ROSALIND McKinley has four children - two in Dollingstown and two in Guatemala.
In July she’ll be heading off to Guatemala to see the two sponsored children who she treats as part of her family.
Rosalind began sponsoring Edwin and Maria five years ago when she became involved with Adopt-A-Child through her friend Maureen Quinn, the area rep for the charity who runs a shop in Markethill.
Rosalind is married to Colin and together the couple have two children - Craig (19) and Alison (16).
Five years ago Rosalind ‘adopted’ another two children, both from Guatemala. She’s been out to see them once and can’t wait to visit them again this July.
10-year-old Edwin (10) and Maria (6) live in different parts of Guatemala. On July 16 Rosalind will head out with a team from Adopt-A-Child to visit some of the sponsored children in the country.
Rosalind explained: “Most of these sponsored children are not orphans, they live with at least their mummy.
“Quite a few of them are living in tin shacks. It really opens your eyes.
“I’m not going out on a building project or anything like that. It’s an envision trip. It lets you go and see the feeding programmes and churches that Adopt-A-Child have established, as well as home visits.
“Most of the people who carry out the work in Guatemala are from there. Adopt-A-Child enable the people from these countries to do the work themselves.”
She added: “The highlight of the trip will be seeing Edwin and Maria. I’m like a second mummy to them.
“We have a personal correspondence I can write to them at any time.
“You can have as much contact with them as you like. We’ve built up a relationship over the last five years.
“If people ask me how many children I have I say, ‘I’ve two here and two in Guatemala’.
“I would send them photos of us all we treat them like two children of ours.
“We’ve their photos on the mantelpiece alongside photos of Craig and Alison.”
Of the children in Guatemala, Rosalind said: “They’re happy getting things like a ball and a whistle, they’re not like children here who want the latest computer game.
“The last time I was in Guatemala we took wee Edwin a football. It was like we’d given him a million dollars.
“Children here wouldn’t have the same enthusiasm as that.”
Rosalind said: “I’ll be staying in the mission house when I’m there and eating the same as everyone else.
“You go out thinking that you’re going to be doing things for them, but they’re actually doing more for us. They touch your life.
“I can’t wait until July 15. I have Colin and the kids’ heads turned talking about Guatemala.”
She added: “I always think, the small amount a month it takes to sponsor a child is the same as you’d spend on a Chinese on a Saturday night.”
In terms of sponsorship Rosalind is a holding a charity shave and wax in the barber shop at Glenavon in aid of Adopt-A-Child.
The fundraising has already started and Glenavon goalkeeper Andy Coleman has agreed to take part. Colin has begun growing a beard in order to have something to shave off and his friend Lenny Patience has agreed to shed his beard for the worthy cause.