Monday, April 23, 2012

April...A Time of Referral, Baptism and God's Work.

So many things seem to be happening full steam around me, but my brain and body are still on 'Haiti' time (as my friend Angie so rightly put it!). Things are whizzing past me and I don't feel like I'm hanging on very tight! In other words, too much to do and I have no sense of time!!!

But here are some things that have been going on in our village since we returned from Haiti on March 30.

Our official referral documents came in! We are in process of working (and waiting) on adding a sweet, cute, healthy 2 and a half year old boy to our family! Due to confidentiality reasons, I cannot post any other information about him. But he has a name and face! We have a son waiting for us in Haiti!

However, April has been filled with other amazing things. Tayler was baptized on Easter Sunday this year. All I can say is when your 15 1/2 year old son commits his life to Jesus and willingly gets baptised without poking, prodding or doing it because it's the rule, it is the most amazing experience for a parent. Seeing your child take ownership of his faith...well, I've been thanking God for drawing Tayler and making my son His child.

Also, I have to praise God and give Him glory for constantly walking with us. A small, but powerful story: Part of the paperwork that we received for the referral had the amount that we needed to pay up front to the agency. Weeeeeellllll....this very scatter-brained woman mis-read the statement and only sent in half the payment! EEK! We needed to send in twice as much. Well, our savings and personal loan had been tapped out so we were kind of sweating what to do. We had part of it in cash to send, but needed $800 more. I was getting to the point of selling, pawning, begging, whatever it would take.

Well, funny thing. Our credit card statement came in. The bank raised our limit. Can you guess how much??? $800 EXACTLY! Coincidence? I think not:) This has happened several times over the last 6 months since we started the adoption process. God has been opening doors. If people question why we are adopting or why are we allowing ourselves to go into debt again, I can honestly say God wants us to adopt! He will help us tie up the financial end as it comes at us. Some way, some how.

Anyway, that is a small update on what is up in this village:) I want to send a hug and thanks to our prayer warriors and financial supporters. I can NEVER put into words what it means to us. You are a HUGE part in helping to bring our little boy home!

(The pic is of Daniel and I holding him, but can't show his face so it's been cropped, but we got to meet him!!)
God Bless,

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Reflections on Haiti

We have been back for nearly a week from Haiti and I've had time to absorb, think over and pray for all I experienced on our trip. There was so much, so overwhelming, I don't know that I can ever truly put into words what I lived that week.

The 1st day we were exposed to orphans at the facility for 'older' kids (5 and up) and I was unsure how I was going to react. This is something I've never before experienced in my life. Fortunately for me, the kids knew! They crawled all over us, loved on us, which in turn put me at ease and let my love for kids flow more smoothly.

The 2nd day we went to the baby facility. There were babies as young as 2 months old. I wondered what their futures would hold, brand new and innocent to the world, growing up institutionalized... I am hopeful for these babies however. People adopt babies more often than some of the 6, 7, or 8 year olds that we played with the day before.

Day 3 was diffucult. More diffucult than I can say, but I will try and convey what I mean. We went back to the older child facility and spent the day with them. Somewhere in the back of my mind, through the beadmaking, storytelling, games and coloring, I knew I would probably never see these kids again. I will never know what they become. A child in Haiti is like a wounded gazelle among the lions. My solace was in knowing that the Orphanage Director does his best to look out and provide for them. In an unstable nation, however, there are too many unknowns. I sobbed in the back of our taptap after 11 year old Lucina read Bible stories to me and I found myself clinging to the hope that Jesus was there and protecting these children. That somehow they would know and feel that. That no matter where their paths may take them, they have a Father in heaven who loves them, even when their parents could not.

The 4th day took us back to the baby facility and we again visited, colored with toddlers and held babies. By this day the team was so emotionally drained, it felt like we had nothing left to give. But the kids still managed to keep us busy and we spent a full day loving babies one more time. Holding babies that will never remember you has a profound effect. There is alot of disassociating and disconnecting that can happen within a child's brain if it is not held and loved in the early months of life. We felt blessed and privileged to do this for these babies.

Everyday as we drove through the city, I tried to take snapshots with my brain as well as the camera. I want to remember the colorful taptaps, the beautiful women carrying baskets on their heads, the men selling their goods on the roadsides, the uniformed school children walking to school. The piles of rubble and trash that litter the streets, the cows, goats, chickens...absolutely everything. In a week, all these pieces of Haiti, good, bad, beautiful and ugly, had worked their way into my blood. A week later, I am still longing for and miss Haiti. Why God, am I missing such a poor, needy nation?

He has repeatedly answered me: In a nation like Haiti, where people live day to day, the only hope they truly have is the hope that is provided through Christ. I felt God in Haiti like I never felt before. We can donate, visit, build and educate these people, but their hope truly only lies in the Haitian people coming to life through Christ.

God loves Haiti and it's people. I love Haiti. I pray He uses me to help spread His glory through my newfound home away from home.

God bless,