Psalm 68:6 says that God “sets the lonely in families.” We are so excited to announce that after a four-year adoption process, Kevincito (little Kevin) is finally going home to be with his family! Last week we started telling Kevin’s story: how he arrived at Love & Hope Children’s Home, how he has grown and improved, how he has taught every person in this home about love.
Christine first met Kevin in 2007 on a short-term mission trip. She had come with a team of women to do community outreach and other projects, but would leave with a calling. Kevincito caught Christine’s eye and she loved him right away. Shortly after that first trip to El Salvador, Christine and her husband Dan felt a nudge to pursue Kevin’s adoption.
International adoption can be a long, frustrating and unpredictable process. It took Dan and Christine four long years to get everything in order to be able to take Kevin home. They continued to visit during this time, sent him special toys, and kept in contact with us about his health and therapy. Dan and Christine also prepared everything in Ohio for Kevin’s arrival. They didn’t know exactly when their new son would arrive, but they have known for quite some time who his doctors and therapists would be.
Once the process was complete in both the United States and El Salvador, things moved fast. Dan and Christine had about a month’s notice before they had to be in El Salvador to stand before a judge. After said court date last Wednesday, Kevin was their son!
Saying goodbye to Kevin has not been easy. Thankfully, he was able to spend some special time with his grandfather and his caregivers before leaving our home. Kevin’s grandpa came to Love & Hope the day before the court hearing to say goodbye. He has faithfully visited Kevin since he arrived at our home, even bringing food for Kevin to every visit. The staff and volunteers at Love & Hope have always admired the obvious love that Kevin’s grandpa has for his grandson. We are confident that he brought Kevin to us six years ago out of pure love, selflessly sacrificing their close relationship so that Kevin could live and be healthier.
Kevin also went to the beach for a day with his two caregivers. Both of them treat Kevin like a son, and letting him go has been no easy task. They are happy to know that Kevin will have a family and receive state-of-the-art care, but heartbroken to see him leave. These two women cared for Kevincito with a gentleness and affection that demonstrated nothing but pure love and dedication. We know that Kevin will miss them too.
The night before the court hearing, we held a despedida (farewell) for Kevin at home. First, we played some Kevincito themed games. The little kids did a relay race: pop a balloon as fast as you can in front of Kevin’s high chair. Then some of the older children taste-tested some of Kevin’s food. They had to guess what each food was!
Next, Rachel allowed time for the kids to talk about Kevin, share stories about him, ask questions, and then finished with a prayer. We sang and recorded Kevin’s favorite song, “Alabaré,” so that Dan and Christine can play it for him in Ohio. We finished the party with some pizza and a cake in the shape of an airplane.
This past weekend we were fortunate to see Kevin one more time at Pizza Hut. The kids had fun playing on the playground, eating pizza and greeting Kevin. When it was time to leave, everyone took a moment to say their final, bittersweet goodbyes to Kevincito. ¡Te amamos, Kevincito!
This story is far from over. We here at Love & Hope cannot wait to see how God fulfills his abundant promises for Kevin in Ohio. The kids are excited to talk to Kevin and watch him grow via Skype. We are hopeful that one day he will be able to return to El Salvador to visit.
More than that, we look forward to the day when Kevincito will have a perfect body. The day that Kevin and his Salvadoran brothers and sisters will run and play together down streets of gold, then sit down together at the foot of their Jesus.