Friday, October 29, 2010

Home Sweet Home

WOOOOO-HOOOOOOO!!! Yesterday we moved Patti Sue's house (the 'Baby House') into the new building! They ACTUALLY slept there last night! It's very surreal to be in this moment, because this has been a long time coming. We will not move the main orphanage until next weekend, so it's kind of hard to feel much relief at this point. We still have a lot of planning and packing to do, but I know we need to celebrate this small step! :)

Yesterday morning, 9 out of the 10 babies at the house were taken for the day by different people in the missionary community. It was quite humorous to see them all leaving in the morning for their day out. ha! We kept Suzanna with us due to her medical and feeding issues, so she was the first child of Casa de Fe to officially move in!

Several of the gringo volunteers and the Ecuadorian workers helped load up Patti Sue's house and bring everything up to the new property. We worked on cleaning everything as it came in, sorting, organizing, setting up the rooms, etc... Here's a little of the craziness. Mrs. Martin took pictures for us! :)
Dwight & his dad making a new base for one of the cribs.
The tias did an amazing job in the kitchen!
Some of the girls came up after school to help Patti Sue get organized and hang some curtains.


The babies were brought in around 5:45, and it was craziness after that.
We pretty much had everything set up and ready, but I think they were just overwhelmed by the new scenery. It was quite dramatic for a while. :) Nanki wanted OUT!!!

Angel was having a blast.


Jhony
Please continue to pray for us throughout next week. The plan is to move the classrooms and education material to the new property as soon as school gets out at 3:00pm next Friday, Nov. 5th. The next day we plan to move the kids, and that is going to be a long day! We're going to have clorox baths, lice treatments, haircuts, etc.... We want to be CLEAN when we move! :) Fun times.

On Sunday morning (also Dwight's 30th birthday!), we plan to have a worship service with the kids in their new home. I think we're all just overwhelmed to be a part of this right now. Our God is so big, and the ways He works out His plans are just unbelievable. Father, please help us never lose sight of the fact that you provided all of this. Help us teach these children to be thankful, but to never forget that their real home is with You.

Cole Therapy

Although I love all of our teams that come....I just HAVE to post about a recent team that came specifically for therapy. This is the reason I chose to come to Casa de Fe, yet it's also something I don't get to spend any of my time doing. So.... to see this team come in and provide so much for our kids in this specific area.... Wow. It was just incredible.

Cole Therapy (based in North Houston area) contacted us a while back, because they were looking for an international organization to partner with on a long-term basis. (hopefully!!!) They wanted to know if our kids could benefit from speech, physical, or occupational therapy. We answered with a resounding, "YES!!!"

The company had an application process for their therapists, and the resulting team could not have been more perfect. We had 2 speech therapists, 2 physical therapists, and 1 occupational therapist - all women. The ladies shared that some of them did not know each other well before coming, but it was obvious that the trip resulted in some new friendships. It really was a joy to be around them throughout the trip.

I was SO IMPRESSED by the team's work ethic!! I think the first day was a little overwhelming, because they just got to briefly meet every child (about 25) who could benefit from any one of the therapies....usually more than one is needed for each child. They went to the hostel that first night and sat down as a team, and the next morning they came to me with a plan. In the next couple of days they proceeded to fully evaluate every single child for each respective discipline. They would work at the orphanage all day, and then they stayed up every night until 1:00 or 2:00AM typing up their treatment plans. By the end of the week, they left us with a binder full of the completed treatment plans for each child, AND the information was all translated into Spanish for our therapist here.

I cannot explain to you how exciting this was/is!!! I told them it was like Christmas. :) We've just never had anyone be able to complete their work (therapy-wise) from start to finish like this, and the translated treatment plans will be effective for a long time to come. It is just such a gift for us.

They also spent a lot of their day-time hours with the kids- working on new exercises, fitting braces and adaptive equipment, working with our therapist, Geovanny..... the list goes on! I wish I would have taken more pictures, but the team promised to send me theirs. Here are a couple that I got of Martin whenever he used his quad canes for the first time. He is fearless when it comes to trying out new equipment!





THANK YOU to Cole Therapy!!! Thank you to the executives who provided this opportunity for your employees by counting this trip as paid work. Thank you to each of the 6 women who came and shared their knowledge and love with our kids. We hope to see you all in Ecuador again one day!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MeMom & PaPa in Ecuador!!!!

Dwight's parents arrived on October 16th, and they get to stay until November 1st. It has been SO awesome to share our lives here in Shell with them, and I know it means the world to Dwight to have them here! Unfortunately for them....they are keeping our work hours with us every day. ha! :) They've been a big help to both Dwight and I with our daily work, and I feel like I have a magical house-cleaning fairy visiting my house at night. LOVE that. We've been eating like crazy...enjoying special treats from the States and our favorites from here. It's been so exciting to watch them experience new things and bravely conquer some fears!!! We are just so thankful, because their presence here is an answered prayer...possibly even qualifying as a miracle! ;) God is so good. Anyway...I'm horribly behind on my blogs, but I wanted to share some pictures from their first day here. We arrived in Shell last Sunday night, and we came straight to Casa de Fe so they could meet the kids.

Let the hugs begin!!! Junior has only been with us for a few weeks now. He is adorable!
The gemelos are always eager to be held during tours. :)
I love this one! They decided to have a little group hug.

Nayely was gettin' some serious lovin'! MeMom first....
Then PaPa.....

I just love her little hands around his neck. We went around to the back to see the big kids, and they were all lined up on the stairs- fresh from the shower. :)
Dwight was introducing the kids to his parents, and Pablo was trying to get his attention in the meantime. :)
I LOVE this picture!!! From L to R- Kevin, Wilson, Jimy, Javier, Ariel, & Gilmar - Que guapo!!!
Tatiana, Ana, & Dubiasca....with Ariel sneaking in the back.
Coco is HUGE. I think Dwight pulled some muscles when he threw Coco in the air.
I'm pretty sure 'PaPa' got a workout lifting the kids up over and over and over....
Our resident beauty queens, Maribel & Nicole
This used to be Dwight's daily routine whenever he was here at Casa de Fe on a daily basis. All of the kids crowd around the window, and he takes turns throwing each kid into the air....3 times each to keep it fair. :) Alejo is probably the funniest one, because he gets this terrified panicked look as the highest point....but then is grinning by the time you catch him. He does it EVERY time you throw him up, and it's hilarious! You can almost see his expression here....he's at the scared point in this pic. lol...

Sarita :) I wish you could here the deep giggle that she does every time.
This was taken as Jonathan came down from his little trip in the air. Love it!
The next 2 pics are of the gemelas (female twins). They crack me up! :)

Mrs. Martin has been taking some awesome pictures since this first day. Hopefully I'll get them up in the near future.

Here's a video that I know the family will enjoy seeing. A sweet moment!
video

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jefferson LeDonne







Jefferson is officially adopted now!!! His family started the process last summer when they were here, and it's finally complete. It has been so awesome for all of us to see it from start to finish.
So....here is part of the journey in pictures. :)

The LeDonne family arrived in Quito mid-August. They didn't get to come to Shell for a couple of days, so I had Jefferson call them on my cell. Here are some pics of the first conversation they had in-country....
The first two are talking to his dad....

then mom.... :)

Jefferson and I were waiting at our house on the day the LeDonnes were driving to Shell. It was so exciting!!! We got 'the call' and went walking over to where they were going to stay. I was supposed to take a lot of pictures, but I got too caught up in the moment!!! Here are a couple....
Jefferson got to stay with the family throughout the process, and it was so fun to see him be with his new family. He didn't hesitate one bit in calling Tim 'Daddy' and Lisa 'Mom.' It was great. His new sister, Lizzie, and brother, Connor, were so great with him. Everyone who spent time with them noticed that Jefferson was just completely at home.

They were here for almost 2 months going through the final stages of the adoption process. They got to stay with us for a couple of weeks at different times, and we loved it!! It was so special to see them bonding...and hilarious to hear some of the stories as well. :) I just have to say that one of my favorites involved the subject of circumcision. You could just say that Jefferson was quite concerned about his new brother....and more concerned that he would somehow become like him.

So....Here's a pic. of the day they went to meet the judge for final approval of the adoption. They all had to dress up for their appointment, and Lisa had brought the cutest outfit for Jefferson. Here's a quick snapshot of the family outside of the courthouse.
God was definitely taking care of things and smoothing the way for them, because every checkpoint they had was completed on time. In case you've never been here before...that is an AMAZING thing.
The ONLY delay they had actually came on the day they were supposed to finally fly out of the country! That was when all of the drama happened in Quito, so they were delayed a day. Here's a pic of when they finally got to fly home. :)

Since then, they've had a couple of weeks at home together. Tim posted some pics on Facebook, and I've put some of my favorites on here. These are from Jefferson's first week in the States.

Classic first trip to Wal-Mart..... They said he LOVED the greeter who so freely handed out stickers.

If you haven't met Jefferson....He has no toes on either feet. He was badly burned as a child, and doctors said he might never walk. That's not even close to the case now.... You'd never know!!! They said his scooter is his new favorite sport. :)



Here's their whole family...minus an older daughter. Aren't they beautiful?!?


Jefferson has been a favorite of many visitors over the years, and I know everyone is so excited that he is now a part of a family. Please continue to keep the LeDonnes and Jefferson in your prayers. God is so faithful.....