It's been a while since I've given any updates on Richar. And since today is his birthday I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk about him!
He says that he's 15 today, but I have my doubts. . . His birthday is also close to the one year mark of when we first met. (Read about it here. You have to scroll down a little!)
I can't believe that it's been almost a year since I first met him. I remember blogging about him last May and writing about what he was going through. I remember being filled with such determination that I have to do something and yet fear that as time went on, this boy and his story was going to find a comfy place in my long term memory to be thought of once a year when I looked at pictures. I remember finding out his birthday had just passed and being disappointed, thinking, what are the chances I'll still be in contact with him a year from now? I am so thankful that a year later I can still write about him as I sit in a coffeeshop, waiting for my phone to ring with a call from Honduras so I can wish him a happy birthday. (To which I know he will respond "Thanks. Is Sean there?" Why, oh, why does he like Sean more than me!?!) And I'm so thankful that we were in Nueva Esperanza that day last year because I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if it wasn't for this fierce and protective love I have developed for him, that has blossomed into love for so many. And I can't think of anything in the world that I'd want to do more than work and fight for these kids.
But back to Richar... I had hoped that when he was moved to Proniño in August, his angry outbursts involving tearing his clothes to shreds would cease immediately. No such luck. Then he ran away in December. He was found 2 weeks later but the whole ordeal made me realize that he could get mad one day, run away and I could literally never see him again. This terrifies me. It was so hard for me to leave in January because I knew that no amount of promises from him would actually mean that he'd definitely still be there in March. But, thankfully, he was. And multiple Proniño employees said that he's improving. I talked to him about it one day and told him what the staff was saying. He hung his head a little bit and said "I got angry last week." I asked if he had to go to "the box". (The box is a room that the kids go to when they are a danger to themselves or to other kids. And when he loses it, he seriously develops nearly super human strength!) He looked up quickly and said no. That in itself is an improvement! One day when I arrived at Proniño in the morning, one of the employees told me that Richar is improving and he wanted Richar to sing a song dedicated to me. So cute. I sneakily recorded it. I had my camera in my lap, so that's why it's at such a weird angle. At around the 32 second mark you can see Richar look directly into the camera and then up at me as he realizes I'm videoing him. =)
A birthday request. I've realized that Richar being moved to a safer location simply isn't enough. He's an amazing child that has experienced various traumas in his short life. The only way that he'll become a stable, healthy and productive adult is if he receives some professional help. Proniño used to have a psychologist on staff but due to financial difficulties she was let go last year. One of the goals for The Children's Home Project is to raise funds for a psychologist. This is probably the biggest and most expensive goal, but it will also produce some incredible, long term positive results for many kids. I need to raise $600 a month to meet this goal. This would cover the cost of a full-time psychologist working with 20 children. The reality is that we could probably use five psychologists! But we'll start with one. This goal could be met by the monthly donations of an individual, church, organization or a combination of sources! Please let me know if you can help the project and the kids in this way. Or let me know if you think your church or organization would be interested and I will follow up with them! With YOUR help I'll be able to write a post on his "16th" birthday about how the box and his anger is a distant memory. And you'll be helping numerous kids in such a significant way!
And once again...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICHAR!!!