Meet Elijah. He is my 2 and a half month old son who has been with me since he was born. I knew this little one would be staying in my room under my care before his birth. His mom, Sophonie, stopped by one day in September to drop off her 5 (now 6) year old daughter, Valencia. Sophonie was pregnant at the time and told us she wanted us to deliver and keep the child inside of her because she did not want him- she knew it was a boy because she had had a sonogram done. Without hesitation, Jasmine agreed to deliver her baby who was supposed to be born somewhere between October and November. Before Sophonie left that day, we had a new girl at the orphanage, Valencia, and we were making plans to welcome a new baby boy into the world and our home sometime in the next few months.
Because we do not place newborns into the infant room with the other babies immediately because of their "newness" to the world and all that comes with it (i.e. germs), I had agreed to take the new baby for a few weeks until he was ready to move into the baby room. I began trying to mentally prepare myself for midnight feedings and less space in my already small room. I have to admit that I was pretty excited to take in a newborn for many reasons. This is why I moved here. This is what I was made to do.
Later on in October, Sophonie came to live with us for a few weeks until she delivered the baby. She brought her two-year-old daughter, Sandra, with her and they both stayed in the girls' room. I found myself spending a good bit of time talking to Sophonie and playing with Sandra any chance I could during my day. I would lovingly place my hand on Sophonie's stomach and feel the baby kick and move wildly. I had never felt such an active baby inside of a stomach before and it brought me such joy and excitement. I wondered what he would look like. I tried to imagine the Lord forming him and completing him before he made his way into our world. Sophonie would just semi-smile every time I felt him and say, "He's there" with a bit of annoyance with him. It made me love him even more knowing she couldn't wait until the day she could just severe this bond she so naturally had with him. I couldn't wait for that day either. I knew he would be with me and I knew that I would love him the best way I knew how. There was such a love stirring inside of me for this child and I began praying to the Lord about this child. This wasn't going to be a child I could just give to the baby room and I knew that.
After a few more weeks of anticipation, a lot of other events that I can't share in a timely manner on here, some false labor and moving furniture around, Elijah was born. November 13 at 6:00am, he literally came with no warning. I was not at the orphanage at the time, but Jasmine told me that he literally fell out onto the rocks by the girls' room (which is very fitting since we gave him the name Elijah three weeks before he was even born). She got there in time to scoop him up and give him the proper care he needed. When I finally made it back home, Jasmine had him bundled and ready to go. She handed him to me and said, "Here, Momma." I took him into my arms and carried him into my room. He was so tiny. So beautiful. So peaceful. And I... I was so scared. So nervous. So anxious. I could feel the Lord telling me he was mine. It wasn't a heavy neon sign, but it was evident. I didn't want a baby. I just wanted to take care of the little infant and then pass him onto the next room where he can grow, find a family and be adopted. Someone else was better for him, not me. I had only been in Haiti for three months. A baby? Really? This soon? Could I even do that? Children were in the picture for me. Tons of children. But none of them would really be MY children, at least not yet. I was in the business of raising and discipling kids. God moved me to this country for that purpose. But was I going to be able to be selfless enough to be a full-time Mom? What about funds? Children= money, right? I am single. What about a dad for him? How am I the best match for Him, Lord? NO ONE will understand this, Father. But God doesn't care about that. When has He ever cared about the world understanding? In fact, the Lord tells us not to be surprised when the world doesn't understand because it does not know Him! But I know Him. And for whatever reason, He has chosen me for this task. He has entrusted me with this wide-eyed, chunky monkey, easy going, beautiful child. This life. This soul. This precious gift, He has given me. And I love Elijah. I loved him before he was born, when the Lord was still knitting him in his birth mother's womb.
I have no idea what our future holds, but I know that today the Lord loves him through me. And tomorrow, if the sun does or does not rise again, Elijah will still have my love. I am his mommy. He is my son.