Last Saturday, May 7th, our house moms, house dads, and all our Mercy children held a goodbye party for nine children. Six children are joining their real families while three are now age twenty and wish to start out on their own in life. Reuniting children with families often takes years of outreach. Many Mercy kids have no parents. Or their parents are in jail. Or addicted to drugs. But these children do have aunts, uncles, and grandparents who love them as family. Our goodbye celebration was all about family. We shared in our children’s joy; gave them presents (giant hand-painted pillows signed by every Mercy kid); wished them every blessing in life along with lots of encouragement; and reminded them that they always have a second family here at Mercy. We continue our outreach with their families and provide funding for their education, health and welfare, whenever needed. Many older children who leave Mercy Centre join with other ex-Mercy kids. Together, they form their own support groups and families in the world beyond Mercy Centre. The bonds of friendship they made at Mercy remain as strong as those between real brothers and sisters.