Emma Caite is 8 years old. She has beautiful, big, dark brown eyes that seem to suck you in. She is an all or nothing kind of soul. She is sensitive, very affectionate, and tends to be every visitor's 'favorite' because she loves deeply and adopts people quickly. She is a cuddler.
Butterfly Annsely Brooks age 11 (below) started talking at 6 months. She always seems older than she is. She loves writing for fun and has an entire world created in her mind with its own language and maps. She is very balanced on horse back and bicycles. She reads all. The. Time. She's lived in Kenya since she was one year old.
Edith Awino age 12 (photo below). Edith tries anything. She eats bugs if you ask her to. Her first experience with a swimming pool, she just dove in and started swimming like her sisters as if she were a natural born swimmer. She did the same with riding horses. She has the sweetest singing voice and a great laugh. She was 4 when she became ours seven and a half years ago.
Makena Adelle age 14 (below). Mak or Kena is a kenetic learner. She played with string as an infant tying it around everything. Now she is a talented crocheter. She loves DOing things, has an artistic eye behind the camera, and a deep love for animals. She loves drawing on skin and doodling. She is becoming a nice flute and piano player, too. Petite for her age, she and Butterfly are often thought to be twins.
Beatrice Nyawira, BeeTee, just turned 15. She is petite like Makena, which made Makena feel normal, and they thought of each other as twin sisters. Beatrice stole Makena's heart and all of the children's hearts in the house when she moved in 7.5 years ago. Beatrice smiles and laughs, a lot. She is the valedictorian of her class in school, and she has a bio-sister who also lives with us. Beatrice is a fan of Jaden Smith, and she enjoys hoolahooping and jumping on the trampoline.
Teresa Awour age 15 is quiet and adorable. She is polite and tidy! I love that she keeps her things neat and helps others do the same. She is fifteen and only joined our family 5 years ago, but without realising it, we were helping our future daughter with food and essentials years before she became ours. I was looking through old photos on our laptop and found one of Teresa as a tiny little girl about 7yrs old holding up bags of food with a smile. It touched me to know I was making a difference even before she stole our hearts.. She makes my heart happy.
Mary Awour age fifteen (see below). The moment Mary moved in we knew this girl had spunk. Mary gives things her 100%. She sings, dances, and is animated. She wins at poetry competitions and gets singing solos at school. She has a big heart and a strong personality. She is always talking, even in her sleep. She is a dramatic person who often times needs a lot of attention.
Andrew (below right) if you haven't noticed, I am going UP in AGE order, but not school grade order. Andrew just turned 17. He was 'made in Kenya' back in 1997 in a village called Molo. We returned to the USA planning a home birth, but we had no home! So Andrew was born in the loft of a friend's house. We moved back to Kenya when he was a 1st grader (home school) so he grew up here in Kenya. Andrew is a 'Mr. Fix it.' He takes after his grandpa, my dad, Dr. Sam Showalter. He loves mechanics, and enjoys working on cars. He is currently apprenticing at a Land Rover Mechanic shop here in Kenya. If I need anything done around the house, Andrew will do it. He is smart and is just an all around good person.
The irony of this shared photo of Andrew and Sarah (below) is that our next in age child Sarah Muthoni, is also age 17, and was born in Molo... which means that she was a newborn in her mom's arms around the time I was living there and pregnant with Andrew. Chances are, we met in that small village. What a crazy world. Sarah is a hard working girl with the brains to match. She is always top in her class and the best at everything she puts her mind to. In fact, if I need a job done, I can always rely on Sarah. I love her to pieces. She is good at Taekwondo, net ball, zumba, and academics. She is always by my side helping in the kitchen.
Mercy Anyango age 18, ninth grade. Mercy has changed the most since moving in with us over 7 years ago. She went from being unable to open her arms nor look a grownup in the eye to being outgoing and confident. She is the teacher's pet at school. Already she is a prefect at her new high school which she is attending on a full scholarship due to her excellent grades. Mercy LOVES doing Zuma. She's quite good! And most of all, Mercy likes to write stories and plays. She has a gift. She likes playing jokes on folks, too!
Mildred Awino age 19, (see photo below). "Milly" as I like to call her has a wonderful personality. It was painful for her to lose her mom 7 years ago, and her wounds were more fresh than our other girls' making her transition into our family that much more bitter/sweet. She had to care for her ill mother so she missed a lot of school. She is in 10th grade now and has grown into a beautiful young woman. I love singing with Mildred and listening to her laugh. I like the way she turns her feet out when she walks in a sort of shuffle. Milly has a bright smile that makes my heart happy! And she is great at milking our cow June!
Sarah Apiyo age 20 (see below). Sarah also missed a great deal of school and is in 10th grade. She is quiet and honest. She never tattles on her sisters, but when there is an issue, I know Sarah will tell the truth. She plays the recorder in her high school and helps around the house when needed. She is a peace maker and has a great laugh.
Grace Mugure (below) our eldest age 20 also was not allowed to go to school as a youngster due to being in an orphanage that forced her to work as a maid. She is in 10th grade as well and is focused on graduating so she can be more than a physical 'model' for young girls, but a real model in all areas of her life. Grace loves fashion. I love that about her. She is self aware, which means she smells nice and looks smart. She is good at playing the recorder in her high school. She likes dancing especially tap and zumba. She wants to model. I adore her.