Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Haiti Trip

Words will not accurately describe this trip. There are none. Even the pictures and video we took fall short of conveying the joy, sorrow, poverty and destruction that we saw. I can tell you my heart is broken for the Haitian people and their plight but I am overcome with amazement by their joy and faith in their dire circumstances. We saw tent cities...miles of them...clusters of them....shelters made out of scraps of trash....gray sewage water runs down the streets---the hot, humid air combines with the smell of raw sewage, burning trash and death and it stifles you. In another small cluster of tents the children are starving....they eat mud pies-- salt, water, a bit of butter mixed with water (not clean water mind you) and dirt dried in the sun. There is no nourishment for their little bodies but at least there is relief from the pain in their tummies. They die slowly and painfully from starvation, I suppose getting a disease and dying quickly is a blessing. The walls of the orphanage hold the poverty at bay but only by a few feet. A step outside puts you in contact with a stream of raw sewage that runs parallel to the first cluster of tents. Our children in the orphanage are safe. Plucked by the hand of God out of the poverty, death and destruction and put into this place of refuge. This is a view from the roof top of the orphanage. There are layers to the city. Here you can see the buildings--metals roofs, broken concrete--what you can't see are just below this are the tent clusters.
Wayoum Timoun is an oasis. The children are very happy, fed, clothed. They have access to clean water, school and church. They have an incredible staff of women and young men who care for their needs--and of course there is Papi--Pastor Riguad. He is the surrogate daddy to all 60 plus children.

When we first arrived I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. Rich introduced us to Wisler as mum and dad. We could not talk. We were so nervous--afraid he would not like us, I had all these Creole phrases ready in my head and could not talk... all I could do was cry. He immediately took our hands and led us upstairs to the roof and guest quarters. It is a very special privledge for them to up on the roof near the guest quarters. Only the chosen are allowed. To try and break the ice (after I got myself under control) I took out the scrapbook we made him. He seemed really unsure at first but warmed up once he saw the picture of the moto bicyclette at Grandma Kay's house. He was so sweet repeating the names of everybody as I introduced them. It was a wonderful moment. Brian and I needn't have worried so about him liking us...God conceived him in our hearts and us in his.

Later that night we had dinner all together. Wisler was so proud to lead us down to dinner. He held our hands...and as other kids walked by or said something to him he said "mum dad Wisler"--and the other children would point to us and ask "mum dad Wisler?" and when we confirmed it they would scamper off chattering away. It is a big deal to be chosen. The rest of our trip is a blur of crazy fun and heartbreak. Wisler loves playing with our camera equipment so we let him take tons of pictures and take video. He is also quite a ham on camera and really enjoyed getting creative with his poses.

Wisler loves basketball so McGyver...uh I mean Brian made him a hoop out of wire he found on the roof, duct tape and mosquito netting. He loved it. The kids played bball for several hours.

We loved spending time with our little guy. We made crafts, had a sing along with Spring, went out for ice cream, snuggled and tickled, played ball, read stories and just cherished every precious moment of bonding time. It was incredible and bittersweet. It was very difficult to leave our little man---we know he is well cared for and safe, but there is nothing like a mama and dad.
It helps to know where he is and what he is doing as we have been a part of his daily life. We know God is in control and will bring him home in His perfect timing. In the meantime we are 3/4 done with paperwork...just need to: finish notarizing, authenticating, translating and send off the dossier. We paid our first installment and now have a copy of his abandonment decree and will soon have copies of his birth certificate and medical records.

Pray for us. Pray for Wisler. Pray for all the children at the orphanage that they find mums and dads to love them. Pray for more money to expand and reach more children. Please check out their new website....and if God leads you ....help.