Thursday, July 31, 2008

Welcome Home, Luc and Lyvi

After 28 months of waiting, paperwork, more waiting, more paperwork, anxiety, tears, separation, more paperwork and did I mention waiting....

Luc and Lyvi are finally home with their forever family today. Their mom is a friend of ours and a wonderful woman. I know how excited they are to finally have them home.

Welcome home, kids. We're so glad you're here!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Medika Mamba

We've had the privilege of getting involved with the folks at and have been able to purchase Medika Mamba for the sickest children at our orphanage.

Medika Mamba (which means "Peanut Butter Medicine" in Creole) is a Ready-To-Use-Theraputic Food (RUTF) - which means it's specially formulated to treat severely malnourished children. It is an energy dense peanut butter, with supplements and vitamins built in so that it's really complete nutrition in one product. For children that have never had enough to eat, their bodies can't recover from illness or fight off bugs like a healthy person.

A couple of other fabulous items about this product and the organization that makes it for us - Their little plant is in Haiti, so they're adding to the Haitian economy, which is so desperately needed. The formula can be given to the children right in the orphanage, so it's not something that needs medical supervision. And in 6 to 8 weeks, the children that get the full treatment on this product RECOVER from malnutrition. That means they have a fighting chance at life again.

In Dr. Wolff's words: "We see the proof daily: Six to eight weeks after they start treatment
with Medika Mamba, these children are transformed. They are normal for weight for height. Their sparse, reddish hair grows in thick and black. They look healthy and energetic. Their eyes are bright and clear."

It works out to be about $60 per child for the full 6-8 week treatment. And it saves their lives. It gives them a chance at life.

We lost 3 little ones at our orphanage earlier this year. When they come in so malnourished and then another infection of some sort sweeps through Haiti, they just can't fight it off.

And some of our dear ones are just too little. Our little "niece", Gracie, is one of those that will be treated this first round. We plead, hope, pray, beg, that this beautiful little girl has some more meat on her bones when we go down in October. That's trip is in 11 weeks, and that should give us just enough time to get her to a healthy weight.

We're so grateful that we have found our children in Haiti. We're struggling with the delays and the process, but we're grateful we can do some good somewhere while we wait.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Who wooda thunk it!

First off, the literary locquasciousness of Lori is not going to be present in this blog. My humble apologies!

Lori has been asking me for the past several months when I would contribute to the blog, but I felt it would be much better served if I played the behind the scenes support system. That being said, I had something that happened today that just made me think - who wooda thunk it!

I spent the morning driving with one our best friends to Cokeville, Wy. as his company was bidding on a construction project there. We figured it would be a fun ride and he could use the company (and I could look for cops). It was a great ride as the scenery was beautiful because everything is still green. We spotted a huge 4 point deer (right in Lehi), a multitude of antelope, and a couple of hawks.

We arrived early to Cokeville so we sat and watched for the competition to show up before finalizing the bid and had it ready precisely on time even after we had to resort to using my cell phone (ATT) because neither his Verizon cell phone nor his Nextel cell had coverage. That was the first bit of good luck we experienced today. It appears certain that they will win the bid so it was a good thing he had me come along!

After finishing the bid meeting we headed to the Flying J Gas Station to fill up the drinks and grab a bite to eat. (Note for all readers - DO NOT get the deliciosly smelling sausage wrapped in dough - you will start regretting it about 15 minutes later.) While we were in queue to pay I saw a peace officer walk in and had to do a double take as I could have sworn it was my MTC companion. He walked to the back with a kid from the area to go get a pop and I realized I had to find out. (Please note that I am not exactly what most people would consider a "people person".) So I approached him with a quizzical look on my face and said "Jackman?" He looked up and I started to laugh because I could then read his name tag and there was no mistaking who he was after that. As I started laughing, he immediately remembered who I was and a very "manly" hug pursued. Really, what are the chances of the two of us running into each other in little old Cokeville, Wyoming after 16 years?

It was a great time getting to spend a few minutes with someone who was such a great friend for a few years. We were companions in the Missionary Training Center, spent our first five months in the Philippines in the same apartments and quite a bit our mission in the same zones. We survived an appendix nearly bursting, an earthquake, a volcano, a near crippling foot infection, some sort of denghe fever, a batchmate going crazy and running off the end of the peir into the South China Sea, and several other more mildly looney companions. As Dickens stated, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,..." I only wish we would have had a more time to spend visiting, but he was on patrol and we were expected back in Utah. We do have his cell number and he has invited us to come up and spend some time so we will definitely be in touch!

To top off the day we just needed a break just as we were leaving Evanston so we thought we should stop. We just "happened" to stop; low and behold, in front of the Black Cat fireworks shop when we remembered that the 24th celebration is less than 2 weeks away. So naturally we felt it appropriate to contribute to the revenues of the city of Evanston by purchasing completely legal (in Wyoming) fireworks solely to celebrate the Days of '47.Though it does seem that a few happened to go off pre-maturely tonight:)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Other Children

If you missed the ABC News Nightline story last night on child slavery in Haiti, please, please take a few minutes and go to the link below and watch the video. There are 4 parts - you can navigate between them at the bottom of the article.

A reporter decides to see how long it will take him to buy a child in Haiti. The results are truly shocking. You can see good images of what Haiti looks like - how beautiful the people are, how lovely the mountains are, how desperate the country is.

I'm so grateful that our little ones are safe in an orphanage. I am so eternally thankful that their mothers were able to put them in an orphanage so that they could have a better chance. We don't realize how lucky we are.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hanging With My Dad

He's happy, too. I love his little soft smile, almost to himself. That's our boy.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Peas in a Pod

I love this picture.

It was taken the day we brought Jessica to the hotel with us. They've been together just a few hours. We've bathed Jessi and put her in one of Malot's extra T-shirts for PJs (since we didn't have clothing for the poor child since she was kind of a surprise.)

Malot was so excited about her. I'll have to post those pictures another day (spread out the joy).

But in this little picture, they're playing together with the remote control and you can see he's grinning and she's got a little smile on her face.

We miss you, babies. Come home soon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


There's nothing quite as heartwarming as seeing the little Haitian children walking together to school. They dress in matching uniforms and each little school wears slightly different colors. They're lucky to be able to go to school and I think they know it.

When our truck broke down on the highway the second time, we ended up on the side of the road. A bunch of little school girls walked by soon. They were involved in chatting with each other at first, but then one of them noticed Katie's white skin and piercing blue eyes peeking out at them through the steel on the side of the tap-tap. She gasped and pointed and all her friends looked where she was directing. They all gasped. And then they hurried away.

I could see they all stopped about 5 feet in front of the truck. They were excitedly talking about what they'd just seen. And then they decided they wanted to walk by again. I could tell that they were involved in the universal school-girl debate: "No - YOU go first. I'll go if you go!" - all wanted to come back by to look at the white people with the blue eyes, but none of them wanted to be first.

Eventually, they linked arms and pretended to be super casual as they strolled back passed us again. They weren't prepared for what happened next.

We stopped them.

We asked them if they wanted a sucker.

I know - every alarm should have been going off in their heads. Not only were they taking candy, but they were definitely taking it from total strangers.

And they were thrilled.

They walked back to their school, suckers in hand. I didn't have my camera out fast enough to get a better shot than this one.

Their school was behind the blue door you can see on the left.

Soon, all the rest of the children were poking their heads out, and trying to confirm the fabulous story they'd just been told about the white people sitting on the side of the road giving out suckers.

In little groups of two or three, they came up to see if they would be so lucky. Fortunately, Nichole had brought a LOT of suckers!