Mommy’s Day Off

It was last Tues. The day after our first eventful weekend with our girls and the day after I had returned and spent the day with them (and the chicken) at their orphanage. We are sitting around the breakfast table talking about our plans for the week. It was stated in those plans that “on Friday you boys get the day off from school”! Eric said, “But I don’t”. Friday was parent/teacher conference day. Ethan pipes up and says, “Well Mommy gets a day off EVERY day!” They think because they see me in the house when they leave and usually when they return home from school that I’ve just sat around eating and sleeping and blogging all day long. 
Little do they know!…Perhaps I should let them know by not doing this!
My Tuesday…Then it rained.
And on Tuesday while doing umpteen loads of laundry that ended up hanging to dry all over the house, I made a big pot of potato soup. And wouldn’t you know this cute and hungry fellow (the one next to Evan) would just happen to stop by right at dinner time. 
Us?..have strange boys walk into our house and make themselves at home? You’d think we were back in the States or something! Meet “Jimsey” (nickname for James). But my nickname for him is “beggar boy”. Just spend an hour with him and you won’t think I’m mean for calling him that. He found us when the last missionary couple had had enough of him. We’ve just about had enough too. But what do you do when you have a big pot of potato soup? I did think about it. And despite the consequences I knew would come, I just couldn’t justify not feeding him…no matter how annoying he is. Eric told me I would regret it. I did 5 nights later. But we decided to look on the bright side that it forced us to practice our Creole each and every time beggar boy came knocking. Or should I say “entering” because he doesn’t know how to knock, or when to stop asking for food, or when to leave. There are lots of Jimsey’s in Haiti. And these are the kinds of things we are learning to wrestle with the best way to respond every day.
This is what I typically do on Wednesday (at least the past two). This is my friend Mary who is teaching me the ropes in Haiti along with the sweet little Madame from whom we choose to buy our produce. Madame wasn’t there the week before because her husband had died. Please pray for her
And this is my new friend Audrey who I can’t thank enough for being my personal chaffeur! Audrey’s kids go to Quisqueya Christian School where we live and work and her daughter Jenna is in Ethan’s 2nd grade class. Audrey’s family lives up the mountain past where our girls orphanage is located. She told me she had been praying for a way to serve others with her time while her kids were in school and I was praying for someone like Audrey to come along who was able to do things while my kids were in school! Most of the people we are getting to know are other teachers/missionaries who are not free to do things like go to orphanages during school hours (which is the time I have to do such things). So Audrey is a Godsend to me! And we’ve found that we have many of the same interest (like orphans and shopping and talking) and I’ve enjoyed being with her and serving with her and getting to know her so much in the past week! And we praise God for her and all our precious new friends daily!
Thursday. I met Lance on Thursday. Lance did not like it when I put him down. I wish I could hold him every day. Lance is one of the many beautiful children at Maison de Enfants de Dieu orphanage that is close to us in Port au Prince. We have had the privilege of spending time with the Haitian orphanage director Pastor Pierre Alexis back in the states when he has visited our son’s previous school and our home there. I was able to hug and visit with Pierre and deliver the cards friends had sent for him upon the passing of his dear brother Kiki. Please pray for the Alexis family during this difficult time. Kiki was the attorney who processed adoptions at this orphanage where several of our friends are adopting children. 
Children like Jamie and Sophie who will go home to their forever family in IL soon!
And like Wilson who still has a long wait ahead but will eventually end up in my home town of San Marcos, TX with our dear friends and his forever family the Guenthers! It was a blessing to visit our friends at Maison (For His Glory) and to take pictures for some of the adoptive families to encourage them. Audrey and I were invited back and hope that will happen soon! 

Still Thursday. Evan gets out of school at noon so Audrey had to take me back to the school to pick him up and we decided to have lunch with Ethan and Jenna as well. Then we headed out to stop by the Apparent Project. 
If you don’t know what that is click here to find out!
Evan jammin with the Apparent Project’s “Boys in the Hood” who may have ended up as a “crew of thugs but for the fact that they now have work and all go to school-they are turning out to be quite the respectable hip-hop jewelry makers in the basement of the artisan house.”

And around the corner we got to say hello to some very talented basket weavers!

And Evan got to play with classmate Zebedee and his brother Jackson and sister Ember. The Clay family recently moved to the same location as the artisan house where the Apparent Project goods are made. I’ve had the thought before that the Clay’s were just about the coolest people I could imagine and I never imagined that our kids would be buddys in the same class! So. Cool. Corrigan Clay kept an eye on the kids while Audrey and I looked around (ok, we were shopping) in the jewelry and purse department upstairs since Evan was much more interested in legos than purses. I was very interested in the purses since I had managed to not bring a single purse to Haiti! It’s not that I’m trying to make a fashion statement around here but my oversized fanny pack (that I only intended to use in the airport) is just not jiving with my style and the needs of 4 kids to have me carry all their stuff for them.

And on this Thursday I (along with my fanny pack) was very happy to finally meet one of my biggest heroines (though she never knew that)…Shelley Clay! I want to be just like her when I grow up! Then we went home and Jimsey (aka “beggar boy”) showed up AGAIN and I prayed that someday he would learn that his way of begging isn’t helping him much now (and certainly won’t when he gets bigger) and that he might grow up to earn a different nickname like “respectable hip-hop jewelry maker” and that maybe God would allow us to be here long enough and be part of that! 
And then…it was Friday. And we all did have a day off. Well, all of us except for Eric who was very busy with those parent/teacher conferences. The kids and I were invited (by dear Audrey) to go out to eat and then swimming at Jennifer’s (Quisqueya Art teacher) house nearby. Audrey picked up our girls on her way down to the school (where we both had our conferences with our kids teachers) while the kids played and then we set off to 
Epi d'Or
And marveled at how the 3 families represented here ended up with both Haitian and American kids for this day and how good it was for them all to be together!

And marveled some more at a very dramatic response to the automatic hand dryers in the bathroom!

And then we went to the pool where the girls stayed on the sidelines for awhile…

And finally ventured out…

To bug brothers…

It was a really funny sight to see two big girls wearing baby floaties floundering around the middle of the pool where little kids with no floaties were swimming.

It took Ethan a minute to figure out why he wasn’t going anywhere. Haha!

And kids swam so hard they were eventually all fighting over the floaties!

But all in all…

We had a great day off!
It was a day when orphans didn’t feel like orphans. 
And when new friends felt more like old friends. 
And when Haiti didn’t feel so much like Haiti. 

One Reply to “Mommy’s Day Off”

  1. I just found you and your blog! That beautiful baby girl starting at Audrey is our baby girl Naika. We pray that she will be home to us in Nebraska before next Christmas. Thanks for sharing with us and loving on our children

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