"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
Today, after making our 30 minute walk to the Haven, Dr. Weaver greeted us and told us that one of the twins at Haven 1, Kelly, had passed away during the night. We were all devastated and the tears began to flow. As you could see from my previous blogs, she was getting very sick and everyone was very worried about her. Because of her and her twin sister Kelsey’s condition, they were moved to Haven 2 during the beginning of the week, where the more medically fragile babies are housed. I was unaware of their move since I have been sick lately, so when I went into Haven 2 this morning and saw their empty cribs... tears began rolling down my face. . . Again. With this being my first experience losing a client, I took it really hard, as did the rest of our team. Losing a little one at such a young age is so heart breaking. Although she didn't have a chance at life, it is comforting to know that she is healthy and smiling in Heaven with God. We each felt like we helped her to the best of our abilities and now God is taking control.
For feeding therapy this morning, Caroline decided to bring the babies out on the porch after we heard the news about Kelly to get some fresh air and also give the Aunties a little time to themselves. Because it is "winter" here and about 65 or 70 degrees in the mornings, the aunties insisted that each baby wear a hat during therapy to keep warm. This was THE CUTEST thing you have EVER seen! It was refreshing to be outside and to see all the little ones smiling at Haven 2. It was good to get our minds off of things, get therapy going, and dig our noses into some evals. Our tears were quickly turned into laughs.
Me and Shelby. Her twin sister Sidney is doing MUCH better now. Please keep praying for her.
Amanda and her huge smile
Choolwe kept trying to snatch everyone else's hats. . . hes a sneaky little fella sometimes! He's one that we don't really consider "medically fragile" anymore! :)
This is how Bennet was dressed when we came in this morning! we laughed soo hard! our little polar bear! :)
After leaving Haven 2, we headed to Haven 1 for some more feeding therapy. I was so happy to see Meagan sitting up, smiling, and feeling better. She looked like a different little girl from when I saw her before I got sick on Friday. I worked with her and Darcy this morning and they both are showing awesome improvements and little Meagan will even let you get the z vibe in her mouth now. I was very impressed! Just shows the awesome work our team can make in just a few short days!
I also got to meet our newest addition to Haven 1, Nathan. He joined us on Monday! So precious!
After a fabulous lunch of chicken spaghetti, we walked to the "Burial" as they call it here in Africa, and paid our last respects to Kelly. Dr. Weaver had told us in the beginning that we might experience a death during our stay at the Haven, but I don't think any of us prepared ourselves for how hard it would be. My heart hit the ground when Kelly's mother arrived at the Haven. Kaylee and I held hands walking to the tree, trying to pull it together. They sang a few songs in Tonga and said a few words. . . and then a few of the guys from the Mission helped bury little Kelly under a big pretty tree. I will never forget this day, nor will I forget Kelly's sweet little smile. Although this has been really hard, I feel so lucky to have gotten to work with her and feel like I have learned so much from this experience. I am really worried about Kelsey and how she will be without her sister. Please pray for her and Kelly's family during this difficult time.
Right after leaving the burial,we all decided we needed to go to the Havens and see our little ones and give them an extra hug before we left. When we entered Haven 1, we were NOT shocked to see that little Nita and Ross (one of the nine...yes NINE, sets of twins we have at the Haven) were standing INSIDE the toy box throwing out all the toys onto the floor! This definitely put a smile right back on our faces! those two are definitely a pair! haha. I just LOVE them! We don't really believe in disciplinary action around here at the Havens and give them all the love we can, which sometimes gets us into trouble as you can see! :) hahaha
After we got back to the house we changed out of our chitenges and into some comfy clothes (aka no skirts since we were heading out into the "bush") to go to "Jordan's Rock" for Ian's 13th Birthday party! We were all so excited to get to roast hot dogs and marshmallows by the fire!
Kaylee and I before leaving for "Jordan's Rock" Yay for pants!!
This is a view from the top of "Jordans Rock" looking into the "bush" we had to walk through to get to "Jordan's Rock". This puts a whole new level to the word "hiking". . . . def an adventure!
First official group pic with Mrs. Tullos included! yay!
For part of Ian's birthday surprise, we decided to bring an Ipod and play "Circle of Life" from the Lion King and have Dr. Tullos hold him up like Simba. This was quite a sight! So funny. We get a kick out of the little things in Africa! That's for sure! :)
Roasting marshmallows! yum!
Rach and I at the top of "Jordan's Rock" Since her boyfriend's name is Jordan, we made sure to take a bunch of goofy pics for him and even "stole" some rock for her to take back home with her. So cute!
Today has been quite a day for it being my first day back in action. It has definitely been an emotional roller coaster for our whole team. Celebrating a death and a birthday party all in one is not your typical day! Keep Kelly's family in your thoughts and prayers and also the aunties and the rest of our team as we work to make sure to keep these other babies healthy. Thank you so much for all your messages and prayers while I was sick. Thanks to my 9 nurses I am feeling a lot better and am slowly gaining my energy back! I am so glad to be healthy again and able to be back to work with the precious babies!