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