Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Top Ten #2-Stories to Good Not to Be Told
Haiti is filled with stories that are worth writing down. It may appear that God has forgotten these beautiful people, but through miracle after miracle we see that just isn't the case. I hope some of my new friends and old won't mind me telling some of their stories. They have inspired me and remind me that God is in charge. They are in no particular order of importance. Just as I think of them...
10-While riding in the back of a toyota soaked with sweat and pee from the baby's (not to mention water being dumped on me by my friend Nicole) I leaned my head out to try and get a little more comfortable and nearly had my head taken off by a passing tap tap then watched a man get ran over and killed all within minutes.
9-This story is much better told by the parents. I wish you could sit down and hear it from them. They tell it with just the right amount of smiles and tears. Mostly they tell it with humor and cynicism (as anyone who has ever adopted knows cynicism and humor becomes the "way to deal", which keeps you from screaming, crying and losing your mind). This awesome couple has had several adoptions fall through or be altered in many ways. It's heartbreaking and sad. This great mom refers to it as a private joke between her and the adoption God's that she does not find at all funny. After finding out just days before the trip that one of their children was taken back by a deranged uncle they headed to Haiti to spend some time with their daughter (another miraculous story). Shortly into the trip they were told that their son whom they loved and hadn't seen for 9 months would be coming back to them. The mother had changed her mind and decided to allow him to be adopted. They accepted the news with the "yeah I will believe that when I see it" attitude necessary. I got to be one of the people who brought that son back to them, sort of as a "surprise". We had him for 4 hours and he cried the whole time, the minute he was set into his daddy's arms he ceased crying immediately. Mom proceeded to ground him for the rest of his life saying, "you never call you never write." Tears streamed down all of our faces as we watched this joyous reunion.
8-I have mentioned before that I get to be a part of a group called Haitian Roots. They find sponsors for kids to go to school. School costs $250 a year and most Haitian parents have no chance of coming up with that kind of money. Some awesome people I know came up with the plan of finding people to sponsor the kids to attend school. We have the great honor of sponsoring two little girls. We got to meet them this trip and it was so cool. Vanessa's mom followed us everywhere wanting to help Kyle and I. This tiny little woman blew up soccer balls and tried to help us. Angeline's dad tried to talk to us the whole time, you could tell he had much he wanted to say. I have never wished to speak Creole more than that moment. Finally at the end he came over kissing my checks and in broken English said over and over, "God Bless You." If I ever wondered if I could come up with the money I certainly won't be wondering about that ever again.
7-We found out my sweet Grayson had a biological brother in the orphanage a few months back. He is almost one and we got to meet him this trip. Holding him had me bawling my eyes out for more reasons than one. He looks like Gray and sucks on the same three fingers. He is so beautiful. I held him as much as I could and was so happy to find that he has a family waiting anxiously for him in America. He was pretty somber, or at least I thought. When Kyle got a hold of him you couldn't get him to stop laughing or smiling. I find that interesting since Grayson has always adored Kyle as well. It was so wonderful to hold him and take pictures to share with Grayson some day.
6-I met another awesome family on this trip who went into this knowing that the Lord wanted them to adopt three specific kids. They found a family of two and planned to adopt them. They knew they would be needing to find the third. Short time later they get a call, "the mother of your children just brought in their baby brother" and now they are all a family.
5-We met a waiter at hotel Kinam who was so cute. He just had such a great attitude. He started asking us if we were Mormons. After asking us and finding we were he was telling us his story. He told of man who was "not so good man". Then he was baptized and now he is "brand new". We forget about being "brand new" and how blessed we are that we are part of a faith that makes it so we can feel that way.
4-I took a photo in the church of a sheet of paper that had the costs of traveling to the Dominican Republic temple on it. It looked worn and like people had touched it and looked at it a lot. I imagine these amazing friends of mind trying to figure in their minds how to get there. My friend Chaeryl pointed out that the total was more than most people make in 2 years. Chew on that one for a minute if you are an endowed member. I know I made myself sick thinking about my attendance.
3-When I met Vanessa's mom on Saturday she just had this overwhelming glow about her. She looked incredibly happy. She also looked like she hadn't eaten in a really long time. When I attended church on Sunday there she was! She ran over to me kissing me and pointing to me saying, "mormon?" I said yes and then there was more hugging and kissing as she pointed to herself saying, "mormon!"
2-On our trip down we stayed in Las Vegas and shared a room with my friend Nichole. We had to be up by 2:45 a.m. to make our plane. I slept restlessly dreaming all night that I missed my plane (and that Nichole was dating a kid from some show called "I Carly"). Anway I was relieved to look at the clock and see 2:45 so we could get this show on the road. I got up and showered and was just getting ready to kick Nicole when I looked at the clock. It said 1:00! The clock was turned funny and I didn't see the one! Pour Nicole didn't go to sleep until 12 and then her whack job friend is up and at it 45 minutes later!
1-On Friday evening we went to a performance in a home that a man named Father Michael began. He started out by rescuing just a few boys, most of whom were slaves. As time has gone on they now have 20 boys and a performing group of boys so amazing it takes your breath away. They went on to take over a home for mentally and physically handicapped children. As I sat there that night I felt that the spirit couldn't be any stronger anywhere in the world. The rain poured down around us, a rat was seen scurrying along the floor and the poorest conditions in the world surrounded us. With that said you have never seen more beautiful smiles and happy people as these boys who have risen above such amazing circumstances. One of the stories told that night was of the drummer named Bill. He was amazing as he played that drum! Father Michael told of how he had been a slave and one of his jobs was to go to the well for water. He would turn his bucket over while he waited in line and play his bucket. Later he had a home and has now traveled all over the world learning and playing for people. It was amazing to even be there. At the end we got to stand up and dance with all of them and I have never laughed so hard or "let go" more in my life. It was a night never to be forgotten!
I miss Haiti already and wish it were time to go back...