Duglas Abel Espinoza Mendoza is 18 years of age (his name is not a typo error). He came to us after he left the facility where he lived for many years with his 2 brothers. In fact, Duglas and our boy, Noel, ran away together a year ago last July. It's by God's plan that they are both with us now.
His story is one of many typical stories of the youth in Nicaragua. He lived with his abusive father who beat him and put him on the streets to earn money before he was a teenager. He was the older of 3 boys and took the beatings in order to spare his younger siblings. The father is in prison and the other relatives had abandoned the boys. His brothers are now in the process of adoption by an American family. Duglas did not qualify for adoption because of his age.
Duglas can be talkative but in a quiet manner. He has no self esteem and is very self-conscious. He is teased incessantly about his looks and has the nickname of Chino. It bothers him that he looks very different from his brothers and tells me that he is ugly.
Duglas was in school, but was not allowed to return for reasons that we are not fully aware of. He will have to repeat the 8th grade and will be 22-23 years old when he finally completes high school. I've been told he was a very good student. His desire is to become an engineer. He said he loves numbers.
Like most of the boys that have lived with us here at La Casa de Restauración, during his first days and week, he was on his best behavior. Once the honeymoon period subsided, you might say his real personality began to surface. All the boys seem to have the same "DNA", which is the inability to tell the truth and always trying to find ways to circumvent the system. He's a wonderful boy, but he can be a challenge in trying to figure out what he is all about. Most of the time he stays to himself listening to his iPod and you wouldn't notice he was in the house. Then, there are times when he will use his imagination to escape some of the responsibilities that are part of his daily routine.
Duglas is dealing with the eventual loss of his siblings to a place where opportunities will abound for them. They will live with an affluent family in West Virginia and can provide the best of everything for his brothers. Right now he does not talk about his feelings. I can only imagine that he may be experiencing emotions of abandonment all over again.
We could not take care of Duglas or the other boys without God's guidance and the constant wisdom that He pours into us. We are way in over our heads. I listened to a message today from my home church in NC. Pastor Mike said "there is no way that we can do the job that each of us has been called to, but HE can". It's only through God's strength that we are able to do the near impossible. We take no credit for this, it is all HIM.