The children talk about it Friday morning. About the four who left in the wee hours.
“They go on plane with you?” Sophonie asks.
“No.” I shake my head. “They drive.” I clench my fists around an imaginary steering wheel. “New kay. New house.”
They’re on their way to an orphanage of transition where, if I understand correctly, they’ll learn about things like toilets and forks and knives.
Sophonie knows that Sania and Bobby will eventually be adopted by members of our team.
“Sandy. You. Me. Plane?” Sophonie points to the sky.
My heart crashes there on the concrete, and my eyes fill, and I draw her close.
It’s another “Haiti moment.” I’ve lost count of how many this week.
There’s the mattress incident when I remember my Tempur-Pedic at home. They sleep on double or triple bunks, on bare mattresses, covered with a single sheet. Someone reminds me that these are children who once had no place to rest their heads.
There’s the French Nemo Night when I stumble from the church hand-in-hand with two girls. “What do we do now?” I ask Dou Dou.
“We go,” he says.
And so we send them out into the dark to find their ways to their own kays, over the bridge and up the hill. “They have night vision,” Jessica comforts me. “At least I tell myself that.”
The children write me notes, give me their crafts, offer to share Goldfish crumbs and water (I refuse, of course), hold out their hands for squirts of hand sanitizer (and love the cologne-soaked makeup pads I bring one day to stroke their arms.)
And I’m overcome with my own poverty.
Oh, and not to forget Wednesday night worship with tears streaming and arms stretched toward heaven.
Stephanie’s words seal themselves to my cracked heart. “Not everyone needs rescuing.”
But still I consider the possibilities, subtract Sophonie’s age from my own. Add up how old I’d be when she is 18.
We joke about scooping them all up and sneaking them out. And consider the impossibilities.
“The kids don’t need us,” says Stephanie. “Haiti needs them.”
Jeffrey wants to be a doctor. Sanine wants to do something in law, I think someone says. And a member of our team wants to help her go to university. Seriously.
And I realize that just as God pulled this particular team together at this particular point in time, He’s drawn each of these children, nearly 200 of them, to this place for such a time as this.
It’s part of His plan for them.
Because He is the One who rescues and redeems. And He can raise them up to rescue their own. And they are orphans no more.
And I must write Sophonie and tell her that God has a plan for her. That plan may include adoption or not. But whatever His plan, it’s a perfect one. I must tell her that He has placed a calling on her life and that she needs to be still and listen.
Yet, I can’t help but wonder if a plane is a possibility.
In the Stillness,