After 2 months away from Masana on maternity leave, I started back this past Monday. Roberto and I spent much time discussing our options for Melina once I was back at Masana - hire a nanny, ask a family member to watch her, or take her with me to Masana. We opted for option 3 and week number 1 was great!!
Mama Julia, Alexis, Deanna, and Izilpa are all a huge help taking turns holding Melina and giving her a bottle. The boys love the chance to cuddle with her between naps. It is amazing to watch these often hardened street boys interact with Melina. Each morning, as we enter Masana, the youngest boys run to kiss Melina's cheek. One of the toughest boys at Masana, Joao, is one of the best at getting Melina to stop crying. Simão, an older boy who does his own thing most of the time, loves to talk to Melina and pinch her little cheek. As I watch the boys interacting with Melina, I find myself praying that these little moments they have with her will remind them of younger siblings they have back at home who they should be helping take care of.
I always wanted to be a mom who figured out how my baby fit into my life rather than completely changing my life to accommodate my baby. And so far, Melina is fitting into life at Masana perfectly! My prayer for her is that as she grows up around these boys, she will develop the heart of a servant filled with compassion for the least of these.
Melina with Mama Julia in the Masana kitchen