Loving on my Canaries (Fall 2013)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Heart in two places...

So, my time in Guatemala is coming to an end...and I have mixed feelings about it. I have loved every minute of these last six weeks, exploding diapers and all! But, I am excited to get to see all my friends and family and to start wedding planning with Whitney!!

Today was a particularly rough day. I have been feeling somewhat sad all week in anticipation of leaving my kids, but today was extra sad because one of them left me. My sweet Ovidio whom I have known for over 2 years went home today. I am so glad that he's in good health and able to return to his family, but it's always hard when one of the kids leaves! When Howie came to tell me he was leaving this afternoon I immediately found Cierra and we ran to the Chicks' bathroom to see him. We took him to his room and held him and took pictures with him until it was time for him to go. I was fighting back tears as Carolina, his nanny, said goodbye and asked for a picture with him. I could tell she was holding in her tears as well. As soon as Carolina took Ovi to his parents the tears flowed from my eyes. I just stood in the Chicks' bedroom for 15 minutes just crying. I know that it is a wonderful thing and he and his family were so happy! But I'm still going to miss him so much! Since I've been here 9 children have gone home, but this was probably the hardest one for me because he is one of my "not favorites."

me and Ovidio

Cierra and Ovidio

Goodbye kisses!

Giving my little man a goodbye kiss!

Carolina and Ovidio

While many kids have gone home this fall, many new ones have come, most recently a new baby girl in the dolphins! Her name is Guadalupe, she was born October 25, 2013, and she weighs only 4 lbs. She is just the prettiest newborn ever!
Guadalupe, our newest dolphin
It's really awesome to see new kids come in and to be here when they are finally healthy enough to go home, even though it is really sad to see them go. The parents of these kids love them so much and they just want their children to have the best life they can provide, which sometimes means they have to give them up for a while. But when the children are ready to go home, the joy on their faces and the faces of their parents is indescribable! I am so glad to be able to be a part of such an amazing place!

Part of what makes it hard to see the children go home is wondering what their situation at home will be like. Thankfully, I won't have to worry about that for long because Orphan's Heart has a brand new sponsorship program!! Each child will have a sponsor who will provide food and basic necessities for the family and, when the child is old enough, the money will help send them to school! I pray that God will provide each child at the center, as well as many of the children who have gone home, with a loving sponsor to help support them and their family so that they will be able to return home and continue to receive proper nutrition. Soon there will be a website including pictures and information for each child that is in need of a sponsor. I ask that you all pray about this opportunity to help give a child a better life. Once the website is up and running, I will post the link on my blog so you can check it out! Or, if you have been to the center and already know a child that you would like to sponsor, go to and click on Become an Orphan's Heart Sponsor at the bottom center of the page (or click here). Be sure to put the name of the child you want to sponsor in the comments box (first and middle names, the country they are in, and the group they are in if you can). Please, please, please pray about this amazing chance you have to greatly impact a the life of a child!

I am going to miss being with my kids so much!! I can't believe I only have one day left! I'm definitely going to spend as much time as possible with all of these beautiful children! Here are some pictures from my six weeks in Guatemala:

Loving on my sweet Canaries!

Abelardo, Domingo, and Hugo


Irma <3


Josue Daniel, aka Canche! He went home 2 weeks ago.

Marianita :)

Sweet Brenda!

Twins! Marlen and Merlin

Elizabeth posing for the camera

Maria Elena!!

Funny faces with Odilia :)

A typical night with the Squirrels...I love them so much!

Angelica loves to make silly faces!

Jose Miguel, aka Pelon, aka Señor Tortuga, aka this little guy!!

Ingrid with her crazy hair! No worries...we fixed those bangs :)



Esdras :)


Sandy is such sweetie!

My little man, Edwin!

Kimberly Alicia, aka China!

Melany is so ticklish!

Carlos Enrique!

Osman! (aka Mynor)

Cierra playing with the baby chicks!

My little chick, Valiente


Kimberly Paola decided to take a nap...


Parrot at Hotel Soleil in Antigua

Ruins in Antigua

Classic Wilder face :)

Maria Herlinda!

Angelica with her birthday gifts, a Bible and a scarf!


Sweet Brenda learned how to walk!!

Twins, Gerson and Andres! Love my boys!!

Finding new ways to hang our socks #GuatemalaLife

Mauricio is a dragon!

Angelica holding Marianita

Edwin is Wolverine!

Maria Asunción loved her face paint!

All the Canaries, October 18, 2013

Wilder sometimes sleeps sitting up...and usually with his eyes partially open

Cerra de la Cruz, overlooking Antigua

Cierra, me, and Kaysey at Cerra de la Cruz

Yessica standing up!!!

Ana :)



Jaci Velasquez with all the nannies when she came to film part of a documentary for Food for the Poor.

Jaci Velasquez playing with some of the boys!

Alejandra helping Elizabeth with some exercises!

Kaysey helping Paola stand up!

Herlinda giving Lesly an awkward face hug!! 

My baby girl, Maria Fernanda!

Some of the Squirrels visiting Christi, their regular nanny, who was helping out in the Dolphins

There's a sink in the shower...weird.

Went to Iglesia del Camino!! Love that church :)

Saw a cute kitten in a store in Antigua:)

Creepy dolls in a store in Antigua

Cierra dancing La Danza de los Moros

Howie dancing La Danza de los Moros

Lantern floating up in front of the church

Cierra eating gelato

Pretty candles in the spa at Hotel Soleil

Irma sitting up!! So proud of my girl!

Jeremías moved from the Dolphins to the Bunnies!! Woohoo!!

Ingrid is very sleepy...

Sweet Delmi finally laughing!!

Jessica loves that tricycle!!
Crocheted a scarf while I was sick and stuck in bed for a few days.
Cierra and I in Antigua

It is so hard to believe that I have already been here for 6 weeks! The time just flew by, even faster than my internship last year. I have had the most amazing time here with all my babies...I wish I could bring them all home with me! I have already started the countdown to when I will hopefully return...only 218 days, God willing! I am excited to go home to my sweet babies, Noah and Presley, and to everything and everyone that I have missed while I've been here, but sadly saying "hello" to all of them means saying "adios" to everything and everyone here. It is so hard having my heart in two places at once...if only my body could do the same! I can't even describe what it feels like to leave this place after living here for so long...only my fellow interns will understand this heart wrenching feeling. It is unbelievably heartbreaking to be separated from the kids and nannies and, no matter how much we miss our homes in the States, we will always miss being at our home in Guatemala.

Thank you all so much for all of your love, prayers, and support while I've been here! It means more to me than you will ever know!

Love Always,
Rachel, aka Raquel :)