To be the head of a household or family is no small task. Yet, many of the eldest siblings who arrive at our door, have been just that, despite being merely children themselves. Often thrust into survival mode, for themselves and their younger siblings, it is an all-too-common scenario of families so fractured that the young are caring for the younger. Esperanza Viva is a long-term care option for kids with nowhere else to go. Upon arrival, they become part of our EV family…a part of your family, as partners in what God is doing here. A verse that we love and speaks to our core is Psalm 68:6, “He sets the lonely into families.” That said, with parental rights remaining intact, there is almost always a chance of reunification. There is always hope that their families will one day be capable and interested in being part of their lives once again. It is with cautious optimism that we do our best to walk with families through steps of commitment and responsibility before leaving our campus with the precious lives we’ve grown to love.
It is for this reason we said a teary and hopeful goodbye to Azúl, Italia, Jenny, and Irán Gonzalez in July of 2018. We stayed in contact with Azúl, the wise and cautious eldest brother. In January of 2020, the correspondence took a turn when he heart-wrenchingly told us of his mother’s failing health and expressed feeling desperate in how to care for everyone. Azúl had learned from his time with us, that he was safe to be open and honest in sharing his needs with us. After a few more emails, the three younger siblings plus another younger brother, Alex, whom we had not previously met, were returning to their EV family while Azúl (now 14 years old) would stay and be the strength and caretaker for his mother. Four children re-entered the EV gates on February 18th of this year. We remain optimistic for a full recovery of their mother and a lasting reunion. In the meantime, we continue to embrace them, speaking and singing Psalms over them as we go.
Italia, Alexander, Irán, and Jenny are in our care while we pray for Azúl and their mother.