Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's time I introduced you to someone I think very highly of. Sharon Agnew runs Shepherd's Home, a place for solo mothers who want to keep their families, right across the street from our house. Really, I cannot say enough about how vital this work is. It's not only almost without parallel for dealing with the real-life situations of these single-parent families--it's exactly the kind of work we need a lot more of.

Last week, Sharon and I found ourselves in a sticky place. Laurdes, one of her ladies who is actually married now but still part of her program, was having unbearable abdominal pain. It was a fiasco of very bad medical care at the first hospital we went to, but they did finally diagnose it as a burst ectopic pregnancy. Had it been a more reliable facility, we should have done an emergency operation right away--but they advised us to go to another, larger hospital.

This is scary business, and Laurdes' vital signs were dropping as we fought our way through election-created traffic jams. At the next hospital, though, they did literally nothing. What the first hospital hadn't told us was that while the second hospital had said they would admit her, they had already told them that they couldn't do the surgery. That is, we were put on a waiting list and told to be patient.

Two hours later, she still didn't have an IV drip, and we were getting desperate. Laurdes' husband and two children were at home, and we were working through the prospect of telling them their mother and wife hadn't made it. The thing is, the jump from government to private health care is extremely expensive, so that we usually don't make it without intense pressure. There's just no way we could pay for every situation we know would be better off in a private hospital.

Finally, though, when it was clear that the government hospital was not going to act quickly enough, we made the move to a private hospital. The staff told us it was critical, but they would do their best. So we waited with bated breath. Sharon, Laures' sister, Len, and I waited in the hall outside operating until almost two...when the doctor came out with a big bowl full of bloody tissue and big smile. Laurdes is okay, but if you could help us pay her bill of P80,000 (1,800 USD) it would be a huge encouragement to Sharon who does this amazing work.

Drop her a line at

Saturday, April 10, 2010

This is one of the great joys of my day: reading to Bernadette at nap/bed-time. Her current favorites are Goodnight Moon by Margarette Wise Brown, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and Teach Me About God by L.J. Sattgast & Jan Elkins.

This last has been a favorite for all three of our children. Specifically, the chapter on the Holy Spirit has been all three of their favorite chapters. Bernadette recites all the fruits of the Spirit by memory and asks for these stories all the time.

Last night, though, we read the first chapter, on salvation. It tells a story about a little lamb who gets lost and then found. There is a picture of Jesus surrounded by five children, and Bernadette loves to name each of them for someone in our family. She is always the one on Jesus`lap.

The last page says the angels in heaven rejoice when one of us repents and joins God`s family. Bernadette always asks me to sing a verse from Angels We Have Heard On High when we come to this page, and usually she mouths along silently while I sing. But last night she sang out for the first time, so I recorded it. To me it is the greatest challenge and joy of parenting--and especially adoption--to learn that we are the glory of God.