Coming to America

I’ll never forget the day he said, “I want to go to college in America!” and Aaron and I said, “Yeah, sure, you can live with us.”

Then eight years went by and he was ready for college. He finished high school with excellent grades and we started researching how to make this happen.

He arrived seven years ago today, a gregarious 19 year old ready to take on the world. He had only a suitcase of clothes and a visitor visa. We didn’t know how it would work, but we were ready to try. At that time my youngest was 2 and he fell for his new, bigger brother hard! Shortly after Getro arrived Nathan said, “Did God send us Wowo? Because I always wanted a wowo!”

Two weeks later, January 12, 2010, the earthquake hit Haiti and over 200,000 people died. The majority of the deaths were in Port au Prince, the capitol city. The capitol is where the best and brightest go for college. It’s the city of opportunity in many ways… most of the medical schools and well respected universities are there. Many of Getro’s classmates were there, and many were lost during that vicious 40 second quake. Day after day he would come downstairs crying, showing me Facebook photos of friends who were found in rubble. He lost many childhood friends and classmates. It was the saddest week we have ever had in our home. Heartbreak. He could have been there, he may have been there, had we not said yes.

Resiliently, triumphantly Getro forged on. He graduated from the honors college with an impressive GPA, he immersed himself in local community service and the local church.  Wow, he has made us proud.

Seven years ago I was just his host mom, today I call him my bonus son. Having Getro in the family is certainly a bonus for all of us.

(By the way, the bonuses kept coming and the family has grown even more! Carla, Getro’s sister lives with us while she attends college and Getro now has a fiance!)

So it’s the last day of 2016, is something crazy stirring in your heart? Is there a seed you need to plant? Is God calling you to something scary? Someplace scary?

“You’ll never regret the things you did, only those you were too scared to try.”


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