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!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


We have moved! Visit us at our new blog at....

And our new website at.....

Be sure to "follow" us to our new home and change your bookmarks to the new site.

I will also be starting a separate, personal blog where I will post the real-life and Julia stuff without interfering with the HCO ministry posts. That should be working within the next few weeks....

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday...I am MISSING this boy!

So much it hurts.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday's Child - Deli

Precious little Deli. She is one sweet little baby, and quite beautiful.
Deli was diagnosed with Rickets at about two months old, her case being a genetic deficiency. Her head reshaped itself but her legs have been bowed. As she continues vitamin supplement therapy, her bones are straightening and there is very little evidence of the deficiency now. Deli is ten months old now. She crawls all over the place. She likes to pull herself up and bounce, especially in her crib. She likes music, too, and when sitting in a Bumbo chair, her little legs wiggle back and forth as she tries to dance. So cute!
 She is one happy little girl! Joy truly radiates from her little face.
I had posted before that her mother was going to sign over rights for her to be freed for adoption, but that did not happen. When she was made aware that if her daughter were adopted she would have no rights or contact with her in the future, she decided not to sign. In this case, I must say that I was disappointed. The more I learned about the family, the more burdened I was about Deli's future - the more afraid I was for her future.

Over the past few months, the story of Deli's future has changed numerous times. There is a great deal of drama surrounding her and her family. However, her young mother has recently come to visit and is beginning to develop a relationship with Deli. We have spent a great deal of time counseling the mother and reinforcing the importance of building that relationship before taking Deli back into her care. She has married, and the new husband who once said he would never allow the baby into his home, has had a {miraculous} heart change and has agreed to take her home. He has even come to visit and was very comfortable with Deli. He really seemed to enjoy her. Even the aunties were very pleased at their interaction.
I know that God has a plan for each of our babies' lives, but I must admit that I have struggled with knowing what is best for Deli's future. I generally agree that the best place for a baby is with their biological family ~ if that family is capable of caring for and loving the child. I also know that the Kenyan government and the Children's Department will always, hands down, give first preference and rights to the family. With the recent changes in the family situation, many of which I am not at liberty to post publicly, I am beginning to feel more hopeful for Deli's future with her biological family. I can see that her mother truly does love her.

Please pray with me that God would go before Deli and prepare her family to take her back into their home. Pray for her to be cared for, protected, and loved unconditionally.
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Letters to Julia - We pulled it off!

Dear Julia,

What a little secret-keeper you are! We counted down the days and kept our visit to America a secret from Nana & Papa! You were so careful to not tell them we talked. What a big girl.
You were such a big girl on the flights, too. It showed me just how much you have grown up since we first came to America almost a year ago. 

Nana &  Papa are so happy to see you, little girl. Right now, you are sitting on Nana's lap, playing a sight words game on her iPad. Last night, well yesterday evening, you fell asleep in Papa's lap in the restaurant before the waiter even came to take our order! You were so comfortable in his arms that you didn't even want to go to Nana. I think you are as happy to see them as they are to see you.
This was a fun surprise, and we are going to have a fun two weeks in America! I love you, baby girl!


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Friday, May 4, 2012

The boys are back!

It has been way too quiet at our place for the past few weeks! Our boys went to visit their extended families while they were on break from school. There were only away a for a few weeks, but it seemed like forever to Julia and I! We missed them.

These are truly a great group of guys. Each one of them has a special, unique quality and they all have fun personalities.

Patrick is quiet. Very quiet. He looks and laughs a lot, though! He is very mature, funny, and focussed. He is the oldest of the boys, and he is definitely the quiet leader. It is encouraging to see how the younger boys respect him in such a positive way. I love Patrick and can't wait to see how the Lord uses him and his gentle, but strong character in the future.
(feeding baby Moses)

Maina is our resident dog whisperer. Maina also has the biggest heart of any kid I know. He is the one tries to make sure that everyone is happy and taken care of. If anything needs to be done, Maina volunteers and steps up to do anything. He is truly a special guy.

Freddy is the funny guy. He is the one who is usually dancing around, acting silly, and then gets super embarrassed when he sees me watching him. He loves to play with Julia and is so very good with her. Besides playing football (soccer), Freddy's favorite thing to do around the compound is to wash the cars. I think it is his excuse to get to play with water.

Collins is the baby of the group. He is the typical baby of the family, in almost every way. He does not like the older boys to boss him around, but he also likes to play the "I don't know how" card when it works for him. He loves to play. He is a great student and works very hard in school.

We love these guys. They are Julia's big brothers. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for our boys' ministry in the next few months and years, not only with these guys, but the ones that God will bring us in the future. Andy & Ginny will be here in less than two months and we can't wait to have them!!!
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Moses steals my heart

Why haven't I posted an introduction of this sweet boy before now? Well, besides the fact that I am mom to a newborn and have fewer hours in my already too busy days, I just can't put him into words! I couldn't think of anything to say that would do him justice.
I have to admit, this little man has stolen my heart! We have so many babies come to Haven of Hope and each one is so very special. Yet, every once in a while, one hits the heart in a different way. It seems that each baby is someone's special baby. I actually encourage that in the staff. It is one of the benefits of having a small home. We know that each one of our babies is cared for and loved in a special way. Still, I certainly didn't expect to get wrapped around this baby's teeny tiny finger in such a few days. Actually, it only took a few hours. By 2am in the morning on the day we got him, I was captivated.
We were called by the Children's Department to go get an abandoned baby at the provincial hospital. A few minutes later, I learned that he had been taken to the PGH by a man who heard him crying and had dug him up from a pit latrine. He had also been the center of some baby buying drama once he was taken there. Moses was named by the nurses at the hospital who had fallen in love with him for the few days they had him. Since he was not born there, he could not be admitted to the nursery. He was healthy, but had no place to go, so he had been staying on a bench in the nurses office. The filth of the pit latrine had caused a bit of infection on his umbilical cord, which the nurses said was more torn than cut. They were able to cut it close and it healed nicely.

God brought Moses to me at the perfect time. I used to keep all the babies, especially the newborns, with me for the first few nights before handing them over to the aunties. As time has passed and I have become more than confident in the auntie's competency in caring for our little ones, and since I moved out of the baby house into our own house, I have gradually moved away from that little tradition. The last baby I kept with me before handing over to the aunties was Joseph.
(Joseph ~ May 2010)

At the moment I was at the hospital with Tracy picking up Moses, the prospective parents of Joseph were waiting for me at a nearby restaurant. They were coming to meet him, and were prepared, as we always are when prospective parents come, to take him home a few days later. However, the weekend would not go as planned. They were not the match that God had for our precious Joseph. It was a difficult weekend for me, with lots of prayer and soul searching, and praying about the future of little Joseph. I knew in my heart that these were not the parents for Joseph. My staff knew it as well, and I believe the parents knew it deep down. It was evident in how things ended. They left. Before they made that decision, I had to act, very boldly, on Joseph's behalf. I had to defend him. I had to fight for him. It was difficult. But it was the right thing to do.

God brought Moses to me to be my visual reminder of the fragility of these little lives, the lives worth fighting for, the lives that I am here to protect. I needed to have that little face to stare into in those early morning hours when I was praying for the life and future of one of our older boys; to be reminded of where he came from.
So...this is baby Moses. He is precious. He is perfect. He is my reminder of why I am here. He is my special little baby. And my heart already aches at the thought of letting him go to the baby house. I know our aunties are perfectly capable of taking excellent care of him, but I will miss him. I love waking up to his little squeaks and moans at 3am. I love having him tied to me in a wrap while I wash dishes, cook dinner and give Julia a bath. I love seeing how gentle and delicate Julia is with him. I just love him! And I love the reminder that he is to me that we have a house FULL of babies just like him who need me to advocate for them; to be their mama until their "forever mommy" comes for them.

I do live a blessed life!
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Joy!

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday's Child - Kennedy

Little Kennedy is such a sweet guy. He has come a long way and improved greatly over the past few months. He was extremely delayed and malnourished when he came to us, but he is really catching up!
Kennedy is happy little guy who is learning to interact with others. In the beginning, it was very hard for him to truly connect to anyone in a manner of true interaction. He would make eye connection, but not respond in a visible way. But now, look at how his eyes light up when he makes that connection! He loves personal interaction, and I am so glad we have an amazing staff who love to interact with our babies!
Kennedy is not yet walking, but he is very close! He receives physical therapy daily by our staff that was trained for his specific needs. The physiotherapist comes every other week to check on his progress. He is pulling up and standing and can walk along any edge that he can hold on to. He loves to play outside. His favorites are the swing and the rocking see-saw thing, or "the whale" as we call it. He also loves bubbles!
There are still signs of concern in Kennedy's development that we are watching closely. Please pray for his continued growth and development. He still does a lot of stimming (self-stimulation) and the general craziness of the baby house is sometimes too much for him. But overall, he has improved SO much! He is making progress each day, and I have no doubt that he will continue to. He has a weak immune system and if anything is going around at the baby house, poor little Kennedy is likely to get it. :-(

He is a sweet, lovable little guy who loves to be held. Kennedy is a blessing to the baby house and brings joy each time he lights up and laughs. The aunties are keeping watch every day, sometimes making bets on whether Kennedy will take his first steps that day! It is coming soon! :-)

We will be submitting Kennedy's documents for freeing him for adoption in the next month. He will be such a joy to his mommy and daddy!! Wouldn't you just love to wake up to those big, brown eyes each morning?!
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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Meet Miss Maggie

In addition to the normal craziness and life with a newborn, the internet has been off and too slow to do anything when it is on. So, I am a bit delayed in properly introducing you to our newest sweeties.
Sweet Maggie came to us last week when we were called by the Children's Department. This precious girl has already lived a tumultuous life. Her mother is a 15 year old girl with mental disabilities who currently lives in a children's home. The mother had been released from the children's home for a period of time, when she went home and was taken advantage of by a close family member. Maggie was living there with her mother until a social worker saw how the baby was not thriving in that environment. When she first arrived, she was very sweet and mellow. She just laid or sat limply wherever she was placed, which is indicative of the environment in which she was living in lack of stimulation and interaction.
(Her body was covered in little sores and bites. They have almost completely cleared up now.)

Maggie is small, but otherwise healthy. In the week that she has been with us, she has come to life! She is now a happy little talker who jabbers and laughs and loves to sing. Each day, Maggie moves a little more, stretching her boundaries to explore her new world.
 Maggie is almost two months older than Delis, but her body is so tiny. Two adorable little girls!

In praying for Maggie, please pray that we and the Children's Department are able to work together to do what is best for this little girl. Whenever possible, we want our babies to be reunited with their families. Sometimes that is not what is best for the children, and placing them for adoption when they have known families is not an easy task. If adoption is in Maggie's future, pray that we are able to begin working towards that process.
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