Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm here and I'm safe

Hello world out there! Sorry for not being in contact yesterday. There's only so much Internet usage here and it was maxed out before I even tried to update this. I'll try to post in the morning while everyone is still sleeping.

Yesterday was a whirlwind of travel. My flight into Port-au-Prince was uneventful. I was thinking, "this is a breeze!" Little did I know that when I got off the plane I'd be stepping into what have been the most terrifying experience of my life. Thankfully God gave me a guardian angel that I could follow to my next flight and who interpreted everything for me. I don't even know his name, but he kept me calm. Not for one second was I nervous.

I'm thankful Jason had me pack Advil because I woke up with a raging headache. Most likely it's because I didn't sleep the night before. I was the first one up so I'm taking it with some cold water from the cooler. Being an early bird has its perks.

When I arrived at COTP I got a tour, and cried as soon as I saw a couple of the babies. It sounds like that's a standard reaction. It was a 'thank GOD I'm here' coupled with 'I can't believe I'm actually here!!'

As soon as the tour was over I was handed a baby. Pretty much ever moment after that I was holding a little one. That will certainly help me when I'm missing my children.

Which reminds me - my cell DOES NOT work here! No text messages, no calls to Sofia. Jason just might have to log into his email and send me messages. :-)

I woke up last night each time a baby cried. There's a crib in my room, but they give volunteers the first night to sleep without a baby. I've got those ears and still heard the crying. Pretty restless night.

There's the sweetest little guy here with a heart condition. He's really congested and each cough seems so painful for him. I'm trying all my mommy techniques to help him from crying. He has this look of horror in his eyes each time he's about to cough. He was seen by a local doctor yesterday, but there's nothing that can be done for him at this point. Yes, that's going to be the hardest thing for me. About a hundred times yesterday I was about to cry upon seeing each little face but I held it back.

I have never sweat so much in my life as I did yesterday, and I'm pretty sure I'll be the same today. Becky - your forecast was wrong. Painfully wrong. It's is a million degrees here. OK, that's exaggerating a bit. It's a THOUSAND degrees here. I took a shower last night and, other than finally getting the funk washed off, it really served no purpose. I opened the shower curtain and started sweating again.

My stomach is pretty sick this morning, along with my throbbing head. Fifty bucks says it's because I ate BEEF yesterday. Someone alert the Vegan police. I'm in a third world country - can't really be picky about the food. It was lasagna for lunch yesterday and I was so hungry I didn't care. (sorry poor little cow!)

My life was put into complete perspective in just the few hours I've been here. I truly have nothing to complain about at home. I have an amazing husband, healthy kids, great friends and family and air conditioning and ice cubes. Really, what more does one need?

Eeesh - just thinking about the day ahead of me is bringing on the tears. Those of you who know me well know that I cannot stand the sound of a crying baby. Pretty sure I'll be over that right away today. There are so many tears and not enough arms. We can only do so much - especially now that there's a sweet new boy with the heart condition. His crying is the hardest for me.

One more thing. Jerry. We have to find a way to get him a shunt. He's absolutely beautiful!! I sat down with him yesterday. Of course he was a bit shy at first. Poor thing, and overexcited new lady just picks him up and sits down with him. He had his back turned to me but kept reaching out to touch my leg. Then he'd turn back to make sure I was still there. It's not fair that he has the opportunity to be healthier and that isn't happening. The little boy needs a shunt. Consider that Karen mission #1. Guaranteed there will be a thousand added to that!

For those of you who donated money, I will tell you that it's doing amazing things down here. The need is so great. Your dollars are going far to help. Just know that I'll come back asking for more. And I'll have a list of items they need shipped.

Better sign off before I use too much of the Internet. If you don't hear from me, know that I'm completely safe. There are no worries down here, other than that I might sweat out all the fluid in my body.

xoxo - Karen

p.s. I'm in love with my battery operated fan. It was right next to my head all night. What will I do when the batteries run out?


  1. a. You didn't bring more batteries?
    b. Sorry about the forecast. I checked 4 sites and took the average of them all. Should've gone with the highest.
    c. SO grateful that we heard from you and will look forward to reading your blog each day.
    d. I have connections at Children's, you know. We'll work on it.
    e. Miss you and love you. You are amazing and I am so proud of you! XOXO Beck

  2. Sounds like you are right were you are needed, funny how that works out. You are in our prayers! I will keep the North Dakota clan updated of your status. I hope you will always have a cool breeze in your face. We love you! Keep these updates coming when you can. Stew

  3. Whoa!! You are so strong to come to grips with the fact that you can only do so much. You are an amazing gift to all of them and I know you'll do everything in your power to get them what you can and give them all the love a mother could give. and we here at home will help support that mission any way we can, including lots of prayers. Thanks for checking in and letting us know you're okay and sharing your experiences. I'm thinking about you in all this heat - stay cool and just remember, your stay is temporary, this is their life. Love and miss you. Embrace your moments and take it all in. You are such a gift from God to so many.