Day 4 of our trip to Haiti for this 3 week tour. Our first team is incredible! Kate a goofy girl from Michigan transplanted to Florida seems like she shoulda been at every family reunion we ever had! And sweet little Dana; what can I say? I have never seen a person that was quiet but not shy. Man, she is fun and a hard worker and the kids adore her (mine too)! We are blessed to have these two share these first precious moments of our journey as an organization with us. I can’t think of any better.
Today started off like most Sundays in Haiti for us with a drive up Delmas to Port au Prince Fellowship. We were waiting on the service to begin and lo and behold! Our friends from our trip last September, Moe and Elsa. Moe is Haitian and Elsa is from the Netherlands. It is amazing how God works. Moe is a concrete construction foreman and his work is outstanding. I discovered he is working a job in Leogane that will end in August. Coincidentally (or not), our project on the wall at La Colline will begin in September. I am not jumping to conclusions but you have to admit the chance of meeting was pretty rare…and exciting!
Now onto the matter I really wanted to blog about. Blogs are supposed to be personal and revealing right? Well, this one is. I hope it is therapeutic too. As you already know by now, Michelle and I adopted Kerby and Kerlandy from Haiti 18 months ago. What many do not know is that they have a father and brother still in Haiti. Their mother died several years ago and because the father was trying to take care of his family he lost his factory job at a bottling company.
For a long time now I have to admit while I am very happy he chose to allow us to adopt the children, I have secretly abhorred the idea. What I mean is, I could not fathom the idea of him giving the children to an orphanage even though this is normal to Haitians. Neither could I stand the fact that this man would give his kids away. It stung as I thought about how I felt about him even though I could tell every time I met him, he truly loved the kids. I just didn’t get it.
I tried to put it out of my mind. But then Blondy would call and the kids would talk to their dad. I would literally leave the room. I was so jealous I couldn’t bear to listen in on their conversation and the entire time I was secretly hoping that sooner or later he would fade from their minds.
The idea was getting some traction. Both kids were having great difficulty communicating to him because their Creole was getting worse as their English improved. But they continued hammering me on returning to Haiti.
Finally I succumbed to the pressure. I couldn’t keep going back to Haiti without taking them at some point. So we got the passports and booked the flights. The kids were excited to come back to Haiti. I hoped the whole time that they would see how children in our orphanage would live and would be repulsed by it compared to the life they have in the U.S. I know it’s bad. I am just being honest.
I had such incredible dread of this meeting between the children and their dad. It was awkward before, but now I just wanted it to be over.
Pause. A few weeks ago I was listening to a message from a very good pastor friend of mine who was talking about knowing God as Father. He spoke of God’s love and how the work of love and salvation was truly finished at the cross. He spoke of Father’s love placing all the punishment and wrath righteously due us being finished and over in Jesus. While I am hearing this message God reminded me that the kid’s father must have loved them enormously to allow them to be given away to be raised by someone in another country he barely knows. He doesn’t know for sure if he will ever see them again. But he willing gives his kids to give them a chance at a better life. I should be honoring this man instead of fearing my children’s love for him.
Play. I mulled over this thought for a few weeks prior to leaving. After we got to Haiti, I dreaded it all over again. It would be something to endure and I would move on. Except..except God did something to me. I arrived at the place where they live in Bon Repot and I was overjoyed for them. I was genuinely happy for them to see their family. But their father wasn’t there. Well, I was in a good frame of mind. I wish he was here. The kids said he was gone and didn’t know if he would be back for a long time.
Then they got the call. He was close..really close. As they waited you could see the anticipation build and when he walked through the gate…wow. I don’t know how to describe the joy and happiness in that little yard of a hut. It seemed like they hugged a hundred times and kissed a hundred more. San Ruis (their dad) didn’t stop smiling for an hour. He wanted to know EVERYTHING! Luckily, we had the ipad loaded with pictured of our house, the kids things and Kerby’s garden! I told him how great they were doing in school and my, how proud he was. He actually looked at me and thanked ME and congratulated ME! What an idiot I have been! I was jealous of the same kind of love my heavenly Father showed me in Jesus. I was jealous of his memory and his affection thinking it would somehow diminish mine.
What a lesson I have learned through this. It goes to show you one is never to old to learn a love lesson. I am just glad I learned it with some awesome people. Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.