Recent Picture of Frankie……
With New Years coming up in just a few days I’ve already started to bullet the list of things I’ve been thankful for this year. And today I’m thankful for Heartline Ministries. They run Maranatha Children’s Home and that is where our son Frankie lives until he comes home to the states. I can’t even begin to tell you what a relief it is in this long journey that Frankie is at such a wonderful place where they are doing everything possible to prepare him for life with us in America. Even down to the care they give their nannies who watch these children. There have been times where John has questioned if they need to keep the two homes they have for the kids up and running (see here how this one boy helped in that process) and I must say as a family just starting this process we are so thankful for what the McHouls have done along with all the other people involved with Heartline… The Livesays and the Tluceks and what they will continue to do. Why? because they are giving us such an amazing gift. The gift of an addition to our family. And through them and hopefully through the years Frankie spends with us… Frankie will in turn make Great impact in our World. That is the desire Dave and I have for all of our children.
I want to leave you with what John and Beth have said about Christmas time with the kids and what life is like for Frankie this past holiday season. It was hard not having part of our family with us this Christmas. But I am so thankful for the people of influence in his life.
Byron and Shelley Tlucek hosted a Christmas party for the children and also one for the nannies and their families. They, each night, from December 14th to the 24th spent time with the kids singing, praying, reading scripture and talking about Jesus, God’s great gift to mankind.
Each child received four gifts
The nannies and their families enjoyed a cookout where they were given Christmas gifts and where we could express to them our appreciation for their work in caring for the children.
Our nannies are an essential part of Maranatha Children’s Home. Beth writes,
“An integral part of our ministry is the nannies. John and I play a grandparents role at the kid’s houses. John loves to take the older kids to the grocery store and buy them all the junk food they can carry. I would load the kids into my car for church, the grocery store, and Epidor, Haiti’s new fast food restaurant. We do fun things and behind the scene things. John pays the salaries, listens to issues, and gets involved. In truth, the nannies are the most important piece of the children’s homes puzzle. Their task is not an easy one. They are asked to enter an American style home, use American discipline and care giving, and look after children for 12 hours at a time. They are replacing the mother figure these children have lost. As we go about Haiti we are dismayed at the number of overcrowded, understaffed and poorly run orphanages. It has been our constant endeavor to provide a fully staffed, educated, loving and caring nanny staff for our kids. We know that to develop properly, children need a loving, consistent, fully engaged care-giver. We go to great lengths to provide this. Each year we have a week of “nanny seminars” to educate our nannies. We provide classes on child care, health basics, CPR, self defense, nutrition and so on. We focus on emotional needs such as attachment and focus on child development. These issues are stressed, pushed and taught and re-taught. The result has been we have a loving group of nannies who really do care about the kids. When I talk to the kids who have gone home to the States they always ask about the nannies. They always send their greetings. They do not forget their nannies. It’s a delicate balance. A happy nanny makes happy kids. A well paid nanny who gets along with her co-workers makes a better mom figure to the kids. We know this. Skills have to be learned as they enter our employ. We have hired nannies who have never played with toys, put together a puzzle, combed a dolls hair, used play dough or jumped on a trampoline. We know when we first hire a nanny it takes a while for them to stop “playing” and start parenting. They will play beside a child and not with a child for the first few weeks. Making up for lost time in their own lives. American style care has to be learned. Over discipline or none at all seem to be norm. We have to teach consistent, loving discipline. In a population that can neglect a child due to the pressures of poverty nannies have to learn to stimulate, play with and provide learning experiences for the children. We ask our nannies to change, grow and develop new patterns of child care. Hopefully they take these skills home to their own children. They have complicated lives, many have children of their own, desperately needy extended families, and they are often the only employed person in a large household. Every Haitian that has a paying job is providing for several other family members. Our kids love their nannies. We know that this bond is of the utmost importance. No matter how nice the house is, how many toys we provide, no matter how nutritious the food is the program would fail without loving, involved nannies. They are, without a doubt, a key to the success of this program. They are investing in the whole life of a child. Long after a child leaves the creche the security and love a nanny provided for them will be the building blocks to a successful life is the States. Nannies are an important key to the door of success for this ministry and the lives of our children! Nannies matter!”
I feel the same way!!