The last time we came across the border with donations, they made us leave them at the border and we couldn’t bring them to the orphanage. We were crest fallen, how could this be?! The kids really needed this stuff. It was mostly second hand items in trash bags, but it still stung, and this was a few years back. This year, we had hundreds of dollars worth of new toys that were donated by many people. We wrapped most of them, we packed them in suitcases, we placed them at the bottom of our suitcase tower, but I was still nervous. There was a zero percent chance that I would leave these items meant for the orphanage at the border. What would we do? We prayed together, we gave he kids a good little script that was still true to say to the border patrol agents if they were questioned. I asked for prayers the closer we got to the border. It was then I saw a sign of the Holy Spirit and I prayed that we would be ‘divinely concealed.’
We crossed the initial border and formed a queue where guards stood firmly along each side. Should I wear my sunglasses? Remove them? Should I be smiling, or does that look like a psycho? Should I be talking ‘casually’ to Andrew, or just chill the freak out? Every single time we cross to border, even without donations which we did give up bringing after the last time, they point us over to the side. They check our car, ask us where we’re going, why? Sometimes take our stuff, good times.
Our distance to the double wall of guards shortened, my heart pumped all my blood, I couldn’t focus, we had been collecting these toys and gifts and books and bibles for a month. We inched closed until it was our turn, I prepped my speech, removed and replaced my glasses a couple of times, and the female guard who I was prepared to pull us over, looked down and away from our car. And we were still driving. I stared at her. The male guard on the right of us coming up next, also looked away. We drove right past and merged onto the high way. They didn’t look at us.
They didn’t see us.
They didn’t pull us over.
They didn’t take our donations.
We were in the car, driving, we didn’t have to fight or defend.
“What just happened?” Andrew asked.
“They DIDN’T EVEN LOOK AT US!”
“God was helpin’ up, guys” Poppy said smiling, stating the obvious that she saw they we obviously didn’t.
We sped down the freeway in shock and awe and thankfulness, feeling this freedom and guidance and joy we hadn’t expected to feel.
The first and only time we had not been pulled over?
We pulled into our Air Bnb and couldn’t quite believe the proximity to the beach. We all went to bed and prepared to bring everything to the orphanage the next day.
The next morning, we loaded the car, and told the kids we wanted them helping. That we had had our gifts, and this was our day to help kids who hadn’t receive gifts and didn’t have families. They all nodded their heads. It always the hardest for Finley to understand kids without families. We pulled up and our friends greeted us as they kept the kids inside for us to unload. We carried everything in and placing it under the tree. The each opened their Jesus Storybook Bible in Spanish, then moved onto the toys. They were so calm and kind, and gentle and didn’t fight over the stuff, but were so sweet, and genuinely thankful.
Little girls silently unwrapped little baby dolls smiling up at them and gently touched their cheeks. They were instantly the mama they never had, and cradled and cared for them with bottles and tuck ins.
We thought it may be a fun, relaxing day enjoying our time playing with new toys with the kids, and it was–for me! hah. It was a sweatshop day for Andrew and Savannah who spent the entire day putting together cribs and huge doll house and soccer goals, etc. All. Day. Long. Haha! But oh so worth it.
“Hey Andrew, want to go play some games with us outside? Oh, no? Oh, maybe later” 😉
“Hey Andrew…nevermind…” 😉
I don’t pick favorites, but if I did, it may just be Valentina. Beyond the most precious, gentle, kindest kid in the world, so it’s inevitable.
Michelle has contagious joy.
Finley got in line with the rest of the kids at lunch time for his jaimaica, mole, beans and fresh chicken.
Poppy had zero clue this was a time of serving, and instead thought this was the best play date ever with finally the appropriate amount of children to her liking, so thanks mom and dad.
THANK YOU!!!! TO everyone who donated a toy, or a box of toys or money, etc. It was an incredible day and these kids are going to be enjoying the toys for years to come. Plus, play is just so therapeutic and fun and healthy for kids, so what a true gift. Thank you for sewing seeds into children who have lost so much.
The rest of the 4 days we were there, we relaaaxed. It was just after the holidays, we were living on the beach, and we were focusing on rest, connection and nothing really else. It was nice for me to be away from home so I didn’t get caught up in tasks, it was amazing and so needed. We had a few friends drive down to meet us, which was amazing and the kids caught a bunch of waves.
We had an almost empty beach to ourselves almost everyday!
I wonder how Finley would feel if I framed this?
We found the gem of the dinner place, Los Pelicanos and ended up going there two nights in a row. “We’re BACCKKKK!”
Popotla, this was an incredible place to visit, and also sort of freaked the kids out, which meant they were silent and wide eyed and glued to our sides.
It was an amazing trip for so many reasons, a family time we’ll cherish forever, a time of God giving us a special miracle, and a chance to bless some of the sweetest kids on the planet.
Thank you again so much for donating, your donation lives on even right now months after giving.