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Showing posts from 2013

Waving Under the Mango Tree

2013… It feels like it has been the Exodus. Many children have finally been able to go home with their forever family. It is such a blessing to watch the parents and the children unite. To watch them learn to communicate with each other, to watch them bond, and to watch them live out the moment they have been waiting for and praying for, for so long.
A day that their families have waited years for.
A day that begins a life that our children cannot even fathom.
A day of tears of joy.
A day of question from the child.
A day where the child is excited to have someone to call their own.
A day where the child doesn’t really understand what is going on.
A day where we say good bye, never knowing if we will see the child we have loved on again.
A day where their friends wonder where their friends are going.
A day where their friends question when their turn will come.
Each time we stand under the mango tree, waving to a new complete family driving out the gate, a part of us leaves. A pa…

Having a Mary Heart and a Martha Mind--Reflections hile falling asleep at a slumber party

Sometimes I get crazy ideas in my head. These ideas latch on and every spare minute I’m thinking of them. How can I make it better, what can I do differently, what will other people think, is there anything better on Pinterest, do I have all the supplies?
Last night I had the privilege of sharing my night with four young ladies that reside here at Children of the Promise. 4 girls (staff kids) ages 4-12 spent the night in my apartment with my roommate and I.
We had so much fun—Mod Podge plastic bracelets, seven strand braid yarn bracelets, soap on a rope, making and eating s’mores pie, a movie, and an 8 step spa regimen (including doing nails). 
Every event was carefully planned around the best timing. Supplies were stacked ready to be used. We just needed giggling girls ready for fun.
The girls were ready and the night got started. One project led to another and the night wore on. We settled down for a movie and then took a long time deciding where to sleep. As I laid in my bed, trying t…

My Dad

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This week began with prayer. Prayer for my brother-in-law’s paper work for his Visa to go through. Monday evening I rejoiced with him and my sister when I found out all was good. Monday night I played games and laughed for a few hours with six other single females.
Late Monday night I received a Facebook message from my brother saying my dad was on his way to a hospital in the nearest larger city.
What?
My dad had told me he had pain in the back of his knee but was sure it was only a pulled muscle and tried to live his normal life.
That pain in the back of the knee was a blood clot, one that was heading straight for his lungs. He was admitted to the ICU so they could keep a close eye on him and he was told that if he had waited another 24-36 hours it would have been too late.
Too late. My dad would not have been here to walk me down the aisle. He would not have been here to pick me up from the airport whenever I get a chance to fly home. He would not have been here to hug. My chi…

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

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Last night I was reading a book that related earthly adoption to God’s adoption of us. I’m not sure I agree with that. Yes, 1 John 3:1 says “See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” I wholeheartedly agree that I am a child of God and he is my father, but I also believe this was true before my earthly parents even thought of me.
But, this viewpoint got me thinking. You may believe the same way this book does and that is totally fine, I know I do not have all the answers. From now on, we will not be thinking the way I think, but rather the way the author of this book does.

As soon as we accept God into our hearts he becomes our dad. He has adopted us. It doesn’t matter who we are, what we’ve done, what we are capable of doing, or where we came from: we are His children. He accepts us as we are no matter what.
We are each special in our own way and we are very needy. We need to be forgiven, we need to be constantly redirec…

I Cuddled This Afternoon

I cuddled a child this afternoon.
Not just a normal cuddle, one that lasted a long time, longer than (in my mind) I had time to sit there. Don’t I cuddle often, I live with a bunch of babies?
Yes, and no. Life here is crazy. I hang out with the children, but there are usually five of them on me at a time. It feels like all of us are just running from here to there to get things done even though some of us desire to just spend more time with the kids.
When we have sick children or new admits, I do have the pleasure of cuddling them. We get to hide out in our apartment and give them as much attention as they desire, but when nothing seems out of the ordinary that cuddling is too far in between.
Yes, we hug our kids. Multiple times a day. Hugs, kisses, a pick up embrace, and stopping to chat for a while are all very common delays in my day (and welcomed delays).
You see, there are 50 kids here. Every one of them has their own personality, love language, and level of introvertiveness o…

1 AM Ramblings: Why I do What I Do and Live Where I Live

I didn’t choose Haiti. I didn’t choose to work with kids. I didn’t choose this life. But, I’m sure glad I followed the path that was paved for me.
Most of our kids here are orphans. Some economic, some true, and some abandoned. Whatever the case, they currently do not live with their parents.
Many of them have parents waiting. Parents who love them dearly and spend so much time, money, and prayer to get them home-- where God has chosen them to be.
There are so many times I want to give each of our children individual attention, praise, love, etc. but there are just so many kids. This is not a family. Children were not meant to be raised by institutions. I’ve cried over the care we simply cannot give. I’ve yearned for insight, for time, for resources, for wisdom, for intelligence, and for capability that we just don’t have.
Each one of our children are dearly loved—dearly. We have the privilege of loving them, caring for them, teaching them, and molding them until they get to live w…

Frustrating Blessings: Giving Up What Wasn't Even Mine

Its funny how things don’t work out our way. No, not funny: frustrating.
This week I’m teaching the preschoolers about Easter. As I thought about the story I wanted to teach them the true meaning—that God loved us so much he sent his son to die for us. But even more that He defeated the grave and rose! How do I tell that to three and four year olds who know death as a reality?
This morning was all planned out. A fun Easter book to ease into it and an egg craft that used shaving cream and mixing colors (what kid wouldn’t enjoy that). Nothing too deep, but I planned to begin to talk about how much Jesus loves us and the new life (egg) He gave us because of dying for us. And it all went off without a hitch. Everything happened perfectly; no fighting, turns where taken, no biting, clean up went well, no stealing snacks, no hitting, no crying, and we have beautiful marbled eggs to show for it.
Or not. That whole last paragraph did not happen. In fact, the opposite of each of those happe…

In You Death has Lost its Sting

What if 26,500 suddenly died in our world? It would be all over the news and we would be heartbroken. What if I told you that happened yesterday. Oh and guess what it will again tomorrow. Over that amount die each day from preventable causes in third world countries and no one is doing anything about it.
I picked up the book “The Hole in Our Gospel” today and picked up where I left off at least a year ago. He went on to suggest that we really only care when this loss hits our circle. It’s too easy to dismiss the thought of a child dying in Africa. Yes, we pause for a moment with sadness, but our life continues on as normal. If our neighbor’s child was dying, would we do the same? What if it was your child? What would you do then?
26,500--- Read that again twenty six thousand five hundred (plus) people (mostly children) died each day—EACH DAY! But our lives continue as if nothing happened.
I think its perfect timing that I picked this book up today. The day I learned of a sixth child I kn…

The Lord is My Strength

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Me: “I didn’t sign up for this. This isn’t why I came to Haiti.”
God: “Everything happens in my time, child”
This past week has left me speechless and even thoughtless. My thoughts and emotions where picked up, thrown down, and scrambled around.
Read this blog to see where we where Monday night (and about two of our babies I will talk about later), http://torirayle.blogspot.com/2013/03/why.html. Short story version is like this. We had two babies that where in the hospital who went just shortly after being admitted here, but not too short to be loved and a tiny little abandoned baby who was set to come here after being released from the hospital had died that day.
We were down in spirits and praying for these two little ones who where loved and continuing on with life. Psalms 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” We needed to take refuge in His strength because ours was running low.

Wednesday evening one of our babies, Annabel, was having trouble breathing…

Why?

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I got to spend my Saturday night hanging out with our newest little admit, Cheslie. Each hour I had to feed her. As I slowly put food in her belly through a tube I prayed that it wouldn’t come up, that she’d stay hydrated, that she would be able to eat normally again. For a few hours she’d keep most of it down and then all of a sudden, she’d throw a whole lot up again. Her little whimpers and not so little cries of discomfort and hunger brought me to tears.
This beautiful little girl with black curly hair and big eyes was in so much pain. She’s just four months old and smaller than many American newborns. I wanted to “fix” her. I wanted to take the pain away, I wanted to hold her and tell her it was all going to be okay, I wanted her to know she was loved, and to feel loved. Its amazing how fast you can bond with a child, only a few hours with them and you feel connected for a lifetime. You feel a sense of responsibility to ensure the health and well being of this child, even if it ju…