Adoption!!!

The Rummerys are adopting! God placed adoption on our hearts about two years ago as a result of mission trips we took with our church in 2009 and 2010 to an orphanage in Peru. Well, to be honest, Cindy has had this on her heart since I took a trip to an orphanage in Ukraine in 1998, and it has taken me this long to open my heart to adoption! Read More Here

Monday, February 27, 2012

God's Lessons from Unlikely Places




Saturday afternoon, Christina, Dad, and I went to a garbage dump with a small, nearby church group.  When we pulled up in the taxi, the first thing that hit me was the smell and the smoke from trash burning.  I looked around, and I couldn’t even see the mountains that were so close because of the thick smoke.

Some of the children playing in the trash.
The next thing I saw was a little boy who was about two or three years old (his name, I later found out, is Jonathan).  He was walking around in the trash barefoot, where there was glass and other sharp objects.  He then picked up and started playing with a few pieces of trash that he found.  Then his sister Pricilla ran up to him, laughing, and began playing in the trash as well.  Thankfully she had shoes, but they were broken and about four sizes too big.

Some of the houses in the dump.





The new building.
Looking around, it was surprising how big the neighborhood in the dump was.  There are so many people there because they go through the trash to see if anything is worth recycling or able to sell.  

We then walked to a small building that consisted of a concrete floor, straw walls, and a canvas advertisement banner for a ceiling.  It was empty when we came, and we put up balloons because they were celebrating this new building.


Here we put on a VBS for all of the kids who lived in the dump, though only about twenty came.  We sang with them and taught them about the Lord.  We had cake to celebrate the new building, and we even made some new friends!
Christina and I playing games and singing with the kids.



One of the little girls that Christina befriended didn't even touch her cake after all the other kids had quickly devoured theirs.  Christina asked her why she wasn't eating hers and if she didn't like cake.  She said that she liked cake, but she wanted to bring it home to share with her mom.

Christina and Belen

One other thing we did with them was had them write something they are thankful for.  I thought, "They live in a garbage dump.  What could they possibly have to be thankful for?"  But they all were thankful for everything they did have: friends, family, God, health.  It was incredibly sad to see the poverty in this dump, but despite everything, the kids who live in the garbage dump are by far the happiest and most content kids I have ever seen.  There are so many incredible life lessons we can learn from impoverished children. 

Maria and I
~Katie :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tres Hermanas

On Friday, we had an official visit from the social worker in the morning.  Afterward, we mostly had a lot of family time and learning how to do practical things in Trujillo as a family.  We learned how to do laundry at Luz de Vida and how to grocery shop (the orange juice, peach juice, and mango juice are amazing!! Nothing like you would find in the States).  Doing these things is a lot different than in the Unites States, but we figured it out and are doing well.  We also got to watch movies in Spanish, play hide-and-seek, chase, color, and draw pictures with our girl.
More real Peruvian lomo saltado! Yum!


For lunch we walked around our neighborhood and found a little local place to eat.  The food was really good.  What was really funny though was that we were the entertainment for the restaurant.  Everyone who was eating there sat at their table in such a way so that they could get a good view of the gringos.  Most of them weren’t even discreet about it.  Everywhere we go, we see a lot of people just staring at us.  Also, while Katie and Mom went on an exercise run in the park on Friday, Katie heard little footsteps behind her.  When she looked back, there was a little girl following them.  Pretty soon she heard many more little footsteps behind her, and when she looked back, there were four kids chasing them! It’s not everyday that you see gringas in your park!

Robyn and Gordon with the people from Luz de Vida.

Later that evening, we all said goodbye to Robyn and Gordon since they would be flying back to the U.S. early Saturday morning.  We are also establishing bedtime routines like reading books, brushing teeth, etc. with our girl and have been teaching her what it means to be a family.


Also, I finally exercised on Saturday after all this time in Peru! (I don’t really count walking everywhere around the city as much exercise.)  I want to stay in shape for my soccer season coming up.  I ran around the huge park that is just across the street from where we are staying.  You wouldn’t think there would be that many people out and about on an early Saturday morning, but there was actually quite a few people there.  It’s a pretty nice park with lots of grass, trees, playground, volleyball court, and soccer/basketball court.


Please pray for Katie and our girl. They were sick this morning, and Katie is still sick. My youngest sister is getting much better, but she hasn't fully recovered yet.

Don't forget to check out the pictures tab at the top of the page! (or just click HERE) We'll be posting many more pictures throughout our time here and after we get back.

Also, another volunteer at the orphanage has written on her blog about the adoption and our girl's day as she left the orphanage. Read about it HERE or go to this link: http://busschertravels.blogspot.com/2012/02/magical-moments.html

~Christina

Saturday, February 25, 2012

First night as a family of five!


We went to the orphanage Thursday morning to pick up our girl!! Before leaving, we got to meet people who helped her when she was little, and people who have helped her throughout her life.  After some more paperwork and gathering her things, she said goodbye to her friends, her madre, the volunteers, and her life at Hogar de Esperanza to open a new chapter of her life.  Not only would this chapter change her life forever, but it will also intertwine with ours to change ours for the better.   Afterwards, we walked around Trujillo for a bit and went out to lunch with our lawyers. 

When we got home, everyone was very excited to see her.  Yameli and Yuliana here at the Hogar Luz de Vida have lived with our girl her whole life at the orphanage.  They, along with Leceth who is just getting to know her, have been really fun for our girl to have around. Although they spend most of their time with Vilma, their house mother, learning to cook, shopping, preparing for post-secondary schooling, etc., they still have time to enjoy our girl and help her feel welcome in this facility.

At the Adoption Secretary office



Tuesdays and Thursdays here at Luz de Vida, Yuliana, Yemeli and Leceth are joined by several other teens for Bible study.  Thursday was their last one of the summer, and so Robyn and Gordon (the Americans with Corazon de Esperanza) took them all out for dinner.  Our girl and Brian tagged along to be able to spend time with them as well.  Some have lived at the orphanage that we knew from before, and others are great new teens we got to meet.

On Wednesdays and Fridays the kids of Luz de Vida go together with their Madre to nearby Huanchaco as they teach cooking skills to some poor women there.  If these women can learn to cook cheap, healthy meals they can really help to change their family situation for the better.

The kids of the Corazon de Esperanza ministry
Back at our apartment in Luz de Vida, our girl’s first bedtime away from the orphanage since she was a baby was quite exciting. After she climbed in bed and we prayed with her, with her blankets all the way up to her chin, she had her eyes wide open and the biggest smile on her face you could imagine!  I think it took her quite a while to fall asleep!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Despedida


We visited Hogar de Esperanza again yesterday to get some more paperwork, buy jewelry that the kids make to raise money, and do some prep work for my new sister’s “despedida” (farwell party) later in the afternoon.  Katie, Courtney (the volunteer coordinator), and I organized all of the candy, pencils, erasers, silly bands, and stickers that we brought for the kids (thanks, Brenna, for sending the silly bands and stickers for the kids!! They loved them!).

Around noon, we took our girl out to lunch while the orphanage workers set up for the despedida.  Surprisingly to me, there is a KFC in Peru, so all five of us decided to eat there.  We had fun at the playground at KFC and at an arcade with some smaller carnival rides.


When we got back to Hogar de Esperanza, the room was full of decorations for her despedida.  During the program, one of the madres that has been there since our girl was little shared her heart for her.  Then, the four older girls in my new sister’s casita held up signs describing her and said that they love her a lot.  Dad also talked about how the kids, madres, and volunteers have been great to her and that we will take good care of her.  Alex, the director of the orphanage, talked and prayed for us, as well.  Courtney then presented our girl with a journal with letters from everyone at Hogar de Esperanza and a photo album with pictures from when she was a baby until now.  The program ended with a song that all the kids knew.  Afterwards, we handed out the bags of gifts that we brought, and the kids were so excited to get them!  We watched the movie Rio with the kids, and then we all went out for pizza with Robyn and Gordon to Papa Johns. (I love Peruvian food, but it’s also nice to get a taste of American food, too!)  The kids loved it, and we all had a good time.


Friendly, intelligent, precious, responsible--words the kids used to describe her





Last night was our girl’s last night at Hogar de Esperanza.  If everything goes according to plan we will have custody of her today!

~Christina

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More time with our girl!


It’s hard to add to Ashley’s moving and powerful post, but I’ll fill in some details.  Ashley is a volunteer here at Hogar de Esperanza and you can read her post about us at http://ashleysperu.blogspot.com/2012/02/your-lifeboat.html

(Simba licking Katie's face!)
Today we spent our second day with our girl, mostly at the orphanage.  We played some games inside with her—she beat us all in Candyland, and sure held her own in the Memory game.  We had fun with some Playdoh, and built some towers with dominoes.  Christina and Katie got to spend some special time with her as Cindy and I met with the orphanage social worker, and the psychologist.  We learned a lot about her health and past situation, and how much she is loved here by all and will be missed greatly!

We also spent some good time with our new daughter’s friends here at the orphanage.  Although we had a special table just for the five Rummerys for lunch, we soon made our way over to the Chispa’s table (the Casita that our daughter is in with the younger girls) and chatted with them as they finished lunch.  What a great group of kids they are! Then we had some good time outside playing some volleyball, splashing in the pool, and playing on the playground equipment.


Christina and Katie got so wet splashing with the kids that they decided to just get right in the pool with them, fully clothed!  Cindy and I meanwhile took our new daughter out of the orphanage for a bit to walk in a park and visit some friends who recently moved out of the orphanage.


Although our attorney was with us briefly this morning, she spent most of the time preparing paperwork with the SNA office.  They all have done an amazing job to make all this happen for us!



The plan is still to be able to take custody on Thursday, so we are planning our girl’s despedida (farewell party) at the orphanage for tomorrow afternoon.  Should be a special time for her!

Monday, February 20, 2012

First day with our little girl!


Thanks for praying for Cindy’s back.  She is slowly getting better, and a walk in the park this morning was good for it, too.  Please continue to pray!

Lomo Saltado!

Wow, what a wonderful first day with our little girl! We were all a bit nervous, but had a very happy day day together.  We started out at the orphanage greeting her in the volunteer area upstairs.  As we made our way around the complex, into her casita, through the playground, and around the buildings we saw a lot of the other kids as well.  She read Cinderella to us in Spanish, and demonstrated to us what a good reader she is.  Then we took her out to a nice lunch and to the mall to play some games.  She loved playing skee ball, stomp-on-the-spiders, and basketball.  Ice cream was a big hit, too.  Unfortunately we had to take her back to the orphanage at the end of the day, and we heard that she went in to her casita and told her friends all about what she did.

We spent another evening with the girls at Hogar Luz de Vida, and saw a lot of our friends at a gathering here, hosted by Robyn.  It was great to catch up with Roberto, Elias, Carmen, Sam and Oscar,  and others.

Tomorrow we have another day of visiting with our girl and being observed by the SNA social worker.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Missionaries, Ministries, y alMuerzo


Friday we enjoyed a wonderful visit with the Ingrums, missionaries that Windsor Road Christian Church supports financially.  Geoff and Raechel moved to Lima two years ago and have been working among street kids in some of the poorest areas of the city.  They now are also helping a local pastor plant a church among one of the newest (read: shantytown) communities in Lima. Their kids especially love visitors and had fun playing some hide and seek with Christina and Katie outside our hotel.  Although our time was divided in two for a mandatory 20 minute visit to the Secretaria Nacional de Adopciones, we had time for some shopping, some churros and empanadas, and some great conversation.  Geoff can drive like the best of Peruvians!

Saturday we caught the early flight to Trujillo and were in our accommodations by 9am.  We’re staying at the rented facility of another Windsor Road supported mission, Hogar Luz de Vida (Home of the Light of Life).  This is a new ministry of Corazon de Esperanza (http://corazondeesperanza.org/) that is a transitional home for kids that have aged out of the orphanages in this area.  Although they provide Bible studies, classes, and other activities for quite a few teens, just three girls have moved into the Home just this past week and live here with their “madre,” Vilma.  Yuliana and Yemeli came straight from the Hogar de Esperanza orphanage, and Leceth came from another life situation.  We got to spend most of the day and evening with these girls, playing games, bumping a volleyball at the park, and just chatting (in Spanglish!).  They are great kids with a new opportunity in life.

Today Robyn, the U.S. director of Corazon de Esperanza, Gordon, a man who financially backs the ministry, and the four of us took a trip out to Huanchaco for a long, relaxing lunch.  We got to hear more about the ministry, the plans for building a home for the kids who age out of the local orphanage, and talked plenty about adoption (Robyn adopted a sibling group of five from the orphanage here!).  After chatting we enjoyed a walk on the beach and some shopping in the tourist shops…oh, and some ice cream from a sidewalk vendor!



Tomorrow we start the adoption process here in Trujillo with a morning visit to the SNA office, then we will be escorted over to the orphanage by one of the government social workers to have our first supervised visit with our little girl!  Please pray for all this process, and, one specific thing—please pray for Cindy’s back.  It is hurting, and she is asking for it to not get any worse and for it to be healed.

-Brian

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Meeting Our Sponsored Child


After 15 hours of traveling, we have arrived in Peru!  It’s so amazing to be in this great country again.  While we were on the flight from Atlanta to Lima, we couldn’t sit together as a family, but I ended up sitting next to a guy in his early twenties who was half Dominican, half Japanese!  He only spoke Spanish and Japanese (not English), so it was fun to practice my limited Spanish before going to Peru.  He even helped me with my Spanish homework!

View from Gibelly's house.
This morning, we touched base with our lawyers for the adoption.  Then we got to spend our afternoon with our child that we sponsor through Compassion International.  Her name is Gibelly, and she is seventeen years old.  We also got to meet most of her family—her mom, two of her little sisters, and her little brother.  We couldn’t meet her dad because he was working nor could we meet her other little sister because she was at a camp with Compassion.  But we still had a good time.

Gibelly's house is the one with the narrow teal wall
to the bottom right of the purple house.
First, we went with our Compassion representative/translator to the Compassion project center where Gibelly goes three times per week for tutoring, Bible classes, life training classes, an extra meal, and church on Sunday.  While there, we also got to meet one of her teachers who stayed with us the whole afternoon, as well.  After that, the six of us walked up to her house on the side of the mountain where we met most of her family.  They showed us around their humble home.  She has great parents who provide a home, food, and other necessities for their family.  Gibelly’s dad even travels an hour and a half (one-way) to work every day to earn money for their family, and her mom walks up and down a long steep hill all the time to bring home groceries or just to go anywhere.  However, even with a good family who provides, they are still affected by poverty. We gave them some gifts that we brought from the U.S., and she showed us the pictures of us that we have sent her over the years.

All of us took two taxis to an outdoor mall where we spent the rest of the afternoon.  We ate at Pardo’s Chicken, rode carnival type rides, and enjoyed some ice cream.  Gibelly’s little siblings especially had fun on the rides, but Gibelly, Katie, and I also enjoyed the swinging tugboat ride and the bumper cars!  When the time came for us to leave, it was very hard to say goodbye.  We have written back and forth with her many times throughout the years, and it was so sad to see her go after just meeting her and her family in person.  Someday we will see each other again, even if not on this side of heaven. 
After our hard goodbyes, Gibelly, her mother, teacher, and little siblings took a taxi back to their home while a separate taxi took us back to the place we’re staying.  We hung out in our rooms for a little while then went to the Metro (a Peruvian supermarket) to get dinner and have a little fun.

~Christina