Thursday, January 01, 2015

Dear 2014,

Thanks for coming to visit and for quickly making us so.very.old.
You may leave now.

Troy & Tara

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” 
And he replied:Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

For posterity's sake, a brief review of the year that was 2014 - of a more personal/family nature.
(Also, see Maternity Center review here).
  • January 7th we returned home after moving Paige to Texas and spending time getting her settled into college/America life and finishing a list of Tara's midwifery requirements that needed to take place in the USA
  • First set of twins (first breech too) born at Heartline Maternity Center in January - a birth and several intense moments none of us will ever forget 
  • Our godson, Alex, went home with his family to CO in February after a year at our house
  • Tara took a trip to Idaho in February to hang with crunchy midwife people and take practice tests and figure out how to use her remaining study time before the exam
  • Mid February Paigey-girl announced a grandchild would join us in October
  • In March Matt (brother-in-law) and Annie (niece) came to Haiti so that Annie could meet her first family - Isaac got to learn his REAL birth date, which he describes as "epic".  What a difference eleven days can make! 
  • Moses went home to WY in late February/early March a very big event for everyone who prayed for that and a beautiful tangible reminder of God's care for each of us as the Reibs inspired us with their love
  • In April we went to Boston Marathon with Beth McHoul and cheered as she put one foot in front of the other and inspired us all with her tenacity and love for Haitian women
  • Friends from Austin, TX came in April. 
  • Dokte Jen came to visit again in mid-May and was the first to get sick with a horrid virus none of us could pronounce
  • In late May Tara went to Texas to meet our future son in law and find out our grandchild would be a boy
  • In late May the Chikungunya Virus stormed Port au Prince. Lydia and Troy were the first to get it in our family
  • Our niece, Whitney, came to Haiti for a week in June - so much JOY! 
  • Chikungunya took the entire family down between early June and mid July, depression and chronic pain became a struggle for Troy and Tara and many of the Heartline staff in the weeks and months that followed - we officially stopped feeling young this summer -  if we wanted to blame our aging and fatigue on one thing - Chikungunya gets the blame
  • Paige and Michael spent six weeks in Haiti and we all decided that Michael is wonderful and kind and worthy of our Paige - when he asked Troy if he could propose to Paige, we all got to help him make it special 
  • In early August Tara passed the NARM exam to become a CPM - three and a half years of nervous tummy came to a celebratory end on that day
  • In September there was a weekend in Florida to update Newborn Resuscitation skills with the Midwives and Dokte Jen
  • We became Grandparents to Graham Porter Gonzales (Mojo and Tito is our preferred handle.) on October 11, a few days after Paige walked away from a serious car accident unharmed, and just a few weeks before Michael had heart surgery to repair WPW Syndrome
  • Troy came to Texas for five days to meet his grandson while friends cared for our kids in Haiti
  • Tara spent five weeks in Texas with Britt, Chris, Paige, Michael and our Graham-son before heading back to the island with a mad crush on the most perfect little baby guy you ever did see
  • November was a month of difficult situations at the Maternity Center, most of the deliveries ended up needing to happen in a hospital due to placenta previa and preeclampsia 
  • December brought a visit from our eldest child and Hope joined Isaac in the teen-years. The rest of December was spent putting together a destination wedding from the world's slowest internet - said wedding will take place in less than two weeks in Florida  - which is good because things were super boring and we desperately needed something to spice life up a bit. <sarcasm alert>  We will be meeting up with #gonzalespartyof3 on Sunday  - I cannot possibly know who is most excited, but it is for sure me.
  • <GAH> 

Tara left Haiti six times in one year. holy cow. No wonder it feels like it's all a blur.

A friend asked "What are you learning about God and what has He taught you in 2014?"

The truth is, the time to really think about everything that we have learned this year hasn't happened yet.

We learned the truth of the statement: "If you can find a path without obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere".

We can say with certainty that what felt big, scary, impossible, and too heavy to lift, ended up being not so big, not too terribly scary, mostly doable, and our not-so-well sculpted guns can do more lifting than previously known.

For sure we learned that God will provide what is needed to face each trial. If you pay attention you'll find Him providing the courage and grace for each new day in unique and merciful ways. When we looked around we found our friends were hoping when we weren't ready to hope, lifting when we couldn't lift.

And so we went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. 
...That is the plan for 2015 - no grandiose statements or resolutions, just going forth and finding the Hand of God. 
May He grip us all tightly as we trod into 2015.
early January, in Miami, headed home. 
January twins! 
Febraury - Our Godson Alex goes home 
Moses heads home! 
March, Annie returns to Haiti (bottom is a 2008 flashback)
Austin keeps Port au Prince weird(er) for a few days in April
April - Marathoning Machine 
Isaac takes his turn with Chik V in June - there is NOTHING sadder than sick Isaac

Kids watching an important proposal happen in late July
Taking NRP in FL in September 
Isaac turns 13 and decides to be 5'7" in September
Graham arrives in October
Tito comes to TX to meet the Graham son in October
Noah on one of many rides to transport to a hospital far outside of PAP in November
Britt came to see us in early December