Thursday, March 3, 2011
So this year marks the 3rd Birthday in a row I have spent in Haiti. The big 3-1.
The first one was hard. Being in another country. No friends, no family. Only emails of Happy Birthday wishes. But none spoken.
Last year was after the earthquake and honestly I was so tired and busy that I really didn't even care to celebrate myself. But went out to dinner at a nice hotel with some co-workers, a friend and a handful of strangers. I had dreaded turning 30-so I was glad it slipped by quickly.
Monday was the big day and I took the day off work and stayed around the house. The housestaff was cleaning up from a medical team that had left and I fixed lunch for us and then headed out for a drive with David and Odessa.
No destination, no appointments, no expectations. Just a drive. Odessa sat on my lap and sang. Some songs she is learning in school and others that are made up. Times like this make me so glad the radio in the truck is broken...
I thought about how much my life has changed since my Birthday in 2010-the biggest change being Odessa. God knew these plans before I even dreamed of them. He connected a baby who needed a Mommy with a lady who had no idea what she was getting herself into when she thought she could be a single mommy.
That being said...I am doing my best, but raising a child alone, in another country, away from friends and family-is harder than I ever imagined. Somedays I pray that I just don't mess her up too much!
She is such a happy and smart little girl and I am so blessed to have her call me mommy. Her little body at 5 in the morning climbing into bed with me is the best alarm clock. Watching her play with her dolls and treating them with tenderness is reassurance she feels loved by her own mother. And hearing her shout "Bravo!" after Happy Birthday was sung was the icing on the cake.
David organized a little surprise party for me Monday night with some of our Haitian friends. Andriline made her famous pizza and David bought a real Birthday cake which was delicious. They went around the room and said their wishes for me in the coming year. It was so sweet. Someone said they wished Odessa's adoption gets finalized this coming year so she can officially be mine. Someone else said that they wished I could help even more people who are sick this year than I did last year. Others wished for continued good health.
I could tell they really tried to give me an American birthday party. And it was great. I do have to admit though that I missed the Dairy Queen ice cream cake! And of course my family and friends. ;)
Each year gets easier and easier and each year Haiti becomes more and more like home.
So to end-I am looking forward to the next year God is giving me and excited to find what He has in store for my 31st year of life!