One of the top questions people ask me when they hear I live in Haiti is …and what do your parents think?

I am so incredibly blessed to say, that even though it is difficult for my mom for me to be away…she has trusted God so much with everything.  (My father passed away when I was 7).  My mother has done  and is doing something that most people…most parents…would not be able to or want to do…she is sharing me.

Sharing me with the hundreds of children I work with everyday in Gressier, with the hundreds of people I teach English to in the afternoons, with the mothers and fathers in Gressier.  She is allowing God to work through Respire Haiti and me in Gressier, and she is sharing me with them.  She is loving me so much that she knows my place is in Gressier with my children right now.

I have learned recently just how much of a sacrifice this is.  After being away from Gabriel, Michaelle and all the other children in Gressier…I have to admit, there were nights where I couldn’t sleep wondering if they had eaten, if they were sick, if they felt alone…some nights so many questions ran through my mind that I stayed up trying to figure out the answers.

My heart ached being away from my children knowing that they were probably not being looked after very well.

It was then I realized I have become a mother.  Maybe not in the “official” sense…maybe not on paper…and maybe not even to some people reading this.  But in my heart.  I have become a mother.  I have realized by being away from Haiti, a mother’s heart ACHES when she cannot care for the children she loves.  Granted I know my mother does not need to “take care of me” anymore.  But I can only imagine how my mother feels with knowing I am so far away…in a country that is so unpredictable and broken…

I have recognized even more by this last quick trip back to the states… My mother is courageous.  Yes she worries, and yes sometimes that is frustrating.  But she worries, and then still allows me to go…with her support, her love and her blessing.  She talks about Respire Haiti to everyone, being my number one supporter…she rejoices when I rejoice…she cries when I cry…my mother is inspiring.

THIS is a mother’s heart that is being protected by God…to LOVE your child SO much, to let her go to a foreign country, by herself, to love other children and tell them about Jesus.

Mom, YOU are the reason I am who I am today.  YOUR strength and courage have molded me.  Your LOVE has shaped me and taught me how to love others well.  Your Compassion was Contagious and now the children of Gressier are able to benefit from all of the things you have taught me.

Thank you mom, I love you :)

Happy Mother’s Day!