Blog Archives

summer!

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I just added some much needed color and cheer to the front porch … summer is coming!

I just realized I have less than 10 days before school gets out for my kindergartner … knowing how much I love the few hours I get each day at home alone … I must also use this time to get ready for the change that is right around the corner! Kids home, free time, pool time, bike rides, library reading program.

Things on my to do list include:

-find a summer bible study (for me and for the girls)

-reading plan for girls (Justin Taylor has put some great reading lists for kids on his blog recently, click here to view)

-organizing plan for girls rooms and attic (and basement too)

BLOGGING .. I hope to do much more regular blogging this summer. I want to experiment more with my camera and share my work here as well as what I continue to learn!

not pictured

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I did not take one picture today, with my camera. I did however have many images etched, and even burned in my mind.

Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw today.

We visited another orphanage today outside of Port au Prince. Pretty much everything good about yesterdays orphanage did not exist where we were today.

I’ll resist listing all the horrible realities I witnessed today. I will share one moment though. Well, it ended up being more than a moment, but a decision that was made in a moment.

Many of our team members were out on the ‘balcony’ playing with about 30+ kids, waiting for the remaining 40+ kids to be finished with their schooling for the day.

Looking into a ‘bedroom’, the doorway loosely covered with a hanging sheet, I see a naked 3 year old wandering about. No caregivers in sight, I take the opportunity to approach her. Big smiles.. I look around for diapers.. none. Ok, how about a dress? No luck. My eye catches a large pile of clothing on another ‘balcony’ out the other side of this room. Are these clean? Yep, I think so, and find something that’ll do.

Heading back into the room, my eyes glance right and lying flat, in a shaded corner, on a thin mat, is a little boy, unclothed, shaking in the corner.

Wait.. this cannot be. It is. I go grab a teammate, because emotionally I’m about to lose it and I need help with this one. We get him dressed and grabbed one of the older boys who speaks English to give us some answers.

This precious one cannot move his arms or legs, (or any part of his body) they are rigidly bent in position. He cannot hear or speak, but appears to respond visually. The older boy tells us this is where he stays. Not today! Today we will hold him. His name is Luke.

We took turns holding him till he fell asleep and then placed him on a new ‘clean’ mat indoors.

At our team meeting tonight there was much discussion about Luke. We plan to investigate getting him into another facility, that can care for him. We may get no where, but we will work every connection and resource we have here.

La Maison

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Today we were at La Maison. This is a Christian orphanage that also does adoptions. The way I understood it, all the available children here are in process being adopted into families.

A bit about it… many kids, ages birth – thirteen-ish. There’s an infant room with about a dozen babies. The bebe due room where they go once they walk.. another dozen here. Then the toddlers.. age 3-4 easily 15-20 of them, and all the rest in the boys or girls bunk rooms out back.

I think it was a nice orphanage for Haiti. A large staff. The children clothed, fed, changed, held, even schooling for the older ones.

I loved being there. It was hard to be there. Truth is, I was choking back tears all day. I had to ask myself what the tears were for, why was I sad?

My favorite part of the day was also the
most emotionally challenging. In the afternoon it was time for the two year olds, walking babies, to come in for their bath. One by one they were filed in for their quick shower. I had the great job of drying, powdering and diapering each and every precious one of them.

They knew the drill … they came out one by one and waited for their turn to be wrapped up in the towel. I took my time. I wrapped each one and snuggled them up, head to toe, drying every inch. I looked deep into their eyes and my heart asked,

‘who are you previous one?’
‘what’s your story?’
‘how did you get here?’
‘why are you so tiny?’
‘so weak?’

Then they went to one of the nannies who had their clothes in hand, ready to slip on.. boys got the t-shirts, girls got the dresses.

My eye caught a verse on the wall…

Proverbs 16:9
In his heart a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

How and why did God direct these little ones here? While my heart broke to see them without a mom & dad, I also had this confirmation that today, God was caring for them here. I was pleased to be part of that today.

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Bonjour

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Welcome to Haiti!

I so wish I could capture all the sights and sounds and smells. My attempts to do that here will be lame at best.

It feels like we’ve been here a week already. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that of the over 48 hours that we’ve been gone, I’ve clearly been awake for over 40 of them.

This morning we rose much before the sun to travel to the church where we’d be worshipping and serving today, a World Orphans partner church. Don’t ask me the name, I couldn’t pronounce it or spell it correctly, so we’ll just leave it out.

Here’s a peek into the service from the side

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We arrived quite late, but when the services are over three hours, it’s not a big deal.

The singing was beautiful. And even though I don’t understand French, the heart felt worship was undeniable!

After church we visited several homes where orphans were living, something like foster homes as we no them here. (without DCFS of course). Getting to these homes was no simple task. We easily climbed over a mile up rocky terrain, around corners, up steep hill, through narrow passage ways, into home after home to meet these precious ones. These were indeed their homes, but many of us would hardly consider them a tent. A canvas ‘roof’ was the main feature and many of them housed upwards of 10-12 people.

A few photos here…

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This is steeper than it looks, don’t tell my pt.

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Kindergarten screaming!

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Today was the day .. you could say ‘the anticipated day’ or ‘the dreaded day’, depending on Evangeline’s mood at the moment …

The event is known as kindergarten screening, where ‘soon to be’ kindergarteners come to Fairview and spend an hour in the classroom while being observed by the teachers as they play and interact.

When Emma first starting talking this up with Evangeline, our future kindergartener heard ‘screaming’ not ‘screening’. After all what context does she have for ‘screening’? What is screening?

So, when Emma first asked, ‘Evangeline, are you excited for Kindergarten screening?’

Evangeline replied, ‘Screaming!!?? Kindergarten screaming?!?! Why are they going to scream? I’m NOT going to that!!’

She’s been terrified of it ever since!

I had fun sharing that with the principals and kindergarten teachers at the parents meeting!

When I picked her up she was pleased to report, ‘No screaming .. just playing!’

Phew!!

scripture memory #10

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It’s hard to believe we post verse 10 today! Amazing to have 10 powerful passages in my mind and heart to meditate on. I have relied on these verses more than I imagined and am grateful to see first hand, God’s word, alive and active in me!

This week is Ezekiel 36:26. This verse has been on my heart recently as it was shared as part of a testimony at a recent baptism service at our church.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
(Ezekiel 36:26 ESV)

http://blog.lproof.org/

Mother’s Day

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Among the very few blogs I read, there were so many great posts this week around the topic of Mother’s Day. As someone who’s been a mother now for 10 years, while also having many single women friends and married friends without children, I am sensitive to issues around mother’s day for those who are NOT mothers.

I loved the articles that were shared on this topic this week.

Here are a few links to those and other worthy articles on motherhood:

http://www.girltalkhome.com/blog/moms-to-single-women-thank-you

http://www.girltalkhome.com/blog/in-honor-of-single-moms

http://www.girltalkhome.com/blog/celebrating-mothers

Our church had a women’s luncheon yesterday, and the woman who was hosting asked for raised hands for various roles: Great grandmothers, mothers, etc. Then she asked all the daughters to raise their hands … I raised mine and immediately, Evangeline, my 5 year old said, (in a rather sassy voice) “YOU’RE not a daughter, you’re a mother!”

I AM a daughter and I am especially thankful this Mother’s day for MY mother!