I don’t know where to begin. Every day here is eventful, chaotic, and provides an abundance of stories. On Monday we celebrated Michaele’s 9th birthday. The kids decorated the outside play area where we had a birthday party in the afternoon. All the kids performed dances and sang songs for the birthday girl and Sue made chocolate cake for everyone.
It feels like we’ve been in the process of moving forever! We’ve been waiting for a few finishing touches and safety repairs to be finished before we can move in. We should be moving everyone there next Saturday if everything goes as planned. Today, Sue took another truck load of furniture and suitcases to Christianville and they spent a few hours cleaning and unpacking some boxes. The kids are getting excited to move to their new home and I am learning to be patient as we wait.
Hannah and Josh only have a week and a half left here before they leave. They have been incredible with the kids and we are all going to miss having them around. I am so thankful for the time we’ve had here together, they have both been such an encouragement and have taught me so much by their examples.
A few days ago, Sue’s biggest fear became a reality. Francesca’s hand was pinched in the front gate. At first it seemed like maybe two of her fingers were broken, so Sue and I took her to the closest Pediatrician. Just to see a the Doctor cost twenty US dollars and then we waited for over two hours to see the Doctor. After about an hour of waiting, Francesca started to bend the fingers that we thought were broken and we were so relieved that it wasn’t!
Last Sunday we went to Betchina and Juliette’s Kindergarten graduation. It was so fun to see the girls all dressed up. The ceremony was over two hours long consisting of various dances, singing, and skits performed by the graduates and the other grades. Everyone came dressed up and there was even a DJ to keep things lively.
One thing is for sure, I’m learning all about babies. Taking care of babies in Haiti is different than in America. Noah and Jackson turned 10 months old yesterday and they are looking so handsome with their new top teeth. The two of them have so much fun talking and playing together. They’ve gotten really good at climbing up and down our front steps and crawling extremely fast across the front yard. They have the most contagious belly laughs and love to be tickled. I’ve never spent such an extended time with babies and I’ve never been so attached. Never in my life have I been the one who causes to babies to cry just because I left the room. I’ve never had babies cling to me this way. Usually I babysit for a few hours and then the parents come home. Usually it’s obvious that I am just the babysitter and that the baby would rather be held by their mom or dad. But it’s not that way with Jackson and Noah. There is no Mom or Dad that returns at night. I consider it a privilege to be taking care of them and am so blessed to be a part of their story. Pray for those of us who are temporarily loving and caring for these boys while they live at Sue’s. Pray for their adoptive parents who are anxiously waiting for the government to process the boy’s adoption. (There’s a link to the parent’s website below)
The lyrics to the song I Give Myself Away” have been coming to mind a lot lately. “I give myself away… so you can use me. The words of this song mean more to me now than ever before. Giving it all away doesn’t just mean spending a summer serving at an orphanage. It doesn’t mean giving 10% of your savings to the offering every week. It means so much more. It means dying to ourselves. God asks that we surrender our plans and so that His purpose for our lives can be accomplished. Sometimes it’s as if I believe that my plans and ideas are better than Gods, so I want Him to help me accomplish mine rather than trust Him and His perfect plan. My pride and selfishness are constantly getting in the way. God is teaching me to humble myself, turn from my independence, and depend on Him for strength and to trust His leading. I am embarrassed by my constant selfishness and impatience over petty things which makes me even more grateful for God’s abundant grace. It’s not about what we do or how well we do it, rather that we accept His grace and so we can experience it’s freedom. “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25
I’m excited to be home soon, hugging my family and playing with my dogs. I can’t wait for some iced coffee and a delicious salad. I can’t believe I’ll be doing all of those things in just over three weeks. There is part of me that is looking forward to the familiarity and comforts of home, but there is another huge part of me that really dreads leaving. I am not a fan of goodbyes. I feel so deeply attached to these kids and I can’t imagine not being with them anymore. My life in the United States is so different from life here. I wish I could just have all the people I love in one place.