First, I ask that you pray for my husband, John. He went to the States on Monday because he had had a small tumor on his hand that has grown since he was in the States in April and May for the skin cancer on his ankle which the doctor removed. I got word after lunch that the growth on his hand is also a fast growing skin cancer. the doctor said it stays localized so that it should be fairly easy to remove.
John’s concern is that he works with his hands so much that he doesn’t want to lose any mobility in his hands. He goes in at 8 AM tomorrow morning and the surgeon will remove the growth. I guess he is going to have to start using sunscreen a couple times per day and keeping covered so the sun cannot touch his skin! This will be really difficult for him.
On Tuesday, we attended the funeral of Exilia. The church was packed and people were standing outside! The service lasted about 2 hours. The GLA Haitian staff all attended from the main house and several from the Toddler House. The staff sang a special song just for Exilia and her family. They were very very good!
We then walked to the cemetery behind the men carrying the casket. She had a Haitian band that played as we walked. Everyone told me that it was not very far. Note to everyone: What isn’t far for a Haitian is a long ways for me! It took about 45 minutes to walk there because the procession was so slow, but I made it all of the way! I am thankful that I am 50 pounds lighter or I would not have been able to do it! LOL
It was pretty amazing that the casket bearers were dancing with the casket! I would have thought it would have been way to heavy to lift it over their heads and dance with it! On the walk to the cemetery, it seemed more like a celebration of Exilia’s life and not a sad walk at all!
I have shared some photos with you from the funeral since many of you have no idea the kind of service and even casket they have. A Haitian funeral is quite different. People here are buried above ground in most places around us because the ground is rock and so they build above ground tombs much like in New Orleans.
Please pray for Exilia’s family. Already, Fabienne, the 15 year old is rebelling about going to a church conference with her older brother and sister and insisting that she is staying home. She can’t stay home by herself, so now we’re trying to figure where she can stay. She can stay here with Vivianne or she may be going to Magaly’s home. She is just having a really difficult time and needs all of our prayers.
We arrived home from the funeral and within an hour, IBESR was at the orphanage wanting to ask a lot of questions for a questionnaire that they had to fill out. That questionnaire took almost 2 hours to fill out! YIKES! I was so tired that I could not understand Creole! LOL
Finally, they left but returned this morning because they also have to go through all of our children’s dossiers and “register” them. They worked about 5 hours today and will return tomorrow to continue. I am not quite certain why they are doing this, but if they get all of the children registered in Haiti, it will be a good thing.
One of the IBESR personnel told me that there are approximately 700 orphanages/creches in Haiti! YIKES! That is WAY more than I thought there would be. If that is correct, IBESR needs to go in each one and inspect it and register the children. The person told me that only a handful are registered with IBESR. They are going to registered orphanages and also little ones they find in the communities.
They haven’t indicated how we are doing. They have suggested a few changes we need to make in our process and we will comply with these as soon as possible. Mainly, they want us to take each biological parent to IBESR when they come to give up a child. The family will then make a statement to IBESR and talk to a social worker who works for IBESR.
Pray that they will finish on Thursday and the office can get back to normal.
Thursday, Sonia comes home! Her surgery went very well and she is recovered and ready to come back to Haiti. Her foster family will be arriving with her. Pray that Sonia will do well coming back to Haiti and will adjust to being back in the nursery. Being in the nursery is NOT like being in a family and she will miss that additional attention she got while in the States.
Posted on Wed, July 20, 2011
by Dixie Bickel