A Woman Who…

12 May

There is a woman who left her family of 5 to tend to a new missionary giving birth.

There is a woman who tended to this new mother bringing her and her family meals for 2 weeks. (Ok more like a group of women).

There is a woman who visited every week to pick up the babies dirty laundry to wash, dry and fold them.

There is a woman who came to do dishes and serve oatmeal while the new mother recovered.

There is a woman who calls frequently to volunteer her time to watch the girls, in case the new parents need time alone.

There is a woman who came from the United States to Bolivia for one week to minister to a few churches and volunteered her time to fold baby clothes.

There is a woman who takes this new mother grocery shopping every Tuesday morning.

These women are all mothers themselves and missionaries who not only carry the title of minister, but live it. This new mother is so grateful to have such great women in her life. I am blessed by your servants heart, humility, your love,  and your kindness. Your heavenly reward will be great!

-Melinda

Mommy and Jolee

Mommy and Jalynne

The Acquisition of Children

4 May

by @NGIE on APRIL 29, 2011

Alternate title: The Labor of Relinquishment as Parents

She told me days before their arrival to Bolivia to serve a three year term as missionaries, “We are pregnant!” I had a hunch. So these months as her belly grew so did our expectations. Their baby room closet filled with pink things, soft and sweet smelling.

Then just weeks before the birth of their daughter a surprise came to our lives. She would come to be known as Jolee. Once a scrawny scrapping infant fighting to live on a doorstep now a plump and doted upon big sister cuddled every day. A most beautiful family has been born.

As they cared for the one we still waited for the little girl all curled up comfy in her mommy’s tummy. Graciously these brave parents gave me permission to attend the birth.

Finally, the day arrived. Plans set in motion as we all headed to the clinic. My mind flashed back to the birth of my own son in the same place some four years ago. Antiquated though it was these halls held hope. What an honor to introduce my friends to this inexplicable experience of labor and delivery.

The afternoon and evening of Saturday, March 26 was passed with contractions. As the night fell we all wondered if this child would come exactly one month after the birth date daddy had given some days ago to his eldest daughter: February 26, 2011.

They told us it was time to move downstairs. The minutes turned into an hour as this new mama pushed. Old fashioned aid was given as the anesthesiologist climbed on the slender table and planted his knees next to the laboring woman’s shoulders. He placed his hands on the bulge. At the next contracting of muscles they all pushed together.

Daddy and I were made to stand at the open door a few feet away from the action. We spoke out encouraging words, “You can do it. You’re doing great! Keep up the good work!”

The doctor motioned for us to come in, he could see the head. We rushed to the side of our dears. How odd the birth that hurts so much as we push our babies out of us. This pushing begins the lifelong painful push to relinquish our children to the world.  Instinct bonds us tighter than superglue. Instinct also tells us teach, prepare and train this being to live a life away from us.

Just minutes before the stroke of midnight beautiful Jalynne Miranda Gore was born to this earth. The doctor made quick work of untying the cord that had wrapped itself tight twice around the little neck of this new girl. Breath filled her lungs and her first cry brought relieved sighs and smiles throughout the room.

The first words of this mommy after releasing her child from her body, “I miss her.” Then she saw her daughter and made the observation before laying her head back to rest after such work, “She has eyebrows!”

Oh yes, the child has eyebrows, and ten tiny toes, and ten large fingers. And she is strong! The pediatrician had to replace the little oxygen mask three times because little miss flailed her arms around and yanked it off with one arm while grabbing other instruments with the other.

As the custom goes she gets a quick rub down with a blanket, diapered and then is bundled up in many layers and handed back to mama. She will get her first bath late in the next day.

We return to the laboring room with the precious girl. She suckles as the parents adore her. A quick visit with a doctor who looks as though he just won the world cup, so happy! Then I slip out and drive home in the twilight hours. I fall asleep so tired yet with the same smile I have had all night, fully aware and overwhelmingly grateful that I was a part of a miracle.

The next day I returned to pick up the threesome and bring them home. Later the sisters would meet. Here are some pictures of this blessed event. I love it!

Sheltered from the Storm

4 May

by @NGIE on MARCH 8, 2011

What was she thinking? She saw no alternative. She gave her child away.

The bed carefully prepared. Tears streaming down her face. Wrapping her newborn son she laid him in the basket. Stealth her only concern she made her way to the river side. Making  sure she was alone she gave the soft head one last kiss and shoved the bundle in the the water. It bobbed and swayed. She watched until she could no longer make out its tiny form. Hurrying back to the house she buried her spinning head in her hands.

Had the story ended here what would we say of that birth mom? Would we shake our fingers and scold. How could you? What were you thinking? Crazy woman!

We have to hope that such an extreme act was based in a glimmer of hope that there was a better life for her son than living under the dread of the soldier’s sword. We have to believe in the hand of Jehovah in their lives.

Still One watched over that boy. He watched through a startled sister’s eyes. She hid in the tall grass and scurried quickly along the banks as the water carried her brother to his new mother. Miriam watched as he was taken from the water, his new name bearing to this truth: Moses. In an instance his life was saved by the same race of people that ravaged the country side with bloodshed attempting to snuff out a nation’s existence. Salvation and liberation would come through this Hebrew offspring raised in the oppressor’s home.

The story of Moses fills one with awe at the plan of redemption which began with the birth of a boy.

Now I would like to tell you a similar story about the birth of a girl. Her birth mother’s head may have been spinning after a drastic act in the hopes of a better life for her daughter. Left on a doorstep, abandoned, found and taken in this little girl now has a mama and a papa. She also has a little sister on the way ready to be born in a few short weeks. Her story is just beginning. We hope as it unfolds that the Lord’s hand would be present as it was in the life of Moses.

Just today Romon and Melinda Gore (our missionary interns) gave their new daughter a name. The daughter who is due to arrive at the end of March they have decided to name: Jalynne Miranda. The daughter who came to them last Thursday has been named: Jolee Brooke. These two girls will be raised as twins. Jalynne and Jolee. I like it.

Here are the meanings of the names of this precious five pound, less-than-a-month-old surprise:

Jo (short for Joseph): means Jehovah increases
Lee: sheltered from the storm
Brooke: means water

So fitting. God has increased this family with a doubly rich inheritance. I am so very happy for them! And I am so happy for me that I get to babysit. We all love her, as you can see in the following images. She is sweet and soft and so tiny.

I am also so very happy to be able to walk with these first-time parents and help them through the mysterious birthing situation in a foreign country and simultaneously help them with the arduous adoption process. Please pray for strength for Melinda as she still has a few weeks left in the pregnancy before Jalynne is born. You can pray for Romon as well as they are both going to be very busy with these two girls. You can pray for Jolee’s health. You can pray that the whole Gore family has favor before every official they will encounter.

Blog announcement from the parents: Our Growing Family

(Click to see the images enlarged.)

Simple Things That Make Me Smile

6 Dec

I don’t really ever ask for much from anyone, and when I am asked what I want, it takes me forever to come up with a list. Christmas time is exciting, but frustrating for me because it forces me to think of what I need or want. I consider myself blessed not to be able to come up with a list of things for myself. But, there are a few things that would and have already made me happy.

1. Cake! I’ve been mentioning to Romon for months that I REALLY wanted to have some “American” cake. (Cake here in Bolivia is not sweet like in the states). I couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on boxed cake and frosting. Because it is imported, it costs more. My husband brought home some cake and frosting yesterday afternoon. I baked it and we enjoyed some of it together.

It's delicious. I don't want it to finish.

2. Park! Today Romon and I took 17 of the 18 children out for a fun day at the park. I had such a blast watching them have fun. We treated all of the children to fun on a trampoline. They were so excited. They simultaneously wanted me to see them slide down the slide, run around being silly, making a funny face, etc. It made my heart so glad to see that they were having a great time.

Trampoline Fun

3. Flowers! One of the young boys spent some of his time at the park picking flowers. He walked back to the house with them, and when we had a second alone, he looked at me and said, “Tia Melinda, these are for you. They’re dead, but will you take them?” I smiled and told him they were beautiful. He smiled back and off he went to play with the others.

Me, my friend and my beautiful flowers

- I am so blessed to have a great, considerate husband who will think of even the smallest details to bring a smile to my face.

- I am blessed to have 18 children to remind me of how simple life can be and how special memories are  made at any moment.

-I am blessed to have a child think of me enough to pick  flowers when all of the others are enjoying fun at the park.

It’s the simple things that makes this girl SMILE!

-Melinda

It’s a Girl!

21 Oct

Romon and I visited our doctor, Dr. Montano at 10:00 am today. He told us last month that he would be able to determine the baby’s gender at this month’s check up. I thought, “No way it will be way too early”. But then again, I’m not the professional. So I trusted him. Then I doubted again just so that I would not be disappointed if he said, “We need to wait another month”. So I tried to play it cool. That is up until last night. I just hoped we would find out today. I woke up at 4:30am and could not go back to sleep. Excitement, maybe. Restless, for sure.

Within 30 seconds into the ultrasound, Dr. Montano looks at me and says, “It’s a girl”. I looked at Romon and said, “She is going to be beautiful”. Romon responds, “I hope so”, as I chuckle internally at his attempt to stay cool and not show too much emotion. I can tell his mind was processing 1,000 thoughts per second.

We have the ultrasound on video and wanted to share with you, our family and friends, this joyous occasion. (It was about 5 1/2 min. long, but I cut it down to about 50 seconds.)

Our baby girl at 17 weeks, sucking her thumb!

Click here to watch the video

Notice as she sucks her thumb, points up for some reason, and kicks around a bit :)

We have a name in mind, but are still accepting suggestions.

What’s yours?

Names suggested so far…

1. Romonica

2. Regina

3. Melimonda

Can you see why we need your help?

Melinda

Being an Aunt is the Best!

18 Oct

Just got through looking at some pictures of my nieces. “Ugh they are so beautiful”, I say to myself. I think back to how much fun I have when I’m with Mariah, my oldest niece. She is hilarious and says the darndest things. She is independent. Strong. So loving. So smart. I think to myself, “I love this girl so much”.

Caleigh, my second oldest niece, she too is something. Intelligent, gorgeous, adorable. When I see her pictures I see a leader. A girl with influence. A talented dancer and a pure heart after God.  And seeing these things in her make me so proud to be her Aunt. Gosh I love this little girl!

Cadence: Handsome. Funny. Definitely one of a kind. Now learning to talk more, I find myself more and more excited as he learns new words and tries his best to communicate via Skype. When I see him, I think, “I just want to hug him so tight and give him a huge kiss. I just love him”.

Then comes Serenity. I held her for the first time just 1 week before returning to Bolivia. Newborn baby, gorgeous, so fragile (scary to hold if I’m being honest). Perfect eyes, skin, fingers, toes, ears, smile, perfect everything. As I held her I became overwhelmed with emotion. I loved her at that moment. Here is this innocent baby. She has an entire life to live and it’s the responsibility of a family to guide her in the right direction. Wow, such pressure. This is  a huge responsibility. I am not ready for this.

 

I love these short but precious and unforgettable moments in life.

 

So when my family saw how happy I was with a newborn in my arms, they all naturally asked, “So when are you and Romon having children”. Our response for years has always been, “In two years”. That is our plan and we were sticking to it…..so we thought.

Little did we know I was about 4 weeks pregnant at the time. So now, the feelings of holding a new-born, raising a child, helping shape its morals and views in life, being responsible for a life has become even more real. Even more frightening. I looked over at Romon a few days ago and told him, “I’m scared. What if I’m not a good mom? What if I don’t know what to do?” He responded in an ever so confident voice, “You’ll figure it out”. To some that may seem harsh. To some, not very comforting at all. But to me, it was just what I needed to hear. I will figure it out as do all moms. If one method of doing something doesn’t work out, who says we can’t change our method? Parenting, something I’ve dreaded and wanted to avoid for as long as possible, has become a subject of special interest. A daily focus. I mean, I follow Parenting Magazine on Twitter now. Who knew?

I thank God that the process of growing a child takes 9/10 months. I need every bit of that time to pray, read, ask around, educate myself on this matter. In reality, I am learning now as I take those huge prenatal pills, as I remember to drink 2-3 glasses of milk per day and so on, that being a mother requires selflessness. I’m excited. I’m already in love with this miracle that is growing inside of me and can’t wait to meet him/her. If I felt that being and Aunt was the best, I wonder how much greater will it be to be a mother?

Melinda

Ps. I can’t forget my nephew London born Oct. 6, 2011. I have not had the chance to meet him yet. Believe me, not being there for his birth seemed like a sin. But without even meeting him I instantly love him. So crazy. I can’t even imagine the feeling of meeting my own child for the first time and holding him/her in my arms. Whoa!

Need a Game Plan: A Lesson Learned at a Christian Concert

10 Oct

We received an invitation from the bass player at our church to attend an event where his Christian band will be playing.  What else would we be doing on a Saturday night in a different country with no friends yet? So we went. Shortly after his band played, a Spanish Rap group performed. Note: I didn’t care for them at all  (except for the beats that they stole from recognizable rap artist).

Apparently the “raperos” attracted a different audience. I looked over at a couple young men and one of their haircuts struck me as pretty strange, but very funny. So I chuckled and told Romon to check out his hair cut. Romon said, oh those are some of the street kids. I took a closer look and noticed their lack of hygiene and a back pack full of items they use for entertaining people at red lights. It’s how they make their living. I was suddenly filled with guilt for laughing at them. I thought, “I’m a horrible Christian”. After that heart check, my heart was overwhelmingly filled with compassion for these guys.

I thought, this is perfect they came to a Christian event, they must be searching. Searching for what? Answers. God. With all these Christians here, they are sure to find what they’re looking for. I couldn’t take my eyes off of these two. I know my Spanish isn’t great enough to communicate with them, but even if it were, what would I say? I have no way of relating to them. So I relied on these workers who were walking around with banners that said, “We are One World. Are you?” What the heck does that even mean? I just wanted to rip those stupid banners into pieces and tell someone can you focus on these lost souls please?!!! Not one person reached out to them. They eventually walked away. Possibly off to work.

Gosh, this Christian culture is so backwards. We’d rather see that everyone in the audience is having a good time than seeing to it that people are being given an opportunity to meet Christ. These were my honest feelings. (From what I understand the organization has many great intentions, I just didn’t see much productivity in it last night).

3 lessons I learned about myself at this event:

1- I’m not as great as I think I am. I still need to work on a lot of things internally.

2. I was as guilty of not presenting the gospel of Christ to these young men because I wasn’t prepared.

2. I need a game plan. What will I do the next time I am given such an easy opportunity to meet a need for someone and lead him/her to Jesus whom I KNOW changes lives in a tremendous way?

What are your suggestions for this game plan? (Please withhold from all unproductive, super religious perspectives. I’m planning on reaching nonreligious folks). Thanks!

Melinda

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