Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Vow

Tonight I am sitting on my couch and I am restless. 2 suitcases sit by my front door, filled to the brim. My carry on bag waits and the television blares in the background, reminding me of the world I will leave behind. The stories on the news channel beg me to lose my faith in humanity, the stories I know by heart force me to go on.

I can not believe that I am actually about to start the journey that I have been waiting my entire life for. I am being allowed to live in Haiti. I am being given the honor of serving the people that I love most in this world. I have been deemed worthy to hold their children in my hands… forever. I am humbled, forced to my knees in gratitude to the One who created the desires of my heart, and now allows me to live them, all the days of my life.

Tonight I realize the hugeness of what is before me. It comes and goes in waves of consciousness. Right now I am vividly conscious of the fact that I will always reference this night in my memory as the night before the rest of my life. The night before… This commitpahpobe is about to to commit to forever. Never has it been easy but not for a moment have I doubted that it wasn’t right. I imagine that it’s like the night before a marriage. Exhilarating, scary and oddly calm. What happens next will change my life forever. The life I am about to enter into requires dedication, passion and hard work. It rewards me with companionship, fulfillment and the half of my heart that has always been missing. In a marriage you begin with vows and so tonight I proclaim my vows to these little ones. They are my promises, from the deepest depths of my heart.

Dear Precious Child,

I vow to love you, unconditionally. No matter how frustrated I may become by all the diapers, noise and messes you make, I promise I will always love you and I promise to tell you everyday. I promise to search my heart in the moments when you are difficult and find the things that make you precious and uniquely you. I promise to appreciate them and to love you for who you are.

I vow to hug you. I promise to give you the dignity of a loving human touch. I promise not to hurt you but to heal your hurts to the best of my ability. I promise to give you the hugs and kisses that you crave.

I vow to teach you about the One who brought me to you. I promise to show you about His love. I promise to help you pray and grow in Him. I promise to teach you songs and stories that you will remember forever, all about our God.

I vow to fight for you. I can not promise that everything I wish for you will come true but I can promise that every single day I will do everything in my power to make your lives better. I promise to stand up for you when you can not stand up for yourselves. I promise to put your needs ahead of my own. I promise to never back down out of fear, but to be brave when you need me to. I promise that you are worth my energy.

I vow to do everything I can to prepare you for the families you are going to join. I promise to let you share your fears and thoughts with me without judgment or criticism. I promise to answer your questions and ease your anxieties over the changes that you will face. I promise to be honest with you and to help you become comfortable with the idea of a new family. I promise that I will send you home with a mom and a dad who are loving, patient and kind.

I vow to remember that you are the reason I am here. No matter how much work piles up before me I will always remember that nothing is more important than you. I promise to never push you aside to focus on “more important” things. I promise that YOU are the most important thing in my life. I promise to spend more time with you than on my computer, on the phone or in meetings. I promise that I will put aside everything, without a second thought if you need me.

And, I vow to be the greatest “mama” I can be to you. I can only imagine the pain that your mama(s) have. One who held you for all those months, feeling you move, dreaming of who you would be, giving you a name, giving you life. And another, one who decided that her heart and home had room. One who learned of this little one who needed her and said “yes”. One who will take the life  you were given and walk it with you. I realize that the roles those women play are so much greater than the moments I will have, but I promise that while you are “mine” I will love you with the love of a mother. I will cherish, protect and encourage you. I promise to tuck you into bed, kiss you every day and know every little thing that makes you, you. I promise to be there for you while they cannot. I promise to teach you, through my actions how you deserve to be cherished.

I vow to always do my very best, for you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bondye Beni Ayiti

God Bless Haiti…

I can’t tell you how often I have been asked questions about the government of Haiti. As much as I think I have learned I would hate to write as if I knew more about something than I do. I have ideas and I’ve had some great conversations with a friend on the subject. For that reason I have asked him to write this post as a guest. Bringing us his side of the story.

“Everybody thinks Duvalier was the worst but really, they have no idea…Duvalier was the best, the very best”


I can understand how come everyone thought that Duvalier was horrible president for Haiti, I can understand how people thought without him as the president Haiti would be better. But what most people don’t understand is Duvalier was the best president Haiti could ever have. Yes he was a dictator, yes his regime was killing people that opposed him but people never talk about the good side of him, people never talk about at least everyone had food to eat, everyone was able to go to school, with 25 gourdes which is less than 1 US dollar people could go to the market and buy enough food for a week, people were able to send their kids to school, people had no problems walking around with fear that someone would rob or kill them, people weren’t afraid of leaving their doors unlock at night, his regime was not corrupt like the Haitian government is right now and all the other government that came after Duvalier. The Unite States, Canada, France and all those big countries are running by democracy, no wonder why Americans, Canadians etc..assume that every other country can run by democracy. Duvalier was a dictator so that means the people of Haiti had no freedom to say what they wanted to say or speak against his regime, but the people had food to eat, they were able to go to school, they weren’t rich by any means but they weren’t starving, 4 out of 5 kids weren’t dying with no medical help like it is right now in Haiti. Haiti right now is supposedly running on democracy, now people have the freedom to say whatever they want or speak against the government but the thing is the government right now doesn’t care of what the people have to say, the government doesn’t care that its people are suffering and with no food to eat, they don’t care that there are many kids out in the street with no parents, they don’t care that the poverty rate is so high, they don’t care that majority of the people have no access to medical help….so what good is it to have the freedom to say whatever you want but every night you going to bed with no food in your belly and waking up the next day wondering what you going to give your kids to eat for the day????? This is the situation in Haiti right now, this is what the Haitian people are going through each and everyday.

Haiti right now is a mess right now especially after the earthquake, many Haitians specially the ones that lived the Duvalier regime are longing for his return and wishing that Duvalier was still in power, that is why on many walls around Port-au-Prince you will see this writing “Bienvenue president Jean Claude Duvalier” which means “welcome Jean Claude Duvalier”. That is because they remember the old days, they remember that they had food to eat, they remember that their kids were able to go to school, they weren’t thinking of what they going to feed their kids tomorrow, they weren’t thinking of insecurity. That is the good side about Duvalier that people never talked about, that is the side about Duvalier that people outside of Haiti don’t know about. Duvalier’s policy was do whatever you want but don’t interfere with my regime don’t speak against my regime, but obviously he wasn’t talking about the mass people, he was talking to the elite, to the business owners. Duvalier did actually cared about the Haitian people, yes he was a brutal dictator, but he made sure that his people had food to eat, he actually took care of the Haitian people and that is why many Haitians are wishing that he was still here running the Haiti. Because let’s face it not every country can be run on democracy and let me tell you Haiti is one of those country that CANNOT run on democracy. And I can guarantee you that if Duvalier was still in power Haiti would not be in the mess that its in right now. The Haitian government right now is so corrupt it is unbelievable, the Haitian government really doesn’t care about the Haitian people, and that is why Haiti is in the state its is right now. The Haitian government is “sans honte” sans sentiment” which means “no ashamed” “no feelings”, this is what Haitians would say when they feel like someone is ridiculous, and doesn’t care about anything. All the government cares about is money, how much money they can get each and everyday, they don’t care that the whole world knows that the whole government is corrupted, they don’t care it doesn’t matter to them, it doesn’t matter that their people are suffering, it doesn’t matter to them that 1. million people in Haiti right now are homeless, it doesn’t matter to them that kids are dying as long as they getting their money. That is the difference between the Duvalier regime and every other government that came after starting on President Aristide to President Preval, they just don’t care about the people and Duvalier did even though he was a dictator.

So there you have it, agree or disagree… the opinion of a Christian, Haitian, political student.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I cannot wait…

To hold them again!

Sherley Vilbert (3)  

To encourage their joyful dancing!

To kiss their sweet cheeks!

Michara (3)Veronique (7)  To call Haiti “home” once and for all!

In just one week I will be falling asleep in Minnesota for one last time, before flying away. I will dream for the moments the next day, week, month and year will bring. I am ready, I’ve been preparing my entire life for an assignment like this one. In just one week I will live in Haiti!

I cannot wait!

I still have many financial needs to be met to make this mission possible, to donate toward my expenses please click HERE!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Break My Heart

“Lord, Break my heart for what breaks Yours…”

As long as it’s easy

and comfortable

and I get plenty of vacation days

and lots of sleep.

As long as it means lots of joy and laughter.

and I don’t have to think about things like hungry bellies

and babies who die.

As long as it fits into my plans.

As long as it’s my idea.

Last week I decided that I hadn’t had a proper fit in a while and I was about due. Queue 2 days of whining, complaining and arguing with God about why I really should not be called to Haiti anymore.

As much and I love Haiti and my life there, sometimes I just wish my purpose fit into a nice 9-5 job in Fergus Falls or Bozeman or heck even a nice small town on the west coast somewhere … It doesn’t really matter as long as I get a warm shower every day, a nice variety of meals to chose from and some satellite TV each evening. As long as it’s comfortable.

The truth is Haiti is not easy, or comfortable or even that great at times. Sometimes it even downright sucks. Sometimes I think I hate it more than I love it.

Last week as I threw my fit, I sat in church and listened to a guest speaker talk about purpose, again. I tuned him out a little because it was nothing I hadn’t heard before. You were made for something specific, blah, blah, blah… However, he said something that got my attention. “Once you discover your purpose, it is physically impossible for you to live anything else.”

Amen to that. As much as I fight the idea of life in Haiti forever there is something inside of me that is stronger than that fight. There is something inside of me that craves it more than I hate it. There is something inside of me that tells me that yes, I can do this. I was made to do this! There is something inside of me that tells me that it’s worth it.

There is something in the eyes of those kids that tells me it is always worth it.

There is something in the voices outside of my window at night that reminds me that I am there for something greater than my own strength.

And there is something in 1 Corinthians 1 that assures me that, although it might not be my idea, His plans are always greater than mine.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

And almost as if to prove a point He ended the week by reminding just who is in charge. Instead of early November as previously planned, He has made it clear that I am to go to Haiti much sooner. His plans are not our plans, they are enormously greater!

On September 24th I will leave. I am ready. I am done with my fit and once again I am ecstatic. I am prepared. I will go.

Benjamin (20) - Copy

**Due to the unexpected timing of this trip I am in need of financial support to help with the cost of moving. To donate please click here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


There have been a lot in my life lately.

Last week I sat down with Amy (yes that is a totally NEW, “Haiti” site!) and we settled plans that God has been growing for years. In early November I will return to Haiti, I will reunite with the pieces of my heart that have been missing and I will begin the work I was created to do, forever.

The plan is for me to take this assignment in 3 month sessions. I will be in Haiti for 3 months and in the states for 3-4 weeks at a time. At the end of each 3 month session I will have the choice to go back for another 3 months or stay in the states. After spending just 10 days in Leogane there is no option in my heart to walk away, I can only imagine how much stronger that pull will be after making it my home. God has been molding and training me for this purpose long before I ever knew of a place called Haiti. Long before I first breathed the air of this island He prepared my body to crave it. Before any of these babies were born my arms were meant to hold them. Now He begins the task of brining His work to life. In doing so He brings me not only a sense of purpose, but a joy that is beyond description.

In just a few short weeks I will be there for good! As I let my mind roll over the idea my body began to fail. Over the weekend, while on a family camping trip I began to feel sick. By Sunday I was barely able to leave my tent. Today (Tuesday) I am still feeling awful. An earache, sore throat and iffy stomach have left me in bed for more hours that I would like… I was feeling restless. Then I received a message that made my stomach do another kind of flip. The children at FDPD are sick with fevers. 5 of them have been sent to the doctor for evaluation. Suddenly I wasn’t as tired as I had been, I had the energy to get out of bed and to try to do something. Suddenly the aches in my joints were replaced by a greater aching in my heart, to be with them now. They need me but I need them more. In that moment the person that was Rhyan Buettner faded into the lives of each and every one of the precious little ones that have captured my heart. In those seconds I loved them more than anything in this life.

Jeankencia (2) VeroniqueJilner

For now all I can do is count the days until the biggest change of all.

Sometimes I go back in my blog and read posts from a long time ago. Sometimes I start at the beginning, sometimes before the earthquake. I love knowing that someday I will go to this post, the one where everything changed, and re-live this beautiful life.