For those of you that haven’t seen (or aren’t on Facebook), our sweet baby girl, Elisha-Annica Darlene, was born October 23 at 8:12 in the morning. Direct prayers were answered as I was able to labor at home and arrived at the hospital simply to push! (The pushing wasn’t that simple though!) My mother and brother had planned a visit and we assumed they would find baby at least a week old. Instead, they arrived a mere 3 hours before her birth! We believe Elisha was waiting for Grandma Monica in order to make her appearance. 🙂

We enjoyed a week with Monica and my brother, Dave. Then following we enjoyed a few weeks of learning to be a family of four. Two kids under two are no joke! Yet God knew what he was doing when he gifted us with these beautiful beings. We trust He will also give us the strength, patience, and all other things we need in order to take care of them.

God granted us favor again as we sought Elisha’s paperwork at the American Embassy in Santo Domingo. At 7 am we went into our American Citizenship interview. We left at 2 PM with approval and a passport! Another direct answer to prayer. Just 7 weeks after the baby’s birth we were on our way home to Haiti! 

Once we arrived home I started back to work at Many Hands. Christmas parties at all three Love-in-Action centers and a staff party allowed me to introduce the baby and see all of the staff, mamas, and babies in a matter of one week. What a joy as many of them didn’t realize I had had another baby!

Before the new year arrives, it’s a Haitian tradition to remove all of the dust from the previous year. Last week in Haiti you would have found many families deep-cleaning every inch of their homes. 

If you stopped by our place you would see all the laundry being washed and rooms being reorganized. Not only have we been gone for 3 months but more importantly, Nijah is much taller than when we left. Time to ensure all the knives and breakables are out of reach!

We look forward to the New Year as God continues to shower my family with blessings. For almost 6 years I have been the Director of the First 1,000 Days program. As the program has grown, our leadership staff has also grown, and roles are shifting. Starting next week I will move into a position called Family Advocate. I will focus on families in our program who have special needs, particularly special medical cases. I will also assist the nurse & midwife in their work. This is an area we have needed to reinforce for some time so with my language acquisition and 7 years of Haitian life experience under my belt, I am excited to help make that happen!

Next week Odelin (my husband) will officially join me in my work at Many Hands! He will be my chauffeur, which will allow me to have the flexibility I need in my new role.

Melissa Kauk will assume the position of First 1,000 Days Lead and Kethlin, our Program Manager, will continue in his same responsibilities. His primary function is the management of the program staff. I cannot believe it’s been one year already since he joined our team! I flash-trained him in 4 months and then left him to lead (with Melissa) for the last 9 months while I was on Sabbatical and then maternity leave. I cannot say enough about his willingness, patience, and fortitude. He and Melissa worked hard in my absence and we are blessed because of them.

This year has been one filled with big surprises, deep sorrows, and intense reflection. Yet also dolloped with abundant favor and blessing! We are JOYFUL because of Jesus. We are HOPEFUL because of Jesus. He chose to be born into this messy world so that He could become the ultimate sacrifice. And we benefit a life of freedom and peace because of Him!

In this season we want to thank you for encouraging us through your prayers, emails, gifts, and monetary support. We are so grateful to have a body of people who believe in us and our work through the ministry of Many Hands for Haiti. We hope you will continue to walk alongside us in the coming year!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! (a little late…)

May your days be merry and bright with the hope of His coming again. 

All our Love,

The Aldonzas

Odelin, Liz, Adonijah, and Elisha-Annica (Nini)