I leave bright and early tomorrow morning to go visit the kids at Miracle Ranch! Miracle ranch is a children's home in Valle de Las Palmas, Mexico.
I first learned about Miracle Ranch through my youth group, and ended up making two trips there during high school. Once I started college I began going down there on my own and last year I spent my entire summer at the ranch. I go back every chance I get and keep in touch with the kids through letters/pictures, but I haven't seen them since November and am beyond excited to think that we will be hanging out within 24 hours!!!
I don't write a whole lot about MR since this is mainly a family/adoption blog, but is hard to leave it out completely when it is such a huge part of my life. It's difficult to even talk about it--I feel like I don't do the kids justice when people ask me to tell them about my time there. It has been a roller coaster of emotions and experiences. The ranch is a place where I have spent the most painful moments of my life as well as some of the most joyful. I have seen the absolute best of humanity and some of the worst. I have held kids as they sobbed within hours of being removed from their families, I have put healing oil on the wounds of a little girl whose grandma forced her hand into boiling water as a punishment, I have broken up fist fights between kids barely old enough for kindergarten, I have nursed them through the flu, I have listened to a seven year old girl order me not to love her and insist she didn't want anyone to love her, I have read kids their first bedtime stories ever, I have been asked more times than I can count why I can't be their Mom, I've been kicked, hit, bitten, and spit on, and shortly after those same kids hold my hand and ask me never to let go. They have taught me a deeper definition of love--the kind that doesn't come easily and actually grows through the painful moments. They have comforted me when I needed it most and given me words of wisdom that could only come from someone who has had to be depend on resilience to survive. They have challenged me, humbled me, and most miraculously of all, they have let me in and loved me back despite the fact that in their world the people who love you always leave. And I leave too. But I will always go back--they are a gift in my life that I'm just not willing to let slip away.