When Rubber Hit the Road


On November 6, 2011, I posted this on Facebook.

“YES! I have been carrying a huge burden of STUFF for a few years now. Tired of managing stuff, too much stuff, especially burdened seeing our unused kids stuff. As we were cleaning out the basement yesterday, I just told my husband again how I would LOVE to be able to send off some of this kids stuff DIRECTLY to kids far away that have nothing and would appreciate and use it so much. Today, I see a post from Jillian on Facebook who is adopting two children from Haiti, requesting specific Chistmas gifts for children at the orphanage. She tells me they are bringing 12-15 suitcases next visit & lists specific needs of children. LOVE how God has provided me with the opportunity to serve others in the exact way I have been yearning for.”

Jillian responded later that day.

“I love how God works like that! His timing is perfect!”

I couldn’t agree more. His timing is perfect.

Jillian & kids

I’d watched the TV commercials about child sponsorship. I’d committed to reading every post from Compassion International, Help One Now, and World Help blogging trips from all over the world. And I’d been a loyal follower of my brother’s friend, Jillian, on Facebook as she and her husband have been in the process of adopting two children from Haiti. But the rubber had never hit the road for me until that day, November 6, 2011, when Jillian reached out on Facebook, indicating help was needed to purchase Christmas gifts for children at the orphanage in Haiti.

I felt strongly that this was the best opportunity I’d ever had to jump in and make a difference in the life of a real child in need, so I sent Jillian a message asking for gift ideas and “anything else [she] thought might be helpful at the orphanage.” She sent me a list of five children who still needed a gift for Christmas. Djondarly wanted a Transformer. And Valencia wanted rise-and-shine breakfast play set. Jillian included pictures of the little ones who still needed a Christmas gift. Who could resist these sweet faces? Wouldn’t we all be more generous if we could see the faces impacted by our giving?



So Djondarly and Valencia it was!

I ordered the Transformer and rise-and-shine breakfast set online and packed two apple boxes with clothing, shoes, receiving blankets, toys, and books. I sent the boxes with my mom who brought them to Jillian, and Jillian packed all of my stuff in suitcases she brought to the orphanage later that month.

It was a blessing to provide for children in need. The rubber met the road that November 2011. And for that, I am forever grateful.

God’s timing was and is truly perfect. Everything that happened between then and now? It came together like clockwork. It’s hard to deny God’s hand in every step.

Because Jillian diligently posted updates about their soon-to-be adopted children, I developed a special heart for the people of Haiti.

Because Jillian reached out for help, indicating there were still children who needed a Christmas gift at the orphanage, I had the opportunity to set my childhood dreams into action. The rubber had finally hit the road.

Because of Jillian, I’d developed such a love for Haiti, that when we began planning a family vacation five months later, we had no hesitation considering and booking a cruise that stopped at Haiti for one single day – even if it wasn’t your typical cruise destination.

Because of Jillian, I thought just maybe we’d get the chance to spend our one day in Haiti visiting the orphanage, including her two adoptive children-to-be. And when I discovered there was no way that was going to happen, we thought maybe we’d sponsor a child and spend our one day in Haiti visiting him or her. But when I discovered there was no way that was going to happen either, we decided we’d sponsor a child anyway.

So we did.

My daughter and I chose little Bethchaida from the Compassion International website that August 2012. She was sweet with her mint green dress and white ribboned hair. The longings of my little girl heart had finally been fulfilled.

I didn’t know then, that I’d be visiting Bethchaida and another little boy now. But Jillian? She had a hunch way back in November 2011 that I’d want to Go.

I was pregnant, in fact, about to deliver, when I purchased those Christmas gifts and packed the apple boxes for Haiti. When I sent my final message to Jillian letting her know my mom had the gifts and apple boxes and would be delivering them to her house, she responded with this, just days before she was scheduled to leave for Haiti.

“Awesome!!! Thank you so much! If you weren’t having a baby I would say you should come with us!”

My response?

“That would be awesome!!!”

Yep. God’s timing is perfect.

I wasn’t able to travel then, but later this month, I’ll be making my way to Haiti for a trip that’s bound to be life altering. So today, I’m grateful for Jillian, for the transparency of her life, for sharing, for reaching out, for inviting me to serve and give in a way that fit perfectly with who I am and who I want to be.

The rubber hit the road. In order for any of our dreams to become reality, the rubber always has to hit the road at some point. So thank you, Jillian. God used you as a catalyst to set my dreams and His plans for me into motion.


*This is part of a month-long series about my journey to Haiti. Click here to read all the posts in the series.

Jillian's kids

  1. Hannah Hinojosa says:

    I love hearing how God was working out all the details!

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