I almost named this post “Sophie’s First Christmas” just so everyone would read it, but I thought that would be a little dishonest. I also know that we have not finished introducing you to each of our kids, but we definitely will. I just wanted to take some time to write this blog as I am sitting in the Port Au Prince airport and contemplating everything that has happened over the past few months. I am leaving the kids here that we really do love and care about, and I am going back to home to Jess and Sophie and I cannot wait to see them. But that is the point of this blog, coming and going can be so challenging…
This was my second trip to Haiti since Sophie has been born which means that she turns 6 weeks old today and I have been in Haiti for 16 of those days. After being gone like that, I cannot imagine what military families do when they have children. It is hard on Jess and me and I have been in the states most of the time. In fact, this time, Sophie started smiling just in the 5 days that I have been gone and I feel like I missed a milestone (really I just wanted to be the first one to make her smile). When Jess and I are in the states, we miss our kids in Haiti so much. But when I am in Haiti I miss Jess and Sophie even more. It is very important that I continue to go down since Jess cannot right now. They have to know that they are still loved and that we are not abandoning them, and so far they definitely understand how much we love them. In fact, the first thing they do each time we FaceTime is ask, “Where is Sophie, can I see Sophie?”
The other difficult thing about coming and going like this is that it is difficult to get in a rhythm in either place. While I am gone, Jess gets this schedule with Sophie and I have to relearn all of the new things about her each time I come. At the same time, it is difficult to get back into the schedule with the kids as well. I have to keep asking them what is happening next, what time does service start now, and other things that I probably should remember. The trips are also so short that I stay extremely busy and never have as much time as I would like with the kids. I never knew how much work Jess did in Haiti until I went there without her!
At the same time, all of these things are absolutely necessary!
If you think about it, things are not supposed to be easy. If they were, we definitely would not be living in Haiti right now and trying to bring our baby there to grow up. When you love something as much as we love our kids in Haiti, you sacrifice and do whatever is necessary to make sure they are cared for and loved. Jess and I (and Sophie even though she doesn’t know it yet) would do whatever we needed to for the ATN kids even when that means me leaving them once every month until we can all be down there together. It is what is needed and it is what we do because we love them. Please just continue to pray for our kids, for our family, and for the ministry of All Things New as work towards all being together and moving forward to what GOD is calling us to do.