I wait with anticipation, the excitement bubbling up inside me so big I can barely keep it in or stand still. So I pace back and forth hearing he sounds around me feeling as if I’m in some sort of slow motion moving world… waiting and waiting…
Each sponsor is being called by name. I watch as they each go up to meet their child. I stand here for what seems like forever waiting to hear my name called. I search each child’s face hoping one of the faces I see is his.
I am so nervous…I wonder is he nervous?
What will I say? Should I hug him or should I hang back so as not to overwhelm him?
I hear my name being called, the time is finally here! I look up and there he is! My Thierry! His smile is just the same as in his picture, it is huge and warm and his big beautiful brown eyes are looking at me with love.
I am so excited I hug him, I hug the teacher and I hug the interpreter, I just want to hug everyone! I am so happy I can’t contain it, so its hugs all around again and again!
“I am so happy to finally meet you!” I say to him and he replies “I am happy to meet you” (in English by the way). I ask “how are you today?” he replies I am good how are you?” “Do you speak English?” I say. “Yes” he replies.
We continue with a bit of small chit chat and then the interpreter takes over once Thierry has reached the end of his English. I can not believe he has learned English for me. I was so surprised that he had learned enough of my language to speak to me personally for the beginning of our conversation and that brought tears to my eyes at how thoughtful a child he is!
We spent about an hour getting to know each other during which time he gave me a gift. He gave me a single rose and a pair of sandals. I know giving me a pair of sandals was really too much for his family to afford yet he brought them anyway and from the look on his face I knew he was excited to give them to me. When I first saw the sandals they looked really small and I have some pretty big feet. Though I knew those sandals would be to small I also knew that no matter what those sandals had to fit my feet right now in this moment. Right beside me was the boy who gave me those sandals and he was waiting with the look of excited anticipation of seeing his gift to me on my feet and there was no way would I ever let him down by seeing that those sandals did not fit. I said a small prayer in my head and then I began to put on the sandals thinking I would have to squish my feet into them. I took the first sandal and slipped it on my foot…Imagine my surprise when amazingly it fit! The look on his face when I had both those sandals on my feet was worth everything to me…I could see the joy in his eyes as he was seeing me wear his gift, pure joy, there is nothing like it in the world.
Later in the day we played soccer on the beach. He was very good with the soccer ball and told me that he was on a soccer team at school and that his team had won a trophy. He showed me how to kick the ball around a bit and also how to pick up the soccer ball with my foot. I just loved kicking the ball back and forth with him. We did so much today, we swam in the ocean and tried to catch the waves as the rocky bottom of the ocean was stinging my feet but today I did not care and I felt no pain. After our swim we had lunch together and then we listened to his music. American music by the way, He likes Justin Tymberlake and Chris Brown. I loved so much getting a glimpse into his life and knowing what sort of boy he was.
He had the most beautiful kind eyes and the sweetest smile.
He told me he loved me…”Mwen renmen ou” oh the sweetest words… I will never forget how they sounded from him… mwa la ma oo
Today was awesome, no longer was he a picture, he was alive and standing right in front of me.
Sadly it had to come to an end and they came to take him home. It was way to soon I did not want him to leave. The boy I had loved all along was even more to me now. I had no idea I could love him more but I do and I did not want to let him go. It was so hard to let him go, to say goodbye knowing it will be a long time before I will see him again. Now I know him all to much, I have felt his hugs and I have seen his smile in person. I do not want to let him go back into the chaos of the city of Port Au Prince while I go back to my quiet life in America. His world seems so unsafe to me. It was so hard to give him back to God but I had to, his life is here, he does not belong to me, I only got to enjoy him for a short time. I have to trust that God has him and will take care of him.
I was given a huge gift today, It was such a blessing way more than I feel I deserve.
Something I discovered today was that though this boy and his family had barely any money for material things they still wanted to give me something. Though it looked on the outside like they gave me a pair of sandals, what I was given was way more than a pair of sandals. I can never begin to have the words to explain what was given me today but what I do know was that it was love and it was hope, it was a selfless giving that I never have ever really ever gave of my own self. They gave me something when it looked as if there was nothing to give but yet they had so very much to give.
As I go back to my life a part of me has been left behind, behind with a boy, behind in the country of Haiti, living a life so different than mine, so far away, yet always he will be so very close.
Thank you God for this special gift you gave me today. Please watch over Thierry and always let him know he is loved.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.