Meeting Maicol

In ten years of sponsoring Compassion kids and writing letters and sending pictures and praying for them, I’ve never actually met my child. Until today. Today we drove to a small village on a sugar cane plantation an hour or so from Santa Domingo.

The homes were ramshackle and small, with peeling paint, patchwork boards, and rusty metal. The project was mostly quiet– we were arriving during school time. But here and there people sat in white plastic chairs under palm trees, staring at us as we drove up.

First on the agenda we visited the children in their classes. The preschool class was just adorable. Just look at these little faces!

We had fun asking the kids questions about their school, listening as they sang to us (at eardrum-popping levels), singing ‘Deep and Wide’ with them, and even doing the chicken dance.  (OK, must confess —  I am not so much in love with the chicken dance.  But Melanie and the kids had a blast at it.) In another room we sang the ABC song in English, and the kids countered with a cute  A-E-I-O-U song in Spanish.  When class visits were done, Steve, Melanie, Jennifer and I grabbed our gift bags out of the van and then headed to meet our kids.

My little Maicol (pronounced Michael) is eight years old and is just learning how to read.  One of the first things I showed him was a letter that my 10 year old son had written him.   He listened as the translator read the letter to him.  Then, utterly engrossed, he painstakingly sounded out the letter for himself.

Eventually we looked at the pictures, and his new soccer ball, and his new shirt.  But I think that the two biggest treasures to him in that backpack were the letter from my son, and the handful of suckers that I had tossed in at the last minute.

After the initial meeting we headed for my little guy’s home to visit with his grandmother.  She was an exuberant elderly Haitian lady, pouring sweat on this brilliantly hot day, and exclaiming to me excitedly in Creole. Thankfully our wonderful translator Augustin turned out to know a little French along with his English and Spanish, and we limped through our meeting with at least some level of understanding.  Amazingly enough, this woman is the mother of 10 children.  What are the chances that the guardian of my sponsored child would be a mother of ten, just like me?

When the grandmother was asked what she hoped for her grandson, she pulled him over to her and asked him to answer the question.  To be a baseball player was his answer. Proudly displayed on the wall of her house were high school diplomas from two of her children.  I hope that with his strong interest in reading that little Maicol will do well in school and be able to graduate from high school as well.

During the rest of the day, as we visited other areas of the little village, ate lunch, attended a school presentation, and took pictures of the children, my little Maicol bopped back and forth between me and his playmates.  He’d run off to play for a few minutes, then come back to check and see if I was still there.

He sat on my lap or next to me during the school presentation, wore my watch for several hours, and talked me out of my camera at least five different times.  By the time I left, he knew how to zoom in and out, turn off and on the camera, and toggle back and forth from picture mode to view mode.  Smart kid.

It was really hard for me to say goodbye to him, not knowing if I’d see him again in person.   One thing that visiting my child did, though, was to make me resolve to write him often.  He’s old enough to remember my visit.  But that is not the only impression I want to make on his life.

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–If you would like to sponsor a child, click on the Compassion graphic in my sidebar or visit the child sponsorship page

–If you’d like to see more wonderful pictures from the trip (most from Keely), check out Compassion’s Flickr stream and click on the Dominican trip link.

— If you’d like to read more stories from the other bloggers, read Compassionbloggers.com

{ 24 Comments }

  1. Absolutely beautiful.

  2. I am bawling. So amazing!

  3. Amazing story. So incredible that you got to meet your child in person. The pictures truly do speak volumes.

  4. I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all that your little guy’s guardian has 10 children just like you. It’s a God thing.

  5. So beautiful, all these children are just beautiful…

  6. Oh my ~ What a joy it must have been to get to spend such quality time with Maicol. And what a cutie pants! I bet you just wanted to pack him in your suitcase and bring him home. Hugs, Heather

  7. What an incredible experience that must have been!

  8. This is such an inspiration, Mary. I love that you made this trip. We started to sponsor Abenezer in Ethiopia (yes, the same name as our son) last year, and what a joy it is to get his letters and know that maybe one day we can meet.

  9. How incredible that you both have ten children. I love that she had the diplomas on the wall…truly, Maicol is headed for success with the encouragement that he is receiving.

    I have been newly convicted to pray for and write to our Compassion children more often than I do! Thank you for the descriptive writing, Mary! It makes my sponsorship come alive for me.

  10. It’s so neat how God brings people together. We need the poor as much as they need us — we need them to get rid of our materialism and greed, and we need their powerful prayers.

  11. Such beautiful children. I’m so happy that you got to meet your Maicol. The feeling must be amazing when you see first hand the difference such a small amount makes to their lives.

  12. Mary, what an awesome story. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. You are doing amazing things! God is truly showing him self to you. God bless you and keep doing what you are doing.

  13. Jesus loves the little children…each and every one. They’re just precious.

  14. Keep writing, Mary.
    We’re on the edge of our seat…
    And then down on our knees… praying.

    Now to DO.

    Thank you, friend,
    Ann

  15. Keep writing, Mary.
    We’re on the edge of our seat…
    And then down on our knees… praying.

    Now to DO.

    Thank you, friend,
    Ann

  16. Keep writing, Mary.
    We’re on the edge of our seat…
    And then down on our knees… praying.

    Now to DO.

    Thank you, friend,
    Ann

  17. Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us. I’m looking forward to the next blog. Our sponsored child lives in the DR and this week especially we are praying for her, and praying for you and the rest of the team.

  18. What a joyous day! And God truly has placed you in Maicol’s life for so many perfect reasons. Thank you for sharing such a poignant experience. I so want to travel to Brazil someday and meet our child – your trip is making the yearning very strong. Be safe! Enjoy where God leads you today!

  19. Wow! Quite an amazing and blessed trip. Praying for everyone.

  20. Reading with interest and Praying for you..for safety, and to have impact.

  21. Thank you so much for posting the pictures. It brings back so many memories for me! Hugs to all!

  22. How wonderful you were able to meet your sponsor child 🙂 I have been sponsoring a boy in Indonesia for the past 4 years and someday hope to meet, how eye opening that would be and so rewarding I would think.

    I am loving your blog, going back and reading archives. Only thing is you are giving me the adoption itch, BAD!

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