Monday, July 28, 2008

HONK!

Tim and Megan were a part of the local theatre group's summer production of "Honk!" It was a comedy based on the story of The Ugly Duckling. Rehearsals began back in May and carried on all the way through last week. They had a blast learning about putting on a play and enjoyed getting to know many people in the cast and crew.

Mike, Kate and I attended all six shows and really enjoyed being in the audience of the week and an half. Not only was it fun to see Tim and Meg perform, but it was interesting being a part of a production for the first time ever. Not sure what the future holds for our two actors? They had a great time and will always remember their summer working with Ugly, Papa Bullfrog and the School of Fish....


Friday, July 25, 2008

What a Difference a Day ~ or a YEAR ~ Makes!

Jonathan after his arrival in July '07

Jonathan has been at the orpahage for a year now. He arrived during medical clinic last July. He was so sick, so weak and so sad. Malnutirtion was getting the best of his little body. If Three Angels had not taken him in, most certainly he would have died.

The Lord knew just what Jonathan needed that day. With the love and care Joanthan has recieved over the last 12 months at the orphanage, he is a healthy growing toddler. Thank you, God!

Jonathan - One Year Later....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day Two


Introductions were crazy ~ to say the least. As everyone who has walked into Angel House after first arriving with a mission team knows, the kids get so excited. We did enter during snack time and the children were a bit quieter than usual, but it was still crazy!

My first thought as we entered the orphanage was *MY WORD! OUR KIDS ARE HUGE!* I turned to Mike and repeated my thought. “Our kids look so huge!” And, of course Mike has a worldly, highly intelligent and most thoughtful response, “What do ya expect?” The Angel House children seemed so teeny tiny next to my American, beef-eating brood! I figured as much before we arrived; it was just surprising to see first-hand.

Daniel came up to us right away. He remembered me and asked for “chocolate” when he saw me. In May, I brought down protein drinks and protein bars for him ~ “chocolate” as he called it. J Funny how they remember the food. Ha! Our kids were a bit shy and standoffish at first. They understood Daniel was not aware that we were adopting him. They were afraid they would spill the beans or something. Megan broke the ice, however, by immediately picking him up. She has longed to carry around a younger sibling and her wish had been fulfilled. After that, it seemed as if my kids threw off their shoes, made themselves at home and fit right in. It was a wonderful feeling for my heart and made me so at ease about the week-long visit that was underway.
…Last year, we told the kids we were considering adopting a little boy from Haiti and we wanted to know how the girls felt about having another brother. Megan’s only response was, “As long as he is small enough so I can carry him around, I am fine with a brother.” She really had no preference to a boy or a girl, how old they were or what their name would be. All she wanted to be able to do was hold her sibling and carry them around all over the place….

As we took some time saying hello to Daniel, many of the other children came over to get a hug. Tim and Kate loved all the attention from the get-go! Soon, introductions we underway and many of the boys were waiting to play with Tim. Reece and Jonas were right there ready for some action and Tim could not wait to get to know them. He had heard many stories, read several blog entries about them and was so thrilled to have finally met them. He introduced himself to Reece as “Chicago Tim” and it was the start to a wonderful friendship.
….When I first met Reece in November, he was going up to each team member asking where they live. More specifically, he was asking us, “Are you from Evansville,” the town where he would be living with his forever family. I told him I was from Chicago and that became my name for the rest of the week. So now, whenever I first see Reece, I give him a big hug and say, “Hello, Evansville,” and he replies with, “Hello, Chicago…”

While the kids were all getting to know each other, I noticed someone very special coming down the stairs with Mama Michelle. My first thought was how sweet and generous of Michelle to get Jonathan dressed and ready for our arrival! She has so many other things going on and two girls of her own to care for, and she took the time with our sweetie.
...This was the first time I was meeting Michelle. Even before we spoke, I knew what a wonderful, loving and kind person she was. ***Thank you, again, Michelle, for such a loving gesture and help with our family’s introduction!***

Michelle handed Jonathan over to me as we exchanged hellos. It felt so good to have my little boy in my arms again! Immediately, all three kids ran over to meet him, hold him and love on him. However, he was going to have no of it! If getting to know these people meant Mama was going to put him down, he did not care to know them. The kids were a bit disappointed at first that they could not share him; however, they got over it as all the others were around ready to be picked up at any time.

Soon it was onto St. Joseph’s Guest House. The team had already unloaded the Tap-Tap and were anxious to get grab dinner. So, we quickly said our goodbyes and headed back with Jonathan in tow. What a night this was going to be ~ four kids and a hungry husband in Haiti for the very first time….
There are so many smiles and hugs wating for the team as they arrive at Three Angels! Reaching up for hugs... The kids are so excited when teams arrive!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will amke your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day One

I haven’t posted too much about our trip to Haiti. It has been hard to find the time to sit down, collect my thoughts and write. Life’s been a whirlwind since we have returned. As I looked ahead at my calendar, I really don’t see an end in sight for the crazy schedules. Soon, we will take a mini vacation with the kids up to the Dells, PTO responsibilities start up again in two weeks, and then school begins. Summer went by way too fast for us! So, I am forcing myself to find the time to sit and write. I don’t want to forget about the life-changing experience we had together has a family before I get it down on paper….

We spent the night before the trip in Miami at the Hilton Hotel. It was very nice with wonderful accommodations. The kids were relaxed and comfortable in an environment they were pretty accustomed to ~ nice vacations are something they are very fortunate to go on quite frequently. We spent the evening hanging out in the lush hotel, relaxing by the pool and watching movies on the big screen television in our room.
The view from our hotel room in Miami.

As the evening wore on, anticipation of our travels to Haiti loomed over us. Well, at least loomed over Kate… ...We had to take our anti-Malaria medication that night. Kate HATES to take medicine and her grumpiness loomed over all of us the rest of the night after we forced it down her throat. If her reaction to dealing with the third world country was this awful already (even before arriving), what was it going to be like when she is forced to bathe from a bucket, eat Haitian food, sleep without air conditioning and spend days on end in the humidity with 35 children climbing all over her…? I had a feeling we were in for some “good times” ahead…

The kids woke early Saturday morning ready for the flight to Haiti. We headed to the airport to meet up with the team. The kids sat quietly in the chairs (and I mean quietly – even for my kids!) as they were anxious to meet their brothers, nervous around 16 people they did not know and scared to arrive in Haiti. We sat around playing cards and eating pizza while we waited for our delayed flight to board. Thankfully, the kids are veteran travelers and waiting around in airports does not faze them in the least.

During the flight to Haiti, the kids took turns looking out the windows to see the ocean, Cuba and other Caribbean islands. It really is a cool flight when you think about all you can see during the flight. As we approached the island of Hispanola, they were excited and awe-struck by the views. Tim noticed the magnificent mountain range right away and thought it was beautiful. The girls were surprised by all the “houses” they could see. Even with all we told them about Haiti, they still struggled with the idea that 8 million people living on this little piece of land.

Who could imagine so many homes, so close together in one place?

Time spent at the Port au Prince airport was not so bad. The kids are familiar with the craziness while searching for luggage. Once we stepped foot outside, life was not so quiet and became a little bit overwhelming from the crowds of people, the noises and the commotion. Tim and Meg stuck close by me while Kate held my hand until we got in the van. The ride to the orphanage was long, but a good one for them to see all we had talked about. Asking them over and over what they were thinking, if it was what they thought it would be and how they felt kept the conversation going. So surprised by their surroundings, they were speechless otherwise.

The kids were surprised by all the vendors and really liked the paintings!

As we pulled up to Angel House, I heard my most favorite noise. The children were singing and shouting inside as they learned the team had arrived. I was so anxious to see the children, but even more so for our kids to meet them all!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Latched!

See what I mean when I said Daniel was latched onto his sisters all week.

Certainly the boy is big enough and capable of standing on his own; however, Meg happily obliged when he asked to be carried around ALL week....
Meg figured out right away that holding the kids is the BEST part of the trip!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Daniel and Papa

We told Daniel we were going to adopt him on our mission trip in June. Although he was a bit quiet when we told him the news, it was obvious by his reactions he understood and was very pleased. He latched onto the girls immediately and would not leave their side. After spending the night with us at the guest house, he seemed to get it ~ he was finally getting a turn to leave the O and go to the guest house like so many of the other children. It was then when Daniel began to call us "mom" and "papa." After we returned to the O the next morning, Daniel ran up to Junior and told him, "I have a family!" My heart just melted when Junior told us what Daniel had said to him!!!!

I just love this photo! It was taken on the way to our DHS appointment last month. Daniel was so proud that he had a family that day. I asked him to stand by his papa so I could take a picture. He ran right up to Mike and wrapped his little arms around him. I think the look on Daniel's face and the sparkle in his eyes shows it all! I will always remember the moment, the day and the way Daniel expressed his excitement!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer Camp '08

The kids are back from a week at Stronghold Camp. Stronghold, a Presbyterian U.S.A. organization, is a youth christian camp not too far from our home. This was summer number 5 for Tim. Megan has been going to Stronghold for the past four years, and this was Kate's first year to be able to attend. They all really love going to camp and look forward to the week each summer. It's a great way for them to learn about nature, God and getting to know and working together with others. We feel very blessed with the opportunity to be able to send the kids there each year!


This year, Tim was old enough to stay for the entire week. He had a blast and did very well being away from home for 6 straight days. We were very proud of him! Meg and Kate attended Day Camp and both spent the night on Thursday as a "try-out-camp" option. They all loved sleeping in the cabins, having camp fire at night and waking up in the woods in the morning.


More so than anything, the kids LOVE their camp counselors! Most of them come from other countries studying abroad or spending the summer in the States. This year, Tim enjoyed spending the week with his counselor from England and the girls both loved theirs from South Africa. It's a great experience to be able to get to know so many people from other places, play, worship together and share their love for the Lord.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Feels Like Summer....

...FINALLY!!!!



It's been sunny and in the eighty's this week. We spent a day at Magic Waters, a water park nearby, and lots of time in our backyard pool. Once the river goes down and we can launch the boat, summer will truly start at our house!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Have You Ever....

...had a day when you feel like you are just going in circles trying to get things done?

video

And, in the end, it seems as if you accomplished so very little?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Na ou pita Junior!

We had an awesome time while Junior was here with us. Being the worldly traveler now, he is up in Michigan visiting many of his TA's friends. He is having a great time and enjoying his visit in the States.
*
Everything went well for Junior while under Mike's care. Mike was very pleased with the test results and the diagnosis is a good one. We pray the Lord takes away Junior's pains and keeps our friend healthy!
*
We miss him already ~ especially the kids! It was fun for them to have a big brother around the house for a while. :) They are hoping Junior will return so they can take him to Six Flags and Chicago one last time. We will have to see if the Michigan clan will let him go, however...

*On the way to Michigan...

..and wearing a Chicago Bears' hat no doubt!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

Someone Got a Haircut!

Thanks for the photo, Kaitlyn!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fitting In

I'd say by the looks of this video, Kate fit in just fine with the kids at the orphanage. She just LOVES Mia and had so much fun with her.
Thanks for a great week, Mia! Kate misses you!

video

Thursday, July 3, 2008

naje amizman!

Swimming Fun!
We are having a great time here with Junior. It is so fun watching his reactions to so many new things here is the States. It's been cool to show him around a bit and take him to some of our favorite places. The kids just love swimming with Junior, too! They have been trying to teach him the strokes so he can stake afloat in the deep end. They hope by tomorrow he will brave the slide and diving board.

All went well with Junior's scope. Mike says things look "good" and we pray the meds will help the pain. Please pray for this for our special Haitian friend!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wow!

It was another wonderful week in Haiti for all of us. Tim, Meg and Kate all had a wonderful time. Mike and I are so proud of the way they embraced Haiti. Mike did some amazing procedures in the clinic. God certainly blessed his hands last week with the abilities to help so many Haitian people. Daniel and Jonathan are doing wonderfully and we were able to complete our DHS appointment for their adoption. So much was accomplished at Angel House, as well. It was a week full of miracles and we can thank our Lord for it all!