Oh how we are being taught patience....even as you have been in waiting for our next enry to surface.lol....well, the truth is, I haven't had the nerve to write anything. When I say nerve, I mean just that. There have been days when I don't know what the next step is, when I'm not even sure what God is doing in my here and now and feel almost like a fraud trying to process or even act like I know how to guess what He may be up to. So many times I have sat down, poised to write and, between feeling so completely overwhelmed and having to hesitate to share some things when God's timing is right, I have been frozen. But what got me punching keys this morning was a reminder that God is at work and that He asks us to proclaim what He has done, which I have been so unfaithful to do. Blocked by fear and the possibility of disappointment, I have been silent, and that, my friends, is disobedience. He has called us to live in joy and abundance and has given us a sound mind to go about doing just that.
So, without further adieu, I give you the second installment, with much less detail, (because, Lord knows sooo much has happened) of this here thing we call a blog. ;-)
Picking up where we left off in the first blog would be insane, but I'm trying to keep the story flowing and share the last 10 months as quickly as I can. Looking back at the first entry, I didn't even get into what was happening, so here goes!
The travels to Haiti last March were incredible and I met what I refer to as my extended family in Haiti. Between the Roberts, Chris Keylon, Jenny Chapman, Bobby and Lourdie, Mama T, Kessy, Josue, Famega, Yamiley, Evens MMDR, Chadasha, Project Sharewood, all of my beautiful teammates and all those involved in the wonderful things happening in Haiti ( I could never name them all) I have found family. We stayed at the guesthouse in Port-au-Prince that most of you will be familiar with who are reading my blog and were thankful for lodging and family more than you can imagine. The Roberts have put up with us over and over and I will forever be thankful.
Skipping ahead for the readers's sake, I was diverted after arriving in Haiti, to Children of Hope Orphanage and Hospice where there was a need for children to be seen who hadn't had medical care in about a month. Oh how my heart was swelling! I was a little nervous still, which, if you know me, is sooo unlike me, but that just goes to show that God will take you out of your comfort and show Himself in your weaknesses. I had multiple conversations with Chris Keylon and the Roberts who keep things rolling down in PAP about the possibility of a need for a child to go to the states on humanitarian medical parole, and as I said in the last post, this is what transpired for Ashley.
I met Ashely at the orphanage when I arrived there in March, and, to be honest, every child pulled at my heart. Being a nurse, and knowing that my calling was children from the very start, made me ache for all of them - for the loss that they will never understand but will always feel the vacancy of. I got about my task of seeing all of the kids which came out to about 8 kiddos a day to get to all of them (there were 35 then), and in the midst of these assessments, I spent more time with Ashley due to hearing a transient murmur in her heart. I listened to her in different capacities - running, lying, playing, not really smiling - since she didn't do much of that at the time - but in every capacity I could. Through that time, I felt this connection to her that I can't explain. At the time, she was very frail, had only the summer before stopped dragging one of her legs, and was sickly often. Bobby and Lourdie (the orphanage directors and my friends) had literally been loving her back to health for two years since she came to the orphanage and it was showing in everything she did. Knowing that she was sickly often, the idea hit to try and get her home on humanitarian parole based on many different issues including intestinal worms, failure to thrive etc. Long story short, that was not God's plan for her and our family. After some of the toughest, but most beautiful times in our life in the past 10 months, God has slowly been showing us why, but it has been so incredibly difficult to walk through.
You see.......I go every day knowing that I am not to give up on Ashley - that i am TO FIGHT FOR HER...that WE (Matt and I) are to fight for her. The hard part is what in the world fighting for her is supposed to look like. I have spent 5 trips in Haiti since that initial one last summer, loving on her, being her mom for extended periods of time, meeting with a lawyer, etc. We had found ourselves in October, at the end of those trips, exhausted, but with an intent to fight even harder than before. We were given news that we didn't fit the criteria in Haiti. Funny how you can be 13 and have kids and they can die because you can't feed them, but their archaic laws in Haiti prevent you from adopting unless you are 35 years of age and older and have 10 years of marriage under your belt, qualified as you may be. This wasn't an issue pre-earthquake because the country never followed their policies and many families our age and younger had adopted from there with no problem, receiving what the country called a dispensation (ie. a pass) to adopt without meeting the criteria.
All of that said, Matthew and I have dealt with some very raw emotions in the last year. We have gone from anger to silence to resolve to peace to denial to excitement and everything in between. In the midst we have truly experienced joys. I am attempting to remember that this blog is about all of those emotions, but most about those joys. That in the midst of this uncertainty and waiting, we have been able to be, and will continue to be, blessed with being involved in the Chadasha ministry, the orphanage, the clinic and the lives of every person there, and continue to pray when we will be able to spend uninterrupted time with our baby girl, Ashley, who will be 4 years old in October. I feel like I am missing her life - I am missing all of her moments and I fear she will forget me. I am a torn momma, for one of the joys - one of the biggest of our lives - is that we will be the proud parents of a biological baby girl in June! And oh how I have to be honest. I found out I was pregnant on my last jaunt to Haiti in October and my first reaction, after screaming, was fear. Fear that we had done something wrong -that we had blocked us from coming back to be with Ashley. That we had messed up. Now, those of you reading this probably think I"m insane. I'm being raw here, so bare with me. Those feelings of regret and fear didn't last long, but they were there. What truth I was reminded of soon after was that God's plans are His and His alone. Since finding out we were pregnant, the unfolding of just how much of an answer to prayer this child is has slowly revealed itself. We are having a girl :-) which I am very excited about, although either way I would have been excited. And what is most exciting is that it was in God's timing, not ours. All of the answers to prayer that this pregnancy has been and will be I am sure are yet to be realized, but I know that we are exactly where we are supposed to be at this moment even if we don't have everything realized. A few thing I know are that 1. God is good....all of the time, 2. I have been blessed with an amazing husband ( who i will brag on in a next post) 3. I have two beautiful girls who God has created in His image and will protect, 4. I have a God who goes before me and desires for me to struggle so I can learn His heart, but who also wants me to experience joy and delight in His blessings, and 5. I am not alone -there are many families waiting along with me who give me strength every day. So, for those of you who have not given up on this either, thank you for walking this with us. We are raising funds to support the adoption and are waiting patiently for the go-ahead as the criteria to adopt is in the process of being revised. Who knows what part in Haiti God has for us in the future - all I know is now. I am thankful for now.