I've been hesitating to say anything about our upcoming trip because it seems so frivolous in light of so many children needing a family and so many families needing money to adopt said children.
But the fact remains that Kevin and I are planning to head to the beautiful island of Jamaica right after Thanksgiving! -- which if you look at the calendar is just next week! The story starts over 21 years ago when I was approached by Erick and Joyce Kaiser who were then Assemblies of God missionaries to Jamaica (and LONG-time friends of our family.) Circumstances had arisen that would leave them as the only A/G missionaries on the field for a period of time and they were looking for someone to assist with some of the bookkeeping duties. And it seems like I would be needed in something like 2 or 3 weeks!! Well, I was young(er) and single and loved adventure and had a missionary heart --so hey, let's go. The only catch was that the bookkeeping was computerized and I had basically zero computer experience. (Honest to goodness, my ONLY experience at all had been on a machine my brother had--I believe it was called a Commodore 64. He had a book where you could type in all these commands and make a little ball bounce across the screen, for example.) So I was given 3 big manuals--Lotus 1-2-3, D-base and Word Perfect which I think at that time were pretty much the top-of-the-line--and access to the computer at our denomination's district headquarters for practicing on my own. Also I had one evening of real instruction at someone's house. So I spent a year in Kingston, Jamaica as part of our church's MAPS program and even experienced Hurricane Gilbert very up-close and personal in Sept of 1988.
So just a few months ago I got another phone call from Joyce Kaiser saying that New Life church in Kingston (the church they founded) was celebrating it's 25th anniversary and Pastor Robb was hoping lots of the MAPS people could be there, too, for the big day! I just kind of passed it off thinking such a trip impossible after just returning from Ukraine but when I mentioned it to Kevin, he thought it was do-able. I had wanted to take Kevin to Jamaica sometime but just didn't think 'sometime' was now. Without checking out each other's plans we found out that we are scheduled for the same return flight to Miami as are the Kaisers--and also some of the same days set aside to visit Ocho Rios! That makes it even more fun.
Our church has a couple children's homes in Jamaica--each called City of Refuge-- headed up by missionary Steve Puffpaff. I would really love to visit at least one of them while there. Out of curiosity I looked up Jamaican adoption on the Internet. It seems to be an open program but only thirty-some children adopted internationally from there last year--and I got the idea that most of those were relative adoptions. I just thought it would be cool that if any of the children with DS were available for adoption that I could hook them up with Reece's Rainbow. I met so many gorgeous and adorable children in Jamaica before.