Gloria arrived in April just before her birthday. Her actual birthday passed before we realized from her paperwork that it was her birthday. We celebrated shortly after realizing our mistake. Sadly, Gloria didn't know her own birthday, which is why she hadn't told us. Gloria is in House 3. She turned 10 years old. Gloria has a very big personality placed in a little girl's body. Her voice is the one that can often be heard above the rest barking orders to the other kids. She is a hard worker and is contantly looking for ways to help. She is a pleasure to be around. Because she had never before attended school, she is only in the first grade.
Our daughter Abi also celebrated her birthday in the last part of April. She turned 3, although most Paraguayans think she is much older. She is tall for her age. Abi has been learning Spanish very rapidly the last few months and she makes statements every day with new vocabulary. She is even picking up a few Guarani words, for which I am thrilled. She is a very stubborn little girl (we can't imagine where she got that from) and loves playing with her friends more than anything. Last night, we had the kids over to our house for movie night and Abi spent the whole evening sitting on Nayeli's lap (Nayeli probably weighs less than Abi)! Abi had told me before the kids arrived, however, that she was going to sit with Nayeli. It is such a joy to listen to Abi speak to her dolls in Spanish and English. Each night she prays for the kids in the children's home here and often for the kids we worked with in Guatemala.
Next, our new Miguel (in House 3) celebrated his 13th birthday. Miguel is in the fifth grade, but may have to return to forth grade due to the fact that he is not able to keep up with the fifth grade material. Miguel is a very sweet young man. He is still adjusting to living here and often gets nervous and shakes. We have already noticed a drastic decrease in this, and expect that as he becomes more comfortable with his life here and has a chance to know the Lord, he will gain confidence. From the first day, he has gotten along very well with the other kids. We accepted him even though he was a little older than we normally accept, and we are so glad that the Lord brought him to the home.
Finally, Amado celebrated his 10th birthday as well. House 3 was just full of birthdays this month! My earliest memories of Amado were of his speaking Guarani to me and then just running off and laughing. He knew that I couldn't understand and thought that it would be fun to taunt me. Now he helps me learn Guarani words and is constantly speaking (or yelling) English to me. He is in the 4th grade. Amado may be the most energetic child in the home. He is constantly shouting and running. He even runs races with Shaun. He is extremely fast for a child (or at least that is what Shaun says when Amado outruns him)! Maybe a half marathon is in his future.