My mom always said that it never hurts to ask.
I received an overload of emails, donations, and more from family, friends, and even complete strangers. I feel so blessed to know so many amazing people that are happy to help me in this cause. I am so grateful for your generosity. As soon as things are more finalized with the orphanage, we can really plan on how to get this place into shape!
So - update!
I learned Nico's name is actually spelled Nyiko. Nyiko means "gift" - awwww.
Last Friday, I gave Maria money to go to the uniform store to purchase a uniform and shoes for Nyiko (I would have gone but alas, had no car since Will was on a hunting expedition). The cost? R500, which comes out to $62.50 (pretty good deal for pants, shirt, sweater, shoes, socks, etc.).
Maria took the uniform to Nyiko. He wept. He said, "I didn't think anybody loved me."
And so I cried when she told me.
She said he loved the uniform and is so proud of it. She said all he needed was a school bag. Ironically, Will and I had just cleaned out one of our closets and found a backpack. We decided to hold on to it and give it away when needed. I filled the bag with odds and ends - bubble gum, socks, a set of dominos, etc. I also included a pen and notepad. On the first page of the note pad, I wrote:
You are very loved.
Will and Valerie
Maria goes on Monday to finalize the land and hopefully learn the name of the orphanage. She had to submit 5 names to the board (just in case any where already taken) and they will let her know which one wins.