Well, this precious little girl is now home in Greenville, SC with her mom, dad, 2 brothers and a sister. We got to be a part of their first few days as a family, and it was beautiful. I have no doubt that she is in the best hands that God could have possibly provided- a family that will love her and nurture her tender heart. It moves me to tears even now, days after.
What I want to say more than anything is, THANK YOU. For your prayers, your love, and your never ceasing concern and advocacy for Mindylove. Many of you called Senators, Representatives, Department of Children and Families, etc etc etc. Many spread the word to all your friends… lots held prayer meetings for her. It’s truly remarkable how the body of Christ came together to bring Mindylove home, a true picture of how God cares about the individual—the hearts of each and every one of us.
I know everyone’s probably wondering how we got her here. Let’s just say it was the wildest thing I’ve ever gotten to be a part of! Through someone’s connection, I flew down on a two seater plane that was carrying medical supplies. My heart and stomach were fluttering the entire 3.5 hours. I didn’t know if Mindylove would be able to make it through immigration at the Port-au-prince airport with the chaotic situation there. On top of that, I didn’t know how I would find her there amidst the chaos. When we landed, I sprinted towards the action on the main runway, asking anyone and everyone if they had seen her. Nothing. I ran to peek outside the airport, just in case they didn’t let her in. Nothing. Finally, after 35 minutes of searching, I ran back to the plane, empty-handed, brokenhearted. That was all the time we had on the ground. I had made up my mind to stay the night there, hoping to resolve it the next day.
When I made it back the plane, the pilots screamed with joy- SHE MADE IT!!! She was there, wearing a bright yellow Belle costume from Beauty and Beast, bright pink tennis shoes, red socks, and a sponge bob square pants ribbon in hair. I’ve never seen a more precious child in my life. She had a look on her face of pure joy- joy that someone had come for her.
First questions she asked? “Eske nou prale Amerika?- are we going to America?” “Eske gen manje nan Amerika?- Do they have food in America?” “Eska avyon nan fo paske li manje kawot? – is the plane strong because it eats carrots?” She smiled and laughed the whole way there.
When we got to customs, it turned out that she was missing an important document- the death certificate of her parents. If you’ve been to Haiti, you can only imagine the impossibility of getting one of those, even BEFORE the earthquake. People don’t document anything in Haiti. Her parents lived in a little village and probably had never even been to the capital. So the worst thing imaginable happened- they sent her away to a holding facility in Miami until we could get it sorted out.
I’ve never grieved harder in my life after they took her away.
We continued to pray- b/c that’s all we had. And miraculously, He showed up again. The children’s home she was in for 4 days an incredible place, and filled with people that loved on her. When she saw us come visit her that first afternoon, her face lit up! She pranced in with a crown, high heels, and a bag full of cool stuff to show us. She laughed the whole hour. We told her she had to stay there until her bedroom was ready and beautiful—that we still needed to buy her lots of clothes and a bed. It made her feel really special, and didn’t even cry when we had to leave each day. Only God could take care of and look after her heart like that.
Finally, after days of non-stop work trying to get the documents they said we needed, her new mom got to take her home! Mindylove had been playing in a cardboard box at the time, and she wanted us to carry her to the car in her new box. I’ll never forget her laughter in that moment. <3 And I’m praying I’ll never forget the lessons that God taught me through it all- that prayer is the most powerful resource we have, and that He cares for His children way more than we ever could. And that even when we think His plans aren’t looking quite as good as ours, they are, and they are perfect. God is awesome. And again, thank you for letting Him use you to bring this precious child home.
(Below is Mindylove laughing after painting my face... while doing her first painting ever! That day, she also had her first icecream (a new favorite), and her first sushi (not so much!). Below that is Mindylove and her new mommy that loves her so!!!