Jan 29, 2011

New News for a New Year

Hi friends! I can hardly believe that February is almost here! I pray that 2011 has begun well for each of you and your loved ones. I wanted to update you on some new things that February is going to be bringing me here at Door of Hope.

A few weeks ago I was approached by Kate Allen (DOH’s Director) to pray about and consider stepping into a new leadership role here at DOH beginning in February. Spurred on my the financial crisis that we found ourselves in at the end of last year, the Leadership Team began to pray about restructuring DOH to better prepare for growth and provide excellent care for our babies. That new structure is going to set up our three baby homes to be self sufficient with Staff, Aunties and Volunteers allowing each home to have individual care from the Leadership Team. At the head of each home will be a “Baby House Manager” who will oversee the home handling the babies from Admission to Adoption, overseeing and scheduling Staff and Volunteers, managing maintenance and supplies in the house as well as setting the flow and schedule of each day. The Baby House Manager will be on call 24/7 and responsible for the overall wellbeing of the children in the home handling day-to-day issues as they arise. Kate has asked me to be one of the Baby House Managers and even though I feel slightly under qualified and will require a ton of training, I have agreed!

Starting the second week of February I will be acting as the Baby House Manager for Baby House 1 in Berea. BH1 is our original Baby House and is the home that has the “hole in the wall” where babies can be dropped off at any time day or night! I will spend the next few months loving on the babies and Aunties at BH1 full time. Starting in March I will be responsible for setting the schedule and running the home as I see fit. As of right now we have 7 babies at BH1 but we were running below capacity because the house was missing a “house mom”. Two of our long time and trusted Aunties: Francinah and Lucy have moved in this past weekend to be house moms so I am guessing we will fill up to our 12 baby capacity in no time. Auntie Francinah will also be working as Baby House Assistant Manager, helping me to manage and care the home.

The plan as of right now is to begin training in March with Beth, the woman who has been acting as our Baby Care Manager to learn how to care for the babies from admission to adoption. As Baby House Manager I will get to process all of the new babies that come to home, oversee them as the grow and then be able to hand them over to their forever families. It is going to be more of a challenge and a joy then I can even wrap my mind and heart around! I know that I have TONS to learn and that I will only be able to be successful serving in the strength of our Jesus!

February will also bring some other fun and practical new things as well. The Lord has found a used car available for my purchase. The only scary news being that I have to learn how to drive a manual car proficiently on the wrong side of the road! Be praying for me and the brave soul who has to teach me! On February 5th, Lisa (the international volunteer from Wisconsin) and I are going to be moving offsite. Kate has a flat on the second story of her home where Beth and Clair currently live. Lisa and I are going to be moving in the second bedroom of that flat! We are really excited to have our own living space, to sleep in real beds and be out of earshot from the babies. It will be nice to be able to spend some good time with Beth and Clair, they are fun girls who have years of making Jo-berg their home. Also because of my new role I will need to purchase a cell phone. It’s kind of been fun being un-tethered to a cell phone but I know it is pretty much a necessity to have a phone if I need to be on call!

So… that’s what’s new for me in this New Year thus far. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support & emails and letters. I am in desperate need of continued prayers as I begin this new stage of the adventure! Please pray for:

~ Wisdom, favor, courage and discernment as I step in to Leadership at BH1

~ Supernatural ability to drive a manual car (really, I’m nervous)

~ Favor and safety driving, working and navigating in downtown Jo-berg

~ Courage and steadfastness of mind and heart as I begin all these new roles

~ The time to cultivate and nurture community amongst the women I will be living with

~ Continued strength and purpose being so far from those I love

~ Wisdom and provision as I take on an increased rent and living expenses like gas and a cell phone

Thank you for loving me so well! Jesus is loving these babies through me with your faithful support! I will keep you up-to-date as all of our adventures continue to unfold. I’ve included a few new pics!

Much love and gratitude…

~ Nicole

Me and one of our big boys who went up for adoption this month!

A little black booty

Please be praying for baby "M" who is the hospital trying to get over a chest infection

My youngest little man, baby "N"

One of my littles, hands all folded sweet

Baby "N" on his first night with us at 9 days old

Jess, Monique, Me and Lisa at Prince Caspian

Introduced this little dude to this puppy "lovey" to help him self-soothe and now he can't get enough of it. He loves to cozy into it when he sleeps and holds it tight when he is fussy.

4 of my small babies are big, almost too big for their cots and they spend time with their little feet pressed up close to the plastic sides. So very cute!

Jan 16, 2011

now for some pics...

Here are the pictures I promised:

Us girls Celebrating Christmas at the Toddler House

Me giving one of our littles with a skin problem his daily oatmeal bath!

One of our boys covering his eyes during his nap time

On Christmas Day, I staged a fun photo shoot for all of our small babies

Here is me and one of my little ladies

I can't get over the little feet sticking out from there swaddles at the end of their cots

Here is Lisa and the baby she named when he came home to us in October

This was us girls at Monte Casino welcoming in the New Year!

I will make it a point to take some more photos this week and get some more up!

Praise Report: I was able to purchase a mobile hotspot thing for my laptop which will give me consistent Internet access! Thank you for your continued prayers. I love and miss you....

Jan 9, 2011

Happy Twenty Eleven!!!

Happy New Year! Can you believe that it is 2011?! Somehow being in a new place doing brand new things has made ushering in the New Year seem even more important than ever. I spent time today just journaling about some of the things I am thankful to God for including in my 2010. Too many things to begin listing here but let me just say: I am one loved lady, by the Savior and by those He has brought into my life. I hope that you can spend some time thanking God for your 2010 before the newness of 2011 wears off!

A group of us spent our New Year's Eve at Monte Casino (a local hotspot that is a Casino that is like a mini-New York, New York in Vegas). We went to the Gourmet Garage (a yummy hamburger joint), walked around visiting the shops and eating gelato. We danced the new year in at this Pub with a tiny dance floor and really horrible house music. It was so very fun and I was grateful to usher the new year in with friends.

Let's see... our Christmas celebration here at Door of Hope was full of visitors, helping our biggest little ones open up presents and sharing memories and traditions from each of our homes. I spent the day with my small babies and my evening with Lisa and Jessica watching some random Christmas movie and talking with our families. I did a "Baby's First Christmas" Photo shoot with all my little ones which was a totally funny and cute. I completely missed being at home all the while knowing I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

Since I blogged last we were able to welcome our little superman who was at the hospital back home! He is doing so much better, he has the sparkle in his eye back and not only is he home he came home with a 4-day-old friend! Our new little man is a healthy 6.8 lbs and so beautifully dark I almost melt each time I hold him. We currently have 9 babies in small babies and I feel like we've found a really nice pattern to our days and nights. I am so grateful be in the lives of these little ones, even on my days off I find myself in our room grabbing some extra cuddles because I miss them too much if I don't see them each and every day! We have 3 little guys who are just about growing out of our cots so in the next couple weeks we may have some graduating men on our hands once some of our older babies go home to their forever families. One of my favorite big babies is going to his forever family in just 8 days. We've fallen into the pattern of having our breakfast and dinners together and I will miss juggling his wriggling, happy body while juggling my bowl of yogurt and granola in the mornings. We pray for families for these little people but it is bittersweet to see them go because I will miss being apart of their lives once their gone. Such worthy work even though it pulls on your heartstrings.

I am excited for this new year and all the adventures that are sure to lie therein. Please continue to pray for my little ones, that they remain healthy and continue to grow. I am so grateful for all of your prayers, emails and love. Please continue to pray for DOH in general, for continued funding and wisdom as the Board continues to seek the Lord about restructuring and vision going forward. I miss you and pray that our Lord will bless you and keep you until our paths cross again. Much love from Jo-berg!!!

For the life of me I cannot get any pictures uploaded! They will have to wait until next time!


The Journey of Surrender

It is a pretty spectacular thing: watching a family be born right in front of your eyes. To see years of prayers answered in a moment. ...