We have finished celebrating all the May birthdays, which concluded with our oldest nanny, Yvonne, and our second oldest child, J. At the start of the day, neither of them had any idea it was their birthday, but by the end of the day, I think both felt loved and honored. It was a preschool day for J, and his teacher, Melissa, made him a birthday crown to wear and had all the kids sing Happy Birthday to him. She said he was grinning from ear to ear! He had yet to stop smiling when he got home from preschool and just had this gleam in his eye like he knew the day was all about him.
As I’ve mentioned before, eating can sometimes be challenging for J, so we decided to have lunch at the house before heading out. Wilson and I took him to the same hotel where we celebrated R’s birthday a few weeks prior, but to the new pool on the other side of the grounds.
In the Promise House, we have four mobile (either walking or scooting) kids, and four more immobile kids, for lack of a better word. J is unique because he seems to be the only one of our “immobile” kids who loves high energy play. We had the best time getting smiles and laughs from J while playing in the pool. We were able to get some video and if you listen closely, you can hear J talking. We say he speaks whale, like Dori in Finding Nemo, because that’s what his adorable voice sounds like. We actually watched that with the kids and nannies the other day and I guess I had forgotten what a tiny part of the movie that whale is! (sorry I don’t know how to rotate the movie so it is upright!)
We had some time for relaxing and lounging, too, which he also enjoyed and gave our arms some rest from all the heavy lifting.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what we’re trying to do here, so I looked back at our vision for the Promise House:
The Promise House will be a place where children considered weaker or less honorable by society are treated with special honor. We will create a stable, Christ-centered home, where each child is loved, encouraged, and supported as we help them reach their full potential. We delight in these children and their special challenges and hope to inspire the Haitian communities around us to do the same.
In addition to celebrating each child’s birthday, these outings are one way we can work toward the latter part of our vision, inspiring the Haitian communities around us to take delight in people considered by society to be weaker or less honorable. They were still landscaping around the pool where we were playing with J, so there were several Haitian men watching us throughout the afternoon. Whether they thought J was our biological child or suspected that we worked at an orphanage, they could see J being treated with love and special honor. I can’t guess their thoughts or how they may have been affected, but I pray that God would use us to show others the inherent value in Every Single Person. Inherent value simply because we are made and loved by a God who does not make mistakes. J, we thank God every day that he chose us to care for you in this time and place and we pray that you would know just how valuable you truly are. Happy birthday!