Monday, September 24, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
The letter that Lori translated for Christella's Mom.
I am Guerda, the mother of Christella. Christella was a baby that I had without pain and when I was pregnant with her I never felt a thing and I was never sick. It was when she was born, I saw that she had something on her back that was giving a lot of pus (fluid). I didn't deliver her in the hospital. When she was born at 11pm and I saw her back, we ran with her and took her to Bernard Mevs Hospital because we were very scared for her. When I got to the hospital, there wasn't a doctor there. There wasn't any beds either, but the nurses looked at her. They said that there was no doctor right then but the nurses all agreed that they would hold her until morning when the doctor would come.
He said that they couldn't do anything. After that, I went to my house. This gave me many problems when they told me that they could do nothing for my child. The next day, I left my house very early so that I could go to another hospital called St. Catherines Hospital in Cite Soley, Port-au-Prince. This hospital didn't even receive her. They sent me to General Hospital, which is the big government hospital. At that time the General Hospital was on strike and they weren't really working. They told me that they couldn't do anything for her because that day they had 5 children die in the hospital. After that I was obligated to return to Bernard Mevs hospital. It was then that I found a doctor that said he would admit Christella to the hospital. Then he told me that she needed an operation, I asked how much money I had to give him. That doctor told me that I had to give him $5000 Haitian dollars (US$675). I told the doctor that I couldn't ever give him that much money because I didn't have it. Then he humiliated and made fun of me in front of many people. He said that he would never do anything for me or Christella. He never took care of her again.
I had to leave the hospital, but I still came back. After some time, a doctor wanted to operate, but he couldn't see in what way he would do the operation. He sent me back to my house again. After that, I just asked God what to do for my child because I didn't have any money. I didn't have anything at all. I couldn't work and care for my 2 year old twin girls. My husband couldn't find work. All I could do was pray because I had nothing else. It was during that time that her back healed and didn't have any fluid coming out of it again.
After some time, it opened back up again. I took her several other places and I can't even remember them all. Her back would leak fluid off and on throughout all of these months. I finally told Christella's godmother that I wanted to try to go to a hospital of white people with her. She responded that she would take me to a distant village called Kazale where there were good white people that believed in God and help people a lot.
Without even thinking, I said let's go with her now. When I got to Kazale, I found the white people's clinic. The man at the gate looked at her and let us in. When I got inside the clinic, they made a chart and they the white lady look at her. She sent me to Healing Hands. The doctor said that he would never touch my child. He said that if she was operated on she would die. I chose not to listen to him because he was encouraging me to give up and let her die. I couldn't lose hope.
I returned to the Kazale clinic and they made a way for Christella to have an operation for water on her brain. They put in a tube that has helped her a lot. He couldn't believe that she lived. After she was discharged from the hospital, I went back to Kazale to see Lori. Christella's back was leaking and she wasn't doing very well. Lori took some pictures and gave me some medicine. I took Christella home and gave her the medicine and put cream on her back. It healed up and stopped leaking. Lori called me that weekend and told me that she wanted to get Christella's birth certificate and come to Kazale on Sunday. I did that and she told me that there were some very good white people trying to help Christella by finding a hospital and doctor that could do the surgery for free.
On Monday we started doing all the paperwork. I couldn't believe it was all happening so fast. The white people said she needed an operation quickly and that they were going to do all that they could to get her to go to the United States so that an operation could be done. When she told me that I was very happy because I saw that God was doing HIS work for my child.
I don't recognize your face and I could never pay you for the services that you are donating for me child and my family, but God in Heaven will repay you.
Many, Many Thanks.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
After debating the options Kim and I decided that we would make a plan to take the girls home to Haiti. And it's going to be VERY SOON. So we have lots of planning and packing to do and we are truly excited about this adventure.
God's hand is already at work.
We emailed to ask if it would be OK to come to COTP for a couple days to visit our boys/help out and got an email back that from the director of COTP who is going to be in Port WITH ISAAC the same day that we arrive and the day our flight goes from PAP to CAP. (From one side of Haiti to the other.) Isaac will be having his INS appointment that day. What a wonderful blessing it will be to have D. and Isaac with us during part of our travels... and it's an exciting distraction away from leaving the girls.
Thank you Lord!!!
P.S. I will be trying my best to get my camera repaired this week. If any parents have any special picture requests while I am at COTP let me know!! :)
Thursday, September 13, 2007
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response,the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone andask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm onthe phone?" Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because noone can see me at all. I'm invisible. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm noteven a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guideto answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Rightaround 5:30, please."I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and theeyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter.
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the returnof a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip,and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sittingthere, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hardnot to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-styledress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashedhair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smellpeanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned tome with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It wasa book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'dgiven it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which Icould pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we haveno record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will eversee it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost asif I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices youmake every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you'vedone, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me tonotice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't seeright now what it will become."At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness.It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspectivewhen I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I 'd built a shrine or amonument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there isanything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
Great Job, MOM
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
My camera is broken and waiting to go to the repair shop. The zoom isn't working and it won't close or even try to take any pictures. So hopefully we can get it fixed and new pictures will be coming soon.
Ella is very sick. Please keep her in your prayers. She has been running a fever since Monday morning. She went to the doc Monday and it seems that she has another UTI... the meds should be kicking in and hopefully her fever will start to come down soon. It does go down as long as I keep the tylenol coming, but it has been as high as 105... now its 102, this morning 104... and last night 103.5. She is miserable so I want to see her get healthy soon! It seems like its been weeks of her on antibiotics for different things. Keep Christella in your prayers. If she isn't better tomorrow, she will be going back to the doctor. (He said give the antibiotics 48 hours to start working and seeing a difference, that's this afternoon... I am hoping we see some positive changes.)
Isaac news: I just heard this morning that IBESR has everything that they need as far as fixing the paperwork goes. They are signing out files again and we are hoping to hear that they will sign us out soon! But no specific news as to when/if that will happen. :(
School: Homeschooling is moving at a snails pace with a sick baby... but this week started the home school classes for the kids. Lauren and David have class two days a week and the other kids on another two days... so it makes for a busy week. L and D are taking the bus 1.5 hour each way to get to and from there. But at least it gives them time to get homework done! Everyone is happy classes have started back up again and they are especially happy to see all their friends of course. I just wish that we lived closer so it wasn't such a haul getting everyone to and from all the time.
Nothing else too newsy happening... we are still waiting on word from Salem as to when we will be taking the babies to her to go home. So I am working on going through clothes, supplies etc. and getting the scrapbooks for the girls done so that everything is ready to go when we get the call. Another big task is getting through the records and paperwork and getting them in order. Praying Ella heals fast before they go home!
Blessings and Happy Wed. :)
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Here are some recent pictures from Jeremy. Well not really from him, but from his MYspace page. We haven't heard from him directly in weeks now. He must be busy with life and busy figuring out who he is... still. Last we heard he was still in New Orleans and is living in this old house that he might be working on also. He seems to get online daily to check his myspace but isn't replying to our messages.? His 21st birthday is this month and we miss him. Jeremy-if you are reading this we are worried about you. He has been living in New Orleans doing volunteer work for many months now and lives without an income. Some of the pictures of him are from the Rainbow Gathering... he looks happy...
I copied this from her blog she has been working so hard and I am so proud of her and what she has been able to help put together...
I'm just so excited.
I think I told everyone at one point that I have been in contact with some great people from Operation Smile. We have been working to get surgery for some adults in Haiti that have never had their cleft lips/palates repaired.
Very SOON Operation Smile will be sending a team to Haiti to explore the idea of starting cleft repair trips there. While on this trip though, they wanted to actually do some surgeries so they will (Lord willing!) be doing surgery on some adult cleft patients that Lori (Real Hope for Haiti) has found and given me the information on. I am SOOOO excited and blessed to be a part of this.
PLEASE pray that this goes extra smoothly. A lot has to come together in a short amount of time, but this is such an incredible opportunity for these people in Haiti. Something they probably never dared to hope they might get.
And if you have a minute - pop on over to the Operation Smile website - they are an incredible organization doing amazing things. http://www.operationsmile.org/
Picture: We hope most of these patients can get surgery. Yes, one of them is Schinders father!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007