I've been back in the US now for almost 2 weeks, two unexpectedly early weeks. I got to have Thanksgiving with family, which was lovely. I take a hot shower every day. I go to the gym every day. I sleep in a "normal" bed...8+ hours of uninterrupted sleep EVERY night. It all feels great. And yet, at any given moment of the day, I suddenly get the urge to click my heels together three times and mutter under my breath,"There's no place like home...", hoping when I open my eyes I'll find myself in a much different (and much warmer) place. I've heard more than a few people living overseas talk about "going home to the States", which lately has struck me as an odd concept. If home is where the heart is, then shouldn't our heart be at home in the place where God has called us to be, even if it's unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and half-way around the world from what we used to know as home? All the things I mentioned earlier are often thought of as "the comforts of home", but they are not the things in which my heart finds comfort. I realized a few weeks ago that while I have talked about a few of the little miracles that have stolen my heart, I haven't introduced them to you properly. They are the reason I am homesick for Haiti:
Bekington, 2 years 11 months old
He is a natural problem-solver. Always an optimist, and a born leader. He's probably a future inventor or worship leader, or both! I miss his enthusiasm for reading books, usually first thing in the morning.
Davidson, 3 years old
He is non-verbal, but he doesn't need words to communicate his feelings. I miss his sweet smile, ear-piercing screech of excitement, and that infectious giggle when someone finds his perfect tickle spot.
D'Jolande, 3 years old
She is a jewel. Sensitive, shy, tender-hearted, dainty. I miss seeing her little face light up when I make direct eye contact with her (or when she is playing with baby dolls).
Jameson, 22 months old
Mr. Funny Man! He makes everyone laugh. Despite having recurring asthma, he handles frequent breathing treatments like a champ and doesn't let that hinder his love of singing "Itsy, Bitsy Spider" all day (and night). I miss his full-speed-ahead bear hugs around me knees every morning.
Jessica, 3 years old
My little butterfly. She does not walk, she "flutters about". A true fashionista. She is a little mother hen, always "fixing" people's hair and helping them however she can. I miss her endless imagination, and her endless reciting of "purple cat, purple cat, what do you see?" regardless of what book she happens to be "reading".
Luckson, 3 years old
He melts my heart! Sensitive and shy, but all boy, too. (He LOVES things that "GO".) He is a thinker and an artist. I miss our daily walks down the driveway, when he holds my hand, points up to the sun and says, "Ky lo, li sho!" ("Kyle, it's hot!")
Mackenson, 23.5 months
Don't let that serious face fool you! He is full of joy and life and adventure. He is a walking miracle. I miss hearing him yell at the dog in English, "GO GO GO T-BONE!" (which is far cry from the hysterical meltdowns of before) and the way he so effortlessly transitions from "Hosanna" to "BINGO" and back again in the same spontaneous music set.
Marie-Denise, 2 years 11.5 months old
She reminds me a lot of myself. Reserved, by not shy. An equal mix of silly and serious. Very studious, and creative at the same time. I miss hearing her little voice coming from the back room at bedtime, "Ky lo, mwen vle bo!" ("Kyle, I want a kiss!")
Rachelle, 2.5 years old
She's a tough cookie...or she'd like you to think she is! She is 2-going-on-15 years old. She reminds me a bit of my niece. She likes to get dirty and play with the big kids, all while wearing pink, frilly dresses. She may be young, but she's definitely the leader of the pack. I miss her little mischievous smirk, and watching her dance with total abandon.
"There's no place like home...there's no place like home...there's no place like home..."