I took a hiatus from my posting as I have been reveling in the new addition to our family, Klaebel James Welsh. We adopted him 9 weeks ago and are thrilled to have him with us every minute.

Motherhood has shifted my paradigm quite a bit. I have always had compassion for children but now that I understand the daily, hour to hour, minute to minute needs of a child, my capacity for this compassion has grown. I have always known that our youth have been through incredible trials. It is evident to me now more than ever that the trials they face are more than we could possibly imagine. The mere fact that they have experienced the loss of their parents breaks my heart.It makes me realize just how resilient they are. When I hear stories of our youth succeeding in school, becoming a carpenter, or serving their community, I feel I sometimes take it for granted.

These are children who have experienced great loss and risen above extreme challenges to change their own paths. Take Kennedy for example:

“I have always dreamed of being a carpenter,” says 18-year-old Kennedy Kiiru. “I believe I can be a very good mason and maybe one day I would become a contractor. I wish to be a reliable person in the future who will be able to assist my family, whatever the cost.” When he was only five years old, his mother became paralyzed. Kennedy was unable to attend school because he had to begin working to support his mother and siblings. Think about that. No school, working in fields to dig for food, worried sick about your mom and eventually loosing her at such a young age. That’s more pressure than I have ever experienced. 

Since being placed in the HALO Kenya Home, Kennedy has been a role model for the other boys. He has become a natural caretaker and a humble example to others. Kennedy is a Woodland Scholarship recipient, attending school to become a carpenter. Thanks to our HALO Heroes, Kennedy is capitalizing on an opportunity for a brighter future. He is a brilliant example of resilience, as are many of the children in this video.

These children put life in perspective for me. The next time I am frustrated or feel sorry for myself, I will think of Kennedy.