In the Summer of 2010 I was one of many lucky people who had the opportunity to take a short trip to Haiti. I fell almost instantly in love and just can't keep myself away. I've spent about 11 months in Haiti since the first time I went two and a half years ago and my time there isn't over. I'm exploring my options on where to take my life from here but it WILL include Haiti in one form or another. This is where I record stories and thoughts about my experiences.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Disclaimer: This is a very scattered blog post. But my brain is very scattered right now. So Please forgive me. It's the best I could do.

My time in Haiti has come to an end. At least for now. My "plan" is to be home for a little bit. I will probably be staying in the Sates for a year to live with my best friend who is also coming home. I may have to learn to live with just visits to Haiti for the next year. I hope and pray that those visits can come often because it's killing me to be away. After a year, I pray that God will show me where to go. I'd love to go back to Haiti. I miss all the people I met there and grew to love and I miss the culture in general. I can't believe that after raising those precious boys for nine months that I had to leave them. I hate that all those kids and I were a part of each other's day for almost 9 months and now it's over. But it is what it is. This has been the plan all along and it's happening whether I like it or not.

Even though I miss those kids, being back has been good. I've actually taken it a lot better than I thought I would. I thought I'd be in tears the whole time. But I haven't been. I miss those kids and life in Haiti but it's been really good to spend time with my mom and others that I love at home. It breaks my heart to want to be two places at once. It's helped to have all the comforts and convenience of life in the States too. It's amazing how much I took for granted before. I'm living life through a new lens now. When I was in Haiti, life was harder in a lot of ways. I looked back through my journal entries and I was always complaining of a stomach ache, bug bites or other physical ailments. It was hot. I was exhausted a lot of the time. I was never alone. Here at home, those things aren't affecting me. There's almost always a quick and easy solution to the problems I have here in the States. It's convenient.

Another thing that is throwing me off is that I am just myself here. I only have me to take care of. Before, I was always on duty for caring for 18 other little humans. I was especially in charge of making sure nothing happened to the boys. Here, I don't have to keep one eye and ear open all the time for crying kids. I don't have to get up in the night to take care of sick kids or babies. I don't have to wake up early in the morning to giggles or screams of all the kids. Here, I can sleep in and be by myself and eat whatever I want whenever I want. But I'm not sure I love it... There are no words to describe how much I miss those kids. I miss the hugs and kisses. I miss teaching. I miss rocking those sweet babies to sleep. I miss kissing Jackson and Noah's fat cheeks. I miss giving them baths every night. I miss playing uno over and over again with the kids. I miss watching and helping Peter and Michaelle learn. I miss it. I miss Haiti. I miss those kids.

Living in Haiti was not easy, but it was so rewarding. It was not at all what I expected. The struggles and rewards were different than I thought they would be.

Life in Haiti was hard for me because I was isolated within the four walls of our yard. Whenever I had been to Haiti before, I was used to being out in the community and talking with everyone, using public transport, and probably being unsafe a lot of times. At Sues, things were safe and contained. Before I went to Haiti, I didn't expect that to even be an issue. If anything, I would have thought that I would be more stressed from not feeling safe. Instead, the stress came from being cooped up. I didn't really have choices when I was there. Things were chosen for me. What I ate, when I ate it, when I slept, how long I slept, and personal space was not a thing. Those were things that I wasn't used to. And it was hard. I was running on little sleep and different food and sometimes I was hungry but couldn't eat because it wasn't meal time yet. I had communication with loved ones at home but it was limited. That added to the isolation. I never went out of the gates and so my friends were limited to children under 11 and the few workers who came in and out throughout the month. Being isolated was something that really stressed me out.

I think that God used that struggle to show me something. Through that, God taught me how I can be strong and live through situations even though I didn't think I could some days. I was challenged in a way that I didn't expect and I think God used it for good. I now realize how adaptable God created me as a human. I think that if I was pushed in ways that I expected, I wouldn't have learned what I did. I'm glad that it wasn't all fun and easy while I was there. I had to work hard to be loving and grateful for where I was and what I was doing even though it was difficult at times. I learned that just moving to Haiti wasn't enough. I had to be loving, caring, patient, and joyful in ALL situations. I really had to work on that. It's easy to be loving and patient when everyone is doing the same for you. But I lived with kids. They aren't always loving, kind and grateful. Kids can be cruel sometimes! That made me need to work harder to act how God wanted me to act. I got through the days that were hard, and I tried to act how God wanted me to. And on the days that were easy, I was grateful. Those were the days that made it all worth it.

I learned that sacrifice doesn't mean moving to Haiti, a place I love, but living fully in ways that God wanted me to even when it wasn't fun and easy. Sacrifice for me meant showing God's love through my actions even when I got no thanks. It's easy to love life and everyone around you when everything is perfect. Life in Haiti wasn't perfect for me. But I had to learn to be thankful and loving even in the situations that weren't perfect.

I learned so much on my trip. I've loved and lived like I never have before. I got to be things I've never been before.

I was a teacher.

I was a big sister.

I was a mom.

I felt a deeper love than I have ever experienced before because God brought those beautiful baby boys into my life. I'm grateful for that. I am so thankful that God put me in Haiti at the perfect time to take Jackson and Noah into a safe home. Although it is so painful to be away from them, I just hope that this is all in God's plan. I hope that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. I am having to learn to let God be their Papa and take care of them. I have to let go and let Him protect them now. He knew them before anyone else did and loves them more than I do. It was something I hadn't thought about until now. Now that I'm not there to be their protector and caretaker. My turn to be their mommy is over. I have to let others do that for them now. I'm so thankful for the time I had with them. I know I will be in their lives forever but it's a hard transition as my role in their lives changes.

I miss those kids.

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