This Little Light of Mine

Friday, October 29, 2010

On My Way!

So, the day is here.  Surely never imagined that I'd be headed back so soon but that is how this whole life changing mission has been.  "Expect the unexpected" and "Think Big!"  Here I am 10 months after being called to Haiti and now going to see our daughter-to-be to prayerfully be with her for heart surgeon in another country.  WOW!!!  Once again, prayer and grace managed to get overloaded baggages through fees.  This time saving over $100 of charges by all rights I should've paid.  Now, that money can pay for supplies, water or any number of life neccesities when I get to Haiti. 
I will admit that I am exhausted underneath the overwhelming emotions of this morning.  (Don't worry Mom, I am okay though and will rest on the plane and layovers.)  No matter how hard I try I never get to bed until way late when I travel.  Trying to pack a van load of stuff in 2 checked bags and carryon is comical.  It broke my heart to have to make decisions on certain things not to take.  (I don't need soap, right?)  I have packed over a hundred uniform shorts/skorts for the Children of Hope orphanage school, 2 backpacks full of clothes and necessities for 2 children at a different orphanage (Haiti Christian Orphanage), formula, diapers, food, meds and stuff for the Roberts family (missionaries I work with).  What didn't go, will go next trip and I suspect that'll be sooner than I could probably guess. 
A very dear and sweet friend Anna Nuessle graciously picked me up at 4 AM to take me to the airport so Jack wouldn't have to drag all 3 kids to the airport.  That would've been UGLY!    This ride was a huge gift to me and I'm so thankful to her!  Then, another friend left me a perfect note of encouragement.  I feel so full of love and peace.  Can't believe how awesomely I am blessed.  Thank you God! 
So as I was waiting this morning and reading my devotional, this is the scripture for the day:
22The Lord said to Moses, 23“Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’

The devotion reminded me that when Christ shines on us, we in return shine that light.  So here I go...This little light of mine.  I'm gonna let it shine....

Chris Rice - Go Light Your World
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Forward Progress

So late last night I got word that the Haiti/Dominican border issue may be okay if we have passports and visas for everyone.  Awesome!  Nothing is for sure though until we get there.  Some discussions are going around to even find an option to fly from Port au Prince to Santigo, D.R.  It is definitely reassuring that those who are coordinating this on the ground are pulling out all their tricks and know how.  I am so confident that the Lord is in control and is BIGGER than all this.  To God be the glory great things he had done and IS doing!  So, I leave in less than 36 hrs and in my usual fashion, the race to finish everything leaves little time for the simple pleasure of sleep.  Still have a few things to pickup for the trip.

The big issue now is luggage space.  With the gross of uniform shorts and skorts, supplies for 2 children at the the Haiti Christian Orphanage as well as Gabrielle's things (see earlier posts),  the 2 checked bag limit is disappearing RAPIDLY.  I keep thinking, "loaves and fishes...loaves and fishes."  What needs to go will fit with his grace I know.

Hugs to all and keep those prayers coming!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Barriers

Well, this morning the Dominican Republic closed their borders to Haiti in fear of the cholera outbreak which has been relatively contained at this point.  The significance of this is that to transport Melissa and the other children needing heart surgery next week, we must cross that border.  So many mountains have been moved to get this far, I can't believe at this point that any border closing is going to stop God's purpose if it is to be medical care for these children next week.  My initial response is to feel discouraged and frustrated, but as I sit here I feel a sense of faith that this too will be overcome in accordance to God's will.  Borrowing on Sunday's message at early services, God sometimes wants miracles to be so BIG that there is no mistake they are HIS actions and provisions.  This is looking more and more like a "God sized" undertaking.  So, I will trust, have faith and wait for his call.  My plane leaves at 6 am on Friday to Port au Prince and I will open myself to God's plan. 

I almost forgot to update on the wonderful understanding and re-affirming in the relationship with her current "Mommy".  I've written before on the challenges I have felt and she has had with these unusual set of circumstances.  Huge steps have been made toward a middle ground for the best care of Melissa now and in the future.  It has so lightened my heart and has been a true blessing. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Adventure Continues

So we rejoiced this week in the news that with the diligent and tireless efforts of many, progress was finally made in Melissa's paperwork.  She now has birth certificate and passport should be issued any day now.  So as of today, it seems that plans for her travel to Santiago are going happen.  We still wait day to day but are making plans for the travel of Melissa and the other children with heart issues that have been diagnosed in our various clinics.  There are still few details but we wait are waiting on the Lord with confidence of his providence.  The idea that I would be headed down to PaP to possibly load up in a bus or vehicle to travel across the island to take an infant and other children for heart surgery would've made me laugh out loud this time last year.  I'm headed to another country not knowing anything more of the plans and yet there is peace in my heart.  Let me publicly thank Greg, Bobby, Yanick, Michelle and any others who have been God's hands and feet in this.  Merci Beaucoup!

As many have heard, new challenges in this country have arisen as feared over the past months.  After all of the heavy rains in the last few weeks, a cholera epidemic has erupted.  It started in northern Haiti but has now spread into Port au Prince.  The catastrophe of this is it is a preventable and treatable illness with clean water and basic medical care.  Here an unfathomable thought, the water in your toilet before you flush is cleaner that most of this country's drinking water.  That water could've prevented this illness.  Unnerving, huh?

So tonight I ask that you pray for all those who are suffering with broken hearts and bodies in this country.  Pray that through education and clean water supplies this plague can be contained.  Pray that the Lord will continue to guide the work he wishes for us to do.

Bondye Bon Tout Tan!  (God is good ALL the time!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stepping out on faith

So tonight I feel a peaceful resolution to just take each step as it comes.  So, I am proceeding with plans to be go to Port au Prince for at least a few days at the end of the month.  Aside from getting to be with Melissa, several side "missions" have evolved for this trip.  I'll be able to transport short/skorts for the orphanage striving to open their new Christian school.  The Lord will also be able to use my travel to provide for the needs of 2 boys at another orphanage to assist in getting them prepare for going to school.  Yeah!  This trip with its financial and personal costs will be used for many and for that I am thankful in the one who loves me more than any.

Melissa's paperwork is still unsettled.  Please continue to pray that this will be accomplished so that she may proceed with her medical care.  Also, if you feel moved to help, any donations toward the uniforms for the school would be greatly appreciated. 

Taking a step away from the usual theme here, I'd like to share an incredible story of love and loss.  Let me share a story about Gabrielle.  Gabrielle is a beautiful 3 yo little girl who lives in Port au Prince.  She and her twin sister have been assisted by another local Haitian assistance agency H.E.R.O. (Haitian Emergency Relief Organization). 

Their father has been their primary caregiver their whole lives.  On January 12th, Gabrielle's twin sister was killed in the earthquake.  Then, this summer, we learned of the untimely death of her father now leaving her with no one.  H.E.R.O. is currently working toward helping her in her immediate needs.  They are trying to raise around $500 to pay for her to go to pre-school and her other essentials.  If you can help, please message me.  I'll update on her soon.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Leaning on the Everlasting Lord

Not a whole lot of news.  Many are working hard to get Melissa a passport and Visa to go to the Dominican Republic to have her surgery at the end of the month.  So far, more and more obstacles mount but I know and trust in the faithfulness of our God.  From the medical aspects of her care, I have confidence that the Lord's will is being done. 

The aspects of all of this that I am having the most challenge with is feeling the call to be Melissa's mother, but not physically in her life to accomplish that.  I do not feel that any struggle for this child would be at all for her benefit.  So, I am sequestered to the sideline, while I watch another bond with her and even begin talk of adopting her as well.  This is just not an aspect that I was prepared for and don't know how to handle the emotions...yet.  My plans as of tonight are to go down to Port au Prince soon and just be there with her as much as I am allowed.  If she is to be in my life, she will be and on that I have to trust.

The scripture in the picture says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in Me

My heart has been heavy with concerns that I have tried to put out of mind but they keep surfacing.  They stand as tall as an insurmountable mountain tonight.  I wasn't going to post these things, but I realized that in the course of this journey I need to lay it all out there for the destination is still undetermined.  The challenge of an international adoption in Haiti takes an act of God to accomplish in the best and perfect of circumstances.  That alone has been terrifying along with the thought of the anguish of my husband, children, mother and family as we traverse this together.  Then, we add on that the child holding my heart has a life threatening illness with probable surgery in another country with post-operative recuperation, etc.  with details to plan changing regularly and delayed communication to me.  Oh and then as if that emotional strain wasn't enough, you are caught between having been her medical doctor and now her mother with neither role defined and input undesired.  WHAT AM I DOING????  I get the whole part of God never said it would be easy.  Okay.  But I need a clue now.  A hint.  A small flicker of light on what the next step is.  This isn't about me anymore.  My husband and family are invested too.  They have committed to Melissa as a daughter, granddaughter, sister and niece. 

Those who know us, know that we are 100% people to a fault.  If we commit to something, we are in it 100% with all of who we are and what we have.  We don't do half-way.  So, when we finally came to make the commit of caring for this beautiful child, that was it.  We are in it 100%.  Well, for a multitude of reasons, I am having to consider a request to step back for a lack of better words.  How do I do that now?  How do I stop wanting to know the details of her care especially with each day waiting for her surgery potentially one of a limited few?  How do I suddenly act okay with getting her medical evaluation information third hand?  I'm not talking of interfering to where I am causing impedence to her care.  I am committed to whatever is best for Melissa and had to even suddenly and seriously discuss the possibility that another couple could be better suited for her last week when I was informed of another interested person.  So, if I step back and just wait until my presence is requested,  I have to wonder if this is truly the course God has set forth for us.  Doubt weighs heavy that I can face these emotional battles and any power struggles over a child.  This is going to take some substantial prayer and guidance and I am growing wearing as my "regular" life marches on admist all of this.

Sorry to not be "cheery" but definitely trying to be honest...Waiting on the Lord.,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Missing Melissa

So, it looks like Honduras is not going to happen.  The next surgery date to be attempted in October 30th in Santiago, DR.  I did get to talk with Bobby (orphanage director of CHOH) who is helping with her stuff.  He explained the paperwork and guardianship issues.  We REALLY must find one of her parents to sign these forms so that her medical plans may proceed.  No passport or VISA can be obtained without this.  If we have to go through other channels the wait could be extensive.

The heart doctors want her on Lasix and Digoxin pending her surgery.  Everyone who is caring for her and seeing her says she is holding her own but I'll admit to have a quesy fearfulness that things will deteriorate before we are able to help her.  This is also troubling to my heart because I know it is not being faithful that the Lord is in control. 

Jack and I have talked several times about her adoption.  It is so funny what we worry about.  Being the obnoxiously practical people we are, we end up discussing things that are so far out there planning wise it is a joke.  I know one thing for sure.  God is in the middle of a life altering change of my faith.  What I mean by that is trusting in his provisions.   Jack and I have always been planners.  We usually have a Plan B (Plan C and sometimes Plan D).  Our faith has been like, "Ok Lord, we have faith that you'll take care of this, but...we'll have some other plans ready."  Bad, I know!  He's teaching us in this that there is NO way to prepare.  This is ALL unknown.  There may be similar stories but none are Melissa's story. 

On a bright note, Melissa did get her medicines today through the diligence of Dr. Mark McColl who was on the team last week who saw her.  She had some bloodwork done which did show no HIV, Sickle Cell disease, hypothyroidism and other issues.  We now just focus on the heart.  Bobby was going to take her to get an ECHO for me this week just to have something to go on but God again took our plans with a left turn with another emergency at the orphanage.  Christopher one of the little boys was playing a suffered a bad femur fracture.  My heart breaks for the little guy as he is now at the hospital in traction versus the surgical repair a child here in the states would've received.  Ugh!!! 

So, a final confession of sorts from my troubled heart.  Pictures of Melissa have been my only lifeline since I had to return home.  However, except for pictures of Kristina (her current stand-in Mommy) holding her, everytime I see someone else holding her I actually feel jealous and protective of her.  I truly have had days where I questioned if I had the fortitude to do this.  My new insight to my friends adopting and their heartfelt struggles has been enlightening and heartbreaking. 

Today, the whole family was in Montgomery AL visiting with my mother-in-law and family.  What struck me as we went to the museum, fed the ducks and played was how over and over again, one of us would mention how we'd have to do this or this "when Melissa got here."  She is now one of our family and 4 of the 5 of us haven't even met her.  This is one powerful little girl blessed by one powerful God!