I’ve gotten a little behind on posting birthdays, so I’ll catch you up on the last two. H is the youngest in our house and recently turned 3. K is one of our older boys and just turned 9. We took each of them to Villa Cana, the local hotel with a pool that seems to have become our most popular birthday destination.
Sweet H does not show much outward response to stimulation or interaction. If left alone with nothing to see or do, H will usually just recline quietly in her chair until she gets hungry or uncomfortable. But as we’ve said before, we did not move back to Haiti into the Promise House just to sustain life. We came so these kids could thrive, so they could experience the love of a family and we could help them work toward their full potential. To that end, we just pour as much love into H as we can and try to provide her with new sensations and experiences. H hasn’t shown us a full smile yet, but she got pretty close when Wilson was playing with her in the water. The water is usually a calming environment for our kids and H was no exception. The only time she fussed was for the moments we were setting up lunch before I could actually feed her. But hey, who doesn’t get a little cranky when they’re hungry, right?
K can be a tricky kid to understand with various medical issues that can cause pain and discomfort and such a limited ability to communicate. When we moved into the Promise House, K was fussy most of the time, crying and clenching and arching his whole body. The nannies told us that was just kind of normal for him. After a lot of trial and error, guessing right and guessing wrong, small victories and not-so-small frustrations, K’s baseline has become much calmer and he seems considerably more comfortable most of the time. When we got here 10 months ago, taking K outside COTP, especially through mealtime, was too daunting a task to even attempt. We are so grateful that we were able to celebrate his birthday and actually have a really pleasant day with K. The water was a bit chilly, but even when he started getting cold, K was still not as stiff and fussy as he once had been just sitting in his chair at home. This was also the first time we’ve given K a g-tube feeding away from home. I think the staff at Villa Cana are seeing and experiencing a lot of new things with each of the kids we bring, and hopefully it is putting a positive light on special needs in Haiti. We praise God for K and for the opportunity to know him, love him, and learn from him.