JOELJoel has lived in children’s homes for as long as he can really remember. We first met him many years ago in Nueva Esperanza, a government run children’s home. After a few years of bouncing around in different homes and on the street, he was brought to Proniño where we were so thrilled to be able to be a part of his life once again. Joel’s story is a little different than many of these kids, in that it is all unknown. We have no knowledge of his full name, birthday, or identity number. His family has never come forward and the last thing Joel really remembers of his mother is hearing her say that she “doesn’t want him.” We talk about this a lot. We process what it means to be somewhat of an “unknown” in society. Mostly though, we talk about family. We talk about how family doesn’t mean you share the same DNA, but it means people who love and care for you to the ends of the earth, the ones that always want what is best for you. Today, I call Joel my miracle. He is the hardest worker, he’s courteous, and he loves to take on responsibility. While his past has given him every reason to be the opposite, he is compassionate and overcoming. That doesn’t mean each day is easy, but it means that he is growing to believe in his abilities to be so much more than “unknown.”