Saturday, February 28, 2009

The last two weeks have been absolutely nuts! I look back and can't believe everything that has happened! I know God has been carrying us through, cuz without Him, I can't imagine how we would have survived. I have hardly had time to go to the bathroom since I got back from Cap Haitien with Roselisa! I have a LOT to blog about....which I will...after I find time to go to the bathroom!
Please keep us in your prayers as we are all exhausted and emotionally spent!

Monday, February 9, 2009

My youngest brother is.isn'' coming to visit!

This is my brother Caleb. He and the wind are one. He called early last week to say he was coming down for a couple weeks before carpentry school started its March term. Then there were so booking issues, so he wasn't coming anymore...that was Friday or Saturday last week. Then today I got an email and then a phone call shortly after. You got it, he's flying in on Monday. Gotta luv him. And the wind.

Prayer Request

This is Roselisa. You might remember her being referred to back in July as Ti Chat(little cat). She came to stay with us last summer as she had become severely dehydrated and has been here since. I'd been looking for someway to get her some help for her clubbed feet and other abnormalities she has with her legs, when I came across CURE Caribbean while I was home last summer. They work in the Dominican (and worldwide) and do clinics 4 times a year in Haiti. I got in contact with Dr. Scott Nelson who immediatly told me how happy he would be to help Roselisa.

So, this Sunday, Feb 15th, we are heading to Cap Haitien in northern Haiti to meet with the CURE team. Some great people who I am looking forward to meet, Clark and Pat Moore, have opened their home to us while we are there. It was such a blessing to get in contact with them and not have to worry about those details anymore!

Roselisa and her dad Sadrak. He'll be staying with her at the hospital after her operation

Her little feet

Rose was actually born the day I got to Haiti:August 8th, 2007. Her dad brought her down to us as her little legs were crossed up over her stomach/hips and it was apparent something was not right. I worked with him to show him some range-of-motion exercises that he could do with her. At this time, Rose can't crawl because of some mishapen and immobile joints, but she scoots herself across the floor on her bum, propelled by muscular forearms that would put any body builder to shame.
Please pray for our safety on the trip there and back on some little dinky plane. Pray that Rose will be calm and perhaps a little less fiesty than usual as she interacts with the doctors and surgeons. Pray that God will guide the medical professionals as they plan and carry out the plan for treating Rose's condition. Ask that God would quicken my Creole tongue as I am heading north where the Creole is not quite the same.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

How to make Coal(chabon) in 7 Easy Steps

1. Find yourself a tree that NEEDS to be cut down...please don't pick any old tree, because we have a huge deforestation problem in Haiti!

2. Get some kids really excited about hauling ridiculous amounts of branchs and leaves to the truck.

Ridiculously excited kid #2

Another ridiculously excited kid!

Loading the truck up:first of 3 loads...leaves and kids!

3. Make some kind of Joan of Arc looking pile with the bigger branches.
4. Cover it with a good thick layer of leaves.
5. Start the pile on fire...? (I kinda missed this step)
6.After 1-10 days, depending on the type and amount of wood, spread it around and let it cool. Then decide which pieces are worth cooking over and fill some sacks.

We managed to get 4 bags like this full of coal. We use about 3 bags of coal a week. A bag this size sells for about $5-8 USD. Coal is the main source of cooking fuel here in Haiti. It burns incredibly hot for a long time and there is a huge market for it here in Haiti. However, the heavy dependency on this fuel source has effectively depleted the forests of Haiti. This has resulted in poor crops and gardens as there is not sufficient rain/wind cover, as well as incredible devestation as a resut of hurricanes with nothing to block the wind and rain and stop the soil from running into the ocean. It seems to be an endles cycle as the majority of people in Haiti are too poor to be able to afford another fuel source.

Meet Lony

This is Lony

This is Lony's left hand
Lony came to us just over a week ago. We are still finding out all the details, but there seems to be some issues going on related to the hospital closing and changing hands. Apparently Lony was abandoned there a few years ago when his mother died there. Here the details get foggy, but through a series of events, he ended up being boarded by a family who has a pharmacy close to the hosptial...there was some foreigner funding his schooling and room and board. Another man who has been involved in Lony's life and the hospital director brought him down. He had a really nasty burn on his hand, which we soon found out was due to a hot plastic bag being purposely put on his hand as a punishment for eating someone's leftover food by the man of the house where he'd been living.
It's taken a few days, but Lony's doing fairly well getting into the swing of things here. It has been interesting to have him become a part of our routine, because it really reminds us of where our kids were at a year and a half ago. He is really bright though, and is so eager to please! I gave him a bath not long after he arrived and when I handed him a pair of underwear he said "You already went and bought these for me?" I almost cried. Then when we were putting him to bed I showed him his bed and he just got this little grin on his face and said "This little mat is just for me?!?!?!" Tears definitly hit the surface.
Please pray for this little boy who has already experienced so much in his about 6 or 7 years of life! His hand is healing nicely with some good care, and he is basking in the love and routine that our children thrive in. Please pray also as we decide what should happen as far as his future is concerned. He's a little old to stay here, and has already spent to much time in Haitian culture that we can already see that he is going through a huge transition. We also have a number of boys the same age who have been waiting a long time for an adoptive family who are feeling a little threatened at times by his presence in our home. Please pray for wisdom as there are a lot of decisions to be made regarding Lony.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Long overdue photo blog

We had 480 cans of formula donated to us from Christian Aid Ministries(CAM) . This will supply the need for our babies for the next few months. God is so good.

Lots of babies to hold right now

Peelin' banana's for bananna bread

6 of 17 of our between 1 and 2 years toddler group

Buddies:Daniel and Joseph

A few Christmas pics...better late than never????

We celebrated Christmas January 10th. We had to wait for everything to arrive through customs, and had a lot of fun getting things all sorted. It was great fun watching all the kids open and explore the wonderful things wonderful people had sent for each of them. Thanks to all of you who helped make this day special!

Baby Barrage

We've had a flurry of baby activity this past week. Check out Pat's blog for the details.

Update on Alyssa

None of us were prepared for what ended up happening with Alyssa. Her mom returned on Monday and told us that Alyssa's father refused to reckognize her as her his daughter, and would therefore not sign any papers regarding releasing us into her care. So, Melinda detailed to her everything she needed to do at the court house declaring publicly that the father had forfeited his rights and obtain the papers we needed to permanently take Alyssa into our care. We even said that we could pay for any paperwork she could not afford. She left again with Alyssa and we assumed she was heading to the court house.
Then the unthinkable happened: we recieved news that someone had found a baby in the mud by the river. None of us even dreamed that baby was our little Alyssa. However, we soon began to hear of the details, and were shocked to hear that indeed Alyssa's mother had left here and walked to the river and left Alyssa in the mud.
Yes, in the mud.
This little girl who God had literally brought back from death's doorstep was left in the mud like a piece of trash.
Thankfully, God sent some young girls who found her shortly after and took her up to the court house.
I was devestated. Shocked. Disgusted. Angry. Sad. Hopeless. I think I experienced almost every emotion in the book.
Then we heard that the brother(and his wife) of one of the leaders at the church we attend here was planning to take in Alyssa.I really just wanted to march up there and demand they give Alyssa back to us, but then realized that perhaps I needed to let God work out His plan. But, I was mad. Mad at the woman who gave birth to Alyssa. Mad at the circumstances that brought Alyssa here initially. Mad at the man who fathered Alyssa and refused to take any responsibility for her, even if it only involved writing his name so we could legally care for her. Mad at the reality that though I don't have a lot of love for Alyssa's birthmom, I also realize that she is not in a good situation herself. Mad because it seems so unfair. Mad because I don't understand. Mad because we see things like this over and over and over. Mad because the cycle seems endless. Mad because sometimes our hands are so tied up. Mad because caring so much can really hurt a lot. Mad because I can't see why.

The last we've heard about Alyssa is that the family that has been taking care of her is going to take her to Port-au-Prince to live with her aunt who has no children. It's totally out of my hands, and I have some sense of peace knowing that He holds Alyssa in His hand. But I still have this hope that jumps in my heart each time someone bangs on the gate.

Cakes cakes cakes

Pat whipped up these cute blocks for Vens
Amanda, Jennifer and I had fun putting this balloon boquet of cupcakes together for Derson

Jennifer, Eddy's mom, had a great time making Eddy's rocketship cake with a little help from us slowly-getting-sorta-experienced HCH cake decorators!

I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but when I saw the name of this cake I had to make it for Gerald:Geraldine Giraffe

Minnie pulled out her piping skills and made this really cute fuzzy bear for Joseph