I'm so glad you found us! We love to share our story of what the Lord is doing in and through our ministry in Kenya. If you are a reader, please click the link on the right-hand side and "Follow Along!" And stop back by anytime! Karibu sana!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Passport Application Attempt #1 - Denied

Well, we tried. I took every piece of documentation that we were told to take. Everything that anyone we had known had taken when applying for a passport under guardianship. Everything listed on the website. Everything posted on the advisements walls outside of the Department of Immigration.

As usual, I was told that I needed more documentation, a letter from the Children's Department. The Children's Department insists they do not need to write a letter; it is not needed. So, the vicious circle continues.....as always.

Please pray that I can get a letter from the Children's Department this week. Our Children's Department is usually very helpful, so I am counting on that for this situation as well.

We will try again next week! Yep, TIK.
post signature

Letters to Julia - I am your "mother"

This was my post that I wrote on Sunday, but internet was not working so I never got to post it. I am posting now and then the follow-up to the next day.

Dear Julia,

Tonight I filled out an official legal document as your "mother." It was a very surreal moment. I know that I am your mother. I have known that for some time. But now, since the Kenyan government has given me legal guardianship of you, I am allowed to fill out the "mother" section on your passport application!

So tomorrow we go to the Department of Immigration to file your passport application! Such an exciting day, bringing us one step closer to going to America!
I am so happy to be your mama. Every day.
post signature

Friday, March 25, 2011

My Friend is Coming!!!!

This time tomorrow, I will be at the airport picking up my very best friend in the whole world!! Oh yeah, and her husband, too. :-)  Kris, the "other half" of HCO, is coming to this side! I am SO very excited to have this time with her, and also excited for her to get to see, first-hand, the incredible things the Lord is doing here. Things have changed so very much since the last time she was here in 2009. I can't wait for her to be here!!

So, if I disappear for a few days, please forgive me. I may be taking a few {much needed} days of less work. I don't think a real day "off" is possible. The last time that happened was in December when Julia and I were both sick. But, we will try to only do the most necessary work and have some down time to hang out. I am SOOoo ready, and SOOoo excited!
post signature

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Lord gives and takes away - Blessed be His name!

On this blessed day, God brought a new baby into our safe, warm, dry home.

And God brought parents into Eli's life.

New baby Solomon was found, abandoned, left in the slum area, sitting in the wet mud. His clothes were wet from the recent rains and from his own filth. A "good samaritan" took him to the police, who then took him to the Children's Department, who then called us to come for him. He has a bit of a cold from being out in the weather. He appears to be around a year and half, with a full mouth of teeth, but he is weak and wobbles to walk. He seems to be adapting to his new home very well! (Don't you love the beautiful orange knitted outfit he came in?)

Elijah met his "forever family" today. He has a new daddy who smiles as much as he does! We are so excited to have them here with us for a few days before they take him to his new family. He will stay with them for a few months, pending adoption. What a blessing for this little guy - and his family!! They are getting a true treasure of a little man. No doubt, he will bring great joy to this family, just as he has ours!

Matt Redman's "Blessed Be Your Name" has been running through my head all day. How true.
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

God has given us some amazing gift. And He takes them from us at this point in time, only to make room for more of His blessing, and to pass that blessing on to others. It grows. It continues to bless. It enlarges His territory. And it bring glory to His name!

post signature

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Girls

My precious baby girls.
What a precious moment and mix of emotions....

My own baby girl sits in my lap.
I hold little Hopey who is moments away from leaving with her new mommy.
Precious little Annabelle rests in my lap, enjoying a safe, comfortable new home.
Lizzy sits beside me, the big sister who is old enough and bright enough to share in the mix of emotions...enjoying the new baby and sad to watch Hope leave.

How blessed am I!

post signature

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Letters to Julia - May you be rich in good deeds

Dear Julia,

You are indeed a blessed little girl, and you have such a special little heart. You love to share and give to others. God has given you so much, and I pray that you always have the desire to share with other people.

One thing I love about you getting older is that you can come along and be part of our ministry. It is so fun to take you with me and watch you interact with other little children.
This week, we went to help at our friend Haley's health clinic. You had such a great time passing out bread to people at the clinic and treats to the kids who were waiting outside.
I pray that you always have this heart of generosity, that you will want to give out of the abundance of what God has given you. And I pray that I will be faithful to teach you and be an example of that. We are very blessed and we have so many things to share with others. Let's thank God every day and do our best to share the love of Jesus with everyone we see.
I love you, baby girl!

"Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." 
(I Timothy 6:18)
post signature

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Another First - THIS is a story of HOPE!

Today is a big day at the baby house.

Every day I drive my loud diesel engine vehicle around the circle drive at the baby house. It can't help but be heard, especially by the babies. As I walk up the drive towards the front steps I can already little voices calling from the window, "Mama! Mama!" And now, as the older ones are starting to speak more, "Hi Mama." I open the door to find the smaller ones who were not standing at the window, looking up from the playroom floor. "Mama." Absolutely HEART WARMING! The sound that makes all the frustration of business in this country, hardships of living in Africa, and time away from my familiar American life all worth it. A house full of happy, healthy babies. Babies who call me "Mama" in this season of their lives....but only as they wait for their next season of life, their permanent home and family, the place where they will have their forever mama.

Today, little Hopey will leave with her forever "Mama."

I remember going to NCH to pick up Elijah and being asked to take a new baby that had just come from the hospital that day. A two week old with an unknown heart condition. She had come from a rural village hospital that had modest facilities. They had detected a "severe heart murmur" and sent her out with "unknown heart condition, in sable condition" because they had no way to diagnose or treat her beyond that. That is all we knew. But how could I leave a two week old baby in that place where she could not be checked out?

I brought Hope home that day. She indeed had a distinct heart murmur. She was a preemie, so we knew it was highly likely that the murmur would go close on its own, as it eventually did. And this tiny baby, weighing in at exactly 5lbs, grew into a happy, healthy little girl with a perfectly normal heart.

And Hope's heart is full of love. As I have shared before, her favorite thing to do is to be held. She is a quiet little cuddle bug who just wants to love and be loved.

She has been matched through the adoption agency with a perfect mama. Her new mother lives in the village and wants nothing more in this world than to have a baby to love. She has experienced great loss in her life and knows that value of family, and she has a heart full of love, waiting to be poured out on our baby Hope.

Hope has met her new mama. As I sat with her during introductions and time with the agency representative, I sat next to her mother, patting her shoulder saying, "Mama. Mama. This is Hopey's mama." We all tried to help familiarize her with her mother, and as the day went on, began saying, "Hopey, where is Mama?" As she looked towards me, I would duck away, look or point towards her mom, and say "Mama!" Heart-breaking and heart-warming at the same time! By her knowing me as "mama" we hope it will help her transition and transfer that role to her real mom, her forever mom.

They have had a great beginning, and I feel confident that this is the Lord's will for Hope's life. As tears pour from my eyes at the thought of this little girl not being in the baby house every time I walk in, my heart rejoices in the providence of God's perfect plan!!

Such a flood of emotions today!
Peace after seeing how naturally and easily Hope and her mother bonded.
Excitement in seeing our first adoptive match.
Sadness in loosing my first newborn baby girl.
Joy in having brought a new baby girl into our house yesterday.
Fulfillment as I see the vision God first put in my heart two years ago, carried out before my eyes!

THIS is why we are here! We have been a home, a safe haven of hope, for our Baby Hope. Now, little girl Hopey, has grown and is ready to meet her "forever family."
post signature

Friday, March 18, 2011

Welcome baby Annabelle

Welcome Haven of Hope's newest little one, one day old, Annabelle!
Little Annabelle's life is precious. God literally redeemed her life from the pits and brought her into a haven of hope. Her muffled cries were heard from the depths. The depths of a pit latrine where she was dropped, wrapped in a plastic bag. A wonderful women named Anne dug her up, kept her safe through the night, and took her to the police station in the morning. Our social worker had just dropped off a brochure for HOH Baby Center with our contact information at that police station the day before. The police station immediately called us to come for this tiny baby.
She is absolutely precious. From being dropped into the filth of a pit latrine, she does have a bit of infection in her eye and on her umbilical cord, but is in otherwise perfect health! (This is why her eyes are swollen.)
Naming babies is gift. Names are special and meaningful, especially in this culture. Some of our babies have come with names already given to them, others have not. There are so many factors that I take into account when we name our babies. And we always make a final decision as a family.
When initially brainstorming names, I had a much bigger list of "no's" than "maybe's." Anne was one of the few on the list....named after the woman who saved her life. Then, we asked the aunties if they had any suggestions, the only suggestion came emphatically from Maggie: "Annabelle!" And Annabelle means "lovable." And so it is. Annabelle.

Meet Annabelle, the lovable one.
May God's grace continue to shower you throughout your life, little girl. May you always remember that He is there to lift you to higher places and show favor on you. You are a precious, priceless jewel and you will be set far above the pits of life. You are blessed. And you are loved! Welcome to our family! We will shower you with the love of Jesus until He takes you into your "forever family."

post signature

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Boys & Babies Praise

I love weekends. The boys from our boys' home come to hang out at the baby house. The boys really love it. It is a great change of routine for them, and the aunties love having the older boys around. The babies do, too.

Not a great pic, but don't you love how happy Julie is?

Fredrick & David

After some play time, before snacks, we gather for a little worship time with some singing and dancing. The little ones really do love it. The older babies are learning to dance and sing along, and for Julia, learn to do the African yells. the younger babies just like being held and listening. They are never fussy during this fun time.

Notice how stinkin' cute the little ones are! Hopey is clapping and listening. Julia is trying to imitate Suzy's yells. Miah is clapping and dancing. So cute.

Antony (red shirt) leading in prayer. Great kid!

I hope that whenever any of you visit, you will be here on a weekend and can join in the fun. It is such a joy to see our older boys as they grow in their faith and worship the Lord and our babies watch the example of some amazing "big brothers," aunties and uncles.

post signature

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Letters to Julia - Letters Letters Letters

Dear Julia,

What a smart little girl I have! And as a former preschool and kindergarten teacher, I love that you love letters! One day when you are older I hope you will defend me to all my teacher friends and assure them that I did not pressure you to learn letters and sounds before you were ready! :-)

You really do enjoy learning and playing with letters. I hope it always stays fun for you!

Right now, you are two years, six months old, and you really do love letters! You always want to watch Letter Factory and the Preschool Prep DVDs. Well, after asking for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Elf, your all-time favorites for some time now! You point out letters any time you see them, and you know most of them. (I won't be too teachery and give current recognition/identification stats. If I did that, I would also have to say that you know all your colors and shapes, too, even hexagon. :-) And then I would have to say that you have text directionality and story structure down, too!)

Auntie Jen and I laughed at you a lot this week. Your new favorite word is "really." You always say things like, "Mom, I am really eating my oatmeal now," and "I am really wearing my shoes," and "Mom, I want to really go outside to really play with the puppies." Most of the time you use it correctly, but it is a little funny when you don't.

Here you are watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse this morning. It is the only thing that you actually sit and watch, totally focused on.

Funny girl! I love you! And I missed you a lot when I went to Nairobi. I am glad to be back home with you. I know you had fun at the baby house and you were perfectly fine, but I still missed you. And you know what? I even cried after I told you goodnight on the phone. See? Sometimes it is okay to cry. But I am okay, and you were okay, and we both had a great time!

I love you, baby girl.

Love, Mommy

post signature

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lizzy's Therapy

Little Lizzy is doing GREAT!

We have been very impressed with Lizzy's therapist. He is extremely intense, but it is proving to be a great thing. He is not simply treating Lizzy, but training our staff to do so. They have "class" three times per week for over an hour and a half, and he is a strict teacher! And our girls are learning. A lot. The girls work with her regularly, and do much more than just a little stretching or massage home program. I am SO proud of them! They take it seriously and have taken a huge interest in Lizzy and her progress.

Lizzy's progress in the past few months is just amazing. She is a bless, and a blessed little girl!

Lizzy showing off her range of motion after a session. A little girl whose left hand was completely immovable when she came to us! Notice the surprise on Angie's face.

Maina (the OT) showing Suzy the correct pressure to use on some of Lizzy's exercises and massage.  

Lizzy was being casted for her new splints. She did NOT like it! A strange man putting goopy stuff all over her legs...it was not a pleasant experience for the poor girl. :-(

Notice Julia's face, looking at the man, wondering why he is doing this to Lizzy. Miah & Julia are so compassionate towards Lizzy. They are the best of friends.

Thanks to Lizzy's sponsors for a great year! She has come so far, and continues to progress. And in the past month, we have seen another huge spurt in her development!

post signature
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...