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Monday, September 13, 2010

Canaan new kids

And lives continue to be changed.....

Today, life changed for 3 Haitian children. They came to live at Canaan Christian Community, and with it the opportunity of a totally different life to what they would have had before. Not everything will always be glorious for them I'm sure, but they will have the normal future opportunities that all children in the world should have - a chance to be loved, a chance for an education, and a chance for a future. So many Haitian children don't have all three.
Juveterson (nickname Sonson) and Stephania (nickname FaFan) Plaisir are brother and sister - no mom. Sonson is 5 yrs old and Fafan is 3. Mykenly Saintelmy will be 5 months old on the 19th of Sept. I took them down to the clinic for a bit of a physical.
I also took Caleb and Maralucia for weight checks. Caleb is 7 months old today and weighs 16 pounds. Honestly, that's a lot of weight to be carrying around all the time. My shoulder is feeling it (or is it because of my age :( ? I feel this last month he has become a lot more solid weight. Having said that, I guess he's not all that heavy, cause the other babies seem to be passing him. Mykenly (2 months younger) is the same weight (he was breastfed). Taina was only about 300 grams behind him a month ago. I'm not worried. Nobody looking at Caleb thinks he's malnourished. :) I guess I just got what I wished for in the beginning - I said I'd rather not have a baby with all those big rolls (though they make the baby look healthy, I don't want to carry that weight around - selfish, I know). Caleb continues to be such a joy - with a pleasant personality, very quick to laugh, and catching on to things quickly.

This last week, we had a preemie come to the clinic - the baby was born from 7 months and weighs 1.2 kg. (2.6 lbs) The mom needs a breast pump - would anyone have or know of one they'd be able to donate? We have people coming soon that could bring it if you could mail it to them (Both US and Canada). Can't be electric.

So Chibelson, the baby we took in 2 weeks ago is doing so awesome!!! He gained more in 4 days with us than the 10 weeks prior with the family (and we gave them Mamba for him as well). He's becoming more active and happy too, holding his head up well, and alert to what's going on (after all, he's 9 months already. He weighed 4 kg (8.7 lbs) on Tuesday). You can hardly see his ribs anymore. He's also following Maira around with his eyes. She's leaving next Monday - has done such an awesome job with him. This Friday we have Ashley coming to take over for her. Which is just in time. He needs a little more care, since he gets fed Mamba basically every hour. Pray about his future in 2 months. I don't want to give him back (nobody else does either). I think everybody is hoping the family won't come back for him, which is a possibility. They haven't proved they want to take care of a baby.

We have hired another baby caretaker (Asmine), just in time. We now have 5 babies under a year at Canaan. That's interesting, since it's been probably 7 years since they had a baby here. In the mornings the 2 ladies take care of at least 4 of them (Yolene takes care of her own usually, and sometimes helps with the others). They're a little overwhelmed by it today since the new one came, but they'll get the hang of it. First while he may be a little hard because he's used to breastfeeding. The mom just felt she could not take care of him; she has a two year old as well and since the earthquake can't find their father. I can't imagine I guess how difficult that would be - not having anything and losing the one person that might help with the family. He's a cute, chubby baby, as you'll see in the picture if I ever get it uploaded. It's so difficult to upload onto the blog.

OK, gotta go.

I gave up with the pictrues. See if this link to my FB works:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Benjamin Chivelson

I look at what my life was like 3 years ago and what it is now, and nobody would recognize me by what I do. Before, my life revolved so much around myself - all I did was work 9-5 to make money for myself, read, watch TV and once in awhile visit people. Now it's been weeks since I read a book, don't own TV, and my work doesn't pay. In my free time, I take care of my baby, write blogs, clean my house, talk to people that are visiting here, and to unwind at night, sometimes do suduko. Right now I wouldn't go back to the old life. Yes, it has many advantages, like drop your clothes in the washer at any time, pick them up half an hour later, drop them in the dryer, and voilĂ  - they're done! Or, driving on the road without getting frustrated at the incourteous drivers, or the comfortable weather (if it's hot, switch on the fan or a/c). Instead, I spend all evening doing my laundry in a washing machine where the ONLY thing that works is the washing motor (all the switches and the spinner have stopped working), plus you do it in the evening, it's hot (WHEN will summer be over here?), and I try to figure out what to do with a malnourished baby.

That has been the challenge this week, and I'm left astounded at how God answers prayers!! I'm praising Him! Not 24 hours after posting on Facebook about needing someone to help with this baby, I had someone offer to pay for his care. Not 48 hours later, I had someone actually respond saying she might be able to come do it for a month. Thank you, Ashley!!! I think God has a plan for this child. He's almost 9 months old and weighs 3.9 kg (about 8.5 pounds). He came to us about 10-12 weeks ago and was put in the Mamba program, but he has not been gaining well. There are only 2 reasons why a child does not gain well in the program - one is if they have HIV, it can be very challenging, or some other severe disease (though they can still gain). The other is the more common reason - THE CHILD DOES NOT GET THE MAMBA. This is what I believe is the case with this baby - Chibelson. (HIV is negative) I don't think the family is giving it to him. His mother died, he's brought here by a young aunt, but the sickly grandmother takes care of him at home. He has a dad, but apparently does not take care of him either. He has that unkempt look. I am really looking forward to seeing how he will look in 2 month of taking care of him. I will post a picture of him then.
I asked the family to bring him tomorrow for our decision. Please pray that everything goes well. We always make a paper with the judge, just in case something happens to him while he's in our care. Maira, a nurse that is visiting here from Edmonton, has offered to take care of him till Ashley gets here. That is so good of her, because he will need a lot of care and there goes most of her free time. Kendall, our first grade teacher, has also offered to help when out of school, so "many hands make light work".

School opened here today and most of the kids are excited. They're all walking around in their crisp uniforms, looking good. Kendall came for 3 months to teach the learning to read class. We're hoping she likes it enough to stay the year (I think there's a chance of persuading her :) - if she can just get used to the cockroaches. Teri is here for a couple weeks now, but planning to come back in October long term. Pray for her as she returns and prepares everything. It is a huge commitment, but her heart is here in Haiti, and I think she'll do great. She is overseeing the school, kind of being Gladys' eyes and hands.

Maira, who is a nurse (muslim) and a great person to have around, came for a month. We have lots of fun conversations about the differences in culture and beliefs. She is not Suni, the traditional muslims, so it's not so strange for her. She's leaving the 20th.

Sunday a week ago, we had a baptismal. Kendall had never been baptized and really wanted too, and then two of the other guys requested it too. Estime and Dionel. This was special. These guys came to work with the pigs a couple years ago, and have slowly through their faithfullness, learned to do a lot more. They get to all the odds and ends jobs, many of the difficult ones. Estime has learned construction and does a lot of the building now. It's great to see them opening up slowly, from very shy guys, to participating more in things.

We are in the process of hiring a couple doctors and an RN for our clinic. This will change a lot of how we do things, but it's good. We still Both need to sit down again and decide on the last things. As soon as that's done, they can start work. Both are trained in Cuba, so have a bit better education than locally trained. are Christians and seem to have the desire to help people, rather than make a lot of money.

And Caleb is continuing to grow beautifully, learning things like standing up in his crib, holding his own bottle (it's fun to see him learn to do that. He holds it, then gets distracted and it falls and he quickly grabs it). He still loves people but is becomming a little bit more of a mommy baby. His delight at seeing me is so evident, it's hard to say no. He's eating quite a bit and loves it. Which is good, cause we're running out of formula for our babies. We'll have to see what we do about that, especially if we're getting two more. Besides Chibelson, we have another baby waiting to come. The only reason he hasn't is that we haven't been able to afford hiring someone to take care of him. He was two months when we agreed to take him - now about 4 or 5.

Here's a way to help if someone wants to. We're finding out how much it costs to have babies. The salary here is more for taking care of babies than other jobs (more responsibility, I guess). It's atleast $100.00 a month. Right now Canaan isn't able to add that salary to what they're receiving. We've already got one person offering to pay the salary of one. We'll probably have to hire two people (maybe not right away, since Ashley is coming) but having 4 babies (not counting the one that has a mom here), will take 3 people for when they need time off, etc. So if you have it in your heart to help with the salary or supplies, or to come here for a year, let me know!! :) I take care of Caleb, but still need someone for him when I work.

We're working with getting Canaan's paperwork finished (becoming a Cresh) so adoptions can start. Meanwhile, I'm working at gathering all the things I need myself. Just getting a list of what I need is taking frustratingly long. But, "Patience is a virtue", right?

Well these are the highlights of what's going on around here. Please continue to pray for us, that God will provide all our needs, in His time.