For the past several weeks our routine has been a bit different than normal. Yes, about 2 p.m. Scout moves to the front windows and hangs out until she hears the squeek of the mail truck tires. Then she starts to whine to be let out. I break from whatever it is Im doing and yell "Wyatt, mail's here!" He comes tearing down the stairs running toward the kitchen silverware drawer. I open the front door to let Scout out and Wyatt meets me at the front door with a table knife. The mail carrier gives Scout a treat.
And then boxes start to come. He makes one trip, two trips back to his truck, sometimes three.
Wyatt has become masterful at opening boxes with a table knife, knowing now exactly how to find the open edges and slide the knife under the packing tape.
This has been our habit for the past four weeks or so.
The Craft Hope deadline has passed. The dolls are in. And boy are they IN! 387 sweet dollies have arrived from all over the US and 12 countries including Australia, Canada, Brazil, Morocco, Japan, and Scotland. They are now getting to know each other and readying themselves for the next leg of their journey to Nicaragua.
And the notes...the notes that came along with the dolls have been just as amazing as the dolls themselves. Notes from 3 year old little girls and notes from 76 year old women. Some of you rallied your sewing or craft groups to participate. Some made dolls with their children and talked about poverty and those with less. And some learned to sew for the first time through this project, reconnecting to the women in their families who made dolls long ago. One woman made two dolls in honor of the two sons she is picking up at an orphanage in Africa this week. And one woman who thought she was not going to be able to have children found out she was expecting the day she finished her doll. She considers her doll to be very special and hopes the doll's new owner gets their deepest, special prayers answered too. How wonderful is that?
One of the things our Nicargua missions group talked about last year that has stuck with me is the thought that these children that live at Casa Bernabe deserve the best that we can give them. Although it might be our nature to want to give them the holey t-shirts we no longer wear, or a mismatched set of sheets that our grandmother gave us eons ago and are now about threadbare. We tend to think that it really doesn't matter what we give them, that they will be appreciative of whatever they can get. And there is some truth to that. They are extremely appreciative of anything we bring down with us. But really...as children just like yours and mine...don't they deserve the best? As children who have survived physical abuse and poverty and who knows what else...Don't they deserve the best of everything? The best food? The cleanest water? The softest bed?
Looking at these dolls spread out all over my living room, I know that these children will be receiving the best. It is so clear that those of you who made dolls, took extra special care in picking out fabrics and planning out how you would paint or stitch the eyes on. They truly are a reflection of your hearts and your regard for these children.
Thank you for that. Thank you for everything friends. From the very depths of my being, thank you.
We had hoped for maybe 30-40 dolls for the Casa Bernabe Orphanage. But you all blew me away with what arrived on our doorstep. We will not only have enough dolls for all of the Casa Bernabe orphanage (leaving some with the staff for the children that yet to arrive), but we also have enough to take with us when we visit a daycare and feeding center in the Managua city dump (La Chureca). So please know that the doll you made WILL find a home with a child who will love it.
I don't leave for Nicaragua for two more weeks, but that will give me plenty of time to pack them up and then work on my own packing. And of course, I'll be posting while I am down there. So stay tuned, the story is not over yet.
Thank you again for being the hands and feet of all that is good in this world.
P.S. The newest Craft Hope project has been posted. This time its hats and booties and baby blankets for infants in an orphanage in three villages in India. The deadline for Craft Hope project 3 is July 25.