there is no such thing as birthday cholera
- Phoebe is BY FAR our least spazzy or excitable kid. She just doesn't get super worked up about much. I've kind of always wanted to show her Disney World for a moment and see if she shrugs that off too. All that to say, we worked hard to get her excited about her birthday and mostly succeeded. She got into the birthday spirit late day yesterday.
- On the way home from the b-day dinner we made the ride all about Phoebe. "Birthday bumps!" (Port au Prince potholes) "Birthday lights" (one stop light on our route) "Birthday signs" (billboards for local cell company) "Birthday trash!" (that trash was piled up there for you!) "Birthday water!" (ravine overflowing with questionable water) - thankfully she found all of that to be legitimate and true and was quite honored by the way Haiti rallied for her big day. Our friend Tim Sexton added "Birthday Cholera!" ... he clearly doesn't know there is a line - or that he crossed it. :)
- Paige has been taking riding lessons again for a few weeks. The man that teaches her and owns the club is so kind. Today she was doing a lot of jumping and the horse was fast. Troy admitted he had to look away at times because it made him too nervous. She loves riding. She would really love to be on an equestrian team in college. How great is it that this is available in Port au Prince? Such sweet grace to be able to do this for her. Thankful.
- Prenatal Thursday was without major drama today. Mama Emmanuel looks different than Tuesday, she is measuring 39 and seemed happier today than she did last weekend. AnydayAnydayAnyday now. Little Emmaunel is ready too because he knows he is going to come to play with Phoebe and Lydia once it is show time for his mama - and he is excited for that event.
- Esther named her baby Judler (that makes two Judlers in our programs) and they are doing great.
- I practiced drawing blood on Heather today and made her gush blood everywhere after forgetting to remove the tourniquet.
- On October 1st I rolled my foot totally over on a Saturday morning run. I then stuck to my plan of running 11 miles on October 8th. (I really wanted to do a long run that day. I planned it and I did not allow pain or common sense to bring me to rationality.) I then couldn't walk without pain for two weeks. The guy that x-rayed my foot for me in Tampa when we went to the wedding said, "Well, your skills of reasoning weren't so good, but your skills of obsessiveness were very amazing." All that to say that after three weeks of no running (read: no burning stress the way I know how to burn stress) I was starting to sink into a bad place. I tested the foot with two miles on Monday, then three miles on Wednesday, and I think I'm safe to slowly build back up. For the good of this entire family, for the good of everyone who is forced to interact with me, I need to run. (Troy is sitting nearby nodding vehemently.)
- The Harbor House Mamas are all preparing to dedicate their babies at church. We tried so hard to get them plugged into a Creole speaking congregation. We met tons of resistance to that plan and didn't understand why. Finally we asked a Haitian-American friend that lives here in Haiti what she thought about it. She didn't mince words. She told us that in general they would not be welcomed into most churches and that their status as teenage single mothers would bring much open criticism and critique. She told us to quit trying to get them to go to another church and be glad they feel loved at ours. She said not to worry that their English is only in early stages of development. As a former single mother I understand too well what it is to be cut out of activities of "the church" - the pastor of the church I attended wouldn't agree to dedicate Paige when she was a baby because I was single. I'm not here to debate with anyone about that ... I'll simply say, LOVE always wins. If a single mom wants to make a public proclamation that she desires to raise her child to know and love Jesus, I don't understand why we would want to prevent that. (As a kind of ironic aside, Troy and I shared at that Pastor's church after the earthquake but because my last name had changed and 15 years had passed, he didn't know that we had any history and had no idea who I was.) The teen moms are excited and they all turned over the birth certificates for the babies to help us get ready to make them certificates of dedication. While nothing is perfect in a house full of growing, maturing, first-time moms - we're still very blessed by the unity and community this group of 8 moms and 8 babies seems to be building.