Sunday, May 27, 2007

Our 5th Adoption--

Dear Family and Friends, May 27, 2007
Since last writing, our little Téné has met her new family and has left for France. Téné’s parents and her older brother, Eloi, spent a wonderful week with us in Yako getting acquainted with each other and learning a little about Téné’s culture and life-style. It was hard to say ‘good-bye’ to Téné but we are thankful for this family and for the new life that the Lord has given to her.
Thérèse, our little one with an enlarged heart, is still with us and is still doing well. Her heart medicine is helping to stabilize her heart and the congestion in her chest is under control with cough medicine and decongestants. We are in a holding pattern regarding Thérèse because we do not have any news from the States regarding her visa.
The 2006-2007 school year is almost over and our children are looking forward to a little break from their studies. They will take about 10 days to go and visit their families and then they will return for additional help in French and in math. We are hiring teachers this year to come to our courtyard to tutor our children in these subjects. Most of the problems that our children have in school are in math and because of poor French skills. We are hoping that by working really hard this summer everyone will have a better chance of success next year in school.
Valentin and his wife, Monique, and their baby, Wendpanga, have returned to spend the summer vacation with us. Valentin has completed the first year in a three year course of Bible School. Valentin will be teaching math and will be responsible, with the help of our children, for the planting of two fields. This year we will plant a field of millet and beans and a field of peanuts.
We have a small construction project in process. Thanks to a very generous gift from some friends who visited us in March, we are constructing an iron fence around the back terrace of the orphanage. This will give us expanded and safe crawl space for our babies which will also get them out of their rooms and out in the fresh air.
We have had 2 good rains already this year and everyone is very happy about this. Some have already started working their fields in preparation of one more good rain and then planting will start. The temperatures have been unusually high recently but as soon as the rains start we will have cooler and much more tolerable temperatures.
From time to time someone reads my blog and then sends me a note or comment. I appreciate this very much and enjoy hearing from you. But, if you want a response, please include your email address when you write so that I can write back.
Blessings to you!
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Another day from Burkina--

Dear Family and Friends, April 30, 2007
I had set a personal goal to blog once a week. . . but it has already been more than a month since I have written. Ah well, time passes so quickly. Sometimes try as I may, it is hard to keep up.
The 2006-2007 school year is almost over. Somewhere around mid-May, depending on when the rains come and on whether the student is in a standardized-exam-year, classes will be over. In our primary school, the children are still diligently studying and yet at the same time there is the feeling in the air that everyone knows that school is almost over.
It has been a hard year for several of our older children in the orphanage. Some have worked hard and some have not. The public school system is not well organized and does not offer much help or support to a student who is struggling in his studies. It is looking like several of our children will not pass. We are still waiting for the final grades, of course, and we are praying that they have all done well enough this 3rd trimester to allow them to have a passing grade for the year.
On April 16th, Téné’s adoption case went before the judge here in Yako and she was officially declared adopted into the Alonzo family in France. Téné’s parents have already bought their air tickets and will be coming for her on May 19th. Téné will be integrating into a beautiful family where she will have 2 older brothers.
Also in April, Dieudonne, was officially adopted by a local Burkinabé couple. Dieudonne came to us as a newborn who had been abandoned outside a Catholic sisters’ home. When he was just 6 months old the couple asked for him and at 8 months of age, they took him into their home as one or their own. Dieudonne, which means ‘given by God’ is now almost 2 years old and he is living in a family with one older brother and a new baby brother.
Another of our little ones, Perpetue, is 16 months old and her case will go before the judge on May 14th. Perpetue’s mother is just 17 years old and still a student. Her father is a married man with 3 children. Because of the circumstance of her conception and birth, there is no place for Perpetue in either of her parents’ families. We expect that the judge will release Perpetue for adoption but we must wait for the final decision before we can say that she is available.
Many of you have been very involved in the story of little Therese. I had hoped to be able to tell you the final chapter of this story but we are still waiting and praying for positive responses from the States. Therese is a little 6 year old who has an enlarged heart which cannot be treated here in Burkina. We have been in contact with two organizations in the States which bring children from all over the world to the States for medical care. One organization has responded that they believe Therese needs a heart transplant and they cannot write a letter of invitation or guarantee free medical care for a case as serious as this. We are still waiting to hear from the other organization but we are beginning to lose hope that medical treatment will be the avenue of help for Therese.
For several weeks Therese has been doing very well. But, in the last few days she is coughing a lot, has congestion in her chest, and is having trouble breathing.
Please pray for Therese. We believe that Jesus can perform a creative miracle and give Therese a new heart.
We received a new baby this past Tuesday. His name is Ousmane and he was born on April 27th. Ousmane has 4 older siblings. His mother is still living but she is not well mentally. She was fine before but sometime during her pregnancy she started talking strange and doing strange things. When the baby was born, she refused to care for him and even tried to kill him. The father contacted Social Action and they asked if we had room to care for one more baby.
Ousmane weighed almost 6 pounds at birth which is huge for a newborn baby here. He is already taking 2 to 3 ounces of milk at a feeding. We will take care of Ousmane until he is around one year old and then he will integrate back into his family. His father told us that even if his mother is not yet well, there will be an aunt or a grandmother who will take care of him.
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Mali last month with Soniya Carvalho and her daughter, Lara, and Lara’s friend, Cleo. We drove to Bangdiagara where we spent 2 days touring Dogon Country and then flew to Timbuktu. Both of these areas are very developed for tourism and were very interesting. And yes, I bought a T-shirt that says I’ve been to Timbuktu and back!
This past weekend was the monthly food distribution for our sponsored widows. All of our widows are doing well. Outside of aches and pains that go along with old age, no one had specific complaints. One woman had huge ulcer on her ankle that we have been treating for months. But she showed us that the sore was now completely healed. Several women said that after we prayed with them last month, their pain or their sickness went away. Praise God! It is a joy to visit these ladies each month, to give them a hug, to pray with them, and to give them the tangible love of Jesus in a basket of rice and some vegetables.
Well, I must close for now. Please pray for us whenever the Holy Spirit brings us to your mind. God is doing wonderful things in our midst everyday. We rejoice in His love and mercy.
Blessings to you!
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma