Below is a post written by Northwest Regional sponsor, Barb Schultz! Last month she visited NPH Nicaragua and got to meet her goddaughter for the first time in person! Here is her story:
We first encountered NPH through our parish in Sumner, WA. My daughter, Megan, and I attended an event to see the dancers from one of the homes perform, and then heard the amazing stories from some of the pequenos. God led our family to a decision to sponsor a child – so my daughter picked little Marbely from the photos posted on the big board in the lobby of the church. Her birthday was the day before Megan’s so she thought that was pretty special.
For these past many years, we have sent our monthly donations, and written letters and cards back and forth with Marbely. I always thought it would be wonderful to meet her someday, but to be honest, I never really believed it would happen. Nicaragua seemed another world away.
Then this spring, I got the annual postcard in the mail announcing the NPH NW’s yearly trip. I was just ready to send it to the recycle bin, when suddenly it hit me. This year they were visiting Nicaragua, Marbely, now 22, would soon be leaving the NPH home there, and Megan’s summers at home in between college may be limited in the future. This was our chance!
We took the leap of faith and booked the trip – so excited to meet our god daughter after all these years. Luck was with us and Marbely was at the home on break from the university where she had just begun classes.
I was a little anxious about how our meeting would go since our communication had been pretty basic in letters due to the language barrier. But when we first met, all fears dissolved. We hugged as if she was truly another daughter/sister. A little shy at first, Marbely was more and more talkative as the week went on. Her basic English and Megan’s basic Spanish (and both laughing at my attempts to speak) worked well enough for us to share how excited we were to meet her and see the home that has been hers for all these years. We talked, we laughed, we taught each other card games and played soccer. It was truly a touching experience for all 3 of us. We even managed to involve my husband and son by sending voice messages over a phone ap.
By the end of the week, Megan felt like she truly had a sister and I another daughter. There were lots of tears and hugs when it came time to say goodbye – for now. We’ve already been in touch several times since arriving home. We have a real person on the other end of our letters and messages now, rather than just a name and photos. She is part of our family and we love her!