There’s a line in a Friends episode in which Chandler says about Monica, “I really want a kid. And when that day finally comes, I’ll learn how to be a good dad. But my wife, she’s already there. She’s a mother without a baby.” And I always felt like that description was exactly me. I’m a mom. I was born a mom, and I’ve just been waiting for my kids to show up. Being a mom without a kid is hard. But when I went to the orphanage in Haiti last year, it clicked – being a kid without a parent is a lot harder than being a parent without a kid. I feel like that was the moment my heart for orphans opened wide up and did that “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” thing where it busted out if its case.
One of the days we were in Haiti, we went to a small orphanage and met some amazing kids. Kids who really need mamas.
When this little boy was 2 weeks old, he and his 3 older siblings were dropped off at an orphanage in TiTanyen. Their parents died of cholera in November. When I heard that, I cried for the first time that day. Lots of tears. I faced away from the group because I didn’t want the rest of the group to see me getting emotional so early on in the day, and I didn’t want the older kids at the orphanage to see me.
This is Joslyn, that little guy’s older sister. She was shy, beautiful, so very silly, and cuddly as can be. You know how I love cuddly kids. She hung around me most of the day; she’d crawl up onto my lap, facing me, and just smile at me.
This is their big brother. He was also very shy. As you can see by the only picture he let me take of him.
I’m not sure which of the other kids in the orphanage was their older sibling unfortunately. I didn’t get introduced. There was a moment when I was sitting with Joslyn and her older brother, I could see the baby boy across the room getting some love from our team, and I started crying again thinking about their future. These three kids have so much to offer the world. They’re beautiful and smart; they’re sweetest of shy kiddos and they deserve so much more than they’ve been handed.
They live in a 5th world country, in a small concrete building with no air moving through it. They lost both of their parents in November and they’re completely helpless. Their only hope to life outside of their current reality is adoption. Very few people sign up for adoption saying, “you know what, I think I can handle a sibling group of 4. From 8 months up to 7 or 8 years old.” The chances of someone wanting that is slim. And I hate that. I hate it more than I can express to you. And I want to be able to do something about that. I want to scoop them up into my arms, carry them far away from TiTanyen, set up a room for them in my house, and love them like they need love.
Haiti’s adoption laws are very strict. I have ten years before I can adopt from Haiti, unless the laws change between now and then. Even at that point, when I am 35 years old, there are so many other hoops to jump through. There’s money to raise and there are checklists to complete. I feel very discouraged when I see my reality of wanting to give these children a different life and wanting so much to be a mom. How can Haiti be so blind to its needs?
But when I find myself feeling stuck and discouraged, I try to focus upward. I’m thankful for a God who is bigger than me, bigger than those 4 kids. He’s bigger than orphanages and TiTanyen. He’s stronger than the laws of Haiti and the cost of adoption. He can change lives and hearts faster and better than I can. And that’s a very encouraging thing.