Feb 26, 2011

Saturday morning...

Good morning from J0-berg! I have been up early because Lisa needed a ride to work so I made breakfast and watched some Glee reruns. It is fun having a Saturday morning "off", checking email and writing some letters. Just a nice, relaxed Saturday morning.

This week has been a good one. I had a house meeting with the Aunties at Baby House 2 that went well, I've been driving more (and stalling less) and had the chance to see "The Tourist" with my roommies on Wednesday. Wednesday is the cheap day at our local theatre and you can see a movie for less than $5.00 dollars! It's funny how driving really has made this feel more like home. I've named my car Stanley...he's older, reliable and a bit finicky and Stanley seems to fit him well. Thank you for continuing to pray that I will be safe while on the roads. This week I will be driving babies for the first time. Pray for extra protection and wisdom as I bring little ones to their medical appointments and such.

Here are some fun pictures from this past week:

This little one is so alert and smart that he has a killer time trying to fall asleep. Be praying for this one, there is a chance that baby "S" will be reunited with family this next week. Pray that the Lord's way will be had!

This little princess is our happiest small baby at BH2. So very happy and content all day long!

Jackson however is not super happy unless he is being held. Here he is tied on Auntie Francinah's back, just hanging out while she does some chores. He's a smart cookie who knows he wants cuddles and how to get them...

These are the two biggest babies here at BH2. They love to follow the Aunties around all day long! In this pic they are at the back gate watching Auntie Bebe hang the laundry. They are busy little bees but so very cute and talkative.

Here are the sweet feeties of one of my little dudes sticking out of the sling I am wearing him in. He is the little one who moved to BH2 the same time that I did and he is still trying to find his way as a "big babie". He is most happiest when he is being held and cuddled so sticking him in the sling works wonderfully for him!

My little princess all cuddled close while she sleeps...

One morning this week it was really chilly. All the small babies were in hats and this little guy's hat ended up over his eyes. So cute and created a perfect blog-ready pic...

Thank you for those of you who have been praying for Jackson's hands. He is off the antibiotics now and they are almost completely healed up. Jackson says thanks...

One morning I showed up to find this little dude sleeping in the swing because he was waking up everyone else... he's trouble but oh so sweet. His puppy somehow ended up on the ground. He loves that thing and it goes everywhere with him...

I think I get to go to church in the morning which is pretty exciting. I pray that you all have a wonderful weekend. I am thanking Jesus for you and your faithful love and support! Hugs...

Feb 18, 2011

a week in pictures

I have had a wonderfully full last week or so. I have been loving living with the 3 lovely ladies and I have been enjoying spending time with the babies and aunties at Baby House 2... lot's of learning and babies and fun. I decided to highlight a few of the adventures in pictures below:

One of the fun things about this week is that I had the chance to see my "small babies" almost every day because I've been starting most days at Baby House 1 before heading to Baby House 2. They are growing so big and are so cute. Here are two of my boys holding hands:

This is me and one of the little men that arrived last week. He is our tiniest little guy at BH2 and he is uber cute, sleeps and eats like a champ:

I have been loving getting to know all of the new babies at BH2, here are feet of one of my littles as we are playing outside:

On Wednesday of this week Lindsay, Lisa and I took 8 of our babies to Big Shoes where we meet with our pediatrician, Janet. It was a handful of fun, Lindsay and I had a baby each in a moby wrap, 2 in arms and 4 in car seats. It was a riot but it was a successful trip all in all. Here is me and my little in the moby wrap:

Here are Lindsay and Lisa entertaining two of our little men while we wait for our turn:

One of our new babies came with us to Big Shoes and Janet didn't like what she was seeing in him. He is 4 weeks old and had some warning signs of Sepsis. Lisa and I ended up taking him to the hospital on Janet's referral and he was admitted for Sepsis straight away. I had the chance to see him on Thursday and he was already looking better. Please be praying for baby "S" and that he is returned to our care healthy and soon! Here are the 2 of us waiting in the emergency room to be seen by a doctor:

Beth, Clair, Lisa and I finally got to make it to Moyo this week! It is one of Beth and Clair's favoirite places in Jo-berg. It had the BEST atmosphere, we lounged on couches, had our faces painted, listened to awesome live music and enjoyed delicious food. Here is a pic of us sitting on our couch before we ordered complete with painted faces:

BUT the very BEST part of my week was spending time with my Jackson. Here are some pictures of you to feast your eyes on! This is our very picture together. It's blurry, my hair is wreck but I love it because it was such a great night:

Here he is basking in the sun after a diaper change:

Here are his precious little feet:

Jackson cuddling up with his bear in his cot. He likes to have cozy things up near his face when he is sleepy and he adores his dummy:

One of the weird things here about Jo-berg is their "we don't care if your kids are in car seats" lack of a law. However it is helpful when you have an unexpected pick up. Jackson came and spent the night with us on Sunday night because he had an appointment for an infection on his hands. Please be praying for his hands to heal up all the way. Here we are in the car together:

I have been "wearing" Jackson every chance I get! Here we are in his room posing for a pic:

Thank you so much for all of your continued prayers, love and support. One of the best part of getting to name Jackson is getting to honor a family that lost a Jackson of their own. Please take the time read about their story at http://knitsofgrief.blogspot.com/. I am so grateful that our God is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine. He redeems, He restores and He heals. I am thanking Jesus for each of you today... Miss you and love you!

Feb 10, 2011

7 babies in less than 7 days...

Hello from sunny Jo-berg! We have had sunny and warm days all this weeklong! I adore the thunder and lightening storms that we have been getting this summer but it is nice to have a few days for all of us to dry off. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and words of encouragement about all of the new things that have entered my life these New Year. I just completed my second manual driving lesson and both Beth and Clair say that I am doing very well. I am going to attempt my first hilly area tomorrow—woo hoo! All in all it has been not as scary as I built it up to be in my mind’s eye, although I do have a bit of stage fright and have a problem stalling out when I feel like I have an “audience”. Much laughter and jumpy starts made it more funny than scary but I would continue to ask for your prayers for safety on the road in general as I will be commuting downtown to Baby House 2 most days during the week.

This week has been a busy and wonderful one! As of this afternoon we have welcomed 7 babies into our homes in less than 7 days! Four of the babies are living at Baby House 2 and officially “mine”. One of the little men who arrived I had the privilege and honor of naming. I chose the name Jackson which means “God has been gracious” and He certainly has. Jackson is healthy, beautiful and extra special in my eyes. He has lots of dark curly hair and is just big enough to be squishy in your arms when you hold him. He is still rather puffy from his delivery so I call him my little boxer. When I first arrived I was able to name a baby that ended up being in our care for only a few days and even though I love, miss and pray for Timothy all of the time I feel connected to Jackson in such a indescribable way (I literally just spent two minutes trying to think of the right word and I can’t find the perfect one so indescribable will just have to do). I just want to be with him all the time and I miss him when I can’t see him or hold him. He is less than a week old and I feel like he is mine. I have woken up the last few nights reaching for him at least once. So completely strange and wonderful and completing all at the same exact time. Please be praying for my little man, he has two little medical issues we are working on sorting out; please pray for no scarring or infection to take place on or in his little body.

One of the blessed little men that came through our doors this week ended up spending the night with me here at my new place because of how late we got out of the hospital checking him out. He is a little spunky fellow weighing just over 4.5lbs that makes hysterical and entertaining faces while being extremely adorable. It was a throwback to all of my night nannying nights and babies and even though I was tired the next day, I loved having him here with me. One of the little girls we welcomed this week was found in a trashcan on someone’s property. The little princess was brought to a local hospital where we picked her up a few days later. She is impossibly cute and is so healthy and pink with just the perfect amount of loosely curled hair. She is our newest little princess at Baby House 2 that means we’ve added 4 newborns less than 10 days old to our BH2 family!

On Monday morning I had the joy of being apart of my very first adoption hand over! I was able to be in the room when a lovely couple from Sweden met their firstborn 9-month-old son for the very first time! I basically just sat in the corner holding back tears while Clair introduced the family to one another, going through the baby’s schedule, likes, dislikes and basic history. After 10 minutes are so we left them to get acquainted and we went home. It was very strange arriving with a baby but leaving without one; knowing that this is what we pray for our babies but missing them all the same. And because this big man was from Baby House 2 I didn’t even really know him well! I can’t even begin to what it is going to be like handing over one of the babies that feel like my own—bittersweet and beautiful—but I am so excited to do it.

Today I spent 6 hours or so at the cardiac clinic at Jo-berg General with a little man who has some breathing issues. Baby “L” is actually the first baby I ever took to the hospital when he was just two months old or so and I was in country for less than a month. It was funny to think back on the past few months and how thankful I am to feel more comfortable in caring for these little ones at the hospital. I know I have worlds to learn and experience but it was nice to feel like I sort of knew what I was doing this time around. It was just a good reminder about how God is faithful to use all of our experiences and trials to prepare us for the road ahead. Not a tear, trial or lesson goes unused or forgotten. He was faithful then and will be faithful again...and I'm so glad!!! The good news is that he was cleared from having any cardiac issues but the bad news is that we still don’t have a cause to his respiratory troubles. Please be praying for healing for baby “L” and that we would have wisdom as we seek out a diagnosis and treatment for him.

Training has been going well thus far. We are still in the process of sorting out how and when official authority will be handed over to Lindsay and myself. Beth let me admit 2 of the babies when they arrived, a process that includes taking measurements, weighing the baby and filling out a basic questionnaire about the baby which gets faxed to our adoption agency. I also had the chance to meet with Francinah, the wonderful woman who is housemother to BH2 and who will be working as my “assistant”. I use the word assistant loosely considering Francinah has been with DOH for years and she is has and will be teaching me so much as I transition into this role. Please be praying for her and I as we seek to come together as a team to help shepherd and lead the Aunties and babies at BH2.

Between the adoption, the hospital and having to be driven around from place to place I’ve only had the chance to spend a few hours at Baby House 2 this week and I am hungering for the day I can spend as much time there as I can. Please be praying that I will get comfortable with driving super soon so I can be on my own there day in and day out.

I would also ask for prayer for my roommates Beth, Clair and Lisa who are battling with illness: sinus infection, ear infection and a nasty cold respectively. Please pray that they are up and running soon and that the Lord would help protect me from any illness.

Unfortunately my camera died on me two weeks ago so I don’t have any pictures to post today but I will borrow some from my roommates this weekend and post them soon. Please pray that I would find a reasonable and cheap replacement for my broken one so that I can capture all of the amazing memories and babies in store for me.

I appreciate your love and support!!! I will be sure to kiss Jackson for each of you…. XOXOXOXO…. Auntie Nicole

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. ...