Our first morning at the orphanage, I was greeted by Xiomara, who ran across the grassy lawn screaming, "RAAAAAQQQUUUEELLL!" and then threw her arms around me and wouldn't let go for about five minutes. I'd say that was a pretty happy welcome.
When I first saw Inecita, I was surprised that she burst into tears--a totally different reaction from Xiomara. Inecita can't talk, but she is very cognitively aware, so I asked her, "Ines, why are you crying? Are you sad?" She shook her head no. "Are you happy?" I asked. She nodded her head and then reached out for a huge hug. I think my heart melted on the spot. My sister-in-law, Ashley, and I took her to a secluded spot in the orphanage for some one-on-one time to make a crown and blow bubbles. She was all smiles.
And then there's little Carmencita Flores, who I can't help but squeeze and hug and kiss. Isn't she a doll?
This was my fifth trip to the orphanage...I've spent a total of about five months of my life there...and I love it.