our adventure with Chedline
by Kayla Raymond
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)
Life took us on another grand adventure this past week. Chedline was granted a medical visa on December 2nd and we were able to bring her to the States for medical treatment and therapy this past week.
I remember the day I met this little one. We were led down a small path and found her in the dirt. We thought she was paralyzed. Her legs were like rubber. Her limbs were tiny and fragile. There was no bed inside the house for her to sleep, so there she napped next to a pile of charcoal.
The day I met her, I was with a pediatrician and her family. I remember Michelle, the pediatrician, placing Chedline across her lap and looking over her small body. I remember the way Chedline smiled at me. I remember the goose bumps. I remember thinking “she has Wishla’s joy” as she strangely smiled at us.
Wishla, my three-year-old daughter, came to the orphanage almost two and a half years ago. Boy, did she have to fight for her life. She was 11 months old and weighed less than 8 pounds. The only thing I can thank her biological mother for is choosing the day she did to bring her to Tytoo. If she had waited a couple days longer, there’s a chance Wishla would have passed away.
But, I remember the afternoon I met Wishla for the first time. Her body screamed death but her eyes sparkled joy. Her joy spoke to my spirit in a way no one else ever has…until I met Chedline about 18 months later.
While Chedline won’t be a permanent member of our family, she’s taught me some remarkable lessons. She has made me remembered unspeakable joy.
I think about my life and how crazy it is. Every day is busy and lots of details get lost in the busyness. Chedline could have easily gotten lost. It is no coincidence I met Chedline with Michelle and her family. Michelle and my heart broke together on that day. We coveted her life together. The Holy Spirit spoke to both of us, pushing us to do something.
So, we listened and we decided to do something. I never would have done what I did for Chedline had Michelle not been there on the same day with me. And I recognize this as all part of God’s plan. He knew it was going to take more than one person to raise this little one out of the ashes. He placed the people He needed on the right dirt path. He orchestrated the whole event.
Late March, Chedline was moved from the dirt to my house. She lived with us until we found someone who could care for her one-on-one at the orphanage. Webert and I made many trips to and from the city to get all the papers we needed: a home study, health certificates, death certificate for her mother and a birth certificate for herself, blood work, doctor appointments, a passport and a visa. It took over eight months with lots of road bumps. For instance, when we finally got to the stage of getting her passport (the final stage!), we were told we would have it within ten business days. We even paid a guy an extra $200 to make this possible. But, alone and behold, Haiti’s entire country would run out of passport books and it would take over two months to receive her passport. But, we eventually conquered what seemed to be an unconquerable list.
After Chedline was granted her visa, I walked out of the Embassy with overwhelming peace. Eight months had passed and there had been many moments where I doubted the entire process. At times I wanted to throw in the rag entirely. But, as I walked out of the Embassy, giving a big thumbs up to my ever-amazing and patient husband, the Holy Spirit graced me with His peace. He spoke so clearly to me, thanking me for doing my part and telling me, “now watch what I AM going to do with her.”
I realized then that it was and never will be my responsibility to do it all. As a body of Christ, we are all called to do our own part. For Chedline, I was called to get her to the United States. Michelle and her family are now stepping out in faith to care for her and get her the medical treatment and therapy she needs. And, in faith, we are praying for God to show us a forever family for Chedline; a family who will adopt and call Chedline their own.
There were many days – and more to come I’m sure – when it was frustrating and unknown, but how amazing it is when the body of Christ works together. When we all do our small part to make heaven come to earth. When the lost are found and the broken are comforted. When redemption prevails and acts of faith come to full.
As we flew to the United States last week, I stared at her in awe of where she came from. She could have easily been thrown away. She should have gone forgotten. The world had hid her in a little hut with a dirt floor and gave her no voice of her own. She lay in the ashes and there she should have stayed.
But my God – our God – He didn’t forget her. He saw her there every single day. He saw her mother pass away when she was a small infant. He saw her earthly father take no interest in caring for her. He saw how she went days without eating. He saw her handicapped and weak, wasting away.
And like one of those arcade games with the giant claw, I see now how God had so clearly reached down and chosen Chedline. His prize is Chedline and He has gone before her and written such a beautiful story of redemption for her. And, while so much has already happened in her story, I believe this is truly just the beginning.
You are one of the quirkiest children I have ever met. While I didn’t always appreciate being slapped across the face, I would have done this journey with you a hundred times over if I had to. You have given me joy, allowed me to be used in ways I never imagined and reminded me how we are never forgotten. Through you, my dear, God showed me how He truly sees us when we are broken in the ashes. I have been shown the most beautiful truths: we are so known and so deeply loved by a God who goes before us, giving us more than we could ever ask for or imagine.
I can’t wait to watch you soar, baby girl.
And soar you will.
“But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”