Monday, February 25, 2008

I am so excited!

I get to spend my summer at my favorite place on earth--Miracle Ranch!

This December my Dad generously gave me a bunch of his frequent flyer miles so that I could go back to Mexico for a week. It was an amazing, eventful trip. I was pretty ambitious and I decided that I would visit a friend of mine who is living in Chihuahua, MX and also spend some time with everybody at Miracle Ranch. So I flew into Chihuahua first, and then took a bus almost 1,000 miles across the country (by myself) to get to Miracle Ranch. I was supposed to get off the bus in Tecate, but the driver passed my stop and I ended up in Tijuana around 10:00 at night.
As you can imagine, I was pretty terrified. Thankfully, the driver helped me get on another bus that took me back to Tecate, and I made it safely to the ranch. It was a valuable learning experience :)

Seeing the kids again was almost surreal. Nobody had told them that I was visiting that week, so they were pretty shocked to see me. When I saw Giovanni the first morning he got a really puzzled expression on his face and walked right past me. Then all of a sudden it clicked and he came running back to give me a HUGE hug. I kept thinking "I can't believe I'm really here!"

The entire week was beautiful. I remember at one point we had taken all twenty-one of the kids on a walk and I had Edwin holding one hand, Esteban holding the other, Hector on my back, and Victoria squeezed somewhere in between. At one point Edwin pulled us all into a little circle holding hands, and in perfect English he said "thank you for coming and sharing your love". With tears in my eyes I quickly said, no thank YOU ALL for sharing your love with me. It's one thing when a child who has known what it means to be valued all of their life loves you. It's even more amazing when a kid who has been abused, neglected, and let down time and time again chooses to love you. The kids at the ranch understand that it's a risk to love someone, yet they welcomed me with open arms anyways. I felt undeserving...

Saying good-bye was so hard. A bunch of the kids hid my suitcase on the last day, thinking that I wouldn't leave without it. Another little boy told me he was hoping my bus didn't work so that I would have to stay. Edwin made me pinky-promise that I would come back.

I take pinky promises very seriously. They can't be broken. So this summer, I am going to spend 3 months at Miracle Ranch! Saying I'm excited is an understatement.

My main goals for the summer are to:

1. Work on my Spanish (which is my minor in school)
2. Observe and learn as much as possible about the way Miracle Ranch operates. It is such a model of excellence and my dream is to do something similar one day.
3. Invest as much as I can into the kids--whether its academically through tutoring or just with love and attention
4. Do some writing for the ranch and help them communicate with current/potential supporters...(they are really in need of fundraising right now)

I'm going to need to raise some money for my plane ticket and living expenses for 3 months....any ideas???


Scarlett_333 said...

WOW- that is awesome!!! Will you have internet access while you are there? I would love to hear all about it!
I have done a ton of fundraising for my DR trip, but most of them (excluding Blogs for a Cause) were just smaller fundraisers. If you don't mind doing smaller things, some things I have done are started a Cafe Press ( shop- this has made me about $150 so far. Had a bowling fundraiser- this made me about $300 (you could probably make a lot more since you must know lots of little kids seeing as you have young siblings), and going door to door- this made about $150 but I don't really recommend it.
Hope you are able to raise the money!!

KelseyChristine said...

Wow you have lots of ideas! Your fundraisers were really successful too, I'm impressed :)
Hey would you mind sending me your email address so I could ask you some questions about your fundraisers? I've read about them on your blog, I just have a few questions about details and stuff...

KelseyChristine said...

Oh yeah--yes, there is internet access and I'm hoping to start a blog just for miracle ranch!

Scarlett_333 said...

Yay- can't wait to read it! Definitely send me the link when you have it set up!
And my email is


Our Real Life said...

You are amazing. Such a young, beautiful woman with a heart of gold. Please don't let anyone discourage you. God has such huge plans for you. I can feel it when I read your posts.

Anonymous said...

I would love to donate a little money, you should add a paypal donation button on your blog.

How did you find out about Miracle Ranch? Can anyone go to the ranch?

Sorry for the questions, but it is amazing what people do and I hope I can do the same one day.


Mandy said...

Sounds like a great opportunity and a great way to spend the summer! Do you make anything like scrapbook pages. I have a friend who makes the page and leaves the places for pictures blank. She sells them on eBay. Or anything really, eBay is great for raising money. Where do you live? Selling candy bars is a great fundraiser too especially Sarris Chocolates!

Susy Q said...

That's so amazing- you must be incredibly excited!!

KelseyChristine said...

I don't mind the questions at all!

I found out about the ranch because the woman that runs it (along with her husband Cesar)used to go to my church. And yes, anybody can visit the ranch. They love visitors :D They have a website if you're interested

And there is also a video on youtube

Thanks for the paypal suggestion, I am going to see if I can figure out how to put one on my blog!

KelseyChristine said...

Mandy, unfortunately I have no artistic skills whatsoever, but I love the chocolate idea! Thanks :)

Mandy said...

Here's the link to the candy. I had to sell this all the time in school for fundraisers for trips and my cousins recently sold them as an adoption fundraiser. People bring them to work and stick them in the breakroom all the time! Good luck! (I have no artistic skills either! LOL)

KelseyChristine said...

Thanks Mandy!

Scarlett_333 said...

Oh, and just thought I would mention since you said you might be coming to Blogs for a Cause to get a makeover later, that I am having a $5 raffle, so if you are interested, at this point you have an excellent chance at winning and it would save you some money!