Forty plus years ago, our third and last child was born in Hawaii where we were stationed at the time. We had brief thoughts about adopting a fourth child but that did not make sense as a military family with many moves ahead. We decided that we would help one child at a time through ChildFund instead.
Our first [sponsored] child was a little boy named Gilberto from Mexico. He was followed by several others in the next years as the previous one left the program. We added a second child in Brazil at some point, a little girl named Cicera, who eventually grew out of the program. Then we got Jane, as a four-year-old, and she recently turned 14!
Three years ago, we visited another of our sponsored children, 14-year-old Jose, in Mexico on our first ChildFund trip. This was most rewarding and made us feel closer to him. Recently he left the program at age 17 to go to work and help his family. Now we have another small boy, Juan, to build a new relationship with.
Someday we will go to visit him with ChildFund International. But, back to our visit to Brazil.
Our trip to Brazil was most exciting and rewarding! We first stopped in the Amazon to experience a walk in the steamy jungle to visit to a tribal area and to go caiman [crocodile] hunting and piranha fishing. Then it was on to Fortaleza where we visited entity 1057, just outside of the city.
We were warmly received and royally entertained by a group of very talented teenage dancers, singers and musicians.
We met our beautiful 14-year-old Jane the next day. She came by bus from 300 miles away with her aunt and the project director. With the help of an interpreter, we shared most of the day getting to know each other better.
Jane was very shy at first but we finally got her with a big smile in one of our many pictures! She was most amazed by the pictures of herself growing up that we had received each year.
I had put them in a photo album for her, along with some [photos] of our town, house and children. She had never seen the pictures of herself before. One of the gifts we brought was a Bible in Brazilian Portuguese for the family. Needless to say, parting was very emotional.
The rest of our trip was spent sightseeing — “Masters Beach,” Belo Horizonte, the Museum Inhotim and best of all, Rio de Janeiro!
We also took the time to visit a second program area, and even though we had no sponsored child there, we helped one of the translators, Little Albert, practice his English.
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