Born:               January 2, 2009Jan 23 09 040


Name:              Eduardo, but we call him “Edu”

Status:             Surrendered at birth for adoption

Edu is precious. Just precious. And though I have had several headaches from sleepless nights, I am so honored to hold him, love him, and pray over him for this time.


He was terribly jaundiced when we picked him up from hospital and it  took several days before the whites of his eyes turned white and his skin stopped peeling off. Now he seems healthy and alert.


Please pray that God would raise up his family even in these early few weeks and that his adoption would be fast and without complications!

I am a mother. First to my own 5 children, then to at least 20 young boys at any given time. Many of our boys come to our program having never had a relationship with their mother. Many come simply motherless. Abandoned, abused, alone, and astray.  These have become my sons.


It is a constant challenge to parent, never mind to parent boys who are not even really, truly yours. They each have their own personality, their own problems, fears, wounds, and dreams, and they are boys. Boys just have a different vigor for life, a strange calling to the wild and crazy, an innate need to fight everything.


More days than not, I have cried myself to sleep over their stubbornness. There have been days I have felt on top of the world after a run away has come home. I have quit too many times to count, feeling so terribly inadequate. I have often argued with God that I am the wrong person for this job.


But children grow. Some faster than others but they do mature, in time. And not only are my own children changing and growing little wings but my boys are too.  The dreams that God planted in their little hearts when they were so very new to this world are sprouting and I see the time coming to let them try a few steps on their own.


Looking for somewhere challenging to send 4 of our boys that have been with us for many years, we decided on YWAM (Youth With A Mission). A 6 month discipleship training course held on one of the islands in the south. Globally recognized for their specialty in training youth for mission work, we applied and they were accepted to start January 18th.

January 09 052   They packed their bags

and I could hear them

talking late into the

night so full of



Their first time away from “home”, the only home they have ever really known. They are so full of hope. They have all seen too much of the ugly side of life. They have made good choices and have worked hard to change behaviours and attitudes.


I suddenly panic. Have I done enough? Have I loved enough? Have I taught them enough so they wouldn’t fall? Would they manage on their own? Would they make it?


They smile excitedly and climb into the van and I stand bravely, waving goodbye, tears brimming my eyes. I stand tall and strong for them.


I didn’t know it would be so hard to let them go. I didn’t expect my heart to ache as they drove away. It’s not the help. Not the endless ways they work around Gentle Hands or the shifts they take in the nursery and ICU. I will miss coffee in the wee hours of the morning. Debriefing in the evening after a long, hard day. The joy of watching them learn and grow and turn bad habits into good decisions


And now it is someone else’s turn to teach and I can only pray and trust that I have done enough. I have given all I knew to give and now I must trust God to hold them, keep them, and never ever leave them.


“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.

Plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11


Some day, these boys will be men. And they will make a difference in their generation. Their God-given dreams will become a reality and they will be leaders to those around them.


I wipe my eyes and say a quick prayer. As I start up to the stairs to check on the boys that are left, I realize years of hard work is finally showing fruit. I grab the bouncing ball from a boy in the hallway and shut the lights off in someone’s room. I push the many pairs of shoes out of the way of my door and realize I am proud.


I am proud to be a mother of sons.


We have sent these 4 boys to YWAM in faith. They each need support of $1000 for 6 months, including a 6 week outreach to IndoChina or among the southern islands of the Philippines. If you could sponsor one of them or your church could, or someone you know, please let me know. They will need our prayers.

Invest in one of our boys. They are so worth it.

At the beginning of January 2009, I set out deciding to be regular in my news updates and to keep you informed of everything that goes on at Gentle Hands. I have now figured out why this never happens!


DAYS LIKE THIS. (which are all too common and some of you have experienced and will only shake your heads…)

I dropped off a friend of mine after church on Sunday and at the front door of GH waited a young mother and her 2 year old who was having trouble breathing. After doing an interview and checkup, I explained that the prescription she was asking to be filled was too old to fill. I explained that the symptoms indicated something else and we needed to do a chest xray the next day… they would come back the next day.

On the way upstairs for lunch, my Australian friend asked regarding her adopted child’s birth family. Something clicked in my head and I sent one of my girls to check under an overpass for some information. (My friend’s little boy at 5, has been asking many questions about his birth family and we have had few answers to give. He was given to us at 2 months old, weak and very sick because of a hole in his heart. We transferred him to an orphanage that took medical conditions and did adoptions. That was how he came to be in



Upstairs for lunch… the phone rang. A young man that used to live with us, now a young father, who was involved in some altercation (attempted murder) was begging me to take his two little ones because the police were looking for him.

125 Jenny called me from downstairs and out of the blue, a reunion happened. A precious birth mother and an anxious adoptive mother. Emotions were high as they embraced each other- each so very thankful for the other’s role in their child’s life. (It was incredibly emotional for all concerned!)

Throughout the day, our DAVID boys straggled in after being gone for the holidays.  

In the busyness, Merry Faye took my face in her hands, “Mom, the gerbils gave birth. Quick. Come and check them.”

Sure enough. (I made a mental note to separate them.) I then joined Evan in the kitchen where he was happily creating pizzas for the birthday party. Sarah Joy’s 5th!  I made dough for 8 more pizzas since he had already done 4. (Yes that is a lot of pizza!) Evan started on the piñata that SJ insisted on having.

I played a card game with the little boys while Merry Faye, Elijah, and Noah set off to buy a new baby rabbit for SJ’s birthday. Then I finished the pizzas and hung decorations.

137 All the toddlers and babies were dressed in clean party clothes and the party began. It   was very pretty with all the balloons and the children happily eating pizza. Sarah Joy’s princess cake was exquisite.

After supper, a mother arrived downstairs with her two boys that were due to be returned to our custody after the vacation. The change that had occurred in their behaviour was so great, she wanted to keep them. Counselling, threats, and hugs were given. I was sad to see them go but so happy to see a mother actually want her once dreadful boys, back..

It was late, the kids were all tired, and SJ looked beat. She had tried to eat 5 pieces of pizza with much encouragement from Elijah, her older brother. She was so grateful and just before she fell asleep, she said sweetly, “Thank you for my lovely day”. (Unfortunately, she puked up all her pizza and cake for the next 3 hours in her sleep.)

It then takes several days to recover from a day like that but while I am recovering, more things are happening… more babies have arrived… (I’m not kidding!)

SO… I know our worlds are far apart but I thank you for every time you remember us in prayer and for every dollar you send to keep us going. Please remember you are standing with me as I rescue babies and children. None of this would be possible without your financial support. (Those of you that are now homesick for this crazy place, I could sure use some help!)