I can’t believe how fast these past 3 months flew by. I feel like it was just yesterday that we were boarding a plane and now we’re already back in the states! We got home March 30th and for some reason I had a hard time getting myself to write this update. Now as I write it I understand why – I miss Haiti so much! Probably more than I ever have before and I know it’s because we had to leave Katheline behind. I would have never thought I even had the ability to love someone else’s child like my own, but I see now that God has given me this gift that sometimes I have to remind myself is not a curse…because I left a huge part of my heart in Haiti!
She has fit right into our family and we feel so blessed to have her as the first one to join us in the children’s home. She’s a kind, compassionate, smart, cheerful, and very mature 8 year old. Her wit and playfulness was such a special addition in our lives over these three months! We left her in the care of Zacharie’s mother whom Katheline already calls “Gran” (grandmother in creole) and I take a lot of comfort in knowing she’s in the hands of family. Many have asked if we plan to bring her to the states eventually, but because we are not her legal guardians yet we are unable to do that. Once that is taken care of we hope she will be able to one day travel to the U.S. with us! This year Zacharie can apply for U.S. citizenship and when that is complete we are going to begin her guardianship process. We ask for your prayer over that situation as well as for Zacharie’s citizenship that it goes quick and smoothly!
We had several awesome teams that served over these past 3 months that worked on different projects but most of their time was spent painting the Children’s Home, building beds/shelving/benches/etc for the children’s home, and building/painting the cafeteria! We appreciated all their hard work and had so much fun spending time with old friends and meeting new ones! The sacrifice each person makes to come and work with us in Haiti means so much to us! We can not say thank you enough! We hope your time spent with us and the people of Charrier was as special to you as it was to us!
The (almost) finished painting of the Children’s Home!
Llyod Martin & Kevin Keeport spent 4 straight days constructing & building until they ran out of wood! We were so blessed! They even built us little benches to do laundry – you guys saved this prego lady’s back!!
I wish we took more group photos! I loved this team because it was a compilation of friends of friends and a select few met before they arrived together in Haiti yet we had such a wonderful week together! A highlight was feeding the children of the community! Many children in our community are lucky if they find one meal a day so watching 200+ kids leave with smiling faces and full bellies is an incredibly heart warming experience… no matter how many times I see it happen.
We were able to begin digging the hand dug well on the children’s home property in This is absolutely the most amazing thing I have ever seen. These guys are fearless. Climbing down into the hole, and digging with a metal dog dish. Putting the dirt into a 5 gallon bucket and pulling the bucket up the hole with a rope to empty it. They hit water around 30 feet but it was just a trickle so now not only do they have to scoop out the dirt but also water! When we left they were around 65 feet and they could go as far as 90 feet deep. These men are brave! Once this is done we will use a electric water pump to have an continuous water source.
The Cafeteria and kitchen are finished! The men did such a beautiful job on the cafeteria! It includes a small room where we can serve the food which makes it much easier for us not to have to do this out of our kitchen! Honestly, the design was nothing like I’d imagine it was going to be but it turned out to be so much better! The large open windows allow sun and a cool breeze and it will serve as such a nice space to be able to eat together as a family with the children!
The finished & painted Cafeteria!
The Finished kitchen – one of my favorite spaces!
Many people have asked us where we plan on living and/or if & when we are building our house. Well now we can say we have started! Last year we purchased about 1/2 an acre directly behind the children’s home where we will be building our home. A security wall has been built around the property and now we have a septic hole (woohoo!). The land is mostly serving as a home for our goats at the moment but next year’s building project will be for our home! With our growing family, each trip we’re reminded how nice it would be to have our own space so needless to say we’re very excited!
Looking down over our property
Some of our crazy kids 😉
What this year will look like — We await baby BOY #2 this July so I will be in the states until probably September. Zacharie will be traveling to Haiti in June with a group of 23 teens and adults from a local church to work on children’s home & gardening projects. When he travels home he will be coming with his mother for her very first trip to the United States! She was granted a visa recently and we’re really excited to have her here with us for a couple months! When Zacharie travels back to Haiti in September to prepare the children in our school sponsorship program she will return with him. Please pray for her as she is very excited and very nervous for her first flying experience!
Thank you to everyone who kept us in our your thoughts and prayers these past couple months. We felt them and give all the glory to God for another successful trip! The next step is to continue fundraising so we can bring in more kids! It’s exciting to finally be at this stage! We will send more updates soon!
With all our love!
P.S. The 3rd annual Hoedown for Haiti to fundraise for the children’s home will be October 21, 2017! Please put it on your calendar!