Written by Karen Fitton, Emir’s Host Mom:
Eight years ago when I became Helen’s sponsor, the letter I received from the director of NPH Guatemala said “Welcome to our family.” At the time I didn’t really understand what that meant. But over the years as I have met and spent time with NPH staff, volunteers, pequeños and pequeñas, I have often felt part of the family. But never before have I felt this so much as I did last Friday.
Friday was my birthday and I was expecting a quiet evening at home with my husband, our boys and our son for the year, Emir. Our boys asked over and over again when could they have cake and when would I open presents. I told them we would wait until Emir came home from school. They hesitantly agreed and anxiously watched for Emir’s arrival. When he walked in the door, they were very excited. Now we could have cake. Emir went to put his backpack away – or so I thought. A few minutes later I heard singing. Around the corner came Julissa and Wendy carrying a cake with Emir behind them playing the guitar while they all sang “Las Mañanitas”, a traditional Latin American birthday song. We were joined a bit later by Jean-Francois and Kara. What a wonderful surprise and honor!
As everyone settled in around the table and began eating and visiting I looked around. I realized that this is what the greeting meant eight years ago. We are part of the NPH family and they are a part of our family. Thank you Emir, Julissa, Wendy and Jean-Francios for making my birthday special and for being a part of our family and allowing us to be a part of yours.