Children of the Promise, HAITI

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Story of Cassandra's parents on WCCO

Fergus Falls Couple Has 9 Adopted Children

The Fergus Falls couple, who had two biological children, looks back on that adoption as a self-centered act that made them feel good about themselves and rounded out their household.

After adopting a baby girl from South Korea two decades ago, Roger and Amy Twedt agreed they now had the ideal-size family.The Fergus Falls couple, who had two biological children, looks back on that adoption as a self-centered act that made them feel good about themselves and rounded out their household.But they didn't stop. Their family grew rapidly, a bustling haven for youngsters from four continents. In January, the Twedts adopted for the ninth time.The family might remind some of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, but the Twedts readily point out theirs is not an unfailingly uplifting story that fits on a single glossy page. Over the years, it's involved the thrashing of the parents' bedroom, battles with flashbacks to physical and sexual abuse and stints in juvenile detention.Amy, who founded a nonprofit adoption agency several years ago, doesn't sugarcoat the story for prospective parents. Still, she has a way of making them want to adopt even more. And she no longer tries to argue what she and her husband are doing is self-centered."Most of us at some point quit adopting just because we have this hole in our hearts that needs to be filled by a child," Amy said. "We start adopting because it's the right thing to do."The Twedts' first adoption made them acutely aware of a global crisis that Amy captures in haunting numbers: more than 143 million orphans worldwide, and some 500,000 children in foster care in this country. Devout Christians, they took the scriptural mandate to care for orphans to heart.The Twedts' biological daughter, Lindsey, 24, recalls spotting a "For Sale" sign on, say, the family's pop-up camper -- a signal her parents were contemplating a new addition to the family and planning for the hefty adoption fees. Soon after, there'd be a family meeting.The Twedts have daughters from South Korea, the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean, and Haiti. They've also adopted an infant son from Houston, a young boy from Florida and three brothers from the foster care system. Today, they raise eight children ages 5 to 18; Lindsey and her two oldest siblings have moved on."You won't see an 'S' on our shirts," said Roger, a loan officer. "We're not super parents. We're just tools and instruments God is using to help."The Twedts learned to deal with the unique challenges of adoptive parenting as they went along. They saw one of their daughters struggle to make sense of the scarce details of her back story.So with their younger daughters, they made life books, picture journals piecing together glimpses of where they came from. Eight-year-old Emilee's tells of her mom, who worked in a South Korean department store, excelled at cross-stitch and was too poor to marry the girl's dad. It features photos of Emilee's casts after she had surgeries for clefts in her hands, a congenital deformity.The Twedts also saw their children wrestle with fear, anger and mistrust. Shortly after he and his two brothers arrived in Fergus Falls, Wil, then 7, rushed into his new parents' bedroom. He grabbed pictures from the walls and clothes from the closet and threw them to the floor. He even yanked their mattress off the box spring. Roger picked up the objects and set them outside the bedroom until Wil paused, looked around the bare room and said, "I think you do love me."Two years ago, the family faced its greatest crisis when police officers showed up at their home and arrested two of the Twedt teenage sons, both star athletes and good students. Amy, who stops short of sharing how the boys got in trouble, says the incident brought the family closer."Sometimes I get in bed at night, and I think, 'I can't believe we're doing this. How are we going to do this another day?"' said Amy, who quit her job as a financial planner after the second adoption. "But our children need someone who's strong and won't crumble."But the pitfalls of adoptive parenting, the Twedts say, pale compared to the rewards. There's the pride they feel daily at seeing their children, despite the obstacles they faced, do well in school, in sports and at music recitals. And there's the pride in that visitors to their home are hard pressed to spot some of the scars the Twedts have worked to heal.Lindsey, the Twedts' biological daughter, says she started acting out as a teenager to get her endlessly busy parents' attention. She craved one-on-one time, yet knew her parents did their best. For instance, once they drove to Florida to pick up the three boys and then still made her basketball game: "I looked up at the stands and here were my three new brothers cheering for me."Her adopted siblings taught her great lessons in grit and resilience. Her parents taught her about unconditional love. Last year, Lindsey and her husband, Kyle Ness, adopted a baby girl in the U.S.Five years ago, Amy tagged along on a high school mission trip to an orphanage in Chihuahua, Mexico. She resolved to come back and help some of the children find a home. Back in Fergus Falls, she started God's Children Adoption Agency, which has placed close to 20 children from that orphanage and 70 in all. More recently, she started In His Arms Adoption Ministry to spread the word about the needs of orphans and foster children.Amy and Roger don't have immediate plans to expand their family. But Amy's new job exposes her to stories of children in need daily, Lindsey says, and she knows her mom doesn't take those in stride: "I personally don't think they're done."

Friday, December 19, 2008

List of Needs

These are our current needs, in order of most needed to the least.

If you would like to send these things that would be awesome!

You may ship your package to our address in Florida.

*****NEW ADDRESS****

Bud and Jan Bonnema
Agape Flights CAP--11952
100 Airport Ave
Venice, FL 34285

The cost is $1.25/pound for the packages to go from Sarasota, FL to Cap Haitian, Haiti.
If you could help with that cost of your package, please send that money to: Children of the Promise Attn Sue DeGroot Box 97 Prinsburg MN 56281

We also accept Online Donations!

Nutramigen, Enfamil AR formula, Pregestimil or Alimentum
Disposable Diapers, all sizes especially newborn, 1, 2 and 3
Baby Wipes
Crib size blankets (not receiving blankets, but also not knit or fleece)
Thick cloth pre-fold diapers, not thin cloth
Baby wash
Snacks, such as cereal, cereal bars, fruit snacks, etc
Baby cereal,baby foods
ELIMITE "Permethrin" 5 % or 1% cream
Liquid antibacterial hand soap
Mountable oscillating fans
Disinfecting wipes (like Clorox wipes or equiv.)
Hand Sanitizer
Diflucan or Nystatin for thrush
sandals, size 5-11
Fungal Cream
Antibiotic Cream
Infant Iron drops
Liquid Pediasure

Thanks!!!!! God Bless!!!!!

Christmas Time in Haiti

Prayer Requests 12-19-08

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed and what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Luke 2:16-20

- Katia made it home safely to Oregon with her adoptive parents! She is settling in well. Continue to pray for an easy transition for her.
- Darlene, one of the Haitian ladies that work in the kitchen, gave birth to a healthy baby girl! Both Darlene and the baby are doing well.
- Nat and Brad were at COTP last week – Nat is a pediatrician and Brad is an amazing nurse. They are both specializing in infectious disease and public health. Nat was able to look at some of the kids that were sick and they also did PCR tests on kids that might be HIV+.
- Doug, Ella’s adoptive dad, and Mary, from our Canadian Board, made it safely to COTP!
- Florcie and Pierre are both out of the hospital and doing much better.

Staff and Volunteers
- Maria and Arlyn have made it safely home to their families! Arlyn had some delays due to weather but he eventually made it! Please pray that they will have a restful and relaxing time and that they will return to COTP energized and refreshed. Pray for clear direction for both of them as they seek to discern their future roles at COTP.
- Pray for wisdom and good judgment for Brice and Sara. Pray for health and energy for them – especially during these weeks that Maria and Arlyn are gone.
- Pray that Foufoun remains healthy throughout the rest of her pregnancy. Pray for a safe delivery and a healthy baby.
- Pray that the nannies would take joy in their work.
- Pray that Brice, Sara, Maria, Arlyn, and all of the short term volunteers would be an example of God’s love to everyone that they come into contact with.
- Emmanuel’s adoptive Mom flies into Haiti on the 20th and leaves with him on the 24th! Pray for safe travels. What a wonderful Christmas present!
- Lindsay and Rebekah will be arriving at COTP in January. One is a nurse and the other is interested in the adoption coordinator position. Pray that they will fit in well at COTP and that their hearts will be drawn in to the work that is being done there.

- Renalson passed away on Monday morning, December 15. This was very unexpected and has been very difficult for our staff to understand. Pray for Renalson’s dad and siblings as they grieve his loss – they are still grieving the recent loss of their wife/mother. Pray for the nannies and our long-term staff as they also grieve.
- There is a possible case of chicken pox in the boat room.
- Myllanta was started on new medication last Friday to fight an infection. Pray that her body responds well to these meds and that she starts to do better.
- Irlene hasn’t been doing too well recently. She has a viral infection and has been having a lot of diarrhea. She is getting lots of good care from Mary. Pray that Irlene starts drinking better and that she quickly returns to health.

- Pray we are able to get our Creche license soon so that we can start working on more adoptions.
- Pray that Antonio, Paulaine, and Herns as they continue working diligently on adoptions. Pray that they will see great rewards from their hard work.
- Caleb and Elijah have their adoption medicals on Tuesday in PAP. Pray for safe flights and that their appointments will go well.
- Thania’s visa, as of Monday, still had not been printed. Please pray that it will be printed before Christmas.
- Pray that Peterly and Magalie will get the paper that they need so that their visas can be printed and they can go home to their adoptive family.
- Pray for Chelda to get out of IBESR
- Pray that each adoption file will move through the offices quickly and efficiently.
- Pray that adoptive families would step forward and adopt the children that we have with special needs: Djoulissa, Joshua, Caleb, Reese, Christy, Alix, Jesula, and Jon.
- Pray for peace and patience for adoptive families as they wait for their little one(s) to come home. This time of year is especially hard because of Christmas and also how slow all the offices in Haiti operate over the Holiday season.
- Daniela, Jeff, and ti-Simon have their birthparent interviews in PAP on December 22nd. Pray that these interviews will go smoothly and that at the end of the day they will be one step closer to having their adoptions completed!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Help Needed

The following are positions we need to fill soon. Even if you feel you do not have the skills to be a nurse or even the adoption worker, but feel you would still like to volunteer and help with the babies or maintenance of the facility we need you too! Please contact us if you are interested in longer-term volunteering.
Are you interested in a long term, challenging but rewarding, experience? Consider giving of your time and talent to help these babies.


At least 20 years old


A heart of compassion for children.

There are places for singles, male or female and couples.

There are many skills needed:
Are you handy with tools, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, or vehicles?

Do you have organizational skills, teaching, childcare, or simply caring about people?

It's helpful to know French or Haitian Creole, but it's not necessary. You can take classes in Creole from our staff when you arrive in Haiti.

Could you commit to 3 months, 6 months, 1 year or even longer?

All of our volunteers, long-term and short-term raise their own support of $100.00 per week plus airfare.
This will include a private room with bathroom and shower. (as we get our new building done)
Two meals a day prepared by our cook.
Access to a kitchen with refrigerator and stove to make other meals for yourself with the food available.
Filtered drinking water.
Laundry done by our Haitian staff.
Computer internet available

And best of all, a chance to hold, love, teach and pray over our very precious babies.

Please consider the call that God may have put on your heart for the children of Haiti. Contact Jan at for more long-term volunteer information or Katie Smith at for short-term volunteer information.

Bud and Jan Bonnema
Adoption Worker:
This position will require someone who is very self-motivated and organized. There is room for the worker to develop and shape the current system to what works best for them. A background knowledge of French is helpful but not required, however, will need to learn Creole to be able to communicate effectively with staff and biological families (there are resources available to begin that before arriving and we can arrange lessons once you are in Haiti).
Oversee all the adoption paperwork in Haiti. From when dossier arrives in Haiti through to completion.
Work alongside Haitian staff to aid in prioritizing and directing what needs to be done on each file.
Be the communication liaison for Robin, passing on all updates/information about files as they progress through the Haitian legal system.
Verify family dossier for completion when it arrives in Haiti.
Prepare child’s file before parent’s dossier arrives in Haiti.
Be responsible for getting children to all necessary appointments in Cap-Haitien and Port-au-Prince (Either by going yourself or arranging for another volunteer to go.)
Will require travel to PAP and arranging for others to travel with children for their appointments.
Keep filing system organized and adapt/change/develop the system as needed.
This position oversees the health and medical care of all the children at COTP. This includes direct care, working with doctors via email and using personal experience concerning treatment when children are sick or injured, keeping medical records on the children and providing preventative care. Experience in the medical field is essential and experience with pediatrics is helpful. Some of the main jobs/duties you would perform are:
Weigh all children monthly, smaller ones weekly
Update medical files
Cut fingernails and hair
Record developmental progress
Assess, examine, diagnose, and treat (including deciding what type of med and figuring the dosage) all sick children
Medical assessments on newly admitted children
Organizing vaccination schedules and giving and monitoring vaccinations (includes working with community health workers who provide vaccinations to the children free of charge)
Treating people from the community (infections, burns, wounds, etc.)
Administering meds every day.
Please check the website for more information

Saturday, December 13, 2008

- Marieloude, one of our nannies, gave birth to a healthy baby girl this past week.
- Brice and Sara have safely made it back to COTP after their time in the States.
- Katia is on her way home to Oregon with her adoptive Mom, Heidi, and her grandma!!
- Caleb and Elijah have their passports
- Daniela had her medical appointment in PAP and all went well.
- Skin infections in the baby rooms are clearing up!

Staff and Nannies
- Pray that all the nannies take joy in their work.
- Foufoun, who is pregnant, fell at work last week. She is resting at home now after being checked out by a doctor. Pray that she remains healthy throughout the rest of her pregnancy.
- Darlene, one of our kitchen ladies, is pregnant and due around Christmas. Pray for a safe delivery and a healthy baby.
- Mary, a volunteer from Canada, arrives tomorrow, December 13. Also arriving tomorrow is Doug, Ella’s adoptive dad. Pray for safe travels for both of them and that their time at COTP will be a blessing.
- Arlyn and Maria are both leaving on Tuesday. They are going home – Arlyn to British Columbia and Maria to Ireland – to celebrate Christmas with their families. Pray for safe travels for both of them and that their time at home will be restful and relaxing.
- Lindsay and Rebekah, two volunteers that are coming in January. They are interested in staying at COTP long-term. Pray for their time at COTP and that God would make the decision clear.

Babies and Children
- Pierre is still in the hospital with fevers. He’s still requiring an IV but is eating a bit better.
- Florcie, almost 3 months old, is also in the hospital with severe vomiting and diarrhea. She is on an IV and is showing improvement.
- Myllanta, 6 ½ months, has been sick recently. She’s not keeping her formula down and has a bad infection in her mouth. She’s at the hospital today having some tests run.
- Pray for Jon’s g-tube site to continue healing
- Irelene was admitted to Children of the Promise on November 28. She was brought to COTP by her grandfather because her Mother isn’t around. Irelene was born on August 26 and weighs 11lbs. She is drinking really well but right now she has a little vomiting and diarrhea bug. Pray that this clears up quickly.
- Ronel was brought to COTP on December 6 by his father. He is 8 months old and weighs 14lbs 4oz. His mother passed away and is father is unable to care for him. Ronel drinks really well and is healthy. Pray that this continues and that he does well at COTP.
- Rosemika was brought to COTP on December 7 by her aunt. Rosemika is the daughter of Fonise, one of our nannies. Fonise has been struggling for a long time with health issues and she has reached the point where she is unable to care for Rosemika. Rosemika is 15 months old and weighs 13lbs 3oz. Rosemika is very weak and malnourished – she is able to sit up but can’t crawl and doesn’t try to move around at all. Please be praying for sweet Rosemika!
- Samuel went home to his birth family this past week. He is 3 years old and has been at COTP since he was a little baby. Pray that his family is diligent with giving him his meds. Pray for a smooth transition for Samuel as COTP is all he’s ever known.
- Mickenson was at COTP from March to May of 2008. He then returned home to his birth family. They recently stopped by COTP with Mickenson and his new twin brothers – making 6 children in the family. The mother refuses to leave Mickenson and his brothers at COTP but it is obvious that they are suffering from malnutrition. Please be praying for them and that their mother would make the best decision for her children.
- Nallie, who was in Indianapolis on a medical visa, passed away on Friday, December 5. You may remember her from my prayer emails earlier this year. She was at COTP from September 2007 to July of 2008 when she left for the States. She was loved dearly by her host/adoptive family, Matt, Heidi, and Carter. Please be praying for them as they grieve her loss.

- Pray that Thania’s visa will be printed today. Her adoptive mother is scheduled to arrive on Haiti on Tuesday.
- Pray that Peterly and Magalie will get the paper that they need so their visas can be printed.
- Pray that all the files would move through the different offices quickly and efficiently.
- Pray that Antonio, Paulaine, and Herns will see great rewards from their hard work.
- Pray that adoptive families would step forward and adopt the children that we have with special needs. Pray specifically for our precious special needs children: Djoulissa, Joshua, Caleb, Reese, Christy, Alix, Jesula, and Jon.
- Pray that our crèche license would be obtained quickly so that we can continue processing adoptions.
- Chrislande needs another paper before she can have her visa appointment. Pray that that paper will be obtained this week.
- Caleb and Elijah and birthparent interviews coming up. Pray that these will go well and that shortly after that they will be able to get their visas and go home to their adoptive families!
- Daniela, Geff, and ti-Simon have birthparents interviews in PAP on December 22nd. Pray that these go well.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

This is a picture of the main baby house.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Prayer Requests

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
Who daily bears our burdens.
Our God is a God who saves . . .”
Psalm 68:19-20

- Daniela has her passport! Pray that she’ll be able to have her adoption medical appointment next week.
- The twins, Jenny and Jeniflore, are eating better and gaining weight.
- Jesula (recently admitted to COTP and has cerebral palsy) had a rough adjustment to living at COTP but now is doing really well and is much happier. She eats and drinks well and loves playing with the nannies and spending time with Josette, the physiotherapist.
- The three newest babies – Rivaldo, Myllanta, and Irelene - are all gaining well.
- Emmanuel has his visa!
- Katia’s visa will be printed today!
- Thania’s DNA results were positive which means she will also have her visa shortly. J

Staff and Volunteers
- Brice and Sara are still in the States. Pray for a restful and relaxing time for them so that they can return to COTP refreshed and energized!!
- Pray for good judgment, wisdom, and guidance for Brice, Sara, Maria, and Arlyn. Pray that they will be an example of Jesus’ love to everyone they meet.
- Pray that the nannies will take pride in their work.
- We have a couple of our nannies/workers that are pregnant. Pray for Darlene and her baby – due on December 24. Pray for Foufouns and her baby – due this month. Pray for Marieloude and her baby – due in Jan/Feb.
- Mary DeJonge, an excellent volunteer and a member of our Canadian board, arrives at COTP on December 13th. Pray for safe travels for her and that her time at COTP will be a blessing to everyone there.
- Lindsay and Rebekah are preparing to travel to COTP and volunteer for an extended period of time. One of them is a nurse and the other is interested in our adoption worker position. Pray that God would prepare their hearts and that their hearts would be softened for the Haitian people and the babies at COTP.

Children and Babies
- Pierre has been in the hospital since Tuesday because of fevers and not eating well. He is on IV fluids and is slowly starting to eat better. Pray for a complete and quick restoration to health for him. Pierre just turned one year old and was just recently admitted to COTP. We believe he may have cerebral palsy.
- Samuel is a sweet (almost) 3 year old that has been at COTP since he was a little baby. He will be returning to his biological family on Monday. Samuel has some health concerns and requires daily medication to stay healthy. Be praying that his family will understand the importance of giving him his medication and that Samuel will do well with the transition and that he will stay healthy.
- There have been a few skin infections going around, mostly in the boat and giraffe rooms (the younger babies). Pray that they clear up soon.
- Jon is adjusting to his new g-tube. Pray that he gains weight and gets used to it quickly.

- Pray that COTP will get their crèche license soon. We cannot start new adoptions until we have our license.
- Our adoption workers – Antonio, Paulaine, and Herns. Working on adoptions is often frustrating and hard. Pray for guidance and daily reminders of how important and wonderful the work that they are doing is.
- Magalie and Peterly need another paper before they can get their visas. Pray that we will be able to get this paper this week.
- Pray that Thania’s visa will be printed this coming week.
- Pray for Reggie’s adoption and the difficulties that we are running into with getting him home to his adoptive family.
- Pray for patience and peace for adoptive families as they wait for their little one(s) to come home.
- Pray that the files would move quickly through the different offices. Please pray especially for Chelda. Chelda is 7 years old and has cerebral palsy. She is in the middle of her adoption process and will be going to a family in Minnesota. Life in Haiti is tough for kids with special needs and Chelda is growing bigger all the time. She needs the love and attention her adoptive family is so eager to provide. Pray for her adoption to move along quickly.
- Pray for adoptive families to step forward and open their hearts to the special needs children that we have available for adoption.
- Pray for a visa appointment for Chrislande.
- Daniela, Geff, and ti-Simon have their birthparent interviews on December 22nd in PAP. Pray that these go well!

*** REMINDER *** If you ever want to see pictures of these beautiful Haitian children that are at COTP, please visit

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Information about Haiti

It is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with the highest infant and meternal death rate.

The mother of over half the infants we care for died shortly after their baby was born.

80% of Haiti's population lives in absolute poverty and unemployment.

While there are a number of orphanages, most do not take infants.

Malnutrition affects 35% of children under the age of 5 years.

Children of the Promise has become the largest infant care center in the north of Haiti. We employ over 60 Haitians, providing their only income.