Sorry for not posting last night, we took the kids out for the first night of Carnival. We started at an Italian restaurant in Petion-ville that had some of the best pizza I have ever had. Then we were drawn towards large crowds of people partying downtown. There was a giant mobile stage and a DJ rocking the local flavor. The streets were filled with people dancing and having a good time. I wouldn’t say we stood out but we were the only moun blan out there, the only people with small children and the only people with no rhythmic movement going on. That aside we had a great time and it was fun to experience some Haitian culture outside of the hotel and orphanage while we are here.
The last two days have been filled with some amazing moments with our boy and his friends. Eric and Emilia continued to lead arts and crafts with the kids. There were more beads, bands, strings, cut outs and glue than at VBS. They were such amazing leaders getting the kids involved and having such a great time. Eric had most of the crafting down either from his own experience or the printed directions with each kit but there were a couple bracelet projects that seemed to be a bit of a stumper. Fear not, the older girls at the orphanage had it down. They didn’t even need the loom part of the rainbow loom. They would hook bands and strings to their toes and weave these amazing bracelets. They could even take pieces from other projects and integrate them into the jewelry. Pretty cool for sure!
Emilia really attached to 2 girls. One was younger and spent time in her lap as Emilia’s inner mother instincts kicked in. Very tender and such a loving relationship. The other was with an 11 year old girl Daphne. She is an amazing girl. Her English was better than our translators and she has a heart of gold. Emilia interviewed her and really got to know her better. They hung out for 3 days and when we left today Daphne wrote Emilia a letter telling her how much she loved her and that she was her best friend. Emilia’s next mission is to get home and convince her mom that they should adopt this special girl. What an amazing experience for both of these girls – life changing.
Noah spent his time playing ball with a few of the older kids. He really developed relationships with 3 older boys who are 12, 13 and 14 (the crew I fell in love with on our bonding trip – Gabriel, Olitch and Roberto). It was so hard for him to say goodbye to them today. Noah also helped with crafts and tended to all of the liitle kids needs as well. He was a rock star and I couldn’t have been more proud.
Along with all of the fun stuff above, Noah’s primary focus was on J man. He was such an awesome older brother. He played games with J and got him food every 3 minutes when J asked. We walked to the school and Noah wanted to carry him the whole way. He really fell in love with his brother on this trip. J learned to say Noah’s name and would call out to him and ask him for things and it brought so much joy to Noah. The one thing I didn’t fully anticipate was how hard it was going to be for Noah to leave J today. Noah could sense the day was ending soon and started to withdraw a little. He asked if we were leaving soon and I could tell something was bothering him. When it was time to say goodbye he just broke down. He buried his head into my chest and wept. He said he never wanted to leave J man. Then we both wept. It was so real and so hard. We pulled it together enough to walk downstairs and say goodbye to the older crew and then Noah broke down again. I haven’t seen him have such an emotional connection before. While my heart broke for him I was also encouraged that he was able to make such a connection with his brother.
We fly out early tomorrow morning and we have had an amazing trip. It was the trip we had hoped for from the beginning. I can’t tell you how fulfilling it was to squeeze my littlest one, to see the joy on Noah’s face to just be with his little brother, and to share this experience with great friends.
We leave here better from our experience but a little broken from that piece of our hearts we are leaving behind with J. We love him dearly and God willing we will bring him home soon. Love you J!