Thursday, December 29, 2011

Until then......

So, it has been over a month since our trip to Haiti. I am not sure why it has taken me so long to write about our time there. I guess I have times when I just don't feel like typing or sharing my thoughts and feelings. However, I forget that this blog is not "all about me". It is about a journey, a child's life and hope for the future. My prayer is to look back at these posts someday, with Makendy sitting beside me, feeling grateful for everything that we went through to bring our boy home. Until then, the journey continues.......Our visit to Haiti in November took an unexpected turn before we even boarded the airplane in Omaha. Two days before we were to fly to Haiti we were told by a friend that the orphanage where Makendy now lives was not allowing any Americans to visit. We were devastated considering this was our sole purpose for going on the trip. However, after prayerful consideration we decided to continue with the trip and see what God had in store for us. We were also planning to meet with our attorney in hopes of laying out a plan to move forward with the adoption process. When we arrived in Haiti the first news that we received was that another missionary had gone to social services on our behalf to get approval for us to visit Makendy. What a blessing!!! When we arrived at the orphanage we could feel that we were being watched from all angles. People were not only cautious, but also suspicious. This orphanage is huge and houses almost 500 boys. As we got out of the car I recognized the faces of some of the boys from the Son of God orphanage. I glanced in all directions, hoping to see my sweet Makendy's face. We were escorted through a corridor and into the office of the orphanage director. He sat behind his desk with a very stern look on his face. He immediately began yelling at our translator and we knew that he was not happy to see us. We showed him our approval letter from social services telling him that he had to allow us to visit. He went on to tell us that we could not see the children because it did not fit in with his schedule. He handed us a note giving us permission to come back the next day. Needless to say, we were leaving feeling emotional and defeated. As we walked out of the office and back down the corridor towards the front gate, the halls were quiet and deserted. I glanced up for one second to see a small, fragile looking boy walking towards me. My heart skipped a beat as I realized that it was Makendy. I ran up to him grabbed his face, kissed his cheek and told him we loved him. As I watched his eyes light up I knew that God had given me this moment. Five hundred kids lived in this orphanage and God sent Makendy walking down that hallway at that one moment. He gave me that one kiss, that one glance,that one moment to give me strength to keep moving forward. It reminded me that there will be lots of difficult moments, difficult people, difficult things to understand throughout this process, but that we are not going through it alone. God is with us! The next day, when we arrived back at the orphanage, we were escorted to a different office. The man that we met with this time was much more pleasant. We sat and spoke to him about the day that the boys were brought to his orphanage from Son of God. He said that the boys were not in good health and that one child in particular was near death. He explained that this young boy collapsed shortly after arriving at their facility and they transferred him to the hospital where he stayed for eight days. We asked what the cause of this young boys illness was and his reply was "near starvation". A few short minutes later some of the Son of God children began to gather outside of the office. Someone must have told them that we were there to see them. The man that we had been speaking with peeked at the door and motioned for one of the boys to enter the office. As the door opened our sweet Makendy walked through the door. The man pointed at him and said, "this is the young boy that we thought was going to die". Every jaw in the room dropped and we all got silent. Mike and I looked at each other, tears filling our eyes. All we could do in that moment was thank God for saving our precious Makendy's life. We were blessed to spend about forty five minutes with the Son of God children. I was able to hug Makendy and read some books to him and his friends. My heart was full of joy to be holding Makendy in my arms, but I also felt the anxiety and sadness of having to say goodbye and walk out of that orphanage, leaving Makendy behind, again!!! I long for that day when we walk out of the orphanage, board a plane and fly home......together!

In Honor of Brave Moms

Over the last several days I have been thinking a lot about two different moms in my life. Both of them have encouraged me to be strong for my children and to trust God with our lives.

One of them just said goodbye to her eleven year old son who lost a brave battle with cancer. Many people wonder how a mom can live with losing a child. Having to watch your child suffer and then lose the fight is just unimaginable for most of us. I am sure that this mom has had many moments of strength through her journey. However, I can also assume that she has had just as many moments of brokenness. Where does she find her strength and her courage?

There is another mom in my life that has shared her journey of adoption with me. She and her husband have been on a long road of fighting to bring a daughter home from Ethiopia. They were matched with a precious baby girl that they named Hope. Since that time they have been through many ups and downs. Including the possibility of not being able to adopt her after they had traveled to Ethiopia thinking that they would be bringing her home soon. How do you live each day desperate to hold your baby in your arms?

Over the last several weeks I have been struggling with the answers to these questions. How does a mom say goodbye to her child? How do you live each day without the child that is meant to be in your family? How do we make sense out of bad things that happen?

As difficult as it may seem, we are not meant to understand. We are only meant to trust God, have faith in His plan and constantly seek answers in His word (the Bible).

This doesn't take away the heartache that comes from being human. It just makes life bearable and gives us the joy that only God can give.

I have seen this strength, this faith and this ability to trust God in both of hear moms. They are going through much different circumstances, however, they have both had God by there side throughout their journeys. I pray that God would help me to have their grace and strength during the difficult times in my life.

In Honor of Rhonda Sharp and Mary Shaul.