We have been in Liberia for almost a month! Pretty hard to believe. Time has truly flown. We are thankful to have made it this far with very little sickness, and “small small” issues making the transition. The boys are definitely experiencing things I was too worried about to do back home, or too nervous that they’d mess something up. Simply because sometimes it means it is a way for us all to get out of the apartment complex. Every day I feel like I am watching them grow up before our eyes. I’m very proud of them. 

It’s been a very good and productive week. Liberia had a national holiday on Monday, Armed Forces Day, I believe. So the boys didn’t have school. We had planned over the weekend to go visit Molly and Corey at Mother Blessings orphanage just 30 minutes down the road. When I say I have never felt so fulfilled in my life I absolutely mean it. I know the experience I felt when I pulled up to my first orphanage we visited back in October 2018, but now my very own children were experiencing it also. They may not understand the full weight of their surroundings, but they see no difference in an impoverished child. They played, laughed, danced, and sang with all the children. They showed them how to use their double rocket launchers (thanks Bess!!!!!!!) and were so good about giving all the kids a turn. They walked through the buildings and sat on the mattresses that 3 children sleep on. It was the experience of a lifetime and we cannot wait to bring them to another very soon. 

Zach has been out and about this week to Margibi, and really all over. Two children, one from the orphanage in Margibi and one from Children’s Ministry in Balama have had some medical issues this week. One being a pertinent medical need, possible allergic reaction, but now they are going to test his kidneys. He is at the Elwa hospital compound and is getting treatment, his name is Isaac too. Zach took our Isaac to go visit him the other day and he said it was a sweet experience with some prayer and then Isaac giving away is Paw Patrol toy so Isaac K. would have something to play with. Poor thing is sitting a room with really nothing to do, so we brought him some more goodies today! He was super excited to get some stuff to keep him busy. I have always noticed that the boys really do worry about people when they are sick or down, which is one of their positive traits. The other child is from Margibi and he has an issue with his eyes, so to the eye clinic they went. He has surgery scheduled for Tuesday of this week, pre-op tomorrow. Zach will be checking up on him during the entire process. I find myself just being so thankful that these children are able to seek medical care when it is needed. It’s nothing for us to go to the emergency room or an urgent care in the states, but that’s just not reality here. These children live far away from anything that could help them, and time is usually of the essence. Many are taken far to soon because of simple infections that could be treated. With the help of Orphan Aid, Liberia and all the supporters these children are getting life saving medical care when needed. Isn’t that amazing? God is good. 

The footage and pictures and stories Zach is getting of these children in Margibi are amazing. We cannot wait to share more with you all. He comes home with stories, and all I can do is pray for the parents of these children. Many of the children in orphanages here in Liberia have a living parent, some have both. Some could not afford to support their children, some could not afford to send them to school, some were a product of rape to a very young teenage girl who is still a child herself. These stories are truly gut wrenching. These people have seen so much pain and you can see it in many of their faces. Many of these children lost both their parents to Ebola during the outbreak a few years ago. It’s unimaginable what these children have seen. But they still have so much hope. They are being fed, given a place to sleep, built in friends and playmates, school, and medical care if necessary. That is something they smile about, something that gives them that hope. Simplicity. Finding joy in basic needs. Something I hope I get better at while living here.

Story of the week, I felt like I was going to die the last two days. I type that out with a smile on my face now but man I have not been smiling since about 4 pm on Friday afternoon. I felt fine all day and then all of the sudden I went downhill like an out of control skier on a black diamond slope. Fever, aches, chills, a headache that I seriously can’t even describe it hurt so bad, like it was all around my head, behind my eyes, felt like the back of my head and neck were being squeezed with a big set of pliers. I couldn’t bend down with my head feeling like it was going to blow up. All through the night and all day yesterday through last night I had an up and down fever. It spiked at 104 at one point and that’s when I started to slightly worry. Maybe malaria? Brain hemorrhage? Meningitis?! I just could not kick it! Poor Zach was manning the boys and doing all his stuff and I just could even think straight. After another rough night sleep last night with a pretty bad headache and up and down temperature I woke up this morning feeling so much better!!! Took a malaria test, it was negative, just to rule it out. We are on malaria meds so I didn’t think it was that. So no visit to the clinic for me bc that is what was going to happen today if I still had a high fever. Just a visit to a beach with our crazy kiddos. They had so much fun. Just so thankful I’m better, it’s tough to parent these kiddos by oneself and keep up with day to day housework. Zach is the real MVP. 

We found out today that we will be having a visitor in March! My mom will be coming for a short time and staying with us. We are all so excited. SO EXCITED. We hope everyone had a wonderful week. We will continue to update you all as the weeks progress! We love you all. 

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