Sunday, February 24, 2013

sometimes all you need is a Margarita

Friday was National Margarita Day. Some of you probably celebrated-good job you guys. We celebrated here too, but in a very different way. 

In December, a 16 year old girl came to the orphanage to a church service with a friend, and never left. After learning that she didn't have a good home situation, and didn't really have anyone, she was allowed to stay at the orphanage. For the past 2 months, she has been sleeping on the floor of the preschool classroom, on a little mattress, with zero personal space. I can't imagine leaving a rough home situation and trying to be a teenager with 100 little kids running around you nonstop. We knew some of this sweet girl's story, but slowly learn more, piece by piece. On Friday, we learned more of her story, and decided that she would need a more permanent, stable environment than the preschool classroom floor. After praying and talking through options, the decision was made. She would move into our guesthouse. We made a list of what we would need and presented our idea to her to allow her to make her own decision. Thinking it would take us a week to get everything ready, we asked her if she would want to move in soon.  Her eyes lit up and she said, "oh yes, I would love to go home with you today!" And that was that. Angie told her that we live as a family, and want her to be part of our family, for good. She doubled over with laughter and thankfulness, and gave lots of thank-you kisses. That same day we went shopping for clothes, a comforter, paint, and other things for her room, and then began to paint it BRIGHT pink, on her request. Friday night, I was doing my usual internet stalking, Bachelor show bashing, and skyping, when I came across some pictures of margaritas, with people celebrating National Margarita Day. I ran into Angie's room and told her. We were so excited, because our new friend's name is Margalitha (pronounced Margarita). She had come to live with us on her own *national* special day. 

This morning in church, the lyrics from the song, Hosanna stuck out to me- "break my heart for what breaks yours, everything I am for your kingdom's cause." I have sung this song for years, and prayed this prayer. This morning, I thought, "We are living it. Right now, we are living out this prayer. This is what I prayed, and this is what He has brought into our path." What I know of Margalitha's story so far breaks my heart. And I hate that we don't speak the same language right now.When we brought her to the house, she wasn't eating a lot, so I made pb&j and presented her with chips & hummus- let me tell you, the girl loves hummus. I know just enough Creole for her to laugh at me, and she knows zero English. But for now, at least I can make her a sandwich, and help paint her room. She will still come to the orphanage with us to help out, or help at the house on days when she wants to stay here. But she has her own space- a safe space. And a pink room. And a family of girls and a 2 year old boy. And because our hearts are being broken for what breaks His, Margalitha has a good chance at a future. I'm thankful that Margalitha is here, but I also know that she needs time. She needs Jesus in a way that I can't even begin to understand. So pray with me, that day by day, we as her family will be Jesus to her, and point her to the ultimate Comforter and Healer. I am already so thankful for her sweet spirit and her smile. We needed her here in some ways just as much as she needed us. Sometimes, all you need is a Margalitha. 

love this girl already

 She wanted to pose like this. And yes these are our new Haitian pants

homemade scaffolding whatwhat

polka dots around the doorframe:                                    oh hey Angie

now that's a pink wall.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

insert creative title here.

I’m not a physical therapist. I don’t have a counseling degree. I am not a translator and I can’t always speak 2 year old very well. I’m not a professional artist or a licensed teacher. I’m not a professional organizer and I don’t have experience working in the international adoption system. But I’m learning to do a little bit of all of these things on a daily basis. For example, on Thursday, I wrote 3 developmental assessments, took 2 kids to get their passport pictures taken, watched a movie with the older boys, sat down with 2 kids and worked out a crisis of stolen toys and hurt feelings, worked with 2 babies who are delayed physically, trying to get them caught up to their age range, and DROVE for the first time as I picked up a few visitors to take them to their meeting at the orphanage. Every day here brings with it new challenges and adventures. And I love it. When I leave here, I won’t have a degree in professional-child-problem-solving or multi-tasking, but I’m learning more here than I ever could sitting in a classroom. 

People ask me how I heard about Maison, and I very honestly tell them, Google. I laugh, but I literally Googled orphanages in Haiti, contacted a few, prayed, and ended up here. It’s crazy how God works. A few years ago I worked with a guy at Ridge Haven (a PCA camp that every child and teenager should go to!) and now, 3 years later, his sister, Hallie, is my roommate in Port-au-Prince, working at the same orphanage that I happened to get connected with through Google. God is large and in charge. Things like that remind me that it’s true. As I watch sweet baby girl Rosnerline, a 9 month old, sit up by herself for 20 seconds for the first time, I know that it’s true. I see the beauty of his creation, and am literally watching her learn and transform before my eyes. As I rock a baby to sleep in the afternoon, I feel His peace. As I laugh hysterically with three 9 year olds watching Dennis the Menace, and for a little while can truly forget about all of the chaos around us, I feel His joy. A few weeks ago, a team came to do some work at the orphanage, and in conversation with one of the chaperones, she asked me, “So what’s your plan when you go back and graduate? What are you going to do with yourself?” I stuffed my face with rice and eventually smiled politely and said, “I literally just got here a few weeks ago. I’m still trying to figure out how to leave a room after playing with kids and not have the nannies upset with me for stirring up trouble. Things go one day at the time here.” So that’s where I am. Enjoying every moment. Not that it’s always easy. There are times when I’ve been sick lately, and I want nothing more than to have my mom in the same room as me, or have a day where I can look down and there not be an ant crawling on my arm. But I love it. Every moment of it. Amid all of the craziness, I love it here. 

I have a special place in my heart for fat babies :)

                                                          sweet baby Rosnerline:

 making bracelets: 


we got a baby kitty. His name is Bo. I call him Kitty.