I'm just not sure how far back to go... I'll try to be brief. I will pull out some highlights and explain things in more detail in future posts. And I will try to blog and not just post once or twice...
I grew up near Columbus with my intact family. Three olders brothers and then me, the blessing. I went to college, got married at the young age of 20, ready to take make babies and be a wife! Little did I know... To make a long story short, I was divorced at 30 after having 2 miscarriages and lots of fertility testing. I'm sure more of that will come later, but that is it in a very quick nutshell. Six years later and I'm on my own, starting the adoption process from Haiti. This is when it really gets good!
During 2010 I had started to pray during lent for ways to build my leadership and be used in service. You know what they say about "be careful what you ask for". I was asked to co-lead a trip to Mexico, which I did. Then I was asked to speak at our Annual Conference, about missions, to 3,000 people. I tackled it, a huge step outside of my comfort zone. For years I've hidden behind the fact that "public speaking is not my forte." It terrifies me. But it went OK and people seemed to respond well.
Shortly after, I was asked to go to Africa, a dream come true. Then, the possibility of leading a team to Haiti, with my friend (one of my best friends) Rachel. This trip would be a leadership opportunity that I had been hoping for, and would also be funded. I couldn't do both Africa and Haiti. I received the itinery for the Africa trip. A lot of meetings. Hmmm. I envisioned a lot of community work, helping and encouraging. Lots of time with the kids. This trip didn't feel like my trip. Maybe it wasn't my time for going to Africa. I prayed. I talked to my mom. Finally I made the decision. I chose Haiti instead of Africa.
This was the first return trip for a team to Haiti for this organization (International Child Care, or ICC) since the devastating earthquake, I had not really been back to Port-au-Prince since 2002, with my same friend, Rachel. I felt I needed to be there, to be with her on her first return after the earthquake. She lost dear friends and I knew it would be hard to see the devastation of the country she loved so much. I also needed to see for myself, to do something. This was a leadership training trip. We were training other leaders so that they could return with their own teams. During our week we would explore the established partnerships and determine where we could most help in a post-quake Haiti, and of course spend time with the kids at the hospital. We did so much and visited so many of ICC's partners in ministry! (You can learn more about ICC and their work at: www.internationalchildcare.org)
We even spent time on the roof of Grace Children's Hospital, shoveling rock. It was hot, the marriage proposals were coming in, and we had about all we could handle after about and hour. We practically ran back to the inpatient ward to spend more time with the kids there. After all, my son was there and I wanted to get back to him...