The year was 2005. It was a typical rainy night in San Jose, like most are in the month of April as the rainy season has begun. My family and I were driving home in our 1988 Subaru wagon. My very pregnant wife was in the front seat with our boys, 7 and 9 at the time, seated in the back. On this “ordinary” night, something “extraordinary” was about to happen.
We came to a stop at a traffic light when a young boy seemingly appeared out of nowhere. He stood on the corner, no umbrella, no raincoat, no poncho, soaking wet with his hand extended toward the cars in the line waiting for the light to turn green. His hand was a sign of his need as his piercing eyes looked toward us.
This was not an unusual scene by any stretch of the imagination, in fact it was all too common. Yet, there was something about this boy on this night that seemed to capture all of my families attention. What I write next may be shocking, we didn’t stop and we didn’t give. You have to understand that we were simply following the orders that we’d been given because of the many abuses behind the children who have been sent out to beg.
Yet, there was something about this boy! When the light turned green, I was so relieved to push the accelerator and turn the corner and remove myself from the piercing eyes of the child on the corner which brought such a heaviness to my soul. It was then that I discovered that I was not the only one. As I began to turn the corner, the sound of the squeaking steering wheel was silenced by an outburst of our 7 year old who began to cry. “Why Daddy, why?” “Can’t we do something Daddy? Can’t we help that little boy?”
Words can’t even begin to describe the emotion that filled out little Subaru that night. Our emotion was followed by a long family discussion about the children of Costa Rica and the need.
All of these years later the face of the soaking wet unnamed boy will not leave us. It is simply something that has led to many sleepless nights and also been a huge part of us answering the call to begin “Kids of Costa Rica.” This journey is now underway.