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!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Angie's last day and smiles at the baby house....but those two things are not connected!

We were sad that yesterday was Angie's last day at the baby house. Angie has been our social worker for 16 months, through babies coming, babies going, the preparations of adoptions, our first adoptions. She has learned so much along the way, taught me much and been such a great asset to our leadership team. Now, Angie leaves us to go to Nairobi to continue her education in social work.
Thanks, Angie for a wonderful year! We wish you the very best in your next venture. May God bless you greatly.

Sometimes smiles are extra special. All babies' smiles brighten my day, but we have a few babies whose smiles have absolutely changed my day, given perspective and blessed me beyond measure! Kennedy is a special little boy and to see him connect with people and with the world around him and actually have happy, appropriate, interactive responses is simply amazing! The change in this little boy over the past few months is absolutely a blessed work of God.

Jabali Silas is another boy of blessing. His smiles are evidences of hope. His movements are proof of a healing God. And his life is a testament of redemption. And the smiles from this little guy warm my heart.

We are very blessed to have a staff who love our babies. They enjoy playing with them, watching them learn new things, and teaching them new skills as they develop and grow. We have some wonderful aunties!

post signature

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - hard days catching up

post signature

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's Child - William

William. The little man. Sweet baby boy was born the face of a wise old man. And he has the seriousness to match it.
William and Auntie Tracy on the day we brought him "home"

William is now 17 months old. It is still strange for me to realize that he is one of the "big boys," and not one of the little babies. He feeds himself, drinks from a cup with no lid, and is doing better than the older boys at potty training! He likes to play with balls, climb on the jungle gym, run around outside, and is the only one of the older ones who likes the kiddie swimming pool.

This little man is still my little sweetie! I can't come or go from the baby house without a special hug for my boy, and evening times are my favorite, when he just wants to sit and cuddle. He is a bit of a cuddle bug at any time of day, but evenings are extra sweet. And for the record, he doesn't cuddle like this with everyone! :-) 
Mr. Serious still likes to sit back and take things in, but when he smiles and laughs, he does so with his whole being.
He is not generally afraid of new things, but is still quite apprehensive when going out of the baby house. It is almost sweet how he clings on so tightly when he is out. And this is why we are making the effort to take him out more often, so that he becomes more comfortable in new surroundings. 
William has been freed for adoption and awaiting placement with his "forever family." I will terribly miss the hugs and snuggles from my little guy, but am so excited for him to meet his mommy and daddy! Please pray that he will be matched with his prospective parents soon. (But if you don't, I am perfectly happy to continue to have my sweet boy with me every day!) Like all of our babies, William is more than deserving of a family and we trust God to bring them together in His perfect timing.
post signature

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Letters to Julia - my sweet helper girl

Dear Julia,
I am so proud of you, my little helper girl! You have been such a nice helper and big sister to the babies this week. All week long, you have had a great attitude and a heart of service. It has been fun to watch you and to hear good reports from the aunties of how helpful you were each day. 
Last night, we brought Blessing home to our house and you had so much fun with her, a perfect little mama. You played with her, helped feed her, read stories to her, helped change her diapers, and shared you old crib with her. Blessing, and all the babies, are blessed to have you as an example to follow. 
I love you, baby girl! Thank you for all your help this weekend! Next time we will bringWilliam home with us.

post signature

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Baby pool at the baby house

Auntie Mel brought a new baby pool so we took advantage of the warm {HOT} weather before the rains come, which we hope is soon! Most of the babies had a wonderful time.
William LOVED it!

Joseph wasn't so sure about it, but was fine as long he was not IN the pool.

Sweet Elizabeth

Crazy-Hair Lizzy

Baby Delis is growing so much! She loved the water.

Little Kennedy, who usually does NOT like anything new or different, did great! So proud of this little guy and the changes taking place in him.

And I had to include this one of my little girl cause she just looks so grown up! 
post signature

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

...the future home of Haven of Hope Baby Center...
 Yes, those are tiny people in the field, on the left and towards the middle

post signature

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday's Child - Joseph

Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Yes, Tuesday's child is full of grace. In fact, I could say of all of our babies, that they are Tuesday's Children, each one full of God's glorious grace, displayed on their little lives from the day they were born. Lives, not begun in the best of circumstances, but lives full of God's grace.

I know that phrase, Tuesday's Child, is used a lot in the children's world, but I still think it is perfect as a way to highlight our babies and give an update on each of them. Every one of our children is an  amazing picture of God's grace, and a story worth telling! So I want to use Tuesdays to share our beautiful babies with you.
Our first "Tuesday's Child" is Joseph, or Jofus, as he is affectionately called at the baby house, was only five days old when we moved here from Ngong/Nairobi. Julia could not say "Joseph" when she was little, so "Jofus" kind of stuck.
Sweet Joseph was brought to us by the Ngong Police when he was just a day or two old. He had been found in a plastic bag (like a grocery sack) along a highway. Joseph was a good baby. He was pretty easy. He did not cry a lot, but when he did, he cried with his whole body and every ounce of lung power that he had! He still does! He seemed to sleep a lot when he was a baby, like a newborn even after he was a few months old. Even when he was awake, he was very calm and mellow. Then, all of a sudden, one day Joseph woke up! He instantly went from a newborn to a baby in a way that was so much more instant than any other baby we have ever had.
Joseph is growing into a happy, fun, playful little guy. He loves to laugh and play peek-a-boo. He still has a funny little dance he does when he hears his favorite song, and he loves his Auntie Maggie. Recently, Joseph went through a stage when he had severe stranger anxiety, especially with men. He would absolutely panic and scream when new men came in, yet he was completely fine with our uncles that he knows. Fortunately, he has just passed that stage and is now his usual happy self, even when visitors come.
Joseph has been freed for adoption. We are just waiting for him to be matched and placed with his forever family. Please pray with us that this will take place quickly so he can be with his family as soon as possible. Though we will miss him terribly, we can't wait to see him with his very own mommy and daddy!
post signature

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Letters to Julia - Forever is forever

Dear Julia,

“Forever.”  That has been our word for the week.I will be your mommy forever. You have needed a lot of reassuring this week. 
When we were at your “first family’s” home, you behaved very differently than you ever had before. You were extra clingy, not wanting to leave my lap or my side, and not wanting to greet the family members that came to see you. You usually love to play with the children, chase the chickens and pass out sweeties to everyone. I was beginning to think that you were not feeling well or were just overly tired. You did fall asleep within ten minutes after we got in the car to leave. But that wasn’t it.

Each time we have gone to visit your biological family, we talk about it. This time, you also heard me telling other people about our trip, saying things along the line of,”We are going to visit Julia’s biological family and ask them for the final permission for me to fully adopt .”  I simply do not give you credit for being as smart as you are. When we got home in the evening and were eating dinner at your little brown Julia-sized table, you asked me, “Mommy, will you keep me now?” 

Oh, baby girl! That broke my heart! Of course I will keep you!! Forever. And I am so sorry that you had any doubt in your little mind. Oh, the pressure you must have been holding in your little heart while we were with your “first family.”  I am so sorry, baby. 

I am also sorry that I did not do a better job of clarifying things for you.  I think that I was trying so hard to make things seems natural or casual that I had sometimes dropped the “first” part when referring to your biological family. I remember that morning that we left and the night before, talking about going to visit “your family.” I did not realize the question that that would put in your mind. When I put you to bed the night of our visit, I was telling you again and again that I will be with you forever; that I am your mommy forever. You said to me, “And I can keep Nana & Papa forever, too.” Yes, sweetie girl, we are your “forever family.” We are your family. 

Your biological family is special. They gave you to us. They are where you came from beforeGod brought you to me. But I will never leave you there alone, my precious baby girl! You never have to worry about that. Every time we go visit, you and I will leave ~ together. Though I am not sure of what your “first family’s” decision will be regarding their permission for full adoption,I am sure that God will take care of you and will never abandon you, and I trust Him to keep us together.

I love you, Julia! And I always will. Forever. Never, never doubt that. And I will do everything I can to reassure you of my love for you, and of God’s love for you. He brought us together for a reason, and He will fulfill His purposes. 

Ju's biological family - the women, the ones who "don't count" in making family decisions, such as deciding Julia's future. Yet, they are the ones who know she and I and they would be the ones to take care of her. 
Julia's sho-sho (grandmother) was not around, no one knew where she was, but this is her biological great-grandmother, the only one of the family that Julia voluntarily greeted and seemed to be comfortable with. She even laughed at the way the sho-sho was talking. She was so funny as she talked to us a mile-a-minute in Kikyuy, as if we understood. Not a single tooth in her mouth! 
Julia finally began to warm up when we were leaving and she passed out pens to everyone from First Baptist Church of Midland. (Thanks FBC Midland Education Dept!)

And as soon as I told Julia to tell everyone "goodbye," she instantly got so happy, full of hugs and giggles - but still, only for Mommy. She was obviously relieved to be leaving with Mommy. I still feel so bad to know the pressure that this little girl must have been feeling! Please pray with me that God would grant me all wisdom and words as I raise this precious baby girl, that I would see what she needs in order to be assured of her world around her, of my love for her, of her forever family's love for her, of her Heavenly Father's love for her, and of her future.

post signature

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our beautiful staff ladies

I just got home from our weekly staff Bible study. We have had a few very good weeks and I can tell God is doing something in our HCO family.
I think I should probably write a few posts about teaching Bible study in Kenyan culture. We are studying the fruit of the Spirit right now, and the approach I take in leading it, the points I make, and thought processes we go through are so completely different from the way it would be taught or approached in America. In fact, we have been going for about seven weeks and are only on the third fruit. We spent the first four weeks just doing a preparation study and learning what the role of the Holy Spirit is in the life of a believer. In fact, most conversations in general have to be approached from a totally different angle than we would naturally do. That makes for some interesting discussions.

I am so excited to see God working in the lives of our staff. It is a blessing to be a part of the lives of these wonderful ladies. They are the ones who pour their lives into our babies; the ones who are there with them day in, day out, showing them the love of Jesus. Please pray for these beautiful ladies, that the Lord would continually fill their cups, fill their hearts, so that His love will overflow onto our precious babies.

If you want to pray for them by name, we have:
Jully - baby caretaker (lives at the baby house full time)
Suzy - baby caretaker (lives at the baby house full time)
Maggy - baby caretaker (daytime - 8am-6pm)
Christine - cook
Eunice - housekeeper/laundry
Lucy - weekend baby caretaker (stays overnights on weekends when Jully & Suzy go on their offs)
Tracy - social worker
Angie - manager (Angie has been with us for 16 months and is leaving at the end of the month to go to school in Nairobi. She is currently working part time, training Tracy, and preparing to leave us in good hands!)
post signature

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

{Julia's "first family" looking at her "Trip to America" book}
post signature

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Still processing....

We still don't have an answer as to whether or not Julia's "first family" will give full consent for me to adopt her, but they are willing to talk about it at a family meeting on March 31st. I will go back and meet with them again on that day. More on that later. Just too much to process to write about it now!

In addition to processing and working through the situation with Julia's "first family" and all the unknowns there, we are also in the process of buying land for HCO Kenya. Buying land in Kenya is nothing like buying land in America! It is exponentially more difficult and is full of stresses that would never enter the equation in America. So, needless to say, my brain is turning into mush right now.

I do have to share something special that I learned while at Julia's birth home. Remember the ring that Julia gave to her "first mom" when we last visited her the week before we went to America?
Julia's birth mother died in September, and she was buried with the ring. That little pink, plastic ring that Julia got with a sucker at the grocery store was something special, not just to Julia's birth mother, but to the family.
Yeah, my brain is mush. And at this point, my heart is pretty much mush, too!
post signature
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...