In Who Am I?, I focused on my life that led to me to come to Chicago, live in an intentional community and work with the homeless. Since 1999, I have worked at Cornerstone Community Outreach, which has experienced many changes throughout the years.... (I won't elaborate on that here, you can read about that in different places in this blog.)
In 2001, I married my beautiful wife Beth, who was also living in JPUSA and working at CCO. She has lived and worked here since 1989, and at that point, was a case-manager, working with homeless women and their children. In 2003, we had our first child; a red-headed boy we named Cyrus. In 2005, we had our second child; a girl we named Muriwai. This is my beautiful family and I love them dearly...
This section is to provide links to various stories relating to my family, working with the homeless and living in Uptown.
My intention is not to get into too many details about my kids, but I'd like to mention a couple of things about them. They both have very loving compassionate hearts, and though they are quite different in many ways, they are great buddies who adore each other...
Cyrus has a great imagination, is very creative, loves art and science. He was diagnosed with dyslexia a couple years ago.
Muriwai is full of energy, loves to help those in need and is very determined. Wai-Wai was born without her left hand (what she calls her "special arm"), but seems to conquer every obstacle she faces. Just a couple days after she was born, we feared for her life, as she had a series of life threatening seizures, where she was rushed to a hospital, hooked up to everything imaginable in the NICU and given some powerful medication. It was an extremely very stressful two weeks, but thankfully the seizures ceased and she has no side-affects today.
Uptown's homeless community know our children and love them. Whenever we wander the streets, people will constantly approach them and yell phrases like, "hey Cyrus, give me five!" or "hey beautiful, how are you today?" Normally, they'll shyly smile and mutter a response or give five. Sometimes, they'll give our kids gifts. This section is about providing links about how our family relates to working with and living amongst Uptown and it's homeless community.
Here's some LINKS to various stories that involved my family:
- Whanau means family in Maori; this was an update I wrote for my people in New Zealand in 2010: Our Little Whanau Update!
- This is a story about Muriwai; we went and delivered these plastic bag mats to some homeless veterans. She was very determined and it was a great adventure: Plastic Bags, Homeless Veterans and My Sweet Lil' Wonderwoman.
- Muriwai knew I was visiting a couple guys in hospital, so she asked me a lot of questions about them, drew some pictures of them and prayed for them; here is the story: My Compassionate Little Girl
- This is a story about how we can learn so much about yourselves through the innocence of children: Innocently Colourblind Kids
- For Muriwai's 6th birthday, I wrote a reflection on her birth and the first few weeks of her life - it was a time of much stress and drama, fear and prayer and love for our newborn baby; happy 6th birthday to my miracle girl
- This was a piece written by Beth; a beautiful story of local kids noticing her "special arm" and Cyrus standing up for her: not broken....
- Cyrus and I slept a night together in our small trailer in Bushell, it was our adventure as the rest of the whanau slept in air-conditioned bliss just up the hill. This is Sleepless Bliss
- Possessing Unusual Hope
- Two Homes, One Journey