Saturday, May 31, 2008

My trip to Haiti: part 2

I think I left off with Sunday night; kissing the babies...

Monday morning we got to go to the new orphanage property, and to the toddler
For Rebecca's goodbye's.

Chris was our tour guide, and he was great!!!!!! He loves taking visitors
different places,
so it was a lot of fun. The new property, at Fort Jaques, is
amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!! The land is
beautiful, and the work that the haitian people have done there is amazing!
when you go up there, and if the people are working, you feel as if you have
stepped back
into the 1400's. I will never forget the man breaking rocks, by hand and pick,
to a size
suitable for cement mixing. That is his job everyday... It made me feel very
blessed to
live where I do, and also very lazy at the same time!!!!!! I am sure that he
was happy just
to have his job. Another thing that was amazing was the 10ft. wall around the
property. Chris told us that it took 10 months to erect, because all of the
rocks for the
wall, were dug out of the property: by hand. All of the foundational work was
dug by
hand, all of the earth moved, was moved by hand: Let me tell you this; Haitian
are some of the hardest working people that I have ever met!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The
property and
the view are stunning!

After the property, we headed to the toddler house. This was a treat!!!!!!!!!
It was so
much fun seeing all of the kids, and getting to witness their "goodbye
tradition"! I was so
mad that my video camera ran out of memory right when the kids started
singing... The
candy that Sheryl and I brought was a hit. I think each kid got to go through
the line at
least 3 times, and I still gave a bag of candy to Molly that was left over.

I also got to hand deliver gifts to Peterson and Gaelle, from Beth; and to Marie
Mica from
Gwen. That was great seeing there expressions first hand with their gifts!
Miss Mica was a
little diva in her new dress, and when she went out where everyone else was,
they were all
cheering and clapping for her! She was so proud of herself! And, to see how
Peterson was with Gaelle, would melt anyone's heart!!!!!!!! He helped her undo
her ribbon,
and was just so incredibly sweet with her!!!!!! Beth and Gwen, you will be so
blessed with your children joining your families!!!!!!

After that, we got the tour. I only toured part of the house, because Jonas was
and I had only brought a bottle of water with me. He was not impressed with me
at all! :-)
I will never forget Rebecca going into her preschool classroom, and realizing
what was
going on. I had to leave before I started balling and making the situation a
We hung out at the toddler house a while longer, and then headed back to the
baby house
for lunch. Rebecca walked so proudly to the gate, and lead us all out. We got
into the car
and headed back to the baby house, and in her own 3 year old way, Rebecca knew
this was it. Sheryl, you were so strong for her, and once again, I had to use
every ounce of
strength that I had within me, to not start balling!!!!!!!! It was one of those
times that you
know if you start crying it will be uncontrollable, and I was not sure how I
would stop!!!!!!
That 10 minute car ride has left an impact on me forever. I got to see a
glimpse of the
other side of adoption. Adoption is an amazing gift from God; but when you are
placed in
a loving orphanage, like GLA, the kids form bonds with the other children, and
with their
caregivers. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing better than a forever family,
but I got a
glimpse of how much the kids really do love GLA! The staff work so hard to
create this
great environment, and it shows!!!!!!!! It feels like one big family at the
toddler house.

The rest of Monday was spent hanging out, packing up, and getting ready to head
home. The time flew by SO FAST!!!!!!!!! I was ready to go home and let the
rest my family
meet Jonas, but the mission side of me, felt like I had not really gotten to
help out at GLA.
Obviously my primary job there was Jonas, but I loved playing and loving on all
of the
babies and toddlers!!!!!!! I did not feel like I got to do that as much as I
would have liked
to! There was just not enough time. I could have also spent one entire day
photographing the kids, but once again, there was just not enough time!

Monday night was a rough one for Jonas. He was so gassy, and when he woke up
3 am, he really did not go back to sleep until about 7am. I was so exhausted,
and really
did not know what to do for him! I am sure it was all of the formula that he
while I was there, because he would not eat from me. During my entire stay at
GLA, from
Saturday until Tuesday, he ate maybe 1 1/2 bananas, a bowl of hot cereal, some
bites, and a few bites here and there of my food. I think this was just a way
to control his
environment, because he had been abruptly taken away from all that he has known
for the
past year of his life. So, needless to say, he was drinking a lot of formula,
and I don't
think his body was ready for all of that!!!!!!

We all said our goodbye's, and I headed up to the nursery for one last goodbye.
I could
not stay in there long, because the kids had gotten to know me, and thought that
I was
coming up to play, and when I had to leave, some cried, and then they hold on to
legs, and I just had to leave before I had a complete meltdown! It was the
hardest thing to
do, and by this time my emotions were shot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you can't tell
already, I cry
pretty easy! :-) Plus, knowing some of the children from this group, and who
their parents
are, did not make it any easier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Being at GLA was amazing, and the staff and volunteers made it that much better!
I loved meeting everyone and hanging out with them! The only thing that I did not like
at GLA, were the rats!!!!! Don't worry, if Chris is still playing war games with them,
by the time he and Lea leave, they will all be dead!!!!!!! :-) They were only out at night,
and they did mind their own business, I just hate rodents!


Cheryl said...

Rebekah, your pictures are great!! Was one of Molly's brothers there when you were. I thought I spotted Tim or Daniel in the background at the toddler house. I am glad you were able to see what an amazing place GLA is. I can't wait until Friday, when I will be back there. :-)

LaDawn said...

Oh wow, Rebekah! I loved seeing all the pics! I miss that place so much!

jenn said...

I have been checking your blog, everyday, 3 times a day, waiting for the rest of your story. I have wanted to call so many times but I thought that I had better let you get things in order first. Thank you for updating your blog. We leave on Friday to vacation at the Grand Canyon for a week. Maybe, I will call when I get back.

Sheryl said...

Thank you for posting such wonderful pictures. Your photos of the children are beautiful. Your words capture so much of Haiti and GLA so well, and highlight some of the details that I missed. It takes me right back. It was so great traveling with you.