Category Archives: Holidays

Easter and Our Newest Addition

It’s been an exciting few weeks at the Promise House!  So exciting that we neglected to send out our e-mail newsletter last week. Sorry about that! Here’s a post to catch you up on the latest happenings before Wilson and I leave for a week in the Dominican Republic (thanks to our Aunt Arlene! J)

For Easter, my parents were able to fly down for a visit.  We’ve seen them a fair amount recently, since we spent November in California and Wilson and I both had week-long trips back since then, but it’s been a while since they’ve been down here to see us and the kids in the Promise House.  We were anxious for them to see the changes we’ve made and how well the kids are doing.  Perhaps my mom will write a little guest blog for you.  Mom?  And in case you all were wondering, frozen honey-baked ham, King’s Hawaiian rolls, the ingredients of cheesy potato casserole, and a frozen cheesecake all travel beautifully.  We enjoyed a full Easter dinner with the kids, ham bun leftovers all week, and I currently have ham-bone soup in the crockpot that is making the house smell scrumptious!


Mom and dad’s trip happened to coincide with our other big news: week one of the newest Promise House kiddo!  We’ve got 8 again!  E is 7 and has been at COTP since the summer of 2011.  Wilson vividly remembers his first day here and has had a special place in his heart for E since then.  I cared for E as his nurse during our first go-around, and now we get the honor and privilege of caring for him as house parents.  Even in this short time, we see an incredible amount of potential in E and are excited to love on him and see what we can accomplish together!  The nannies remember him well from the baby house days and were also excited to hear he’d be moving in with us.  Suzette in particular was very happy to have “her boyfriend” back!  Since E was not with us for his birthday back in January, we started out with a birthday trip to the beach.  It was fun to have mom and dad along (maybe we should have called them grandma and grandpa?!) to experience the day with us.  E is such a vibrant boy and even though the weather was less than ideal and we got plenty of drizzles throughout the day, we all had a really wonderful time!  His giggles were all the sunshine we needed 🙂


Please pray with us as E continues to transition to life in the Promise House.  Pray that God gives us the wisdom to care for him exactly as he needs to be cared for and also for the other kids as everyone gets used to each other again.

Children of the Promise has given explicit permission for the posting of photos on this site.  Photos taken of children in the care of Children of the Promise are not be posted publicly without explicit permission given by Children of the Promise.

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas from the Promise House!



our kids got so many gifts from their generous sponsors


Haitian Christmas with grilled goat, fried plantains, rice & beans

Children of the Promise has given explicit permission for the posting of photos on this site.  Photos taken of children in the care of Children of the Promise are not be posted publicly without explicit permission given by Children of the Promise.

Posted by on December 28, 2016 in Holidays, Life in Haiti, Sheila, The Kiddos, Wilson


N is Seven!

N is Seven!

So it turns out I’m not a birthday party kind of mom.  I was never really sure and could picture myself either way, but it has been confirmed.  The pressure to make everyone happy and keep the celebrated child from melting down at their own party.  The pressure to get all the right photos at all the right times.  The pressure to make a perfect cake that is both delicious and cute and suits the child.  I thrive under certain kinds of pressure.  These kinds do not make me thrive.  They make me want to crawl into a hole and hide for a while.

I gave it a shot, the whole birthday party thing.  It wasn’t a disaster.  It wasn’t fun either, at least not for me, and apparently not for the birthday boy who spent most of the time wailing.  But thankfully the party was only a little slice of our day, a day spent celebrating a very special boy who just turned 7 YEARS OLD!  Which brings me back to the reason I’m writing this blog post in the first place: N!  Our beloved N.  He is silly and loves to laugh.  He can make himself laugh for no reason at all.  To the unfamiliar eye, he may seem lazy, but we know he is just a laid-back kind of guy.  Which is why a trip to the beach was the perfect outing for him.  This was N’s first time at the beach, and he loved all of it.  The sand, the water, the nap in the shade, even the hour and a half drive each way.  And it was great for Wilson and I to spend some quality time with just him, getting to know him better, and reminding him how loved he is.  But I’ll keep the chitchat to a minimum and just show some fun pictures of our day.

This was our first birthday celebration in the Promise House.  I stressed all week about that stinkin’ birthday party, planning and Pinteresting.  The beach was a last minute decision but was what made the day so special for N.  He didn’t care that I burned the cake so badly that we had to cut a bunch off and hide it with purple frosting.  But he also wouldn’t have cared if I made a cake that won Cake Wars.  (Is that still/ever a thing?)


He could not have cared less about his presents—though that guitar has kept M quiet for DAYS, mom, so money well spent ;)—and he didn’t seem to notice who was or wasn’t at his party.  So it turns out I’m not a birthday party kind of mom.  But I don’t think I have to be.  I’m just a quality time kind of mom, getting to know her kids, and reminding them how loved they are.  Next time, we’ll just skip the party 🙂

Children of the Promise has given explicit permission for the posting of photos on this site.  Photos taken of children in the care of Children of the Promise are not be posted publicly without explicit permission given by Children of the Promise.



Today is the last of Wilson’s first holidays in America.  He arrived a couple days before Christmas last year, which we ended up spending apart because he was on the road with my family and I was working at the hospital Christmas eve and Christmas day.  I ended up flying to meet up with them right after Christmas for the rest of the family road trip.

This morning was spent sleeping in, eating breakfast together, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and doing some LesMills OnDemand yoga and ab workouts together.  That’s pretty standard turkey day fare, right?

The main meal, made my superhostess sister Julie, was delicious.  “Awesomeness” in Wilson’s words.  Wanting to contribute something to Wilson’s first Thanksgiving feast here in the U.S., I made the dessert, which was just my style: sweet and simple.

We really didn’t intend to put Wilson to work on a holiday, but Christmas is his absolute favorite time of year (he’s been listening to Christmas music for weeks) and he couldn’t wait to put up the lights.  His get-it-done approach and whistle-while-you-work attitude are always appreciated.  Definitely something I am thankful for every day.

It doesn’t look very wintry out there, but there was a bit of a chill in the air and it felt really good to sit by the fire for a while.  Days like this with my family, simple things like relaxing in front of the fireplace, holiday traditions, these are the things I will miss in Haiti.  But I could not be more thankful that God has placed this calling on our hearts and arranged our lives so that our passions, our strengths, and the needs of such special children are so beautifully aligned.

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Posted by on November 26, 2015 in Holidays


Merry Christmas 2013

My dear friends and family,

It’s the time of year when we reflect on our past, look forward to our future, and refocus on that which is most important to us.  2013 tiptoed up in the shadows of a cholera outbreak that affected the majority of our kids at Children of the Promise (COTP).  It was one of the most difficult times not only in Haiti but in my life, and God is still chipping the haunting memories from the corners of my mind.

A few months later, the love of my life asked me to be his wife.  When I decided to move to Haiti, I had accepted the idea that I may have been giving up on the chance that this moment would happen for me.  I never expected that I would meet someone as special as Wilson Chery and we were married August 15th.  The small ceremony as Sans Souci Palace in Milot, Haiti (which was reserved for $10 USD!) was attended by our immediate families and the staff of COTP.  We were not only committing our lives to one another, but accepting God’s commission on our lives to serve Him in a partnership that is stronger than the sum of its parts.

Surrounding the joy of our wedding was the death of Wilson’s grandma and the unjust imprisonment of his brother, Emilio.  So many of you joined us in prayer at that time and we experienced the hand of God in unexpected ways.  I was at grandma’s house two days before she passed away and I knew He would take her home soon.  We shared prayers and tears as peace transcended our sorrow.  Emilio spent a few months in prison, missing our wedding and his grandma’s death, before he could be released for a reasonable price.  There was no dramatic, miraculous release, but we still experienced an undeniable miracle.  Neither Emilio nor any of us affected by this situation feel any anger or bitterness or judgment toward the man who was arranging everything.  Simply compassion.  That does not happen without divine intervention.

This past year we also shared in the delight of Forever Families coming to bring their kids home.  There is always a part of me that is sad to see them go, especially the ones who are extra special to me, but we were blessed to be a part of their lives during the time we were together.  Adoptions like these must put the biggest smile on God’s face!

Children of the Promise and my role there have undergone a lot of changes in the past year.  In November, Wilson and I decided that I needed to return to the states until I finished my nurse practitioner program.  Because it meant spending extended time apart, this decision was made with heavy hearts and a lot of prayer.  In addition to setting up and going through my clinical rotations, I need healing.  Healing from the extreme highs and lows of missionary life, healing from the burden of loss, and healing from the emotional toll of painful relationships.  We are in the application process for Wilson’s U.S. visa and he will join me as soon as he is able.  As of now, it looks like this might be around June 2014.  I am so thankful to have such a loving and supportive husband, family and friends that offer prayer and encouragement, and a heavenly father who ordained all of my days before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16).

Wilson and I look toward 2014 with great hope.  We still have a heart for the nation of Haiti and continue to pray that God molds us for His work there, however that may look.  Wilson is still serving at COTP in facilities and auto maintenance.  The funds I had already raised for my contract will allow him to stay in our home there until I can secure a job here and support the rest of his stay.  We are so grateful for the many ways you have supported us—continuous prayer, generous donations, cards and packages, words of encouragement—we are truly blessed beyond measure.  We await God’s direction with eager anticipation and ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Praying that you and those you love have a most blessed Christmas season,

Wilson & Sheila (DenOuden) Chery

And a note For Sheila from Children of the Promise during this transition written by Carla

Sheila and Wilson

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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Holidays, Sheila



Christmas 2012 in 2013

1.2.13 – Started celebrating Christmas with the kiddos

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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Holidays