Friday, November 25, 2011

Just to See His Smile

There is so much that I feel like I need to go back to. So many things that have happened in the past that complete our story. However, I am getting so bogged down feeling like I need to fill in every detail. Someday, I will go back in time. But, for now, I need to continue on our journey.

Right now, I am sitting on the train in Chicago. We have a six hour layover on our way to Haiti. (Yes, we are headed to Haiti!!! Mike, our dear friend Steve and myself.

After allegations of severe abuse and neglect the Son of God orphanage was closed down in mid October (this story will be its own blog someday). Several of the children went missing between the removal from Son of God and their placement at a new orphanage. We learned that the Son of God directors had been tipped off to the closing of the orphanage so they had time to flee with over 30 children.

I will never forget the night that we found out Makendy was one of the missing children. The thought that we might never see him again was so overwhelming. I remember curling up in a ball and crying out to God. "Why our little boy! Why these children!" I prayed that wherever he was, it was better than what he had just come from. I knew that even though we did not know where he was....God knew. However, I still wept for the little boy that I, so badly, wanted to hold in my arms and protect from the evil in this world.

A few weeks went by and I was amazed at the number of people who told me that they were praying for Makendy and all of the children from the Son of God orphanage. One afternoon Mike received a call from our friend Matt. Matt has been in Haiti for weeks now, relentlessly fighting for the missing children. He told Mike that he had located Makendy. Makendy had NOT been one of the children that was kidnapped. He had actually spent a few days in the hospital because he was sick when they removed him from the orphanage. Matt said that he was doing much better, had gained a little weight and was even going to school. What a huge answer to prayer!

So, here we are now, on our way to Haiti to connect with the new orphanage and see our precious Makendy's face. We have been told that the new orphanage is not fond of Americans so our time with Makendy will be very limited. However, just to see his smile will be enough for me!

These last few weeks have been a huge test of faith. I know that this journey is FAR from over. I know that we still have huge obstacles to overcome. I will still have moments that I just DO NOT understand. I will have times that I want to scream out to God in anger, disappointment, fear and exhaustion. The one thing that I can lean on is the fact that God is with me on this journey. His heart aches for Makendy, just as mine does.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nothing is impossible with God!

Mike and I returned from our trip to Haiti and began our home study. This would be the first step in the long and grueling process of adopting Makendy.

As I began researching Haitian adoptions I realized that this was not going to be an easy process. We spent weeks contacting adoption agencies all around the United States and received the same response each time. They could not help us.

Following the earthquake on January 12th, 2010 Haiti closed all adoptions. American adoption agencies were not taking on any new cases because they were doing all they could to fight for those families that had already been matched with a child and were now being told that they could not bring them home. I read heart breaking stories of people that were within days of bringing their child home when the most devastating natural disaster in history hit Haiti.

Along with the effects of the earthquake on adoptions in Haiti we also quickly realized that we had another huge hurdle to overcome, we did not fit within Haiti's guidelines to adopt. We were told that these guidelines were very tight and strict. They read that you could not adopt unless you had been married over ten years, you were over 35 years of age and you did not have any biological children. Well, we "passed" the first two, but we had our four children at home that made up our family.

The frustrating thing for me was that these guidelines were written over thirty years ago. However, because of the corruption and lack of stability within the Haitian government, they had never been changed. Most American adoption agencies would not take on families that fell outside of these guidelines. However, I found several blogs from families that HAD been successful at adopting children from Haiti. I knew in my heart that it was going to be a long road with many hurdles to overcome, but I also knew that nothing was impossible with God.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Where do we go from here?

After returning home from my second trip to Haiti I told my family all about the quiet little boy named Makendy. I didn't exactly know why my heart still ached for this little boy, but I couldn't get him out of my mind.

My husband, Mike and I spent many hours talking about Makendy and what our purpose was in his life. Mike began to fall in love with a little boy that he had never even met. This is when we made the decision to travel to Haiti together so that Mike would have the opportunity to meet Makendy.

As much as we looked forward to experiencing Haiti together it was a tough choice to leave our four children at home and travel to a third world country under turmoil. We had some people that were very critical of our decision and this began to eat away at me as we prepared for our trip. Were we being irresponsible? Were we bad parents? Were we blindly taking this step and not thinking about the consequences? Well, this is when I learned a great deal about my faith and about Satan.

I began questioning my faith because Satan was using people that I know and love to challenge me. No one ever said that being a believer in Jesus Christ was easy. So far, these were some of the most dark and difficult times in my spiritual journey.

As I fought through the spiritual battle going on in my head, I realized that I needed to shut off the noise and listen to my heart. God placed Haiti on my heart many years ago when we began sponsoring a little girl from World Vision. God opened doors for me to go to Haiti and minister to the people there. God placed a little boy from a Haitian orphanage in my life. And, now, He was nudging Mike and I to travel back to Haiti so Mike could meet Makendy, the little boy who stole a piece of my heart. This was not our
timing or our plan. It was God's timing and God's plan.

Mike and I, along with two friends that have been to Haiti before, traveled to Haiti at the end of November 2010. This would be my third trip to Haiti in a year. Our time there went well and we were able to spend some quality time with Makendy. It didn't take long for Mike to say that this little boy belonged in our family. This is when I realized that Makendy was a Lempke. He was not just an orphan who stole
my heart with his big, brown eyes. He was our son. Given to us by God!

It was then that the real work began. Where did we go from here???