Barlow Family - Haiti



The WHOLE crew


Ted & Rebecca


Tania Grace


Ana & Oliver











In Prayer, For...
  • the orphans in Haiti
    a smooth moving process
    calm during the transition
  • our kids -
  • Tynan & Tania in college
  • Ana working in Germany
  • Twins' homeschooling
  • the future "additions"
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Entries in blessings (6)


My husband, My Hero...! Happy Birthday, Ted.

It’s amazing to think that the best day of my life happened 15 months & 1 day before I even took my first breath. The faceless woman who labored to bring my husband into this world 50 years ago today didn’t have him in her plan, but his Father in heaven sure did!!! And the world is a better place for His gift...


From the Greek name Θεοδωρος (Theodoros), which meant "gift of God".

I take him for granted way too often, but today I am just missing him terribly and sharing this tribute.


 noun \ˈhir-(ˌ)ō\

: a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities

: a person who is greatly admired

: the chief male character in a story, play, movie, etc.



A hero or heroine refers to characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity. Wikipedia

By all definitions, you see, my sentiments are absolutely TRUE.

In the aftermath of the recession & a forced career shift, he chose not to seek his own wealth and happiness, but the path of helping others who were in greater need than he had ever imagined.

He has worked tirelessly on behalf of at-risk children and families for over 3 years now in Haiti and his shoulder is at the plow still as he follows the path his Father has laid out for him, abroad. It isn’t easy, but it IS making a difference.

He wouldn’t see it this way, but the sacrifices that he makes every day are astounding.

At this very moment he is making several:

-          He is working 40-60 hours a week under the Haitian sun overseeing countless projects that are slowly changing the landscape of poverty, everything from fish hatcheries, to schools, a special needs orphanage, medication distribution and more are under his eye at the moment.

-          He is caring for a sweet & spunky 6 year old, who adores her papa.

-          He remains in Haiti, while I am away tending our big kids' needs.

-          He’s dealing with an extended separation with the needs of many others in mind, but primarily for the sake of processing the adoption of his youngest child.

-          He is providing the physical & emotional support, for me to start midwifery school in a few weeks. All the while, with the future of Haitian nurses, midwives, and the precious LIVES of mothers & their babies in mind.

-          He drives to school, grocery shops, pumps water to flow through our house, keeps electricity running, attends parent/teacher conferences, medical appointments, and even does LAUNDRY…

I know for a fact, there are things he does, that I never know about, to help make our lives possible there and to promote the well-being of others.

I LOVE and admire this man!!!!

It feels so miniscule to only be able to offer this tribute on such a MONUMENTAL day…and from afar.

Please join me today in THANKING GOD, in CELEBRATION and by offering words of joy & encouragement to MY HERO…my husband.

HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY, Ted Barlow!!!!

I LOVE YOU and am so BLESSED by you…

I hope and pray to share the second "half of a century" more walking the journey and adventures of this world with you!


Life w/ Syndie: gotcha day - greatness & grief intertwined

This LONG awaited day - which is a miracle to have ever come - arrived quietly and joyfully yesterday afternoon. 

Ted, Bekenson & I drove to Carrefour to meet up with Syndie's godfamily who have been fearlessly working on her behalf the past month to remove her from the unstable & dilapidated orphanage that has been her home the past 4 years.

Syndie's mother died in the 2010 earthquake at 17 years old. Syndie was 2. We had been seeking God in orphan care ministry & adoption back in 2009 & were sure that God was calling us to interracial adoption & kids with specific medical needs. We had no idea that he would call us to Haiti until a few months later.

While he has given us plenty of kingdom work to do here over the past 3 years, one of the biggest plans that he set in motion was the slow process of us becoming Syndie's new forever parents. We actually met Syndie on Thanksgiving day 2011, merely 3 weeks after we hit the ground here. We knew that God would bring kids along that he planned for us to adopt & that we would know it by the fact that they had the special needs that He had laid on our hearts. When we met Syndie & another little guy that we also hope to adopt, Kervensly...our first instinct was to dismiss that just because they fit the details that God laid on our hearts, that THEY were the ones that He had in mind. Is wasn't until nearly a year later that we felt sure that we were supposed to pursue being their parents & now 2.5 years until the first one has entered our care!

In the meantime God has allowed our hearts to be knit steadily together through monthly MD visit days, several outings & retreats with a sponsoring church group from FL, and shared time while visiting and playing in their orphanage.

While Syndie knows us & has some trust development already, this is still a HUGE change for her. While she was crying "I don't want to stay here!" about the orphanage a little over a week ago, she really doesn't know any other life to this point. 

Yesterday was a mixture of beauty and tears. Her godmother, grandmother, god-auntie and her two kids all rode across town to visit our home, to make sure they felt comfortable with Syndie living here & to celebrate her birthday, freedom day & gotcha day all-in-one! We ate Haitian food & had a "woz gato" (pink cake) with "krem glase" (ice cream). It was simple, but special beyond belief. I never knew that Syndie had a god-family and how much that they cared about her. While they have made it clear that they have NO intention of raising her themselves nor the means, they truly care about her emotional well-being, they pray for her, they LOVE her. She is blessed!

They could not have been more encouraging & said over & over again. "Li bon, Mwen TRE tre content pou Syndie!" "It's great, I'm so so happy for Syndie!" They spoke of how we love her & of how smart she is and that she can go to school now too. They talked with Syndie about how she can come see them and that they will visit her that she can call on the phone to them. We are glad to have them a part of her life and forever grateful for their hard work to remove her from the orphanage. 

here is a peek at our first day together-

What a "lucky" little girl to have so much LOVE!!! 

Despite the fun, our day wrapped up with a flood of tears, grief, anger, sadness... Receiving good things even love often causes a form of delayed grief in post-institutionalized kiddos. For her it was a mixture of relief and anger at her stressful past as well as missing the familiar no matter how much she didn't like it. I couldn't help but cry with her in her pain.

When the tears finally subsided, we all snuggled up together to watch Doc McStuffins on Netflix and called it the END of our very first day TOGETHER!


To refreshing skills and BEYOND!!


SWEET blessings to share, regarding my current travel nurse contract...!

While I took it for two main reasons: updating my L&D skills and helping our finances God has been SO GOOD to use it for more…


First, I am enjoying the fact that the hospital is nestled in the neighborhood that I grew up in in Northern California. In fact my mom lives just a few blocks away & I actually was a “candy striper” (for those of you who don’t remember what that means - a student volunteer) at this hospital as a very young teen. I remember wishing that my duties included holding the newborn babies back then, but usually it was running errands for the nurses & clerks. Now here I am delivering & holding babies at the same hospital MANY years later!

Secondly, it has been super rejuvenating to be able to drop in on family after work and on days off to share life together a bit and have the time to catch up from the heart. Driving three of my five kids to drop off work applications, attend interviews, and giving words of encouragement or hugs as needed, especially to my oldest, who has been on her own the past couple of years ALL feeds my soul as much as theirs.

Lastly, the most unexpected blessing has been the professionals that I am working with. The RN’s have been kind, helpful & patient as I’ve had to get up to speed on their computer documentation system. Thankfully, my patient care skills have flowed as if I never stepped away. It has been reaffirming to realize that assisting birth is still a very deep part of who I am!

The DOCTORS that I am working with here have taken this to another whole level though. Somehow, I have been ending up with quite a few “natural” deliveries...I would choose them anyhow, typically, but these have been assigned. The feedback that they have given about my patient care has been a true BOOST! Since this hospital has no midwives on staff I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as learning beyond my current skills. There ARE however a substantial team of female doctors that are very collaborative and “real”. Earlier today, one of them, when I explained that I was paying closer attention to “repairs” since I am preparing for midwifery school in a few months...jumped in & spent her time teaching me EVERYTHING that she was doing and explaining complexities that I won’t go into detail on. I feel like my education has already commenced and that I am SUPER fortunate to have 8 more weeks of this opportunity! Since it is likely that I will be helping deliver babies in Haiti long before my degree is completed, those skills are absolutely priceless...& once again I feel BLESSED!!


Journey & Quest collide...

 WARNING: may contain traces of honest raw messy missionary life 

Today I went to church with some very dear, very OLD friends. They were on the mission field in Kyrgyzstan & New Zealand for the better part of the years that we were busy adopting and raising kids here in the states. Now that they are back home living the US domestic life again, WE are the ones overseas. The unfortunate part is that we rather miss them, REALLY love hanging out together & RARELY ever get to!

They are on a personal mission as a family this year. For various excellent reasons they have decided to get to know the christian communities of their hometown better by visiting 50 churches in the greater Sacramento area, over the next year. (

I had the privilege of joining them on their QUEST today!

Ironically this week was an African American church in midtown, just a few miles from where Ted & I spent our early married life together. A few years ago, I would have felt awkward as a minority. Today the glowing brown faces & warm smiles came as a welcome sight. I haven't spent much time at all in a predominantly African American setting in the US. I knew that it was different culturally than the Haitian population, so wasn't sure how I would fit in.

Third culture adult quirk started me off feeling like a Haitian...because they are often surprised when a dark skinned visitor doesn't speak Kreyol just like they do. Thankfully my MIND helped me refrain from automatically singing out "bon jour" as that natural greeting arose & carefully placed an appropriate "hello" or "good morning" in it's place. The common characteristics that DID leap out at me were: friendliness, openness and a sense of community that resided there. They put me at ease immediately & let me feel "at home" for a few hours.

What I didn’t expect, was to meet God face to face there today. True, God is always present where believers are gathered, but today He reached out & spoke to me in a new way. It's been a tough couple of weeks understanding God’s plans and His provision and our calling in Haiti, and I have wrestled it out with Him during this down time. In hindsight I'm glad for the time that he forcibly set aside for me to process it all.

What I’ve learned about myself recently:

1) I worry too much about finances...and perceived “stability” or “instability” and despite my best attempts don’t have quite the faith that I thought I had in that area.

2) That despite knowing better, I often try to carry the burden of everything that is broken and everyone that is suffering in Haiti on my own. I say “try” because DUH, it’s not really possible!

3) Preparing to start midwifery school has opened the door to an area of fear and daunting realities that I needed to face and deal with in order to be ready to make the sacrifices required.

4) The idea of working in Haiti for an indefinite time frame now is still a new reality that brings both excitement and concerns.

5) Being on the mission field can feel unfathomably lonely and I don’t even realize it sometimes.

6) It is very challenging to process normal daily emotions & thoughts while living IN Haiti full time.

What God has “brought on” this past week:

- He convicted me on financial worries & asked me to give that up to Him.

- I was moved to tears in church last week as the congregation sang a closing worship song with the words “send me…” and my personal calling was quietly & freshly reaffirmed.

- We were all deeply encouraged as God sent a new ministry partner to us & then blessed her with a raise shortly after her commitment!

- We received a couple of unexpected one time gifts

- After 3 weeks of failed attempts to find a short term contract while I am here, I gave up focusing on that as the only solution.

- Monday I was called about a job that had reopened. It is shorter than the others & four shifts a week, which means I will make enough to cover next year’s rent in less time away.

- I have been blessed beyond words by the love, support & generosity of my family and friends while away from home, dealing with reverse culture shock, and in a funk about “what next?”.

As if that wasn’t enough for one week, I was convicted anew in the service today. Bishop spoke of how Jesus stepped in & took our place…that means in everything. So I needed to step out and release it all to Him. Towards the end of the message we were called to stand if we had something to let go of and I stood...the next thing I know those who stood had to move to the front of the sanctuary. I found myself in the front in a sea of African American brothers and sisters. As the pastor stopped and spoke words over certain individuals, prayed over them and let the Spirit lead, he turned and looked at me. The crowd parted and he took my hand and this is (paraphrased) what he kindly looked me in the eyes and said…

“You are not here by chance today. You are here for a reason. While all this may be very different for you, YOU have been SO amazingly brave and open in letting God lead your heart…to hear what He has for you.”

He smiled & went on.

“You REALLY need to leave it all to God...He is ALL that you need. You can count on Him...He's got your back!"

“Look around you.” At which point I realize that everyone is focused on me and oddly (introvert that I am) I wasn’t nervous or scared. “Everyone here is there for you. You are NOT alone!” and he asked them all to pray over me...for all of God’s strength to be given to me...and he went on to speak words of love and encouragement that were a salve to my soul.

He finished with an exuberant “Boy are you going to sleep good tonight!!!”  (thank heavens...I've been plagued with insomnia this whole past week) 

So...journey & quest collided, for a moment, and that's what came of it.

God spoke.

He hit every area that I had been wrestling with over the course of a week and wrapped it up in love. He left me with with NO doubt, NO worries, NO fear, NO questions. Doesn’t get any clearer than that...It’s settled then and time to move on!

Please keep me in your prayers as I drop into a quick orientation to the hospital unit starting Wednesday and finish my ACLS certification (I am SO not a cardiac nurse!)

have a blessed week,




stare at this for 60 seconds...

...with a sigh first, then an expanding smile of relief & wonder, and you'll understand the best moment of our day!

It's been 15 months and FINALLY we have a washer. So excited to have a break from hand washing & to have the clothes spin so that they dry quickly on the line now & not as stiff as a board!

Thankful for the little things, though this feels BIG to us right now.

Even the dogs were on hand with anticipation & excitement: