Growing up, Carolina lived with her mother and grandmother in a city south of Tegucigalpa. Her father was a drunk and would beat her mom. He rarely provided food for them. One night he kicked Carolina and her mom out of the house. They went back to live with the grandmother and then found out her father had an accident and was paralyzed.
Not long after, Carolina’s mother was hospitalized and died from AIDS. Her grandmother could not care for Carolina anymore due to old age and her decreasing eye sight. So, her aunt brought her to Tegucigalpa. Living with her two cousins as well as her aunt—who worked long hours, Carolina was often left alone in the house. She has been told she has three brothers and sisters but has never had the opportunity to meet them. In October of 2009, Carolina was rescued from her previous living conditions and welcomed into the POI family.
The day Carolina moved into the POI home, fear and excitement stretched across her thin face as she entered a home full of new little brothers and sisters. Still coping with the death of her mother, Carolina did her best to be strong. This new life was overwhelming, but she was grateful. Her new life had now begun—Carolina would never be the same.
On December 6th, Carolina will be turning eighteen and marking year seven of her life here at the POI home. “I love being here at the home because I have everything I need. I have Mama Ruth, Papi David, Leah and Hannah, and sisters that I love. My house parents Zarco and Sindy truly listen to me, advise me, and trust me. That is something that makes me very happy. My favorite things to do here are, listen to music, read, play sports, and help others. But most of all, I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen!”
Carolina grew up watching her mother work in a restaurant. She would curl up on the chairs next to the kitchen and watch as her mother worked day and night to provide for their family. I truly believe Carolina’s love for cooking came from her Mom. (And this girl can make some delicious food too!) She’ll be the first to ask you if you’d like a cup of her drip-coffee, and is always trying new recipes for her little sisters. She’s a servant with a ginormous heart.
As one of the eldest girls in the home, Carolina carries much responsibility and leadership over her little sisters—but it’s always out of compassion.
“I was blown away by how responsible, hardworking, and respectful the girls were. One day, I noticed that little Ruth had changed clothes. When we got home, Carolina pulled out a plastic bag with Ruth’s first outfit that had red juice spilled all over it. No one had asked Carolina to pack an extra set of clothes for Ruth or to help her change when she spilled her juice, she simply did this out of love for her little sister.”
—Meredith, Ministry Volunteer
“All of my little sisters make me laugh, even when I’m sad or worried. They are the joy of this whole house! We make each other laugh a lot, actually. The truth is, I have always wanted little sisters. Now that I have them, I realize that it is not easy being a good example for all of them. Growing up, I struggled alot with my attitude during my time living here, but now I am more calm and improving my behavior. I try to do my best so that they do not fall into the same hole of misconduct.”
“Some of my favorite things are the color red, avocados, and John 3:16— ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life.’ When I finish highschool next year, I want to study hospitality and tourism, be a chef, and I really want to help people in need.”
“Sometimes I am sad because I’m not with my biological family, especially my nephew whom I love dearly. I used to want to leave the POI home for many reasons, but now I realize that I have everything I need, parents who love me, and nine sisters. When it’s time to say goodbye, I am going to suffer a lot, because I will really miss my home and my family.
This young lady has overcome much. Though her seasons of life were once empty, her future now has hope. Though she experienced devastating loss as a child, she has shown immeasurable growth and maturity. She is servant-hearted, compassionate, and loves others well. I asked her what advice she had for girls her age here in the United States and she sweetly responded, “first care for your parents and give thanks to God for giving you parents. Even though I could not have my birth parents, God had another purpose for me and gave me wonderful parents who are always there for me—and I love them.”
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