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!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas at the baby house

I was so sad to not be there!! Those babies are so special, and I wish we could have been there to help them celebrate this special day of Christ's birth. Maybe next year they will all be celebrating Christmas with their very own forever family!

Benita is the lady who is watching over things at the baby house while I am away, since Rebekah left. She assisted Rebekah while she was there and now has really stepped up and taken it all on. Benita is kind of known as the "stickler" for the rules. She is always checking in on the older babies and telling them to lay down during nap time, keeping everyone on schedule (like not being late/early for naps), making sure not too many sweets are given to the babies, etc. But we LOVE Benita for all that! This was her email to me this morning...

Dear Trena,

I know I said I’d wait on emails (everyone deserves a break – especially on Christmas Day) but I think the babies would want you to know about their Christmas.

If the babies could talk (in a way which we could understand) I think this is what they might say…

Oh mum! Oh boy! Did we have a good time yesterday! (Well, we think it was yesterday. We still don’t know how to measure time, you know.)

A little before going down for our morning nap, that funny lady showed up. We think she’s funny because she likes to do “pop pop” with us and tries to teach us new words. Before she told us to lay down (she always does – even though she knows we get back up as soon as she leaves…) she said she had a surprise for us.

After we got up, the new word was “b a l l o o n” and imagine our surprise when we went in the living room and found 40 large, colored balloons. Oh! The fun we had!!!

Sammie & David had the times of their lives – going around and hitting the balloons. Joseph seemed scared to death to even touch them (but calmed down when assisted and comforted by the aunties and her). Lizzy had been thoroughly spoiled by being able to play with them while we were supposed to be sleeping. Maybe because of that, she was fine with the rest of us entering into her fun.

We played until it was time to eat and then got to go OUTSIDE!

We Love going outside but this time the funny lady brought us something we had not seen for a long time. BUBBLES! Although it was a bit overcast, we had such a nice time watching and trying to catch the bubbles. It was hard to get to them because of the wind but we sure had fun trying.  The aunties joined in the fun by making sure there were plenty of them for us to chase and they even let some of us try to blow through the little holes.

Lizzy did pretty good but David was really funny. Instead of blowing he decided to lick the hole instead. Since he did, everyone else who tried after him decided to do the same thing.

Once we went back inside, the funny lady told the aunties that only the little babies had to go down for a nap. The rest of us (the big boys & Lizzy Lu) were to stay up long enough to listen to music and have some sweets.

Auntie Suzzy put on Christmas music and they all began to sing the birthday song… She said it was Jesus’ birthday (not David’s… not Lizzy’s) but we didn’t really care whose it was. We just knew we were in that circle we get in when nice things are coming and we were ready.

And guess what she’d brought us??

There was strawberry yogurt (bariti), banana muffins (only a little frosting because she doesn’t really like babies to have sugar) and… marshmallows! (But only 1! Oh man!!)  We ate them quickly (especially Josef who eats everything & Maina – who doesn’t) hoping for more but it was clear to us that she was not going to budge.

So, after much fun (and only a few complaints) we went off to sleep…

When we woke up, she was still there so we had our snack (something she told the aunties we should not have again because they were too big, dry and we were trying to stuff them in our mouths whole) with some juice. She stayed for a little longer and played balloons with us and then she left.

We really did have a nice time!

Thank you for letting her help you…

Thank you for sending Rebekah (who we would have loved to be there to play with us – please tell her we miss her… when we remember…) and thank you for letting God use you to help us find our very own mommies and daddies.

And if you should see the one called  Jesus?

Please tell Him we while we don’t yet know who He is, we were sure glad it was His birthday and thank Him for the balloons, bubbles and sweets.

We really did have fun and hope you, Juju, Rebekah, auntie Chris and everyone there had a much fun as we did.


your babies of haven of hope baby house

with a little help from the funny lady… :-)

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Friday, December 23, 2011


Well, I have been informed by the Diaz kids that I had not posted on my blog in 13 days. So....just for you guys, I will attempt to go back over the past few weeks and post the entries that I have started. We'll see how far I get.... :-)

And there may not be too many posts in the coming days. Getting packed to go back home to Kenya is a LOT of work! Add the excitement and busyness of the holiday. This is gonna be one tired mama, but I wouldn't trade it for the world!! We are having an amazing time enjoying our last few days in America!
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Gordon's adventures at Julia's house...

Julia's elf, Gordon, has been busy this season! He comes every day to keep an eye on Julia and reports to Santa each night. We think he has enjoyed his time at Julia's America house.
Gordon found some time to catch up and hang out with some old friends...

We think he is a cowboy-wanna-be. He hung out on Papa and Uncle Kenan's stuff a lot....

 We never knew where he would pop up, always hanging around to keep an eye on things...

... or playing and messing around with Nana's friends!

And sometimes an elf just needs a break, some time to relax with friends...

 But good 'ole Gordon, he always remembered the real reason he was around....to remind us of Baby Jesus, the reason that we celebrate. Just like Gordon sees everything Julia does and reports to Santa, he reminds us that Jesus is the One who is always with us, seeing the good we do and the choices we make, and Jesus is with us all year round, even when Gordon goes to the North Pole.
Thanks for the reminders, Gordon!

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Presents and Bows!

I love beautiful Christmas packages! I love wrapping them. My mom always tells me about her Great-Grandmother Gear who always gave the most beautifully wrapped presents. And I remember my Great-Grandmother Hartsfield's Christmas presents, specially wrapped in shiny paper with big, perfect bows at Hemphill Wells in Lubbock. I guess pretty packages somehow remind me of memories, some of which I never even had. Is that even possible?

This was a few weeks ago. Half of them have already been unwrapped, but I still wanted to share the fun! 
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First Christmas program

Julia had her first Christmas program a few weeks ago. I really did not think that she could do anything that would totally surprise me, but she proved me wrong. This was NOT what I expected from her!

Poor baby girl just looked at me and cried with the most pitiful look ever! Good thing Papa took off work and Gran came so that they could see her cry! At least she cried quietly and continued to do the motions!
This is the same little girl who will get up in front of any group with me, and often times wants to have her own turn to speak, to tell people about her boys or her babies. I don't think she liked being up on stage with me out, looking up at her.
Really, she was fine when they first came in. The program was at nap time and they woke her up to go to the program. I'll blame it on that. :-)

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Letters to Julia - The Wonders of His Love

Dear Julia,

Oh, the wonder of the season! Your little face is lit brighter than the sun, and your excitement shines right through your eyes. Every little thing is like your own special gift and I love watching you.

My prayer for you is that you will always know the wonder of the season...but in more than the sparkle and lights. May you always know the true joy of Christmas, the gift we are given of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that you will experience the wonders of His love. In the midst of holiday excitement, may you delight in His wonder and the hope that will fill your heart every day of your life as you grow in His love.


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Saturday, December 10, 2011

A little girl's thrill

Oh, what fun! We had a super Christmas day on Monday! We were in Houston for the TVC event and for Mom's doctors appointment and decided to take advantage of the holidays in the city and let Julia have some Christmas fun.
We went to the Galleria and it took her all of five seconds to spot the ice skating rink! I didn't even know that she knew what it was. Good 'ole Special Agent Oso and the Disney Channel! :-) I wasn't about to get on ice skates, and we know everyone would shoot us if we let my mom even think about getting on ice skates, so that left Auntie Kris who was happy to have another bonding moment with the little girl!
Oh my goodness, I don't know if I have ever seen Julia so excited about doing anything before! She was absolutely beside herself with anticipation. She just couldn't stand it!

And then the most hilarious thing ever. She was absolutely determined, yet so excited she couldn't get control of herself! Jello-O legs were ready to run! My little rag doll would fall, smile on her face, thrilled to her core, and reach up to go again.

After an hour, Julia was a pro and gave Nana a few lessons. 
We had such a fun day...and this was just one of our Christmas celebration adventures! We are soaking up every moment of American fun before we leave! 
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Trinity Vineyard Church Brunch

Once again, I have failed to post for far too long.
And once again, TVC has blessed me with a warm showing of support and encouragement. We had a wonderful time last weekend at the Trinity Vineyard Women's Christmas brunch, honoring HCO.

It was so much fun to do a little Kenya Christmas decorating and to set up shop with what was left of our Cherished Handworks items.

We had a great time of sharing, too. I will write later about what I shared. I have been having so much fun with the Lord and love having the opportunity to share it!

It was great to see so many wonderful friends. Thank you, TVC, for allowing HCO to be a part of your family, and thank you for the blessing you are to us. Thank you to everyone else who came to support HCO. It was a huge success and it was a privilege to be a part of it!
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Gift of Adoption

(photo by Kara Bryant Photography - thanks, Kara!)

Obviously, adoption is near and dear to my heart. It's what I do. It is the goal of my baby center and the reason I started it. It is what I hope for in my personal life. It is the base of my relationship with my Maker.

Even though I think about adoption all the time and it is a very real thing to me, God has been taking me deeper in my thoughts towards adoption and its implications on my life. He has been showing me new relationships and correlations of adoption that are working together to give me a more solid picture of who He is to me. I am so thankful for the gift of adoption! In fact, I think I might share some of this with a group this weekend when I speak on Saturday. I'm just so excited about it all that I want to share!!!

I will write more about this later, but today I wanted to share some awesome news for Julia and I...the adoption agency in Kenya and the partner American agency have agreed to take our case and help us begin our journey to adoption!!! This is a HUGE thing, as our case is very unique and somewhat involved and complicated. I am legally Julia's guardian until she is 18 years old, but that is obviously not the same as adoption. We have a long, hard road in front of us, but we we are about to take our first steps down that road!! Hopefully, we will begin shortly after the first of the year.

Oh, how I wish I could share some of the details and what I have been told! It is truly evidence of God's hand at work - absolutely no other explanation! Some of the first hurdles have already been overcome, and I am seeing proof that all the struggles and fights we have gone through over the past year and a half (mostly pertaining to her guardianship) have all been foundational for this. It is great confirmation to know that it was worth it, as if I ever had a doubt!

I can't wait to share with you this journey to adoption! Though earthly adoption can be a long, complicated process, aren't we blessed to have instantaneous adoption by our Heavenly Father!? He accepts us and takes us as His own in a heartbeat...from our very first one, in fact. What a blessing adoption is - on any level!
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