Tuesday, September 29, 2009

America Florida Miami - You Decide

Noah- "Isaac Isaac Isaac - we are in America!" (at landing)
Isaac- "Uh, no actually we are in Florida, Miami."

Isaac- "I cannot wait to see all the beautiful things in America."

Pilot- "We are on our way into Miami, landing in 10 minutes."
Noah- "Can we call it MY-ami instead?"

When we were in the air -
Noah- "This is where God lives."

Isaac, looking at a AA sign advertising Hawaii.
Isaac- "Mom, American Airlines goes to Hawaii too? How do they know where everything in the world is?!?"
Me- "I guess they have a lot of maps buddy."
Isaac- "Who in the world makes all those maps?"

Noah proclaimed loudly as we came into Miami- "I CAN SEE THE WHOLE CITY OF AMERICA!!!"

We're laughing not stop at our silly boys. In all of 2008 and up until today, 2009, Isaac was in the USA about eight days total. It shows. :)

In other excitement Troy used this proverb (spoke it in Kreyol) in line when Haitians were fighting over who was there and who was cutting in line - "We have been here since the little cucumber fought with the eggplant." (Kreyol translation not currently available in accurate form.) They laughed and asked him where he learned Kreyol? He said, Bondye (God) to which they wondered if God could help them learn English.

Earlier on the way up the escalator a husky Haitian woman was saved from falling backward down the steps by a shoulder in her butt forcing her to stay upright. She had no idea that you should not grab an affixed railing while on a moving escalator. Crisis averted, we could not stop laughing. Troy actually said, "Catch her Tara" when he saw what was happening first. John McHoul only comes to America to watch the escalator show. He missed one of the best ones I have ever seen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thank Yous

We're off to Minnesota tomorrow, I think we're mostly ready to head out, we have been feeling much better with a few residual "things" that we're praying will end in the next two minutes or so. Noah and Isaac could not be more excited. Paige and Troy and I are glad to be going but couldn't possibly match the excitement of the boys.

(Photo of Renald and Karis Howerton taken Friday. Renald LOVED her.)

T & T are looking forward to a few random things in no particular order...
  • sleeping without deet all over us
  • sleeping with covers/blankets
  • cuddling (or even just touching in bed)
  • Honeycrisp apples
  • family & friends
  • hot showers
  • campfires (someone - have one please!)
  • really good pizza (as opposed to the pizza here - which is not really good)
  • food choices galore
  • stress free driving
Britt and Chris get to MN on Thursday night. We're all very excited to see them. The first few days in MN are full of appointments and meetings, but I will update the Medika Mamba Marathon totals on Friday night from Minnesota. The race starts at 8am on Sunday. The countdown clock must be Greenwich Mean Time ... not Central Time - so I guess we should ignore it. :)

Troy plans to be the "tweet-master" during our entire trip and especially during the race. Jen and Tess have a plan that allows Troy and the kids to find us at five points along the marathon route -- that will be a huge encouragement, Isaac's giant grin is guaranteed to boost our spirits.

I feel crazy relief to have the training done. I did not count on all this stupid illness. The month of September might be my least favorite month ever. I hope to stay coherent and upright for all 26.2 miles - praying the factors that have been kicking my butt will be miraculously gone by Sunday.

God is good and has shown up over and over. I am very thankful to all of you who have prayed and encouraged and given gifts to support this cause. I had a sense way back in May that this was a "God thing" (certainly an idea not just my own) and the last four months that has been proven over and over again. I could easily burst into tears each time I think about how much so many have given. I wish I could thank each and every one of you face to face - I really do.

Not to take anything away from each person who has prayed and given, but I want to especially thank a few really important people:

To Beth:
Thank you Beth for being an terrific friend and always getting up at the butt-crack of dawn to run with me on Fridays. Your pep talks are the best ... you're the original Haiti marathoner. I love and admire you and you make working in this city about 200 times more fun than it would be alone. You are also the only reason I ever even got the courage to run in Port-au-Prince. Thank you for being so awesome and supportive and strong.

Thank you to Shannon Hoffman for running along with me in CA each week. A virtual running (and prayer) partner turned out to be a very fun and helpful thing.

Thank you to Angie from IN for being the number one stat lover, encourager, and internet backer. Angie bought shirts for race-day for Tina and I that say "Running for Haiti's hungry kids" on the back.

Thank you to Troy for all the extra poopy diapers he had to handle at 6am because I was trying to get out the door. Thank you for the pep-talks and the patience and the water you delivered and the love you showed. I love you so much honey.

Vivien has a housemate now. Megan Haug has moved to work with Heartline and is living with Vivien at the WWV Guesthouse. It is great to have them there to watch over things but also great for them to have each other. They are talented and fun girls to have around. Paige has loved having friends just a couple houses down. The blessing of these ladies is big to the Livesay family.

Thank you to any and all who are willing to pray for the peeps we leave behind in Haiti. Megan and Vivien are now parents to five little ones and also co-workers of four Haitians. We hope that they can do charades to communicate when Kreyol/English fails them. They are also in charge of two houses -- praying that EDH shows them love and that the kids are all healthy and perfectly well behaved while we're gone.
Vivien is planning to potty-train Phoebe and we are planning to give her anything she wants if she does. Hope actually seems excited to stay with the "big girls" and has shown no sign of sadness as we've been packing and getting ready.

We'll find you after we get to the USA.

With love and deep gratitude,
Troy and Tara and Tribe

Thursday, September 24, 2009


The traveling team is set. Lydie learned late last night that she is benched for this upcoming road trip. Her ornery strong-willed self just sort of soaked in the information without a lot of fanfare. We're expecting the fall-out tantrum soon. We have capable people in place that she can push to their limits.

Yes, it means that I am missing her birthday. And yes, I have significant sadness over that - BUT - she does not know it is her birthday ... and last year when we went to MN for the WWV banquet we missed Phoebe's second birthday. So it is fair now. ;) We wouldn't want anyone claiming we play favorites. There will be a party for her and Beth when we return ... and it will be big. :)

Five more sleeps to go until we head out of here ... and so much to do. We're enjoying having some adoptive parents in town this weekend. We plan to pack and finish up our work. We're even hoping to gather our thoughts and get Megan and Vivien and Jeronne all pepped up and prepped for the huge gift they are giving us by overseeing the benched group.

Remaining in Haiti:
Vivien-Megan-Jeronne - they are managing: Hope, Phoebe, Lydie, Renald, Annie

I am the freakiest freak of all freaks when it comes to leaving my kids. It always seems like an okay idea until about 48 hours before I need to go. There is no getting around the fact that I will cry, feel bad, have anxiety, and dread departure and the goodbyes. I am SO STINKING excited to go and run and see my family ... and I am SO STINKING sad about leaving my other kids. C'est la vie.

The Plan

With the amazing blessings of the funding for Medika Mamba we want to let you know what the plan is. Currently RHFH is our only partner-site administering the Medika Mamba.

In the coming 12 months RHFH will continue to put any and all kids that need the treatment into the M.M program. The funds you've helped us raise will more than cover their program for many years to come.

In total over the next few years more than 600 kids will be treated.

Bondye se bon!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Look at this progress ...

Dieuvlet, Peterly, Jonny, Gilderson

not without failures

I wrote this post on August 6th.

Each week (except for when she did not show up) since then I have met with the Mom and begged, pleaded, encouraged, asked nicely, asked meanly, and then begged some more for her to give J.P. the Medika Mamba each and every day.

I know she is not giving it to him. I do not know where it is going. He is failing. His health is poor and I see no improvement no matter what we say or do.

The choices get really difficult at this point. I feel frustrated, angry, and upset. I struggle to show her any love. These situations are the ones that discourage us the most. I don't know the remedy.

I am asking her to take him to Missionaries of Charity and leave him with them. I don't know how much longer his 10lb body can continue on without proper nutrition. If she is given the food but won't give it to him, I have no idea what the next alternative move should be. He turned one this month.

If the Mom won't do the work required to get the Mamba into him, I am hoping she will leave him with someone who will until he is stronger and ready to return to her.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Success Stories - Medika Mamba

Begendy born in 2003
Suffering from Kwashiorkor when he arrived
From 29.9 lbs ---> To 35.05 lbs

Samuel born in 2004
Suffering from Kwashiorkor when he arrived
From 21.8 ----> To 30.2

These children recovered at Real Hope For Haiti in Cazale, Haiti. They do great work with malnourished kids and need our continual prayers.

A few things ...

  • Troy is home. Toilets, refrigerators, children ... all happy.
  • We had to take the Twitter feed off the blog for now. We will work on re-posting it tonight. The f-bomb guy was showing up all over - no longer just an Oregon problem.
  • Troy brought golf balls home from MI. Phoebe is walking around saying "Wanna play soccer? Lydia get the soccer ball!" (Then she whips the golf ball for Lydie to chase.) Soccer / Golf - no big difference.
  • Troy just left to go to men's prayer group. Noah said "May the force be with you Daddy." He also said last night "My Daddy is home, now I have the perfectest family in the wold."
  • Renald is up to 23 pounds - exact same weight as Annie, trying to catch Lydie at 25.5lbs.
  • The M.Mamba total has grown about $250 since Sunday.
  • Busy day ahead, gotta jet.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Numbers

I asked Renald to reveal the current Medika Mamba total. He is a numbers guy so he willingly agreed.

In case you missed his message ... Renald said: "Forty-Eight Thousand Seven-Hundred Sixty One Dollars have been given by amazingly generous people to help malnourished kids in Haiti with exactly two weeks left until race day." He adds, "How totally awesome is that?"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Readers Choice - With a Key * + #

This is a post in which you will be able to choose to either:
A.) Be disgusted
B.) Be entertained
C.) Both
(Key at bottom of post - see it first.)
I document this as my way of purging it once and for all.+

Okay. I said on Thursday night that when Troy leaves things tend to go wrong. Call it dumb luck, call it the devil, call it what you may. I call it sucky.

Shortly after I published my semi-jokish post about things that can happen when he leaves I was finishing up some work at my desk when I heard gagging and puking sounds coming from my bed. Noah sleeps with me when Troy is gone and he had quickly come down with what we believe is Malaria and was puking and 104 degrees. I got no chuckles out of that one. I wrote to Dokte Jen and called Beth crying and attempted not to lose my marbles*.

Since then, this little man has been in my bed many hours and has been creating massive laundry. The poor guy.
(photo taken this morning - on his 14th straight hour of sleep)

With no man in the house, this is our current security situation at the gate # - Impressed? I know that a twist-tie makes me feel very secure.*
This is the way the toilet looked from Friday morning until about three hours ago when I conquered and successfully unplugged it + after no less than 2 hours of combined time working on it. I won't ever show a photo of anything that disgusting* and I won't tell you about the "plunger incident"*.


I put the plunger in the bathtub once I was done with it, I then saw a piece of (brownish) corn sitting in the bathtub. I began to wonder if anything grosser has ever occurred? <>

This is what has happened twice since Troy left the country:
Our 1115 pound living, breathing dog smells worse than most dead dogs. I cannot take it any longer. I gave her a bath a few hours ago. <> If it is not resolved after that bath ... well then ... she must go*. Who wants her?

There is more ... but I think I will stop there*.

Friday afternoon I really wanted to be with sick Noah and Birthday boy Isaac. But I had made a commitment that could not be broken so we went to visit a beautiful mothers who is about to have a home delivery and get ready for that big event. It took many hours and I missed my boys (and girls) the entire time. When I got home we tried to make it up to Isaac by making cake, brownies, and pizza.+ The pizza had sliced processed cheese on it. <>
The store was out of real Mozzarella#. It was very very not yummy. # Isaac was gracious and we just had cake for dinner. The cake was totally under-baked and soupy and Isaac was gracious again.+ The ice-cream was perfect and worth all $12.00+.

Meanwhile Noah is not getting better very fast - although his high fevers have stopped+. He is tired, having tummy problems (that equal clean-up by an adult) <> and feverish. I have been attempting to watch as many Looney Tunes cartoons as he is requesting that I watch. It has been so fun - Porky Pig is my fave*!

Jeronne had to leave this morning, in the middle of total chaos, because her daughter is also sick. :(

But ... I finally fixed that toilet+.
. <>

* a lie
+ a small victory
# my failure (or maybe Troy's)
<> gag

Message to my husband:
I love you Troy. I miss you. I am glad you are being given a chance to share your life experiences and your faith with old and new friends in Michigan. + This dumb luck / devil / total suck-age does not change that. I unplugged a toilet by myself.+ Not sure if I mentioned that part.* :) Oh, and Tipap came and fixed the refrigerator.+ And I won't really give Peanut away. But I will not save any ice-cream for you.+ Have fun and enjoy your hot showers while you can. Tout bagay dako la. (Everything is okay here.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Deep Questions of Our Day

I have no idea why Troy's tweets are profane if you read them in Oregon. :)

This week a photojournalist from Minnesota has been with us in Haiti working hard on a story on Medika Mamba and has been gathering video footage and information. I asked her if we were the same in writing as in person and she said, "mostly the same". She also noticed that only about 10% of what happens in a day makes the blog.

Yesterday Troy was able to take her to RHFH where she could see the many kids benefiting from M.M. She will return to MN to begin working on putting her story together - she hopes telling the story might result in more help for Haiti's kids. Be praying for MK as she goes home and goes to work editing.
Today we had a busy but great day at Womens Program. We have two women that will likely deliver in the next ten days. If you want to be praying for them their names are Natasha and Judith.

Tomorrow the day will start with a 12 mile run - my running partner and best friend and cheerleader, Beth, will join me again. I hope that this distance will seem easy after last week's 20 - but I am struggling with fairly significant anemia (stupid timing for stupid Malaria) and some pains caused by last Friday's long-run. The chiropractor attempted to re-align everything for me yesterday. A great run would be a big boost, and that is what I am praying for. (I knew it would be like this - not complaining - natural runners maybe don't hurt so easily - I am not a natural.)

My handsome, encouraging, sweet, kind and loving son is turning EIGHT tomorrow. I cannot believe how fast time passes. I remember meeting this same smiling little baby in 2002 like it was yesterday. Isaac is a little bummed his Daddy had to miss this one so we will try to make everything into a big deal tomorrow to cover for that. We've promised a trip to pick out a fun gift once we get to the USA and a BIG party with family in just two weeks. Tomorrow we'll spring for ice-cream and maybe even Visa Lodge Pizza (if we have four hours to wait- that is).

(Nikki Petersen - we love you - Happy Birthday!)

Asked by Noah- "What do robots eat?" Followed up with the even better question, "Do robots poop?"

Asked by Isaac- "How many days is 12 days? - because 12 days is how long it is till we go.But how long is that?"

Asked by the gateman to our neighborhood - "Who are you?"
(Apparently when I am clean, not sweating, and dressed up, I am totally unrecognizable to him.)

Asked by Noah- "Do they have a Target in Michi-can Daddy?"
(Someone is using Troy's guilt to leverage a gift for himself.)

Inevitably when Troy leaves EDH craps out and new varieties of noises begin in the neighborhood after dark. I won't lie ... I cried dropping him off and saying goodbye. Noah was funny tonight, he told me, "I touched Daddy's face with this hand but then I forgot and I washed it off." HA. I am not quite *that* dramatic. But close.

We're on the countdown for his return ... wondering if he can manage to go on an airplane, to America, without picking up swine flu or meningitis or landing in a hospital. His record precedes him, you know!? We're bracing ourselves for all possibilities. ;)

I hope to update Medika Mamba fund totals tomorrow and if Troy hooks me up with the pictures, I also want to share more Mamba kids' before and after photos.


Peter in Oregon (not yet Texas) wrote to say that on the blog (this here blog that you are on now) the Twitter feed on the left for Troy's Tweets - that it is showing some other person's tweets. Apparently this person likes to drop the f-bomb fairly regularly. Can you please tell me if you are seeing Troy's tweets or this other guy ... we are trying to figure out what the heck is happening. (We only see Troy's.)



PS- Troy is America bound and will be as far North as Michigan by 11pm.

EDIT- Oregon is the only state seeing the F bombs flying. I do not know why. I cannot fix it. SORRY! I wish you luck. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A very fun Haiti day

Troy the Tweeter-boy already told you about our big delivery today in a mid-day tweeting frenzy.

Beth called at about 10:40 am to say we had one of our ladies in labor. We all quickly made our way to the house. At 11:31 am a healthy baby girl arrived. :) Paige got to cut the umbilical cord and was also asked to name the baby. :) Beth and Sara delivered. Vivien took vitals. I watched and took notes. :)

Meet Sophia, born 9-15-09 at 11:31am 5lbs 9ounces of perfectness. The first official birth of Heartline Women's Program! Thank you God for a healthy baby girl and a problem free delivery.

I don't even know what to say...

... except - God is big.

$4,653.41 received in 24 hours.

Match received.

$9,000 for Haiti's beautiful little ones. ($9,153.41)

After the mail is opened in MN at WWV I will give you a new grand total. Look for that on Thursday or Friday.

I am off to run 8 this morning. I am emotional - to say that I am moved, touched, blessed, amazed ... is a giant understatement.


PS- Troy has entered the world of Twitter. Yes, there is a joke there somewhere. He signed up so he can "tweet" the marathon. But he is promising entertaining tweets from around Port au Prince. The feed is on the left side of the blog. (Micro-blogging is "the thing", and Troy is cutting edge.)

Have a great Tuesday.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Huge MATCH Offer - 20 Day Countdown

Our phone rang in Haiti today. On the line were friends from Minnesota. They want to make the last three weeks count - and they hope it will be big.

$4,500 is the amount they WANT to match. For every dollar that comes in between tonight and October 3rd at midnight, up to that amount, it will be matched and become two dollars.

The first $300 just came in. $4200 left on the table to pick up by October 3.

I know that the chip in meter has gotten very confusing - with the mail donations and all the matches that are not showing on the meter, it is hard to tell what has come in and what the goal is - we will add an update to the bottom of each blog post with the total amount raised toward this final match offer. Ready, set, go ... spread the word please.

Match Update:
$300 of $4500 received

We'll Be Back Soon ...

  • The forty mile week is over and completed. The physically and mentally intense ten days (for both Troy and I) are done! The malaria illness really messed with us in a lot of ways - I won't bore anyone with the struggles of the week - I'll just say - Thank you Lord that it is over!
  • We have a lot going this coming week with a guest arriving this afternoon that will be doing a lot of filming, I doubt we'll have very much time to post here.
  • The traveling team for MN is pretty-well set for Sept 29. The benched players will be managed by capable friends here in Haiti. We have one decision left to make. Lydie is our last variable and we have no idea if we should play her or bench her. We have the option to leave her home with Megan, Vivien and Jeronne. She will likely get sick if we bring her, she does every time we fly with her. She is so ornery, flying with her could be hellish. But leaving her behind is giving me guilt. (It is her 2nd birthday the day of the race/banquet. I have never left her for ten days. She is my last baby ... blah blah blah - wah wah wah) I just need to decide once and for all and stop going back and forth about it every single day - and torturing myself.
  • Troy leaves here late this week for four days to speak in Michigan. I dislike being in Haiti without him. I feel like a fish out of water without my best friend and partner here. I dread his departure. And yes, I know I am a giant baby.
  • If $66 came in each day until the race - it would mean 40K and 400+ kids treated - do you think it could happen? I am excited to watch and see.
Until next time,
T & T & Tribe

This article is sad and is exactly why prenatal care is such an important thing that Heartline is doing.

Friday, September 11, 2009


  • this is the morning that 20 Port au Prince miles will be attempted, and hopefully completed - guessing it will take most of four hours based on heat/humidity/sloth-like speed/clothing changes
  • 8am forecast: air temp 87 ~ feels like 96 ~ humidity 67%
  • after today - 377 total miles logged - 12 training runs left (only 59 miles till race day)
  • as of thursday night $38,568 raised - closing in on the 40K mark
  • merci anpil to all of you for making this such a giant success!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hebrews 12

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. (NLT)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Tale of Three Ladies

The Heartline Prenatal program currently sees 21 ladies each Thursday. As of today, there are an additional 15 ladies on a waiting list, just hoping to get into the program before their baby arrives.

Of our 21 pregnant ladies, 3 are HIV positive.

N.J -
Is 34 years old. Her baby is due September 24th. She entered our program with this pregnancy back in March. She has five other children. This is her sixth pregnancy. She has never lost a child. Only two of her children currently live with her. The rest of the kids are with relatives in other areas of the country. When she found out she was pregnant, she was sad. In April we did lab work on NJ, she has been very angry since the day she learned of her HIV status. She was desperate for money and agreed to be with the man for money. She suspects that he gave her HIV and the baby. She wants nothing to do with the baby and has threatened to abandon it at the government hospital. When we're with NJ her anger is often palpable. She had a previous baby in the Heartline program and was negative for AIDS at that time. She is newly infected. She uses the DASH program for her AIDS medications. Her pregnancy has gone very well, her weight gain and growth have been on track. Her baby will be placed for adoption. She is certain of her choice. She does not wish to have more children.

R.C. -
Is turning 32 years old this week. She joined our program in May. Her baby is due in mid-October. She measures very small, and we're expecting a tiny baby. She lives with her husband and their one child. She has another child that does not live with her. This is her third pregnancy. In June she found out through her lab results in our program that she is HIV positive. She will not tell her husband. She says he will hit her if she does. She believes he gave it to her and indicated that he is not faithful. RC has had Chicken Pox and a respiratory infection during her pregnancy and has gained only four pounds since May. She is depressed and broken. She carries a large secret alone. She switched AIDS treatment programs to go to one in Leogane (two hours by tap-tap) because she does not want to run into anyone who knows her or her husband at the Port au Prince clinics. RC is one of the most consistently sad women I have ever known. She says that after this baby she does not wish to have more children.

F.P. -
Is 23 years old. She joined our program in early June. On two different occasions she missed going for her lab work. In early August we finally got her there. That is when she learned she is HIV positive. FP has one child, a six year old son. Her baby is due in early December. FP has also told us that she will not share her test results with the father of her children. She suspects he gave it to her but she does not feel safe telling him. She goes to her AIDS program appointments in Port au Prince. She seems to be doing the best of the three women. She is gaining weight well and appears healthy. She is uncertain if she wants more children.

Each week these three ladies and 18 others, with their own complicated situations, come to receive vitamins, education, a prenatal check-up and a meal.

The wait-list is a difficult thing to look at each week. Statistically speaking we know that our wait-list likely has one or two ladies who are carrying a dangerous virus they know nothing about. The desire to choose the right ladies off of the list and help those at the greatest risk is so important to us. We've always wished we could allow everyone that shows up into the program, turning no one away. In order to know their faces, their names, their stories and engage with them on a relational level it is important to take only the number we can serve well and serve with great attention to detail.

We appreciate prayers for these ladies. Their situations are heavy and mind-boggling. Pray for their endurance and their courage. Pray for their health and the health and safe deliveries of their babies.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Speed Posting

  • First day of school was Monday. All kids LOVED it. Vivien is going to be great with them. They go over to the guest house for school. This gets them out of our house, away from the terrible-two-toddler-crew and makes it feel like a big event. :)
  • We moved upstairs for class at the Womens Center today. (Photo)
  • Renald calls Troy "Danny" - because when the other kids say "Daddy" he hears "Danny." It makes us giggle every time he says it. Troy now goes by - Choy, Troy, Danny, Daddy.
  • We have not yet fully licked the protozoan parasites of the genus plasmodium at our house. Ike is being treated now. That leaves Renald, Noah, Hope, Phoebe, Annie and Jeronne still standing. Five fell to the cursed mosquito. We all feel better, still just easily fatigued - which totally annoys us. There is no time for that nonsense.
  • Phoebe is modeling some fun adoption tees that a friend of mine sells. She'll be on a large poster strutting her stuff at a trade-show taking place state-side this weekend.
  • Lydia is maybe the hardest almost two year old I have ever known. I am kind of at wits end trying to figure out how to make her be less angry and tantrum-ish. Seven kids, a couple more extra kids - and I have never seen one like Lyd. The fact that Haitians deal with toddlers VERY differently than Americans is not making this any easier. When I am gone to run or go to Women's Program Lyd gets to act one way with her caregivers - then when I come home she has to play by my rules - it is really messing everything up right now. I hope we get it figured out soon. For her sake and mine.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Holiday Weekend Report

Monday is not a holiday here ... but we're with you in spirit America!

Okay. I lie. We're not. Not at all.

We're crabby, a bit stressed, tired, and snapping at each other. We don't like us very much right now. You wouldn't either. The humidity and the health issues have made for a house of irritable people.
  • Wed 7am - Lyd starts running fever
  • Thur - get results and treat Lyd for Malaria
  • Fri 4am - Troy starts puking
  • Fri 5am - alarm goes off for the long run
  • Fri 5:30 am - 3 kids awake, Troy is moaning- postpone running
  • Fri 7am - take team to airport so Troy can sleep
  • Fri 7:30 am - run 8 miles on treadmill - Troy starts Malaria meds
  • Fri 10am - bring Paige and Viv to Women's center to work a clinic
  • Fri 11am - pick up adoptive parents - spend time with them - keep them away from my disease carrying mosquito infested house
  • Fri 3pm - drop parents back off to airport
  • Fri 4pm- Run close to six miles on treadmill to finish what i did not have time for in the morning - call it good enough for lack of better option
  • Friday 6:30 pm - I (tara) start running a fever and get a bad headache - take Malarone right away
  • Sat 7am - Jeronne and Jenny leave (scheduled long ago)
  • Satruday - survive the day. that was the main goal. take turns sleeping. all kids are fed and sort of watched
  • Sunday - Troy, Tara and Lydie all wake with no fever. Things begin to look up. Paige reports a headache. Treating her to be safe. Jeronne comes home and tell us about the tap-tap she was in on Saturday being held up. The men that did it had a gun. They got $100 out of her pocket and her gold necklace. She is understandably not happy.
The three canker sores in my mouth at once should have tipped me off that I was headed for a stress-related melt down. The true sign of too-much of too much in our house is a little tiff between Troy and Tara ... and that happened first thing today. So, I would say the two of us are worn out, coping poorly, yada yada yada. It is such an old and boring way to respond to stress. Generally we do not argue. We rarely have communication breakdowns. But when we do -- it is the wake up call that we need to find a way to stop and talk to each other without other ears around. Hopefully we can do that in the next couple of days.

Sometimes just the pressure of so many little ones to care for can be A LOT - add in outside demands of ministry and social activities and little Haiti emergencies (there always seems to be one) and Troy and I snap on each other first. It can be hard for people with smaller families or only older kids to understand. I think we come off as unsocial at times. We don't turn down invitations to be rude. We're just trying to be here for our kids.
And ...
GOOD NEWS!!! Viv has decided she likes us enough to stay. School starts tomorrow! This week is the peak week for training. Illness not an option. Running 5m. on Monday, 10m. on Tuesday, 5m. on Wednesday, and 20m. on Friday. - We all better kiss this Malaria crap goodbye and get back in the saddle - real quick like.

Darn it. Lydie is covered in purple marker. Better go.

The pictures are-
From a few minutes ago - Lydie finally looking better - besides her bad baby hair. Renald looking short and totally flippin cute. AND in the tub- from when we went to Jacmel and left our little kids with Jessica & Jeronne. Jessica's photo.

Friday, September 04, 2009


The Mamba gifts are continuing to come in by mail. Thank you.

Continued thanks to each and every person who has given of their resources to help the precious little ones of Haiti. Your gifts matter and the proof is in these photos. This progress speaks volumes.

What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do.
The needs are great, and none of us,
including me, ever do great things.
But we can all do small things, with great love,
and together we can do something wonderful
-Mother Teresa

The real reason I'm writing today, is to share about Renald. This little boy has captured the hearts of many. We're not sure what it is about him, but he has touched every person who has met him this summer in a unique way. He has shaken people up and he has spurred many to action. Renald generated lots of conversations and teaching moments all over the world. He has stolen our hearts and brought us both laughter and tears. One little boy from the mountains of Haiti has caused quite a stir.

Renald continues to grow and is getting closer to his goal weight. We anticipate he will return to his family sometime in October. Your prayers, much love and a lot of Medika Mamba (and eggs) have helped to restore him to a happy and thriving little boy. We're excited for his mother to see him. And more than anything we pray she feels the love and provision of a gracious God as she lays eyes on her healthy and happy little boy for the first time in years.

Paige fell hard for Renald the week we met him out in Cazale. Truthfully, we all did. Paige asked Troy and I if we could take him home and care for him while he recovered. We hemmed and hawed a bit and then asked Lori on our last day in Cazale. There was definitely some fear and uncertainty on our parts. It did not work for him to come that day, but eventually Paige received permission to help to nurse Renald back to health. Licia and Lori allowed Paige that privilege ... And it has been exactly that for all of us.

By definition poverty means "the state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount". It is only when we know the depths of our own poverty that we can begin to seek change. We've seen this summer the many ways in which we are insufficient - the ways in which we are inferior and selfish and in our own state of poverty.

I watched Paige give of herself this summer. It was not very easy at first. Sometimes the giving meant being really tired of diarrhea diapers and vomit. Sometimes it meant getting frustrated with Renald and his needs. Sometimes it even meant putting a pillow over her head and letting him cry so she could sleep a little longer. It meant asking for help, working together, and praying hard. It meant putting someone else's needs first ... and most of the time, that is not very fun.

As she took off for three weeks to visit the USA and turned her responsibilities over to us we were able to see our own poverty. It pointed out to us how much we wanted "our time" and "our schedules" and "our routine". Paige managed to teach her parents some things about love and sacrifice this summer. How humbling that is.

Renald makes us laugh and shows us little glimpses of Heaven. He has been a great teacher, showing us about more about God, love, grace, forgiveness and mercy than almost any other experience in Haiti. We have been allowed - through Renald - to see our own poverty. So often we look at those around us and pick out the shortcomings and failings of others. Renald helped us see our own in a clear light.

We wanted to share a few of the photos and videos from the last few months. They are dated but the changes in Renald's countenance and appearance are evident even without the dates.

His fight to live inspires and brings hope. His silliness and ornery spirit brings joy. His love for life inspires faith in the Father above. His poverty points out our poverty. His need points out our need. His recovery has been miraculous and wonderful to watch.

Thank you for your continued prayers for all children suffering in Haiti and around the world. Thank you for acting.

Please continue to pray for provision through God's people. Pray for action, for encouragement to be provided to the lost, the hurting, the afraid and alone. Pray for ways in which we can all face our own insufficiency and bring it to Jesus -- the only one who can lift us out of poverty.

Collectively may we be a cold drink of water to a dry and thirsty world. Fill us up and send us out. Amen.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


If God sends us on strong paths,
we are provided strong shoes."

~Corrie Ten Boom~


Today is the last full day for the Texas group. They are spending it at Real Hope for Haiti. Paige and I are spending our afternoon at Pre-natal program.

This morning I took Lydie for blood-work at a Doctor in our neighborhood. (She is running a fever and we're ruling out Malaria.) As I walked home with her a sweet old Haitian man said, "Be careful white - the sun is very hot." I think he was looking at Lydia's snow-white, almost translucent skin. He was sincerely concerned. :)

The photo above is a "Where's Waldo?" puzzle. Did you find him/her/us?

*Edit to add - Lydie's Malaria test came back positive. Prayers for the Malarone to work fast are appreciated. Poor baby is so feverish. (Thanks Jen for the dosing on Malarone ... oh, and FOR the Malarone too.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Troy and Paige are failing us. No reports being offered from them. :( I know today they are going a bunch of places and giving the group a chance to see lots of things. How is that for a detailed report?

Yesterday they visited a Compassion project in the morning and in the afternoon they got a ton of painting done upstairs at the Womens Center ... it looks so good up there.

The last thing they did was go to the open-market in Tabarre. Walking there and tap-tapping home provides a true cultural experience. Paige led them and spent a little bit of time torturing them by bringing them through the meat section. After walking through with all the flies and people and smells and heat --- she says something along the lines of, "so this is where your dinner comes from".

The kids have been enjoying their last week of summer. Isaac, Hope, Noah and Paige have been hanging with the team in the evenings and Isaac even performed a few HighSchool Musical II songs for them. :) Hope helped him save face by joining him on the second number.

That's it from here for now.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Earlier this year we went through a time of great sorrow, grief, and anger. It was not something we could share here but every day for a month or so it was hard to get out of bed and face the world.

We have been experiencing healing and as we continue to struggle through the questions we have for God and for ourselves, this song has proven to be powerful.

I am hoping it might be an encouragement to some of you in the dark and difficult places in your lives. Healing happens so much slower than we would like for it to, but in it we've been grateful for the love so many have shown us and for the grace of the Father.