Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dance Recital

Today was the dance recital for the girls. During parts of it I was laughing so hard I almost cried -- you'll see what I mean when you watch the video. The girls got a bit confused on stage - especially Tallie. They LOVED putting on their pretty dresses and wearing makeup. They are true girls. And I was feeling pretty proud of myself for doing their hair -- last year I didn't have a clue how to do Tallie's in a bun. It's one of those mom things I'm just supposed to know how to do :)

They looked nervous when we arrived and held hands as they walked in. How cute!!

Their teacher chose the song "Sisters" for Tallie because she new she was getting a new sister this year. In the video Tallie's the one walking around looking lost.

The girls both fell asleep on the way home -- it was a long afternoon.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Valencia's new hair

Valencia got her hair done again last week. I think this one is my favorite. It's DEFINITELY her favorite. She spent the first day after getting it done in front of the mirror. She especially loves to twirl with her new long hair. I overheard the funniest conversation between my two girls the day after Valencia got her hair done:

Valencia: Mama loves me because I have beautiful hair.
Tallie: Yes she does, she loves me too.
Valencia: Yes, mama loves everybody.
Tallie: Jesus loves everybody too. Jesus loves me, you, mama, papa, Beckett.
Valencia: Yes, Jesus loves everybody.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Help for Haiti

I'm currently working on raising money for Haiti. Since the earthquake I've been following blogs about what life is now like in Haiti and what is happening to help the people. I often end up in tears as I read the personal stories and tragedies that people have gone through, and I feel helpless as I sit in my comfortable house with plenty of food, running water, beds, etc -- basic things that many of these people do not have, in addition to their loss of loved ones. I don't have thousands to give to help, but I can help make others aware -- and if we each give a small amount it will add up and change lives.

We are focusing on raising money for the Village of Vision for Haiti Foundation. This is the same foundation for Valencia's orphanage and the village school she attended. Below you can read about some of the programs they're working on since the earthquake. To donate go to:

The Women’s Program

Due to the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, many women and their children have found themselves homeless. Village of Vision for Haiti has expanded an existing program that takes in single mothers and their children, providing them with food and housing, as well as medical-social-psychological needs. The program started in 2005 and focused on women of fragile living conditions of existence on less than a dollar a day.

A women’s camp is being erected to take care of the 100 women in the program. They have 20 tents and have been promised 9 huge tents which will be used for therapy, group gatherings, a medical station, and a creation area. Showers and toilets are currently being built. In addition Village of Vision for Haiti has been collecting food and supplies to care for everyone in their programs. They are also working on a self sustaining food plan by growing their own vegetables, and breeding chickens, fish and rabbits. Village of Vision for Haiti is in need of sponsors for these 100 women and their children. The cost to sponsor a woman is $50/month.

The Orphanage

Village of Vision for Haiti has 2 orphanages, one in Lamardelle with 42 children, and the other in the mountains at Obleon with 38 children. The children at Lamardelle came to the orphanage through IBESR (Haiti’s Social Services) after the earthquake. They are children between the ages 0-6 years that were lost, abandoned, or orphaned due to the earthquake. Many are traumatized and in need of medical care. Village of Vision for Haiti is in need of sponsors for all 38 children in Lamardelle. The cost to sponsor a child is $30/month.

The Adolescent Program

In addition to the children in the orphanage, many adolescents have been put in the care of Village of Vision for Haiti. These are boys and girls ages 7-17 that have been displaced or are the only survivor of their family due to the earthquake. Village of Vision for Haiti was given custody of these adolescents to help them put their lives back together and establish a life plan. Village of Vision for Haiti is the only family these kids have right now. They are in need of food and housing, as well as social-psychological help. Currently Village of Vision for Haiti has 15 adolescents in their program and is in need of sponsors for these adolescents. The cost to sponsor an adolescent is $50/month.

Here is one story of one of the girls that came into the adolescent program:

Rose Sneegooka ALEXIS is a 16 years old female teenager. She was the natural daughter of Mr. Duval Alexis and of Ms. Fifine Bien-Aimé, both deceased. Before the January 12 earthquake she lived with her mother, nine year old brother and 7 year old sister; her father is died since 2006. She was at school at the time of the earthquake and fortunately the school resisted the shake; but when she ran to her home she was horrified: the house broke down with her entire family in it. She lost her mother, her two siblings, and everything they possessed. The corpses were extracted and buried after four days.

Sneegooka found herself in the streets of Tabarre at the end of March 2010. She was taken in by Mrs. Martha Etienne who attempted to use her as a slave. She ran away, slept in the street again until she was found on April 12 by a patrol of the Minors Protection brigade of the National Haitian Police that took her away to IBESR. IBESR organized her transfer to the accommodation home of the Village of Vision for Haiti foundation where she is living since April 14, 2010.

Sneegooka is severely affected by the loss of her family particularly of her sister she was unsuccessfully attempting to save before a wall piece collapse. We think she is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress disorder: sometimes she has ‘‘flashback’’ of the traumatic event or nightmares in which she sees her mother warn and threaten her for misbehavior. This child needs a psychosocial accompaniment to help her emotional and physical healing. Since she has no known living family, arrangements have to be made in order to outline a life plan for her and have her gone back to school.