This LONG awaited day - which is a miracle to have ever come - arrived quietly and joyfully yesterday afternoon.
Ted, Bekenson & I drove to Carrefour to meet up with Syndie's godfamily who have been fearlessly working on her behalf the past month to remove her from the unstable & dilapidated orphanage that has been her home the past 4 years.
Syndie's mother died in the 2010 earthquake at 17 years old. Syndie was 2. We had been seeking God in orphan care ministry & adoption back in 2009 & were sure that God was calling us to interracial adoption & kids with specific medical needs. We had no idea that he would call us to Haiti until a few months later.
While he has given us plenty of kingdom work to do here over the past 3 years, one of the biggest plans that he set in motion was the slow process of us becoming Syndie's new forever parents. We actually met Syndie on Thanksgiving day 2011, merely 3 weeks after we hit the ground here. We knew that God would bring kids along that he planned for us to adopt & that we would know it by the fact that they had the special needs that He had laid on our hearts. When we met Syndie & another little guy that we also hope to adopt, Kervensly...our first instinct was to dismiss that just because they fit the details that God laid on our hearts, that THEY were the ones that He had in mind. Is wasn't until nearly a year later that we felt sure that we were supposed to pursue being their parents & now 2.5 years until the first one has entered our care!
In the meantime God has allowed our hearts to be knit steadily together through monthly MD visit days, several outings & retreats with a sponsoring church group from FL, and shared time while visiting and playing in their orphanage.
While Syndie knows us & has some trust development already, this is still a HUGE change for her. While she was crying "I don't want to stay here!" about the orphanage a little over a week ago, she really doesn't know any other life to this point.
Yesterday was a mixture of beauty and tears. Her godmother, grandmother, god-auntie and her two kids all rode across town to visit our home, to make sure they felt comfortable with Syndie living here & to celebrate her birthday, freedom day & gotcha day all-in-one! We ate Haitian food & had a "woz gato" (pink cake) with "krem glase" (ice cream). It was simple, but special beyond belief. I never knew that Syndie had a god-family and how much that they cared about her. While they have made it clear that they have NO intention of raising her themselves nor the means, they truly care about her emotional well-being, they pray for her, they LOVE her. She is blessed!
They could not have been more encouraging & said over & over again. "Li bon, Mwen TRE tre content pou Syndie!" "It's great, I'm so so happy for Syndie!" They spoke of how we love her & of how smart she is and that she can go to school now too. They talked with Syndie about how she can come see them and that they will visit her that she can call on the phone to them. We are glad to have them a part of her life and forever grateful for their hard work to remove her from the orphanage.
here is a peek at our first day together-
What a "lucky" little girl to have so much LOVE!!!
Despite the fun, our day wrapped up with a flood of tears, grief, anger, sadness... Receiving good things even love often causes a form of delayed grief in post-institutionalized kiddos. For her it was a mixture of relief and anger at her stressful past as well as missing the familiar no matter how much she didn't like it. I couldn't help but cry with her in her pain.
When the tears finally subsided, we all snuggled up together to watch Doc McStuffins on Netflix and called it the END of our very first day TOGETHER!