I did it. I got in the car to go to the airport and then I got on the plane and left Haiti. A number of the staff and kids sat with me on the porch before I left. I can’t even remember, now, how many times I was the one standing on that porch hugging and waving goodbye to friends that had become family. This time I was the one that left. When I got in the car yesterday I hurt for myself, because I’m leaving something so great, but I hurt for my friends too, because I know what it’s like to be the one saying goodbye. Oh I miss them so deeply. All of them.
I cried all the way down the hill but by time we got to the gate I had pulled myself together. As we boarded the plane I sat in my seat and just cried. I cried as we took off. I’ve never felt so out of control of my emotions before! It’s so weird.
For the last 4.5 years, everytime I’ve flown in or out of Haiti I’ve tried to spot MOH from the plane and have never been successful. So of course, on my last day of travel I look out and spot it. In that instant I thought, if skydiving was an option right now I would jump out of this plane and go back. I pictured myself like a kid throwing a temper tantrum and not wanting to leave. haha. Shortly after I fell asleep and then we landed in Miami.
In Miami I said goodbye to Dennis and Donna. They were a godsend yesterday. I think I would have just sat in the Port au Prince airport and cried yesterday if I didn’t have them with me to talk to.
Shortly after we parted ways I got a call from my dad that my Grandma had passed away early yesterday morning. I’m glad that she’s not suffering anymore, but selfishly I was hoping to get to see her one last time before she left us on earth. I’m so thankful for the time we had together at Christmas and the beautiful things she said to me. I actually left her at Christmas and felt in my spirit that it was our goodbye. I truly believe my Grandma waited for me to come home. I know it makes me sound selfish, but I can’t imagine if she would have died last week having to choose between my family and my family. I”m so thankful God gifted me that time with my kids and Haiti family and now I can be home with my family to walk through this time together.
So there I found myself riding the sky train, tears just streaming down my face. I could see my reflection in the window and just thought, “katie you’re a mess today.” I assured myself I’m going to be ok.
A beautiful gift God has given me through this whole process is confidence. Despite how hard leaving has been, I still have no questions it’s what God wants.
As I took off from Miami I cried again, it was one more plane ride taking me farther away from Haiti and my kids. I closed my window and slept for awhile and then turned on the movie Joy. It’s about a woman doing something great. Her grandma even died in the movie (of course i cried again!)
Right as the movie ended it was time to land and so I opened my window. I like to know when we’re going to touch down so I can brace myself. Right when I opened my window I saw a rainbow in the sky. I’ve obviously seen lots of rainbows in my time, but never had that view from a plane.
As I sat there and I watched I just felt God whispering, “Katie, I’ve got you. I know it’s hard, I know it hurts, but I promise you I won’t let you fall. I will be your comfort and I will be your guide. You’re going to get through this.”
I can’t think of a better way to be welcomed home. Friends, this is hard. It’s so much harder than I even could have imagined, and I imagined it being really hard. It’s weird unpacking my things. It’s weird that I’m making my parents house a temporary home until I figure out what comes next. And while it’s hard, it’s right. It’s a weird tension, because I’m SO excited to be home. I’m so excited to be with people that I love so dearly, but it means leaving people I love so dearly. It’s a weird tension of feeling so sad, but not wanting the people I’m coming home to feeling like I don’t want to be here! I’ve never felt so many different things at one time.
So I’m going to take it one hour at a time. I”m going to ask you to have patience with me when I’m a mess. I’m going to remember that rainbow welcoming me back to PA and the promise that comes along with it that God’s with me every step of the way.