Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ministerios de Amor

As I write this, I am looking out at the house full of children who I have bonded and lived with for the past two months and who I unfortunately need to say goodbye to tomorrow.  It is my last night here in the house and although I always have been aware of how my goodbye may affect the children at the house, I have little thought of how it will affect me.  During my entire stay, any of my preoccupations have mainly been focused on the children: “Is he really grasping what I am trying to communicate to him?” “Can this self-esteem activity even make a difference with this kid?” “I wonder if she feels safe with someone in the house.” “How will the kids react to my short time here with them?”

I realize the grand importance and necessity of closure of the relationship that I have experienced with the children, especially considering their past experiences of abandonment; I have replayed and rehearsed how I will say goodbye to the children at least one hundred times, but I have yet to set time apart to think about how I will process the end of my relationship with my clients.  I have experienced many goodbyes in my life, but nothing like this. 
I feel as if there is no way for me to emotionally prepare myself for goodbye rather than look forward to how I can use the valuable experience I had here with the Tias and children in the future.  Here at the orphanage I had the unique opportunity to work outside of my own language and culture, and that in itself was extremely empowering and affirmed my desire to work with the Latino population when I return to the United States.  Although I unfortunately need to say goodbye to and physically separate from people I have come to love tomorrow, in a way I will bring them with me in my future work.  I look forward to see how they will help guide my work and continue to inspire me to serve populations in need. 

Written by Nichole Hulstein


  1. Stephanie StrandMay 11, 2012 at 7:15 AM

    Good Morning Molly
    I know those children are missing you. What an opportunity to be able to spend time with them and give of yourself!!! When on has little/no stability in one's life, any type of love/attention is greedily absorbed---even if it does not appear so. The picture of the little girls with their make-up is my favorite (of course they remind me of my grand-daughters).
    The Group hopes you had a great flight home and a tight reunion!!!! Congratulations on GRADUATING!!!!
    Happy Days
    Stephanie S

  2. Stephanie NelsonMay 11, 2012 at 5:42 PM


    I am so happy you got to have this wonderful experience and that I got to share it with you. Every one of those kids has such a unique personality and I'm sure you taking the time to learn that meant a lot to them. It is clear that you learned so much working with the tias and the kids. Although it was a very difficult goodbye, I know you will continue to think of them as you continue your work as a social worker. I can't wait to see where the future leads you!

    Steph N.