Dec 26, 2011

Merry Christmas and Thank You!!!

Merry Christmas and lots of thanks from Nicole and all of her Door of Hope Babies!

I have been LOVING being back in California, enjoying precious Christmas celebrations with friends and family! I've had the privilege of singing at the Christmas Eve and Christmas morning services at Valley Bible Church (my home church in Pleasanton, CA) alongside good friends and my brother!

We had a precious Christmas celebration with my parents, my siblings, their children and an old friend thrown in for some extra fun filling our house with 15 people to give hugs and loves to. We had a wonderful time celebrating my newest nephew Parker's very first Christmas! A good time was had by all and I pray the very same for you and your dearest ones. 

I have been in the US for 26 days now and since I've been gone DOH has welcomed 6 new babies that I am very anxious to meet face to face when I return. Please be praying for baby Jo Jo, one of my preemies who had to spend his Christmas in the hospital with pneumonia. Please pray that he responds quickly to the antibiotic treatments and that he will be released to come home soon! 

I am heading to the Happiest Place on Earth tomorrow with a gaggle of family members and friends to usher in the New Year! Here are some glimpses of a few of my babies' First Christmases... 



Much love and blessings from Nicole and her babies! XOXOXOXOXOXO

Nov 28, 2011

Coming Home!!

Hi family and friends!

Just a quick note to say that I'll be back on US soil come this Friday! I will be home for 6 - 8 weeks to soak up time with my family and friends, raise additonal support and to share all about my babies and our adventures together her in the RSA.

If you are in the Bay Area and would like to arrange a time for us to get together or if you would like to hear more about my adventures just drop me line at nicolegillette@gmail.com.

I will be pourpusing to blog more pics and stories of my time away when I have time to do so at home... so keep your eyes open over the next 2 months or so.

Please be praying for mercy, favor and safety as I fly home... Love you and cannot wait to catch up with each of you when I return!

Much love from me and the babies

P.S.

Here is a brief preview of what's to come:











Oct 5, 2011

i hate goodbyes...

If you happened to read my last blog you know that I currently have a baby boy in hospital. Thankfully he is doing fabulously and is set to be released on Friday! Our baby shares a room with 5 other babies and his next door bed mate was a very sick little girl named Tina who was seemingly abandoned. All the time that our baby has been in hospital she has been all alone. On Monday we inquired with the hospital's social work department and expressed our desire to claim her as our own if she was truly abandoned. The social worker on duty didn't know if she would be available for adoption but gave us permission to tend to her as we saw fit.

So on Monday afternoon when I came to visit our boy I also brought our new girl a few blankets, hats and a few items of clothing to keep her warm. After I spent some time with my boy I went to hold my sick girl for the first time. She was attached to a feeding tube, IV and oxygen mask wrapped in just a few dingy hospital sheets and naked except for her tiny, cheap nappy. The clothes I brought were too big for her frail little body but I put her in her pretty new pink hat and wrapped her snugly in her yellow star and pink blankets. I held her close and whispered to her plenty of the truths that I knew about her: That she was wonderfully and fearfully made. That she was meant for amazing things. That she was loved and wanted and that she belonged. She opened her little dark eyes framed by gorgeous, thick lashes and starred at me for the briefest of moments before slipping back to sleep. I laid her back in bed and then Auntie Ingrid and I prayed for her healing and that the Lord would allow her to be our baby girl. And then we said our goodbyes and I headed home.

I had an early morning on Tuesday taking one of my Starfish to a surgery consultation appointment at the hospital. Thankfully we only waited for 3 hours or so until the Doctor came, checked him out and sent us on our way. I was in line waiting to check out when Ingrid texted me from the hospital writing, "Hi Aunty. I just want to let u know that baby Tina pass away". I stood there with one of my sweet boys in my arms and cried. The Lord had answered our prayers and healed our little girl by taking her home. Sadly, she was alone in death as she was alone in her brief life but I take comfort in know that unseen arms held her as she was ushered into the presence of our God and King. I am thankful that I had the privilege of holding her and loving on her before she went home.

Thank you to those of you who prayed for her and for those of you who are praying for my baby "J". I trust all of my babies to my Father and I trust Him and His decision to take Tina home even though it's been a hard goodbye for me... even though it's just a goodbye for now. I look forward to the day on the other side of eternity when I'll get to meet Tina healed and whole. It's going to be a wonderful hello to be sure!

Sick baby girl

Oct 2, 2011

My How Time Flies...

My cherished family and friends, please be gracious towards me and forgive me for going FOREVER in between updates. As usual I have been a busy little bee and the Lord has continued to bring us new babies. Since I last blogged we have received 13 babies and I’ve handed over 5 babies to their forever families. I had 6 precious but fleeting weeks with my youngest sister, Ashlee. I am so thankful that she came to stay… even though I sent her home tired from the busy pace I keep here taking care of my 45 babies. We were able to do some fun things and see a bit of what Johannesburg has to offer!

I am house sitting for our pediatrician this weekend that gave me time to sit, relax, read, and journal with two 10-month-old golden retrievers either playing or sleeping at my feet. Daisy and Sally are like two overgrown toddlers: super cute, insatiably curious and constantly sticking some non-food item into their mouths! For the first time since I moved here to Josie I stayed in my pjs the entire day long and just spent a wonderful day actually resting; and it was a splendid treat.

We are heading into the summer months here and that spells out lots of wind, sun and rain all at once! Last night a huge storm rolled in and I slept the night away while thunder, lightening and buckets of rain poured down all night long. It’s still gusty out this morning, rain clouds in the distance but sun pouring in as I write. There is a beautiful flower bush right outside the window blooming the most fragrant purple and white flowers. I can’t see it from where I am sitting but every so often the breeze will catch the blossoms and send in their delicate yet intoxicating scent reminding me of the beauty hiding just outside my window. It’s easy to look at what fills my days as mundane: driving in traffic to visit my sick baby in the hospital, changing nappies, feeding babies, scheduling and driving through traffic to make doctor’s appointments, fetching new babies, training Aunties, monitoring sick babies, … did I mention driving in traffic to get practically anywhere I go?! But each and every day, if my eyes and heart are open, I get these beautiful glimpses of eternity in the seemingly ordinary nature of my days. For example...

We picked up a beautiful and strapping 11 day old whose parents wanted to consent for his adoption. Because of busy schedules we had him stay the night at Baby House 3 before we brought him home to live at Baby House 2. While he as at BH3 the Aunties gave him a temporary name that means “God’s favor and protection” before he met the Auntie at BH2 who was chosen to officially give him his name. When I placed him into Auntie Bebe’s arms to name him, pray for him and welcome him into our home she only took a minute or so before she repeated the name he had already been given at BH3! The Lord had so obviously already chosen this little guy's name. He knows each one of our names, our stories, our hearts. It does a person good to remember that our cause is not far from the Lord!

Me and our new blessing...

Auntie Bebe praying for our newest blessing...

At the end of August we had babies coming out of our ears! We were in the process of quickly opening BH3 but in the interim we had the pleasure of having 2 newborn babies in our home for over a week! Queen Bee stayed with me and Moe-Moe took turns sharing his days and nights with Ashlee and my roommates. Queen Bee came through the Baby Bin at BH2 early one Saturday morning and Auntie immediately called me to take this newborn to Casualties because her cord was unclamped and so new she was still attached to her placenta. When I finally got her checked in and had a chance to unwrap her she was so cold she had turned this creamy lavender color that I had never seen a baby be before. I swiftly undressed her and stuck her under my shirt to get her skin-to-skin in an attempt to get her warm. After a few hours she was given a bill of clean health and she came home with me. I love all my babies in unique and special ways but I am still marveling at the bond and connection I have with this little bee that spent the first 10 days of her life with me. I continue to be surprised by the depths of love that continues to be birthed in my heart for each new baby we receive. The absolute best part is that is not a love that I am conjuring up on my own but Christ’s love pouring through me…and that is what they will remember about this time with us at Door of Hope: Christ’s love in us.

Me and Queen Bee working at the Office (which happens to be at BH3 where she lives...)

She likes to cuddle get cuddles in the sling while I work

Queen Bee working on some morning stretches

One of the divine parts of Ashlee’s visit was her getting to meet all of the babies and Aunties I love so much. Each time one of the Aunties squeezed her hello or babies cooed at her my heart melted just a tiny bit. One of the things that helps my heart keep loneliness and homesickness at bay is the hope and promise of eternity with the Savior and with all of those who call upon His name. I am so thankful that because of Christ we are and will forever be united because of the precious blood of Christ. My family here welcomed Ashlee in as one of their own and it blessed my socks off!
Jackson getting some Auntie Ashlee cuddles. Isn't he a giant? He's not even 8 months yet!

One of my toddlers showing off his kissing talent!

Aunties Lucy, Ashlee, Marceline, Francinah and Angela from BH2

Sometimes my vision gets blurry and I get weighed down by the “hows” and “what ifs” of caring for some many children and having to trust the Lord in so many new and really stressful areas (like sick kiddos or raising support) but I am so thankful for the whiffs of eternity that the Lord blows my way each and every day! Just like the flowers hidden just out of my sight, eternity is just a breath away from each of us. I pray that you will seek out the reminders of eternity that the Father is sending your way today.

A blurry yet artsy pic of me kissing one of my twinsie bops!

Earlier this month of my new baby boys, baby “J” who was just celebrating his 2-week birthday started running a fever. I immediately took him to our pediatrician who sent us straight to Casualties. They ended up admitting him and diagnosing him with Bacterial Meningitis. Poor little buddy will have to be in the hospital for 21+ days to receive his antibiotic treatment via IV. Please pray that he will continue to improve and be released as soon as possible. Please pray that he will not contract any of the illness that his roommates have and that we will be a blessing as we care for him in the midst of so many hurting families. Also be praying for one of his roommates, baby “T”, a very sick baby girl who was seemingly abandoned after her mom passed away. She is 2 months old, super tiny and all alone. Pray that if she has truly been abandoned that we will be able to claim her for our family and that she will recover from her current chest infection and start eating on her own.

Getting some cuddles in. I've been trying to visit him and whichever Auntie is scheduled to be with him everyday!

One of the hardest things I've had to do this September was say goodbye to my friend, roommate and assistant, Lisa. She arrived just days before I did last October and now she's abandoned me to go back home (insert dramatic sob here). She's now back in Wisconsin with her family. Would you please pray for her as she walks through missing us at Door of Hope and as she seeks His face about the possibility of her returning next year? Lisa we miss you!

Making sad faces at her going away dinner @ Monte Casino. Gourmet Garage, baby!

Thank you so much for those of you who have continued to hold my babies and me in your prayers. As of the 21st of this month I will have been here for a year! Can you believe it?! Time is so strange here, it feels like I’ve been away from the US forever but only here for so short of a time. I will be returning to the US on December 1st. I am beyond excited to see my precious family and friends! I’d love to share about my adventures as much as I can! I am praying that the Lord will direct my steps in returning to my babies. I am praying about being in California for 6 to 8 weeks and then returning if the Lord sees fit to provide the funds I need to do so. Please be praying for me as I seek the Lord about my 2012. If you happen to live in CA I would love to come and share with you, your church or your small group about my adventures…I’m booking meetings already, so let me know if you want to get together.

Sending you much love from South Africa…XOXOXOXOXO love, Nicole

P.S. When Allison and Megan came to visit they brought me many wonderful presents for me and my babies. One complete surprise gift came from my dear friend Martha and her quilting circle. The made me the most gorgeous quilt out of my old mission trip and youth ministry event t-shirts. It is such a beautiful memory piece of the 10 years that I spent in vocational youth ministry. Here is a picture of one of the sides. So many memories and stories of God's goodness, provision and love in one comfy, cozy quilt...

Jul 24, 2011

Love from home...

Greetings from Jo-Berg! I've had such full weeks since we've last chatted, I don't think I'll be able to even begin to fit all that's happened in my July posting. It has been wonderfully busy (I know I ALWAYS say that, but it's true) with 8 new babies, saying hello and goodbye to the dearest of friends, being apart of handing 6 babies over to their forever families, doctors visits, one hospital run and a much needed/anticipated holiday in Cape Town.


Perhaps the best way to attempt to cover the details is to use pictures to help guide our way!


Here are some of the highlights:

Probably the biggest and best highlight of all was having my very first visitors from home: Allison Auser and Megan Updegraff. They brought with them beautiful fellowship, wonderful updates from home and a special surprise: gifts, cards and love from home for me and my little babies! Thank you to everyone who sent the wonderful gifts and cards from my home in CA! They are much appreciated and will be put to good use (and many already have)! The most needed gift was a new charger for my MacBook (thank you Marilyn!) because my old one died and I had been using Beth's but as you'll read later on she is now back in the US). One amazing gift was a handcrafted quilt made my Martha Howden and 4 of her quilting buddies that is made up of wonderfully patterned fabrics and all of my old youth group t-shirts. It is quite possibly one of the most beautiful gifts I've ever received! I'll take a picture of it and post it soon...

The Sunday before the girls arrived we had a group baby dedication at Berea Baptist Church. I had the honor of holding my precious Jackson as Pastor Stanely and Pastor Cheryl prayed over him and dedicated him to the Lord. He smiled and basked in the attention as the Pastors prayed over him and the other 12 babies who joined him up front. I am so honored to be apart of this little man's life and I cannot wait until that day in eternity when we will have the privilege of looking over the whole of his life and all of the ways that God rescued him to bring Himself glory!

Part of the medical workup we do for our preemie babies include cranial sonars, eye tests and ear tests. We did all three for some of our littles this past month. The picture above is me and little baby "L" as we wait for her turn with the eye doctor. Thankfully her eyes are perfect which is a miracle considering this little one was born at 26 weeks!

We've had the privilege of handing over 6 babies to their forever families since I've blogged last. This little girl was one of our babies at BH2 and she is such a perfect fit for her family. One of the most exciting parts of handing over a baby is getting to see how well the Father does at matching these babies with their families. More often that not you can see the connection and similarities in personality, family set-up and even physical similarities right off the bat. This little girl looked just like her European papa and she felt right at home in his arms!

Here is another picture from one of our placements. This is my roommate Lisa with the little dude that she named the day that I left the US to fly here. He was one of our fussiest little men when he was a small baby but he blossomed into a beautiful, sensitive and happy fellow. To be honest, he was one of my very favorites and I have to admit that I got a little teary eyed handing him to his new mommy. His family was so precious, with an older adopted sister and a parents who were creative and oh so stylish...the perfect fit for his sensitive soul and temperament! Allison and Megan got to be with us on this day which also made it extra special!
We often get calls to come and get preemies that are ready for discharge much sooner than premature babies would ever be release in the US. We picked up a little baby who was born at 26 weeks and we were picking her up at 3 weeks old! She was (and still is) one of the tiniest babies I've ever held. We got to the hospital, Beth and I donned on the white hairnets and were led to her incubator where she was laying in just a diaper. The sister changed her and then placed her in my arms, I quickly dressed her in a snuggly, we grabbed some paperwork and we were off! She was so tiny (under 4lbs) that she spent the first 2 weeks with us kangarooed skin-to-skin with an Auntie 24/7. She is doing beautifully, is gaining weight and just perfect.

My sister Emily is pregnant with my 4th nephew and he and baby "R" are approximately the same age! However he is all warm and growing in Emily while she is out and about. She is such a miracle and a testimony to what can be accomplished when our Father wills something (or someone) to be. Every time I look at this little doll I marvel at the work of His hand and I am reminded that nothing is impossible for our God!


I made a new friend! Well, Beth shared her hilarious and kind friend Brooke with us. Brooke flew out to help Beth move back home and we were able to enjoy her company while we kicked the festivities into high gear as we said goodbye to Beth. Brooke loves our babies here at DOH...Jackson obviously loved her!



As a Staff Goodbye to Beth a group of us went up to a cute little area called Hartbeespoort Dam, we did some shopping, walked across the dam, enjoyed lunch and had a fun time hanging out together celebrating Beth and the contribution she's made to Door of Hope these past 2 and half years. This is our happy crew at a tiny little church in Hartbeespoort.


We decided that since our real Christmas celebration this year was rather anticlimactic we decided to go all out and celebrate with a Christmas-in-July dinner and party. We all made our favorite Christmas food, invited our friends over to watch Elf, opened presents and stockings and had a fabulous time together. This Christmas decoration was donated by one of the little boys who lives downstairs...you can't really tell from the picture but it only has one eye which made me laugh every time I saw it!



We also found the best Mexican restaurant to help usher Beth back to the US. It was the most authentic place we've located thus far...complete with yummy margs and chips even though the salsa was a little weird (who puts curry spice in salsa? Oh wait, South Africans do!).


And then faster than I could imagine or was prepared for, Beth and Brooke were off. It was such a pleasure to get to know, love and serve alongside such beautiful women of God. I've missed Beth every day since she's been home and I've emailed her tons of questions and probably will for some time! I think she's ready for it...haha!


Allison, Lisa, Megan, Corrine and I were able to spend a relaxing and sunny week in Cape Town. We had a marvelous time enjoying beautiful Cape Town enjoying the perfect mix of sightseeing, resting, sleeping in and watching the sunset on the very tip of the African Continent. Here is us on our first day on the top of Table Mountain.


We drove to the Cape Point and spent a day enjoying those sights, including a bunch of the cutest penguins ever! The penguins were quite possibly Megan's favorite part of our trip!


I adore the beach and could spend hours upon hours with my feet in the waves getting lost in the sounds and sights of such powerful beauty. The beaches we visited were made even more spectacular with Table Mountain as a backdrop!


Here we are at the Cape of Good Hope...we had the most beautiful weather. Everyone warned us that Cape Town weather this time of year was rainy and temperamental but we had sunshine everyday! Not one drop of rain...in fact we all packed warm clothes and were wishing for short sleeves and carpi's.

I am so blessed to have the people in my life that I do. One of the craziest part of this adventure is the bittersweet mix of hellos and goodbyes. Life lived in intense community all the while fighting insatiable loneliness, enjoying all that make Jo-berg so unique while missing the comforts of the US and the love of the people I miss and love who don't currently reside on this continent. Today in church I felt the Spirit reminding that the cost of discipleship is great but that He is worth any cost. That bringing Christ glory and being obedient to the call that He's placed on this season of my life is what matters most but that my High Priest knows much better than I the pain of sacrifice. And that He is patient with me in my weaknesses and that He has promised to give me everything that I need for life and godliness here in Jo-berg...and I'm grateful.

I am truthfully loving my life here in Jo-berg serving here at DOH. Please be praying for me as I continue to seek the Lord's will for the future and as I serve as the Children's Care Manager. We have a few babies and Aunties who are sick so please be praying for healing and containment of the stomach bug and strep throat that has afflicted a few. Please pray that our smallest ones will grow strong and thrive in our care. We have 3 more handovers tomorrow morning, pray that those would go smoothly. Please pray that the Lord would continue to provide for me financially and that our needs at DOH would be met according the will of our Father. I miss you and love you and praise our Jesus for your love and support!

XOXOXOXOXO from me and my babies!

Jun 16, 2011

Swimming in the deep end!

Hi friends!

Whew! Life has been SO busy and full for me since I blogged last! We've received 5 babies in the past 3 weeks and we have quite a few that we are getting ready to meet their forever families in the next few weeks ahead. I am still in training with Beth for one more official day and then on the 20th I step in to her ginormous (figuratively speaking, of course) shoes as Children's Director for Door of Hope. Beth, Sara (our new Social Worker) and I have been buzzing around town trying to meet all of Beth's connections, learn new skills and decipher sometimes sticky protocol. I've had the chance to do a few of the medical runs that I'd not yet had the chance to walk through and I'm trying to soak up all the info from Beth that I can. I swear that girl can spout off the names of people, medications, towns and procedures faster than my pen can write down sometimes. I know I have TONS to learn but come Monday I'll be swimming in the deep end.

I recently downloaded one of Amy Carmichael's devotional books entitled "I Come Quietly to Meet You" and it has been such a refreshing piece of encouragement for me. The last few weeks have been so full that I've felt a bit dried out and slightly spread thin. Yesterday's entry reminded me that my Father never rebukes me for being wounded by weariness or fear or anything else! Instead His Word reminds my heart again and again that He is near, He is able and He will be present for me to lean upon, even when I'm wiped out and weary. I pray that you will rest upon His strength today and be refreshed with hope and joy.

Thank you for your prayers for me and our babies here at DOH. Thanks to the mercy of our Father everyone has been well and thus far winter has been kind to us as far as illness goes. Please be praying that we are supernaturally protected from illness this winter and that we don't have to have any babies admitted to the hospital. Please pray that I would have supernatural anointing as I step into this new role as Children's Director. I'm praying that I will be attentive to the Holy Spirit as I care for the 37 littles in my care. That I will have a mother's heart and knowledge about each one and for each of their needs. Pray that I will have wisdom beyond my years and experience as I seek to care for them when they are sick or hurting. That I will be able to juggle all of the administrative details with skill and the ability to put my relationships with Jesus, the Aunties, Volunteers, Staff and babies first. Above all else, please pray that I will do all of these things in the Father's strength and not my own, bringing His name glory above all other things!

In other, very exciting non-baby related news: my dear friends Allison and Megan will soon be making the journey across the sea to come and visit me! I am beyond excited to have them here and show them all that my last few months of life have included. Please pray that their journey here is safe and our time will be perfectly balanced with babies, sightseeing, work and fun! I'm sure to have bunches of pictures to show you come the end of July! Thank you for all of your love, prayers, support and encouragement as I serve here at DOH. I miss you more than words can say!!! Love you much! Here are some fun pics for you to enjoy:

It's been getting pretty chilly here in Jo-berg, so this is how I spend the last few minutes before I hop into bed...

My biggest Starfish hanging out in the garden play area, rocking some sunglasses from a birthday party we had earlier that day

Posing with our tinniest flower in our Small Baby garden at BH1

Part of my job is to take pictures for our adoption agency to help them match our babies with their forever families. Most photo shoots have about 30 pictures that look like this one and 4 or 5 redeemable ones. I never knew taking good pictures of littles was so difficult!

Here is a fun pic of me and my roomies out on the town for dinner. We were looking for karaoke but the pub where it used to be at is now the home of a really cool, unfortunately karaoke-free bookstore!

One of our bigger new arrivals, sleeping soundly...

Our tiniest new arrival, sleeping happily...

...after I made her furious when I had the audacity to weigh, measure and bathe her during her admission process! She is feisty for someone so tiny!

Me cuddling my Jackson. Seriously, he is the biggest 4 month old, ever!

Me and Mr. P during his admission...but don't be fooled he's got a set of pipes, too! P.S. can you see the new scar I'm sporting near my thumb? I love using my hot water bottle but it can come at a price! I burnt myself about 5 weeks ago and that's my little reminder to be careful when filling one up...

May 20, 2011

And the adventure continues...

Hi sweet friends and family!

We are officially in FALL here in Josie! I think fall is my favorite season. I love the leaves turning, the chill in the evening air and crisp mornings that begin to warm as soon as the sun is up. I’m sure I am in for a cold winter here seeing as none of our homes have central heating. I’ve purchased my first official hot water bottle and now spend my nights cuddling my new “hottie” (that’s what my roommate Jess calls hers and I think it is just so cute and hysterical).

I’ve been driving around for the last few weeks with an expired license tag in my car due to some crazy, complicated “this is Africa” stuff that was outside of my control. The sweet family that I purchased Stanley from were able to step in and help me arrange the purchase of a new tag and took care of some things on Stanley that were malfunctioning (which was a huge blessing). On Wednesday of last week we were going to arrange to pick up Stanley but due to life I ended up just working from home, which was fine, but I was frustrated that I wasn’t going to be able to get in and see my babies and Aunties. I spent the day working on work all the while working on convincing myself to trust the Lord, to have a happy attitude and be flexible. By the afternoon I began to feel a little “something” in my throat and by that night I was sporting a high fever and full out Strep Throat. Thankfully I had antibiotics on hand and long story short after a few days of fever, chills and an incredibly nasty looking throat I am now feeling almost 100%. It was a great reminder for me that sometimes what I take as interference from what I have planned is actually God’s provision and protection. I believe He had me home all by lonesome on Wednesday so I didn’t expose those I loved to such an icky bug. It was just another practical lesson on this adventure of trusting and obeying.

Speaking of which, this week has brought about some new news about my ever-evolving role here at Door of Hope. Firstly, Lindsay (the Baby Home Manager for Baby House 1 in Glenvista) is back in the States for the next 6 weeks or so and while she is away our Director has asked me to oversee Baby House 1 which currently houses 3 Small Babies, 11 Big Babies and 8 Starfish kiddos. Francinah who had been acting as my Assistant at Baby House 2 has moved into the role of Baby Home Manager of Baby House 2 and will now be overseeing those precious babies and Aunties. I am excited about the new challenge of getting to renew relationship with BH1 Aunties, and volunteers and learning about these babies that were once my smallest ones when I was acting as Small Baby Supervisor at the end of last year. Total pluses: no crazy commute, working with international volunteers and preemies again. Total minuses: Not getting to kiss my Jackson every day, missing “my” BH2 Aunties and the thrill of watching the sunrise on my ride into work. I think I’m going to actually miss regular 5am mornings, sipping coffee in a still sleeping house, driving to work with the sunrise as a backdrop but most of all I’m going to miss waking Jackson up in the mornings. I love being the first thing that he sees after a night’s sleep. I know it sounds silly, but getting to collect his day’s first smiles is one of the things that make me feel like he is really mine. I am hoping to still get there once or twice a week but I know it’s going to be different. In all honesty, I’ve been really sad about it all the while knowing that it’s best for DOH as a whole.

There are babies that I love at BH1, including the 3 new babies we got this week! Baby boy came on Monday after a referral from the hospital. On Tuesday Beth and I went and fetched a 4 month old little baby girl referred from a home up North and on our way back we got word about a newborn baby girl found by the police who was so new she was still covered in afterbirth with her cord unclamped. She came home today and they are all doing well and adjusting to being our new wave of Small Babies. I also get to spend time reconnecting with some of favorite “small babies” that are no longer small but so very cute and grown up. It’s wild how much a baby can change in just a few short months!

Secondly, Beth, our Children’s Manager is going to be leaving Door of Hope to return home to the States to get her nursing degree this July. Our Director has asked me to step into Beth’s position as Children’s Manager when she departs, and I've said I would! The Children’s Manager is responsible for overseeing the care of each child that enters our care, from admission to adoption. I’m not even really sure what all of that really entails but some of the fun stuff that I will be doing is fetching babies from all of Jo-berg to be ours, handing over babies to meet their forever families, organizing and delegating all of our medical appointments with our pediatrician and with the hospitals we work with, working with our Social Worker to get all of our babies “adoption ready” and assessing each of our children’s overall health and well-being. Suddenly I feel like the old woman in the shoe! In complete honesty, right now I feel overwhelmed and unsure as to how I’ll ever be ready by the time Beth leaves. I guess the truth of the matter is that I won’t be ready come July 1st but our Father will be! I know that I’m going to have gads of moments where His strength is made shiningly perfect in my utter weakness and THAT I’m ready for!

I’m sure that the next few weeks are going to just fly by! Please join me in praying that our Father will give me the divine wisdom I need to love on BH1 in these next few weeks all the while training with Beth as much as possible. Please pray that the Lord will guard my heart, mind and health and I enter a time of top speed training and shepherding. Thank you for being invested in what our Savior is doing in this little part of the world…and in my life! I miss CA very much but I feel more confident than ever that “for such a time as this” I’ve been called here to Door of Hope and to loving on the least of these in Josie. I love you! Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

Here are some fun recent pics….

One of our little guys celebrated his first birthday this week!

A picture of Auntie Lucy and the little girl she named, almost 4 months ago!

Me and one of our newbies at BH2!

A random friend I met picking up meds at the HIV clinic, she came over and sat on my lap!

Jackson is a friendly guy, he even makes friends with the difficult kind of animals...haha!


Me and my Jack-Jack! I just can't get enough of his sweet smiles and "conversation"

Jess got to name one of the baby girls that came to BH2 a few weeks ago and here they are!

Little Moose Heads Home

I am not sure how time flies by so quickly but somehow 712 days seems like they flew right by! It feels like just yesterday we got this...