“I’m telling you, when you see their faces…it’s like God turns up the sunshine to full blast.”
Sooooo, Haiti. Goodness, where do I start?
What a BLESSING to be able to spend five whole days with our friends and our Sweet P for Thanksgiving!
The boys were SO excited to see us (PTL!), and Little G was happy to put the (too small) 3T/size 8s I brought for Sweet P to good use. Since our babe turned 4 the day we got there (November 23rd), I had a sneaking suspicion he would need 4T clothes and size 9 shoes, so I brought the bigger sizes as back-ups. Sure enough, the 4T/9s fit him perfectly, and I was so glad I splurged on the extra set! You guys weren’t kidding when you said they grow FAST during this stage of life! (A note about the photo above: we tried to talk the boys into rolling up their sleeves and unbuttoning their shirts a little (they had cute t-shirts on underneath), but I think both of them were used to wearing their button-up shirts that way at school, so that’s the way they wanted to wear them with us, too. Cutie patooties!) 😀
God blessed us with so many special moments throughout the trip. Laughing ’til our faces and tummies hurt at the guest house with Matt & Tacy each night- MAN, I love those two! Making cupcakes for Sweet P’s birthday celebration- what a HOOT! Sweet P and Little G were such good helpers. Mixing, pouring, frosting, sprinkling…making that delicious mess with them will always be one of my fondest birthday memories.
Sweet P didn’t care for the actual celebration part of the party though. Nope. Turns out, he just wanted to eat his cupcake and open his presents outside with mama and daddy only. A party of three. No candles or Happy Birthday songs necessary. 🙂 Truth be told, he started crying in the room where all the kids were (first time we’ve ever seen him cry…which, of course, made me cry), but he perked right back up as soon as the three of us moved the party out onto the balcony. Whew!
…and here’s another one of my favorite parts of the trip: because we’ve been taking Haitian Kreyol lessons for the past several months, we were actually able to carry on conversations with our little guy, which took our relationship to a whole new level. When we were there in June, we had a blast playing together, but we didn’t really communicate that much. This time, we chatted non-stop because we could actually understand each other, and it made all the difference in the world. He made more eye contact with us, he seemed to trust us more, and he even seemed more interested in learning how to say things in English. I guess because it was easier for him to learn when we knew how to say things in both languages. And being able to draw every single thing my baby called out to me when we were sitting at the table with a pad of paper and a box of crayons? SO. AWESOME! Zandolit? Sure thing. Lizards are a piece of cake. Chat? Absolutely. I can draw cats in my sleep. Machin? No problemo. I LOVE drawing cars and trucks for you. Soulye? You got it. Shoes are my specialty! 😉
Being able to communicate with the women who love and care for him every day was such a blessing too. He has two main nannies- Carine and Aloude. They’ve been with him since he came to Three Angels at 18 months. They are extraordinary women. Kindhearted, hardworking women who have done such a beautiful job of showing our babe the love of Jesus. They taught him how to talk and walk and pray and sing. How to share and be polite…and how to use the potty. 😉 They take care of him when he’s sick, they hold him when he wants to be held, and they kiss his boo-boos when he gets hurt. They will forever be a cherished part of his life story, so being able to talk to/understand them while we’re there made it easier to get to know his “forever aunties”. In the past, we mainly just did a lot of smile exchanging, but this time, it was SO nice to go beyond the grins…even if it was “toddler Kreyol” we were speaking- ha! For example, one day I heard Sweet P ask Carrine if she was going to the hospital. I thought maybe she worked there at night so I asked her if she did. “Ou…travay…lopital?“, I slowly pieced together. In Kreyol that’s “you…work…hospital?”- but she knew exactly what I meant because she responded “Oh! No!” with a big grin as she waved ‘orevwa’ for the night. (Yes- that’s how ‘au revoir” (goodbye) is spelled in Haitian Kreyol) I have no idea why Sweet P thought she was going to the hospital, but how fun to be a part of that silly conversation.
(Carine and Sweet P)
Another moment that topped the charts was when Sweet P told me, “Bondye renmen ou” while I was holding him in the driveway one afternoon.
God loves you.
Even with his cute little accent and toddler-style speaking, I understood it clear as a bell.
Sure, he may have just been repeating something his nannies or teachers have said to him, but talk about PEACE for this mama-in-waiting! To know that THAT is what’s being poured into him while I’m not there…and to hear THAT pouring out of him when I am there. WOW. It was like God turned up the sunshine to full blast. 🙂
PS- We took our Haitian Kreyol lessons via Skype with an incredible gal named Gloria. You can find her as Gloria Guignard Board on Facebook, and you can find her book here: Learn Haitian Kreyol