Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How I Feel...

Often people ask me how I am raising 3 children with disabilities. I often say, "You just 'do it'!" That is not a good answer, but I have never been able to put into words how I have felt over the past 7 1/2 years, since giving birth to Hannah.

Today we had an in-service at Hannah's school for her
teachers/aid/principal/specials' teachers, etc. The in-service was
lead by the outreach coordinator from the Indiana School for the Blind
and Visually Impaired. (Try saying that 5 times...)

She shared an essay with us, written by Emily Perl Kingsley. Wow, was
this an ah-ha moment!!!! I have never heard this before, and maybe
many of you have.
This essay describes to a 'T' how I feel about
raising 3 children with special needs!

With Jonas, the feelings are different: we 'chose' him, and knew most of his needs going into our
adoption. Though I wish he could see the world around him with his
eyes, I rarely even think about him being blind! I know, it sounds
strange. I don't often think about Hannah being blind or Micah having Spina Bifida either. It is a part of them, and it has made them 'who' they are as a person. But, after giving birth to them, more so with Hannah, I had to deal with a lot of grief and mourning. It was a loss of a 'dream'! Just things like, Hannah never being able to 'see' how BEAUTIFUL she is; never being able to 'look' at her and connect with her as I nursed her as baby; not being able to 'see' with her eyes the beautiful children that she will bring into the world someday, etc... I could go on and on... Micah, not being able to run as fast as other kids, having to be cautious about touching anything that has latex in it, having multiple surgeries, having to cath 4 times a day, and do an enema every evening; being questioned by kids at school for still wearing pull-ups...

I am not trying to be negative, or have a pity party; that is not me, but I am trying to be 'real'! Hannah is sooooo proud to be blind! I asked her the other day if she would ever want to get her eyes 'fixed', so that she could see with them, and she said, "no." (BTW: There is not a surgery to fix her eyes. We would have done that if it was available) She is not missing out on anything, as far as she is concerned,and she LOVES LIFE!!!!!!

Okay, enough of my rambling... Here is the essay:
by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability- to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip -to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

" Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ...about Holland.

Reprinted with permission from Emily Perl Kinglsey. 1987 copyright by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved.

Read CreativeParents.com interview with Emily Perl Kingsley.

This could not have described my feelings any better, if I had been able to come up with this myself!

I hope you are blessed as much in reading this as I was. Even if you do not have children with special needs, hopefully this will enlighten you as to how 'we' feel.

Cat shewd momma, cat shewd...

This is what I heard from Luca this morning, after running down to the basement to throw a load of laundry in the washer... (only gone about 3-5 minutes...)

This is what I saw...

(So thoughtful to share with his 'blind' brother, right???)

There is a big pile behind him too, in the kitchen... I promise you, that the cat food was out of reach!!!!!! What I did not take into account, is that he is smart enough to take the stool over to the counter, to help in reaching things... :-( When I came up, and he saw me, he said, "No corna, no corna!" (said in a New England type accent.) I did not put him in the corner, I buckled him into his booster seat, so I could clean up the mess!

Dixie, and GLA, I promise that Meow Mix is not part of our family 'snack plan'!!! lol...
Throughout the day, I kept stepping on more cat food. Meow mix has such aestetic colors, that some of the browns blended right into our wood floors...

The Livesay's, missionaries in Haiti, and another blog that I read, have coined the phrase,
"TIH--meaning This is Haiti."

My phrase is going to be, "TIL--This is Luca..."

It had to go...

Because of the cat food incident, Jonas had cat food crumbs all through his hair. He has been putting a lot of food and snot in his hair lately, and I am tired of cleaning it out. For those of you that don't have black children, their hair is like carpet, and trying to get food out of carpet is not easy... So, I shaved him...He was not impressed... But after the lollipop, he was fine with whatever I did! :-)

(if you click on this pic, you will see what I mean!)

I think he looks so cut bald! He has a great shaped head! He sucked that lollipop to the stick...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Let the pics speak for themselves...

This happened Thursday afternoon...

Really, I have not posted these until I was half way over this... Why do these things always happen on new carpet???

Katie Todd--I am blaming all of this on you!!!!!!!!!! :-)

The pics really do not due this justice, because little pieces were all through the carpet. And, when you read this, you need to have a poopy diaper on your lap.

Laurie W., you should have a few of these to sniff while reading... lol...

The one pic that does need some explanation, is the one that has clothes in the heat/air vent... Yah, he put the poop down in the vent and then covered it up with dirty clothes from the laundry basket. (hopefully this creativity takes him other places in life)

I received many jewels in my crown that day, because he is still breathing air! :-)

My sister-in-law, who lives 2 doors down took Luca to her house so I could start cleaning. About ten minutes later a friend of mine shows up to help clean the mess up. Thanks Shannon and Erin--you are life savers! We did get it all up with no remaining stains. I am still going to call the carpet cleaner guy this week.

Katie Todd--I can hear you laughing all the way from Ossian!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for praying...

Remember the little boy, Owen, that I posted about earlier this week? He is the 16 month old that fell into a small pool of water for maybe up to 10 minutes. (no one really knows...) God is performing that miracle that we have all been praying for!!! Here is an update on Owen, from his dad, Micah.
And here is Micah's update from Friday:

Wow! What a roller coaster of emotions I have been going through. Today was no different, but ended the same, with me being more confident than ever that the prayers for Owen ARE working!!! I know a miracle is taking place in this hospital!

Throughout the morning, Owen was pretty much the same. During the day, they Dr. did decrease the amount of breaths he is given from 18 to 15 to 10 by the evening!!! He is almost initiating all of the breaths he is taking on his own! They are also letting him stay awake a little while longer each time to initiate the events that will lead to taking away the ventilator and meds. The Dr. told me this morning that it could be up to two weeks before he was off of the ventilator, but by the evening, she was very optimistic and stated this could happen as early as Sunday night or Monday!!! Praise God!

The one thing that made my day was by a nurse. This nurse was here when "O" arrived on Sunday. She has not been here all week. When she came in tonight and got the status, and then checked on him, she told me, "He looks and sounds wonderful." Those words will stick with me for a long time. She stated that on Sunday, things didn't look good and she didn't know what to expect. She said that he looks so much better than she would have ever expected! That, in its self, is a miracle. She was just so happy and that just filled my spirit. I wish Jen would have heard and seen her face.

Jen took Wyatt home tonight to put him to bed. Wyatt got to spend all day with us at the hospital. He even took his nap here (a miracle if you know him). He is starting to act out a little because he needs more of our attention, but truthfully, he has never been better.

We, like you, are praying for a complete recovery. Although the Doctors say we won't know how much damage his brain has until he is completely off of the meds and ventilator for a few days, we are just blessed that things are looking MUCH BETTER! We have been told that Owen might need to go to rehab and might have to take medicine for a little while, but these are truly words of encouragement. We believe we will get Own back! I have been telling people that when this is over, I am throwing a huge party and the thousands of people praying for him will be invited. :-)

Continue to pray for his complete healing. He could possibly still digress, but with each passing day, the chances of that decrease (Dr. and nurse's words).

Keep praying! I will keep updating you!

With me and my family's sincere gratitude and love,



Please keep little Owen and his family in your prayers!!!

God is not done with this little life.

Running on Fumes...

So, I know that being a mom is not easy...duh... But why have I felt so run down lately? It could be that I am staying up to late...It could be that I have 4 children, and 3 of them have special needs. Actually, Luca does to: He has BBTYO(Big Bad Two Year Old Syndrome :-)

But, I had an "Ah-hah" moment today: The reason I feel so run down, is that I spend most of my waking hours meeting the needs of my children and my husband. Who is meeting my needs?
(I am not trying to have a pitty party here, or sound selfish! Just trying to be real...)

Ryan is very busy with work, coaching volleyball, and he is right in the middle of his master's program. He also has a student teacher this semester that he is in charge of. So, his time is limited. My kids do fulfill me, don't get me wrong, but most of the time, because of their ages, they are in "need" of something that I have to do or get. The older two are much more independent, but because of their special needs, they can not do everything independently yet.

So, here is my question for all of you moms out there, or anyone with advice: How do I fulfill my needs and not feel guilty about it? What are some things that you do to fill yourself up?

I know that by doing this I will be a much better wife and mom!!!

Thanks in advance for all of your help!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Please pray...

This week has shown me how short life really is, and how we do not know when our last breath will be...

Sunday brought a lot of tears. Upon arriving to church, I was informed that a friend from church had found out the night before that her husband had been killed that morning in a semi collision. He was a truck driver, and he called to talk to his wife just 7 minutes before the accident happened. The accident was so horrific that she did not get word about it until 8:30 that night. He leaves behind his wife Kim, and 4 children: 3 boys and 1 girl. The children are 10,8,6, and 2. The little girl is 6, and she has Down Syndrome. This happened last Saturday, and they just got confirmation yesterday of his death because dental records had to be sent out to Oklahoma. Please be in prayer for this family, and the long and tough road ahead of them!!!

From our Pastor today:

Thanks, too, for your continued prayers for the Earling family. We met with the funeral director today to make arrangements, and we now have that information to pass along. There will be visitation on Monday (9/29/08) at Avalon from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Then at 7 p.m. we will hold a brief memorial service at Avalon so that we can come together as a church family to pray for and show our support for Kim and the kids and also declare all together our hope in the midst of death. Then on Tuesday (9/30/08) there will be visitation at Meeks Mortuary in Muncie, IN, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a Memorial Service at the funeral home at 1 p.m.

Also, we have established a fund at the church for Kim and the kids. Folks who wish to contribute toward this fund can make their checks to "Avalon Missionary Church" and indicate "Earling Family Fund" on the check. All the money contributed to this fund will be shared with Kim and the family for their support.

At the Earling home folks continue to bring in meals and show their love for the family in a variety of ways. Your practical love and care for the family is serving as a wonderful witness to Christ and to the love that He has shown to each one of us. Thanks for making a difference!


Later Sunday afternoon, I found out that Micah's Sunday school teacher: Agnes Saddington, had found out horrific news about her youngest grandson. To make a long story short, he is 16 months old, and was staying with family while the mom was competing in a triathalon. Sometime Sunday morning, he got out of site of his care givers, and fell into a small puddle/pool of water. I don't know if they know how long he was on conscious, but when found he was rushed to the local hospital and put on life support. The doctor said that he 'believes in miracles', and that Owen was going to 'need a miracle to pull out of this.'


Here is an update from my pastor today on Owen:

Thanks for your continued prayers for the Saddingtons and for little Owen. There hasn't been a whole lot of change since our previous updates, but there have been some signs of hope. Agnes shared with me today that they have been giving him some nourishment and his stomach seems to be tolerating that well. Doctors are also encouraged by the progress in healing that they see as they review daily chest x-rays. Doctors have also said that it takes a lot for the brain to tell the body to cough, and Owen has been coughing. And it apparently takes a lot for the brain to tell the eyes to respond, and his eyes have been responding. All of these things are encouraging. He will have a CT scan on Thursday morning. It may be a few more days yet before doctors have a real handle on his condition, but they say that he is making some amazing progress. Let's continue to keep this little guy in our prayers for a miracle of healing. Let's also continue to pray for the family. It's obviously difficult to have to be in a pattern of waiting on the healing process and there have been many burdens this week. Agnes continues to say how grateful they are for your prayers and love!

Please pass this prayer request onto anyone that you know!!! Their family is really feeling attacked this week! They also have a 3 year old son, and on Monday or Tuesday, he was stung by 20 yellow jackets... He is fine, but in the midst of everything else going on...you just ask, "WHY?????"

Brad and Vanessa Johnson...

Brad and Vanessa Johnson run Mission of Hope Haiti. I met Vanessa when she was an Admission's Counselor at Huntington College: Now Huntington University. She was a great mentor to me at that time in my life, and a lot of her relationship, with her now husband, Brad; paralleled my relationship with Ryan.

Brad and Vanessa now run Mission of Hope Haiti.

In this video below, Brad is being interviewed by CBS Miami. Please keep the people of Haiti in your prayers! The lasting effects of these storms are going to impact the people of Haiti for a VERY long time.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Monday, September 22, 2008

Africa: our conversaion...

This was the conversation between Micah and I today in the car, on our way to the doctor's office.


Micah: "Mom, what do they eat in Africa?"
Me: "Well, they eat a lot of rice and beans, meat, fruit, and vegetables."
Micah: "Where do they eat people?"

(don't ask me how, but Hannah and Micah had a conversation a couple months ago, and Hannah did not believe Micah when he said that some people eat people. Hannah likes to make up "funny sentences", and one was: "One day I ate a person." Then she laughs hysterically!!! (remember, she has a VERY morbid sense of humor. :-) So, the day of the conversation, I briefly told Hannah that cannabolism is real, but it does not go on any where around here, only in very remote parts of Africa. END OF CONVERSATION...

Me: "Where do they eat people????"
Micah: "Yah, you said that some people in Africa eat people."
Me: "Yes, in certain places they do, but it is very rare!"
Micah: "Do they kill the people before they eat them?"
Me: "Yes, they kill the people before they eat them." (I don't know???)
Micah: "I would like to try that sometime."
Me: "Try what?"
Micah: "Eating people." (he was so serious, I had to keep from laughing)
Me: "I think eating a person would taste very gross!!!!!!!"
Micah: "I don't! Someday I would like to try that."
Me: "Wouldn't that make you sad; to eat a person???"
Micah: "How do they kill the people?"
Me: "I don't know..." (this is the CRAZIEST conversation I have EVER had with him!)
Me: "Micah, this is something that you would never want to do! There are just certain people in Africa that do this, and it is a part of their culture.

He was still very insistent that this is something that he would want to do when he visits Africa! I am so glad that he never asked me if they only eat adults, etc... I wanted to keep the conversation G-PG. Where did this come from???? What in the world was his little brain thinking??? He dropped this as quick as he brought it up: THANK GOODNESS!!! :-) Our conversation was WAY MORE detailed that this, but this is all I could remember. Someone told me that I should take a mini tape recorder with me in the car.... lol...

(This truly does go on in the Northern part of Uganda!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Girl talk...

So, the phone rang this afternoon after the kids were home, and I answered it: This is how it went...

Me: "Hello."
Alyssa: "Is Hannah there?"
Me: "Yes, may I ask who is calling?"
Alyssa: "This is Alyssa. Can I talk with Hannah?"
Me: "Sure, here she is."
Me: "Hannah, Alyssa from your class is on the phone and she wants to talk with you."

So, from there it went. So, if you tried to call me from about 5pm-5:45, Hannah was on the phone with Alyssa and her twin sister Olivia. :-) Wow, I never thought it would start this early, but I am so glad that it has!!! Alyssa and Olivia are 2 of Hannah's favorite friends at school. She is always talking about playing with them at recess, and eating with them at lunch.

If I think about this too long, it will make me cry. I have always prayed that Hannah would be accepted by her peers, despite her blindness. She is, and they love playing with her as much as she loves playing with them. It makes my heart melt, just thinking about it!!! There was a time, not too long ago, that Hannah would have preferred being with adults and not kids her own age. She would tell us that, "Ryan and I were her best friends." Even though I thought that was very sweet, and I love that she loves being with us so much, I also longed for her to have some 'true' friendships. I was always scared that kids would shy away from her because of her blindness, and that is not the case at all!

God is sooooooo good, and my little "Hannah Banana" is growing up right before my eyes.
It is goes wayyyyyyyyy too fast!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hollywood in Haiti...

I know, it sounds like a strange paradigm, but some of tinsel town are making their way down to Haiti to help! Maybe someone with the notoriety, like Matt Damon, can spread the word to a people group, Hollywood, that you and I could never reach. I don't care how the plight gets spread, just as long as Haiti is not forgotten!!!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

The belly button reveal...

It even looks better today. These pics were taken 2,3, and 6 days post op. The REALLY bad bruising was in between the 3rd and 6th day! It was all a plum purple color. It looked very ouchy! I will take a pic tomorrow. What I am amazed at, is that you cannot even see the incision under his belly button! It really looks GREAT!

I'm a BIG BOY now...

Yep, I have 2 boys that are learning to use the potty now!!! I could tell that Jonas was tooting, so I just decided to see what he would do if I put him on the potty. He sat and played for a couple minutes, then he got really serious and pooped and peed on the potty! Can you believe it??? There really might be a day that we don't buy diapers anymore! We will be able to take the most fabulous vacation with all of the money that we save in diapers, pull-ups, and goodnights!

I was going to take a pic of the "success" on the potty, but I thought that some of you might have grossed out. I almost did it though! I was so excited, and he did not get it at all. He was probably just thinking, "Dixie, (director of GLA) you really did pick out a crazy mom for me!!!" lol...

***BTW: Please ignore what the bathroom looks like! It was even uglier before I ripped up the carpet and tore down the wallpaper!!! I am awesome at creating projects for my husband! :-) This is on our 'to-do' list for this year. It is the smallest bathroom you have ever seen too! You could literally sit on the toilet, wash your hands in the sink, and soak your feet in the tub; without even moving! lol...

Friday, September 12, 2008

4 months home today...

(I copied this text from an e-mail, and blogger does not like me, so the paragraphs look funny!)

Really, how have 4 months passed by so quickly? This update is so long
overdue, sorry. I started one 2 weeks ago, and in the middle of it,
cyberspace ate it. sigh... So, this will be in bullet points.

What Jonas is doing now:

-feeding himself with his right hand. He will use a spoon with assistance.
-starting to army crawl. Moves all over the place in his own way!
-standing holding on to something for long periods of time.
-Always has both feet on the ground when standing.
-loves to swing, and be in his johnny jumper.
-JUST IN THE PAST COUPLE DAYS: taking steps when someone is holding
his hands. His therapist says that he will not need a walker when he
learns how to walk.
-He LOVES to wrestle and be rough housed!
-Some language is emerging: Speech always takes a back seat to Gross
Motor skill learning. He is understanding and following
commands more and more.
-He does a lot of repeating simple sounds and mimicking us. He
especially does this with Luca, our 2 year old.
-His bald spot is 'almost' gone! ;-)
-plays with all sorts of toys, and really enjoys toys that make music.
He will play with these appropriately to make the sounds or songs.

Things that he has overcome:

-A lot of his self-stimming behaviors are gone. He still does some and
we are going to start some things to reduce these. the biggest one is
taking his right thumb and hitting himself in the cheek, neck, head.
Sometimes really hard. I am going to buy a hip carrier to see if
carrying him around more will help. We are also going to start
'listening therapy'. The OT will be doing this with him. It is
supposed to stimulate the vestibular part of the brain to componsate
for the self stimulation.

-NO MORE 'FREAK-OUTS'! I know you guys at GLA know what I mean... But,
I think we found the root problem. Lactose Intolerance... He has been
on lactose free and soy milk products for the last 3 weeks, and he is
a DIFFERENT BOY!!! The poor baby, I was comforting him through these
'freak outs' with bottles of 'milk', and making it worse! He does not
have gas, diahrhea, or crying outbursts any more.

-He is eating normally, and has been for a long time now. I have him
down to 2 bottles a day (morning, and after nap). Everything else is
from a sippy cup that he holds by himself or a regular cup, that he
holds all by himself.

-He no longer holds his left leg up anymore when standing.

-He does AWESOME in new and strange situations now! I don't bring
bottles or food with me anywhere to calm him now.

-He never throws himself back anymore when being held. He really is
acting like a normal 2 1/2 year old in a lot of ways.

Therapies that he is in:

Physical Therapy: 3 times/week: She is working on standing, crawling,
balance, transitioning, standing from a sitting position. She called
me yesterday when I was in Indy with Micah at an Ortho appointment.
She had just finished Jonas's therapy and she said that he did
awesome! He is starting to use his left hand/arm more than she has
ever seen him do. she also said that he kept saying ma ma, very clear.

Occupational Therapy: 2 times/week: She was working on feeding himself
and he mastered that in about one week. She was also working on
drinking out of an open cup, and he mastered that in about 2 weeks.
She said that she goes home at night and her mind reels about all the
things that she wants to do with him. She will be bumping up his
sessions so that she can get more time in with him. She is still
working with him to get a strong chew. Another interesting thing that
she is going to start with him is 'listening therapy'. I do not know
much about it yet, but will be learning soon. What I do know is that
he will listen to sounds, music, tones, through special headphones to
achieve different goals. Our biggest goal right now is to really
stimulate his vestibular system so he does not need to 'self-stim'
anymore. It will be interesting, and I will let you all know how it goes.

Speech Therapy: 1 time/week: One thing about speech therapy, is that
it really overlaps with OT in the beginning. She is working on some
simple signs with him, because kids that are overcoming gross motor
delays really put speech on the back burner. The brain can only focus
on so many things at once. He is definitely showing comprehension of
Creole and English. He will follow simple commands, especially when
dealing with eating. He will search for an object near by that has
sound when asked to. Most of these commands I am still saying in
Creole and then repeating them in English. I want to give him the
benefit of the doubt, so I am probably still speaking too much Creole
to him. We really want him to start communicating with some signs, so
he can tell us his needs. He does not get frustrated, so I must be
getting him what he wants??? He is a pretty laid back guy, so that
does work in everyone's favor! :-)

He LOVES all of his therapists are rarely cries during therapy. His PT
says that he is her only client that usually laughs all the way
through therapy. He just loves learning, and craves all of these new
things that he is learning!


Tuesday we had a meeting with Fort Wayne Community Schools to
transition Jonas from First Steps (0-3 therapy), to pre-school. I
know, it seems wayyyyyy to early, but at age 3, special needs children
are transitioned into the public school. The outcome of the meeting:
The head of pre-school special ed wants to place him into the
preschool/kindergarten school that my older 2 kids attended. Micah is
still there in Kindergarten. It is a PHENOMONAL school (Whitney Young
Early Childhood Center), and they integrate 5 special needs kids to
the 15 typical developing kids. The typical developing children are
4-5 years. It is great modeling for the sn kids! Both Hannah and Micah
went this route and did great! There are always 4 adults in the
classroom and one is a special needs teacher. He will also receive his
therapies right at school, and his current therapists still want to
see him. He will go through a gamet of testing over the next couple
months, and then in December we will reconvine to place him. He will
start when he turns 3.


We are truly blessed to have Jonas in our family, and I thank God all
of the time for giving him to us! The kids are doing great with him.
Luca has finally adjusted, but he himself is a WHOLE other story! :-)
He is into his terrible 2's and gets into EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!! This
is a very challenging juggling act to work on things with Jonas, and
at the same time make sure that Luca is not destroying something in
the house! :-)

I think that is all for now, and I am sure that I forgot so many
things to say.

Oh, by the way: He was in to see the pediatrician this week, and he is
having a growth spurt! He is now 30 lbs.
10 oz, and 36 inches long. Last month is was a pound lighter and an
inch shorter. He really is a 'brown' Hubley!

Look, my bald spot is filling in!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On a much lighter note...

This is what I walked into today when Luca woke up from his nap. He was calling, "Mom, Mom, Mommy."

This is what was in the drawer: winter pajamas. So, the inevitable has come: we MUST take down the crib. We will put up his toddler bed this weekend, but we do have a net that we can "tent" him back in a crib if the toddler bed turns into a disaster. :-) This crib was loaned to us from a friend, and thank goodness he did not break the drawer!

The next pics are from our walk before going in and getting baths, and getting ready for bed. Luca wanted a walk in the stroller, and Micah decided to come along too. Why the hard hat and goggles you ask??? Micah said that he was protecting his head from falling nuts. ;-) He is our resident safety guy! He is going to HATE this pic when he is older. :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Damage to human life in Haiti...

Here is a link to a great, but hard to watch narrated photos series by The Miami Herald. It really puts everything into perspective!


A tribute to Berlancia...

There has been a tribute video made, by a volunteer that was at GLA, for Berlancia and Anna, her GLA "mommy". This is the little girl that I blogged about a few days ago, that lost her life to AIDS. Anna was a "mommy" to many of the challenged kids at GLA, and Jonas was one of hers.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Aid for Haiti storm victims...

Click onto this link to see footage.


A Country under water with no hope...

Many of you know that Haiti has been hit by 3 hurricanes in the past 3 weeks. For most of Haiti, it has caused lots of rain and high winds. But for the port city of Gonaive, Haiti's 3rd largest city, it has been disasterous!!!! Flooding is bad anywhere, but for a city in Haiti where the city dump is ANYWHERE, and you wash your clothes in the same river where you use the bathroom, you can imagine how deadly flooding can be. If you are not drown, most haitians do not know how to swim, you will probably die from walking around and accidentaly drinking sewage water. It might not even be on accident; this might and probably is the only water that is accessable to you and your already starving children.

For my readers, as you sit in your dry homes today please pray for the people in Haiti!!!! These people not deserving of any less than what we are privaliged to have. We are just the lucky ones that were born into a developed country!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is a message that was sent by Dixie Bickel; Director of God's Littlest Angels Orphanage. (Where Jonas lived)

Hurricane Update
More rain and wind and an already wounded Haiti is devastated! The photos I have attached are of the Gonaïve area on the west coast of Haiti. Gonaïve is situated on a river that comes out of the mountains inland of Gonaive. The old colonial drainage system has not been repaired or much has been destroyed. The government has not repaired the system or put in a new system, so the city floods when we have storms that come through.
The attached photos were provide by Joel Trimble from Haiti for Christ Ministries and also, Missionary Aviation Fellowship.
We received this email from Yvonne Trimble. (
Dear friend,

Ike rained and blew all night on poor Haiti. This morning it is still raining and blowing. While we are safe on a mountain in Port au Prince, the northwest of Haiti is experiencing a natural disaster of unimaginable proportions.

Tropical Storm Hanna flooded Gonaives and claimed more than 500 lives in the past week. Now Hurrican Ike is dumping more wind and rain on the battered region. This morning we received a first hand report of a missionary there who said, "Forty children in the orphanage are eating flour, because they have not had food for five days." This same missionary is using bleach to purify contaminated well water for drinking. While human and animal cadavers float in the flood waters surrounding the facility. They have no other choice though as the UN is NOT DISTRIBUTING RELIEF.

The UN received 33 tons of relief for the region yesterday and it is warehoused in Gonaives, to date they have not distributed any of it. We received a message from a Haitian pastor in Gonaives who said his wife walked 18 hours through mud and flood waters to get food for her family. She returned empty handed, even with cash she could not find food; BECAUSE THE UN IS HOLDING THE FOOD BACK IN THE WAREHOUSES. It is rumored they will sell the relief after the storm.
This same family said, they "are waiting for death." This is not an overstatement of the situation in Haiti. We need your help now. You can go on line and find the name of your Congress men and you United States Senators with their phone numbers. Call them today and tell them that the UN is NOT DISTRIBUTING RELIEF IN HAITI. That you know the situation is worsening by the minute and thousands are at risk, in fact 600,000 Haitians have been displaced without food and water for days now.

As of Sunday morning, aid had arrived in Gonaive but due to fear of rioting, it had not been distributed according to missionaries in Gonaive. People have been without food AND water for 6 days now. Orphanages in the area have children without food and water.

The UN that is suppose to distribute the food and water. The US, Canada, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, The Netherlands, and other countries supporting the UN should demand that this food be distributed!

Another missionary, Licia Zachary Betor with Real Hope for Haiti, in the village of Cazele said that at 3 AM on Sunday morning, a wall of water swept through the village of Cazele. There is a small, shallow river that runs through the middle of the village. They are assuming that a mud slide in the mountains caused the wall of water to sweep down and flood the village. It took out the foot bridge over the river and swept people away. Licia heard that the road to the village was cut in half by the fast moving water and so the village is isolated, but she did not know for certain yesterday afternoon if that was true. Go to her blog at: http://haitirescuecenter.wordpress.com/ to read more about the flood.

Please be praying for Haiti. Due to the flooding and devastation, schools will not open until October 6. Your help is needed more than ever to help the Haitian children.

And life in Haiti goes on...
Dixie Bickel, RN
God's Littlest Angels
Orphanage Director