The story of Camila Valentina

A terrified little girl arrived at the Santa Lucia Children’s Home on a dark January night. Too young to speak, she couldn’t tell the nuns how she had been abandoned in the bathroom of a billiards hall. She had no family. She had no name. And there was no way to know what her past held. But one thing was certain—her future held hope.

camila-valentinaAlthough the young girl had been found abandoned days earlier, no reports for a missing child of her description surfaced. She needed a family, and she needed a home.

She arrived on the steps of the Santa Lucia Children’s Home at 10 p.m. on January 26, 2013. The toddler—estimated to be about 2 years old—was welcomed with a warm hug and soft words. Her new house mother, Pati, fed her, gave her a warm bath and sang her to sleep.

The next morning, when the children of House 5 awoke, they discovered they had a new sister. The young girl was naturally timid and withdrawn. Four of the other children in the house—Jessica, Javier, Yandri, and Anahy—immediately welcomed their new house sister, shared their toys, and played dolls with her. Within 30 minutes, this little toddler began smiling and feeling a little more secure in her new home and family.

camila-and-house-sisterWhen children come to Santa Lucia without a name, Sor Maria—the head nun of Santa Lucia—has the privilege and responsibility of bestowing a name on the child. After waiting a few days to make sure nobody reported a missing girl, she began the naming process. She likes to see what a name means and then confer with the house family to formally decide.

After a family meeting with the children of House 5, the little girl was officially given the name Camila Valentina. “I read that Camila means being protected by God; Valentina means happiness,” says Sor Maria. “We are trying to protect her with much love and care so she will be a happy child.”

After two months, Camila is opening up and feeling at home at Santa Lucia. She has her own bed, her own toys and her own possessions— things that make her feel like a part of the family. Like all the children in the home, she is regularly visited by a physician and a psychologist.

camila-storyHer house family has done much to make her feel welcome. One of her house brothers, Yandri, is the same age as Camila and they love to play together. Javier, a 7-year-old house brother, has appointed himself as Camila’s protector. He helps her go up and down the stairs and helps her play on the swings and slide in the orphanage’s large playground.

The unique organization of the Santa Lucia Children’s Home—with its family groups and constant, dedicated house mothers—has provided Camila with stability and warmth during this uncertain time. Because Camila has no known family, Sor Maria is working with a trusted adoption agency to find her a permanent home.

camila-playgroundIn the meantime, Camila’s sparkling personality is shining through. She devours grapes every chance she has but can’t be bothered with vegetables. If she’s not on the playground with Javier, she’s playing with her favorite doll and stuffed animals.

It’s heartbreaking to imagine what could’ve happened to this precious child if there weren’t a place like Santa Lucia. In the words of Sor Maria, “Thank God for this system. And thank you to those who financially support Camila and all the kids at Santa Lucia.”

A Girl With No NameLa Niña Sin Nombre

The story of Camila Valentina

A terrified little girl arrived at the Santa Lucia Children’s Home on a dark January night. Too young to speak, she couldn’t tell the nuns how she had been abandoned in the bathroom of a billiards hall. She had no family. She had no name. And there was no way to know what her past held. But one thing was certain—her future held hope.

camila-valentinaAlthough the young girl had been found abandoned days earlier, no reports for a missing child of her description surfaced. She needed a family, and she needed a home.

She arrived on the steps of the Santa Lucia Children’s Home at 10 p.m. on January 26, 2013. The toddler—estimated to be about 2 years old—was welcomed with a warm hug and soft words. Her new house mother, Pati, fed her, gave her a warm bath and sang her to sleep.

The next morning, when the children of House 5 awoke, they discovered they had a new sister. The young girl was naturally timid and withdrawn. Four of the other children in the house—Jessica, Javier, Yandri, and Anahy—immediately welcomed their new house sister, shared their toys, and played dolls with her. Within 30 minutes, this little toddler began smiling and feeling a little more secure in her new home and family.

camila-and-house-sisterWhen children come to Santa Lucia without a name, Sor Maria—the head nun of Santa Lucia—has the privilege and responsibility of bestowing a name on the child. After waiting a few days to make sure nobody reported a missing girl, she began the naming process. She likes to see what a name means and then confer with the house family to formally decide.

After a family meeting with the children of House 5, the little girl was officially given the name Camila Valentina. “I read that Camila means being protected by God; Valentina means happiness,” says Sor Maria. “We are trying to protect her with much love and care so she will be a happy child.”

After two months, Camila is opening up and feeling at home at Santa Lucia. She has her own bed, her own toys and her own possessions— things that make her feel like a part of the family. Like all the children in the home, she is regularly visited by a physician and a psychologist.

camila-storyHer house family has done much to make her feel welcome. One of her house brothers, Yandri, is the same age as Camila and they love to play together. Javier, a 7-year-old house brother, has appointed himself as Camila’s protector. He helps her go up and down the stairs and helps her play on the swings and slide in the orphanage’s large playground.

The unique organization of the Santa Lucia Children’s Home—with its family groups and constant, dedicated house mothers—has provided Camila with stability and warmth during this uncertain time. Because Camila has no known family, Sor Maria is working with a trusted adoption agency to find her a permanent home.

camila-playgroundIn the meantime, Camila’s sparkling personality is shining through. She devours grapes every chance she has but can’t be bothered with vegetables. If she’s not on the playground with Javier, she’s playing with her favorite doll and stuffed animals.

It’s heartbreaking to imagine what could’ve happened to this precious child if there weren’t a place like Santa Lucia. In the words of Sor Maria, “Thank God for this system. And thank you to those who financially support Camila and all the kids at Santa Lucia.”La historia de Camila Valentina

Una noche de enero, una niñita muy asustada llegó al hogar de niños Santa Lucía. Era demasiado pequeña para hablar y no pudo explicar cómo fue que la habían abandonado en el baño de una sala de billar. No tenía familia, no tenía nombre y no había forma de saber de su pasado. Lo único cierto era que había esperanza para su futuro.

camila-valentinaAunque la pequeña había sido abandonada hacía varios días, nadie había reportado una niña perdida. Ella necesitaba una familia y un hogar.

Llegó a la puerta del hogar de niños Santa Lucía la noche del 26 de enero a las 10 p.m. La niñita de aproximadamente 2 años fue recibida con brazos abiertos y palabras tiernas. Pati, la mujer a cargo de la casa donde iba a vivir, le dio de comer, la bañó y la arrulló.

La siguiente mañana, cuando los demás niños de la Casa 5 se levantaron, conocieron a su nueva hermana. La niña era muy tímida e introvertida. Los otros niños de la casa —Jessica, Javier, Yandri y Anahy— de inmediato dieron la bienvenida a su nueva hermana, compartieron sus juguetes con ella y se pusieron a jugar con muñecas. En menos de treinta minutos la niña comenzó a sonreír y a sentirse más segura en su nuevo hogar.

camila-and-house-sisterCuando los niños llegan sin nombre a Santa Lucía, Sor María, la directora del hogar, tiene el privilegio y la responsabilidad de ponerles el nombre. Después de esperar unos días para asegurarse de que nadie hubiera reportado una niña perdida, empezó el proceso de escoger el nombre. Cuando escoge un nombre, le gusta ver su significado y luego consulta con los demás miembros de la casa para escoger uno que quede bien.

Después de reunirse con los niños de la Casa 5, decidieron que el nombre de la pequeña sería Camila Valentina. “Leí que Camila significa protegida por Dios y Valentina significa felicidad”, dijo Sor María. “Estamos tratando de protegerla con mucho amor para que sea una niña feliz”.

Han transcurrido dos meses y Camila se siente más a gusto en su nuevo hogar. Tiene su propia cama, sus propios juguetes y sus propias cosas que la hacen sentir como parte integral de la familia. Al igual que con los otros niños que viven en el hogar, un médico y un sicólogo la visitan de forma regular.

camila-storyLos miembros de su casa han hecho mucho para que se sienta bienvenida. Uno de sus hermanos, Yandri, tiene la misma edad que Camila y les encanta jugar. Por su parte, Javier, un hermano de 7 años, se nombró como el protector de Camila. Él la ayuda a subir y bajar las escaleras y juegan juntos en los columpios y el tobogán en el jardín detrás del orfanatorio.

La forma especial en que está organizado el hogar de niños Santa Lucía, con grupos familiares y con mamás encargadas de cada casa de manera constante, brinda la estabilidad y el cariño que Camila tanto necesita en este momento de incertidumbre en su vida. Debido a que no se sabe nada de su familia, Sor María está trabajando con una agencia de adopción a fin de encontrarle un hogar permanente.

camila-playgroundMientras tanto, Camila está dejando ver su hermosa personalidad. Le encantan las uvas y se las devora siempre que puede, pero ignora sus verduritas. Si no está en el jardín con Javier, está jugando con sus muñecas y peluches favoritos.

Es desgarrador imaginar lo que hubiera podido pasarle a esta preciosa niña si no fuera por un lugar como Santa Lucía. En las palabras de Sor María: “Gracias a Dios por este sistema y gracias a todos los que apoyan económicamente a Camila y a todos los niños de Santa Lucía”.

Top