When Joy is Found in the Dirt

Home a week now and half my heart, it stays in Haiti.  Those kids, their joy, it’s infectious and it gets into your blood and you never want to be cured of it all.

Two weeks ago in Haiti was wonderful and hard and beautiful.  Where a shy, pensive girl was led to me in February a joy-filled, excited child awaited me when the truck pulled in, her arms lifted high, saying “Mami!”.  Her smile, caught by a friend on camera, revealed pure joy, satisfaction that her “white mama” had finally come to see her again.  All week she followed me, held my hand, touched me, leaned in hard on me, slept with me, ate with me, worked with me.  Her happiness to simply be near me was humbling and beautiful.

Our little team worked hard on finishing the nursery, just built of concrete.  We sanded and painted and painted and painted some more.  We worked in close quarters and laughed and shared stories and made new friends.  And my dear friend and I, we left early, our families and our responsibilities needing us stateside sooner and she and I talked long of orphans and help and hope.  Now our families, long-time friends but long separated by so many countless miles, are rejoined in heart by this new shared love.

I come home, not exhausted this time, but filled with joy and anticipation of where God is going to take us next.  Once again I fall asleep and wake up to the image of beautiful, brown-skinned faces in my mind and I wonder when I can get back there, when can we get our girls there, and how can we better serve these people.  I give thanks for my family and for this life we have here and for allowing us to be a part of this wonderful thing He’s doing in a tiny land off the coast of Florida.

As we start a new week, my heart overflows at the goodness of God.  The trials and fiery arrows endured leading up to our trip, they all seem so small compared to the joy of being with those kids.   And my heart, it overflows at His faithfulness, mercy, and grace.

1846.  robin on the fence

1847.  sky torn open, rain pouring down

1848. playing stuffed animals with the littlest at home

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1849.  feeling hope, choosing hope

1850.  seeing places we need to simplify life

1851.   national donut day

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1852.  reconnecting

1853.  a good Sunday

1854.  one more day until I see our littlest girl

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1855.  exploring NYC at night on foot

1856.  time with an old friend

1857.  sweet littlest one so excited to see me

1858.  her joy, her smile

1859.  the Haiti trip I was longing for

1860.  pink paint

1861.  sanding concrete

1862.  loving these kids

1863.  her obedience when she really didn’t want to

1864.  asking to sleep with me

1865.  this glorious time with her

1866.  this Haiti trip

1867.  US soil

1868.  a bench to sleep on in O’Hare airport

1869.  reuniting with my favorite people

1870.  an evening with friends – those rare friends you can go a year without talking to and pick up like it was yesterday

1871.  sleeping in for everyone

1872.  first pool day of the season

1873.  thirty sponsorships in six hours

1874.  seeking His plan for each day

1875.  deep cleaning

1876.  a nap on the front porch

1877.  morning snuggles from the third born

1878.  sleeping until 9

1879.  second floor well-cleaned with the girls’ help

1880. waking up  to youngest two singing, playing Monopoly

1881.  cool sheets

1882.  oscillating fan

1883.  primer for the bathroom

1884.  a beautiful couple

1885.  a lovely wedding

1886.  words not meant to be funny, but they make us roll anyway

1887.  my dad

1888. his dad

1889.  the father of our girls who…

1890.  provides through his hard work

1891.  reminds me to laugh

1892.  is taking time to build relationships

1893.  loves His Lord

1894.  a perfect heavenly Father who fills in our gaps


“I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us.” ~ Isaiah 63:7a


For His Glory ~

~ Sara


4 thoughts on “When Joy is Found in the Dirt

  1. Beautiful post.. I am visiting you from Ann’s. So nice to meet you and I look forward to reading more of your story here. I am praying about going to Haiti on a mission trip in several months. And I too have an adopted child. Glad God brought me here. Blessings.

  2. Great post I’m planning on going to Haiti soon, still raising funds. As I’ve been told I will love it or hate it, knowing me I’m going to love it and will end up making it a permanent thing. I’m planning on helping my friend run her orphanage. I love reading posts like this because it gets me so excited to go but I’m so anxious!

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