1 AM Ramblings: Why I do What I Do and Live Where I Live
I didn’t choose Haiti. I didn’t choose to work with kids. I didn’t choose this life. But, I’m sure glad I followed the path that was paved for me.
Most of our kids here are orphans. Some economic, some true, and some abandoned. Whatever the case, they currently do not live with their parents.
Many of them have parents waiting. Parents who love them dearly and spend so much time, money, and prayer to get them home-- where God has chosen them to be.
There are so many times I want to give each of our children individual attention, praise, love, etc. but there are just so many kids. This is not a family. Children were not meant to be raised by institutions.
I’ve cried over the care we simply cannot give. I’ve yearned for insight, for time, for resources, for wisdom, for intelligence, and for capability that we just don’t have.
Each one of our children are dearly loved—dearly. We have the privilege of loving them, caring for them, teaching them, and molding them until they get to live with their forever families. It is such a blessing to get to know these children, to learn what makes them mad, to learn to distinguish their voice and their cry even when we can’t see them, to learn their love language, to learn each child’s quirks and what makes them unique, and to show them a little glimpse of the love their parents have for them.
I’ve cried over our kids leaving—we miss them when they go. But, we take heart in the fact that it’s the best thing for them. They get to be where God intended them to be. We are all so happy that they will know what a family is and they can tangibly feel their parents’ love. I love that they are going to homes where they will go to church and grow up know who Jesus is. I love that they will get to go to school and be educated. I love they will have a world of opportunities awaiting them. We’ve smiled seeing our kids leave as well.
I’ve cried over our new admits. Little ones that seem too fragile to touch. Little ones who each have their own individual stories, their own feeding and medication plan. Little one’s whose stories are already harder than I have ever had to deal with myself. Its incredible when they get healthy again. I love when they start smiling, laughing, and getting little fat rolls. It is so great when they are able to go back with their biological families even though like the others we miss them.
I’ve cried far too often over little ones whose lives here on earth where cut way too short, but I rejoice in the fact that I was able to get to know them. These precious angels are now living with Jesus and do not have to know what pain is anymore. They get to live in paradise and one day we will get to be reunited with them.
I’ve cried when our children are sick. I hate seeing them lethargic. I hate when I have to hand them off to go to the hospital. I hate seeing them hooked up to IVs. I hate when their problems are too intense and I watch our nurses consult so many other doctors, nurses, books, and resources because they are perplexed. I hate when they just are not themselves.
I’ve cried over not knowing how to best care for a child mentally. Our kids have had such rough beginnings that none of them are “normal”. I’ve pondered how we can help our kids process emotions that I have trouble processing. I’ve cried because people do not deserve to have the memories that our kids have. I’ve wanted to take their fears away. I’ve wanted to make it easier on them when their best friends leave and they don’t know if they will ever see them again. I’ve desired to be able to cuddle each and every one of our kids for days on end. I’ve wished so much we knew exactly what was wrong with our special needs kids. I’ve wished we could help them excel to the best of their abilities. I’ve wished they could thrive here until they get to go be with their forever families. I’ve wished they were all matched with forever families.
I’ve laughed with each one of our kids (and yes sometimes at them too). I’ve laughed at funny antics. I’ve laughed at songs they make up. I’ve laughed at funny stories they say. I’ve laughed at dances they dance. I’ve laughed when they’ve laughed.
I’ve smiled when they yell my name from far away. I’ve smiled when I see an older child caring for a younger one. I’ve smiled when my preschoolers are just too darn cute. I’ve smiled when a child just “gets it”. I’ve smiled when our children get healthier. I’ve smiled when we joke. I’ve smiled when adoptive parents are able to finally meet their children and then again when they are able to take them home. I’ve smiled when we celebrate a birthday. I’ve smiled when our children’s bellies are full. I’ve smiled when a child just wants to cuddle. I’ve smiled when a child gets a new pair of shoes they are so proud of. I’ve smiled too many times to count. I’ve smiled when they’ve smiled.
Tears, sorrow, joy, laughter, anger, frustration, and happiness are all emotions that show up in our lives almost daily. There is never a dull day here. One day is never the same as another. These emotions and the things that cause them are what keeps us on our toes. They keep life interesting, exciting, and worth living.
These children are our world. They are huge blessings. It is an honor and a privilege to get to spend time with them in their first few years of their lives. So often I wonder who they will become. I wonder how/if their personalities will change when they are in a family. I wonder how they will do in school. I wonder if our paths will ever cross again. I wonder all the places they will go and experiences they will get to have.
Its mind boggling, really, to think of everywhere these children will go. To think of who they will become. We could have a future doctor here—maybe a famous doctor who will make a huge medical discovery. We could have an astronaut, a pilot, a fry cook at McDonald’s, an architect, an author, a musician, a teacher, the possibilities are endless. To think that one day they could have a family of their own or maybe volunteer in another country or help out in their church is incredible.
I pray that whatever these kids end up doing that they do it to the best of their abilities and that whatever they do, they do it for the Glory of God. I pray for these kids and their hearts, I pray that they will come to know Jesus not only as their savior but as their very best friend. I pray that they feel God’s love every day of their lives.
These kids are not just orphans to those of us who live here. They each have a story, a birthday, a personality, a family (or hopefully one day will), a smile, a temper, a laugh, likes and dislikes, and a heart that needs to feel loved. These kids are incredible and I can’t imagine my life without them. My heart has been broken for what breaks God's and I pray that never stops. I also think my heart has rejoiced for what makes His rejoice and I pray that that also, never stops.