What will I do.

Do I even remember how to live in my old life? This is all I have known for 1 year. I have been surrounded by beautiful Haitian babies for so long…how will I be able to live without them? Without being able to look out my window and see their little feet running to their next adventure. Without being able to wake up to the sounds of their little voices . Without being able to run downstairs and swoop one of them into my arms and feel the joy radiating out of them. Without hearing my name being chanted by a crowd of little ones. Without looking into the eyes of a fragile heart who wants nothing more than love.

What if I forgot how to live without them? They are embedded in my heart, how can I go on without them? They are just as a part of me as my right arm is a part of me…I need them. I love them. I miss them.

When I moved to Haiti a year ago, I never could have imagined how all of these little faces would affect every part of my being. Even in all of their imperfections, they ARE perfect! They have changed me in a way I will never understand.

Lord, give me strength to say goodbye…

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14 Days.

What does 14 days bring?

In 14 days I will be saying goodbye to 57 of the most beautiful children that I have ever laid eyes on. I will be saying goodbye to a country that welcomed me with a grateful heart. I will be saying goodbye to my best friend.

In 14 days I will be asking God if He really wants me to leave. I will be asking God to keep His hand over this place. I will be asking God for help. I will be asking God to change His mind.

In 14 days I will be relieved that I no longer have to sleep with bugs in my bed. I will be relieved that I get to find comfort in air conditioning. I will be relieved that I will not have to ration my cheese. I will be relieved when God shows me His next plan for my life.

In 14 days, I will be leaving the home I have known for the last year, I will be leaving Haiti. I will be turning the page into the next chapter of my life. I will be following God.

In 14 days my life changes.

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Later Gator ;)

There is never a time you feel more helpless, than when a baby is dying in your arms or when you are  breathing in rhythm to their last breath and then finally when you watch the life leave their broken body…

I never felt more helpless, then I did last night. 

One week ago I met a beautiful baby boy who had been abandoned at a nearby hospital. He was 2 weeks old and weighed 3 lbs. He was perfect.

I had the privilege of naming this unexpected gift, his name was Micah. I promised Micah that I would I always be there for him and that he would always have a special place in my heart; and he trusted me.

A few days after he arrived at Children of The Promise, he became very ill and was unable to keep any food down. He quickly moved upstairs and began round the clock care from Carla, Sheila and myself. He was having to be fed every 2 hours by tube, which took an hour each feeding…that means he was getting fed 12 hours a day. That left very little sleep for us. Despite our best efforts, he was not getting better, but he was getting worse. Sheila was emailing back and forth with a visiting doctor who assured us that we were doing everything possible and that there was nothing more the hospital could do that we weren’t already doing. So, we continued.

It felt like every time we took a step forward, he took two steps back. Nothing was working for our little Micah. God needed to intervene.

Yesterday, was a day of prayer for strength, wisdom and clarity. Yesterday, I had to put ALL of my trust in a God more powerful than anything I could ever imagine. I had to put Mighty Micah in God’s hands and allow God’s will to unfold.

It was around 9pm when I understood Micah’s future,  when I understood that Micah would soon be dancing with Jesus. I laid Micah on my chest and felt his breaking body breathe in and out with great difficulty and watched the strength slowly leave his body.

The three of us sat around Micah last night, with a strong prayer and a joyous heart. We sat with him and prayed as he made his way to heaven.

At around 10:30pm last night, Mighty Micah passed away in my arms, surrounded by so much love. He may have only been on this earth for 1 month, but I know he made an impact on many lives.

Today, I miss you Micah. I miss your soft little head, your cute little lips, the way your little fingers would wrap around mine and most of all your uno skills. We had a lot of late nights of Uno with you :) You were such a blessing to my life and I am so happy to have known you and to have been able to show you an earthly love! I would do it all over again if I had to…the sleepless nights, the frustration, the fear…all of it!

I love you Mighty Micah!

;) Later Gator (we will joke about that once I get to heaven)

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Not Mine, But Yours.

I am not even sure how to write about the changes that God is doing in my life right now. I am still trying to sort it out myself.

My biggest fear is not following God’s will!

I have been there, done that, and I could live without those years under my belt. However, they are still there, and so is my ability to make those choices. I know a life outside of His will and I don’t want to go back. Every day, I am faced with choices that can alter lives, and with every one of those choices I can see God’s hand in it all…it is when I have to make decisions about my own life that I freak out! I am always second guessing myself and my decisions.

I just pray that with all the changes up ahead, I keep God above all else and His will above my own!!! Not My will but Yours be done.

“Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”  Ephesians 5 15-17

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No Truer Fairy Tale.

Once upon a time in a land far away a traveler spoke of an enchanted island full of mysteries and wonder.  It was a far off land traveled by few, yet whispered about by many. These stories traveled through the wind, rolled off many tongues and soon found their way across many worlds.

There was a young explorer who was always searching for adventure, searching for answers, searching for the unknown. Her ears were always listening and her eyes were always looking for her next great discovery. These stories, of a land that was so secretive yet so magical that no one could truly explain its wonders, found her and wouldn’t let go. She knew this was her next quest. She set out to discover the mysteries this land was holding.

She arrived with determination flowing through her veins; she knew that this was her path. She stepped out onto the island and was quickly enveloped by despair. What she saw was not that of beauty and wonder but of tragedy and heartache. Any hope she had upon her arrival quickly faded by the sight that lay before her.

She began walking the street of pain and anguish and gave witness to many starving lives and knew that the only discovery she would make on this trip was that of her own foolishness. She so foolishly believed in a wondrous place that was no more than a fairytale. She had given up everything for this quest, for a chance to witness the unimaginable and there she was instantly ready to turn around and go home.

She began her defeated retreat when out of the corner of her eye she caught glimpse of  the most magnificent sparkling glow. She turned to find the creator of such vibrancy when she was met with nothing more than a small boy. She did not understand where this beauty had disappeared to. She searched up and down the roads for the encapsulating beauty that grabbed her in such a fleeting moment. Discouraged once again she walked with her heart in knots.

There it was again, the glow, it was right in front of her. Stronger. Brighter. Purer. It was pulling her in…closer and closer. She was blinded by  the immense glow radiating from behind the giant wall. She felt her way to the towering blue gate, brought her fist up and pounded three times on the only thing blocking her from her destination. She so desperately longed to get through. She heard a click and saw the glow roaring through the cracks…larger and larger

Still blinded, she cautiously walked through, and in that moment everything opened up. Her eyes began adjusting and she was slowly regaining her sight. She looked around through blinking eyes and slowly realized that she had found what she was looking for. There they were, the land’s rarest jewels. Her quest was complete, she found her treasure in every one of those children standing before her. All of them, such an exquisite beauty that was impossible to describe; one could only witness for themselves to understand its power.

As she walked around in amazement at these children, she looked around and saw the adults slowing taking off their masks. Behind those masks was that same intoxicating glow that she saw in these children, the same fleeting glow she saw in the streets emanated from the little boy whom she was blinded to. She looked around and saw garments of faith swung around their shoulders and crowns of love placed upon their heads. She realized the true magic of this land was in the people. The children ran around her with their wings of joy and in that moment she realized she was standing in the middle of heaven on earth.

The stories were true and she had been a witness that day to the glory that takes place on an enchanted island called Haiti.

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One Year Ago Today!

Do you know what?!

One year ago today I was celebrating this precious little boy’s birthday.

One year ago today I was battling with my heart.

One year ago today I was really questioning myself and God.

One year ago today I was lost.

One year ago today I was running in the wrong direction.

One year ago today my heart changed.

One year ago today my life changed.

One year ago today God reminded me of my LOVE for orphans.

One year ago today I realized that Haiti would be HOME.

One year ago today God used that precious little boy to convince me that I needed to move to Haiti.

So, here I am, one year later, living in Haiti with this precious boy, celebrating his 3rd birthday. I am so blessed to be part of his life and I thank God that He brought me back to this place!!!

I can’t wait to see this little guys grow up….He is so PERFECT!

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Giving Them a Second Chance to Impress.

 What should I blog about?!

Everyday I live in Haiti is another day that deserves a blog post. There are at least 10 things a day that I could blog about…but I don’t because I don’t have the time. It is crazy though, ever since I began blogging I experience things with judgement of whether I believe that they are blog worthy. Nothing can ever just happen…it has to either fit in the blog worthy or unworthy category.

So, I decided to give all my underdog experiences a chance at acknowledgment by blogging a bit about them. It is not like they wouldn’t get credit back home, but I live in Haiti where everything is a bit more extreme.

Here it goes…..

We currently have 60 children here, and that mean 60 birthdays we celebrate this year. 60 cakes, 60 beautiful birthday outfits and 60 special days. When we celebrate a child’s birthday, we bake and decorate them a cake, pick out our best birthday outfits, and have a party with all of their friends. Here are some of the birthdays from the last 6 months.
    

     

In the month of October we had an amazing Fall Festival. We made treats, got the kids dressed up and had a super fun sugarcane ride (instead of a hay ride). The children had such a fun time.

                                   

Every Christmas a church will volunteer and sponsor our children so that every one of them gets a christmas present. Then, the staff spends one whole night wrapping and labeling every gift. We have a tree set up with decorations and then stack all the present under it. Each child gets to come in, find their gift and open it. They are always so excited to see what they get. It is so much fun for them. If you would like to sponsor for next years just let me know :)

   

We have so many construction projects going on all the time, but our baby floor project was the most challenging. None of the children could go into the baby house for 2 days, which is very difficult since that is where they live. Where do you put 60 children? Well, the first time we made beds for them all outside under the pavilion but it just so happened that, that night was a night of downpour. So, we scrambled to get the children to dry locations which was a difficult task. Half of them ended up staying in the volunteer house and the other half were upstairs on our living room floor. What an adventure.

        

There are times when a person naturally attaches to a child. Whether it was because you took care of this child when they were sick or they just wriggled themselves into your heart. Well, I have a few of those. One of which recently went back with his mother, who absolutely adores him, and the other two will be going back to their dad this week. I know that this is what needs to happen, but the knowing doesn’t stop the missing. I love these three boys with all of my heart and I pray for them daily. For health. For strength. For Love. For survival. They made an impact like no other and they will forever and always be in my heart.

Every person turns 16 and most of us have a sweet 16. Here in Haiti it is very difficult to have the perfect birthday and to celebrate it sweet 16 status, but I was determined to make Emily Moxon’s birthday the best she had every had! I was determined to give her an amazing Sweet 16, and that is what happened. She LOVED it.

  

Our nannies are such a vital part of Children of The Promise’s survival. These ladies care for these children so much. They wake up with them every night and are concerned when the kids are sick. These children LOVE their nannies and their nannies LOVE them right back. It is always so amazing to see the interaction and care between them.

  

    

Water day is by far one of the best days. The kids love it. The volunteers love it. The nannies love it. It takes a lot of preparation, but it is so worth it. The kids are so fun to watch.

 

   

   

There were a lot of us single ladies at our Valentines Dinner this year, so we all grouped together at the end of the table while the couples took over the other table. We thought that we were not going to get Valentines but our friend John hand-made all the ladies hearts made of wood. They were so beautiful and wonderfully hand crafted. Best V-Day.

   

Emily Moxon and I have sleepovers every friday and we invite some of the children. We have a white board in my living room with EVERY child’s name on it and when they will be joining us for our next sleepover. We have almost gotten through every child here. Soon, we will start the list all over. On our sleepovers we have snacks, watch movies, have dance parties and then we all pass out from exhaustion.

 

    

   

   

We currently have an amazing preschool teacher named Mateja. She does so well with our children and they are learning SO much! We are all so thankful to have her here with us! The children absolutely love going to preschool and love all the activities that they get to do every day.

    

 

Emily Moxon and I LOVE taking pictures!!! We take pictures all the time. We love getting the children dressed up in beautiful clothes, cute shoes and always bows and just taking them outside for photo shoots. The children love dressing up and just running around while we follow them with a camera.

 

    

We recently got two new special needs wheelchairs in, and our kids LOVE them. We have 6 special needs boys and they all love to be wheeled around in them. They are always full of smiles. It is such a joy to see these boys so happy.

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We had a finger painting with pudding day and once they realized they could eat it, then it was less about creating a picture and more about dumping the bowl on their heads and eating it. Their favorite part was when they got washed off with the hose. They had such a blast getting rinsed off.

 

      

At Children of the Promise we have a few different outpatient programs. One of which is our prenatal program. Our goal is to educate pregnant woman and to get them ready for when their babies come. We offer classes, vitamins, food etc. It is an amazing program and I just love going over there to see the moms bring their babies in to get checked up or come to get their supplies. It is hopeful.

   

Sometimes when we don’t have much to do and we need to keep ourselves entertained…then we make things up. Like, create scavenger hunts for Emily ;)

            

Last but not least, our illnesses. Since being here I have had an infected finger, an infected eye that was swollen and red, an infected nose that has spread into my lips, many infected bites and some stomach issues. To me that is getting off easy! Some people here have had it much worse! So, I just need to thank God every day that he keeps me strong and healthy!

    

Alright, hopefully these events feel less left out and are now just part of the blog gang. Welcome to the team here at http://www.chantefox.com. Try to be a bit more exciting though so you don’t have to be the second strings.

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