Written by: Chelsea
Chelsea’s love of Haiti started young. We all had a friend Maureen Nielsen who loved Haiti and went to live in Haiti when Chelsea was young. Maureen worked in an orphanage and brought to Rochester a young girl Berta who needed heart surgery. Berta stayed in Chelsea’s home while she recovered from surgery and Maureen would tell stories of Haiti as she did Berta’s hair.
Maureen died in Haiti in 2001 while working in an orphanage for girls. Maureen died in the place she loved. Before she died she and I (Bridget) would communicate by email and I was planning to go down to Haiti but she died before I could. Her last email to me said she was going to have to check my luggage when I left because she knew I would want to bring one of her little girls home with me. When I decided to adopt I decided to adopt from Haiti because Maureen is right I wanted to bring one of her little girls home with me. Although Maureen did not work at Maison, her spirit was with me through the adoption process.
Chelsea has known Marena my daughter all of Marena’s life. Her love of Haiti continues to grow. Chelsea wanted to remember Maureen and her love of Haiti on her wedding day. Instead of spending money on a favor that most will just discard Chelsea and Dan wanted to provide for the Haitian children that Maureen loved so much. They chose Maison because this is the orphanage where Marena began her life and Marena is the one who told Dan to marry Chelsea the first time she met him!
We would all like to come to Maison next year to see the children and show them pictures of the wedding and bookmarks they helped to make. Marena is excited to see her first home and love the children who are just like her. Going to Haiti will fulfill a promise Chelsea and her mother made to visit the country Maureen loved so much.
The first one is the fact that more than fifty percent of our population are women. The represent a big economic force in our economy. You can find them in every level of our economy. They work very hard to take care of their families and give a future to their kids in a country where 70% of the population is not working. They are strong,resilient and persistent. They make all kind of business to sustain their families. They always have hope that tomorrow will be better. Years ago,Haiti started to give them access to the political realm. Our government counts now more than 25% of women in it. They have been proving themselves as compassionate people that really care of the sufferings of the population.
The other reason that makes women generally special is the privilege God has given them to be the door to the physical world. Any human being cannot access this physical world without passing by a woman. This is a principle that God set up since the creation. Jesus has to obey to that principle in coming thru Marie. God has created their body special to carry the baby,to nurse the new born and to take care of grown kids. Women are strong. Not every man can completely see his wife giving birth in the maternity without falling in unconsciousness. Their maternity sense is protectively higher than man. We owe them love,respect and protection.
To all the women in the world specially those that are serving Maison and FHG either in Haiti,in the States and in the world,we all, at the creche,want to unify our voice to tell you we love you and we are thankful for everything you have done to keep Maison running. We still have needs such as formula,diapers,clothes,shoes and financial needs. We will continue to be grateful to you(men and women) for any help you will send to our kids. May God bless you abundantly.
A Blog from Intern Ashley
And so it began. Mary France informed us how many were needed, phone calls were made to get a price quote, wiring the funds took an act of congress, more phone calls were made due to a sudden price increase, frustration and heartache over the unnecessary drama, and then FINALLY it happened. I am pretty sure the Big Guy upstairs was wore out from all our prayers for these mattresses to happen:) But it HAPPENED and the mattresses were ordered and would be delivered on Saturday around 4pm.
The Pfaff crew was ecstatic- well, we all were- but due to the madness that happened we didn't tell the kiddos in case something went wrong, and then we would have to try and undo that excitement.
Saturday was birth family day (see previous blog) and after they families left we were all outside playing with the kiddos when all of the sudden they all started cheering and jumping up and down. Jackson was here- and had all 23 mattresses!!!!! The excitement was something I will never forget. What child do you know that gets excited over getting a new mattress. (Kind of reminded me of the undies day!!). Well I can tell you these kids get excited over new Mattresses!!! I took some video but not sure if it will upload or not, so it will be pictures for now.
Garry helped Jackson unload the mattresses into the kids rooms while the nannies removed all the old ones.
It was a great ending to a wonderful month with the Pfamily and a perfect ending to Birth Day Visitation for the kids. I hope they slept like champions- of course the mattresses might need to be broken in first :)
out with the old......
Today we celebrated all February and March Birthday. This is a total excuse, but with all the visitors these past few months the birthday celebrations fell short.
Along with Christmas, I LOVE birthday, and I love to make them a huge deal- regardless if the other person wants it or not (wink wink). So I was feeling pretty crummy about not being able to make these as big of a deal as I do in the states, but we were still able to make it pretty special for them. And they had a good day. We celebrated with balloons and yummy cakes. And right before lunch... hopefully the nannies don't hate us too much. :)
Usually Saturday is reserved for R&R and doing things outside of the orphanage. Today will be quite the opposite as we have a full day scheduled there. I am coming to terms with the fact that we will be leaving on Monday which is heartbreaking for so many reasons. It would take a miracle donation to allow us the opportunity to stay another few weeks, but stranger things have happened….right?
I can’t remember if we ever posted the update, but we were in fact able to purchase new mattresses for all of the boys and girls in the back. (If you are interested in hearing the full story of the mattress saga and how we got it done then leave comments below and I will write the post.) The excitement of giving them out today is somewhat countering my sadness about leaving Haiti. I wonder what their reaction will be? I’m guessing that they will be no different than I was when I was a kid. I know that when I got a gift that I NEEDED versus one that I WANTED, or better yet could PLAY with… my reaction was much different. I may be surprised and they might get really excited – I can’t wait to find out.
The other main event at the orphanage is that all of the birth families are coming today. Many of the children have voiced their excitement about this visit. Also, I have been told that many of them want to introduce us to their birth parents/family. What an honor. I am excited for this and hope my little knowledge of the language will suffice. I am also looking forward to observing their interactions today. I have been privy to numerous conversations about adoptive parents/birth parents and opinions surrounding the relationships now and moving forward. I always just listen, as I have never been exposed to it. It is an interesting debate that I think honestly can’t be covered by a blanket approach. Every situation is different. Rhiana and I started the adoption process twice and both times it never moved passed the beginning stages for reasons outside of our control. We understand the hearts of the adopting families very well. I look forward to this opportunity and expect to be moved.
I promise to post more later – I have so much more to write about… but my hands are tired and sore from replacing screen windows yesterday. These aren’t the screens that you buy at Home Depot or Lowes. This is old school: pull down the frame, remove the old screen, cut and attach a new screen, and reinstall. No complaints – just a little whining and I want to have some life left in them for guitar with the children later today.
If you are moved to help us continue our efforts now OR in the future. Please partner with us.
Birthday Party that Makes a Difference
Back in Nashville, Gary is a songwriter and touring country artist. Rhiana stays home, schooling the kids. The girls, Gracie (12) and Clover (5), live somewhat normal American kid lives. We felt a calling from God to serve and followed our hearts to Haiti for a month-long mission trip to Maison. With no real plan, other than to help where needed, we began this adventure with fundraising and prayer. God showed up time and time again, proving that we were in fact following His voice. So here we are, in Haiti, for the first time. Gary has been taking care of several repair projects around the property as well as working on songs to sing with the children. Rhiana is helping in the school, and will be teaching English/phonics with Clover as her "assistant". Gracie is helping with the little ones - toddlers and babies. The entire Pfamily is spending afternoons playing and making new friends with all of the kids at Maison. After just a week, we are in love with Haiti and already making plans to come back!
Words from Pierre
Since, Martelly got elected, he celebrates the Carnival in the different big cities of Haiti. In his first year, it was in Les Cayes(south), last year Cap-Haitian(north) and this year in Gonaives(artibonite). These cities benefit some improvements like better roads, more electricity and more tourism. It is a good publicity for the cities. We have interesting historical monuments on the Island which can attractmore visitors here. During the carnival period, there are a lot of emotions. It is ananti-stresstime where people just relax,enjoy their friends, sing and dance. The Haitian government usually has a break from all the protestations. It is one of the reasons the government highly finances it. As Christians, we don’t celebrate Carnival. During this period, churches go to the country with their youth associations to discover the beauty of the Island and to stay away from the carnival environmentwhich is always polluted by bad songs, badwords and inappropriate behaviors. We use this time also to pray, make retreats and have different gatherings. As we are using this period for spiritual activities, please join us in prayers for the orphanage because we are facing some challenges. Our Lord is always faithful.
We need your help in anyway to keep this Ministry running. Your donations are very valuable to us. Thanks for you attention. May God bless you.