These Words Won’t Leave My Mind

As I continue to get backgrounds and histories on our children there are just some that don’t leave my heart. It’s so different when you see a child, then learn what their life is like.

I never continue to see them the same.

I then understand their actions, I feel their heart, I see their pain and I am humbled at their happiness and laughter.

One of our boys has a mother. She lives in our village and is very poor. She has a lot of children and leaves them alone a lot to go into the Dominican and work. They live in a two room house, and when I say two rooms I don’t mean two bedrooms. I mean like two rooms total in the house. Two wooden, square rooms the size of walk in closets.

Our boy loves his family. He is proud of them, but also grateful that he lives with us. He was having some behavior issues one time and his mother came to talk to him. What she said to him hasn’t left my mind.

She said, “I think you have forgotten what it’s like outside these walls, son. You don’t understand how good you have it…” – then the kicker – “…I just had to sell our bed to be able to feed the rest of your siblings this week.”

Sell their bed. The only bed. In order to eat.

Now all of his siblings and his mother will sleep on dirt at night. No blankets. No pillows.

I’m not asking you to feel guilty for what you have because God provides and His word says that He provides in abundance. More than enough. Extra… just because He wants to.

But I am asking you to feel grateful.

Because you really have it pretty good in life if you just take a second to look.

If you look around for things to be grateful for, you will indeed find things to be grateful for. However, if you look around for negative things, that is what you will find as well.

The question is – what are you looking for?


Laughter is Like Milk… It Does A Body Good!


I think God must have known that I needed a good laugh today.

I began creating profiles for our children so that when people inquire to sponsor them they have photos and information on hand of each child. In Haiti there are three levels of Kindergarden, so many of the children who I were interviewing today are brand new to the whole school idea.

The first week when school started there was the long lesson of – What do you mean I can’t just pee wherever I’m standing? What’s a bathroom?

And of course – I miss my mom!

And just the complete distraction of uniforms and pencils and chalk and all the other exciting things that come along with going to school for the first time.

The questions that I was asking today were about family and eating and favorite subjects. Mostly fun questions, but some are needed for medical history, hygiene, needs, etc.

However, starting with the four-year old class probably wasn’t the best idea since kids are kids no matter where you are and just because they live in the worst poverty in the Western Hemisphere they are just as unaware of everything past playing with cars and singing.

I got some of the best answers today trying to figure out things about these children.

A few went something like this:

“What’s your Mom’s name?”

“Little Lady.”

“No, not her nickname. What is her real name?”

“That’s it. Her sur name is Little Lady.”

When asking what these K-1 students would like to be when they grow up, I got a range of answers, including:

“a bear.”

“A woman who answers phones for people.”

“All of them. I want to be everything there is.”

“rice.” (No joke. That was her answer.)

Another question, “Does your mom have a job?”

I got one boy who said, “Yes – My Dad works and then pays my Mom to cook me food.”

and one boy proudly proclaimed, “Yes she has a job!”

“Well what is her job?”

“Each morning she bathes me, gives me food and sends me off to school.”

Ahhhh, kids. They’ll getcha every time.

Enjoy your Thursday folks. Laugh a little.



The Usual.

Um, I just went to visit the house of a dead person, and my heart is so heavy.

I didn’t know this woman – never even met her – but the effect that she had at Danita’s children’s center still very much remains. I passed the very spot where she passed, walking with the staff member in whom’s arms she died. She was family to the team at Danita’s Children and when Brittany and I went to check on her kids it was apparent that their hearts were heavy as well. They smiled and said the right things, easily detected by someone who has so often done the same.

They immediately brought out an album of a happy young woman, in her remembrance. Their mother. Their mom. Who they would never get to say I love you too again.

The house was dark – lacking both types of energy.

Often times in Haitian culutre when parents die their children go to live with relatives and become child slaves at their new home. Think Cinderella with no knight in shining armor and no glass slipper. They sleep on the floor when the rest of the kids sleep in a bed, things like that, working all day to “earn their keep”.

Knowing this cultural tradition Brittany wanted to check on the kids and see how they were being treated, and as I watched them I wanted to mourn with them. To let them know it was ok to be upset. Everyone acting like it’s just something to get over. How is a child – 7 years old – supposed to just “get over” their mom never coming into their home again, never cooking them a meal, regardless of how fancy or extensive the meal is. She wasn’t even sick. She was young and healthy. And one day she just collapsed. They’ll never know why.

Regardless of economic status, how are these families expected to not have the same emotions in their heart because they live differently than we do in the states? It broke my heart that when people pass away in Haiti the family wakes up the next day and keeps surviving, when we so easy to stop our worlds because of insignificant, trivial moments.

Just something to think about.

Feeling so grateful and overwhelmed.. so much to write, but can’t grasp the concepts let alone form the words.

P.S. On the way back to the girl’s house (it’s been raining all day) we passed a little boy bathing in the rain gutter. And a mom rinsing out her mop in it too.

You know, the usual.

CRIBS: My Edition

My mom keeps wanting to see where I live – sleep and eat and whatnot.


This is my crib.

Living Room

I am a solo – recently graduated – student at heart, with no room mate (not even a dog). So to have a huge apartment is just unnecessary. However, I do reside in a pretty dandy little studio that is just e-nough for a gal like me. Located one block from Lake Hollingsworth (which would be so nice and convenient if I actually ran around it… any takers? Running buddy?) and sits on top of a laundry room/garage and right next to a spanish home. I say it has four mini-rooms, but it’s actually one room and a bathroom – you would never know – except for that I just told you.

My mornings usually start out looking like this:

You know they always show the pantry and fridge on Cribs, but I was a little ashamed because my cooking trials have gotten me NOWHERE! So expensive to mess up fresh food.

You know you’re a typical twenty-something when the pantry looks like this: chips, peanut butter and condiments. But – but – the best part about it – Teavana.

It’s like my new addiction. That and Italian Ice. The best tea E-VER! This pantry is complete with only that. Go – they will mix a unique blend just for you!

The fridge: Yep, pretty much nothing. Some left overs, a bottle of root beer (I really wanted a root beer float the other day) and a bunch of bottled water for the road. That’s about it. Seriously, that’s it.

I’m really determined to eventually getting a well rounded knowledge of how to fill it and use the things I fill it with before they are wasted. Speaking of, this is where that is supposed to take place. It doesn’t always happen It never happens, but many pasta and sauce dinners, as well as, Ramen Noodle entrees have been created there – delectable if I do say so myself. And I do.

This is where the scheduling happens: on the fridge door. Speaking of what’s on the fridge door , big shout out to my friends on the fridge door – Bree and Rick – soon to be the Mendoza, Jr.’s. Just throwin’ that out there.

This is where the magical dreams happen – or not – because I seem to never get to sleep until the crack of dawn, and by that time there isn’t time for dreams.

My favorite parts of this room is the random tiny little gold wire star hanging from the closet door, and the canvas picture on the dresser.

I can remember the day I got that star – it was for Christmas when I was in late middle school and it had lip gloss and stuff in it. I have no clue how I still have it, but that little star has made it with me every time I have moved and to every new bedroom I’ve ever had. That’s like over 6 places since middle school. The picture is on a canvas of a Muslim girl who’s striking eyes were featured on the cover of a National Geographic’s magazine years ago. I loved the photo and have such a soft place in my heart for the culture so when I found it at a little airy street market I was instantly in love with it. I don’t know how I fit it into my carry on without stabbing the canvas, but now that it’s mine I really treasure it.

I really need to clean this bad boy out, especially before I head out this summer, but I don’t really want to right now. I have no idea how I fit everything into this little guy, but it is done… along with three plastic tubs under my bed and a dresser… I make it happen. I am a jeans girls deep in my soul, actually on the surface too, pretty much what I always wear; and everyday I pretty much pull each one of these pair out to see which I wanna wear, so clearly I need a better system because folding them every time is not always fun.

Last, but not least – actually maybe least because it’s tiny – the bathroom.

I love the picture above my toilet, all girly and lacy. My bathroom is black, grey, silver and purple. And it’s full of everything a girl loves – make-up, jewelry, hair accessories, and these adorable little pictures of my niece playing dress-up and make-up with me a few years ago – I so cherish those moments with her.

So that’s, that. Nothing too jazzy, but it’s home.

It’s transitional home, and I think that’s what I love most about it. Just perfect until the next.

Well…. you don’t have to go home… but you gotta get up outa here!!