Last week Travis and I made our first trip to visit the orphanage where our daughter is. We started out with a mini vacation for us, it seemed, because of the time it took to get there. We left on Saturday and flew to MN and stayed the night and then flew to Miami in the morning. We had the rest of the day in Miami to just hang out. We took a shuttle to the Dolphin Mall and looked around and then just sat around the pool in the evening. It was so relaxing. It felt strange to not have to look after someone and I kept looking around feeling as if I was missing something.
We flew to PAP Monday morning and then flew to Cap Hatien where Children of the Promise orphanage is located. I had heard so many good things about this orphanage and was excited to see it in person. The plane to CH was a twin prop little 12 seater, Quite an experience! It did, however, allow us to see the beautiful landscape of Haiti.
The orphanage is beautiful with lots of trees and several buildings that house the orphans and volunteer staff. They have a clean well for water that they open up to the community and several community outreach programs. They are trying to raise chickens and rabbits to help with their food supply as well.
When we came to where the children were they were all napping so our first view of RM was a diaper only, chunky, sweetness sleeping on a cot. We waited for them to wake and visited with the other volunteers under the huge mango tree that seems to be the gathering place.
RM's bday was the Friday before we got there and they waited for us to arrive to celebrate it. We were so excited to participate in that celebration. We had seen pictures of such celebrations so to be a part of our little girls 3rd birthday even though we are normally so far away, was something we will always cherish.
I got to hold her while they sang "Happy Birthday" and T prayed over her. Then a nanny prayed for her in Creole. It was a special moment to say the least.
The rest of our short time there was filled with playing with the kids and trying to soak in being in RMs presence, knowing the uncertainty of the process and how long it might take to see her again.
We left the next afternoon and flew back to PAP. We stayed at a hotel near the airport and were so thankful to have our travel buddies with us. Another family who is adopting traveled at the same time and so we were able to share in this experience with them.
The next morning we set off early to the embassy after filling out the proper paperwork. We had an 8 oclock appointment and after going through the many security points, found a seat in a large waiting room filled with Haitians also waiting for their turn. I was so curious to know each of their stories and many times became overwhelmed with the knowledge that God loves EACH ONE of these precious lives in this room. And then to wonder how many of them even know of His love for them and what His Son did for them.
We waited for hours and then our names were called to a window. A lady asked us some questions and gave us some instructions and that was it. We were done. Our whole trip's purpose completed in 10 minutes. Well, I guess God used that 10 min. purpose to further His purpose of continuing to open our eyes to the world around us. We as Christians have so much to give and we get so caught up in our lives we forget to share it with those around us.
I want to change that in my life. Look at my hurting neighbors, see those hurting in my city, rejoice with them and comfort them when they are hurting. Share my resources with those in need, here, across the oceans, wherever God takes me.
After the Embassy appointment we were driven to the airport and started our trek home. All of our flights were uneventful and smooth. We were a little alarmed when upon take off the stewardess said over the speaker, "Say your Goodbyes!"....... What does that mean????? Ha!
It was nice to have some time for just T and I to be together. I often hear of older married couples complain of how when their children move out of the home they are left staring at their spouse as if they were strangers. They had let the years go by without cultivating their marriage and now left to figure out how to begin this new part of their lives. It was nice to have this opportunity to not think about caring for our kids, house projects, and all the other things that demand our attention and enjoy being with one another. I was happy to realize that I actually still enjoy being around my husband after 12 years of marriage. And hope to have, or make more opportunities to continue to cultivate our marriage in the future.
I have video but trying to figure out how to edit it since I cant post any other child but RM. I will post pics too.
Thank you to all who have been praying us through this long journey. In august it will be 2 years since starting the process and we probably have another year to go. Your continued prayers are greatly appreciated.