It is with great relief and joy that we welcome the newest member to our family. Baby Gideon, a healthy baby boy, was born at 1pm yesterday in Goshen, Indiana. Both mama and baby are doing well now, and sleeping peacefully beside me as I type. Given the complications of the pregnancy, the risks of delivery in Haiti were simply too great; a painful reminder of how so many families lack access to good quality healthcare. We are overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness for our little boy, and all the people who helped he and Rebecca get through a difficult surgery and recovery.
I turned 31 today, ate cookies, watermelon pie, and ribs, and I had to change my clothes three times because our daughter's outdoor play got unusually messy! It was a great birthday. Two years ago on my birthday, Rebecca and I were living and working in Pittsburgh. Last year we were new parents, in a new country, in new jobs. And this year we are expectantly waiting. Rebecca is pregnant, and due to a complication in the pregnancy, we are both working remotely from the US during this last trimester. If all goes as well as it can, our baby will be joining us about a month ahead of schedule towards the end of June.
Simple Rhubarb Danishes
It is high rhubarb season here in Northern Indiana where Rebecca and I are spending these last weeks of her pregnancy. Since rhubarb is something we can't find in Haiti, Rebecca has been doubling down on it while we are here. We eat rhubarb strawberry jam on our toast, in yogurt, and as a topping for ice cream. We make batch upon batch of rhubarb strawberry jam bars, and of course many a rhubarb cream pie. These Simple Rhubarb Danishes are easy (for a pastry), delicious, and elegant -- great for a crowd, or in scaled down version for a weekend breakfast.
Praying for Haiti -- Hurricane Irma
This evening, Hurricane Irma, a category 5 Hurricane and one of the largest on record, is churning westward towards Haiti. The most serious of its effects will likely reach Haiti Thursday evening. Across Haiti people are praying for a miracle. While the eye of the storm is unlikely to make landfall in Haiti, its winds and rains are expected to bring tremendous suffering. In river valleys across northern Haiti, families are bracing for floods. On windswept mountains, people are looking out to sea, praying for protection. New parents are holding their children tight, praying that their roofs will hold during the storm. The farmers we work with across the Artibonite and Central Plateau are anxiously watching their crops, hoping they will not be washed away. We pray tonight for the safety of our staff, for our partners across Haiti, for the tens of thousands of people in the storm's path without protection or a safety net. We pray that in the months ahead, Haiti and her people will have the strength for the slow and painful work of reckoning and rebuilding. Just eleven months after Hurricane Matthew, we pray Haiti has the resilience to struggle back to its feet, once again. Please pray with us.
Grilled Cheese & More Exciting News!
Rebecca has always had strong food cravings; from adventures across the city to find the most mouth puckering sour candy, to a months long quest to reproduce a Vietnamese street food from our travels. While spousal cravings can get a bad rap, I'm personally a big fan. Spur-of-the moment homemade rice crispy treats, check. Ten versions of fried potatoes in a week, twist my arm. Or, most recently, a grilled cheese to beat all other grilled cheese sandwiches: perfectly crisped bread, an extra creamy cheese mix (including cream cheese), and smokey bacon. Not an everyday meal, but a craving induced celebratory treat. In addition to our upcoming move to Haiti, Rebecca and I are celebrating another exciting life change. Rebecca is just entering her third trimester of pregnancy, and we couldn't be happier! We're expecting our little son or daughter to make an appearance in early February, with a planned delivery in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. And if they come out craving ooey gooey cheese...we'll know why!
We have a daughter! It’s a surreal thing to say. We are blissfully happy to share that after weeks of on-and-off contractions and gestation in three countries, our beautiful baby girl, Madeline, was born at 1 am yesterday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, weighing in at a healthy 7 pounds. Madeline is a lively little newborn, and both she and Rebecca are doing well. It’s hard to put words to the feeling of being parents for just a few short hours; joy, relief, shock and happiness. We have been finding ourselves bursting into giddy (exhausted) laughter quite a bit since little Madeline arrived. We will be taking the next month off from work to get to know our new daughter, and look forward to introducing her to her family (even if virtually in many cases), with her first introduction to both sets of grandparents when they arrive in Haiti in just a few weeks!