dream of something, think of what it’s going to be like…. and then it happens…and it blows every expectation you had or could have hoped for. Well, our day was even better than that!!
So, my family’s charity Hope For Mexico arrived in Mexico on Friday….we got settled in at our friends place, went to an unbelievable party with our friends here in Mexico and then headed up to Dolores Hidalgo to pick up all the school supplies we bought for our four schools. When we arrived at the shop, everything was bagged and waiting for us. Juana, the owner kindly offered a reduced rate as a part of a donation. She went above and beyond by offering a truck delivery of the supplies the next morning at the DIF (the organization that runs the four schools) at no extra charge.
We left Guanajuato as the sun was rising over the mountains filled with anticipation. When we arrived at the DIF everyone was waiting for us, it was clear we were to have an entourage for our day of tours. We sat in the offices over coffee before heading out and got to know the people we had been working with for months, but I hadn’t had the chance to meet them face to face yet. And let me tell you….same organization (the DIF)….as our adoption process, in the same country…..but nothing prepared us for the open arms that were waiting for us. Some might say…yeah….well of course…you don’t want to take something from them this time….you are coming with money to give and asking for nothing. But that was not it. Not at all. It was 8 years of building credibility in a country that has no reason to trust us. It was 8 years of friendship with Cesar and his family that got us in the doors and heard for the first time. It was a life lesson that sunk in even deeper than before…”Do what you say you are going to do.” And do it quickly. These people were honoured to meet “us”. We were treated like Kings and Queens (and princesses) for the day and they didn’t have to do that.
At each school we visited a ceremonial celebration was set up for us. All the kids were dressed in their Sunday best….waiting in the courtyards for us. Sound systems were set up…like come on….I don’t even think these kids have even seen a microphone in their little lives. All for us. We were introduced and I had to say something at each school….YIKES….big fear of mine. But my daughter turned to me and said…”Mommy, don’t be nervous….they’re just kids.” Wow…..she’s so right. From that point on, I just took a deep breath and took in the moment. Not letting a moment go by without recognizing how lucky we were.
And then came the moment that I nearly lost it. I had no idea….the DIF had made plaques to say thank you for Hope For Mexico, but not only did not I not know this…but the plaques were actually already carved into the walls of the schools, painted around and looked like they have been there forever. And what hit me was…they will be there forever. Each school had an unveiling of the plaque and we each took turns pulling back the curtains. The last school, the Mayor of Dolores Hidalgo joined us and he and I revealed our plaque together.
But the absolute greatest of all….the best moments of the day came when I watched my daughter immerse herself in a dream that came true. She loved every minute of it…and when you looked into the eyes of the kids you could actually see the joy we brought them…even if for one day. I knew going on this adventure would change the lives of some children and the best is yet to come there….but it changed us as a family too. And it all comes back to our the saying we used as the symbol our wedding ten years ago…in Mexico, where our journey here began. “En la union esta la fuerza” – In unity there is strength. It’s not just me, or my family of three….it’s our “entourage” that will continue to make the differences we dreamt up not so long ago, our friends here in Mexico and those at home who have supported us and believed in our dream.
Meet some of our “kids”
Stay tuned….more stories to come.