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Contact Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to cross anything off of our list!
Haiti Children’s Home is humbled and blessed to learn that the fundraiser put on by Haitian Children’s Aid Society (HCAS) in November raised $549,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That means the first phase of the plans for a new compound is now a reality! The perimeter wall is near completion, and now we are going to be able to put some buildings inside on that beautiful land!
We are so excited to see God working out the details, as we follow His call to love and serve the people of Haiti. We are humbled and honored that He has chosen to bless us in this way, and we are excited to see where He leads. His steadfast love never ceases!
Thanks to all of you who have chosen to join us in being His hands and feet by partnering with HCAS and thus this project! Without you, we would not be able to do what we do here. Thank you for supporting, sacrificing and praying for us! We are blessed to have all of you as a part of HCH’s family!
We recently were able to take a number of children to the beach again, and to an ACTUAL SANDY BEACH! Most beaches in Haiti, at least on the west coast, are rocky/pebbly, and though beautiful, just aren’t quite the beach in our books! A wonderful person who has visited us here in Haiti, sent us a very special gift of funds to be able to take the children on beach trips! So, a few weeks ago we went and had a fabulously fun time running in the soft sand, making sand castles, and playing ’till we dropped! Thanks to S.A for making this possible for us!
We recently had a team come, and farther down the alphabet you will learn more about them. Here though,we want to make mention of the incredible amount of supplies that they managed to collect and bring down with them for the children’s home. When their team leader, Randy, asked me for a list, I went to town and sent a lot of ideas, hoping that they would be able to bring a few of them to help stock some of our daily needed items. Imagine my surprise when I started getting updates on the list via email, updates showing that the list was being crossed off very quickly!
The really INCREDIBLE part however, was when the team arrived and started packing hockey bag after hockey bag of supplies into the classroom to be organized! The room and hallway were soon overflowing, with bags and supplies, not to mention team members, excited kids, staff, etc. That evening Cherub and I sat down to start organizing things and were moved to tears as we realized EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. on the list had been brought/sent, and in some cases, in multiples!
It is so encouraging to be able to have our needs met like this, which allows us to care not only for the children in our care here at HCH, but also for those that come asking for help in the community.
Thanks to all of the friends and family of the team from Gracepoint Church of God for their tremendous support of the team as they collected supplies. Thanks for choosing to love on us from afar, and for choosing to be a part of what God is doing through Haiti Children’s Home!
As you have heard, hurricane Sandy also hit Haiti on it’s long and nasty path! We were fortunate to be far enough away from the coast that we were not affected by high winds and mudslides. Our biggest challenge was finding bedding and clothing to keep kids warm and dry while the rain poured for 4 days without stopping! Every hallway and room in the entire compound were strung with lines in a futile attempt to help things dry, but we were down to almost nothing when the sun decided to shine! On the first day of sun, we had almost 600 articles of clothing to dry, not counting sheets, towels and other laundry items! We thank God for His grace and are thankful that our problems were contained to a lack of dry clothing!
The last few weeks have been anything but normal! It seems that literally and figuratively, when it rains it pours! The rest of this blog will give you some understanding, but in the last 2.5 weeks the following things have happened that have definitely made things lively around here!
1) We have added 3 babies under a year to our family…talk about scrambling to find baby clothing, diapers, re-arrange staff etc!
2) In the same 3 day period we received two of those babies, Hurricane Sandy knocked on our door!
3) We had a team of 10 come from Canada
4) We had 5 of our staff and volunteers come down with Dengue fever
5) One of our new babies was admitted to the hospital for a week
6) Just a few days ago, we had not 1, not 2, but 3 flat tires in a 24 hour period!
7) Two of the children in the nutrition program had to be treated for cholera symptoms
8) Two of our staff members had incredibly high blood pressures. Think 193/130, and 185-120! Yep, and then it was me having a heart attack as I confirmed those readings!
And the rest of “normal” life around here continued on…..THIS is why your prayers are so important!
Jwe(jway) means play in Creole, and we have been absolutely amazed to see that after years, literally, of trying to teach the children to play WITH toys instead of hoarding them, and WITH each other instead of just fighting, we can see CHANGE happening!
Two big changes we have witnessed:
1) When we go outside to play with the kids, though they are always happy to see us and run over for a hug, they are now content to return to playing! Previously, everything would stop if we appeared outside, as the kids were starved for attention and consistency. Now, though they love us to be near, and regularly stop for a kiss or a cuddle, they are becoming confident and ABLE to PLAY!
2) Each Wednesday is “Toy Box Day”, and on this day, we spend the afternoon playing inside with a variety of toys that change each week. When we started, we had to have things very separate, with each group having their own play-space and toys. Last week, we felt we could perhaps challenge that system, and allowed the kids to leave their play spaces and interact with other groups and toys. It went very well! This week, we just put all the toys in the middle of the room and sat down nearby to see what would happen. Cherub and I were both near tears with big smiles on our faces when we realized that each and every one of them were playing! Real, imaginative, relaxed, age appropriate, PLAYING! Imagine our delight when we decided to step out of the play-room for 30 minutes and things carried on as successfully with our Haitian staff taking the lead!
This important change has been something burning in the hearts of Cherub and I for 6 years, and it is beyond amazing to see it actually happening!
“Kringlish” is a word that we made up here a few years ago to describe the mix of English and Kreyol that happens around here each day! Most of the children are now quite fluent in English, and though Kreyol is still their first language, they use both throughout they day. We notice each day, with much humor, the funny sentences we hear flying around the yard!
“Manje is sou tab la!” (The food is on the table).
“Li pa share ball la.” (He/She is not sharing the ball.)
“We goin’ big piscin na?” (Are we going to the big pool(the ocean)?)
The funniest part is when we catch ourselves doing it, or when we hear our Haitian staff inserting English words the kids have been using, into their Kreyol sentences!
Imagine giving birth to a sweet little baby girl with sparking brown eyes.
Imagine struggling for 7 months to keep that baby alive.
Imagine going from doctor to doctor, clinic to clinic, buying all kinds of medicine, searching for an answer to why your baby is failing to thrive.
Imagine knocking on the door of the same orphanage you brought your little boy to a few years ago, pleading for help once again with your sweet little girl.
Imagine your despair thinking you are going to lose another precious child.
Imagine hearing that your 7 month old baby does not weigh even 7 pounds.
Imagine hearing, “we will do what we can, but she is very weak and sick”.
Imagine leaving your baby in the care of strangers.
Imagine sleeping well for the first time in 7 months. Imagine waking up with a start to realize you have slept!
Imagine getting a phone call 2 days later saying your baby has been admitted to the hospital after throwing up blood.
Imagine spending the next 8 days at your baby’s side, praying and hoping against hope that she will live.
Imagine trying to communicate with a Spanish speaking pediatrician, when all you speak is Creole.
Imagine relying on a stranger to provide you with food, diapers, clothing, blankets, water, formula,bottles,and everything else you need to be able to care for you baby. and yourself.
Imagine feeling helpless. Again.
Imagine your exhaustion as you sit watching her labored breathing when pneumonia sets in.
Imagine the hope you try to stifle when sparkling eyes cries for MORE milk.
Imagine the fear you feel when a nurse comes and places a tiny oxygen mask on your baby’s face.
Imagine the desperation you feel, because you cannot understand why.
Imagine the hope you feel when the doctor communicates to you that TODAY, things are looking better.
Imagine the awe you feel when for the first time in 7 months, your baby does not throw up 90% of her food.
Imagine the joy you feel when you are told your baby is being released from the hospital.
Imagine the fear you feel when you realize you are supposed to take your baby home, and you have no way to provide for her.
Imagine the courage it takes to ask those foreign strangers to help you again.
Imagine the relief you feel when they say “yes, of course we will keep her until she is strong enough to go back home”.
Imagine the amazement you feel when you realize she is still yours.
Imagine the empowerment you feel when you realize there are options.
Imagine the LOVE you have for sparkling eyes, the LOVE that demanded courage, the LOVE that drove out fear, the LOVE that brought you and your baby to HCH.
This is the “story behind the story” of a little girl named Bianna who joined our family at HCH recently. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for Bianna! She continues to do well, and laughed out loud for the first time in her life last week! What a blessing it was to be a part of that special moment in her life! Her reflux issues seem to be under control, and her little body is healing and filling out. Thanks to all of you who support HCH and make it possible for us to be here in Haiti “for such a time as this”. We are blessed to be able to lend a helping hand to the families in our community, and continue to be amazed at how God chose us to work alongside of Him to love in His children!
My staff and volunteers and I are always discussing new ways to help our kids develop appropriately, and ways to provide as much exposure to North American idiosyncrasy’s. One thing that we have started doing recently is having two children join us each day at lunch time to teach them table manners and expose them to eating “as a family”. We are on our second week, and it has already been a sounding success! We are learning to eat with our mouths closed, use a knife instead of our hand to push food onto our fork, use a napkin, request or decline seconds based on what our tummy is REALLY telling us, ask to be excused, see food being served and the remainder left on the table, pray to bless the food, learn appropriate table conversation, etc, etc. It is a wonderful opportunity for some interaction in a smaller group, and the children are so excited each day! It also exposes them to some other food choices, and encourages them to be willing to at least taste new things even if they are unsure of what is on the table!
Please see Haitian Children’s Aid Society (www.hcas) for more info on how to contribute to this opportunity. Even if you can’t attend, donations designated for that date will count for the grant!!! Help us to raise $500,000 and start to make possible the dream of a new home for the children of Haiti Children’s Home!
School began in Haiti at the beginning of October. This year, HCH has 5 students attending Haitian French school. As well, there are 16 students attending the English school at HCH run by the lovely Miss Amy Tianello. We just received our order of new curriculum for the year, and the kids(and might I add, the teacher!) are very excited about the shiny new books!
HCH is home to 22 children, 17 of which are boys. In a few short months and the completion of some adoptions, HCH will temporarily turn into a boys home, as we will have no more girls!! HCH still has a large number of boys ages 4-6, as well as to 12 year old boys who are in need of a forever family. Please join us in praying for these boys who have been waiting a long time for that special news!
The perimeter wall is still going up at the new orphanage site, and things are drawing to a close(as slow and drawn out as can be, Haiti style) with getting the small piece of land purchased to make the land a nice rectangular shape. The new wall-building system has worked out very well and been very cost effective, and now the big job is getting the wall built on the front part of the property. This part of the wall will be much higher to minimize the ability to see into the yard from the higher vantage point of the nearby road.
Meet Nagley. This four year old girl showed up 2 weeks ago with her little body swollen from kwashiorkor(a protein deficiency malnutirition). Her mom had dropped her off at her 19 year old aunt’s house and told the aunt she couldn’t take care of her. The aunt, 8 months pregnant, came asking for help as she didn’t know what to do with her very sick little niece. Lori spent a lot of time talking with the aunt, and the decision was made to start her on a feeding program, and fight off that swelling with some good old PROTEIN! So each day, three times a day, Nagley and her aunt make the trek down the path for some nutrition. Nagley’s darling smile and vibrant personality have won over everyone in the yard, and we look forward to her smile each day. Thanks to all of you who support HCH, and make it possible for us to share some chicken with this very sweet little girl!
This month has been filled with wonderful news for our adoption program. We have had a number of files go very quickly through various levels of the adoption process which has been encouraging for both the families waiting, and for us here as we work to do all we can to help make that happen. At this time it looks as though the majority of our kids in the process will be going home in the next 3-4 months!
Please take a few minutes to read the “Louis Family in Haiti” Update. The Louis family runs the day-to-day things at HCH and works alongside the many Haitian staff and volunteers to care for the children at Haiti Children’s Home. Please click on the link below:
Things continue to go well at the building site where the perimeter wall is going up. We are currently waiting on the final details to come together for some additional land FONSOPED-HCH wants to purchase so make our land into a more workable rectangular piece of land. Please join us in praying that if it is God’s will, that in the land of long waits and elusive red tape, we will be able to get these details finished up soon!
HCH had 7 children celebrating birthdays this summer, so we held a BIG party on Friday to celebrate! We had a very fun time full of laughter, fun and dirt cake! Thanks to all of you who help us keep our birthday box full!
From Haitian Children’s Aid Society (HCAS)
Just a note to let everyone know that we have received word from Lori. We’re sure everyone has been wondering as to the safety of Lori, the children, staff and volunteers during the recent tropical storm.
Tropical Storm Isaac hit Haiti but the news from Haiti Children’s Home is good. Lori shared this via a relative (Lori does not have internet access at this time) …
It has been raining non stop since yesterday (Friday). However, everyone is safe and sound.
All the rain has come with some mixed blessings. The children are cooped up indoors.
However, the cooler temperatures has been a refreshing relief to Lori. As well, the children had a nice long nap yesterday due to the cooler weather.
Continue to keep Haiti, Lori and everyone in Haiti Children’s Home in your prayers during this recent storm.
Looks like we might have some company this weekend. Unwelcome company in the form of a hurricane named Issac. Please keep us in your prayers as Haiti is right on Issac’s current path. We are fairly sheltered in Mirebalais, usually just get a lot of wind a rain. BUT, very minimal compared to what they get on the coast! Thanks for taking a moment to think about our neighbor’s that are still in tents on the side of the coastal mountains.