It’s hard to put into words the last 2 months of my life, but I wanted to update you all on how things have been going.
For the first week of January, I was able to visit Wilson and the kiddos and nannies at COTP. It was, of course, an incredible blessing to be able to spend that time with Wilson, connecting in areas where daily Skype dates fall a little short. Though the number of kiddos continues to decline, I was thrilled to be able to see some very special little ones. I overlapped just one day with 3 precious ones who were able to go home with their Forever Families during my stay. And, as always, my special needs kiddos in the Jiraf room are always a joy to see. Since my exit was pretty abrupt, I hadn’t been able to say goodbye to the nannies, but I was able to see many of them during the trip. I am so grateful for those relationships and the way they embraced me and have been looking out for Wilson.
Fifi, the nursing assistant that I trained and worked alongside for the majority of my time in Haiti, is due to have her first child soon. I remember many conversations about the struggle she and her husband had to conceive. We looked over every ultrasound, reviewed every doctor’s appointment (which were usually of minimal help), and prayed that she would be blessed with a child. She is glowing and will make an absolutely wonderful mother. I can’t wait to see her new baby during my next visit.
Back here in the states, I have been living with my sister, Julie, in the Huntington Beach condo. She has certainly been a blessing to me during this initial transition, both emotionally and financially. Later this month I will begin working back on the 4th floor at Long Beach Memorial. Instead of the orthopedics position I had before moving to Haiti, I will be on the opposite wing in neurology. For many reasons, I’m a little nervous about working in an actual hospital again and in a field I’m a little less familiar with, but when I went to meet with the manager last week, I was reminded of the amazing, supportive relationships I had built with so many of the nurses and managers on that floor. I will be working the day shift, which had always been too intimidating for me before because of the workload and at time chaos, but if you’ve read any of my blogs from my time in Haiti, you know why this no longer intimidates me! Working in the actual scope of practice of a registered nurse will definitely be a transition. In some ways, I think it will feel very restricting and perhaps even boring, but on the other hand, it is a huge relief to know that there are doctors and other practitioners making the important decisions.
Wilson continues to serve at COTP, putting in more hours during my absence. Though in his home country, he is working as a missionary without pay. (Because someone asked, if you feel called to support him financially, you can send money to the same address, but put his name, Wilson Chery, in the attached note)
Grad school is going well. I’m in the final 6 weeks of the theory portion and learning so much. So much that would’ve been helpful to learn before I moved to Haiti! There is a year of clinical rotations to be completed next, which I will most likely begin once Wilson joins me here. Working full time and frequent visits to Haiti don’t mix well with mandatory clinical hours.
Well that is what I am doing, but many people have asked how I am doing. This is actually a difficult question to answer as it is hard to find words for the myriad of emotions I’ve been experiencing. A good fried recently sent me this article http://christianstandard.com/2013/11/coming-home-when-missionaries-come-off-the-field/ which actually describes it pretty well. Of course, an important difference is that our situation has temporarily separated Wilson and I, adding an additional set of emotions to the mix. To update you on his visa process, the first step that we are in takes an average of 7.5 months. After that, we will wait (often about a month and a half) for an appointment for his interview at the embassy. Our best guess (which is probably wrong…this is the government!) is late summer or possibly early fall. We continue to pray that the process moves quickly, and once I am working (paycheck, anyone?!) I will plan more visits to see Wilson in Haiti.