Promised Update:

I’m watching Hope’s hands to gauge how uncomfortable she is, after two years of loving her and knowing how she subtly shows her anxiety while she keeps her face solemn and emotionless. Maybe she doesn’t even realize that she does it.
I glance over to Jessica and watch for her to be despondent like our first months together, a girl who acknowledged conversation with her so little that we really second guessed ourselves and wondered if she was deaf at some moments. My stomach is clenched as I remember it took six months to get out first conversation that included laughter and two people talking instead of one, and my heart aches to think she is in the middle of transition again.
And as I carefully watch these two precious daughters, 4 and 6 according to the birth certificates we made for them and guessed their birthdays on, my stomach unclenches. My heart is not downcast but instead uplifted. I am silently thanking God and wondering how I can thank so many prayer warriors, and I am loudly laughing as Jessica giggles with her new friends and the puppy jumping around them (his name is Padapoof).
This last two months was a whirlwind where the most I could do was continue to ask you for prayer, promising a longer update once there would be time. In May, CPR-3 received a letter with a deadline and we had to find a new home for the girls. We started praying with hurting hearts about what in the world to do for these sisters who have moved too many times in three years. We knew they could not do one more transition after this, we needed a permanent home.
We had our own ideas, our own best case scenarios, and our own conversations and prayers as a team. We dreamed of a Haitian family deeply rooted in Jesus who was ready to love and take in two as their own. This didn’t happen. And then there was a reference that was a back-up plan, a last resort.
Of course that’s what God used.
CPR-3 has a passion for orphans and knows great orphanages in Haiti, but we are also aware of the mass amounts of children in orphanages who have parents. We are also aware that some orphanages are not good for children. We have a dream for families to rise up, communities to transform, and there to be no need for orphanages. Orphanages are not in our plan.
And that’s why I had my arms crossed as I bit my lip and stared out the window on the way to the “last resort”. An orphanage.
But as we met, I couldn’t deny a feeling heavier than emotion and lighter than just “this is a good place” – the Holy Spirit was giving us peace after years of prayer for these girls and a month of intense prayer asking, “What now?”. We sat meeting and knew that God planned this place for Jessica and Hope’s final transition of their childhood.
There are dozens of reasons why this is a place we are excited to call Jessica and Hope’s new home, but over it all we are confident God is placing them where they can grow up into a deep root system connected to Jesus.
We already felt a passion for this factor – Jesus – and then Brooke, Emily, Lexie, and Bailee met a widowed grandmother. She is sick and taking care of her granddaughter in a home the size of most American closets. As Brooke told me what happened, tears came to my eyes as I was reminded of what God wants for his daughters – Naika (in this grandmother’s care), Jessica, and Hope. In her sickness, this grandmother asked for prayer for her granddaughter – who will be orphaned if grandma passes away from sickness. The prayer was for the girl, her well-being, and care and provision. And what was the prayer the grandmother saw had the most priority?
“I pray that she would live in a place where she can fall in love and follow Jesus with all of her heart”
This life is a breath. Comfortable or in poverty, extended family or orphan; eternity will change our perspective on what was important in this life. Loving these girls, we know that this deep root in Jesus is His best plan for them. We don’t understand a lot of the details, but we are confident in that truth.
And within that, He is still providing so many other things – a continued connection to be with them as we consider them family, a family around them of other children and women taking care of them who truly love them, a beautiful home and education for their future. And as you have prayed and God has seen them all along, God has been holding their precious hearts in His hand through transition.
I am not saying transition is painless. There are still tears, there is still growing to do, and in adjustment the girls still need covered in prayer as they are tempted to turn inward or be confused and frustrated or sad. But every child, every human, goes through this. Have you ever moved? It’s normal to have some transition.
Hope’s hands are still as she gets used to her new home. Jessica’s hands are active, but it is because she is playing music and conducting her new friends to sing “This is the Day that the Lord has made” before bedtime. They have adjusting to do, but they are growing more comfortable in what is home. A beautiful place where they will learn they are safe to put roots down without transitioning again. A home where they are together, still able to share a bed even though for the first time they have the option to have their own.
As I visit them they are quiet, but I am assured they are running around like they should be at their age while on summer break. Their new home and the people loving them are amazing. Jessica and Hope are God’s daughters, and He has them in His hand as we get to be a part of their story. Thank you so much for being their prayer warriors in such a loaded, unexpected month for them. I want to personally let you know that it is not in vain – but it is breathing life.

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5 thoughts on “Promised Update:

  1. Continuing prayers for the children and the orphanage and all of you in Haiti guiding the community to Our Fathers loving hands!

    Peggy

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Stephanie,

    How are you! Love your posts and all your updates. We have an intern in Kenya who is in school at Samford. She is teaching this summer and getting her degree in education. She feels that she has been called to Haiti. I wanted to see if you were okay with me giving her your name and number. She is very sweet and strong in her faith. I was in Kenya with her for the last week and was impressed with her discernment and love for the children there.

    Love ya! Praying for you!

    Amy

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