Who God says I am

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Child of God
In January of this year, two of our girls celebrated their fifteenth birthdays with a joint quinceañera. A quinceañera is like a sweet sixteen party. It is a time to celebrate a girl becoming a young woman, a very special occasion that families and friends celebrate together. Both girls were placed with us by the government, so we cannot share their real names or faces.
Fearfully & wonderfully made
One of the girls, Valeria, in pink, has lived with us since she was 11 and has spent her whole adolescence in our Home. At this point her family will probably not be coming to take her back. Valeria is a talented artist; she loves to draw and paint with great detail. She is always adding special touches to make things pretty.
The other gin blue, came to our Home last February with three younger brothers. The state has determined that Lidia and her brothers could return home to their mom if she would leave her current husband. Lidia’s mom is choosing to stay with her husband over being with her four children. Lidia arrived only a short time before her 15th birthday. She originally didn’t want a big party but later changed her mind.
The quinceañera was a beautiful event. Friends from the U.S. donated money to cover the expenses of the dresses and party. First, the two girls had their hair and makeup carefully done. The girls wore stunning dresses with tiaras, jewelry and hoop skirts. While they were getting prepared, the younger girls watched with excitement and fascination. Two of them, each currently thirteen years old, dreamily expressed their wishes of what their quinceañeras could be like, and how they could also share the memorable event. Once Lidia and Valeria were prepared, they were escorted to the church in the ‘chauffeured’ car.

Created with a purpose
There was a special service at the church. Lidia and Valeria walked down the aisle holding lovely bouquets as the packed congregation stood. The service emphasized the importance of the girls dedicating their hearts and lives to God as they become young women. They were prayed for and dedicated. They were then introduced to the congregation as young women. The children and staff from our Home surrounded and hugged them as their proud family.
Afterwards the fiesta moved to an elegant event space in Ensenada. There was a lovely party with delicious food and drinks, music, gifts and celebrating. The children from the Home loved it.
As a mom of young adult women, I watched the two girls throughout the event with a mother’s perspective. Valeria appeared generally happy and enjoyed herself. She appreciated the dressing up, attention and special celebration. It was a different, bittersweet experience for Lidia. She clearly wanted to be involved, but she frequently had a look of sorrow and pain in her expression. It broke my heart that she was longing to celebrate this important moment with her mother. At one point during the evening, there was a dance for the girls with their father figures. Obviously their birth fathers were not part of the event. Several caring men from the Home and church took turns dancing with the girls. Lidia was wiping her eyes as she danced. It was beautiful, sad and touching, and brought tears to my eyes. The girls were celebrating an important rite of passage with a family that cares deeply for them, although it’s not their birth family. God knew them in the womb and had a plan for them to be loved and celebrated at this special time in our Home without their birth families.
YOU are His handiwork
You are part of God’s plan and family for Lidia and Valeria. You share in the work of teaching our children who they are in Christ.Your prayers, love and support help us to continue to care for these girls, and the other children God brings to us.