Hi! We’re still here! I haven’t updated in a while about our life in Miami. Actually, my last post about Miami was about how Brian found us a house back in May. So A LOT has happened since then. I do hope to write more consistently now about life in Little Haiti (you know, instead of just writing about my kids) since we’re finally somewhat settled.
July and August and even September were just about the craziest months I’ve ever lived. I would not advise moving to another state (especially with no secure place to live) 6 weeks after having a second baby. Looneytown. We’re so so thankful for the devoted friends who helped us pack up our belongings week after week before we finally left Louisville on August 12th. Honestly, we were so sad to leave, knowing we were leaving behind some of our greatest friends.
We arrived in Miami on August 13th, still unsure of where we would be living! Of course we were hoping that we would have closed on our house by that point, but our closing was delayed once again. Were we surprised? Nope. Literally, when we were within hours of Miami, we found out that there was a mission house available for us to stay in–one that is booked nearly a year in advance. Talk about God’s provision! We were disappointed that we had to move our things into storage (instead of into our own home) but so thankful that our family had a place to stay until August 31st if need be.
What we thought would just be a few days in the mission house did turn into weeks when our bank continued to delay the closing on our house. Brian began managing at his new store and the boys and I settled back into a new normal at “home.” Looking back, we needed this time of simplicity and rest to recover from the previous chaotic month. We spent many days at the beach, watching movies, and enjoying some quality time together and in the Word.
Each week, we were being told the same thing about our house: “we’ll be closing in a few days.” And each week those “few days” would pass. We were finally told our official closing date would be August 31st–our last day in the mission house and the day a tropical storm was projected to hit Miami. So, we would be closing barring any weather that caused the bank to close for the day. Of course! Anyone else see a reoccurring theme here?
We woke on the morning of August 31st to perfectly clear skies! The tropical storm had dissipated and the bank would be open! Praise Jesus. We found out the closing was scheduled for 4 PM, but as 3 PM rolled around, our attorney was still waiting on some last minute documents from the bank to finalize. Our attorney’s office (where the closing would take place) was in Fort Lauderdale, about 45 minutes from the mission house, so we literally had to leave at 3:15 not knowing if we would actually be closing that day or not. We never imagined God would be testing our faith down to the last minutes of this home-buying process, but for sure He was! We found out around 3:40 on our way to Fort Lauderdale that we would be closing at 4. Insane.
Since that time, we’ve done a little bit of travelling (up north to Orlando) and a whole lot of unpacking. Our house is SO good. I mean, it’s a humble little place–pretty much the opposite of fancy–but it works for us. We can easily grow into it and we have lots of dreams for what it can become one day with some TLC! Lots of TLC.
Our neighborhood is hard. That’s nothing we weren’t expecting, but it’s much more intense than the inner-city neighborhood where we came from (Shelby Park, Louisville). Just the sheer size of it is daunting: 3.5 square miles. 3.5 square miles of families living in poverty, with addiction, and in the face of violence. Just in the past month we have heard of 3 shootings, leaving two high school boys and one man dead. (Cover your ears, mom.) We keep getting the question, “Are you scared to live there?” and our answer is honestly no. But it’s definitely not comfortable. And that’s okay. The people of Little Haiti need the light of Jesus among such darkness. WE need Jesus among such darkness.
Levi and Henry are thriving! We’re finally settling back into our normal routine, while also figuring out our new normal in this new city. The beach has been a place of retreat for us–to get away from the hustle and bustle and just rest. Levi thinks it’s amazing. He also thinks Target is even cooler now that we have to park in a parking garage (I find it more depressing since we need to pay $2 to park in that parking garage). Oh, the little things in life! Levi has shown so much interest in learning Spanish–we love it! He knows several words in Spanish now and asks us for more translations every day. We do the best we can.
Please pray for us and Redemption Church Miami! Pray that we would be bold and that the people of Little Haiti and Miami would visit and be blessed. Pray for our pastor and friend, Jeremiah Taylor, and his wife Lauren, as they press on in leading the church. And pray that we would have many opportunities to meet and build relationships with our neighbors in the coming weeks! We’re so thankful for those of you who are supporting us financially and prayerfully in this season. We’ll be sure to keep you updated!