Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Feeling Reflective

Hello Friends

Did you know TLC has been going almost 20 years?
20 years!

It has been really hitting home lately as once again the discussions "in the ether" are around the dire situation the South African NGO sector finds itself in and how many of us will no longer be able to work by Christmas. At the same time there are New Reports like this one that make people so despondent: "R90m underspent in Gauteng Social Department"

My emotional reaction has been to reflect a little on just a small sample of the work we have done over those 20 years.

In the very first newletter TLC ever sent out, in 1993, when we were all rosy eyed and idealistic this was the featured picture.

Little Reuel and Joshua, were our absolute delight, we poured ourselves into them with every ounce of energy that we had. A week or so ago they celebrated the end of their school careers with the South African version of a "Prom" called a Matric Dance.

Watching them stand as men amongst their peers, not needing our company and certainly not wanting us to hold their hands anymore :-) It was both sobering and gratifying to watch.

On Saturday I fetched our 809th baby! A beautiful, healthy 3 day old baby boy who will no doubt be someone elses "Joshua or Reuel" - the apple of someone's eye one day!

Baby 809!
These experiences made me reflect on some of the other children I have been privileged to be involved with. So I thought I would share some with you:

James:     Arrived 9months, Now 9 years!

Crispin and Kay, born one month apart.
Crispin full term and Kay prematurely


Kay Now 16! A Hockey Hero!
Crispin Now 16! A Rugby Hero

Paul, one of our smallest babies.
Paul (12), an amazing young artist!

Kieran, an inoperable heart condition couldn't keep him down!

Kieran (13), a living breathing miracle!

Murphy, survived a horrific birth against all odds, and now a hard working, eager to please young lady of 10 years old!

Most people know Tommy and all he has been through in his life, we wait to see what God has in store for him.

 Little Ruthie, made no sound when we brough her home. She would not laugh, cry, babble or squeak she was so broken. Now she is so full of love, life and the joys of "girliness". She is a delight and we are privileged to stand with her as she grows into the woman God had in mind.


We Love You All

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The highs and lows

Hello Friends

As most of our stalwarts know, when there is no post for awhile it is usually because we are working really hard ... or ... something bad has happened. This time it was a good dose of both that has kept me from writing here.

For over a month we were trying to save our Beloved Baron, the great and famous SLOBBERDOG.
Sadly he passed away on Saturday last, a tragic loss to us all but felt most keenly by Mommy Thea who had invested so much love in his life.

We have all shed our tears for him and there is a constant catch in our throats when walking between the office and the mainhouse without his company.
It is made more tragic with the knowledge that Baron is only one of many big local dogs who have likely succumbed to poison disguised in meat. The police say that people come into an area, sell poison and instructions about how to get rid of a dog that any of the local inhabitants dislike and pretty soon there is an epidemic in the area. It's so sad.

He now has a special place on the grounds of TLC but I fear we will never be the same again.

Amongst the tragedy life at TLC continues ofcourse.

Here are 2 pictures: see if you can notice what the problem was here that we had to solve.

Did you see? The printed label say they are 2 different meds but the front shows that they are the same medicine just different brands.

So what happened was 2 of our children attended the local HIV clinic and were given 3 months of meds to go home with. Upon arrival at home we discovered they had been given double of the one kind of medicine and none of the other - Yikes! Thank goodness we were in a position to return to the clinic immediately but I still wonder how many mommies who simply see different coloured labels and assume the 2 are different will find in 3 months when they return to the clinic that their children are now really unwell!

Our New Farm is visited now all the time by some beautiful birds, I still don't know what species but it gives me joy to know they like it there as much as we do.  We also have had some fun with the cows this week. We had to herd them from the top to the bottom so they could graze on the longer grass and oh boy ... if you could've seen us you would've been in stitches I reckon! Let's just say, it was not the most dignified of parades :-)

We have gone from 4 Nest babies to 6 this week which is a big joy to us. Meet our new arrivals.

A little boy of 2 days old. Ruthie was entranced to see the tiny one as he arrived home.

Somehow in amongst all the things that go on around here, we always get those moments to stop in our tracks and remember just what it is that we do around here. Gathering the little acorns into our warmth and praying that they will rise up as mighty oaks in the future.

For those of you that know and love our Beloved Martha :-)  She is soon to become a Mamma herself. After MANY MANY years of trying she is so thrilled to be expecting a baby of her own. She will be taking Maternity leave soon and it would be wonderful if those who love her would consider sending a small token to help make life a little easier for her. If you send gifts please make sure you reference them: FOR MARTHA.
Sadly the bills at TLC continue to rise and we are finding the wonderful donations that people still send us are not able to meet our living expenses. Bills are being deferred month to month and we are constantly pinching from Peter to pay Paul so to speak.
I know everyone gets tired of hearing it so I have stopped writing it on here, but TLC gets nothing from the state and South African corporates are under huge pressure so if you know of any avenues we can possibly try please let us know. The vast amount of our energies are being spent trying to find money for food, petrol, meds and school fees.

One thing I am grateful for is that some of the kids have less expensive tastes! This here is a photo of what Similo wanted for his birthday dinner!! Seriously! In South Africa chicken feet are eaten quite often, whilst I must admit I simply cannot bring myself to eat them, Similo and most of my kids tucked into them with great relish :-)

I have to run. It is late and my kids are waiting to go "home", but I really wanted to write to you! It's been far too long!

We love you all