This life is such a crazy concept, isn't it? There are so many pointless "to do" items that I write on post its (partner teacher can verify my obsession with post its) hoping to accomplish throughout the week or day. I am not a very good "stop and smell the roses" person...at least not naturally. Once in a while it occurs to me that I should do so. It just did. In the midst of finalizing my last two weeks of lesson plans, grading the mass amount of papers, cleaning an attic so I can bring my school room home, and entertaining a dog who is 2 days from removing the cone on her head......it occurred to me that three years ago I was in a very different place....
Will you roll back a few years with me? If you don't want to...just stop reading and wait for the next blog post. This one will have very little to do with teaching....but a whole lot about loving.
May 10 - June 6, 2009
Location: Peitionville, Haiti (outside of Port Au, Prince)
God's Littlest Angels Haitian Baby Ministry
I loved eight babies. For four weeks. I held them. I talked to them. I changed them. I took them on walks. I cuddled with them. I cried with them and for them. I colored with them. I watched them. I saw them take their first steps. I put lotion on their dry little feet. Oh, did I love them.
There we are. Eight babies and I :) Do you see why they captured my heart? They still have it...and probably always will. They were my first brown babies! Nothing ever changes that.
My loving parents put their 19 year old white female on an airplane and left her follow a calling that God had placed on her heart a few years prior. They were nervous, and rightly so, but they trusted in our amazing God....knowing He created me with a passion for babies. Four weeks later, I came home with a very broken heart. One that still has a missing piece. Or rather, eight little ones :)
Once in a while, this life gets so crazy....I forget about my time in Haiti. Every once in a while, on my horrible days, when I don't understand this world, my mind drifts back and my heart remembers pieces of my time that are frozen in photo memories. Do you want to see some of my favorite moments?
There is not a country more poor or beautiful. There are not babies more precious than the ones I have held. There are many many problems in Haiti...MANY. But beyond the problems, there is a simplicity, a joyfullness, and kindness that does not exist in the United States. You won't understand it until you go and experience it.
These moments...this experience...I know has made me a better teacher. I learned how to love (freely and completely) children I would not be allowed to keep. I was not allowed to bring these babies home with me; I am not allowed to keep my fifth grade ducklings (some of them laugh when I call them that; others roll their eyes!) who I have come to cherish just as much as I cherish my brown babies.
In the midst of this crazy busy, planning filled life I live....I am beyond thankful for the time I had in Haiti. I am beyond thankful for the time I had in fifth grade. I have 26 growing babies...scattered in eight different countries :) What a lucky lady I am :)