Sunday, November 7, 2010


Being "home" is a weird feeling.  It's not that I really have culture shock.  I have known about and been working abroad off and on since I was 12.  I can easily go from one life to the other and not have a difficult time adjusting.  It's still weird for some reason.

Nick and I have grown up here, but we don't feel like this is home.  Each day something happens that reminds me of our children in Haiti.  It's not even the stores, nice roads, or conveniences that we have that make being back here weird, it's the relationships with people.  It's the way people act and the things they say.  It's the relationships that they take for granite.

Going to a child's birthday party here makes me long for our birthday parties under the mango tree.  We were at a party last night and Nicks Mom made the comment that there were so many people there that you could hardly talk to them all.  What an awesome problem to have.  I wish that our children were surrounded by so many aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends on their birthday that they didn't have a chance to talk with them all.  Don't get me wrong, our children are surrounded by nannies and long term staff that love them, but it's not the same as their family.

I watch and listen to my foster sisters to see the drama in their lives and compare it to the youth of Haiti.  One of them was watching a show about wedding dresses where the lady paid $24,000 for her dress.  I couldn't believe that this is what is being portrayed to our youth, it's dreams that will never happen.  Can you imagine how far that money would go in Haiti?  How much formula it could buy?  How many houses it could build?  How many lives it could save?  Why are these things not being portrayed to our youth?  Why are they looking up expensive shoes online, trying to save their money for these things that they "need?" How come when I talk to my foster sisters, or honestly, anyone stateside, they have no idea what it is like to live in Haiti or any developing country.  It's unfathomable for most.

When we told one of the other long term staff in Haiti that we were coming back to the States, she asked if we were excited.  Nick and I both paused for about 10 seconds, and then answered at the same time with a NO.  It was hard to leave.  I hugged and kissed each one of our 40 kids before we left, not knowing if I would see some of them again.  Since being gone, some kids have gone home and one even passed away.  I will likely never see these children again.  New kids have been admitted.  Kids are beginning to walk.  Children are getting sick and going to the hospital.  Some of our nannies are sick.  Cholera is still spreading through the country.  Haiti is being hit by a hurricane.  Nick and I want to be back.  We miss it and we want to help and be there when the children meet different milestones.  We want to hug them before they return to their families and pray over them when they are sick.

My Mom has been watching the news about Hurricane Tomas.  I can't bring myself to watch it and avoid the conversation when it's brought up.  The news only shows Haitians at their worst, kids looking depressed, and families struggling to survive.  The news companies are more into it for the story than anything.  The way it's presented makes people pity Haitians.  I can't tell  you how many times I have heard "those poor kids, they've been through so much."  It's frustrating.  Pitying these people won't do ANYTHING to help them, in fact, it will probably make things worse for them.

I wish the news would tell more success stories.  I wish they could see how much these children are loved by their parents.  How hard working they are.  How much they preserver even through the difficult times.  How they long to go to school, and how hard parents work to make this a possibility for their children.  And most importantly, how deep their love is for Christ.

I've been asked a lot "what is Haiti like?"  How do I answer that.  What if I asked you, "what is the US like?"  How can I explain the hug of a child or how excited they get when I walk into the baby house.  How can I explain how excited the nannies get when I learn to say a new phrase in Creole or how hard it is when they ask for help and I can't do anything for them.

Haiti is horrible yet amazing,
It's heartbreaking yet heartwarming,
It's full of death and full of life,
It's chaotic yet peaceful,
It's covered in poverty, yet surrounded by potential,
It's confusing yet realistic.
Most importantly, Haiti is home.

We have also been asked if we are back to avoid the storm and the outbreak.  NO. We wan't to be there and feel guilty that we are here where it's safe and that we don't have to worry about anything.  People we love are living in Haiti, fearing that this outbreak or this storm may come to our area and make life even more difficult for them.  I can't imagine what this must feel like.

Being back in the States confirms the fact that I am not meant to be here.  I have known for a while that I was made to live somewhere else, and now I am positive that that place is Haiti.  I'm ready to go home, to hug and kiss on all the kids at COTP, and be in the place I am meant to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment