Note: H.E.L.P. founder Chris Marlow is leading a team on a pilgrimage trip to Haiti the week of November 2-9. This is an entry from Jon Jennings’ Haiti journal. Jon’s a H.E.L.P. team member who’s been journaling about his Haiti experience. He’s been kind enough to open up his journal to us. You can also follow along Jacob Vanhorn‘s updates on Soma Austin Community Church blog.
This was the first time I have ever been in an orphanage. The children are safe, clean, loved, and being educated. Pastor Gaetan and his wife are doing a beautiful job. But, these children still want more personal time and attention. There was a fascinating process of linking our team to the orphans. It just happened. I hugged a few children, but then I was off in the wings. I wasn’t really sure how to engage. Then, there was a boy who came by me. I just decided to do what I do with my children—draw.
I am not sure if God put that gift in him too, but it seemed our deep connection—much like my son Noah. I need to make more time to draw with my son.
Nadieeson seemed quiet, but that may have been due to our language barrier. It is true that we are drawn to people like us, and this boy seemed a lot like me. I know it is best for him to stay in Haiti, but there was an undeniable desire for me to bring him home. Not be because of my arrogance or belief that I could “save him.” No, it was more like he felt like my son. I now understand the initial connection my friends feel when they are adopting. What is it, pure emotion or a deep spiritual connection? I don’t know.
I held, hugged, and carried Nadieeson as we were leaving. Mark [one of the the other team members] said to me, “It is like a band-aid, dude. Make it quick and it will hurt less to separate.” Mark is a fabulous man, and I know he was right, but I felt an anger towards him because Nadieeson was not a band-aid. He was a boy who wanted to feel my touch for as long as he possibly could. And I too wanted to stay connected to him.