Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Esteven Setpember 11, 2009 - January 26, 2010

Today was a hard day. I woke up to a phone call from Patti Sue telling me that baby Esteven passed away last night. Esteven was brought to us in September as a newborn because he had so many health problems. His 4 1/2 months of life were filled with oxygen tanks, pulse monitors, and hospital runs. But this little kid was such a trooper. He fought harder for his life than I've ever seen anyone do. We called him "el buen luchador"... or the good fighter. Somehow though, in all of his pain, Esteven had such a peace about him. As Patti Sue said in his obituary, when he looked at you it was like he was looking at your soul. I think its because to him, thats all he knew- his soul. A body that worked was a foreign concept to him.

So when I got to school this morning I had to tell my kids the news. Jeniffer and Jessica, the two girls who live with Patti Sue, already knew because they had been living with him. The other kids never really saw Esteven, but they had been praying for him since he was born. When I told them this morning that he passed away, they all kinda looked disappointed and then one of them said, "why?". The kids could tell that Jeniffer and Jessica were hurting and they all looked at me with this puzzling question of... "but why???"

So I told them this: When I was getting ready this morning I asked God the same question... "why God? why this precious little baby that was fighting so hard? why couldn't you have healed him.. given him a miracle?" I wanted so badly to talk to Esteven 10 years from now and tell him how he spent his first year of life in a little bed with tubes hooked up to him. But God quickly reminded me of this... He said, "Alison, I have healed him. I did give him a miracle. He's with me now. I sent him to this world to give you all joy. To teach you the beauty of someone's soul. But I am ready for him... I've missed him.. and its time for us to be together." Now Esteven gets to be a normal baby. One who breathes on his own, laughs and crawls and runs and talks and plays games with Jesus.

Some of the kids started crying when I told them this (I was tearing up too) and then they started asking questions about heaven. I asked them if they were 100% sure that they too would go to heaven when they die and many of them said "mmm yea".. and others shrugged. So we talked about how you get to heaven.. about how you cant do anything good enough to get there... its not by your actions. But by.... (and Maribel said) "Grace, Miss Alison". What a beautiful heart that girl has... she was totally right. So we talked about grace, and about having Jesus in our hearts. Then the kids decided we should pray together to ask for Jesus' grace.

At Esteven's burial, Patti Sue had Tia Heidi read Isaiah 55:8-13. I started crying when I heard it because it could not have been more appropriate. I already know one of the reasons why God sent Esteven to this earth... his life was a witness to seven precious little students in my class. They learned of God's grace and how to invite Jesus into their lives.

I praise Jesus for the little life of Esteven. And as my mom just wrote to me, maybe my Nanny is up there rocking him right now....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Baby..... Nanki.

Hi Everyone! Today is a good day because the internet is fixed and I am sitting at home in my pajamas able to connect to the outside world. :) What a great feeling!

Christmas break was such a great time with family and friends. It was so refreshing and rejuvenating. It also made me realize how MUCH I love these kids and missed them. Especially Nanki... who I like to call "my baby". I had so much fun with my Mom and Grammy over break going down the baby aisles at all the stores and looking for baby clothes for Nanki. One of these pictures is of what we ended up buying. :)

Nanki grew so much during the 3 weeks I was gone! He's getting nice and chubby and learning how to smile and make funny faces. He is also exploring his sounds and loves saying "goo". He is SO precious.

One day after school when I went over to play with Nankipoo, I had the opportunity to meet his dad. His dad came in from his village in the jungle to visit him and see how his foot and hip were doing. It was nice to meet him and learn more about Nanki's family out in the jungle. By the end of the visit, he had taken a picture of me with him and Nanki and asked me to be his "madrina", or godmother.

Please pray for precious baby Nanki, that God will provide the surgery he needs for his hip and his foot and that He will grow him into a strong man of God. And for the 5 years he is with Casa de Fe, that he will learn how high and deep and wide the love of God is for him.