February 14, 2016
When you have dreamed about doing something your entire life and it finally comes true it is hard to believe. All day today, I have felt like I am dreaming. As our driver came to a gate and told us we were at Maison (Haiti) my heart fell into my stomach. I had no idea what to expect and my nerves and excitement were starting to get the best of me. I stepped out of the car and began walking through the orphanage looking at all the little clothes hanging on the clothes line, children running everywhere, and the amount of love they spread every direction they ran. I was immediately tackled by a stunning little girl wearing an Ariel dress and a handsome young man joined in on the fun as well! After that I continued walking around and ended up at the toddler room. One little boy put his hand on my face and called me beautiful so I think it’s safe to say I found my valentine in Haiti. We all took tons of pictures and started making home made peanut butter with a peanut grinder! The kids went CRAZY. I stood back watching them run up for more and more peanut butter and realized how lucky we truly are for what we have…They were all so excited over something that is such a common grocery item to all of us and that really hit it home for me. The children and people in this country are amazing and it has been incredible to see children in person that I have seen in photos for months (I am sure some of you families can relate to that).
Tomorrow we tackle IBESR so keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we push for updates and positive movement for adoptions in general.
Much love from Haiti
Februry 18, 2016
Espwa means hope in Haitian Creole and this whole trip I have been hopeful of new connections, updates from IBESR, good news from our rep, and positive movement not only on the adoption front but also in the country. So far keeping the phrase “Espwa” in mind has led us to great success. So far we have gone to Maison everyday getting updates on the children, updates on the kiddos matched, and updates on which children are available. We also visited another orphanage that currently has 130 children and discussed what partnering with them would look like. This orphanage has a lot of children with special needs and it would be amazing to help advocate to find them families. We also ventured out to IBESR and received updates on some of the families waiting. Today we are going to Maison again and also visiting another orphanage on the other side of Port Au Prince.
The children are amazing and so are the people. The kids love to be held, given hugs, and are constantly hanging on us (and we are soaking up every moment). Looking around the orphanages you see what little things they really have. The children are playing with brooms, sticks, rocks, and random other object they find but even with so little you can see how much “Espwa” they have. Standing outside and watching the kids run under the clothes line full of children’s clothes of all sizes and looking over to see the tarp draped bathing area I really wish I could give them the world. I wish they were not given this life. And, I wish I could change their entire world. But one of my favorite adoption quotes is, “you may not be able to change the whole world, but for that one child the whole world will change.” With this quote in mind and keeping “Espwa” on the brain we all will be able to change the world.. One orphan at a time.
Tomorrow we visit C4C!!
Goodnight from Haiti
Back on American Soil
February 25, 2016
When we arrived at the airport last Friday in Port Au Prince I soon discovered that leaving Haiti is very similar to the adoption process as we experienced a lot of unpredictable delays. We got to the airport at 2pm for our flight at 4pm. We slowly watched the expected boarding time get later and later. It eventually was pushed back so far that now we were not going to make our connecting flight to Austin. We finally arrived in Miami at 11pm to be transferred to a hotel for the night and back up at 3am to try again and make our way to Austin…
The plane touched down and I felt as if I dreamed the whole trip up in my head. As I was scrolling through all the photos on my phone while I waited to get off the plane I still could not believe the trip had already come to an end. Since I have been back in Austin I have felt an extreme sadness. I am completely heartbroken by the life those sweet children live but I also have a renewed hope for the future ahead. I am constantly wondering what they are doing and how they are feeling. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a child living in an orphanage. Because, I met these kids I was able to learn a lot about their personalities, their hopes, fears, and dreams; I know that any family would be incredibly lucky to add these children to their family. Because of this trip, I am extremely aware of many things we don’t even think to be grateful for like smooth paved roads, lights, hot water, a bed full of pillows and blankets, air conditioning, and much much more. But honestly, I would trade it all to be back in Haiti right now. There are some things in life that completely shake the ground you walk on and this was one of those experiences for me. For a country full of citizens who have nothing in some ways they seem to have a lot more than us. I don’t know if it is their reliance on God that I saw throughout various communities, Espwa for a better life one day, or the fact that they may just not know anything significantly different even exists.
“Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”
If you're interested in learning more about Children of All Nations' Haiti adoption program, contact our matching specialists at (512)323-9595 or visit childrenofallnations.com today!