Saturday, July 03, 2010

Billy's Trip to Haiti - In Pictures

If you know Billy, he is a man of few words. It is very hard for him to re-tell a story, a conversation or experience - especially one as emotionally stirring as his trip to Haiti.  He has to process it for a long time. So, I've waited to share more about his trip to Haiti, knowing the details would come slowly (and I still probably don't know it all).

A few things I remember him sharing during our brief phone conversations and/or texts while he was in Haiti:

1. After his first few minutes in Haiti he texted the following (I'm paraphrasing here)...
She is tentative about me. Maybe scared. She started crying and there's no translator to find out what she is thinking/feeling.

2. After reading that text I cried. I was so sad for her. Billy is a big guy and I'm sure she was a bit scared. But I also wondered if she had thought I was coming with him. Maybe she was disappointed that I wasn't there. Billy decided to skype with me so Keemberlie could see my face and hear my voice. After I was able to skype with her she started smiling. Skype had a bad connection so Billy called the home phone. We all sang "Open the Eyes of My Heart" together on the phone since Keemberlie knows it in English. That gave Billy the idea to play his guitar and sing worship songs. He discovered the key to her heart. She warmed up quickly after that and took him by the hand. They went on a walk together around the orphanage, hand in hand.

3. They did some crafts together. They played chase a lot. Billy was able to get some cute photos of them together. I'll share those in a minute.

4. One text broke my heart. He wrote: "All the boys are asking me to be their father."

5. Billy was able to take Keemberlie out for ice cream one day. He really enjoyed getting out of the orphanage with her. Billy took some great video during his trip. I still need to upload it to my mac so I can get it ready for you. But one of the best videos is from their outing where they played chase on the highest lookout point in all of Haiti. It overlooks the ocean and is such a beautiful place.

6. On Billy's last morning at HCRM, Keemberlie did not want him to stop holding her. She longed to be with him and was sad about his leaving. That was a huge answer to prayer. She did not even show that kind of emotion with me and Libby. And Billy needed to see that kind of connection. It had been a long, hard trip and she was (even though accepting of him and friendly) not totally connecting with him. Of course, she's only 6 years old. But every adoptive parent wants to see some connection with their child-to-be before departing. God was so good to have Keemberlie show her heart to Billy.

Those are the main things I have gathered from him regarding his time with Keemberlie. So, I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story....

This was from their first meeting. You can see how tentative she looks. I can tell by her eyes and smile that she was scared. If only she knew that her daddy is just a big, sweet teddy bear!

Keemberlie sits with Rood in this picture. He is the only amputee at HCRM. His mother died saving him in the earthquake. He is matched to a family we know here in San Antonio. Please pray for his Student Visa so he can come home!

Saying Goodbye...but not forever!


Kimberly said...

beautiful pictures!

Steph Cherry said...

Tearing up! She is so beautiful!

bethany@thetharpesblog said...

I know this may sound silly, but she "looks" like Libby. From posted pictures of Libby, they seem to have the same personalities in their faces. It's like they were always meant to be sisters :)
Enjoying reading this beautiful story . . .

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