Yes, I'm back again! Blogging after a VERY long hiatus. Life got really, really crazy the past year. That will have to be a few posts in explaining. So much has transpired. There is no way, in one post, I can even begin to catch everyone up. But there is an impetus that has pushed me into the blogging world again. And it's an amazing one!
Introducing Rilinxe (pronounced way-LEE) Faddis! His nickname is Welly.
This is the first pic of us with our son! We went to Haiti last week to meet him and file our paperwork in the American Embassy and Haitian courts. There are no words, or at least I am not eloquent enough to come up with any, that describe that moment when we saw him in person for the very first time and hugged him. Simply amazing. It's like all the pieces of my heart were finally in place.
It had been such a long, long journey up to that moment. And we still have a little ways to go before he is home where he belongs. But we have reached a huge hurdle and crossed it and I am praising the Lord for that!
Our journey started almost 4 years ago. Most of you know that Lance was on ground 9 days after the earthquake happened Jan 2010. That was the event that God used to tell us that we had a son in Haiti. We'd known since before we were married that He had called us to adoption. We just didn't know when it would happen. When I went to Haiti with Lance in May of 2010, we spent time talking to pastors at orphanages about adoption; looking for the boy that God had picked out for our family. Then again in November of 2010. Every time we left an orphanage, we were discouraged because "he" wasn't there. Lance told me "He's not there. There's not a boy in there I can't walk away from. If Luke were there, I wouldn't be able to walk away from him." I was looking so hard and was trying to force something. I had to trust my husband and follow him and trust that God would lead us to "him."
Fast forward to March of this year. We had completed our dossier (fancy name for paperwork/file) and it had been in Haiti 5 months; since October the year before. I was getting discouraged and then we got an email from our adoption agency with a list of "waiting children." Waiting children are hard to adopt children. Most have physical or mental delays, but some are one the list only because of their age. I opened the email and there Welly was. I looked at his picture, read his bio, and I knew. I knew he was my son.
I showed the email to Lance that night and tears came to his eyes. He looked at me and said, "That's what I knew he would look like." I stand amazed that God had put his face in our hearts and we recognized him as our son! Over all of the other orphans we had seen. God is GOOD!
Long story short, we contacted our agency, they called our orphanage, and we were officially matched with Welly on Spring Break. Then our dossier was submitted to the Haitian Social Services in May. I'm going to blog another post on the process we've been through with that. And all the ways we have seen God's hand in this long, long, process. I want to write it all down 1) so I don't forget the details, and 2) so Welly can read it and know how hard we wanted him, searched for him, waited for him and loved him. Before we ever knew him.
But for this post, I have to share the pictures of our meeting him for the first time. It. Was. Incredible.
We arrived in Haiti 2 days before we went to the orphanage. We wanted to spend some time with some of the guys we had worked with on our previous trips to Haiti. And also to have a little R&R. We came off of a very stressful week before we left. Sara's birthday, party, baking pies and delivering food for our church Thanksgiving meal, my grandfather's death and funeral and packing all 6 of us for a week. We needed a mental break. We really enjoyed our 2 days sightseeing some of Haiti we hadn't seen and doing some shopping. Then we had dinner with our friends at our resort. It was a blessed time. I'll write more about that, too, at a different time. :)
Tuesday morning we woke up with butterflies in our stomachs. The day for which we had longed and waited was here! We were going to meet our son!!! Our friend Gelin came and got us at the hotel and took us to the orphanage. We were a bundle of nerves!
When we got there, I knew that they would take us right to him. There really wouldn't be anytime to gather our thoughts. And I'm kinda glad. I think I would have been nothing but nerves knowing he was in a room waiting to meet us and I couldn't hug him yet. :)
This is one of my favorite pictures of that day...
He was looking at us arriving. We were setting down our bags and then we went in the house and up the stairs to meet him. :)
And here's what happened next...
I will never forget stopping at the top of the steps; right outside of the room he was in. I turned and looked and Lance and said, "This is it." We had been waiting for that minute for a very, very long time. You don't always get the opportunity in life to stop and soak in a moment that your life is going to change. We had that opportunity. We knew that the moment we stepped through that door, our lives would never be the same. It was surreal.
I'll end it with that for today. Tomorrow, I'll share about out time with him and the amazingness that it was!
Friday Fellowship - Jenna Buettemeyer
2 days ago