Thoughts of Haiti on the 2 Year Anniversary January 12, 2010: A Day We Will Never Forget A catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti at 4:53pm local time. January 2010 was a month full of highs & lows, sadness, fear, blessings, exhaustion and complete happiness. In the end, we were the lucky ones – to have our son, Samuel, finally “home” and in our lives forever. Out of this horrible tragedy was a big miracle for us because we were able to bring Samuel home about 9 months sooner than expected (Haiti adoptions were taking about 24-months at the time.) I can never express what this meant for our family; we were given the gift of time. Samuel has brought more joy and happiness to our lives than we ever could have imagined. January 12, 2010 will be one of “those days” that will forever be etched in my mind, similar to when people remember where they were when they found out John F. Kennedy had been assassinated or saw the Twin Towers fall on 9/11. I remember vividly what I was doing… I was home sick that day and I was trying to make up my mind about going to the doctor. I received a text message from my friend, who was also adopting from Haiti, saying: “I heard something like an earthquake hit Port-au- Prince!” I turned on the TV and from that point on, chaos filled our lives.
Thoughts (cont.) We had been volunteering at God’s Littlest Angels orphanage in Haiti just two weeks before the earthquake struck. And as odd as it may seem, when the disaster hit, we would have given anything to still be in there. I remember looking at my husband Joe, knowing we were thinking the same thing. We both wished we were still at the orphanage, with our son and doing something that mattered for GLA. So we prayed… And as things unfolded, there was an opportunity for both of us to be a part of something amazing. Joe was able to go to Haiti just a few days after the earthquake, where he helped care for the GLA kids and was on the evacuation team that flew from Haiti to Miami with the 81 USA children. At the same time, I was blessed to be able to go to Miami and be a part of a group that organized supplies, media communications, logistics and arrange for the adoptive parents to meet up with their children, once they arrived from Haiti.
Thoughts (cont.) It was an amazing journey and so special because we were both able to be a part of Samuels story, first-hand. By sharing our story with the media and making a case with government officials, we truly prayed it might help other Haitian orphans be able to go home to their legitimate, forever families. The memories, pictures and videos will be priceless when we are able to share the story with Samuel. He is an amazing child with a beautiful heart. We love him so much and hope that one day; we can adequately piece his story together for him. Through our adoption process and the intensity of the earthquake situation, we formed some incredible relationships. We never thought that in addition to gaining a child, we would also form some life-lasting bonds with people through this experience: GLA staff, volunteers, adoptive families from around the world, media contacts and so many people in our community who supported us. It really is awesome to think about the people who have come into our lives because of this journey... something we never considered when we started our adoption process.
Thoughts (cont.) I have a huge heart for the people of Haiti. They are incredibly strong and giving people. Beautiful people. Wonderful spirits. They are resilient, caring and very gracious. I know so many who are strong Christians and put their hope/excitement in “the next life” knowing that earth is not forever. The country is beautiful in my eyes, and I will always wish I were making more of a difference for Haiti. So while I am full of gratitude for having Samuel at home, it’s also hard to think of what the people of Haiti have been faced with – the same earthquake that allowed Samuel to come home, also created chaos in a country that didn’t need any more devastation… and two years later, it hasn’t gotten much better or easier. I am sad for their hearts - for the pain and suffering they have endured. I pray that God will keep a special watch over Haiti and that He will protect those who have given their hearts to Him, and continue to work in the lives of those who are still searching. And I pray God will give our family opportunities to stay involved, to continue to help the people of Haiti & God’s Littlest Angels orphanage (GLA), however we can. I am proud to have a son from Haiti and a connection with the country. We want to instill in him a deep love for the Haiti and its people. It is a very special place.
Thoughts (cont.) And as our story continues… we were actually “in-process” of our second adoption from God’s Littlest Angels orphanage, when we found out I was pregnant with a “miracle baby (Luke was born on June 28th, 2011 and Samuel has been a super big brother!) We had to put our adoption on hold so that we could focus on the pregnancy and have some bonding time as a new family. But you never know what the future has in store… My one last thought would be to ask for your support (big or small, time or money…) of Haiti via God’s Littlest Angels orphanage. The orphanage continues to take in more children, send local kids to school and is active in supporting the surrounding community. It is an organization with a solid track record and strong Christian foundation; it is an organization I strongly believe in. I hope today is a day of celebration in Haiti... I hope that the people can rest, feel safe & protected, knowing what is up ahead is far better. Follow the Wilkins @: http://wilkinsstuff.blogspot.com/
If you’d like to talk about helping God’s Littlest Angels, please contactLaurie Bickel at 719-638-4348 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Tom Vanderwellat (616) 884-8901 or email@example.com. Thank you!