As most of you know, we got back to Haiti this past Monday, and it truly feels like we have been here for at least a month. It has been very hectic trying to adjust back to life here and get things accomplished at the same time. Some of the things we have been dealing with are as follows (in no particular order):
- Getting 34 children enrolled in school [which includes going to different places to purchase socks (the market), books (a few different book stores), uniforms, and other small items that come up as school approaches].
- Ensuring the afternoon school (if you remember 7 of our children could not go to Christianville school because they were too old for their grade) is the right place for our older children.
- Getting used to the heat in Haiti without a/c — especially at night.
- Trying to hire a Haitian attorney to help us with some legal work in Haiti.
While there are other things going on as well, it strikes me that in the midst of the busyness, there is this joy present. If you could have been here when we drove up to the orphanage, it was so great. The kids were more excited than I can remember them being, and the excitement really still hasn’t worn off. Every time we drive up, we are met with enthusiasm and children running into our arms. Every single day we are shown love by these children that, I have to think, is a rare thing to feel every day. In there love, there is also this neediness that is almost as crushing as the love is genuine. No child should ever have to feel this starved for attention and for love because every child “should” have adults in their life who care about them every single day (parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, etc.) and these kids do not. It makes me more and more thankful for each one of you because you are making this happen. These kids need Jess and I, but they need so much more than that as well, and that is where you step in. You guys pray for them, love them, support them financially, come down on trips, and eventually at least a couple of you will come down here to live with us (even though you don’t know it yet).
I also wanted to tell you guys a story about one of our kids, Apolon. When we drove up on Monday (it was August 18) he was excited to see us, but he also had a look of relief/sadness on his face at the same time. He is a very emotional child anyway, but Jess could tell something was wrong with him and she started to talk to him. He told us that he was “very very happy” to see us because when we didn’t come on August 15, he didn’t think we would ever come back again. For some reason, the kids had it in their mind that we were coming back on August 15, and Apolon was in an absolute panic when we did not return. It was really sad, but it shows you the level of abandonment that some of our children feel. They believe that at any moment we could just decide to never come back and they would never see us again. All of the work and all of the effort is worth it when you think that these children truly need someone to take care of them, someone who will not abandon them, someone who will love them no matter what. Thank you for loving our children, you give them hope and you give us hope.