Monday, May 2, 2011


Sorry for “faithful readers” (whatever that means…and if there are any of you out there!) it has been so long since I have written about my final days in Kenya..It is a difficult topic to discuss and I have somewhat avoided it because 1) the thought of it makes me cry (even writing it down brings tears) 2) it makes it real. But another part of me likes the opportunity to write down my thoughts and experience in one place and the ease of writing it to a computer is an interesting yet somewhat easier task…so here goes this sappy yet very real post:

Leaving the baby house was hands-down the hardest thing I have ever done. These kids have become my babies, the ones I look forward to coming home to, the toddlers who I have played with every day, who I love talking to and holding them close. and leaving my Annabelle who I have raised from her “day 1” who knew me as mama and who I knew incredibly well- all of her coos, cries, schedules, likes and dislikes- everything. I loved her as my own child.

But I know that God’s timing is good and I know that this trip in Kenya is finished. Goodbyes happened quickly otherwise they wouldn’t have happened. My goal the whole time: express my love and avoid the word “goodbye” if at all possible. starting with the aunties, my friends for 4 months, women of God whom I love as my sisters in Christ…seeing them cry made me cry even harder, all I could tell them was that I love them and that I would see them one day. Soon.

I went down the line of babies and boys:

telling Lizzie how special she is, how much I love her, that God has great plans for her.

giving Miah kisses telling him to be a good boy for the aunties and how I love him,

giving Joseph, David, William and Winnie kisses leaving Annabelle for last…the most difficult. I held her and cry asking God to help me remember every part of her.

I tell her everything I have told her every day of her precious life: how special she is, to "remember me baby girl", that she is perfectly beautiful and how much Jesus and I will always love her. I tell the aunties to take care of her and love her for me. They promise with serious faces and I can leave because I trust them. Jesus is there and they are loved. And having seen God’s provision and plans for these children come to completion I am confident that His plan for Annabelle is so special. I pray that her forever family will love her and be blessed by her as much as I have these 7 weeks I was with her and I know that God’s plan will answer that prayer.

I tell myself that the painful separation had to happen and said aloud, “Jesus loves Annabelle more than I do. Jesus you love her more than I do. It’s time to go.” And gave her a kiss goodbye and felt like my heart was ripped apart.

The final blow to the terrible situation: walking to the car and seeing little Antony,

one of the boys I love and was close to, sitting behind a tree watching me leave with tears running down his face. He knew and felt the pain I was feeling and that connection we had when i saw him there (though I quickly looked away otherwise I would have actually fallen apart) is something I will never forget and i pray he knew how much those tears meant.

Driving away God whispered 2 things to my heart: “I love them more than you.” and “be assured that you have loved them well.” which brought a wave of peace in the midst of the pain. I love these beautiful people, my friends and babies, because God first loved them.

After a few days of constant tears and realization that my time was finished here for now, I began my journey home. It was a very smooth flight (thanks to over-the-counter ambien!) but landing in Detroit was an unexpected struggle. Hitting US soil brought a sinking feeling and another round of tears, realizing that I am actually home…and nobody is with me. We were on continents separated by days of travel.

Since being home I have been blessed but also very fragile. I tear up often when telling stories, still can’t listen to the songs I listened when up at night with Annabelle, and my stomach churns with missing my babies daily. I constantly stare at pictures and it is surreal to know that it is all over and to process all of the things God has changed in my heart, all of the lessons I have learned (which will probably be a totally different blog post), all of the people I have loved. But I cling to the knowledge and promise that God’s love is everywhere. That he is overwhelming those I love with that love and that he has them under his wing, in his care…and I thank him every day for the opportunity to be there.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

no words..

yesterday was the dreaded day...i left the baby house and it was one of the most difficult things i have done.

since i am still in the stage of crying at the mention of leaving, hearing a song that reminds me of my time here, looking at pictures of my babies brings tears to my eyes i'm not quite up for the blog-post about will come. eventually.

until then: i appreciate and cherish your prayers and look forward to seeing all of you in the MI Mitten soon!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


as a fair warning here are some things that may be different when i come home:

- i say things like "gai!" or "yai yay!" instinctively (depending on the tribe i wish to associate with that day)
- i say "we-wee" (pronounced weigh-weigh) when something is exciting
- when you use the word "smart" i think you're referring to good looks
- i rule at all round-a-bouts.
- i am a generally more aggressive driver and am taken aback by stoplights which mean that i actually am GIVEN the right to go? and nobody will cut me off? crazy.
- i pass people too often.
- i feel as though my arms are empty when going out without a child in them.
- i struggle to find simple english words because the only word that comes to mind is kiswahilli
- i generally re-arrange sentences...aka: speak kenyan english.
- i feel funny about my skin color being the majority?
- i shake hands whenever i meet you.
- i crave all good foods and get overly excited about having access to those foods when i crave them
- i feel more comfortable putting clothes on the line to dry than using a drier.
- i cry at the drop of a hat because i miss my babies or aunties.
- i am elated at the fact that there is consistent water and power available
- i am picky about tortillas because i either am comparing them to chapati or seeing them through the eyes of a texan. (i still hate country music but i DO love a good tortilla)
- i eat mangos no matter how expensive because 1) i love them and 2) they remind me of kenya.

and probably a few other things that i don't even realize because they are so normal here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

photo of the week (2)

because its officially my last week and i am taking as many photos as i can get there are 2 this week. and will probably be more to come.

not sure how i am going to separate myself from this little boy!??!

photo of the week

visiting a Masai village. talk about cultural experience.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

what did YOU do today??

I sat within reach of a huge lion.
no big deal.
note: the bit of nervousness in my smile. i was that close.

and then i saw a cheetah scavenging at night.

fyi: the mara is AMAZING!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hopey's Visit!

Today Hopey came back to the baby house today with her mama! it is required during the fostering period for babies and their parents to return to the baby house 1x per month for "evaluation" and to help them transition from our home to their new home. it was SO great to see Hope!

She warmed up quickly and loved visiting with her friends and the aunties! It was fun to see her remember the bedrooms, her favorite toys, and every part of the house.
it took her a long time to eat her food because she kept turning around to visit with tracy in the kitchen, greet miah, julia and lizzie not to mention the poor girl was bombarded with us loving on her!

please note her VERY kenyan dress. this is in their opinion her "very best"! but in our opinion we see sparkles, bright orange and very uncomfortable outfit...and a word we could only make out as being...italian?

she has definitely grown tall, dark from the sun (and chubby too!) and is walking all over the place! and she, as well as her mama, are genuinely VERY happy. It was reassuring for us to see that she was attached to her mom but still loved visiting and felt right back at home when she walked into the baby house.

What an awesome blessing to see this beautiful girl before i left the country as well as see her so happy with her forever family!