I cannot believe that I am finally back in Haiti!! It has been eight years since I was here last, but this time it’s a completely different scenario. When I came in 2012, I was here to volunteer distributing shoes to different orphanages and schools. This time I am here for my JOB!!! Yes, my job! I am going to be meeting the 119 orphaned children that live at the HaitiChildren Village! I get to finally meet my co-workers that I have been talking, texting, and emailing with for the last four months!
As we are pulling into the HaitiChildren Village, I see all these kids standing outside jumping up and down and screaming as soon as they saw our car driving up to them. I get out and I instantly have all these kids around me jumping up and down pulling on my arms and all of them trying to get my attention. They all wanted a hug! As Erline, who is our Director in Haiti, introduces my co-worker Anna and I to the kids they all start yelling our names alternating between both Anna and Carolina. I then start to hear them say picture, picture!
I start to take pictures of them and soon learn that they love to do selfies and see their faces on the phone! Erline takes us on a tour of the village and now it all starts making sense. All the stories I have been told I can now picture them happening as I am being told what each building is. It is a place that holds love, hope, peace, and a sense of family. While we were walking around the village, we had kids hugging our waist and taking turns holding both our hands. All these kids were just wanting to hold us and for us to look at them and hold them. They were filled with so much love, laughter, and peace that I forgot about all the problems going on in the world and in my personal life.
Here are these kids who were abandoned ready to give me, a stranger complete and total unconditional love! I have never felt so welcomed and so loved walking into a place where I knew none of the kids. Our kids at HaitiChildren have so much love given to them by not only Susie and Joe, but our staff and our donors/supporters. I will tell you what every single person I know has more than what these children have to their name, yet more than half the people I know don’t live in the present and in a grateful state of mind. How many times have we taken for granted our shoes, water, bed, food, medicine, parents, siblings? Me included. Our disabled kids that are bed ridden and have no ability to move are some of the happiest kids I have EVER met! You look at them and their smile lights up the room, you make a silly face at them or stick your tongue out at them and in their own unique way they start to laugh! A child that lays in bed all day, not being able to talk and tell you what they are feeling is this HAPPY! Talk about putting things in perspective, if these children can be this happy and full of life why can’t the rest of us?
To my 119 children, because yes, I consider them mine. I want to say thank you for welcoming me to my 2nd home and sharing your love with me. Thank you for teaching me that I have much more to be grateful for than meets the eye. Thank you for making me laugh, dance and let my inner child out to play with you. It is thanks to you that I return to the states with a FULL GRATEFUL HEART! As well as, with stories that I can share with our donors, my family, friends and loved ones. I hope that the stories I share inspire those around me what every single one of you inspire in me.
Full Heartedly Love,