We spent a week at Kingdom of Kid's Orphanage (KKO). It was like nothing we had ever experienced. I had never been out of the country before. So for me it was a mega shock. The smells, the sights, the sounds... it was all almost too much to take in. I had heard stories and seen pictures of third world countries. Being there was so much different. The reality of the situation was devastating. I had no idea. How could I have been so naive?
We knew our time with our daughter was limited. We knew we must choose to delight in her rather than focus on what was. Despite the circumstances many precious memories were created. We were very worried during the first few hours we spent with our baby. We could tell she was sick. She was like "a wet noodle" for lack of a better description. There wasn't much life to her. We knew she had chicken pox a few weeks previous to our arrival. She had many open sores that looked to be infected. She was so tiny and frail that I thought she may break. Of course she didn't but it seemed that way at the time. I washed her, changed her and fixed her a bottle right away. She was really hungry. She drank the bottle so quickly that we were afraid she might get sick. She didn't, much to our relief:)
She seemed to get a little stronger as the week went on. We took her to the doctor and got some medicine for her infected sores and some benadryl to help relieve the itching which caused her to scratch often. The doctor also gave us some vitamins to help with her skin condition. We put calamine lotion on her several times a day. She was a pink polka dotted princess!
Initially we had been worried that she may not like us but actually it was quite the opposite. She attached right to us and wouldn't go to anyone else. She would make a little squeaking noise that sounded like a mouse if we weren't doing what she wanted. She mostly preferred to be carried around and definitely didn't want to be out of our sight. She was so so sweet! It was as if she had been with us always. We loved her and bonded with her just as we had with Gavin. God is so good! He knew that she was our baby girl. He knew we were meant to be together. His sovereignty is so amazing!
Esther sucks her thumb and holds her hair the same exact way her brother does... pretty cool!
We had the privilege of meeting 6 other children from KKO that are being adopted by other families that attend our home church as well. What a blessing it was to take this photo of them all together at KKO knowing they will one day be all together at Lakeside! It was much harder to get this photo then one may think... by the grace of God I can post it here today:)
L to R: Sophia, Riley & Micah (twins), Jean - Marie (Esther's cousin), D'Jemson (Sophia's brother), Judah & Esther (looking less than thrilled with the idea of a photo!)
Meeting Esther was one of the best moments of my life but leaving Esther at KKO was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. There was no comparison to the feeling of helplessness as I handed her to a caretaker and walked away. Oh my soul! Somehow I had to trust that this was God's best. His ways are greater than my ways. Although I knew this, the tears still fell. My heart still hurt. We left Haiti on March 29th but a piece of my heart still remains there today. Oh how I long for the day when our whole family is under one roof! Oh Jesus please hear our cry!
This photo was taken just moments before we left. I would have given everything to take her with us!