"How blessed is he who considers the helpless..." Psalm 41:1

Friday, December 10, 2010

Se bon ki ra

‎"Se bon ki ra" is an old Haitian proverb meaning “good is rare”. Meant to be a reminder to treasure your unique experiences in life.

All of our life's experiences are unique. Sometimes I feel like mine are more so than others. But in our own isolation we actually share that we all have a unique experience. Tonight Isaac ran to get me a tissue when Anderson Cooper's update on the Haitian elections, riots, protesters, and 2,000 deaths to cholera brought tears to my eyes. Oh the irony.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Don't let the media fool you into more media

More and more people seem to be asking about what cartoons or movies Isaac is into. It's funny because he doesn't watch them and even if I turn them on he pays little to no attention. I wouldn't even mention this, but I think that it's worth a second look, or at the very least, some dialogue.

My personal opinion isn't hard to see in the matter. I would prefer Isaac to interact and play, rather than watch a cartoon or even an educational DVD. Why? Because our time together is precious. I don't count and teach him a ton of games or songs or anything. Call me crazy. I let him decide what he wants to play with and I encourage it. I DO talk to him all the time, and we speak a little bit of four different languages.

Now, all that being said, some of these baby einstein and creative programs are well done. My belief is that there will be plenty of time for media and television. Yes, yes I know that it would make my life MUCH easier to put him in front of the tv for a bit to get things done, but even if it takes longer, I love cleaning while Isaac tries to push around the swiffer (that's his new thing). Even when mama has sports on we don't just sit and watch them, he gets excited that he knows what it is and gets out a ball or bat and shows me his skills!

Really in a month or two... or a year or two, I may decide to upload little kid apps to my iPhone. Parenting is a process and another learning/compromising experience in life. But don't judge me for not educating my son via media because I have no problem with your tech savvy kiddo. Not that many people are too concerned with whether their child can play with a wheel and a stick with the other children in Haiti without whining for their PS3. That's just me.

Food for thought below... This applies to adults as well btw ;)

Excerpt taken from One of the Worst Parenting Mistakes You Can Make. British psychologist Aric Sigman writes in his 2008 paper titled, DOES NOT COMPUTE, Screen Technology in Early Years Education:

"… [T]he scientists found that for every hour per day spent watching specially developed baby DVDs and videos such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby, children under 16 months understood an average of six to eight fewer words than children who did not watch them.

One of the authors stated," The evidence is mounting that they are of no value and may in fact be harmful.

Given what we now know, I believe the onus is on the manufacturers to prove their claims that watching these programs can positively impact children's cognitive development. The bottom line is the more a child watches baby DVDs and videos the bigger the effect. The amount of viewing does matter.
"

Keeping a TV in your child's bedroom is not a wise parenting decision, based on the evidence available.

A growing body of research shows strong links between a TV in the bedroom and numerous health and educational problems.

Children with TVs in their bedroom:

  • Score lower on school tests
  • Are more likely to have sleep problems
  • Are more likely to be overweight
  • May have an increased risk of smoking
  • Tend to consume more unhealthy foods

Clearly, the vast majority of kids and teens are in dire need of more exercise. However, based on the findings reported in the journal Pediatrics this month, exercising more may not be enough to compensate for the detrimental impact of TV and computer use.

The other side of the equation is shutting off your TV and computer more often...

As reported by Live Science:

"The study found that regardless of age, gender, socioeconomic status, or whether a child had hit puberty, more than two hours a day in front of a TV or computer was associated with more emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Most importantly, the connection between screen time and psychological problems held regardless of how much overall physical activity the kids engaged in."

What that means is that it's not a sedentary lifestyle that poses the greatest risk to your child's mental health, but rather the activities your child engages in while being sedentary.

Other sedentary activities, such as reading or doing homework, had no detrimental impact on the children's mental health.

Another interesting fact was that the total amount of time spent on sedentary activities in general also did not have a negative impact on mental health – only the amount of time spent watching TV or in front of the computer impacted their psychology and behavior.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Adoption Completed!!!

It took me a bit to get this up, but wanted to let everyone know that our domestic adoption was completed as of August 24th. The hearing was not what I anticipated, but I don't know what I did expect. The outcome is really all that matters. He's a Taylor! So proud of all we've been thru. I wish the citizenship would come just as soon, but it's all in His time and I feel so blessed with this. Thanks for all of your prayers

God is good. All the time.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tell Me About It

My bestest Nora posted this on a fb discussion board and I wanted to share it too. It made me kind of tear up, laugh a little, and nod in awe at how well put it is. I get the question from people "what did you do today?" every day and never even know how to put it into words!

I recently experienced that realization that certain people just don't have very maternal instincts. Nothing wrong with it, but when you are like me and go from 100% independent, jet-setting, working, and playing to "mama" some people don't have a clue. This isn't an insult. I didn't have a clue before. My point in posting the article is that, a friend is a friend, no matter what stage in life each of you are in. Everyone needs to vent sometimes and a true friend is there to support and most of all NOT JUDGE.

On the flip side, I've been surprised by some people without kiddos who have been even more supportive than before and involved. The way I look at it is: If you're my close friend, then you're my family, and your family is my family.

Read it and tell me your thoughts.

by Carolyn Hax of the Washington Post

Carolyn:

Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group . . .

Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.

Tacoma, Wash.

Relax and enjoy. You're funny.

Or you're lying about having friends with kids.

Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.

Internet searches?
ad_icon

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Adoption Update... Court and Paperwork

Good news! We have a court date set for August 24th! PRAYERS PLEASE. We are going in hopes to complete our domestic adoption.

We have very little paperwork from Haiti in support of Isaac's situation and because of that we are going in with a second order to ask for temporary custody granted in MO. Technically I was given custody/sponsorship of him on January 26th in Florida by DHS, but if the judge does not find that or our supporting documents sufficient we will ask for our second choice of temporary custody and then have to wait another 6 months for an adoption hearing. This is certainly not ideal because we will have to find a social worker in AZ to report back to our agency here and then ultimately have to renew our home study again, fingerprints probably, and fly back home for any court proceedings. All of this just means more time and money.

So within the last 2 weeks I've got a copy of his birth certificate from Washington (working on getting it translated hopefully). As of today I have a copy of the affidavit that Chris (the orphanage director) wrote in support of his story with details of how he came to HIS Home for Children and that he was placed there for the purpose of adoption. Hopefully the notarized original arrives in time for court. Of course, this still may not be enough to satisfy the judge, but I think that this in addition to my dossier, post placement home study, and paperwork from DHS in Florida will be a good case in a difficult situation.

Once we get the domestic adoption completed we will hopefully start the process of citizenship for him. Pray that this will go smoothly. Our family services lawyer recommended that we then hire an immigration lawyer, but one thing at a time right now :)

Thanks for all your support! Mwen renmen ou tout

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Don't Forget Haiti

With only 2% of promised funds to the devastated country delivered so far. Help us with a project where you know where your money is going and when =)


Six months ago, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti to the ground and many lost their lives. The need in Haiti is still so great. With a heart for embracing orphans among others in need, Embrace Point is partnering with JBA Haiti in support of the Cabaret Baptist Children's Home and School.

The community is in need of a new vehicle and we are close to reaching our goal, but we need your help to cross that finish line!

Embrace the community of Cabaret with us, donate now, and together we can make a difference!




Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Help Haiti Act PASSED

According to Joint Council on International Children's Services last nite in the U.S. House of Representatives: Fortenberry's Help Haiti Act passed, along with Lofgren's International Adoption Harmonization Act!

As I understand it, this will lead to a speedier path for our children to citizenship once they have completed domestic adoptions. SO.... good news. We are still waiting to hear from our lawyers about moving forward with our adoption in MO. Keep the prayers coming.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day 2010

I had a lot of thoughts going thru my head on Father's Day this year. Most started with all the well wishes to myself and other mothers as well as debates on FB about what constitutes a "father" and so on. I didn't see these kind of debates on Mother's Day, although there are some daddy's holding their children down alone too!

I summed up my feelings in one post "Happy Father's Day to all the daddy's out there! We r so blessed to have an amazing Grandpa in Isaac's life & grateful for all the men who've been involved as strong examples. I appreciate all the well wishes directed to myself & other single parents playing both roles. My prayers r for the earthly daddy that I hope Isaac will have someday:) I pray my baby grows to know that his birthfather loved him as well... AND most importantly that it is his Father in heaven who paid the ultimate sacrifice for him." I could go on, but you get my point.

Really I never thought in a million years I'd be a single mother, let alone by choice. It is the most amazing gift the Lord has given me thus far in my life. But still. I pray for a father figure for Isaac. I pray for a godly, masculine, leader in his life. I know the significance of a child learning by example. How do we expect a man or woman to know how to be in a relationship when they've never seen it to emulate?

Just food for thought.

I have always prided myself in how independent I am, but pride is a sin. And one thing the Lord has taught me is that being a woman is a blessing. It should be embraced and celebrated. Somewhere along the way we lost that and went the opposite direction glorifying a 'superwoman'. YES these women deserve praise and support. They have risen up and overcome hardships in many different forms. But that is because their situation is not ideal. What we should do is glorify and spotlight the men who are being MEN. Thank God for them.

This blog is interesting. You could argue some of his examples, but he's just trying to paint a picture. And I agree with him on many levels.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

First Day of School


He's just around the corner, but shorty started pre-school today at The Purple Dragon. Such a grown lil man!

Monday, May 10, 2010

CNN's 'Rescued'

So I noticed this story posted on a friend's facebook page. I opened the link and read the story... thinking how likely the little 2 year old be could be mine. It gave me chills then. But unfortunately I was on mission in Uganda and couldn't watch the show.

Then I received a couple messages asking if I had seen the special on CNN because it is Isaac that Soledad O'Brien is speaking about.
Read the dramatized description yourself. And to think the healthy boy at home with me is the same child!

I think it's important to note that both the Manassero's and Nungester's are great families living their lives for the people in Haiti and I have witnessed their extraordinary work first hand. Tasha and I took Poutchino to the Manassero's home the day after the the quake to get his IV put in. Chis Nungester was there with others set up out in tents in front of their home. Thank the Lord for people like them!

If anyone knows how to obtain one... I'd like a copy of the show. Have also tried contacting CNN's Ms. O'Brien and commenting on the article, but of course, have no response nor was my comment approved to be published. Hmmmmm maybe knowing that little boy's fate isn't what they are really after... especially if it involves adoption into a loving family.

This clip has Isaac in his playpen for a second. For those of you who don't know, the orphanage did not hold up thru aftershocks the day after I left Port au Prince. They were all moved to the church yard at Quisqueya Chapel for safety and care, but under very difficult conditions Isaac became very ill:

and at 8:00 minutes into this one. City Soleil is where he was born...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I don't want my children to be happy

Parenthood. Let's just get one thing straight. I don't like to play the bad guy. Honestly I thought I'd be better at it. It's just so much fun to see the one thing you love most in the world smile. It is already evident that Isaac needs structure and discipline. I've compared dogs, adolescents, athletes, etc. to children in their need to push their boundaries. Now i have a child and it is so obvious. Children need and crave those boundaries. Ultimately the things they don't get or the delayed gratification is done with LOVE. If all we did was play and he never learned to be a gentleman (there are so few these days), would i really be a good mama?! So Isaac, my goal is not your happiness, nor was it my parents' goal and i appreciate that more and more :-)


Many of us adults can take the advice of how to be content rather than happy. Everyday brings more challenges. Overcoming them in a way that is pleasing to God is the most important lesson we can pass on to our children.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Isaac livin it up in KCMO!


sometimes i forget not everyone has fb. some new pics of the love of my life!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

be grounded

Church this morning really spoke to me and i wanted to share with ya. Pastor Purkey preached on Mark, chapter 4, The Parable of the Sower.

He spoke on the power of words and speaking God's word. At some point, no matter who you are, we will all be overwhelmed by our responsibilities and the world. You need to ask yourself... Am i on good ground? It is entirely possible to come to church and still be of the world.

If you are in the word, they will not understand your faith and your commitment. They wonder why you go to church on Sundays or whenever. But those of you who are there know that LIFE is being spoken. Mark also spoke about the possibility of being excited about the word, but lacking "roots". Do not mistake emotional reaction for spiritual depth.

It is essential that you have enough roots to withstand. Ground yourself to be able to take the next step. Some of you are just a step or two away from a blessing. There are so many cares of the world to get caught up in... whether it's emotional, financial, spiritual, success, lust, money, work, home, etc. The enemy is trying to wear you out! But if you seek the kingdom of God, everything else will fall into place. God doesn't mind you having things... He minds things having you!

God will provide. You can't just say 'I want my blessing' and leave the blesser... or 'I want to be healed' and leave the the healer.

It is up to us to be spiritually mature enough to discern what is choking you? What are you worried about? Pastor Purkey spoke on how we should be grateful for what we have... That none of us rode to church on a bike (and the church laughed)... That none of us live in a tent (and i cried). Yes, i tie everything back to Haiti in my mind.

There are so many people who only dream of having what we have on what we think is our very worst days. We should strive to praise and thank the Lord and to stand grounded in His word no matter our circumstances. Because if you treasure something other than Him, you can be sure He knows how to take that away.

Ima leave you with a video that Isaac and i listen to just about everyday by Wyclef and Mavado... both talented artists that sing meaning into many of their songs.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

This only takes 5 seconds

This month, world leaders will map out Haiti's future. But no one has given Haiti's poor a seat at the table. Send a msg to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


If we don't act now, the inequality & poverty that plagued this country for so long could be built into the very fabric of Haiti's reconstruction process.


Click HERE to sign a petition with Oxfam to give the Haitian people a voice in their own future.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Déjà vu?... Terremoto en Chile

I will never know how to put into words the way my life has been affected and forever changed by the quake in Haiti. But now another in Tokyo and in Chile.

When I heard last night my heart dropped. I felt sick again. All I keep thinking thru it all is how I have no need to prove myself. Why does my strength need to be tested? It takes me back to the question: Why is the Lord entrusting me with such difficult things?

I lived in Santiago de Chile after college. I spent one month in Buenos Aires, Argentina and then worked in Santiago. I learned so much in my time there and made such wonderful friends. This tragedy feels eerily like places and people I love are being rocked to their very core. Really? Are Italy and the US next?

As I've been thru various emotions since last night again. I realize that I am not worried for my friends too terribly. They love the Lord and our lives are in His hands. Chile has an amazing infrastructure and the contrast between reactions from both the people and the government is already so drastic.

This quake was a magnitude of 8.8. I think most people know by now... that is not big, it's MASSIVE. It's confusing the way they work, but the 7.0 in Haiti was more shallow and the shaking was actually greater. Cement buildings, as in Haiti, are also the most dangerous. Many people in Haiti did not know what an earthquake was, let alone what to do in an occurrence. The quake at 3:35 a.m. in Chile, a dangerous time because most people are inside their homes asleep, took place south of Santiago near Concepci ón. It would take nearly EVERY PERSON in Concepci ón to die in the quake to equal the death toll in Port-au-Prince.

As you can imagine, I couldn't sleep again last night. Knowing that there is very little communication and seeing how long it took to get info from the devastation in Haiti, I know we are just waiting to hear the reality. And even then the news portray a half-truth and partial story of it all.

I've recently spoke with my bestest, Carmen. She is in Peru and her family in Chile is okay. I've also heard via fb from my friend Cecy and she is fine but without communication. Right now we must all continue to pray for the people who've lost loved ones. Under 200 known at this point. And to pray for those who are now homeless, jobless, etc. Tsunami headed towards Hawaii. I hope that everyone has had sufficient time to get their things in order and head to somewhere safe.

Dios bendiga a Chile y todo nos conocidos del areas de terremotos.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rice and Beans

diri ak pwa

Thank you to all of the wonderful people who came to our baby showers and donated rice and beans to Haiti. We were able to drop them off at the First Baptist Haitian church this past Sunday. You guys are wonderful!

(¯`v´¯)
.`·.¸.·´

Sunday, February 21, 2010

We Shall Rise Again

A video with a song for Haiti made by Carribean artists Sean Paul, Shaggy, Sean Kingston, Etanna, Tessane Chin, David Rudder, Kes, Allison Hinds & Destra, Mika & Belo. Better than we are the world... Check it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

nou se mond la

So this has been a tough week for me. I've had the flu and to make it sound worse H1N1. I've never been down and out this long before. My mind has been all over the place and I go between grateful and distraught often. I'm grateful for the many gifts Isaac has received from our friends and family. Then i'm overwhelmed by how much we have when so many have so little. I'm grateful for those who care to help me get to the doctor, care for my baby, n understanding while i'm so sick. Then i'm burdened with morbid thoughts about people who don't have that. I'm stressed thinking about falling behind on more of my daily chores. Then i think about how blessed i am to be sick and have access to a hospital and water and crackers. Then i think about how little i've eaten and how this skinny look is not cute. But it is temporary and i know that with a certainty others do not have. Those of you who know me know i get restless legs. Idleness, lack of sleep, dehydration, etc all make it worse. It's really miserable. Then i imagine how those buried alive under rubble felt... miserable and fearful. This is just all part of my thoughts and thoughts i know many others deal with at some point in time.

I wish i could share with all the beautiful children in Haiti how much the world cares about them and loves them. There is so much sympathy that i am inspired each day. In feeling the earth shake, knowing the fear n the stench, in my sickness, and now missing haiti and my kids i am somewhat empathetic.... with a rare glimpse into the plight of the people.... i am humbled.

Here's a short video of the boys the morning we went up the hill to pray together.... lol and i put Ronal's favorite song in the background :)
video

Awwww Jennifer Hudson wow. What beautiful voices! And of course I love me some Wyclef. My favorite line of this touching song redone is... "someone to help you rebuild after the rubble's gone"


Friday, February 12, 2010

President Preval Accepts Christ

Newletter from a missionary I know in Haiti, Dottie Diehl.


PRAISE THE LORD.............PRESIDENT PRUEVAL JUST OPENLY, PUBLICLY ACCEPTED CHRIST INTO HIS HEART. IT WAS SAID HE SAID THAT HAITI MUST TURN BACK TO GOD, AND SOMETHING ABOUT THE YOUTH OF HAITI BEING THE FUTURE EVERYONE MUST REPENT AND CHANGE THEIR WAYS!!!! 

I'm sure it will be on TV, it is already on radio here. I was not there, do not know what church, but he was at a church somewhere this morning.

MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ALL OVER HAITI BEGAN PRAYING BEFORE SUNUP THIS MORNING. I KNOW IT WAS THE MOST SIGNIFIGANT PART OF MY PRAYER, FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND PRUEVAL HIMSELF TO ACCEPT CHRIST. THANK YOU JESUS, THANK YOU JESUS A MILLION TIMES OVER.

NOW DON'T STOP PRAYING.............. BEGIN TO PRAY FOR HIS PROTECTION AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUE SAVIOR. GIVE HIM STRONG GODLY MEN TO UPHOLD HIS DECISIONS AND TO STAND STRONG AND TO BE BOLD FOR THE COUNTRY.

THIS IS A WONDERFUL BEGINNING, LETS SEE WHAT THE NEXT TWO DAYS MAY BRING..........

Dottie

www.tlcbarefootschool.com

Haiti mourns one month after devastating quake


President Rene Preval has asked for 3 days of praise in worship to lift Haiti to God. I'm joining my sister n Much Ministries in 3 days of fasting n prayer. Wherever u are please pray for #HAITI

Thursday, February 11, 2010

what is happening to the children now?

Immediately after the quake the number one question I received was "what did it feel like?". That has now turned into "What do you think about the Americans who tried to take the children across to the Dominican?". Oh the power of the media!


What I think is that they were most likely well-meaning, ignorant people. They may have actually had permission from someone who was not legit and didn't know any better. It does frustrate me because they gave organizations like UNICEF ammunition to put a halt on children being placed with their families... families that have already been matched and established for them. UNICEF has been vocal and I've heard forceful about trying to put a stop to expediting any adoptions at the critical time. They are steady proponents against adoption all over the world.


Do I ALWAYS believe adoption is best? NO. The amount of money the thousands of people around the world spend on adoption could be put into the economies of these troubled nations and completely change the situations these children are in. But then again if everyone gave (just a small amount) we would have the very same effect. They still say 20% of people who can give give 80% of the donations. The world is not perfect.


Most of the orphans we speak of DO HAVE FAMILIES... If you haven't seen it you really can't imagine it. If you haven't lived it you will never truly understand it. That is why the Lord gives us GRACE and why we hold on to our FAITH. I try to explain to people that there are generally 3 options for many of these children that are eligible for adoption...
1. They stay with immediate or extended family will little to no food, water, shelter, schooling, ect. Every situation is different. But the thing that is missing for many is HOPE.
OR
2. They are taken in at an institution such as an orphanage. Depending on the organization they have a much greater chance at 2-3 meals each day and an education.
OR
3. They can be adopted in to a family where they get individual love and care and a chance to thrive with a new sense of belonging and hope.


Study after study shows that a child who feels safe in a home and part of the family excels in each area of their life, more so than those in institutions and even in foster-type care. I would absolutely love for some of the stable families in Haiti to adopt these children, but sadly this is rarely the case. There, of course, is the restavek mentality and even if every one of them decided to take in one orphaned child as their own it still would not be enough. Over half of Haiti's population is under 18. There are tens of thousands of orphans. So that leaves us with a situation, much like my own, where families in other countries attempt to give these children loving homes. 


At the end of the day we are all people. Somos humanos. An organization who is too preoccupied with a political agenda without thinking of the people they are "protecting" is not one I can support. I've learned much about big organizations and how things play out and it is hard not to be cynical. But I would rather be cynical than naive. There are many good people working for organizations such as UNICEF and the Red Cross. But it important to know that their 'political-ness' has resulted in deaths of innocent children. And beyond that, bringing some of these children home to a place they are headed to anyway only opens up room for our children still on the streets to be taken in at an orphanage to be cared for. Last I heard the orphanage directors' phones were ringing off the hook with the police stations and hospitals discharging children with no where to go.



Special Field Report: Haiti's Orphans Held Hostage from Douglas Phillips on Vimeo.

my heart is broken

Oh how life is precious and how being a parent puts so much into perspective... Every time my baby smiles I think I'm just a lil more relieved. He's safe with me.... But he's always been safe in GOD's hands. I don't worry so much about him (except maybe the fear of spoiling him too much). BTW... first word is "hello" but only when holding a cell phone to his ear LOL


What I do think (worry) about is the unsettled feeling inside me... I can't shake the desire to be back in Haiti. I want to help. I want to educate. I want to cry. I want a few days back where I was at that hospital, or back on my couch after I arrived home watching CNN n following news stories literally 24 hours a day. OK OK maybe I don't want that. But I know I don't want my old life back.


Experiencing a disaster like this one is too big for me. Thank God, He is much bigger. I've thought about how no one should ever see anyone die. Then I think how the bodies were too numerous to count. Then my mind goes back to particular instances... 
The older man we went to Red Cross to donate blood for that very morning in Port au Prince. His son found me in the crowd and brought me to hold his hand, pray over his father, and just BE there. None of his other family members knew his father had passed. And there was no way to call them.
The father who cried on my shoulder while we watched his baby being sewn with no anesthesia.
The young girl who latched onto me and cried in pain thru the night saying "kouche" (lay down) and "kenbe mwen" (hold me). 
The young boy whose arm was badly broken. His mother paced by our car repeating "I see one with my eyes. I have six, Lord. I see one with my eyes."


The need is so great... The death numbers still climbing. There is little to no infrastructure to take care of these people post operation, no IVs, no oxygen, no antibiotics, no basic aid, only to go back on the street, most without a home to go to. The physical, emotional, and spiritual turmoil of the people fills my thoughts and prayers.


Just days before the tè tremblé (earthquake) I prayed the prayer, "LORD BREAK MY HEART FOR THE THINGS THAT BREAK YOURS" and... my heart is now more broken than it's ever been.


This is a video made in 2009. The footage is from Citè Soleil, where Isaac was born. The dominos make me smile.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Definition of a Restavek

I feel like I've explained this concept so much that It'd be great to post about it. My dad put this on his fb status the other day. I love the simple fact sheet. 


In his words... 

"RESTAVEK--If you do the math according to this article Over 348,000 (1 in 10) children in Haiti, in order to survive, are in the child labor force. 

UNICEF estimates that Over 1 in 20 (or over 124,000) children will die. Yet UNICEF Stopped the Humanitarian Parole for the legal adoptions ofchildren out of the country, of whom ...almost all if not all would go to loving families, So if they stay in the country 3 in 20 will die or be forced to work. So is UNICEF--more politically motivated than really caring for the children."



As a woman adopting from Haiti I've had the occasional questions from the Haitian people while I am there. They wonder what my intentions are towards my baby. It may seem foreign to us that they would question the depth of our love for a child we bring into our home. But in a culture where it is relatively common to bring a child into the home to provide work, you can sorta put their inquisitiveness / suspiciousness into perspective.