These last couple days it’s starting to sink in that our departure is soon. On one hand we are eager to return home and see our other two girls we miss do much. Eager to have some privacy once again and be in our own home. But on the other… Ugh. We left our two girls at home for two weeks to come to Haiti knowing the date and time we’d return and that was difficult to say goodbye and leave. Saying farewell to Abby not knowing when we will return is heart wrenching. Not being there every day to love her and care for her in person makes me feel like I can’t even catch my breath as I struggle to think about it through the tears that keep spontaneously appearing. Wondering what she must think when we don’t come for her on Tuesday. Will she be at her usual spot at the window waiting to spot us and cry out “mama! Papa!” Will she know we are leaving because we have to and in no way because we want to leave her behind. Will she feel abandoned or will the love we poured into two weeks remind her she’s not forgotten.
(For those just jumping into this blog – the Haitian adoption process requires this two week visit and then we return home without her to continue to wait. Right now the wait times seem to be about one year).
So know this. I’m so thankful for all your messages these last couple days telling me you know it must be hard and you’re praying for us. Your prayers carried us through much of these last 5 years when we couldn’t find the words through frustration. Now they continue to help as we struggle with the impending farewell.
We have Sunday afternoon and Monday with our girl. And then…
Well let me tell you some recent happier memories with Abby as its too hard to write through my tears. I need to think about the good times for now.
On Friday we were so excited as we were heading out of the guesthouse and orphanage for the first time. And even better than that was the fact Abby could come with us. I asked if she had been in a car before and the staff thought that her ride to a doctors appointment for her adoption file awhile back was probably her only ride. And that may have been her only outing outside the orphanage in the last two years. We had a really fun morning with her and she was her usual happy, lively self but when it came time to go and she got in the vehicle her demeanour completely changed. She got real quiet and snuggled into dad and refused to lookout the window. (It’s Haiti. There’s no car seats. She sat on marks lap and we fit 12 people in the suv.) But we had a stop to make. We were picking up her best friend Ruth and her parents! If you could have heard their squeals when they saw each other! After that Abby completely changed as she sat upright on marks knee now and confidently looked out the window!
We went to the baptist mission to meet up with a group from the older kids site of the orphanage. We got there before them and went to the playground and small petting zoo. There was another large group at the playground and Abby and Ruth were instantly over stimulated. To go from knowing your whole world within the walls of the orphanage grounds and knowing every child and staff well… To a huge playground with kids everywhere you’ve never seen before running around playing. It was a bit much for these wee girls. We went up to the restaurant and ordered fries and ice cream instead. Abby loved this and was so good! It was really fun to see her in a new environment and how quickly she adapted to her fears like the car ride. Also that she didn’t freak out when scared at the playground or car ride but knew to come to us for snuggles to feel safe again.
Today is Saturday and supposed to be a short day for us. Just the morning to visit on Saturday and just the afternoon on Sunday. This is really tough but we try to stay within their rules. What I do like is that the weekends are quiet at the orphanage as much of the staff and volunteers have it off. It’s a totally different feel to the usual hustle and bustle. We pulled out two tiny little pools this morning (and I mean tiny!) and filled them with water. Abby had the time of her life in these wee splashing pools. She poured water over herself and splashed and laughed and laughed and laughed. We went on a walk later and she actually walked most of it. Usually she wants carried the whole way.
It was tough to take her back to her room when we were suppose to but we did. She’s started really not wanting us to leave so it’s hard to tear yourself away but eventually we exited her room. And then it started to rain. And pour. And thunder. And… We couldn’t walk up to the guesthouse in the rain. Not because we don’t want to get wet but because it’s hard enough walking and not slipping on these incredibly steep roads up the mountains. If they’re wet – we’d be slipping all over. So we waited it out. Heart breaking to be in the same building as Abby and not see her. And then we got a message from the orphanage director to stay put and get Abby while we wait out the storm. I bounded up those stairs and I’m not sure who was more excited at the reunion. Abby or us. We went up to the balcony which is covered and listened to the rain. Abby fell asleep in my arms and I dozed in and out. We had a much more quiet play time than this mornings visit and it was just what I needed.
And now we are down to two more days with Abby this visit. And there’s my tears again. Oh man.
Know that my heart is heavy and if I see you I may burst into tears when you ask me how I’m doing or about Abby. Or I may come across as stoic as I try to guard my breaking heart. I’m trying to cling to these great memories and pray that God will protect my littlest one and bring her home to us so incredibly soon. For now I find myself again crying to sleep as my heart is already aching for my girl I just saw a few hours ago and longing for my two girls I haven’t seen in almost two weeks. This mamas heart is sore tonight.