Friday, November 4, 2011

thank heavens for little boys.

so much has happened since i last blogged. so many wonderful things.
first relation to my post about "mr. snortles"....since i posted that, Amasaiah has been brought back to the orphanage and is super healthy now and is WALKING...and better yet becoming a little chunker :)
 This was a huge answer to countless prayers! he is back and thriving. a double blessing!

in other news, since i last blogged i have gotten a little brother....well not yet. he is 9 years old and lives at the orphanage in Haiti for the time being until we can bring him MONELSON!
i cant wait to bring him home :) he has the most amazing personality and he is hysterical as anything. he and i bonded while i was in haiti over the summer (before i even knew he was going to be my brother). one night after a birthday celebration, he and some of the older kids got to stay up later and we were playing music and dancing. and we were referring to the boys and girls as princes and princesses...and i used to say "prince monelson, may i have this dance" and his face would cringe up and he would smile and yell "eeeeeee I NO PRINCE" and so the rest of my stay there i referred to him as "prince monelson" and each time he would break out in an ear to ear smile followed by an infectious chuckle and say "hehe i no prince"

yes i am ecstatic to be getting a brother and yes i am all too excited to be having a little piece of haiti being part of my family for the rest of my life but beginning this whole process has reopened some old wounds also. recently my mind has really been brought back to when Joey was still with us. it has been about 9 months since he left our feels like its been forever. having my parents start this adoption at first brought about an immense amount of joy and excitement for all of us, but as the days went on, i started feeling something that i didnt expect to feel....nervousness and a little bit of anxiety. because it was only a year ago that our family was at THIS point in our lives:

this was our reality and we were so blissfully in love with that little mischevious blonde booger you see there. as i look at our expressions in this picture, they are looks of a family that is so deeply in love with one another not to mention the strength of the bond we all had with that little boy. and we were utterly and completely not prepared for the blindsiding we would have in regards to a certain person who had become a member of our family since the first day he came to live with us. you would think that 9 months is enough time to heal wounds that came out of the removal of a child who you called your brother for only 10 months. to be honest with you, i cant look at his pictures without crying even today. i cant even talk about him without getting misty eyed every.single.time. starting this new adoption process has reaffected our family. every single one of us has gone through the whole "joe" situation again, each in our own way, but im pretty positive that every single one of us has had joe on the mind since we have started this process. with thanksgiving coming up, and thinking about thankfulness, just the other day i remembered when last thanksgiving i taught Joe to say the word "TOFURKEY"....dont ask me why i taught him that word, we were always teaching him weird things. but that was OUR word. it was a word that would have the two of us laughing every single time either one of us said it. and i can literally hear him saying it to me in my head clear as day. he would make himself laugh every time he said the word. it was quite the funny sight.

this has also made me think, and i hate that these thoughts even come across my mind. but what if my bond with Joe was so strong that i wont be able to connect with Monelson in the way that i did with Joe? i want to love Monelson with my whole heart the way that i love every other member of my family, but will this feeling ever go away? the feeling in my heart that his adoption represents the painful failure of Joe's adoption. and that i have not been as quick to open my heart for fear of having to know the feeling of having someone you so deeply love be ripped from you, never to be seen again?? i dont know the answer. all i know is that i am not the one in control of my life, or joes, life or monelsons life. and it is only the Great I Am that can help me heal and bandage these wounds that are still festering on my heart. until then, i will love this new little brother of mine the best way i know how :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

ever been kidnapped by a couple of orphans?

I decided that I would write a blog post describing to you a moment I dreamed about for almost 6 months. I constantly dreamed of what it would look like as I re-entered those gates to the orphanage that I had ached to return to for what seemed like eternity. But my first few minutes inside the gates went a little differently than I had imagined...actually, a lot differently. It went a little something like this:

As we pulled into the gates I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest. The car could not stop fast enough to let me jump out. My first feeling was "i am home." After I had found my Haitian mother, Jasmine, and given her the hug that I had been storing up since December, I ran off to try to find those beautiful faces that were burned into my memory...I had not been there more than 10 minutes before I was kidnapped by Daika (10), Oltania (9), and Ashley (9). They took me back to the side of girls dormitory where I saw Mensah (8) standing there with that beautiful sheepish smile that she is famous for. Immediately the other girls surrounded me and began all asking at once, "you adopt Mensah, you be Mensah's mama?" I then had to explain that I was basically still a child myself. Then they asked me "You mom be Mensah's mom, you family adopt Mensah?" My heart just broke and I was a loss for words. What do I tell a child who has been waiting for years for people to call her parents? A child who sits in the shadows and watches many of her friends and all of the little children around her bond and spend time with their adoptive parents and families. She has been waiting for the only two people on this earth that can promise her the kind of never ending unconditional love she so greatly deserves and desires. I realized just how important the three weeks that I would spend at the orphanage would be...I would be a constant in each of their lives for 22 days straight and although I personally could not adopt any of them, I could still show them the love of their heavenly Father so they can no that although they do not yet have earthly parents from America who promise to love and provide for them, they are not alone.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

but it doesnt snow in haiti...

this weeks photo contest is entitled "white"...the object is to submit a COLOR photo (not black and white) that focuses specifically on the color white....well since it doesnt snow in haiti im not sure what photo to use... :) but i believe i have found one that i think uses white to accentuate the other colors in the photo...

this photo uses the white dormitory buildings at the orphanage as a backround....this photo is of a beautiful child named, Mensah. she also reminds me of the color white because she has the purest spirit and the most kind and caring heart. she is so quiet and such a little lady. and she is so happy and playful even though she sees most of her friends around her getting matched with adoptive families. she holds onto the hope that she too will one day have a family to call her own. meanwhile, she loves her friends the best way she knows how :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

this weeks photo contest....pets...

not a fan of furry critters. but i just so happen to have a photo from haiti that fits this category.
there was a cat who was hugely preggo when i arrived at the orphanage....a few days later she wasnt preggo anymore but we didnt know where she gave birth. but on our last day in haiti, we found the kittens. they were kinda cute :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

photo contest for this week...beautiful eyes

i feel like i was most excited about this weeks contest. but i also feel that it was the hardest to choose which photo to use. one of my favorite things about Haiti is that the haitians eyes tell you all that you need to know even when their actions do not. and each eye that i have made contact with has displayed their beautiful soul on the inside of that sometimes tough this week i chose a photo that i took on my trip back in december. this little guy carries around so much behind his tired eyes. yet he is every bit of beautiful.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

so the world can see

so i found a photo contest through another friends blog...i have been looking for a contest to enter some of my Haiti pictures into. i have really been blessed by the photos that i have come home with. there is something so magical, in a way, about Haiti. people look at my pictures and say "wow you take great photos" and when in all honesty, i point and i shoot my SLR and when i look at the play back screen my jaw drops. because here i have this unfathomably gorgeous photo in front of me when i really had nothing to do with making it that way. but this weeks photo contest is on the subject of "friendship". i can only submit one photograph by 9pm tonight. unfortunately i have 4 possibilities...i need help narrowing it down.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Introducing the Handsome Mr. Snortles

Over the last few days, I have really felt the burden to share with you the story of an extra special little man. Now some would say that he is not the most beautiful of children. Maybe it is because his thyroid problem makes his eyes stick out of his sockets farther than most. Or maybe it is because his head is really big, almost too big for his tiny body. Or maybe because he looks just a little scary. But when I first saw this baby in a picture, I felt a special connection to this handsome little bugger. Yes, he may have looked a little freaky looking but something in me just wanted to meet him and be able to hold him. When I left the orphanage back in December I had been keeping up to date with the new kids coming in and out. When I found out that baby Amasaiah arrived, he was put on my list of children that I was "eager to meet."As soon as I got to OLTCH that first day on June 9th, I immediately sought out those beautiful familiar faces that I had longed a whole six months to see again. After that, I began searching for this bug-eyed babe. I found him in the baby house in a dilapidated baby swing being fed a bottle by just a pillow propped up under his chin. He looked up at me with those huge dark eyes and I melted. I picked him up and hand fed him the rest of his bottle. As I began playing with him I realized that his features did not match the personality inside of this little guy. He had the motor skills and personality of a 7 month old yet he was half the size of one of the 3 month olds in the nursery. One of the best attributes of this baby was his snorting. He could not breathe out of his nose because of some sort of respiratory infection. so every time he laughed or was eating and he had to breath out of his nose he would snort. It.was.the.cutest.thing.ever. not to mention that his smile lit up his whole face. I began to fall in love with this little baby. I spent as much time with him as I could (without making it look like I was playing favorites of course :) ) Amasaiah and I would have play time every day. Usually it was around feeding time because he had such a time feeding himself. I started to think that the nannies were purposely neglecting him because they did not change his clothing or his diaper as often as the other babies. And while other babies were ALWAYS held to be fed, Amasaiah had to learn to feed himself almost all the time. My time with him each day went in pretty much the same routine. I would walk in, he would smile, and I would smile. I would pick him up and change his diaper and his clothes. I would then get him a bottle and take him out into the sunshine where we would sit and eat (drink) and play and have cuddle time. I cherished each moment with this sweet boy and I uncovered his precious personality.While I was at the orphanage, amasaiah took a turn for the worse. It got to the point that he was sneezing almost constantly which caused him to not be able to breathe and to snort way worse than usual. We chose to put him back into the hospital to get some breathing treatments to help his airways. The very next day something happened that I will never forget.Amasaiahs mom did not want for her two older, normal, boys to be adopted so she had to take them away from the orphanage. But because she did not have the luxury of choosing which ones she did and did not want to be adopted based on normalcy, she was forced to take home all three of the boys. Including Mr. Snortles (which I so fondly had begun calling my little bug-eyed prince). This meant that she had to go to the hospital and take him home with her. As I watched this mother come to the orphanage and take these two older boys away from their friends and their chance at a better life in America with a family that had already met and bonded with them, my heart hurt. Just to watch it happen around me. But what hit me was knowing that she was taking that baby away from his chance for survival. For life. Not life to the fullest by any means, but just the chance to take another breath. For with his mother, the odds of his survival were slim without the proper medical attention. As I spent the rest of my trip at OLTCH, I missed that little boy and that precious smile that was given to me every time I walked into the room to see him. The pain I felt when I thought how he could be somewhere close by struggling to draw in the very thing I took for granted each and every second of every day: breath. That was a lot to handle. As a person who has a self diagnosed "I want to have a part in the healing process of the injustice all around me" complex, it was hard to be able to hand that situation over to God. That may be why God made it harder and harder to say goodbye to each and every one of those six kids that were taken back by their parents during my three week stay there. God broke me down to a point where I had nothing more left to give because it felt like every time I gave a little and gave a little piece of my heart away to these kids, something happened and they were taken. Talk about learning to love dangerously.A lot of the emotional conflict came weeks after I got home to the states. I find myself wondering about Amasaiah and if he is even still alive. That is such a scary thought. I feel bad saying this, but I feel that it would be better to know for sure whether he is alive or not. I have always had a hatred of the unknown. I’m slowly learning to embrace it, but fear of the unknown causes doubt to creep in. and that is where I have been the last few days/weeks.I was just telling my mom the other day how; Amasaiah was the one that I wanted to introduce her to the most when she arrived. Yet he was taken a few days before they arrived. In the afternoons I would sit with him and talk to him. We would have serious adult conversations some times. Or sometimes I would just tell him about what was going on inside the compound that day. But never the less, one thing I told him almost daily was "wait until my mommy meets you, if you think I love you, wait till you meet her. you will love her, and she will love you and hold you all the time and tell you how special you are." and I told him about how even though people think that he looks funny, my mommy will be the one to look right past it and love him with the kind of love that only a mother can give, the kind he had not yet been able to have enough of. The part that kills me is that this never got a chance to happen. God had other plans.Watching all of these kids come and go and finally getting chance to process all of these feelings I can’t help but think: "did I love them enough? When I left those gates did I do a good enough job of making sure that every single child felt how much I loved them? did I do enough?" and I have realized that until I can answer that question with a 100% "yes" then my work is not yet done there. then my mom reminded me that I need to keep in mind that they all need Jesus first before any of us because we are just the flesh, just the hands and feet of Jesus. I think the part that I struggle with is that how can I claim to show them the hands and feet of Jesus until I have loved them so completely that I have no earthly energy left? And if I leave there at any time feeling that I could have given more then I did not adequately portray the love of Christ. Because in a country where words fail the only way you can communicate the love of Christ is by allowing him to work and love through you. And recently I have doubted as to whether I can say that I completely opened my life to be a vessel to its fullest capacity to allow his love to flow through me.And until I can say that, I will continue to try as long as it takes me. And if that means it will take a lifetime. Bring it on."Break my heart for what breaks Yours, everything I am for Your kingdoms cause..." ~Brooke Fraser