You guys are SO awesome! Thank you so much for the love and generosity you have given to our family. This adoption has already been such an amazing journey and I can't wait to see the rest of it unfold. We are so thankful for each of you! (PS...there's a little Haitian treat at the end of this video.)
We are so honored to have been the Give1Save1 featured family of the week.
For those of you who would like to continue to help spread the word, please feel free to SHARE this post on your FB page or on your blog or BOTH! Pin it, tweet it, email it. We welcome the chance to educate people about adopting children with HIV.
Please PRAY! Pray that Manno comes home soon. Pray that I don't lose my mind waiting for him. (just kidding about that one. No I'm not.) Pray that people see our video and know that HIV is NOT something to be afraid of. Pray that God shows through our video and that people realize that none of this would be possible without Him.
THANK YOU for all the love and support you've already shown us.
The Focht Family--Give1Save1 from Ruthanne Focht on Vimeo.
I am in the process of adopting a beautiful, four-year-old boy from Haiti. This video was made for the Give1Save1 blog as a fundraiser to help with the costs of the adoption/travel process. God has already blessed this adoption and provided in many different ways. We are trusting Him to continue to provide for us in many ways. Please pray for us as our paperwork moves through the agencies in Haiti and we eagerly await Manno's arrival in our family.
Thank you to Francesca Battistelli for the amazing song, "I'm Letting Go"
Today is Orphan Sunday. In honor of all the children still in need of homes, I'm posting several sites where you can find lists of waiting children. Not everyone can adopt. But everyone can help an orphan (or three). Look for ways to help those around you in their adoption journeys or sponsor children who do not have families and are not able to be adopted. Share this post with your friends. Maybe one of them is thinking about adoption and will find their child on one of these lists. I did. :) Project Hopeful--finding families for children with HIV and Down Syndrome. They also have a lot of great, educational videos about HIV to answer any questions you might have. It was the first place I went to find information when I wanted to begin the process to adopt Manno. Reece's Rainbow--finding families for children with Down Syndrome and HIV. This is where we found Manno. :) The Shepherd's Crook--finding families for children with special needs. (several of Manno's friends are listed in the Caribbean section) Bring Love In--this amazing organization is working in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to match widows with orphans. They are making forever families and supporting them in their journey. The kids are not available for adoption but they do need prayer and monetary support to help make these families possible.
I've started to write this post several times and have not been successful. It's a hard one to write. I want to tell you that Haiti was amazing and that seeing Manno was the best thing that has ever happened to me but it wasn't. Haiti was hard. Leaving the boys here was harder than I imagined it would be and I cried the whole day before I left. I'm not usually afraid but this trip was full of fears for me. There was even one point while standing outside the Cap Haitien airport when I seriously considered getting back on the little plane and going home. People prayed for me the whole time I was gone and I could feel it. I can't even put my finger on one specific reason as to why it was such a hard trip except maybe that I knew I was briefly meeting Manno and then leaving him without ever getting to tell him who I was. That part still brings me to tears. Or maybe it was 6 flights in 5 days. Or never staying in one place for more than one night. By the time I got home, I was exhausted: mentally, physically and definitely emotionally. But, I'm so glad I went. Meeting Manno WAS amazing and I love that I now 'know' him in a way I didn't before. I loved hearing his sweet, gravely voice and seeing the love he has for his nurse and her boyfriend. I loved seeing where he lives and being able to picture his day now that I'm home. Leaving him was very difficult and waiting for him to join our family is now harder than it was before. He will come home and this part will be a memory, but for now, it is our life and it is hard. Just as hard is knowing that when he does come home, he will be leaving the only country he has known and other people will then miss him as much as we miss him now. That part is difficult--knowing that our happiness will cause other people pain--will even cause him pain for a while. Adoption is beautiful but it's also hard. It is born of loss and that doesn't stop when a child joins a family. See why I've had a hard time writing this post? Having said all that...Manno is worth every minute of pain and waiting. I know he will be home. I know that God has planned for Manno to join our family and that He will bring him home when it is time. I didn't take a lot of pictures in Haiti. It seemed wrong to drive around taking pictures of some of the things I saw there. I do want Manno to have some pictures of his country, though, so I tried to take some that would not be too intrusive on the people who live there. Flying into Port-au-Prince:
The plane to Cap Haitien.
The gate to Children of the Promise where Manno lives.
The baby house.
Under the mango tree.
The road outside of the care center.
The Citadel is at the top of this mountain.
The kids play in this field.
We got to see a lot of these:
Several of these:
And, of course, a few of these:
I didn't get to ride in one of these blue planes but I wanted to. They were so pretty.
The Citadel from our plane:
This was one of the streets to the guest house in Port-au-Prince.
Anytime I see one of my children's names written on a wall, I have to take a picture of it.
While I was visiting Manno, his nurse (his AMAZING nurse) showed me some videos she had taken this summer of him singing. She had tried to upload them and share them with me then but her internet connection was too slow. Manno watched them with us and loved seeing himself on the computer. He was more than happy to perform an encore for me so I could record him too. I just love that sweet voice.
Manno is even more amazing in person than I imagined. He has the cutest, gravely voice and is such a sweet, calm little boy. It was extremely hard to meet him and not tell him who I was but it was the best thing for him. I can't wait for him to meet the boys and vice versa. They are going to be quite a group. It's still just so amazing to me to see how God is weaving our family together in ways that are beyond what I could have hoped for. I know you're all waiting for me to post the three hundred or so pictures that I took of Manno while I was in Haiti but there are only a few. It was hard to take pictures. The kids wanted to be held and played with--not photographed--and I was happy to do that. I promise that as soon as he is home, I will be posting pictures until you all cry uncle.
When my boss and his wife had their baby, I gave them some of the boys' nicer things. They asked if they could say thank you by letting us use their house in Michigan some weekend. Um...yes! Barb and Noah went up with us. It was a nice chance to hang out with the boys before leaving them to go to Haiti. It rained the whole time we were there but we still had a great time. We even took the boys to see Lake Michigan and they loved it! In order to get this: