It's been 2 months since I've posted on here. Things have been intense to say the least. In the past 2 months....
4 new boys moved into my dorm
3 boys moved out
I now have 10 boys
all my kids started school - they attend 4 different schools
we've survived through tantrums, bad reports from school, tears, the flu, a hurricane, you name it really
We celebrated Sammy's birthday, then mine, then Cesareo's and most recently Gustavo's with pizza, ice cream and a DQ ice cream cake for Gustavo because that was the desire of his heart.
My boys are flying through our chapter books so fast that it's hard to keep up with them.
And a precious local businessman here in Monterrey enrolled a bunch of the Douglas boys into the Rayados Soccer Academy. This is a first for the 40 some odd year history of this particular orphanage. He has paid for them to enter into a very prestigious soccer league. They practice 4 days each week at beautiful fields and are improving a ton due to how intense their workouts are and how good the other kids are at soccer. I pick up the boys from practice each day. The kids in this league wear $100 cleats and $100 professional team jerseys. The other moms and dads are well... rich, pale skinned, blonde, american looking, BMW suv driving, Rayados loving parents. And then there is little old me picking up my rather dark skinned, often poorly dressed "orphan" kids from "the orphanage" in my Ford taurus that I pack 10 boys plus myself into everyday. (racial stigmas in current day Mexico are kind of like in the south in America like 40 years ago) I've felt self conscious picking up my herd of children around this crowd and I know my boys have too. I've spent the past 2 months trying to figure out how much this is costing the man who is paying for everything and how my boys ended up at this academy.
Today when I arrived to pick up the boys, I saw all the moms in their heels out by the field with cameras and it looked like there was a huge team meeting going on which intimidated me for whatever reason so I shrunk back and stood maybe 30 yards away to wait for my boys. Within a few minutes I realized that this "party" was for the kids from the orphanage. All the parents had come out in full force to buy all the orphanage boys soccer balls, cleats, jerseys, goalie gloves, chips, gatorade and to give them used cleats (really nice ones) and clothing donations. Cesareo saw me first and immediately ran over to show me his new gear. At first, I was honestly a little embarrassed for my boys who have tried so hard to not be known at this league as "the orphanage boys." So to see them receiving "handouts" from people that they don't know well didn't rub me well. But within about 10 minutes of watching these families keep pulling out really nice shoes and cleats and jerseys and more soccer balls and everything we've been trying so hard to provide for our kids so that they fit in - I literally just started crying. Our boys have been going to practice in Converse and without soccer balls for 2 months now. I just found out last week that every boy has to come with his own soccer ball - oops! And that anyone who doesn't bring a ball has to run laps at the beginning of practice. Every douglas kid was given not ONE but TWO brand new soccer balls today.
Watching them take a huge team photo with their coach literally made me cry. All of it is just so extravagant.... one of the best teams and leagues in Monterrey and my boys get to participate and practice and despite my doubts from the beginning apparently they are going to get to play in the games too. A year ago, participating in a real soccer league was my boys' highest and most unattainable dream but now it's a reality. The man who has been behind the scenes fighting for this to be possible is a believer. This is the Lord showing once again how much He loves these boys. For once in their lives - through all the abuse and neglect and hurt and disappointment and abandonment they've experienced- they can tangibly see God's extravagant love on display in their lives in technicolor. And it's beautiful and honestly just reckless. We eat beans and eggs for dinner every single night but my boys get to play at this academy - INSANE!
pictures soon... the fields are beautiful and so are my boys.
Thank you to all of you who pray for me and for the boys - we need it and I'm grateful for each and every one of you.