Monday, November 15, 2010

mid-month updates

  • Thank you for making it possible for 71 kids to be treated for the most severe types of malnutrition and for giving generously to our 20 day fund-raising project. More than $7,000 was raised thanks to your munificent gestures and concern. 
  • Our half-marathon went well. It was a very fun day.  Hope asked me on the way out the door on Saturday if I was "going to win it?"  I assured her that not only would I not win, I would not even finish in the top third.  She seemed totally unimpressed with me. :) We had a fun race and ran the entire 13.1 steady ... slow and steady may not win the race but it finishes the race. We got to see the female winner of the full marathon cross the finish line. It was moving to see a winner finish.  We will tell Hope that at least we watched someone else "win it."
  • Thank you to each of you that have inquired about trips to Haiti.  Rather than be repetitive in this post we would like to direct you HERE for more information about teams/visitors. 
  • We're excited to share more about the Heartline home and residential program for teen moms that is being planned and developed right now. Please pray for this program and the girls that will soon be joining it and especially for the Heartline board of directors meeting this week.
  • Phoebe's court date is Wednesday. We're putting on our fanciest duds and hugging that judge (against his will if need be) and thanking him for bringing this season to a close.
  • John McHoul is arriving in the Twin Cities the same day Troy and I do. We are removing his locks on Thursday evening. Watch for the YouTube of that bizarre event. 
  • We are asking for continual prayer for the Cholera situation in Haiti. Please pray for those ill and those treating the ill and for a miracle to stop the spread of this disease.
  • I spent some time in the last weeks finally going back and reading the hundreds of comments and emails from around the world from after the earthquake. I sat reading and crying and grieving for those that wrote with missing and dead loved ones. To read those notes was difficult and cathartic all at once. So much of January 2010 feels like yesterday. So much of January 2010 feels like a dream nightmare that happened a really long long time ago.  Some of the memories are crystal clear; some things I read had already been forgotten.  I am very thankful that when I arrived in the USA half crazy with grief and still processing trauma that I did not know we would not all go home for eleven months. I am glad we only figured out how long we'd be here in increments that we could better accept. Leaving our home and work and friends at a time of so much need felt disloyal and terribly wrong to me. I totally believe this time has been good and necessary. The season of limbo has ended for now, and that feels really good.

(written March 2010) Home is Everywhere & Nowhere

I knew for certain from the day we got to the Texas home that I needed to come back to my Haiti home to reconcile a few things and try to get myself right in the head. (No easy or short task for the hard-headed.) Troy must have known it too or he would not have signed up for two weeks as a single dad of six. It was important for me to come back home. I am thankful Troy knows me so well.

Home is everywhere and home is nowhere.

Being "home" has been good. I have so loved the past ten days and have been quite thankful to be here. John McHoul always says what a privilege it is to live here ... In the past I sometimes wondered if I agreed with him on that ... But I think I finally get it in a real way. I feel it. I know it to be true. It is an incredible privilege.

Haiti does not need me - or my family. We're lucky to live and serve and learn here - and more than anything that has been where the blessings have been found - in the learning and in the experiences and that is why we long to be here. I don't think any of us inflate our importance, we just know that God has worked on us - and - in us - so much these last four years. We love this country and we love our friends here and we love waking up to a new adventure each morning.

I spent those three weeks in Texas fighting hard against being there. I made a lot of people a bit miserable by being miserable myself. It felt like three years to me - I bet I made it feel even longer to my family. :(

I think coming back to Haiti has helped me realize that living in this tension is part of what it feels like to always long for something more, something like Heaven.

I was reading a blog someone linked me to and I agreed with much of what was written.You can read what Eugene Chu said in a recent post, "maybe it is not supposed to feel right."

When I go back to Texas to join my family on Thursday I am going to try to turn over a new leaf.

While I cannot completely remove the tension I feel surrounding all of this stuff - the fact is, I cannot change this situation.. Until Phoebe has U.S. Citizenship we need to be in the U.S. - and our family needs to stay together whenever possible. I think Troy and I thought we could just pass the baton off and take turns - wave to each other in the sky or something - but we did not think that through. We need each other and we need to stay together as often as we can. After-all, raising our children is a very large part of what God has called us to do.
When we first got to the U.S. having fun felt very wrong ... I kept thinking how unfair it is that I get to have fun, that I get to have a cushy life, that I get to have so many choices. I'd be lying if I said I can just turn off those thoughts ... but I do need to find a way to just "be" and accept the way things are with more grace. (I'll start by just trying not to be mad all the time.)
For whatever reason we're being given this "break" from our Haiti life. I can choose to fight it every day (like I did for 3 weeks) or I can let that go and try to have some fun and enjoy the rare and unusual treats of time with family and friends, a park, a restaurant, and a date night. I should soak up my kids and their utter joy over all the new and special things they can do in America and not just let it pass me by while I am busy being sad/mad/unsettled/confused.

The unknowns are hard. Paige has said "Mom and Dad - I count on you to have a plan and when you don't have one, I feel scared." I understand that. I feel scared too. I am so proud of Paige and the way she is healing and growing ... I think we are all learning to trust God in the unknown.
Haiti will be here when it is time to return. If that is six more weeks or six more months (we have no idea how long the process for Phoebe will take) I am going to try to be present in the place God has me. Moping around is not helping my kids and it is not helping my husband and it is certainly not helping me. My friends that I leave behind will know I love them even if I am not constantly sad and sulking.
My Uncle wrote me this note earlier this week, I am saving it to read a few times each day in the coming weeks -

"Tara- Glad you are starting over. And incidentally, “fighting this” isn’t just going to make you miserable, you will be contagious because everybody loves you and they only want you happy and healthy. Yeah… have your grief, have your anger, have all the ugliness, disillusionment, cynicism, etc. Have it until you and everybody around you is sick of it, and then give it to Jesus. He will take it so you can go on and bloom wherever you are planted for this season. End of sermonette. -R."

I don't want to become toxic to the people that love me. Home is everywhere and home is nowhere... but most importantly - wherever I am, God loves me and wants me to trust Him as best I can and love Him with my whole heart.

I'll keep working at that.