It was the morning after January 12th, 2010. I had not yet heard the news about the earthquake that violently shook Haiti the evening before. I woke up and began the routine in what would have been just an ordinary day. I fed kids, everyone got dressed, put on my running shoes and headed to the gym. I had barely punched in my desired speed on the treadmilI when the television in front of me caught my eye. Several news stations on all four screens were showing gruesome earthquake footage from…Haiti. I watched for a few seconds and then the reality began to set in. Haiti? No! Not Haiti! Lord, please! Anywhere but Haiti!
Two years ago I had never been to Haiti. I didn’t know anyone in Haiti. And I didn’t know much about Haiti. But I had been studying different countries (specifically orphan statistics) and praying hard about where God was leading us to adopt a child/ren. The months prior to January 2010, Eric and I had narrowed down the list to three possible countries. Haiti was at the top of the list. I was beginning to think more and more about Haiti. We had done our research and knew that we met Haiti’s strict adoption requirements. We realized that Haiti was our U.S. neighbor, making trips to Haiti very possible for us. And we knew that Haiti had a lot of orphans. I was beginning to feel like there were children in Haiti that were the children for which we had been praying many years. I was beginning to feel like we had family in Haiti even though I didn’t know their names yet.
I stopped running and just stood on that treadmill staring at the screen for what seemed like an hour. The thought “there will be many more orphans” kept playing over and over again in my head. I knew right at that moment that there were people calling out from under the rubble. I felt like they were calling out to me. January 12, 2010, “the day the earth shook” changed Haiti forever. Although we were not here that day, it shook us too. And we were forever changed.
I first came to Haiti on April 17th, 2010. The graphic pictures I had watched from the treadmill and almost every day since came to life the moment I stepped out of the airport onto the streets of Port au Prince. It had been three months since the earthquake. But the gravity of what happened that day was still all around, inescapable. Hopelessness hung in the air. The homeless were everywhere.
|This is the first picture I took shortly after we left the airport on April 17, 2010.|
|Tents and more tents…everywhere.|
|Tents were on every corner of the city.|
|The sidewalks were covered with tents.
There were even tents in the medians of the road.
|And sometimes you can see inside the tents.
And its hard to see hope there.
|I made five trips to Haiti in 18 months and on the last one, we stayed.
We saw more and more of Haiti. We saw more and more tents…in the city
…in the country.
|There are tents still.|
|And brokenness everywhere.|
“For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.”