Hey ya’ll! I’ve been wanting to use that word all day.
This is Mari and I’m the blogger for this wonderful second day of our trip.
Our day started out taking a picture in front of a sign at the Texas Baptist Children’s Home (TBCH) where Kyle didn’t realize that he was standing in a fire ant hill and once he was informed of this proceeded to itch, take off his socks, itch again, take off his shoes, itch some more, get his socks and shoes back on and then give me phantom itches. So, that was a fun way to start out the day. (He is absolutely fine now.)
Now, about the day.
My expectations of this place were so wrong, in the best way. Having been in a group home in the past, I was expecting to see a large building with a huge room full of beds and a few workers that cycled in and out with no personal relationships with the children.
I was very mistaken.
The day began with a tour of the chapel and one of the homes where seven boys live with a married couple. The chapel was by far the cutest, most quaint little church that I have ever seen. The first thought I had when I walked in was that it would be the most beautiful place to have a wedding. (I know … I’m such a girl). There were stained glass windows. On one side there were depictions of the life of Christ. On the other side were individuals from the Bible who were not raised by their biological parents, people who God used in incredible ways. Those pieces of art spoke so deeply to my heart, so I can’t even imagine what they say to the kids who are living those stories.
After the chapel we got a tour of one of the houses. It was so incredible to see just how invested these parents are in the kids that they have in their home. Janae said tonight that she felt a great sense of restoration in this organization and I 100% agree with that. These kids are being given a chance to have some kind of normal family unit that they otherwise wouldn’t be getting. Growing up I didn’t have – and still don’t have – a present, earthly father. It took me years to realize that I have a Father who will always be present and I know will always love me. TBCH is a place where I know they will get that message if they open their hearts to it.
Next, we were off to our jobs.
Everyone else went to cleaning the kitchen and the dining hall while Shelby and I went to sort clothes that were being donated. As we were sorting and hanging up clothes in the “Clothes Closet,” we were told how it works. They receive donations and when they go up the moms and children can go in and take whatever they want. Usually when people get rid of clothing or give donations to Goodwill or Arc it’s because they don’t like them, wouldn’t wear them, and/or they’re worn. If we won’t wear them because of any of those reasons, what makes us think that anyone else would want them? When sorting through clothes for the closet, one of the rules is If you wouldn’t wear it, don’t keep it. Because chances are the kids won’t want to either.
We took a lunch break, and of course, I had to take a little ride on the swing set. We were also able to use the recreation room, which had pool tables, ping pong tables and a gaming area.
After that it was back to work.
This time it was yard work and kitchen work. I was a part of the yard work team because I hadn’t been able to be outside in the hot sun all day, so I wanted to be able to do that. I know that may have sounded very sarcastic, but that is absolutely true. I’m still missing my amazingly warm California weather. I felt pretty accomplished that I could get the mower going after one pull every time I had to start it up. The sun was not so kind to me and the grass was making my ankles incredibly itchy, but it was such a good time. I only said I was going to die about four times.
By the end of the day we were exhausted. We didn’t get to see any kids because they were at school, but it was still such a profitable day.
I have such a heart for children who feel unwanted or unloved. Today made me come to a better understanding of a passion of mine. My heart is with Down Syndrome children. I think that abortion, while there is forgiveness, healing, and restoration that can come, is absolutely awful and it breaks my heart even more when I hear of people making that decision because they know that there is something abnormal or defective about their babies.
If I had the means to, I would do the same exact thing that the TBCH does, but specifically for Down Syndrome children and adopt some of them as well. I know that’s a big dream, but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support.