Friday, February 25, 2011

Gift of Hearing

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A few weeks ago we heard about a nearby organization partnering with Starkey Hearing Foundation. The foundation asks the partner organization to identify and locate kids that need hearing aids.  Last weekend they asked if Paige would want to join them on the day the hearing aids would be delivered. Paige took them up on the sweet offer and was excited to be able to go along today to translate for Miley Cyrus and a few others as the Starkey Foundation delivered custom fit hearing devices to kids in Haiti. 

Paige missed a day of school last week in order to be with the midwives to help teenage mom Enisse bring Sophia into the world (per Enisse's request for Paige to be present) and she missed a day of school this week in order to go be with a famous teenager from America.

We've nominated Paige for the "Weirdest Life Ever" award.  Vote here if you agree.  ;)

Paige & Sophia
Isaac and Hope are much bigger fans than Paige, and were completely indignant that Paige got to meet "Hannah Montana" and are now totally certain that what we've been saying all along is indeed true: life is not fair.

We've always wanted to be sure that school does not get in the way of other ways for our kids to be educated.  Allowing them to be a part of work and ministry here as they are able is very important to us as parents. I've never been convinced that learning happens best in classrooms. When our older girls have been involved in helping with programs and projects they have learned much and benefited greatly. Britt learned a lot about her gifts as a direct result of being allowed to help with medical needs in our first few years here.

Occasionally we get an anonymous comment or an email informing us of what bad parents we are to bring our kids here and deprive them of the American lifestyle they are entitled to live. (Which is just odd since half of our kids are Haitian but I digress.)  We completely get that not everyone can come to a place of understanding our decisions, and we don't expect or need that.

The fact is, often times living here is not very easy or fun for Paige (or the other kids).  Without a doubt she misses out on some fun things.  There have been some difficult times in the last five years.  At times she really misses being "normal". We're not trying to convince anyone its all rainbows and unicorns raising kids here.

Here's the thing though ...  Paige is an amazingly well-rounded sixteen year old. She can relate to very wealthy people and she can relate to very poor people. She is comfortable standing and talking with both groups and currently practices both within the same week.  She can hold her own in a room full of adults or children, confident in who she is in either setting. She can wrap her arms around an illiterate teenager from Cite Soleil and she can interact with crazy-wealthy kids that can fly to Paris to shop at her school. Her friends don't all look and sound exactly like her.  She is learning things that cannot be taught by her parents or school or anything other than the diverse life experiences she is having while living in Haiti.

We are thankful for the opportunities we (and our children) have to learn and grow and discover what God is doing in us - in Haiti - and in the world - because of our being here.