Earlier this week, we started telling the story of the smallest member of our family, Kevin. Kevincito (little Kevin) arrived at Love & Hope Children’s Home in 2006 at three-years-old. Now nine-years-old, Kevin has been responsible for fostering feelings and actions of patience, gentleness, acceptance and love in our children, staff members and volunteers.
The stimulation and attention that Kevin has received at Love & Hope has helped him to thrive. Kevincito loves to sit in his highchair in the kitchen, watching the “show.” He laughs and smiles as the other kids run around, talk to each other, play, complete their homework, help cook, sing before meals and do their chores.
Kevin is not just a bystander though; the kids’ love for Kevin is apparent in their interactions with him. The others hide behind his highchair, then pop out and growl to surprise him. They stand in front of him and let him wrap his hands in their hair. They slap his hands against their own as they sing his favorite song. During birthday celebrations, the kids pop balloons on purpose to make him laugh. They give him kisses and raspberries and nuzzle their noses into his ears to make funny noises. Kevin basks in all of the attention.
If Kevin kicks his shoe off, the other kids pick it up and re-secure it on his tiny foot. They offer to help feed him a spoonful or two of his meal. If Kevin is sick or coughing, they alert his caregivers and help to pat his back. The kids love to help push him around in his stroller and counter his sounds and yells with their own.
The kids know that Kevin is different, but they don’t care. They have learned to interact with him in gentleness and patience. Quite often they wonder out loud, “Do you think Kevin will walk one day?” The kids love their hermanito (little brother) so much, and it shows in how they greet and play with him everyday. Kevin has been a teacher of love in this house.
Kevin also shares a special relationship with his caregivers. These two darling women love Kevin like a son and know him inside and out. They know the meaning of every sound he makes, the purpose of every medicine and the benefit of every food supplement he takes. His caregivers entertain him, offer him his favorite toys, give him physical therapy, spend hours making homemade baby food and feeding him. They sing songs to him and whisper the love of Jesus into little ears.
In 2007, a team of women from Ohio came to serve at Love & Hope Children’s Home for a week, doing community outreach and projects. Kevin (irresistible as he is) captured the heart of one of these women, Christine. Her affection for him was a pure, undefiled, love-the-least-of-these kind of love from the beginning. Now, almost six years later, Christine is taking Kevin home to the United States as her son!
In a few days, we will continue Kevin’s story and adoption journey, our goodbyes and his new hellos.