“If we get to be together, can we have one long table, with the turkey in the middle, like they do in the movies?!” The young boy’s brown eyes lit up as he made his earnest request. Back2Back staff quickly agreed and began planning the in-person holiday party.
All celebrations have looked different for people around the world for the last year. A partnering children’s home near Monterrey has been no different. No child returned to extended family for the holidays, instead, this year, government mandates meant children stayed with caregivers in the children’s homes.
“We were concerned how the children would take the news,” shared Lisa Bursey, Back2Back staff. “They look forward to visiting extended family, and we were sure there would be disappointment at having to stay.” Staff were pleasantly surprised when the announcement was met with elation. One young boy remarked, “We get to be one big family; I’m so excited!”
The caregivers went all out decorating the home- lights and trees in every room and two hand carved nutcrackers. They wanted the time to be special because it was unlike previous holidays for many of the children. They did share their meal at a large table, just like in the movies.
A 12-year old girl, Ana*, who had never celebrated holidays at the children’s home before, walked into the room and cried. Her younger brother asked her with wide eyes, “Why are you crying?! This is so awesome!”
His sister kept crying, so he asked again, “Why are you sad?”
“I’m… not!” she replied, smiling broadly. She had never seen such elaborate preparations and she was overwhelmed by the moment.
What could have been a sad day or underwhelming experience ended up being a memorable, family-style celebration for 12 children and the safe adults in their lives. The impact was possible thanks to prayer, support, and your advocacy. Together, we are modeling family-style care and reminding every child they are known and loved.