Today is my 25th Birthday, in order to avoid talking about me and in realizing that birthdays aren’t nearly as exciting as they used to be, I want to do something fun. I want to tell you about 25 people who have made my life what it is today and who have helped form my last 25 years.
1. My Dad, who taught me that no matter what I do, as long as I love it, is ok with him, who gave me a hunger for something more than an ordinary life.
2. My Mom who gave me life when it wasn’t easy, who always puts her kids first and who is patient with me when I am being whiny, selfish and rotten and who shows me the kind of mama I want to be.
3. My Sister Kacey who shares my memories of growing up in a crazy, adventurous family, who will always be a better skier than me and who knows all the very best songs for every occasion.
4. My “baby brother” Jake who can make everyone in a room laugh just by being himself, who was a real life doll to a 4 year old obsessed with babies, who is crazy, unique and really cool.
5. My little Haiti at Home, Kerdjerns Pierre, who has changed our family for the better, who fits perfectly into our chaotic world and who brought Haiti into my house.
6. Manuella who was the baby who started it all, who was the first to capture my heart for Haiti.
7. Anna Kagstrom who is my hero.
8. Berlancia, who gives me an urgency to allow hope when hopelessness tries to cloud my vision.
9. Heidi ERICKSON who is my best friend, who likes me even when I am smelly and gross, who was the best roommate I have ever had, who taught me how to two step even though she doesn’t like to lead, who loves watching TLC on Friday nights, who believes in bringing your own backpack of beverages wherever you go and who I can always be myself with! AND WHO WILL FORGIVE ME FOR LETTING ALMOST 24 HOURS PASS BEFORE REALIZING THAT I USED HER OLD, UNMARRIED NAME! SOMEDAY I WILL REMEMBER :)
10. Stephanie McCallum who encourages me to do things that I am scared of, who gives without counting cost, who always lets me sleep on her couch and who will give a home to one of my precious babies.
11.Christyn Joy Patterson and her sister…
12.Mattie, who is the most incredible 12 year old I have ever known and who has a heart for Orphans already.
13. Amy Twedt who saw my vision and took a leap of faith with me., who believes in saving lives even when it’s not easy or fun and who enables me to do the work I was made to do!
14. My Grandpa Harvey, who taught me about the power of grace, both given and accepted.
15. Patrick, who was the first to call me “Mama”.
16. Josie Wise, who loves Haiti like I do, who lets me talk about it for hours and “gets” why I need to.
17. Ronnie Schoephoerster, who was the coolest mom of any of my friends in High School and who taught me to trust God with the lives of my children.
18. Jonathan, who showed me that miracles still happen.
19. A woman who’s name I will never know, but who looked me in the eye and told me that she loved her baby more than anything in the world, as she placed her in my arms and walked away.
20. Jesus Christ, who gave me a purpose and allows me to live it every single day.
21. Mina, who taught me the valuable lesson of loving fiercely, even when it hurts, who and made me into a person I never knew I could be.
22. Molly Little who lives a Haiti life every single day, who never complains about missing luxuries of the outside world and who taught me how to forgive and accept forgiveness.
23. Joyce Trainer who inspires me to find joy and fun in every single moment that I am blessed with these lives and who is always smiling for her kids!
24. Joubens who will forever be the first baby I buried.
25. And Gup, who is showing me that life goes on, loves multiplies and broken hearts heal.