This is a short story of motherhood in which God answered one simple prayer for running buddies, gave me Haitian children and reunited four siblings separated by an ocean and a new last name.
After years of having friends to run with in the hours before dawn, I found myself without company and desiring friends to hit the pavement with. So I prayed. My prayer went like this: "Lord, I know people are starving in many parts of The Earth. (sheepishly I continued my request.) In the big view, my request is shallow but if you are willing, would you send me some running friends? Oh, and if they were all Your followers, that would be great too, so we could pray together on our runs." (If I was asking for so much, why not just go for it?).
Six weeks later at a neighborhood garage sale, my prayer for running companionship was answered. Amidst a pack of women (all runners), I met Cheryl, whose bold request would come a few weeks later, alter our lives and put Haiti on the map for us.
Fast forward several weeks, runs and conversations, I share about our interest in adoption and this is where the big door opens. One of the runners says, "You know, Cheryl and Scot are adopting two kids from Haiti and I think there are more siblings. You should talk to her." And so I did, the next time we ran.
Cheryl confirmed that they were adopting a set of twins from Haiti and the Haitian government would not allow them to have any more kids (the Haitians made five) and they had been praying that someone would want to adopt the older two. Might we be interested? Within the next 24 hours, my husband and I were intent to pursue the adoption of Fabiola and Fabienne, the two older siblings left in the orphanage.
Pat travels to Haiti in 2007 to ask permission of the nuns, if they would allow us to adopt.
The adoption process is long; mounds of paperwork, your life interrogated and nothing is in your control. It lasted far longer than any pregnancy, two years and nine months. October 19th, 2009 we brought home two Haitian sisters, reuniting them with their birth siblings, Audree and Andrew, adopted by Scot and Cheryl Catlin a few years prior. By American law, they belong to and are being raised by two separate families, but in our world, they are every bit the family God originally made them to be. The Ferricks and the Catlins…we are a bit like in-laws, uniquely knit together by an answered prayer.
2008 several family members travel with me to meet the girls
I have reason to celebrate Mother’s Day every day of my life and as my daughter Fabiola (now a junior in high school) says, “Mom, open the blindfolds and let the sun shine in.”
Family Thanksgiving 2012
From left to right, Fabiola, Fabienne, Me, Jessica and Pat in the back.