Through the offering of love and a safe haven, NPH helped Natasha grow and share love with others. December 24, 2017 - Dominican Republic
Natasha's drawing of what love and Christmas mean to her
Natasha* is a sweet, mature, caring, child with a bit of spontaneity in her. She loves to read, laugh, play cards, dance, and is often found walking around the park with her friends or climbing cherry trees.
Seeing Natasha as she is today, we would never guess the neglect and hardship she and her twin sister Alia suffered years ago. The twins were abandoned by both of their parents shortly after their birth. Natasha was adopted two years later by a kind woman but Alia* was not, due to her condition and need of special assistance. After a year, CONANI, the government agency assisting children’s welfare, asked NPH to welcome Alia and Natasha into our home. Moving around frequently can be stressful and traumatizing for children, but their move to NPH allowed them to stay together and receive better care.
Natasha has since flourished into the stunningly strong and independent child we know today. We asked her to illustrate what love means to her, and the outcome shows her caring and nurturing side.
She drew four different scenes (pictured above) of what love means to her and when she feels love:
The first picture in the upper left hand corner is her family surrounded by a heart. She explains, “the people are my family and the heart represents the love we share.”
The picture in the upper right hand corner is of her (in the pink) and of her friend Ana. Natasha is giving a present to Ana in the park and showing that she cares for her through this small gift. For Natasha, love is shared between people, it is a warm feeling that is given and received.
The lower right hand corner depicts a Christmas tree. Natasha explains, “the Christmas tree represents the time spent together with my friends and my NPH family. We decorate the tree together and it is beautiful afterwards.”
The last drawing is of a bonfire, an NPH tradition. Natasha shares that they have an established tradition of building a bonfire and sitting around it, roasting marshmallows and watching the stars shoot across the sky. Love can also be given through events and can be remembered through memories. Natasha loves these traditions because of the memories she has shared with others in NPH.
Love comes in all shapes and sizes; it can be seen and felt all throughout NPH. In this special season, it is clear that love and kindness are spread and shared through every action, step taken and memory made.
Natasha is a good example of this; when I walk outside of the volunteer house she runs fifteen yards just to give me a big bear hug, and she often playfully scolds me for taking out her hairstyle from the day before. Natasha is filled to the brim with love and it is a joy to see how she spreads her love to others.
*Names changed for privacy purposes.
Kelsey A Communication Officer Assistant
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson