We all like to recognize significant dates, whether good or bad...right? We celebrate birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and how many years since we graduated from school - along side remembering the day a loved one passed away. There is something hard wired in most of us to need to keep track of and remember landmark events in our lives.
In keeping with this notion...4 years ago today we officially began this adoption journey! Ta-da! Four years ago today we turned in our first initial application to adopt a child internationally. It was after many years of discussing it, and years of deciding on what country and agency. Four years ago we pulled the trigger and made the concrete commitment to pursue this adoption. We felt compelled that our timing was right, and while we knew that nothing was guaranteed with international adoption (or adoption in general for that matter)...I think we were generally optimistic and excited to be officially embarking on this journey. Part of me felt like after the roller coaster we went through bringing Noah into our family that this wouldn't feel quite as difficult. *Insert snicker now in hindsight*
Just over 2 years into our journey our adoption from Ethiopia fell through. (Way more information than anyone wants to know about why that happened can be read in prior posts on this blog) We spent the next 4 weeks thinking, praying, and discussing little else other than how to proceed. Obviously we felt compelled to pursue adoption from Haiti and signed on to adopt through Wasatch International Adoption Agency. At the end of this year we will have been pursuing our adoption from Haiti as long as we did from Ethiopia.
I had ideas of ways to celebrate this 4 year milestone...just out of sheer need to celebrate something while we continue to wait and wait. But it just doesn't feel right. With Hurricane Matthew bearing down on Haiti right now...threatening to devastate this country that I've come to love, and to bring more suffering and loss to a country all too familiar with it. I just can't bring myself to do anything to celebrate us being on a journey to bringing home a child whose little life started out with some series of tragedies that we just don't know yet. How many more children will be thrust into this category today because of this powerful storm? That thought chills me.
I have been following this storm for a week now and have watched in horror as it grew to a hurricane, and then turned to directly hit the country of Haiti. I can't even tell you how much sleep I've lost reading up on the storm, learning more about the devastating effects in could have on Haiti due to it's topography, deforestation, and lack of secure structures due to extreme poverty. If this storm ravages Haiti with its full potential then the effects could be mind bogglingly horrific. I wouldn't want it to happen anywhere on this earth, but it hurts so much more being a country that I love...and knowing that our child is there somewhere vulnerable. That frightens me. I want to be there to protect her, or at least to have someone update me that she is safe and well. That the flash flooding and mudslides that are sure to happen didn't affect her, that she has food and water, that she isn't alone.
I worry also about the Haitian Roots Academy that I've grown to feel passionately about...and more importantly about the students and their families that attend the school. Is our little Nelie that we sponsor at the school ok?
I was grateful that I was able to reach out to Chareyl yesterday and she reassured me that the orphanages all are made of concrete and cinderblock that survived the earthquake, so they should hopefully be able to weather this storm well. She also informed me that the orphanages stock up on food at the beginning of each month, so they should be well stocked should they have to shelter in place for any significant amount of time. This did help reassure me, but I am still just so worried at all of the unknown variables. I think anyone with a loved one in Haiti is worried right now.
So, with so much worry and potential loss at the forefront of my mind - we're not celebrating the fact the we started this journey 4 years ago today. All that does is remind me...while our daughter joining our family will certainly be beautiful and joyous for us...that before that can all happen, tragedy had to strike her first family. It may not have been because of a hurricane, but it has struck her nonetheless. That pains me. That for us to experience the joy of her joining our family that she and her first family have to hurt so much first. That adoption, while beautiful, is born out of loss.
I'm sorry this post is full of so much worry, so much angst. I guess I feel like if I can dump it here that it helps me somehow purge some of those things.
In the meantime, I will continue to pray for Haiti. Please join me! For preservation of life and property. That those who were advised to evacuate heeded the warnings and had the ability to move to safer ground. That somehow the flooding will be less treacherous than it could have been. And that especially those most vulnerable will be watched after and protected.