Sometimes, because I live with these kids, and see them every day- i forget how far they have come. I forget how much they suffered. I forget what a miracle each of them are. I forget why I feel so close to each and every one of them. Then I randomly go through my pictures and think to myself oh my gosh... how could I have forgotten.
Briana came to RHFH shortly after I got here, in September. She was d.i.s.g.u.s.t.i.n.g... emaciated, scabby from her scabies, and miserable. She had a fever all the time. I remember taking her a couple times up to my room and just sitting being with her. Struggling to hold and love her. She was not cute. She was not cuddly. She didn't smile. She had diarrhea and skin infections oozing. She was the second kid that I have come across in Haiti that took conscious effort to love.
I think of God, and how he loves every single person on this earth without fail. Think about that... there are a lot of nasty people in this world. There are a lot of people that straight up reject Him and He still loves them. How many times do I do stuff for selfish reasons, or out of complete ignorance and he still loves me. And I think of how many times I fail to love like He would. How many times I pick to spend my time with people I enjoy loving. The thing is, that's not what life as a Christian is about. One of my struggles is keeping people in my life that aren't people I have a lot in common with. I don't always work to have relationships with people for the sake of loving them. In the states I hang out with people I respect, look up to and in general people that I naturally like. I don't always reach out and try to be a friend to anyone who I don't "click" with because, well... that's uncomfortable. And I like things comfortable... but honestly, how many people can you truly affect if they aren't out of your comfort zone.
Briana was out of my comfort zone. She was hard to spend time with- it was not enjoyable for me. One of the day staff in the RC, Jocelyn, spend most of her time holding Briana and talking to her, loving her, feeding her. She loved Briana with the same love that God has for us. Briana is now one of the chunkiest little girls in the RC. Constantly smiling, and has come so far developmentally.The staff here are angles for doing what they do day in and day out. Loving someone without feeling love for them at first is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Berlancia was my first experience with that. I was asked to take her all day every day when I volunteered at GLA. She was failure to thrive, she was not attaching to me like my other kids were. She was hard to love. It took patience, lot of time and perseverance. Berlancia ended up to be the best thing that ever happened to me. She changed my life and who I am. 9 months with her and I knew how it felt to love unconditionally- like God loves us. That is how Briana was loved by Jocelyn, and there is no better proof of God's love than the current pics of her: