Friday, May 11, 2012

A life changing experience, a new tattoo, and a change of plans.....

A lot has happened since my last post. I am not that great at keeping up with this blog. I promise to do better!! We finished our Home Study in January and it was sent out to be certified by the state. They made a mistake and it had to be sent back. I was pretty bummed because it was our final step in order to send our paperwork to USCIS. They corrected it and we are waiting for the LAST form to complete our ET dossier. As soon as we get it back we will send our dossier to AWAA and officially start the wait.

I started researching mission trips for May as JD (my boss), was going to be out of the office for a few weeks and I thought that it would be a perfect time for me to go on my first mission trip. I was having a hard time finding a trip to coincide with his and I gave up the search. The next morning I saw a post on the AWAA web page about their trip to Haiti. It happened to be the EXACT days that JD was out of town in April. I emailed Michelle, at AWAA, right away. She had me fill out the application and I was accepted to go on the trip. Most of my family and friends were afraid that I would go to Haiti and never come back. I told everyone that Haiti was "the safest" place for me to go because Jay and I do not meet the qualifications to adopt from there. I decided to fly to FL a few days early to spend some time with my family. That did not leave much time for me to get ready for the trip. I had to get all of my immunizations done in record time!

 I had an amazing time in FL. It was so great to spend some one on one time with my Aunt and Uncle. I also got to see some of my cousins that I have not seen in years. Love that! My Aunt Lorilyn totally rocked and drove me to the airport which is 3.5 hours from her house. It was so nice of her. She will never know how much it meant to me. She gave me a great pep talk and sent me on my way.

The AWAA group met up in the Ft. Lauderdale airport. There were 12 of us. I knew right away that this was a group of amazing people. I could not wait to get to Haiti. I sat next to a Haitian man on the flight. He was so nice. My four years of french came in handy......sort of. He told me a lot about the beautiful country that he calls home. I fell in LOVE with Haiti on the first night. The beauty of the country and it's people are indescribable. We spent 4 amazing days loving on kids at the orphanages. We made peanut butter sandwiches, played baseball, skipped rope, did mani/pedis, colored, told Bible stories, sang songs,and hung out on the porch. Hearing those beautiful children sing Jesus Loves Me in Creole would melt the hardest of hearts. These four days were some of the best days that I have ever had.  I started a journal, but is was hard to put into words how I felt. I am overcome by emotion whenever I talke about Haiti. I have never felt God as much as I did in Haiti. Every time those kids smiled I felt like it was Him smiling. Leaving Haiti was so hard. I was planning my trip back before I even left!

I landed back in FL and to my surprise, my Aunt Lorilyn was waiting for me at customs. She drove all the way back to Ft. Lauderale to spend my 6 hour layover with me. We had lunch at the Hard Rock and I shared my experience with her. I told her that I wanted to get a tattoo as a reminder of my life changing trip. After lunch we were walking around the casino and there happened to be a tattoo artist there. So, I got one! la vie est belle (life is beautiful in french). I love it.

While in Haiti I discovered that it is possible for Jay and I to adopt. As soon as I got back from Haiti Jay and I filled out paperwork to do a concurrent adoption. We were approved and have begun paper chasing for our Haitian adoption. So, we are officially adopting from both Haiti and Ethiopia. I fell in love with two sweet babes while I was in Haiti. I pray for them and the people of Haiti every day.

We are so excited. I whole heatedly believe that God sent me to Haiti for a reason. He has a plan. We cannot wait to find out what it is.