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 Life in Haiti (28)


Family Time.

We just had a great week here with Rebecca's mom, who traveled down with Tynan & Emma. Sandrea, our previous school teacher for Emma came down for the week too! Since Olivia was here as well, we were only a couple of kids short in celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on June 10th. While there is a bigger celebration ALL TOGETHER, coming up in September along with Ted's 50th, it sure was a precious time to make new memories & to share our Haiti life with Ruth Carrico! We are SUPER proud of her for taking her first international trip ever in her 70's & to such a crazy different place. She was a natural traveler & kept right up on our excursions, she even visited Operation Blessing's school on the shores of Lake Azueil & ventured into Kanez village with Rebecca to check on a friend's little boy who is sick. Syndie got to meet her first grandparent in person. She sure LOVES her "Grandmere" & also got spoiled with lots of gifts sent down from "Tante Renee", Grandpa Bob & Grammy M! 

Life is taking a turn here now as we head into summer time - hot, Hot & HOTTER! It looks like a busy couple of months coming up. 

The coming & going continues as our company left Wednesday afternoon and Olivia flew back to TX this morning to pursue work, school and to catch up on her medical care now that we have U.S. insurance again. Rebecca's brother, Bob arrives in a week to kick off the computer programming business initial stages. We also have our honorary "neice", Bethany Hatley coming down from CA with a friend for 3 weeks and as soon as they leave our cousin Becca from Rhode Island!

Ted's first few weeks at OB have been interesting to say the least. The area of one of their big projects has been literally invaded by an egotistical group of "do-gooders" from the US that have a heap of money & seem to think that they can just take over two villages & do whatever they want. It's a VERY sad and scary situation. PLEASE pray...these Americans are extremely RUDE, vague, ARMED with both guns & video cameras and possibly dangerous. Strange, never thought we would worry about needing security from the Americans here. 

Our main ministry NEED right now is a helper for Rebecca from July 28th through the end of August! She will be up in Hinche with Midwives for Haiti most of that time & will have Syndie with her. We are hoping to have someone who will help out with Syndie during the hours that she has to give her attention to work. It may include educational tutoring & play for her and also being a personal assistant for Rebecca who will be teaching / training on postpartum & newborn care for midwifery students for several weeks.

We are also looking for a teacher for the coming school year. This could start sooner if the same person wanted to stay for the year. See the post under Ministry Team for this position...!


reposting: Postcards from Haiti...


Because I just can't DO JUSTICE to Haiti as well as this myself, I wanted to post recent links to a blog series, by J.C.Schaap, that I have been enjoying & that hits it square on...

Postcards from Haiti (i)

Postcards from Haiti (ii)

Postcards from Haiti (iii)

Postcards from Haiti (iv)

Postcards from Haiti (v)

Postcards from Haiti (vi)

Postcards from Haiti (vii)


Hope you ENJOY another glimpse into life here in Haiti....!!!

Happy Tuesday


Life w/ Syndie: day 2


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!


Fridays @ The GROVE** - breathe

When I was the mom of 5 younger ones, one of my favorite sweatshirts had a vintage Winnie the Pooh design on it and the words “Just Breathe”. While I’ve never really mentioned it out loud, that has been one of my secret mottos ever since.

Being an L&D RN it was very applicable…who doesn’t whisper such quiet utterances at each & every birth…but ESPECIALLY the ones where I was grabbing a bag & mask while vigorously rubbing the back & feet of a limp newborn.

Baby…please…just breathe!

Self…stay calm…just breathe…focus…

Breathe for this baby…until he breathes for himself!

Something most don’t know about me is that many years ago, when my firstborn was under two, I went through a nasty, unavoidable, life-altering, course-changing, quiet, embarrassing, personal suffering period of life. Whether it was a post-breastfeeding change in hormones, my body’s unnatural predisposition to not recognize fatigue, underlying stressors, reactive hypoglycemia, or simply random shallow breathing…in one afternoon my world came crashing down.

I was going about a great day at work one afternoon, when I suddenly felt light-headed. It was progressive & then I started to feel short of breath. The feeling went on for some time and I tried hydrating, sitting down at the nurse’s station, checking my blood sugar, relaxing…something felt very wrong. All of a sudden that first crashing wave HIT…adrenaline in full force… My heart rate soared to the 140’s, forcing me to gasp for more air. Waves of searing fight or flight hormone continued to wash over my body relentlessly. That first panic attack lasted over an hour & a half, I was rushed to the ER…went home undiagnosed, began months of diagnostic testing, counseling, significant weight loss, physical deterioration & facing my worst FEAR – being “damaged & non-functional”. The trauma led to chronic anxiety that it might happen again, wanting to quit work and stay in the safety of my home. It took nearly 2 years to gain full physical & emotional recovery.

God’s BREATH sustained me through that journey, and prepared me for new adventures.

Without diving into all the details of those painful years, I would like to share the two things that helped the most:

1)      A wise MD told me NOT to live like I was a cracked egg, NOT to avoid doing anything for fear of another attack, but to go out & DO everything I had ever wanted to just the same. 

2)      Learning to BREATHE. Apparently I breathe very shallow which helps to set a panic attack off. I learned that even as the adrenaline hit I could go into full body relaxation in the face of the fear-inducing adrenaline that washed over me. I also learned that if I felt one coming on, I could stop & make sure I was doing deep abdominal breathing & it would go away before it had begun.

Life has thrown it at me, at us, as family…at times...& yet I haven’t had a single “panic attack” since I learned how to BREATHE properly. It’s been nearly 20 years. One of the psychologists that I first saw told me “once you have panic disorder you always have panic disorder”, but I beg to differ! Four adopted daughters, raising 5 kids, special needs, attachment disorder, homeschooling, public speaking, surgeries, cross-country move, job loss, bankruptcy, a cancer scare, leaving it all behind, an overseas move, living in & learning a new culture, ministry changes, disappointments, STRESS, stress & more stress later…

SIMPLY learning to BREATHE,

leaning on God’s grace (in every situation)

& following one MD’s advice,

has allowed me to live my life quite imperfectly, but to the fullest…and despite myself, to His Glory!

So my two cents? My "inner dialogue" on a daily basis?

The one thing that you do FIRST on this earth is the key to LIFE…

Release everything else & focus on that. Glorify your CREATOR in the simplest way.



**Velvet Ashes (& The Grove) is a global online community/ministry for women living overseas as Christian workers.