Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Best surprise EVER

I was in with the girls for nap time the weekend before last when Jen came in telling me that they couldn't get Isabel to stop crying and thought something was wrong. They needed me to come calm her. I of course jumped up and went straight over. When I got there Izzy wasn't crying and appeared to be fine. Still concerned I went to the side of the crib and started talking to her. While I was leaned down over her I noticed movement out of the corner of my I looked up I noticed Colby standing there watching. That's right COLBY! I had no idea she was coming. I was apparently the only one who didn't know she was coming but that is ok because it was the best surprise ever. I truly do have the best friend in the entire world!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Princess Izzy

We found out yesterday that Isabel has Clymidia. Her mom had it when she was born which more than likely caused premature labor...which caused her birth weight to be low..which is one of the leading causes for Cerebral Palsy. (boy do I sound me I'm just repeating what I've heard or read!) Her pneumonia seems to have gotten worse than better and they just switched her medicine yet again. So for now we continue to fight and pray for her to get better. However, she did get her hair cut today. Her lice are all but gone now and she looks stinkin cute. She had only a few seizures today and only had a fever for about an hour or so this morning. :) Thank the Lord for the blessings each day holds.

Monday, March 24, 2008

This says it life

And I know that I can find You here

'Cause You promised me You'll always be there

Times like these, it's hard to see

But somehow I have a peace, You're near

And I pray that You will use my life

In whatever way Your name is glorified

Even if surrendering

Means leaving everything behind

My life has never been this clear

Now I know the reason why I'm here

You never know why You're alive

Until you know what you would die for

I would die for You

And I know I don't have much to give

But I promise You I will give You all there is

Can I possibly do less

When through Your own death I live?

No greater love is found

Than of those who lay their own lives down

As sure as I live and breathe

Now I know what it means to be free

I Would Die for You - Mercy Me

I couldn't find a better song to adequately portray the deepest cries of this heart. Especially right now....I'm definitely learning what it means to learn why you are alive when you realize what you would die for.

We had a wedding!

Karen and Dorian finally got married on March 7th! The day was beautiful....the garden was beautiful...the bride was WAY was an amazing day. I was blessed to be there and play a part in it. They have and will continue to stand as an example of true and pure love to me, the kids, and so many others.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

back in the hospital

Sorry it has been so long since I updated you all on Isabel's condition. Early this past week she stopped eating and started to have seizures more and more as the days went on. Finally on Wednesday we knew we had to get her back to the hospital. She started a seizure in the wee hours of that morning and wouldn't come out of it. So we dropped our momma's off at the airport with a quick hug and rushed off. We found out she has pneumonia and her white blood count was 22,000 ....apparently it is only supposed to be 10,000. They finally sedated her and got her seizure to stop. She has been in the hospital since then. Jen stayed with her Wednesday and Thursday night and I took over Friday morning and have been here since. The doctor came in tonight and said for whatever reason the pneumonia isn't getting is getting worse. Her seizures have been way worse today and her fever won't seem to break. After a few days of looking better she looked far too pathetic today in that big old hospital bed. I'll keep you all posted...but again I beg for your prayer support and your financial support. Although medical care is significantly cheaper here than in the states it is still a lot when you take into account all the tests that have been run.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

little miss maryuri

Karen, Dorian, and Maryuri returned home this morning around 7:30. The doctors weren't able to detect anything. Every test they ran came back negative. They gave her a shot of penicillin to kill anything that was in there that they are missing. They think it is simply a viral infection of some sort. So she is back home now. We are having to monitor her fever (which still won't break) very closely so that she doesn't have any more seizures but she is acting much like the Maryuri we know and love.

Grandma Teresa

My momma spent the past 9 days here with the kids and I. With everything that was going on I felt like I hardly got to see her but it was such a blessing to have her here to help with the kids and to simply nurture this heart during a time when it needed it most. I really am blessed with the best parents God had to offer. Watching my mom walk into this place and love on my children while they say "Grandma Teresa...Grandma Teresa" was one of the sweetest gifts life could have offered me right now.


I've said it before and I'll say it again....I would like one...just one day without drama, sickness, chaos, or moments that make my heart jump to my throat. I seriously think that with the way things go around here I could have a heart attack by the age of 30. Tonight as Colbs and I were getting ready for bed I heard Maryuri scream out. It wasn't a hey I'm in here goofing around yell....or a I'm mad because some stole my toy was a terrifying, gut sinking, bring me running into the room kind of a yell. As I got close to her bed I could see that she was having a seizure and as soon as I touched her I knew why. Her little body was on FIRE! As soon as I took her temperature and saw that it was 104.7 I got her into a cool shower and gave her water and some tylenol. As she started to go into another little seizure I called in the reinforcements. (aka Karen and Dorian) They took her to the doctor but her test results came back normal so they suggested we take her for lab tests tomorrow. However, within an hour of being home her fever spiked again. We spent 20 minutes putting cool rags all over her. Her fever finally came down to 100.2 but would only stay there for 5 minutes before sky rocketing again to its all time high of 105.3. Just seconds later she had another seizure. Karen talked to the doctor who said it was best to take her into the city to the doctor so they just left for there. I'll be sure to keep you updated on what we find out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Market

Every other Friday someone from the house heads to the market to do the shopping for the house. They come back with loads of vegetables, fruits, cheese, and other goodies. This past Friday my momma and I tagged along with Marc and Terri as they went to shop. It was my first "market experience." There were vegetables and fruits heaped EVERYWHERE. It seems to me that the vendors would have a hard time making money because everyone appeared to be selling variations of the same thing. 30 minutes and $25 dollars later mom and I left with an experience not to be forgotten. The sights, smells, and atmosphere of it all is different from any other. The busyness of it all pulled me in. No matter what direction you looked someone was scurrying around setting up their booth, selling goods, or trying to get you to come their directions. It was fun and something I loved doing with my momma.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Isabel at Casa

I spent Thursday night and Friday night curled up in the hospital bed with sweet Isabel. Each day she gained a little more weight and got a little stronger. During those days they ran tests on her. They did an EEG and a CT. The CT helped determined that the seizures she had been having were caused in the frontal lobe of her brain. The EEG showed that all was normal there. (Praise Jesus for miracles!) Finally, on Saturday the doctor decided she was ok to leave the hospital if we had somewhere to take her. With it being Holy Week here we had few other options for now than to bring her home to Casa. So for now at least she is staying here at the house as she continues to gain strength and fight for her life. However, I still BEG for your prayers. Her seizures seem to be getting worse instead of better. She has started to refuse to eat and seems uncomfortable most of the time. She is far from being out of the woods but I know with a lot of food, love, and prayers she is going to improve in leaps and bounds. She is cute down to her 6 toes and her 6 fingers! I find her to be more beautiful by the day. All of kids have met her now and are SO great with her. They are constantly asking if we remembered to feed her or if she needed anything. A few of them have colored pictures for her and ask if they can hold her. They have all loved on her, cuddled her, kissed her, and made over her like she is the princess of the house!:)

Friday, March 14, 2008


Just wanted to let everyone know that as expected Rudy came home last night just as it was getting dark and dinner was being served. I had a few moments to talk to him and explain that we needed to find a new way to deal with his anger but that I was glad he was home. I told him how much I miss him when he is gone and how much I don't like it when he runs. With tear filled eyes he didn't say a lot but listened as I spoke. Living on the street has given him the mentality for stealing....we just have to figure out how to counter act all of that and teach him to control that temper of his. Please continue to pray for this little one....and for wisdom for the mommas of the house as we don't know what to do with him.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

One more prayer request....

Rudy got caught stealing today at school....when the teacher confronted him about it he cussed her out and threw rocks at her. (not one of my prouder mom moments) When he got home and was sent to his bed he ran. He hasn't been seen since 10:00 ish this morning. Pray that he comes back and that we can find a way to get through to him.

Isabell Update

Another 24 hours has passed....and I honestly don't know that I would say she is doing better. She is looking better and acting stronger. However, with that comes downsides all over the place. I picked up the phone late yesterday afternoon to hear Jen say "the doctor finally came....they are saying she has Cerebral Palsy." How do parents do it? How do they hear news like that and absorb it? What is the expected response....and how do you deal? I'm not Isabell's mother but there is a huge part of this heart that already thinks it is. As Jen told me the diagnosis and went on to remind me that it meant she could never come live at Casa I felt my heart sink. I couldn't find my voice as tears threatened to burst from my eyes and never stop. They are saying she won't live past 12 years of age (meaning at least a third of her life is already over) and there is nothing they can do for her. Determined to make the best of the time I have with her I went ahead and offered to stay the night with her again. So around 7 last night I walked back through the doors of the hospital and into the new room they had placed her in. Within 30 minutes everyone else had cleared out and gone home and I was once again alone with little Isabell. Sometime in the afternoon they had put a feeding tub down her nose and they were finally giving her meds for the pain and for her seizures. Settling in the chair with her cuddled in my arms she eventually fell asleep until about 12:30 when her body suddenly began to jerk, twist, and convulse every direction. Her little eyes began spinning in the back of her head and for the next 10 minutes she would have the worst seizures I've witnessed up to this point. Putting her in her bed I called for the nurse ...(who quickly called for the doctor) She was unresponsive to anything they tried and not long after her temperature spiked to 106. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity her eyes flickered open and peace returned to her face. The rest of my evening (as if the hours before weren't...) were spent crying and praying over that sweet sweet girl. The rest of the evening was fairly uneventful and I even managed to get some sleep...curled up beside her of course. We are working on options of where to go from here and what is going to be most beneficial for her. Again I beg for your prayer support. They did an EEG on her today to see about the seizures and brain activity. We haven't heard the results but I feel good that they are doing something. The doctor seems to think she isn't dying anytime really soon but that she won't ever be able to get out of bed and run around like 4 year olds should. I'm still praying for a miracle.....banking on God shocking all of us one day as we watch her chase and be chased in a fun game of tag. That is the cry of this heart tonight and the longing from the depths of who I am. Along with your prayer support I am asking for anyone who feels led to donate financially to step up and do so. Even if it is only $10 ...everything helps. Although medical care is significantly cheaper here than in the states we are still going to have a decent sized bill from her stay there and the tests they are having to run. So again I'm asking for your help. If you can and wish to donate financially you can send checks to 3515 St Rt 266 Stockport OH 43787 made out to Stockport United Methodist Church.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Living in Honduras I have witnessed a lot of things that lacked in the justice department. I've seen things that would make grown men break and sob. I've experienced things that I thought were surely the greatest acts of injustice in the entire world. However, last night that word found new meaning in this heart of mine. A friend of ours (Carlos) runs a daycare center in Teguc. We have just recently started to work more with he and his wife and are quickly learning to love the heart that beats within them both. Therefore, when he called Jen up and asked for her help she didn't question it. He showed up here yesterday with food for a family that he had heard needed help in Ojojona. He didn't just call and ask us to take something to the family. Instead he drove the hour drive (on his wife's birthday) and invited Jen to go along with him.
Shortly after they left Jen called to say that they were on their way back but needed me to warm up some water and find something that would serve as a bathtub. Upon their arrival at the house they had found a little girl that was so malnourished that she was literally starving to death. Jen was bringing her back to Casa to get cleaned up and then planned to make the long overdue trip to the hospital with her. Just as I was about to hang up the phone I heard Jen's voice barely whisper the words "Ash this is worse than anything I've seen here."
Let me just say that nothing could have prepared me for the site that I was about to see. Jen walked through the door carrying a tiny little bundle that was unmistakably a baby from the wails that could be heard from miles away. Wails that screamed of injustice and pain. We headed straight for Jen's shower where I had set up our make shift bathtub. As Jen began unwrapping the blanket I felt my heart drop and my stomach turn at the site before my eyes. I managed to lift my gaze. I found the rush of emotions that were gripping my heart staring back at me as my eyes met Jen's. Knowing the time for tears and breaking down would come later I allowed myself to look past what I was seeing and meet the needs of the little one Jen was placing in my arms.
We managed to get her changed and wrapped up in a clean blanket. Within minutes after I found myself sitting in the car cradling that same bundle and staring down into the eyes of a little one I would quickly fall completely in love with. As we drove to town Jen helped me piece together the rest of the story that I had yet to put together. The bundle in my arms was four year old Maria Isabell. (we call her Isabell) She and her brother, sister, and cousin were living with their grandmother just outside of Ojojona. The mom had abandoned them months before when her new boyfriend said he didn't want kids. From there the Grandmother (who isn't all there) struggled to find money for food and medicines that were necessary to keep her grand kids healthy. Isabell was by far the worst. She had begun having seizures off and on about four months ago and continued to have them in my arms as we rushed her to the Emergency room.
Once there we learned that she weighed only 19 pounds....4 years old and 19 pounds. They hooked her up to an IV and we soon saw a doctor. However, answers were few and far between. Priority became getting fluids in here and getting her stable. Getting her belly full and her strength back was far more important than dealing with the seizures that came off and on or the distorted/deformed way her body had become over the past months. Her hunger pains had sent her into the fetal position. The fact that no one had touched/moved her for days on end had allowed her muscles to disintegrate and the skin literally just hangs from her legs.
Not willing to let her spend a night in the hospital alone (and since I refuse to drive here) I volunteered to stay the night with her. I spent the night massaging her feet. She LOVES having her feet rubbed. (oh yes ME touching feet! ....God does have a sense of humor) I've decided that it is one of the few places that people can touch without causing her great pain and she really just longs to be touched. Every time she would cry (which was often) I would be by her side singing or talking of the days ahead when we would be playing tag, singing together, giggling, and doing all the normal things that 4 year olds were made to do.
Let me just say that those late night hours bonded us on a level that I didn't know could exist after such a short amount of time. By middle of the night she was drinking water and able to swallow again. Around 2 a.m. she had the last seizure and by morning her eyes were brighter, her body was a little stronger, and she was beginning to develop a little bit of an attitude. We spent the night and today bending, flexing, and moving her limbs the best I could. She still prefers to keep them curled up and bent the way we found her but they have each at some point been stretched all the way out so we know it is possible. We also treated her head for lice and may have managed to kill half of them. (she had a head FULL of lice) By the time I left her with Jen around noon today she was doing significantly better than last night. For now I beg for your prayers on her behalf. We are still waiting to see what kind of brain damage has been done. I covet your prayers in these moments of uncertainty and battle for life.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Being Momma

I'm learning that life looks much different when you stand on the other side of the fence. In this case stepping from being the daughter (child) to being the momma looks WAY different. I'm now the one expected to fix the problems instead of the one that gets to create them. I'm the one who is supposed to have all the answers instead of ask them. It is my turn to heal hurts, pray away demons, worry non-stop, and love unconditionally. My all nighters are now caused by bad dreams that leave children up crying most of the night, high fevers and sickness that make my heart race, paper writing in the night because I spent all day with the kids, and so on. However, it is funny to watch how much it literally seems like I have stepped to the other side. I seriously think my parents prayed that I would some day have a child or children that were exactly like I was so I could experience what I put them through. Let me tell you ..their prayers came through. I now have 15 of them! Strong willed, sneaky, stubborn, short tempered, disrespectful...the works. However, above and beyond that I'm getting to be for my kids what my parents were for me.

I sat rubbing Mario's leg the other night as he cried for an hour because of a leg ache. The entire time I sat remembering hundreds of times when my dad would warm a towel and wrap my leg in it. I remembered times when we were out and about when I would get one and he would carry me until we got home. I remembered sitting on Grandma's lap as she rubbed away the pain. I remembered curling up in mom's arms as I sobbed from the pain. I was not only able to relate to the pain Mario was feeling but also was finally able to stand beside my parents and know exactly how it felt to watch your little one wiggly, moan, and simply wail in pain.

The next day I stood with Daniela playing the why game. You know the one I'm talking about....I was busy doing something and she walked up to find out what I was doing. Hearing my answer she proceeded to ask why.... then as I answered why I was doing it she asked "why"....and so on. (You get the picture) Oh heavens if I had a dime for every time one of these kiddos asked me "why" I'd be able to live a life in the mission field without ever having to fundraise! ....or I could give it to my parents for every time I asked that same question.

I could go on all day with just how much they remind me of me....but for now I feel certain you are all chuckling as you watch me finally "get whats coming to me!" :) Thanks a lot!