Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Almost 2 years....

We are approaching the 2 year mark of Noah being home. It's hard to imagine that it has been 2 years already. Though I can't imagine my life without him here, all the memories of him being gone, then returning, then the wait AGAIN for him to come home are all so fresh still...the pain, the faith, the trust, the joy. I am amazed daily as I look at my family. I'm reminded always of God's faithfulness!

As we approach this milestone, I am also sadly reminded that I have not been back to Haiti for so long. I did return once after Noah came home, but I have not been back since. That was over a year and a half ago. I miss her! I miss the people, the country, the feeling of doing something good for others, the feeling of making a difference. I keep praying and searching for direction on what to do. I know the Lord has given me this heart for Haiti and I feel like I am sort of wasting it, but at the same time I don't have clear direction either. There are so many great people working in Haiti. I have so many friends involved with GREAT organizations doing amazing things, yet here I sit in the comfort of my home wishing I were joining them. In all honesty, if Jeremy and I felt called to move to Haiti, I would do it in a heartbeat. Sure it would be tough leaving family and friends, but I would go if He asked.

I don't know what the future holds for me and Haiti, but I do know the Lord is good and He knows the plans He has for me! I guess for now that is all I need to know! I know He will lead and guide me in the way I should go. He is good! He is faithful! He is ALWAYS worthy of my praise!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yearly Update

Does anyone even check this anymore? If so, here's your yearly update. It's been almost a year since I posted last. Needless to say the kids have grown a lot! We are heading to the two year mark of Noah being home and three for Mia and Hope this summer! Time is flying by!

Jordyn is 14 now! She had a wonderful year in 7th grade but decided after praying about it that she should homeschool. It has been such a joy having her home. She works hard, gets her school work done, and is such a helper! She is definitely a blessing to us! She loves music, baking, reading, and taking care of her puppy CeeCee. I thank God for her daily!

Alexis is 12 going on 16! ; ) She loves being in middle school. She is our goofball always making us laugh, but at the same time working on her princess skills. It's hard to be a princess and a goofball, but somehow she pulls it off. Ali loves all that's girly....painting fingernails, putting on make-up, matching outfits, doing hair....if it's girly she loves it! She is quite the social butterfly but also loves being home with us(which I love!) She too is such a blessing and I love watching her grow up as well as grow in the Lord!

Camden is 9 and I cannot believe how much he is growing! He had a wonderful year of baseball last year! It was his first year to play and he loved it! We played spring ball, All-Stars, and finished up with fall ball! He couldn't get enough! We were so proud of him and had a blast cheering him on! He continues to be a tendered hearted little guy. He cares about people and loves the Lord! One of his favorite songs is Look What the Lord Has Done!

Mia will be turning 9 in a little over a month and that is one detail that she is VERY aware of! ; ) She continues to mother Hope whenever possible, but at the same time I think she is finally learning that she can be a kid too! She adores praise and worship and you can almost always here her singing. She played congas for me at church for a little while and did great, but decided she missed Children's Church. She misses her Haitian family more lately than normal, but has learned that it is ok to talk about it. She loves them so much and wants to visit as soon as possible. She is all about drama! Not necessarily bad drama just drama. ; ) Dress up, make believe, pretend play...she loves it all!

Noah is 7! In two years time he has changed so much! He has grown inside and out! He also played baseball in the fall and loved it! He started in the Spring not knowing what baseball was and went to playing in the Fall and doing awesome! He seriously can throw the ball! His little arm is a ball launcher and he's a good hitter too! He loved playing but maybe not as much as the consession stand. ; ) The boy loves to eat! Sometimes a little too much, but considering his past, I can't say that I blame him. He has decided he will never move out. He plans to live with Jeremy and I forever. We'll see if that lasts when he turns....oh....let's say....13. For now though, we are all he wants and I love that!

Last but not least, we have Hope who is now a whole 6 years old! She is in Kindergarten and her English is so good they determined she did not need ESL. She might need speech, thanks to all the thumb sucking she did, but no ESL for her! She is a sweet girl and loves to pray. Anytime she finds out someone doesn't feel good she prays for them and says, "Mom, I said, 'by Jesus stripes you are healed.'" She doesn't care who is around she wants to pray! She loved going to the beach this summer and the picture pretty much sums up what she wanted to do.

One final note....Jordyn, Alexis, Camden, & Noah are currently involved in a fundraiser for Leve Project. Leve is an organization helping break the cycle of poverty in Haiti. They don't want to treat the symptoms, they bring a cure! The kids have surrendered their closets and for every $100 raised they must wear the same shirt one more day. They have now been wearing this shirt for 11 days and are up to 18 as of today. The goal is 30 days and they are making me so proud with their efforts! If you want to help them wear their shirts longer, go to Nothing to Wear Challenge and donate. Any amount helps push them closer to their goal!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Once again it has been a VERY long time since I posted on my blog. Time simply goes by and trying to raise six kids effectively doesn't make for a lot of time to sit and post about it. I did, however, want to write about the progress we make, but sometimes forget we are making. It's like watching someone lose weight everyday. You don't notice the changes like you would if you didn't see it everyday.

Our girls have been home now for 1 year and almost 8 months. When they came home they knew very little English, had no idea of what living with a family looked like, was academically behind, socially's exhausting remembering. Some days it is still exhausting, until I remind myself of the progress we have made.

When Mia started school last year, we put her in the first grade. We had major concerns because it was obvious that she was WAY behind. She didn't know A from Z, and couldn't add 1 + 1. The school assured me that she would pick things up quickly and that we would be surprised at how well she would do. To their surprise, by the end of the year she was still not getting her papers graded. They were only using stickers and smileys so she wouldn't get discouraged. She was barely able to read the word cat and this was after tutoring, working with her at home, you name it we did it. There was talk of a learning disability but they couldn't put their finger on it. The plan was to leave her in first grade and see what happened this year.

This the difference. She is reading great! Math GREAT! She has an A- in Language Arts, A in Math and an A in Spelling. She does most of her homework independently now, no tutoring, nothing! Wow, what a difference! We also have grown in leaps and bounds in her social skills and she is learning what it's like to live with a family. Family life has been a little hard for her. She has been hurt so much in the past that she has some pretty tough walls, but little by little they are coming down and she is learning that we are here for the long hall. She is also learning that every choice has a consequence and to receive good things we must make good choices.

Hope, well, she fooled us for the first few months. We thought, "she is so easy." She listened well. She was behind in all the areas Mia was but she seemed to always do what we asked and wanted to learn. THEN....she realized we weren't going anywhere and she should test her boundaries. ; ) All kids do this, so it was no surprise really. Little by little she also has learned about consequences, what is socially acceptable here, and she has finally learned how to play. I remember in the beginning one of the hardest things for her was what to do when the kids were at school. She could not play alone. She didn't know how. When everyone was here she could make believe with the rest of them, but when it was just her, her imagination left when the kids left. I would tell her to go play in her room for a little while(trying to force her to play alone), only to find her laying on her bed......every time. It brought me such joy the other day when I was downstairs ironing and she came out with her baby in the stroller just talking up a storm on her "phone." She asked me to watch her baby because she had to go to work. She even told me how to pretend play with her baby saying, "Mom, when I'm gone say...'it's ok baby. Mommy will be back.'" I had flash backs of that little three year old laying on her bed waiting for me to tell her what to do next. Wow! How far we have come!!

She is doing great academically too. She went to preschool August-December, but in January I began teaching her at home. She now knows all her colors, most of her shapes minus weird ones like crescent, diamond, etc. She knows all but about 3 letters. She can count to 50 with very little help, and recognizes most numbers through 20. I am amazed at how far she has come!! We are still working on choices, but we are working on that with all 6 kids. I'm not sure that ever ends.

For Noah, transition has been a bit easier. He was behind in many areas, but having spent time away from the Orphanage he appeared to settle a little easier into family life. His life away wasn't pleasant, but he did at least understand a little better what a family looks like and being accountable to a parent or parent figure. Noah seemed to have more food issues than the girls. I'm sure he experienced far more hunger than they did, or at least it seems that way with the obsession that he had and still has at times. He would take food from the kitchen and lie about it over and over and over again. We would discipline him for it and explain that he simply needs to ask and if we say no then he cannot take it. We also would assure him every time that we would always have food for him to eat. He also didn't know any English when he came home and was obviously behind academically.

Only a year later, he is reading, speaks English clearly, and is no longer taking food from the kitchen. His teacher is amazed at how well he is doing. His last report card showed everything they tested him in as being mastered! He does so well that when he doesn't know something he gets very upset. We are so proud of him and his hard work!

So, although sometimes we take 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, we are still gaining ground and the Lord is with us every step we take. Jeremy and I are constantly praying for the Lord to give us wisdom, knowledge and understanding as we parent all six of our children, and He is faithful to answer our prayers! We are not perfect, but we hope someday to have 6 adult children that are responsible, respectful, and loving. We pray they will serve our awesome God with their whole hearts all the days of their life! We look forward to being this family of eight for eternity. For now, we are blessed beyond measure!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Couple of things....

First, praise God all Three Angels children are in the states safe and sound with their families! We witnessed so many miracles in this past week, and simply stand in awe of our God! Below is a picture of the kids as they waited in Florida to be united with their families!

Second, many, many, many people are asking about the orphans of Haiti, orphans of Three Angels, and how they can help or offering to open their homes, both temporarily and permanent. To answer many of the questions about Three Angels children, they are all in homes. Thank you for asking though!

Now, may I say something that I hope doesn't come across wrong? Not sure why I asked because I am going to say it. ; ) Many people are throwing out offers left and right to bring a Haitian child into their home, and although I think it is great that so many care, I'm not sure that many are truly prepared for what might lie ahead. There should be NO rash decisions made. First of all, many of the children won't speak an ounce of English. Second, their culture is NOTHING like ours and these kids have been exposed to situations we cannot begin to comprehend. Third, there are steps that would need to be taken before anyone could actually open up their home. Our local social services will be involved with these cases and from what I understand homestudies have to be done, which can be costly.

Also, our kids have been home now...the girls for a year and a half and Noah ten months. The girls are still adjusting to this life, learning our culture and what is acceptable and what is not. Noah too, obviously, having been here for a lesser amount of time. The girls have struggled in different ways than how Noah struggles, largely due to the time he spent away from the orphanage. I'm not complaining, just saying. Even though they knew for a long time they were coming here. Even though I knew Creole. Even though we were aware of what challenges we might face, having had a LONG time to prepare for them. Even though, even though, even though, even's hard for them. It's hard for us. It's hard. Having said that, I haven't regretted for one moment that the Lord gave me these children. They are my children in every way and I will always be thankful for them!

I'm not trying to discourage anyone from pursuing this, I just would want you to be aware of what is involved. You would have a child in your home that doesn't understand a word you say and who has been taken out of all they have ever known. They won't necessarily look at it as you "rescuing" them. For many, in their little minds, there wasn't anything wrong with their life.

I guess I'm just saying, please pray before making any decision. Make sure it is what the Lord is asking of you and not simply your heart strings being pulled for the moment. The Lord gives us grace to do His will, not necessarily ours.

Donate Now!

Thank you to everyone who has given, will give, has prayed and will continue praying!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Our God is an Awesome God!!!

Quick update! All 26 Three Angels Children's Relief children are receiving travel documents as I type this to come to the US!!! 23 of them going to their forever families! God has worked so mightily in this situation! It will be so much better for the recovery efforts of TAs, to not have the concern of the children's well-being! As well as, who knows how many more children in Haiti need us now! Please continue to pray and donate! The need is overwhelming! However, today, we rejoice at the miracle of our children coming home!

Donate now!

Also, join us in praying that the Lord continues to work out EVERY detail for the arrival of the children! We need planes to get them where they need to go!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Three Angels Update

What we *think* we know.

Dear friends, family and supporters -

We still have only gotten limited communication and are anxious to get feet on the ground (hopefully by tomorrow) to give us a real picture of what the need will be. Information is spotty and often unreliable but this is what we feel fairly confident communicating.

  • First, your fund-raising efforts are working and we are experiencing a generosity that we pray continues - this will truly be a joint effort with every person who gives.
  • We have had reports that the air quality is starting to bother some of the children. However, all of the kids, even the "sick" ones still seemed to be doing well - they are out playing and being silly.
  • Thanks to Megan Haug we were actually able to get some pictures of the children today - it certainly did us all a level of good.
  • We also received pictures of the property and in the light of day the prognosis is not very encouraging. Our structural engineer will hopefully give us better news
  • We have heard good news of friends who are alive: Alix, Reggie, most of our nannies, Gabriel, Madame Valet... yet there are still those we have not heard from. Many of those who have returned to Three Angels have lost loved ones and are grieving.
  • We are truly hoping to be able to secure 'parole visas' for the children and get them to the United States as soon as possible. We are not sure if this is attainable but are working diligently to pursue every option.
  • Haiti is in a very tenuous state right now and will only continue to deteriorate in the coming days. We hear that tension is rising. Price gauging for things like fuel are a reality and will become worse as fuel become more scarce. People will become even more desperate as water and food become scarce.
  • All civilian flights to Haiti were halted Thursday at the request of the Haitian government because there is no room at the damaged airport for more planes and no fuel to spare for departing aircraft. We are still hopeful that this will change in time for our team to arrive tomorrow afternoon.
  • From one of our friends in Haiti, "We are starting to see people on the streets with their mouth and nose covered with a cloth or a mask as the stench of death is beginning to hang in the air. In our particular area it is not as bad as some places where bodies are stacked on the side of the road and still buried in rubble. Today as I was on the road, I was passed by a police pickup truck that was stacked with dead bodies. I assure you that no photo can communicate the pain and despair that so many are feeling as we are now entering the days of discovery."
We truly appreciate your donations, your prayers and your offers of assistance.

Please continue praying for the many people we haven't heard from, some of our staff, birth families, etc. We long to hear word that they are ok. Also pray for peace to remain. As people get desperate for food and water, things could decline. Peace needs to remain in order to get the help they need. Thanks for checking in and again if you are considering donating, Three Angels needs your help!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Earthquake Update.....

This picture is of the Caribbean Market we have walked to on numerous occasions.

Good morning, everyone. It's so hard sitting here in my comfortable home watching as so many of my friends and loved ones are suffering and possibly dying. I continue to trust in the Lord that He will strengthen, encourage, protect and deliver them!

The orphanage complex has suffered damage. The outside walls are all down, things inside the Orphanage are a mess, furniture turned over, stuff everywhere. I was fortunate enough to "talk" with Megan this morning on Facebook and she said, "it really is amazing. out of all the missionary families and other orphanages we've checked, everyone seems pretty okay and yet, you walk down the street and there are dead bodies lined up... i went into the O yesterday, i was amazed no one was hurt" It is obvious the Lord was watching over our little ones.

Currently, the staff is taking care of the kids at a nearby school, Quescaya Christian School, along with Abbey a volunteer that had been homeschooling the kids in the afternoon. Please pray for her, this is by far more than she planned for, more than anyone planned for. We do have some food at the complex so the cooks are preparing it and delivering it to the kids at the school.

There is a small group of four heading down tomorrow, our beloved Dr. Jack, a structural engineer, our fearless leader Gretchen, and an adoptive parent. They will be assessing the damage, the safety of moving the children back home, and simply caring for the kids, our neighbors and families of our employees. I say simply, but nothing in Haiti was simple before... let alone now. Please pray for them! They will need protection, strength, endurance, peace, and wisdom.

If you haven't already, please consider donating. Three Angels as well as many other organizations need your help!