Monday, June 17, 2013

Hello Again

You know how sometimes you get so behind that you're not sure where to even start in catching people up? Well, that's how I feel now. I've always found that lists help me get life straightened out, so here's a list of a what's been going on lately.

1. I had a visit from more of my family. They were here for almost 3 weeks, and every moment I had with them I treasured. In a month that will go down as easily one of the worst I've experienced here, they brought sunshine and laughter and comfort and game playing and American goodies and camaraderie and so much more. It's really a gift when the people you love so much are there with you to walk through dark times. Have I mentioned before how blessed I am to have a huge family who are all willing to come see me??
David regaling us with some tunes
Sunday afternoon fun
Lawson and Joel. Could this be any sweeter?
Victoria Falls, the Boiling Pot
 2. Christianna Murphy, the daughter of my dear friends Rob and Christa Murphy, died unexpectedly at their home here in Kalomo on Thursday, May 23. Christa is the doctor who comes out weekly to treat our babies, and she's been a close friend and partner in our work here for years. They have gone back to the States to bury Christianna and spend time together as a family healing, processing, and figuring out what is next for them. Please pray for them during this tragic time of such great loss.To say I miss Christa and her family would be a massive understatement.

 3. Luis died on Friday morning, May 24. He was a premature little one who never started gaining weight well. He died after a week of tests, treatments, and a day on oxygen. Numerous tests couldn't confirm what was going on in his sweet little body.
 4. Misheck had been in and out of the hospital for a month. His last stint in the hospital ended with the doctor saying there is nothing left to do for him but love him and wait and see if he could make it until we received definitive HIV test results. He died on Sunday, May 26 before his results came back. Watching him suffer was painful and long, and it took its toll on our hearts.

 5. Monday, May 27 we buried Luis.
6. Tuesday, May 28 we held Christianna's memorial service at the Haven.
7. Thursday, May 30 we buried Misheck.

It was a week of intense exhaustion, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I never want one like that again.

8. We've said goodbye to quite four babies this month. It just doesn't get easier, but all of them are going to people that love them and are now able to take care of them, which makes us so happy.
Marissa and Maya went home with their grandmother and aunt.
Nico went home with her grandmother.
Chileleko went home with his grandmother.
Wade went home with his father
9. As many have been going, many have been arriving, too. Meet Wendy...
and Oswell...

and Jay...


 10. The wonderful Kenna Daggett came to volunteer at the Haven for a month, and she was a huge blessing to all of us. She was helpful, kind, perceptive, and really took time to get to know the aunties and connect with them in special ways. We miss her already!

11. The Harding Speech Pathology grad students just spent a month at the Haven working with our kids and doing some hands on learning themselves. It was really nice to have all the extra hands around and to learn some of the therapies they do that can benefit our kids. They also brought an occupational therapist, sweet Reagan, who taught us all infant massage and the ways that can be beneficial to all of our little ones. We're grateful for all their help!

12. The day I dropped my cousins off last week I picked up our 4 summer interns. They are Colette, Hanna, Kamri, and Kelly, and they are going to be helping in all sorts of ways this summer! Right now they are still getting acclimated and getting to know all the babies and aunties, but they'll soon be helping out with language classes, play times, and just partnering with us to nurture and love our little ones. We're so excited to have them here with us!

I think life is finally slowing down a bit, or maybe I'm just consciously slowing down a bit. But either way, it feels nice and I'm going to bed at night not worried about what all may go wrong in the night. I'm so grateful for all your prayers and sweet e-mails during this last month. I know they've helped sustain me, and I try not to take for granted just how blessed I am to have this community of friends and family that loves me so well.