Christmas Letter 2008

As the year winds to a close and Eric and I prepare to celebrate three years of marriage together, we pause and look back to yet another whirlwind year in our lives. Instead of going chronologically this year, I think we’ll start with biggest news first.

In case you haven’t heard, we’re expecting the birth of our first child—a girl—on April 29, 2009 (or thereabouts)! Despite all of my worries and paranoia (no doubt due to the fact that I’m an obstetrics/gynecology resident) it has been an uneventful pregnancy thus far. The timing is really just about perfect—I can take the month of May off and then finish up with a few weeks of residency in June before finally graduating from residency! Eric, too, graduates from his family practice residency in June.

That leads us to our next biggest news: what we’re doing after residency. Most of you already know that we have planned on working internationally for some time, and those plans haven’t changed (even with a new baby). In fact, we have been accepted to a program through an organization called World Medical Mission/Samaritan’s Purse. They will place us with mentoring physicians in our specialties and help fund us for the first two years of medical work. Then it’s up to us to find a long term agency or job in which to work. We will be heading to Tenwek Hospital in western Kenya (east Africa) sometime around October 2009 for a two year commitment. Going with us are two other couples from our church, Jason & Heather Fader (a general surgeon) and John & Jessica Cropsey (ophthalmology/eyes). We hope to develop a long term partnership with them and work together for years to come. Just FYI, the hospital is located in some beautiful mountains, not far from many fantastic game parks, for whoever wants to visit. J

The rest of the year has been full of fun family meetings and vacations. Eric’s youngest sister Jena got married in June in Nashville and we were able to be a part of that wedding. Rachel’s grandparents celebrated 60 years of marriage this fall and had a nice family dinner in honor of all those years! We also traveled to Arizona, Texas, Minnesota, Louisville, and Chattanooga (for a multi-day canoe trip). Our big vacation, and last as a childless couple, was to Montreal and Quebec for a few days of “European” Canada, and then to Maine and Acadia National Park, where we enjoyed lots of camping, biking, and cheap lobster! All that interspersed with months of working primarily night shifts left us pretty busy, but grateful of all the opportunities to see friends and family.

We look back on the year, and in fact our five years together, with joy at all of the blessings we’ve received. And we look to the future, and all the promises it holds of God’s continued leading and faithfulness. Truly we can say again, as we have in the past, “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” –Psalm 126:3. May you also know the joy of the Lord’s faithfulness in your lives. Much love,

Rachel, Eric, and B.G. (baby girl) McLaughlin


Haller4307 said...

thanks for the update. can't wait to hear more about baby m as she makes her arrival.

Rhett, Megan, Claire and Ford said...

Hey there,
I was doing a quick blogsearch and came upon yours. We are the Shirleys from Birmingham, AL and we are also in the WMM post residency program starting next year (well, we are all on board but only one of us is a doctor). Anyway, it is nice to "meet" you and follow you as you start your journey. We are likely heading to Kijabe so maybe our paths will cross at some point. We also have something else in common - I'm expecting on May 16th (our 3rd) so our little ones will be about the same age when they hit the ground running in Africa!

Becky said...

I am really happy to hear how yall are doing! I am going through the shock again about how many babies are coming from my old med school friends!! I miss you!
- Becky Leenheer (Doherty)