This is my favorite picture of Jose. It was taken during his graduation from kindergarten last summer.
He is so adorable and should have been a child model - of course BEFORE he smashed into some walls in his dorm while playing too hard for the 2nd time this year and got his 2nd round of stitches to his forehead which have now left a pretty incredible scar. Now he looks more like a pirate to me than anything else.
He is probably a good 6 inches to a foot shorter than all the rest of the kids in his 1st grade class at school but what he lacks in size he makes up for with his incredible punch.... yes literal punch. He can give a kid a nose bleed with one hit. I shouldn't be bragging about that and it makes me furious when they fight - which always seems to happen literally at the dinner table in front of the entire orphanage - but you gotta give a little guy credit for his strengths.
Academically, Jose struggles. He behaves well, does what you ask him to do, and gets compliments from his teacher daily about how incredible his handwriting is but something just hasn't clicked yet for him as far as reading goes. We know that he is super intelligent. But I pray that emotionally and psychologically something heals so he can move on and learn to read. Pray for Jose. I know he's smart, he just isn't ready to show that off yet.
The biggest change that I've seen in Jose in the past year is his ability to put himself to sleep at night. He now sleeps in his own bed for the first time in his life. His fears are being calmed and I praise the Lord for that. I praise God for the ways that Jose now feels more secure, loved, protected and alright. Jose was the first child to start calling his new dorm parents, "ma" and "pa" for mom and dad. He loves them and honestly feels like they are his parents. I am so unbelievably thankful for them and the ways that they have connected with so many of these boys. Jose deserves people like them in his life.
Jose you are a beautiful child. I am so thankful for all the things God has taught you this past year about who He is and how you can trust in Him. God will never leave you to be alone in this world. And besides... your 2nd favorite person on Earth (2nd to his mom) is moving here in September. Sammy - the boys are more than pumped and continue to pray for you each week as you raise support to move here.