Coming down and moving forward

I feel like my body has been coming down over the last few days. Not just from the earthquake, but from about a month and a half of busyness and not sleeping well. I’m fighting a bit of a cold, always a sign that I’m run down, and napping. Wow that napping. I’m not a good napper but the last two afternoons have seen me konked out for several hours. And I’m sort of feeling human again, not like a walking zombie.

Chris didn’t end up going to Port last night as our friend found two other trucks that were already available in the city. We’re thankful because we’re down to one truck and yesterday the truck was already loaded to go to Port to deliver filters. It would have meant having our crew come back early, even if they weren’t done, so Chris could turn around and return. Our guys were able to finish and get people water, so it was a good day.

I keep thinking about our adoption. We’re communicating with everyone we can communicate with and doing what we can do. Because our adoption is being done through Canada things are a bit different for us. I keep thinking different things like how wonderful it would be to be able to walk out of an airport in Canada this year with my daughter for the first time. Then I have to push down the fear that we might get forgotten in the fray. We aren’t at the visa and passport stage, which is where focus is now. We hadn’t finished getting Haitian approval. Our file was literally sitting on the desk of the person that needed to sign it. That office is standing, but none of the others needed to finish processing adoptions are. The fears I keep pushing down are that we’re going to keep getting the run around, that we need to talk to our home province, who has no participation, or that there is no information at this time etc, simply because people don’t know what’s going on. We have a good main contact at the Embassy and I know with her help this won’t get dropped. We are prepared to do what we can to help the process. It’s hard for me to know that other countries are taking orphans out that hadn’t yet been matched with a family while our daughter who has lived with us for years might get stuck in the system. It’s complicated and hard, but we do feel positive about it at the same time, like at lease there’s a chance something might happen this year, rather than knowing it was unlikely like we did a few weeks ago.

It seems that Haiti is already falling off the radar, which makes me sad. Though, I guess once you clean up the dead bodies from the street there isn’t much left to see that makes good news. People don’t want to hear about all the frustrations of working here in a situation like this, and don’t even want to entertain the fact that maybe it’s nothing new. I’m annoyed with people talking about how electricity and water have been lost, because they were never regular normal things to start with. I’m fed up with people talking about aid on message boards and saying that they should have the right to send in whatever they want and people should just accept it because it’s a gift., with no regard to how unhelpful some of those things might be. Blankets so people don’t have to sleep in the cold? IT’S HAITI! I want to get in their faces and tell them that they are so out of touch with the world that maybe the best thing they could do for all of us is just stop talking, but then I remind myself that to people that “get it” they look like fools. In situations like this I realize how closed off some of the world is to the realities of the rest of the world. I’ve said it on here before, but I’ll say it again… one thing I learned after moving here is that I had thought North America was the ‘norm’. It’s not. It’s the exception. There are people all over the world that live on less and live in more suffering than we will ever understand. I am grateful that God has called our family here and that my kids will grow up with a greater knowledge of the world. I hope it makes them more compassionate and gives them more of an open mind.

I have to admit too that I’m kind of glad the media wave is dying down. It was crazy and fun to have so many people interested in the blog, but I like knowing that the whole world isn’t watching. I want to be able to write about my kid and our family and not feel like people all over the world are stopping by and maybe criticizing it. I like our little “community” here :) Thanks for loving on us and for walking with us.

Have a great Sunday!

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

11 thoughts on “Coming down and moving forward

  1. When my husband and I bought our first house, a relative wanted to give us a housewarming gift–drapes (of her choosing). We had no windows in the main room and no use for drapes as we had kids, dogs, et cetera, in and out of the only opening–a sliding door to the back yard. She was quite put out when we VERY politely declined. There were many things we needed and couldn’t afford. And while it was no one else’s responsibility to furnish our home (and we NEVER would have asked), a sensible (and sensitive) person might have offered something more practical like a rake or doormat.
    I’m with you sister. Real giving means proffering that which benefits the recipient, not the ego of the giver.

  2. From the U.S. – Haiti is not forgotten. It is not 24/7 news and that is a relief to you and to us. We hear of small improvements, very small and we see the grief and sadness of the great loss of life.

    Few people think that life in N.A. is the norm; most think it is much better. I don’t know about that but when I hear that an earthquake in San Francisco some years ago of the same size as the one in Haiti, January 12, killed 73 and then think of the death toll in Haiti, I have to wonder.

    I, too, wish for my children to have compassion for any suffering but I wouldn’t wish a Haitian or a Mali life style on anyone. You and those like you who live there and serve have an empathy that is not common. I, for one, am glad you do but don’t you ever wish that Haiti could step out of its charity case status? That you and others could make yourselves redundant? Is that even possible?

    Prayers for all.

    • Chris and I would absolutely love to see Haiti step out of the charity case status. We would LOVE to see our work not needed here because things had improved to the point where homes had clean water running out of a tap and people understood good sanitation. I don’t know if I will ever see it in my lifetime, but even seeing it start to happen on a noticeable scale would be so exciting.

  3. I have been reading your blog since the first earthquake and now I am reading all the back ones too. I am finding it all very interesting. I am now reading Nov of 2006. Can you tell me the name of the place where you live? Are you allowed to tell the name of the church affiliation? I guess I’m being nosey. I live near Cincinnati OH and am old so I only travel by way of the computer. I would like to look at a map (google) and invision where you are.

    • We love nosey questions :) We are in Pierre Payen, which is right on Route 1 Nationale, the main highway that runs from Port au Prince up north, mostly along the coats. If you pull up a map we are located north of Port au Prince between Montrouis and St. Marc. We are right on the coast.

      Our founders, and myself (Leslie) were all from Vernon Alliance Church, in Vernon, British Columbia. Our founders have since moved to another province, but I still call the area “home”.

  4. Leslie, we prayed for you guys in church this morning and the Wrays (in Les Cayes ?) and there are many that are truly moved by the plight of Haiti….we prayed specifically we would not become complacent and move onto the next major event….keep doing what you are doing and know that we are praying! God is definitly using you guys with your contacts with the US military and such. Have a great week and try to get more rest and kick that cold!

  5. Missing you and looking forward to hearing news of Chris’ trip to Port with the military. Glad you are resting up. You needed the sleep or your body wouldn’t have taken over and allowed your luxury naps. ;)

    I’ll think of you tonight when we’re eating fresh plumpers from the store. lol Sorry about your bad ‘dogs’. Would you like a new kitty?

    Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. I’m trying to convince my hubby he needs to come back with us this summer. I’ll keep you posted! xoxo ♥

  6. Les,

    I just heard of another 4.7 quake hitting in the area again this afternoon. I hope that everyone in the aid area are ok. How did Chris do with all the helping out today? Hope you guys are doing good.

    I went to VAC this morning. Pastor Stuart said that with last weeks offering the church raised $11,000 for the organizations in Haiti that it was going to (Clean Water for Haiti was one) and I guess the government is going to match it dollar for dollar. Sweet hey?


  7. As I look at the news and see the makeshift tent homes so many are living in…I can’t help but wonder if we, in the good ole USA, could ever be inventive enough to help ourselves in this way if something like this magnitude would happen here. We are pretty useless when we lose our electricity or water for even a day. I know times are harder for the Haitians now, but they are true survivors, and they will get back on their feet.

    Anyone looking at this situation can’t help but be moved to want to help. That’s what Christians are called to do……and we feel robbed when we can’t do it for our hurting brothers and sisters. We want to do anything we can to help alleviate their pain….even if it is sending something we have no idea they can use …’s the thought and the deed behind it. Maybe people see all the blankets being wrapped around the dead that they think it would be good to replenish them. You are right….we have no idea of all the frustrations, but these images from the media have kept me awake many a night feeling guilty that I have a roof over my head and a nice pillow and blanket and bed to sleep on with plenty of food in my cupboards. This is not just impacting the Haitians……I can guarantee you this is affecting many Americans with the pain that we see on these people’s faces each and everyday and feeling helpless to help them. We pray and send money, but it just doesn’t feel like enough. It is in our hearts to help our fellow man….and we can’t….and it makes me sad.

    God Bless you for what you are doing and for keeping us up to date on what’s happening. I’m amazed that those who are working non-stop for the Haitians still take the time to keep blogs up to date for us to read. I’ve noticed how many more hits your blog gets from day to day… aren’t alone in this and never will be…..we want to help in whatever way we can. Please keep telling us how we can, and advise us on how best to do it. The media will eventually leave, but you bloggers can still keep us up to date of what is needed.

    G.S. from IN

  8. Hi Leslie, Below is some information I’ve received from one of my adoption groups. Good luck… also, you may also want to google adoption agencies in Canada that are currently doing Haitian adoptions they would also have a good idea on what exactly is going on – from my understanding the adoptions that were even at the beginning stages (a proposal) are coming home, and being finalised here in Canada. Make sure your subject line is VERY clear. “I am in process of adopting a Haitian daughter”

    (Families who were in the process of adopting from Haiti and have been affected by the earthquake can contact the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100, or by email at to discuss their specific case.)


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