-Odessa's adoption was (finally!) finalized in Haiti. Seeing her name with "Andrews" now legally attached to the end of it, made my heart (that had been beating anxiously to get it done since May 8, 2010) settle back into it's regular rhythm.
The first time I ever held Odessa
-I got married! Boy has that been an adjustment...a good one of course ;)
-The ladies at my home church sent me a "wedding shower in a suitcase" because I was getting married in Haiti.
-Some of my aunts and cousins planned a surprise wedding shower for me that was really nice. Complete with Pinterest-inspired decorating! And I do not have ONE single picture to post!
-Over the past year we temporarily took in 2 abandoned newborns, one teenage mother and her newborn, one child who had been living on the streets in Port au Prince, and a sick toddler.
-In 2012 we welcomed 3 foster teenagers into our home for a one year trial period. One orphan living on the streets, one child who has been a slave for 4 different families in her life and one child who is legally blind.
- Transported 3 medical children to the states for life-saving surgery
- Worked with 29 families in the microloan process. Processed their loans, repayments, followed their businesses and family lives.
-Partnered with 10 families on a matched-savings account to help them pay for their children's school. Signed up 20 families for the same program this coming year.
-Helped a family rebuild their house after a fire.
-Survived one tropical storm and one hurricane
-Got to Skype often with my family back home home.
The sadness is still here in Haiti. Imagine everywhere you go people begging for money and children begging for food. Haiti is our home now and this has become my normal. Normal now to walk up to the small market by my house to buy a Coke and have 2 or 3 kids tell me how hungry they are. Normal for us to cut back on our dinner portions to share. Normal for Children's Services to come by and say we are the "last chance" this kid has for the night or they will sleep in the adult jail. Normal to do a home visit and want to take the malnourished kids home, give them a bath, make them some mac and cheese and let them watch a movie. And normal that when I go to these houses of the poorest of the poor, they always try to give me eggs or vegetables or fresh cow's milk.
Chocking back tears until I got home is normal...that has never gone away. Feeling guilty when putting leftovers in our mini-fridge has never gone away. Prayers of thankfulness when tucking Odessa in her clean bed with a full belly night after night...those never stop.
1 John 3:17-18"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."
So without any more preaching...
Let's remember the poor in 2013. And the HOPE we all have in Jesus.