Friday, December 31, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I love these pictures! We are so blessed to have staff that truly love our babies. They are fully engaged and love playing with them. Even the men, the groundskeeper and night watchmen came to join in the fun.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
At this point, all we have been told is that she has malaria and is anemic. Two very generic answers to illness in Kenya. This is one sick little girl. She has had more seizures than we can count over the past two days. After being given a blood transfusion (in a place you would definitely NOT want to receive a blood transfusion!) and IV’s and seeing no improvement in an hour, the nurses pulled them, saying, “they are not working.” When she began seizing again after the transfusion and IV’s were stopped, they said there was nothing they could do.
This would be like the CCU (Critical Care Unit). These are the babies who are on oxygen and closer to the nurse's station. The little oxygen tanks are in the middle with wires running to each baby. There are 15 babies lined up on this table!! 7 to the left of the oxygen tanks, 8 on the right.
Michelle is in the middle. On the left is Miguel. Look at that beautiful, tiny face! Isn't it just perfect?! He is 4 weeks old. He was born prematurely, weighing 3.5lbs. He now weighs 4.2lbs. On the right is Jonathan. He is one year. He has hydrocephalitis and meningitis.
At dawa (medicine) time, the moms bring their babies to the nurses station and line up to wait for their turn. Funny how all the babies just happen to be on the exact same dawa schedule, four times per day. Hmmm.
And notice the red container in the picture above...
Yes, the Hazard bin. Full of items with blood, needles and many other unsanitary things. Just sitting out beside the nurse's table.
Imagine. Imagine the anticipation. You know that excitement we feel on the night before Christmas? Imagine what Mary must have felt! Pregnant with the Living God. Waiting to give birth to the One who would save the world.
We use the analogies like "slower than Christmas" for something we seem to endlessly be waiting for, or "like a kid waiting for Christmas morning" for something so exciting it's almost uncontainable. But seriously. Can we even imagine what Mary must have felt?
Mary was waiting for this new life to arrive. I have never given birth, but I have heard so many talk about the indescribable feeling of seeing a new life be born before your eyes. Mary wasn't just waiting for this new little life of a baby to arrive. She was waiting for the very one who would give her life!
This young woman was pregnant with Life. The Life that would bring hope to us all.
Mary was literally waiting with Hope. She was expecting big things! I would like to think she was as excited as a kid on the night before Christmas (with a lot of nervous thrown in there, of course).
Tonight, on the night before Christmas, let's pause for a moment. Think of what exactly it is that we are expecting, anticipating. The special time with family. The excitement of kids on Christmas morning. The gifts. The awesome desserts. Those things are great. I am looking forward to those things! But think also of the bigger picture and how different our life is because of the Gift of Christmas. What are you anticipating in your life this next year? Do you need the hope of Christ to see those things happen? That hope is coming! It is a gift that God is freely giving us.
Let's expect big things! Let's expect the joyful hope of Christ alive in our hearts. Let's expect Him to do great and mighty things in our lives this next year. Let's expect HIM!
Just as Mary sat with Christ Jesus inside her, we can also sit with Him inside us! We can be pregnant with hope, just as she was. Waiting for Christ to come alive!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
And Julia has been enjoying the nice weather in her cute little outfits that Nana sent her last summer. She's just now into solid 2T's so they are a perfect fit at the right time of year. The pictures look like summer, don't they? It is actually kinda fun. Just not your typical December-looking pictures.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
After a year of indecision and 15 trips to court, the judge finally awarded Kate back to her mother's care. Though we have prayed for this day, it does come with sadness. Such a special little girl, we are sad to see her go. However, this is exactly the goal of Haven of Hope - to offer our babies the best life possible until they can be with their "forever family."
To date, we have had two babies that we have returned to their mothers: Joy (Sept '09 - 4 days) and Elizabeth (Sept '10 - 6 weeks). Kate is our first baby to be in the home for such a long time before returning to her family. She is truly part of our family, but we are so happy that God has allowed her to go back to her forever family.
To read Kate's story, you can CLICK HERE to see her Baby Update post from last month. There are subsequent links there to the whole back-story.
Ultimately, we are THRILLED that Kate is with her mother tonight. They will need prayers, though. Tonight, Kate is in a home that she has never been in, with a family she does not know. That is tough for a 17 month old.
Our first reunification story - we are so blessed to have been a part of it! Kate is a precious child who brought great joy to our home. We will miss you SOOO much, Kater-bug! I will come visit you very soon.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Granted, America might be over the top, commercialized and too materialistic when it comes to Christmas. The true meaning of Christmas may hold no significant meaning to the general population of America. But there is still something magical about the holiday spirit - the lights, the decorations, the music, the smells. I LOVE Christmas time! I LOVE tradition! I LOVE that special excitement that is in the air. I miss it terribly.
So, Julia and I set out on a little trip to the great metropolis of Nairobi in search of a little Christmas-ness.
We did find a few signs of Christmas in Nairobi.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Precious little girl. She has made so much progress in the time she has been with us. We have had a number of issues with finding a qualified therapist for her since coming to Nakuru, but we finally found one. Seline now comes to the house three days a week and has trained our wonderful staff to do her home therapy program.
We thank God for you, Little Lou-Lou. We love you so much, and cannot wait to see how God uses you as you grow older. You are a great helper with the babies, especially David. He LOVES for you to "babysit" him. Julia loves to come into the baby house and give you hugs. You are learning to do so many new things. You are such a happy little girl and you bring us all such great joy. We pray that you will always be filled with this love of Jesus and have His true hope in your heart. God bless you, little girl!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
In response to our recent Children's Department interview/inspection, they will likely be sending us more babies in the near future. Though our hearts are ready, our house is not.
As you are shopping this Christmas, thinking of and planning for the gifts that you will give to family and friends, we would ask that you remember our little ones at Haven of Hope Baby Center. The little ones who have no family of their own. The little ones who depend on the gifts of others for their every need.
There are a number of things that we need before we are fully ready to take new babies into our home. We are preparing for eight more little ones within the next few months.
If you would like to help "prepare them room," consider giving a gift that will truly make a difference in the life of a little one who has no family to give gifts this Christmas. I know there are soooo many opportunities to give and countless needs this time of year. As you evaluate the kind of gift you want to give, consider giving one that will truly change the life of a precious little baby.
Consider our needs as a gift worth giving! :-)
8 baby cribs @ $90 each
8 high chairs @ $50 each
8 sets of cloth diapers (Flip diapers by Cotton Babies) @ $150 each - This will keep the baby in diapers for over one year.
Please click above ("Invest in HCO") to go directly to our donations page and make an easy online donation via Network for Good.
We wish you all a very merry, very blessed Christmas!