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.