Then, while on home visits last week we finally found her. Or maybe she found us, I’m not really sure. We were standing outside Mariam and Sophie’s home (the girls I sponsor). Their mother was working so it was going to be a short visit and we’d come back again later. As I stood there with my girls, all the sudden I noticed a face. I smiled and when this little girl smiled back at me I knew it was her. She looked a little older, her teeth were a little bigger, but it was her. I looked at my parents and pointed at the girl and said, “That’s the one!” They knew right away who I was talking about.
The next day, my girls came to the center to see me, and they brought their little friend. At first she wouldn’t come in the gate. Since there are so many kids in this area, they try to only allow sponsored kids in through the gate, otherwise they’ll have so many kids on the small compound that no one could move. But exceptions are made for visitors, and we brought her in.
Right away we gave her a hug, just like we did Mariam and Sophie. We played games with her just like we do with my girls. We put her in our laps just like we do my girls.
We felt God brought her to us now for a reason, and that it’s time for her to come into the sponsorship program. One of the workers is looking into her family situation to give us more details, but we went ahead and took her picture. She came wearing a dress that was filthy and tattered. The one sleeve had been completely ripped and had to be tied together for this photo.
The workers had a dress at the center. We brought her inside and helped change her. She had no panties on so as teacher Betty lowered her dirty, torn dress, I put the clean, beautiful one on over her head. In that moment something amazing happened. She looked at the brand new dress on her, then she looked up at me, and she smiled the biggest smile I have ever seen. She looked at me like I had just transformed her into Cinderella and she would now be the belle of the ball.
So what happened next? She danced with my dad.
She swayed and she twirled, and for a moment in time she was Cinderella. She went from being just another quiet face in the crowd to being someone who matters.