Saturday, June 29, 2013

We are just a bunch of basket cases

Mainly because I have a slight obsession  appreciation for baskets.
I decided the other day when we found out a neighbor makes them
 that I wanted to learn how to make them.
So this is our basket making adventure so far!
It started off with three days of laying out hay, and letting it
semi dry.
The first day of actual learning, I was in the kitchen at 7am, making Moses
some breakfast While he ran around in just a diaper and then our neighbor
Diane showed up, right at 7am, ready to teach us. The girls were sleeping
but as soon as I told them Diane was here, they all leapt up, we all could not
wait to learn!
Alice working on the start of her basket, when we really
were too tired to be awake. ;)
Jeannette learning to start a basket
And Moses got in on the basket making..
 Speaking of Moses, what was he doing most of the time?
He was hugging the dogs. (GJ is so good with him, and lets him basically climb
all over him, lay on him, hug him a million times, and follows him around.
Jiffy just basically runs away from him!)
And hugging everyone else too. This kid loves to hug, and "Yaaaambeeee"
is something we hear 100 times a day. Which means hug. And much to the dogs
dismay they probably hear a 100 times a day.  
Although he was banished to the saucer during snack time.
Five minute dance party?
Power nap??
Then I think 10 hours of following the tree shade, weaving baskets,
made us all a bit silly.
Starting him young.
So I started this blog on Monday night, and it is now Saturday afternoon.
So here is where we are with our baskets!!
And here are the girls with their baskets so far.
Doreen wins the basket award, as I think this girl would
make baskets in her sleep if she could.
And here is my basket, I was unavailable for photo
Because I am still in my pajama's.
 It has been so much fun to make these, but Dorine takes the cake,
as this girl will weave her basket by a cell phone light, if she has too.
Do not get between that girl and her amazing basket making skills on her
FIRST basket!
Lots of love from Rwanda,

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Currently in June....

15 months!! Kid has seven teeth, is no longer using a bottle, even before bed.
He is walking all the time now, has a seat at the table, and can say about 20 words.
He is getting soooooo big!! Oh be still my heart.
Reading – Sold.
Crying- Or not so much now. Entering into a season of rest, home, and recuperation. And just resting a bit.
Planning – Not so much. So much was put on the back burner with Alice being in the hospital. And I think those things can just simmer on those back burners for a while.
Hoping – That the Lord miracously heals Alice. But hoping if not that the biopsies come back positive for Tuberculosis (which is odd to say, but it is very treatable) and hoping and praying we are not looking at advanced Ovarian cancer. 
Waiting for surgery.
Praying- Some bold audacious prayers. Praying in front of surgical theaters, in hospital halls, in lawn chairs next to a hospital bed. Pleading some pretty bold prayers, claiming some big scripture.
Cooking – in my pajama’s when I am at home. The girls love when I cook, and recently they said I could be a chef, because I know to make a hamburger.
Searching – Or trying not to search the internet so much.
Eating – Quiet a bit in Kigali. A girl had Chinese food! And the hospital cafeteria have some awesome croissants’.
Home again. Alice is busy crocheting, and Dorine and Jeannette making beads.
Entering into a season where pajama's all day is totally acceptable!
Enjoying – Being at home!!
Sleeping – Not to well. My bed a few times this last month was a plastic lawn chair. I tried everything, a pillow on the back, laying my head at the foot of her bed. But a hospital is no place for sleep.
Watching – Soul Surfer with Alice, and we both were a crying mess.
Drinking – PEPSI! Kigali has Pepsi. Say whaaaaat?!
Laughing – At a few things. Jeannette was at the hospital with me, and when she stepped on the elevator at the hospital she grabbed my arm with big eyes and said “I feel like I am falling, but I am standing.” Laughing at how the girls still call Chicken “Booya”. And laughing at the guard tonight as I asked him who he was talking too (thinking it was Fideal and wanting to say hi) and he didn’t understand me, so I asked “You, who blah blah blah.” And he looks at me with his machete in one hand and says “Me, blah blah.” “What blah blah blah?”
Craving - A season at home.
Listening – To the girls laughing in their room.
Moses showered Alice in hugs and kisses once we got back from the hospital.
Feeling –Pretty helpless lately.  
Appreciating – All the prayers ya’ll have been lifting up!
Frustrated – We have to wait to find out what caused all these masses in Alice's stomach.
Wishing-  I could fix it, plan it, something. But knowing I am in the right spot, in a different reliance on God. Because I truly believe he DOES give us more than we can handle, so he can handle it, and we can learn to get out of the way and let him do his redemption, restoration, thing.
First. First time for two of em to try doughnuts. A friend Tara brought Alice a doughnut
in the hospital. I think they are in love!

Friday, June 7, 2013

One blessing at a time

The lovelie Alice made it through surgery. Though it took much longer than I would have liked it too, for my own selfish reasons of needing to see she was alright.  She was so brave, and so strong. I paced the hallway in front of the surgical floor. I stared at the "surgical theater" doors, and the lighted windows. I cried, and I prayed. For hours I think I asked the nurses every 5 minutes which felt like 5 years, any news. I called a friend in tears, and near yelling, because I was so concerned. Going through a revolving door of handing it over to God, and catching myself gripping onto unknowns and uncurtians, and handing it back over again.

I think the nurses knew I was going a bit crazy. So when they finally approached me and said "She is stable now, wait a few minutes, and we will take her to a room." My heart nearly got lodged in my throat. And I prayed for me not to burst into tears when I saw her and freak her out. My emotions are pretty raw lately. Then they came and asked me "Would you like to go held up get her from the surgical theater?" Oh nurses, you spoke my language, something my heart gets much better than English, kinyarwanda, anything. Anxious to help, to do something, anything. Perhaps they were humoring me, since my helping consisted of standing outside the doors outside, and walking next to her bed as they wheeled her into her room.

They let me stay in her room with her about 30 minutes, before kicking me out. On the surgical floor the patients are not allowed to have "attendants". Which means a friend or family member who stays and attends to them. But I was thankful they humored me a bit, and also let me stay for 30 minutes. They said I could be back at 8am. Alice was not too keen on me leaving, as I have advocated so much for her, and stalked nurses to get pain meds when she needs it.

This morning she told me, she had some pain in the night, but the nurse heard her, and gave her medicine, and the pain stopped. I was praying for that last night. Oh when I left here, I just was so happy, I got to see her. When someone is in surgery for hours, and no one tells you a thing. When you see that person, they are resting, they are talking to you, oh my goodness, I just needed that. I needed to hear her sweet voice, I needed to make a visual check in my heart that she was alright.

I love how God provides. This morning when I was able to come back, I got her meds that I have stalked pharmacies for here in Kigali, its a IV dose of Cipro. Sometimes I could get 2, sometimes I could get 4, and the last time I got 14! She was getting 4 bottles through IV a day, so it really was stalking them, cause if I got 2, it meant I needed to find two more before the evening. So when I gave the bottles I had left to the nurses on the surgical floor, they looked at the dr's papers, and said "She no longer will be taking this, they have switched many of her IV meds for now." Do they even know how many pharmacies I stalked and how hard it was to get FOURTEEN bottles of this, they did not even have!

So having nooooo clue, what to do with this, as the pharmacy said they could not take it back and give me back the money. And what will I do with 12 bottles of IV cipro?! Then the nurse came in, and I told her, and she said "Please, maybe you can sell to them, in next bed. She needs this, and they have been unable to find." Probably because I had been buying out the pharmacies, and stalking them, and borderline harassing them by phone to get more for Alice. I just thought, that was so cool, that God planned it that way. Alice didn't need it, and a young girl in the bed next to her, happened to need it, and they couldn't get it. I kind of think it was no mistake they were in the beds next to each other. So cool. And perhaps it has given me a tad bit of favor with the surgical floor I really need right now. Since I am a strong advocate, and some nurses on the last floor, did not like me too much.

So now I am just waiting borderline stalking for the doctors, so we can discuss her surgery. I don't know how long till they get results from biopsying the masses. I don't know why it took so long. I don't know if they had to remove anything the masses where on, or wrapped around, or what-not. The nurses just tell me to wait till the doctors can talk to me, they cannot. So that's my right now. My job is to wait. Wait to talk to the Doctors. Then we can move to the next "right now". And they are letting me sit with her till the doctors come talk to me, even though it is not visiting hours, and technically I am not allowed. Maybe I should get more cipro, and perhaps find a bit more favor.....half jokingly.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, for all the prayers. Be praying for the results of the biopsies. Be praying for peace for her, and continue to pray that the Lord would lessen the physical pain of the two large incisions on her stomach. Pray for the next "right now" and complete healing and restoration. (and now that the dr came in while I was typing this) it will take 2 weeks to get back biopsy results. So be praying for that. They removed the masses, nodules, and free fluid. They also had to remove one ovary and one fallopian tube. They only said that the masses were “suspicious”. She will be able to return home tomorrow if she remains stable, to continue to recover from surgery, and we will return in two weeks to get the results of their “investigation” into the masses, nodules, and fluids, and to get a diagnosis of the cause of them being there in the first place.

So we are praising Him for each blessing as it comes. The blessing that he has had her where she is. The blessing of a hospital that can do the right tests. The blessing for finding the problem. The blessing for a hospital with the ability to do surgery and remove the masses, fluid, and nodules. The blessing for being able to go home soon. We will take it one happy ending at a time.

Standing on the rock that is higher than we are,


His Chase has being such a super hero in all this. And His Chase, really is all of you, chasing after orphans to be the hands and feet of Jesus to them, and believing in the hope and future God has for them. I cannot even tell you the support they have been to me also as I have called them at all hours sobbing a few times, perhaps.

If you would like to help with the financial cost, that His Chase has not batted a eye at just giving to provide every night in the hospital, every test, every medication, the surgery, everything. You can go to their website and choose “General fund” from the dropdown menu.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Waiting for the happy ending

I am sitting here writing this blog in a waiting room.
A surgical waiting room.
My sweet Alice is currently in surgery right now at King Faisal hospital.
I have been sleeping in her room next to her at night, sitting through tests,
watching ultrasounds, staring blankly at CT scans. Painting toe nails,
having movie marathons, listening to 10,000 reasons about 10,000 times, and a few
times, probably had some people mark me off
their list of favorite people, when the mama bear in me came out.
When we had to get things done, like pain management, and this mama's
heart just cannot stand to see anyone in pain.
Initially the discussion was a bowel obstruction, but after the ultrasound,
they saw a mass, and called me into the room for the second ultrasound, as they
pointed out 4 masses. They did a CT with contrast, and just showed me the same masses
in a different form, on a different snap shot.
I gotta tell ya, its been a pretty helpless feeling quiet a bit lately.
There are times or possibly a tad of complete exhaustion mixed with no other option
but complete surrender of complete peace. Times where you catch your breath,
you can breath, the scenarios seem to decide not to flood through your mind.
And there are times, in your humanness, you need something to fix.
Even if it fixing the blankets, chasing nurses to get the pain management a bit quicker
(sorry nurses I love ya, but when Alice is crying and nearly screaming, this mama MOVES!)
When you just have to do something, in a situation where you don't know what's going on,
where you can do nothing else but wait for someone else to talk to you, move, do something,
do the next test, give you some idea.
I have never wanted to entertain thoughts I have lately.
And I made a vow with myself last night, after talking to some dr's,
and kinda having a mini major meltdown. That I just needed to focus on the next thing.
The surgery. The now. Because when my mind races ahead of me, ahead of her,
it gets pretty scary people.
So far the dr's have spoken to me on everything, which has been hard too.
As it has left it up to me to explain to her what is going on.
And though she has English skills, and I have limited Kinyarwanda skills,
I do not know how to explain this to anyone.
And so I just have explained the next step, because I cannot let my mind go farther than that,
and I do not want her mind to go farther ahead than that.
Right now I just gotta see her wheeled down the hallway, to her room.
All her things we have here are there. And she is just down the hall in the surgical
theater. And perhaps I am writing this because I have to do something.
I think I have nagged every nurse, and every Dr who passes by, gone down to front desk,
and have nearly pulled out my hair, trying to find out what is going on.
I know God is going to use this to bring him Glory, crazy insane glory.
I look back and I see how God has just set up this safety net for her.
I see how the Lord loves her, like die to spend eternity with her, loves her.
(And in case your wondering, it goes for you and me too!)
It is incredible how he puts things in action, puts things right where they need to be.
I have no idea where this post is going, other than, it is what it is.
Other than this is what is going on.
And I want a happy ending. I really want a happy ending.
I want Alice to be returned to full and complete health and healing.
I have been claiming it, a lot.
In Christ,