Saturday, December 13, 2008

Letting Go

When you came to me, on that starry night
And I held you in my arms.
Moonlight on your face,
Heaven in your eyes
And you stole away my heart.
As you grew,
I always knew your destiny.
I knew someday you would have to leave,
But still, I can feel a mother’s pain,
So I cry.
Is it selfish when I do?
I don’t want to lose my life with you
Though I see the time has come to let you go
You know it doesn’t make is easier.
And so,
I will say my prayers with you my child
Wherever you
may go with love,
my love.
Is it selfish when I do?
I don’t want to lose my life with you.

I need to warn you now, this letter is an emotional one. It will be at times horribly selfish sounding. It might be scattered and senseless. But it will be real. None the less I think it’s only fair that I tell you in advance what to expect. Right now as I write to you my head is aching, like it has been for the last 3 days, it is aching from the tears that I have cried and the ones I am holding back. Next week my "Ella" will be going to her home in France. A woman who is a stranger to me will sweep into our gates and become the luckiest person in the world. And I will watch it happen. A moment that I have always known was coming but that I never possibly could have prepared for. She has a mommy and now she will be real.

On my rational side I can sit back and what a great, amazing thing this is for her! She is getting what we have all been praying for, she is finally going home! Doesn’t she deserve a real live outside of this place. She needs a mama who fusses over her. Someone to dress her up and show her off to the world. Someone to rock her to sleep every night and to hold her when she is sick, or sad, or scared. She is going to a place that God chose for her. This mother is the one that He handpicked because He knew that they would be perfect for each other. He created one for the other. The opportunities she will have are endless and I am so excited for her. She will go home when she is only 13 months old. With adoptions from Haiti taking an average of 18 months that is a miracle. An orphanage could never be a real home for her, no matter how much we here love her. She is so lucky to be going to her home being so young!

But here comes the selfish part. Because her adoption went through so quickly I have to give her up much sooner than I ever thought. I was convinced I would always have a few more months. And as good as I know this will be for her I don’t want to let her go! I think back on the things I have learned since coming to Haiti and one of the biggest is that time goes by right before your eyes and no amount of time is ever “enough” If I had been with her for years and years I don’t think I would still be ready to say goodbye. I love that baby more than I have ever loved anyone and now I have to trust someone else to take care of her, a person who I know nothing about. I know if a parent who had adopted from Haiti were reading this I would sound horrible. How selfish could I be, wishing that this sweet little girl would spend even more time away from her mother just because I want her with me? I realize how it sounds but I also know that you who are my friends and supporters will allow me to share my struggles with you no matter how rotten they make me sound. How do I know that she is going to be good to her? How do I know that she will raise her to be kind and gentle and happy? How do I know that she will take her to church and teach her about Jesus? I guess it comes down to the fact, and this is what makes it the hardest, that I don’t know! In my life there have been a lot of moments when I have had to trust God to be in control but I think this is the most difficult of them all. It is one thing to trust God with your life, it is another to give over someone you love more than life. It is true surrender and one I am being forced to make. I am thankful for it no matter how bad it hurts because I know it is a lesson that I have to learn. In giving everything over to Him you gain what you couldn’t ever get on your own. I do not love Ella with a love that was mine. It was a love that God gave me for this beautiful little baby and even if it means that I have to say goodbye, He taught me how to love through her. He gave her to me to teach me that lesson and whatever hurt I feel is losing her is worth the lesson of love that I have found.

I remember the first time I met "Ella". I was on the balcony one afternoon in April and Chris came up the stairs with the most beautiful tiny little baby and my heart was gone. She was 4 months old, weighed 10 lbs and had these eyes that captivated me! She watched me everywhere I went on that first day and since then I have been helpless to keep my mind off of her. I remember how light and tiny she was and how she loved kisses! If I kissed her cheek she laughed and laughed! The first time I gave her a sucker she made the biggest mess and threw a HUGE fit when it was gone. I think back on how many memories I have of her and I can remember for hours. It doesn’t seem fair, that I would have these memories when her mother wont. If I could speak to her I would tell her everything! I wish I could describe to her how she felt as a tiny little baby sleeping in my arms. I wish somehow I could make her see my memories of her eating her first birthday cake or the sounds of her very first baby giggles. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know what I could possibly say. It just doesn’t feel right that I would have those memories and she won’t. I got to have her, only because she didn’t. The sadness that I feel is the joy in her heart. I never knew that one single moment could bring 2 people such opposite emotions. I don’t know how I will face that day. I think the only way will be to look through my sadness at her joy, otherwise I will never last.

I think it goes without saying but I ask you to pray for me this week. Pray that my last days with Ella will be filled with love and joy and that if possible maybe time could slow down, just for a little while. Please pray for the language barrier between her mother and me. I hope that I could at least be able to tell her how much her little girl was loved here at GLA and how much joy she brought me. I don’t know how much English she will speak and I would be so disappointed if I felt like I didn’t know her at all when she left here. More than anything else pray for this baby. Pray that she will be 100% healthy when her mom gets here. Pray that her adjustments will go well in her new home and pray that she will grow up in a place that teaches her to love Jesus and serve him with all of her heart.

Letting her go in faith and peace,

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Prayed For This Child

A greeting again to the ones I love, This may be the most exciting update I have ever written. This week I am convinced of the power of prayer more than ever! Usually I try to work up to my good news but I can’t do it this time. S is AMAZING! Last week when I asked you all to pray for this special little boy I knew I could count on you. And now it is my pleasure to be able to share with you what prayer has done in just this short time. Friday morning I went into the nursery and S was standing outside his crib holding on to the rails. When I walked in the door he looked up and saw me and proceeded to WALK holding on to his crib rails all the way across the room to where I was standing…all the while with a huge grin on his face! This may not sound like a big thing to many of you but believe me this is a huge milestone for him. I stood in the room with tears streaming down my face. I was completely helpless to stop them. The nannies were all staring but I could do nothing about it. God is so good to me. I have been so discouraged by S & S's situation that I have to admit that I haven’t always been praying with the faith that should have had. It almost felt like God had forgotten about these kids. Well this past week erased all of those doubts from my mind. God is working everything in His timing and now I am reminded of that, He decided to grace me with little signs that He is hearing our prayers even when I feel like He isn’t!

At Joel and Yvonne’s house on Sundays Joel has been teaching about the power of prayers and it is so fitting at this time in my life. God is speaking to ME personally! I feel so secure in Him today because I know that He is moving in my life and because of that I have nothing to fear. I have no fear for the future, I don’t have to worry about what will happen in June when I have to make so many decisions, because I know that He is in the middle of all of it and that is my comfort! I love knowing that God is The One making S grow. I take no credit for the progress he has made except to know that I have prayed. God put strength in his legs and in his mind to do the things he needs to do. God gave S amazing nannies to care for him, they encourage him and care for him and love his for 23 hours out of every day! The time I spend with my babies is amazing but I am not the most important person in their lives! Every time I have gone in the nursery since Friday S has been standing up with his nanny at his side! God put these beautiful women in S's life to do the work he needs. I spend an hour, they spend everything they have! I know that they also love him, they take care of him, they worry about him and they pray for him! God is taking care of him through them! What peace that brings!

Since I have such good news with S most everything else I have to report seems pale. This weekend we baked Christmas cookies with some of the bigger kids at the baby house. They each got frosting and cookie cutters and went to town! They had such a good time and I got some adorable pictures of them having moments that every little baby should get. At the end of the night we shared our creations with the nannies and the kids in the big nursery! I love watching those little babies covered in crumbs eating their cookies with such enthusiasm! How sweet!

The GLA baby boom continues! We had another 8 kids brought to us. 6 boys and 2 little girls over the last 2 weeks. Everyone seems very happy and surprisingly healthy. I pray that they will continue to be joyful at GLA and that they will grow strong and be prepared for some very special families! 3 more families where untied with their kids as well and we expect 2 more this afternoon! I will never get tired of seeing that! Please pray for their adjustments.

I invited you to all PLEASE keep praying for the situation with S & S's birth mother. I know that God hears our prayers. He is showing me that He is still in this situation and I am renewed because of it. I want to have an even better report for you next time I write. Please pray also for Ella. She has been sick for about a week now with a bad ear infection and I just pray that she will be healthy again soon. And, as always please pray for my strength here. My scabies and ringworm are both fading and I am very thankful for that but I need prayers that I will not be infected again! What a miserable time I have had! Please pray for my spirit; although I am filled with joy today there are still moments of discouragement in my work. Please pray that I will stay joyful and energized for my work here.

Praying for babies,