After 150 days, almost half a year, Angélica and her parents, Felix and Margarita, returned to their homeland in Usulután, El Salvador.

8 month old Angélica in El Salvador before coming to Austin, Texas. July 2014

8 month old Angélica in El Salvador before coming to Austin, Texas.
July 2014

Since Angélica’s dramatic transformation they have waited for the day they could present their precious baby to their family and friends.

Felix and Margarita with Angélica and her new donated stroller. January 2015

Felix and Margarita with Angélica and her new donated stroller. January 2015

This morning at the airport we said our goodbyes and offered last minute advice. As they made their way through security Felix and Margarita periodically looked back at us either for support or confirmation that they were doing everything just right.

Felix, Margarita and Angélica with Ronald McDonald at the Ronald McDonald House Charites Central Texas, who housed the family while they were in Austin.

Felix, Margarita and Angélica with Ronald McDonald at the Ronald McDonald House Charites Central Texas, who housed the family while they were in Austin.

The family at Austin Bergstrom International Airport before leaving this morning on United Airlines.

The family at Austin Bergstrom International Airport before leaving this morning on United Airlines.

As dedicated and loving parents, they have done everything just right. They have followed instructions, done everything asked of them and are eager to take the next step in their daughter’s success. Even this morning, Margarita, was showing us the hand exercises she was doing with Angélica.

Thanks to you, we have accomplished this first milestone with baby Angélica and her family. There is no question in our minds that this family will persevere and succeed with renewed hope and vision of what the future may hold for them, but more importantly for Angélica. She now has the gift of a complete smile, grasping fingers, and the opportunity to live a normal life with the continued love and support of her parents.  This is the wish of every parent and every member of Austin Smiles.

Our relationship with Angélica and her family has just begun as she will require more surgeries in the future. There are many more children like her waiting for us. Your continued support will make a significant impact in children’s lives. You make a difference!

Quote of the week:
We can all be angels to one another. We can choose to obey the still small stirring within, the little whisper that says, “Go. Ask. Reach out. Be an answer to someone’s plea.” ~ JOAN WESTER ANDERSON, Where Angels Walk

They are home! Felix, Margarita and Angélica greeted at the El Salvador International Airport by Club Rotario San Salvador Cuscatlán members, Oscar Ochoa and Oscar Sanchez.

They are home! Felix, Margarita and Angélica greeted at the El Salvador International Airport by Club Rotario San Salvador Cuscatlán members, Oscar Ochoa and Oscar Sanchez.