Lately I've been thinking about our first year that we were in Haiti.
It was such an amazing, hard, life changing year...a year that i will never be able to forget.
When I first walked off that plane, I knew I was home...but it all just felt so unreal. So many feelings went through my soul : fear, excitment, a long awaited happiness. I knew that Haiti was the place that the Lord wanted us and I was excited for this new adventure- but I was so terrified.
Our first night in Haiti, we were staying at our Pastor's house. We lost power in the middle of the night, the mosquitoes fell more and more in love with us, and it was too dark so we couldn't find the bug repelent. I remember stumbbling through the house with my mom, trying to find a flash light and the bug repelent. Now that I look back, it was one of the funniest nights ever! At the time, though- I was a mess, crying and wondering why we had ever moved to Haiti.
Our second day in Haiti, I went and met the boys for the first time. At the time, we only had 12 boys and they all were near my age. I was twelve and absolutely terrified of boys. They all tried to make me feel welcome though, like trying to teach me creole. The first thing they taught me was 'ou fou' which means, 'you're crazy.' I had no clue what it meant, so I went around calling everyone that. After a while, some people started giving me dirty looks...I finally figured out what it meant, and thanked the boys. aha
That same week, my mom's face blew up. She had a canep - a fruit that they grow down here. She had never had it before, so of course she didn't know if she was allergic or not. The next morning, her whole face blew up. My little brother woke up that morning and looked up at her asked, "Where did my mommy go?" And started crying. We all look back now and laugh, but at the time, it was pretty scary.
Learning creole seemed impossible. We all had our 'creole made easy' books and studied them every night. urgh, but it seemed hopeless. A month after I got to Haiti, my Creole Made Easy book was stolen, so I had no choice but to learn it on my own. I've realized that the best way to ever learn a language is to be exposed in it. I learned creole from just hanging out with the boys everyday- of course the first things I learned were funny jokes and ways to tease people in creole. But hey! Thats what you learn from 12 year old boys. :)
The first year in Haiti was the most beautiful year I've ever experienced. Each week just got better and better. My parents were learning how to raise 12 boys, which ofcourse had it's ups and downs - but the beautiful thing about it, though, is the Lord brought these 12 amazing boys and this little family from so-cal, and made a family. The family has grown so much since then-but I will never forget that first year with those 12 boys. Just watching how Jesus has grown them and grown us since that time, has been such a blessing. The Lord has brought more children and more people from all over...and the family just keeps on growing. I'm overcome with how much Jesus loves and how beautifully He always works everything out, when it's apart of His will.
I know that this post was totally random and all over the place, but it's been on my mind a lot lately. Reflecting and realizing all that the Lord has done is so refreshing.