Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The First Time I Saw Her Face

After an interesting flight to New York and subsequent full day delay in getting to Ghana courtesy of Hurricane Bill I arrived in Accra.

It was strangely familiar to walk off the plane and onto the tarmack. The heat hit my body the moment I touched the ground. I walked toward the building knowing my life was about to change in a whole lot of ways. I made my way through immigration and customs and followed the winding ramp down praying I would see a sign with my name on it. I recognized my driver Edward immediately.

The drive from the airport also had a sense of familiarity. The heat, sights and smells were reminiscent of my time in Haiti. At a stop light our car was approached by a man in a wheelchair begging for money. A young boy tried to clean our windshield for a small fee. We continued down the streets seeing trash, people , barbed wire and many small buildings full of people selling their wares.

We checked in at Rye Manor and dropped off my bags before we proceeded to the children's home. I was greeted with hugs and smiles from the children. They all wanted to be held. Each of them a beautiful treasure - deserving so much more, but making the best of the hand they had been dealt. I adored them all, but quickly found a favorite to share a few moments with before heading to Mercy's grandmother house to pick her up.

We left the home and drove down the bumpy roads to Mercy's grandmother's house. Passing people and buildings, unaware of where we were going or how far we would have to drive. In the distance and on the left I saw a little girl twirling in her peach-colored dress. I couldn't see her face, but even at the distance my heart knew that I was catching my first glimpse of Mercy. We pulled over and got out of the run down vehicle. We crossed the street and I saw her standing by a line of homes. The little girl in the peach dress - Mercy in the flesh. I could hardly believe my eyes.

I was introduced to her grandmother and what I believe were her brothers. I restrained myself and asked if I could hug her. She said yes and we talked for a few moments. Her grandmother handed me her bag and we walked to the car hand in hand. We were immediately mother and daughter. No looking back. I could hardly believe it was real. The day I had dreamed about had come to pass.

20 comments:

Bill and Christina said...

Amazing! Thank you for sharing your story.

Christina

Amanda said...

goosebumps on top of goosebumps, friend. I love reading about your "First." Beautiful.

steffany said...

Please please forgive me, but did she get to come home with you yet?

Still trying to piece together all of this.

Salzwedel Family said...

No forgiveness necessary! No, she is not home yet. I am thinking it will be several weeks before she comes home.

Kathy C. said...

To me, it looks so much like Haiti. Did it look that way when you were there in person or totally different from Haiti?

Katy said...

Wow...such an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing from your heart. Does she go often to her grandma's, or was this just for the special occasion of your first meeting?

Michelle said...

It still amazes me my friend and brings me such joy to see your dream becoming reality. I love all the pictures. Makes me feel like I was right there with you.

God's Grace said...

How amazing! And the two of you together are truly beautiful!

Lena Wright said...

Love this, thanks so much for sharing. :-) Praying she is home soon!

poseygirl said...

Bless you for sharing that. I am so excited for you.

Kathy Eden said...

I'm pretty much speechless...hard to believe I know :o) Thank you so much for sharing this incredible experience with us!

Laurie said...

I love hearing about your journey. I can't wait until we see the post that Mercy is finaly home.

Doesn't it just change you forever? Your photos do look very much like Haiti.

Darrell and Jess said...

I love reading these posts on peoples blogs! congratulations!! She is absolutely beautiful! :)

Michelle said...

Awesome!

Tereasa said...

So beautiful and touching!

Annie said...

What an adorable face. That last photo is dear. Who are the other people?

Annie said...

What an adorable face. That last photo is dear. Who are the other people?

Wife to the Rockstar said...

TEARS!!!!!!

SO great to see you FINALLY holding your daughter!

Ginny and Ben said...

She is adorable!! I am so happy for you and your family, Stephanie. It certainly does sound like someone was watching over you!

small town girl said...

Wow, those pictures could have easily been taken in Haiti!

I love the picture of you and your daughter together!