Friday, December 28, 2007

Kevin is growing up

Here is a picture of Kevin trying out his new exersaucer. He is 3 months old today and this pic was taken yesterday.

Christmas Fun

Here are some pictures of my kids and their cousins playing together at Grandma's house on Christmas day.


A Penny in my Pocket

Our yahoogroup for our orphanage was filled with fundraising ideas yesterday for our orphanage. Orphanages in Haiti are not supported by the Haitian government, so they must come up with their own funds. And as I'm sure most of us can understand, when you are caring for 100 children you can always use some extra money. If anyone has any fundraising ideas or would like to make a year end gift please let me know and I can direct you to the right person. But after reading through the posts last night, I saw this song posted on my regridgerator and thought that I would share it with everyone.

A Penny In My Pocket
A Dollar In My Shoe

When I Give Them Up To Jesus, There’s Nothing He Can’t Do

To Feed a Hungry Neighbor,

Give Shelter From The Cold,

Or Take A Wounded Heart And Make It Whole

Aahh, We One Family

Aahh, In The Son Of God, You See

Yes, He’s Calling Us To Be

His Arms Of Love (2X)

His Arms Of Love (2X)

We Are His Arms Of Love

His Arms Of Love (2X)

We Are His Arms Of Love

His Arms Of Love (2X)

A Penny In My Pocket
A Dollar In My Shoe

When I Give Them Up To Jesus, There’s Nothing He Can’t Do

To Feed a Hungry Neighbor,

Give Shelter From The Cold,

Or Take A Wounded Heart And Make It Whole

Aahh, We One Family

Aahh, In The Son Of God, You See

Yes, He’s Calling Us To Be

His Arms Of Love (2X)

His Arms Of Love (2X)

We Are His Arms Of Love

His Arms Of Love (2X)

We Are His Arms Of Love

His Arms Of Love (2X)

Aahh, We One Family

Aahh, In The Son Of God, You See

Yes, He’s Calling Us To Be

His Arms Of Love (2X)

His Arms Of Love (2X)

We Are His Arms Of Love

Thursday, December 27, 2007

And yet another glitch in the process...

I spoke with the orphanage director today. She informed me that when the adoption worker went to MOI yesterday they gave him our file back along with several others because they are missing "a stamp" from the court clerk. She seemed to think that if the court clerk was in, then it would be a quick fix and MOI has promised (?) to sign out our file as soon as it has that stamp. (Then again they promised to sign it out as soon as the orphanage filled out that form two weeks ago?) So I told the orphanage director that since we had missed Christmas we had hoped for a January homecoming, but now that didn't look possible. But she didn't seem to think that a January homecoming was out of reach. I know in my head that "All things are possible with God." And I truly believe it. But it is hard to live it when you have been let down so many times. I honestly believed that my son would celebrate Christmas with his family and not at the orphanage again. It hurts to hope for something to happen, because it never does (at least not yet), but it hurts not to hope because then I feel like I am giving up on Michael. I am to the point where it hurts emotionally and physically and all I can do is pray (and cry). Please remember us in your prayers and ask God to move some bureaucratic mountains for our son to come home.

Please Pray with us Today

I am asking once again that all of our friends and family join with us and our orphanage email group in prayer today. There are a number of families from our orphanage that have been waiting as long or longer than us to get their children home. The holidays have been very difficult for many of us as we wait for our children. Please pray earnestly today that our children would come home to be with us soon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve Service

Well, I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas. I thought I would share a funny store with you all. Last night, we went to our Christmas Eve service at church. Pastor Bob always calls all the kids up to sit on the steps with him and he reads them a story. Aaron was in vocal team so I was sitting in service alone with the three kids. So I told Matthew to go up by Pastor Bob for a story. I was hoping that Alisha would stay with me. But she announced that she wanted to go see Pastor Bob too, so off she went with her brother. When they got to the front, I lost sight of Alisha in the crowd. Just as I spotted her, Pastor Bob pulled out his book. Alisha was sitting right next to him. The book he had chosen was "The Crippled Lamb" by Max Lucado. (That is my favorite Christmas story and little did he know that we had just read that story the night before and that morning.) Alisha spotted the book and quickly flew into action. She announced that the book was about Joshua and his nose. (Joshua is the lamb in the story and it talks about a tear rolling off his nose at one point.) Pastor Bob didn't seem to understand what she was saying and tried to quickly acknowledge her and move on. But as he began the story, Alisha continued as the commentator of the story. She had the entire room laughing. And not only is Alisha loud, but she was right next to Pastor Bob, so his microphone was amplifying everything she said. He commented at one point that it was like choir practice, "everyone has an opinion of how things should be done." Alisha also noticed the advent candles on the platform right behind them. So she asked Pastor Bob about the fire. She wanted to know if she could touch it or if it would hurt her. He told her not to touch it. Then she announces, "Oh, you don't want me to touch it." So he told her that well, there are these people called fire marshalls and she would learn about them someday. Later at one point, Alisha noticed her friend Jared in the audience and stood up and waved to him and said "Hi Jared". But mostly she just added to the story and asked questions. After service, we got lots of comments on our little "star". They asked how much Pastor Bob payed us to have her ready for her "part" in the program. She then sat pretty good through the message. She just didn't understand why she couldn't eat the "food" during communion. I quickly found some gum for her and told her we would talk about it later. Aaron missed part of Alisha's performance, because he was coming around from the choir room to join me in service when it started. When he walked up next to me, he looked at me with this "look" and said "is that ours?". And as proud as could be, I said, "Yes, that's ours." Alisha definitely made that a Christmas Eve service that people will not soon forget. I'll have to see if they recorded it and try to post the audio. She was so involved that it was like she was the only kid he was talking to. She didn't mind the fact that she had several hundred people laughing at her.
Merry Christmas to All! I hope that this story made you laugh. I laughed so hard that I had tears coming down my cheeks. I hope I told it in such a way that you laughed also.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Kevin watching the train under the tree.
Matthew's snow angel
Matthew's first school concert
Kevin dressed in swaddling clothes when he played the part of Baby Jesus for the church Christmas concert.
"The Holy Family" Kevin did a wonderful job as baby Jesus.


Merry CHRISTmas to all! I find myself filled with very mixed emotions this Christmas. I am thrilled beyond belief to be the mother of four beautiful children. I am overwhelmed with the miracle of Kevin's birth. I honestly had given up hope of having another biological child. God granted my request after I finally told Him that I was okay trusting Him that I was only supposed to have three children. Now I have a five year old son that is the top of his kindergarten class. He loves school and is always writing out his numbers or writing stories. I have a beautiful 3 year old girl that can talk nonstop for about 12 hours straight without taking a break (lol). She loves her family and makes us laugh all the time. She also keeps us going as she is nonstop action. And I have a very good almost 3 month old baby boy. He is starting to "talk" and laugh at us. Then I also have a beautiful 2 year old boy that I hear is very active. He seems to be very smart and loveable. However, as most of you know and understand, that is where the mixed emotions come in. When we started Michael's adoption over 22 months ago, we never imagined that he would not be home yet. I am very heartbroken at the thought of celebrating Christmas without him. But I keep reminding myself that Christmas is about CHRIST, not me. Michael is healthy, happy and well cared for. I have three other children that need me to be happy and celebrate with them. And I need to focus on the greatest Christmas gift of all: Jesus Christ. SO as each of us celebrate Christmas over the next few days, please remember to thank God for His wonderful gift. Thank God for the people that are caring for Michael. And pray for each of the families who are waiting for our adoptions to be done and for our children to be home. And pray for the children that have come home over the past year and are celebrating their first Christmas at home.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

December Pictures of Michael

New Pictures









Some adoptive parents visited the orphanage a week or so ago along with a short term missions team from their church. They posted some pictures of their trip so I thought I would share some of the pictures of Michael.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow! (and a piece of my heart)

Well, we got quite a bit of snow today. Probably about 8 inches of snow fell between last night and this afternoon. It is absolutely beautiful. I have my first snow day of the year tomorrow and I can't wait to stay home and clean house with my kids. Matthew is excited about cleaning house. This is officially his very first snow day. Hopefully, we will have a fabulous day together.
I am trying not to get my hopes up, but I am really hoping for some good news about Michael this week. My heart aches to have him home. I am hoping that within the next month I will be able to have all four of my kids together. It will be interesting to see how they all react to each other. Matthew and Alisha have been waiting so long for their "baby brother" who is now their two-year old brother. Michael has only known life in an orphanage. We have heard that Michael has learned how to latch the orphanage director's door after he goes in her office so that the other kids cannot come in and he has her to himself. She says that he seems to understand everything that she says to him in English. So we are hoping and praying for a smooth transition. However, we understand that there may be some challenging days and we will need the support of our family and friends. I know this is early, but we will also need our family and friends to be understanding as we may need a little time and space to get adjusted to Michael and he will need time and space to get adjusted to us before we have too many social engagements. So please don't be offended if we can't come over or if we ask you not to come over. We will do what we feel is the best for our children. It will depend alot on how Michael adjusts to our family. We do not want to push him to much and scare him. I have been thinking about this alot as I have been dreaming of the day that he arrives home. I can't imagine what it will be like for him as a two-year old to leave everything and everyone(home, country, language, friends, nannies, etc.) he has ever known. He will then move in with parents that he doesn't remember meeting and brothers and a sister that he has only seen in pictures and on skype. What a scary thing for a little guy. Please pray for him even now that the Lord would prepare him for his new life and family. And most importantly pray that all of our children will learn to love the Lord and serve Him with their whole hearts.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Update

The orphanage met with MOI yesterday. MOI requested a form with government issued ID numbers for Aaron and I. So the orphanage director called last night and got our driver's license numbers. MOI has said that they will have our file signed out by next week. Then they will take the file to Haitian immigration to have the actual passport printed. Once the passport is in hand, Michael will have to have a physical for his visa appointment and then the visa appointment. Christmas will most likely be celebrated without Michael being here. But we serve a God of miracles and I pleading with Him continuously for a Christmas miracle.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Please Pray with us Tomorrow

Please be in prayer with us tomorrow in regard to Michael's file. Our orphanage director called us during dinner to get tell us that they have a meeting with the government officials tomorrow in regard to expediting their files out of the department they are in and getting the passports printed. So please pray that this meeting might get our file signed out along with our friends files and that we may soon have a passport. All I want for Christmas is my son to be home, but it will take a miracle from GOd for that to happen. Even if it does not happen, I will trust that HE is in control and knows what is best. But at least Michael having a passport in hand would be awesome. Thanks for all of your support and prayers.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

He really talks!




We really got to hear Michael talk today. He sang part of his ABC's to us. He told each of us that he loves us. We also heard him talking to the girls around him. He has the sweetest little voice. I also talked to the orphanage director while she was holding him. I asked her if there was any news from MOI. She said that our lawyer is currently working with a "high-powered" lawyer and they are hoping to hear something this week. Please pray that these lawyers can get the government offices to do their job and sign out our file.
In other news, Kevin is baby Jesus in our Christmas concert at church tonight (and Friday night and the next Sunday night). He made through dress rehearsal Wednesday but they were running behind and he didn't go on till late, so he was tired and hungry by that time and he wasn't the happiest when he got on stage. He especially did not like being laid in the manger. Made me stop and think about how Mary must have felt laying her baby in a manger.
I also had a profound thought in church this morning as we were celebrating the Angel Sunday of advent. Pastor was talking about the angels and we sang Christmas carols about angels. And I thought about how I have been feeling lately. I have not wanted to decorate for Christmas again this year. At least I was excited about finding a special gift for each of my kids. But I thought this morning about how selfish I am being to not want to celebrate Christmas. Christmas isn't about me. It is about Jesus! And he gave us the greatest gift of all. Plus he has given us many other great gifts. We have Matthew, Alisha, and Kevin here to celebrate with us. We are all healthy. Michael is safe and healthy and well cared for. We have an awesome church that encourages us and challenges us to grow to be more like Christ. I never though I would like a church because the preaching makes me feel uncomfortable at times. But I would never learn to be more like Christ if I always felt comfortable with where I am. So I have decided to celebrate Christmas with all of my heart and I will rejoice at the gifts God has given and will give. I will continue to pray for Michael to come home soon, but I will not allow the fact that he is not here to hinder my worship of Jesus Christ this Christmas season.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Michael is Growing Up

I know that is a truly profound statement, but... We got an email from an adoptive mom that just visited the orphanage. She told us that Michael can sing his ABC's. That brings back memories of when we visited the orphanage in July of 06. The security guys and the nannies would sing songs with the little ones as they got ready for bed. Jesus Loves Me and the ABC's were two songs they sang in English every night. She also told us that he enjoys feeding the babies their bottles. So he just needs to come home and feed his brother a bottle. She says she took lots of pictures and videos. So if I get some, I will post them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Romans 8

A friend of ours that is adopting through the same orphanage as we are shared this passage a week or so ago and I keep going back to it. Thank the Lord for giving us His word.



Romans 8:18-28

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, I never dreamed that I would be celebrating another holiday without my Michael being home. But I have so much to be thankful for. God has truly taught us some valuable lessons through this lengthy adoption despite the frustrations. We all need to take time every day to think about all of the things that we have to be thankful for. I am very thankful that all four of my children are healthy and are being loved and cared for (even if I am not the one caring for all of them). Please continue to pray with us that Michael would make it home for Christmas. I truly believe that God will grant this desire of my heart. I bought Michael's winter coat today. He now has a Carhartt to match his big brother. I knew he would need something very warm when he comes home.
If you read this blog entry, please do me two favors: 1. Pray for our Christmas miracle and 2. Write a comment about something you are thankful for that God has taught you this year. (He has really worked on me about being thankful so I am focusing on that and some of the little trials in life don't seem so bad. i.e. - when my daughter "disappeared" in the store yesterday because she had run over to the price scanner to check how much her tights cost even though she can't read the numbers.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Update from Lawyer

Well, I got an email from the lawyer today. She said that our file is still in MOI. She is hoping that she does not have to send it back for anything in regard to the name change because the department it would have to go to is taking over three months on some of her files. Please pray for a miracle. We are "preparing for rain" and praying for him to be home for Christmas. Please join us in praying. Please post a comment if you are praying with us for our Christmas miracle.

We got pictures of him with his "no hair" haircut. I'll try to post some this weekend when I have time. Now that I am back to work, I have limited time on the computer.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

No hair

Well, we got a call from a very cute little boy with no hair. The orphanage sent out an email this afternoon to let everyone know that they probably wouldn't be able to make phone calls this week because of the clouds. When there is too much cloud cover they don't get very good reception on their satellite. But I was really hoping for a chance to see my little man, and they said they were going to try a few calls, so I logged on and set up my webcam and speakers. I forgot to turn the volume on, so I missed the call but they left a voicemail and the box popped up on my screen. I was looking something up for my mother, so I saw the box and switched gears to call them back. We called back and they answered right away. Michael has no hair. He got a haircut this week and they shaved his little head. At least that way it will keep him cool and it will last longer. Even without hair, he is so very cute. They had one of the bigger girls holding him in her lap today and she helped to encourage him to talk and interact with us. She got him to say "love", "dada", and "bye-bye". She also got him to wave to us. I woke Matthew and ALisha up so they got a chance to see him. Matthew does not wake up very fast, so he just stared at his brother. Alisha on the other hand, wakes up quickly and talked to her brother. I am so glad that the orphanage allows us to see and talk to him. I can't wait for him to be home. Please pray with us that he will make it home for Christmas.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Adoption Update

Well, we got an update. Our file never actually got sent back to the last phase of the process it is still in MOI. MOI has agreed to give our file back to the lawyer, who is supposed to take it back to the court and recind the name change. The name change is supposedly why MOI won't sign our file out. Hopefully, once that is done, they will be able to get his passport. Please pray that this won't take long and that once our file is back in MOI, they will sign it our quickly so that we can then get his passport printed and apply for his visa.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Deals ...

I found a cool website where you can exchange kids stuff. www.kizoodle.com
You can get rid of stuff you don't need any more and get stuff you do need. The only money involved is that you pay to ship the items you are getting rid of. But when you "buy" something from someone they pay to ship it to you. It all works on a credit system. You do not exchange any money with other people. Use my referral code to start your account with 7 credits: WFMKXL. Try it out. Even if you don't do any transactions I think you still earn me codes by signing up with my referral code. I also posted a freebies site on the side of my blog.
One other site to check out is: http://freepeats.org/
I hope everyone can find some deals at these sites.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

God gives and takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord

The Lord has been using Matt Redman's song "Blessed be your name" to encourage me to bless the name of the Lord. The song says my heart will choose to say blessed be your name. It is our choice. Circumstances should not change our praise to our Lord. I saw this video on a friend's blog and it reminded me to choose to praise the Lord. You might want some tissues when you watch it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Our littlest man is 1 month old today



I can't believe a month has gone by already, but my littlest man is officially 1 month old. He is a very sweet baby. He has some very serious looks most of the time. He is beginning to watch us when we talk to him and starting to smile and "talk" to us a little bit. He loves to look around when he is awake and he likes to push up and try to "stand" on your lap if his feet can reach your lap when you are holding him. He is growing so fast.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Surprise!

While I was checking email yesterday, my computer made a weird noise and I figured out it was Skype. I had a voicemail from the orphanage. They said they were making calls and there was a little Michael that wanted to talk to his family. So I hooked up the webcam and speakers and called them back. Michael is so cute. He seems very shy to the idea of talking to people on the computer, but they tell me he doesn't talk much at all. Alisha sang Jesus loves the little children to him. It was neat to watch him. He was very distracted this time because there were a whole bunch of bigger girls standing around him waiting for their turn to call their families. It was funny to watch them try to peek over Michael to see who he was talking to. I heard the orphanage director telling him who we were. Matthew didn't talk much to him, but he was very excited to tell everyone that we talked to Michael. What a cool surprise to have a chance to talk to my little man. I hope seeing and hearing us will help his transition when he comes home.

Friday, October 19, 2007

God is in Control




The other day when we got the news about our file going backward, I mentioned that I had found comfort in the Psalms. I wanted to share one with everybody today. God truly directed the Psalmist to describe how we can feel at times during an adoption. Once again the Psalmist meditates on God's previous works when he (the psalmist) is feeling discouraged. He talks about his enemies pursuing him and his heart feeling faint. God truly can help us when we begin to feel faint. That is how I felt with the news about our file. But God tells us in Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Here is the Psalm I would like to share with you:
Psalm 143 (New International Version)
A psalm of David.
1 O LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
2 Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.
3 The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.
4 So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
Selah
7 Answer me quickly, O LORD;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD,
for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.
11 For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well...

I got an email from our lawyer in Haiti. She said that MOI (where our file has been for almost 5 months) is not accepting any name changes as of a month ago. But with our file they have decided to just send it back to Parquet (the previous stage, part of 2nd legal) for confirmation of the name change. She said that they can ask for more documentation but they cannot reverse the adoption. She said she is going back on Friday to check on all the files and she will keep in touch. Praise God for her being willing to fight to get our files through and for her being willing to take the time to email me and answer my questions. So we will just keep on praying and "prepare for rain". (If you don't understand that expression then you need to watch the movie "Facing the Giants". I saw that Walmart has it for about $14.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Brokenhearted, Crushed, Hurt....


Those are just a few words to express how I felt yesterday. We got a message from the orphanage that our file has NOT gone to get the passport printed like they said. Instead it is being sent back to the last step in the process. How can this happen? I spent several hours crying off and on. My kids kept asking me why I was crying. I finally told Matthew that it was "big people stuff" and he probably wouldn't understand (I didn't want to get him discouraged and wasn't sure if he would understand.) Then he looked me in the eye and said "Is it going to take longer for Michael to come home?" (I can't even type that without tears.) I had to tell him yes. He really is having a hard time with the waiting. I could tell when we called Michael last week that it was difficult for Matthew. I went to my parents for dinner and I couldn't even put much food on my plate, because I hurt so bad. My mom asked what was going on and all I could do was cry. I don't understand how a little boy that has legally been my son since May can't come home for me to take care of.
Last night before we put the kids to bed, we read our Bible story and started singing. It was difficult to sing at first. Then I was ready to be done and Alisha announced that she wanted to sing "Pharoah's men". I was a bit confused and didn't know what she was talking about. So I asked her to sing it. Aaron picked up on it fairly quickly then and we figured out what she meant. This is the song:

Well it’s a story about Paul and Silas how they were bound and thrown into jail

They kept on praying, they did not worry, they served a God who could not fail.

And then at midnight God sent and earthquake

That whole foundation began to shake

Those prison doors flew open wide

And Paul and Silas stepped outside.


Chorus:

Yes, He delivered me in my time of need

Like those Hebrew children from that fiery flame

Like He fed five thousand with two fishes and bread

And He walked on the water

And He raised the dead

Well He stood by Daniel in the lion’s den

And He saved old Moses from Pharoah’s men

He opened the eyes of the blind to see

I know that He’ll deliver me.


Well it was David my God delivered when before Goliath he did stand

He took no armor he took no weapons, just five stones and a sling in his hand.

When he went running to meet that army

He met the Philistine man that stood mighty and tall

He said I come in the name of the Lord

And how that mighty man did fall.


Chorus:

Yes, He delivered me in my time of need

Like those Hebrew children from that fiery flame

Like He fed five thousand with two fishes and bread

And He walked on the water

And He raised the dead

Well He stood by Daniel in the lion’s den

And He saved old Moses from Pharoah’s men

He opened the eyes of the blind to see

I know that He’ll deliver me.

He opened the eyes of the blind to see

I know that He’ll deliver … me.

As I started singing that, I realized that in spite of the pain I have to trust God. I have to keep on praying. I DO serve a God who cannot fail. I then spend some time reading some Psalms. My head is filled with doubts, but my heart is giving those doubts and fears over to God. I have a sense of peace in spite of the pain. Please continue to pray for Michael's health and safety. His arms are starting to look better, but they still have quite a few marks on them from that rash that he had before. My arms ache to hold him and love him and pray that God will grant him a peace when he comes home so that he can bond with our family quickly.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Video Call

I didn't get a chance to post again after our video call to Michael on Thursday evening. We hooked up a webcam and downloaded Skype so we would be able to call Michael. The orphanage has Skype, so it doesn't cost either of us anything to call each other using Skype. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to get Michael's picture up on the screen, as I had never used Skype before. The kids had a blast talking to Michael. They found it amazing to be able to see him. Michael doesn't talk much yet, so he didn't really say anything to us, but he sat and watched us. When we called him by his Haitian name, he would get more interested and study us. I hope we will have another chance or two to do this before he comes home. I think it will help him to at least recognize us and make the transition a little easier when he comes home. I am praying for his transition to be smooth. I know it will be a very stressful time for him. At two years old, he will leave the only home and "family" that he has ever known and move to a whole new country, with a new language, a new family, a new schedule, a new name. So please pray for him even now that God would prepare him for the transition. I can't wait to have him home and be able to hold him in my arms and tell him face to face how much I love him.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Power of Prayer

This is the third Thursday in a row that our yahoogroup from our orphanage has had a day of prayer. It is amazing how much power there is in prayer. No, we have gotten any yes answers immediately, but God sure has used these days to grant an overwhelming amount of peace. Our group has shared verses and songs and stories to help encourage each other. God has sent some awesome verses to encourage me at just the right time. Please remember that prayer can include scripture and songs. We use scripture to "hear" what God is saying to us and songs to praise God and to speak to Him. Please spend some time in prayer for Michael today. Praise God for helping us find Michael and for getting us this far in the process. Praise him for Michael's health and safety and for the loving people that are caring for him. Then plead with God to allow Michael to come home soon and for continued health and safety. Our God is mighty and He will bring Michael home in His time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Late Night Reading

Last night was a very long night. Kevin did not want to sleep. He thought he should eat all night and then he had really bad gas which made him quite upset. So I put on some praise music and turned to the book of Psalms. I spent a few hours reading and I came across one Psalm that really hit home as I was reading and spending time praying for Michael to come home. II thought I would share that Psalm with all of you here. Please read this with an open mind and heart. It is reassuring that even the Psalmist felt the way I do at times. Yet when he felt discouraged and abandoned by God, he focused on God and all of the great and miraculous things God has done for His people in the past.
Psalm 77 (NIV)
I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. Selah. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years long ago; I remembered my songs in the night, My heart mused and my spirit inquired; "Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?" Selah. Then I though, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right of the Most High." I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds, Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our GOd? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writher; the very depths were convulsed. The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth, Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not see. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Finally some adoption news!

We received word from the orphanage today about Michael's passport. No, we don't have a passport yet, but the orphanage has been told that our file is out of MOI (the ones that approve the passport applications) and is on the immigration directors desk for one final signature before the passport can be printed. Then once we have the passport it is just the US Visa that we need to get him home. Lately, passports have been printed within a few days. I am unsure how long the visa will take, but it seems that most visas take about a week or two. So please continue to pray that these last things will speed along. I would also ask that you pray that our file has gotten as far as they say it has. I don't think that the orphanage would pass on any information that they did not believe to be true. They will be checking daily for the signed file to then get the passport printed. Praise God for His many blessings.

The other kids are so much fun to be with. I can't believe Kevin will be 1 week old tomorrow. He is so precious. Matthew is learning so much at school lately. He is drawing some cool pictures and writing his letters and numbers so well. He seems to be enjoying the new knowledge and is using it for many different things. He is also very social and making a lot of friends. Alisha is full of life as always. She was an especially great joy today. She just seemed to be so full of smiles and really seemed to be enjoying spending time with her daddy and I. She is also very thrilled with her new brother. She woke up yesterday morning and came out to living room. When she saw Kevin sitting in his bouncer, she got very excited that Kevin was still there. She keeps telling us that Kevin is staying at our house forever. It is so cute.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Welcome Our New Son



On Friday morning, September 28th, at 4:21am Kevin Joseph arrived. He was 8lbs 1oz and 21 inches long. Labor and delivery went soooo much smoother than it did with Matthew. Kevin looks a lot like Matthew did as a baby. He is eating very well and sleeping okay. Last night was a little bit rough for him, but he is doing okay. Matthew and Alisha are very excited and very proud of their new baby brother.
I have to share a funny story. Thursday afternoon when I picked Matthew up from school I came to the realization that Alisha did not understand that there was a real baby in mommy's belly. I told the kids as I walked to the car that we had to go for a walk when we got home. Matthew inquired as to why and I asked if he wanted to see his baby brother. He of course answered with a very excited yes and I told him that the doctor told me that if we wanted the baby to come out I had to keep on walking. Alisha then announced, "We gonna see the baby's heartbeat." Because she had heartbeat at several of my prenatal appointments. I told her that no, we would see the real baby. She says, "Oh, on the TV screen." I laughed as I realized that she thought she was just going to get to see another ultrasound picture. I tried to explain that we would actually see the real baby when he came out, but with her reactions on Friday morning to her new brother I know she still does not understand completely that the baby came out of my belly. It will be interesting in the future to see what she has to say about where her baby brother came from.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fingerprints




Well, after a month and a half of mailing in paperwork, emailing, and calling, Aaron and I finally got our fingerprints redone for the US Immigration. Our old fingerprints expire on Sunday. I drove down to the immigration office yesterday and by God's grace I stayed calmed and finally got the officer to schedule us immediately for fingerprints. He was going to send us an appointment which would have been in 1-2 weeks (with a baby due about that same time?). I didn't think that was a good idea. With the baby due and our old prints expiring, I wanted it done right away. Praise God for His help in that situation. Please continue to pray for healing for the sores on Michael's skin that are left from the rash he had. Also continue to pray for his health, safety, and passport. I would also appreciate prayer for Matthew as it seems to be more and more of an emotional burden for him as he awaits the time when his brother can come home. It has been 19 months and that is hard on all of us, but I have noticed Matthew making more comments and praying more sincerely for his brother to come home.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

New Pictures




A friend of ours sent us some new pics of Micheal and I thought I would share. She says his rash is gone and now he is just left with the sores from it. I love seeing his many different facial expressions. It is funny how some of them remind me of Alisha and some of Matthew. He will definitely fit in well with our family. The yellow outfit is the Spiderman outfit that Matthew picked out for him for his birthday. Please continue to pray for his health and safety and that God may see fit to allow him to come home to us soon.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Still waiting .....

God is good. No matter if it seems like we are not getting what we want or not He IS Good. The orphanage continues to check on our file and still nothing has happened. I spoke to the orphanage director last night. She is going to be checking with the US Consulate to see what they need to process Michael's visa. Hopefully, that way once we get Michael's passport we will be able to get his visa guicker. Thank you for continuing to pray for Michael and for us.

We had a very busy, good time at my dad's family reunion last week. Here are some pictures of my kids at the party. You may notice that Matthew looks wet, that is because he had lots of fun running around in the rain.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday Michael




Michael is two years old today. So I am posting some new pictures of him for everybody to enjoy.
The orphanage did not suffer any serious damage from the hurricane and the orphanage director was released from the hospital yesterday. Praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy. Still no word on Michael's passport. His arms and legs look terrible from the rash, but they say it is getting better. Please continue to pray as we serve a Mighty God who is able to do more than we ask or think.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Still nothing

Well, we received word this morning that they did not sign out our file on Tuesday. Yesterday was a holiday, so the guy from the orphanage was going this afternoon to see if the files were ready yet. Continue to pray for this passport. We also got word this week from the US Consulate in Port-au-Prince that they need some paperwork and interviews to be completed in order to issue his visa, but that they are backlogged and it may take some time. They asked that we have our orphanage contact them to coordinate getting them what they need, but I am having difficulty making contact with the orphanage. I did find out today that the director has been diarnosed with malaria so please pray for her also as she has so much to do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Please Pray

If you read this today, please pray that MOI will sign out our file so that Michael's passport can be printed. MOI has promised that our orphanages files will be signed out today. Pray that they actually do sign out the files. Also pray that we keep our focus on God and trust Him through the rest of this process.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Promise

Well, we received word from the orphanage today that MOI has promised to sign out our file "very soon". The US consulate is also involved so we are hoping that something actually happens soon. Michael's medicine seems to be helping his rash, so please continue to pray for that as well. We are hoping that once MOI signs us out we should have his passport in hand within about a week and then shortly thereafter he will have to go for his medical exam for his visa. We need the rash to be cleared up before his medical exam so that they don't make us wait for it to clear up before granting his visa. We serve a mighty powerful God and He is in complete control of this situation. Pray to Him for something to happen soon and for Him to grant us peace as we continue to wait. We have been waiting for 18 months now and it is very difficult to stay positive at times.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Doctors Report

I spoke with our orphanage director yesterday. It was the first time I have contacted them on their Skype phone. Everything on that phone is delayed, so it took some patience to carry on a conversation. The director said that the doctor does not feel that Michael's rash is anything serious. She prescribed some ointment and some antibiotics and feels it should clear up with that medication. The pharmacy did not have the medication when they stopped on the way home from the doctor on Wednesday, but they were able to get the medications yesterday.
She also informed me that her assistant was meeting with the MOI (Haitian immigration) director yesterday afternoon. He was asked by the director to bring copies of all the files that are currently in MOI from the orphanage. The director of MOI said he would check on each file individually. We are still waiting to hear the result of this meeting and praying that some progress was made. Thanks for your continued prayers. God is good and we are trusting Him to bring Michael home safely.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Michael Update

Well, as soon as I finished the last post, I got an email from the orphanage director. No word on his passport yet. But the rash he had before that they thought was chickenpox is back again. He has scratched some of the spots and they have gotten infected. He goes to the pediatrician tomorrow. They tried some medicine Sunday and yesterday it was all cleared up, but it was back again this morning. Please pray that they will be able to treat this and it won't cause him any problems.

Baby Update

Well, I am at 32 weeks today and we have approximately 8 weeks till we meet our littlest boy. I went to the Dr. this morning and she says everything is looking good. I have gained a whole 11 pounds. This pregnancy has been such an extreme answer to prayer. We have prayed for this baby for 5 years and God finally saw fit to grant our desires. Despite the aches and fatigue, etc. I am so pleased to be carrying this child. We thought that finding out we were pregnant at 4 weeks would make this pregnancy drag by. We didn't find out about Matthew until I was 9 weeks pregnant and the time went by so slowly. This time, the time has flown by.

No news on Michael, but I will post as soon as I hear anything. I emailed our orphanage to find out if they have heard anything, so hopefully we'll hear something soon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Still waiting for a passport

It has been a while since I posted, so I thought I'd post a quick update. We are still waiting to hear that they have sent our sons passport for printing. It has been about two months now since we applied for his passport. Of course, the US is taking around 3 months to process passports, so I guess the passport wait is happening in many places. Please continue to pray that things will get done there. I did contact the US consulate in Haiti to inquire about what needs to be done to get his visa once we have the passport. They said they had received a cable from the Department of Homeland Security letting them know that our file had been approved, but they haven't received the actual file yet and they will contact us when they have it.

Please write comments to us if you are reading the blog, so we know if anybody is actually checking the blog or not. We appreciate everyone's support and prayers in this time of the unknown.

Monday, July 16, 2007

MOI (Haitian immigration) Update

Well, we finally have an update. Not the update we have been praying for but at least we know something. The orphanage sent out an update email yesterday and it included information about the files stuck in MOI. Someone in charge at the MOI office has decided that they don't think the children's names should have been allowed to be changed during the adoption process. So the orphanage lawyer is working with MOI to verify the laws that allow the children's names to be changed when they are adopted. Apparently they have had this problem once before and were able to get it worked out, but they didn't expect it to be a problem again. Please pray that this issue will be worked out quickly.
I also contacted the US embassy in PAP this morning. A lady on the one yahoogroup said that they wanted to hear from any US families whose files have been stuck in MOI for more than a month. I wrote them an email requesting help. The lady that gave out the email address said that the ambassador promised to check in on all files and try to find out what the hold up is and see what can be done. The ambassador also mentioned that things should start moving now in MOI. Please pray fervently for Michael's passport to be approved, printed, and his visa to be issued so he can come home.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Big Kids


I've posted about Michael quite often and I thought it was time to post about my other munchkins. Matthew is getting so big and mature. He is really learning a lot. He loves to try to figure out how to make things and how things work. His big accomplishment this summer is his swimming. He can swim by himself and he can even swim under water for several yards. He just loves being in the water. He keeps practicing staying under water longer and longer. Honestly, he scares me sometimes. He is also working on his letters, numbers, writing, and reading to get ready for school.
Alisha is full of energy all of the time. We finally transitioned her into a twin bed and out of the crib a few weeks ago and that is going better than I expected. She has only gotten out of bed on her own a few times. She is also learning to swim, but she has to have a ring or noodle to hold onto. But at least we can get her in the water and get her to move around on her own. Her big accomplishment is that she finally pedaled her bike for the first time on Thursday. She started pedaling the tricycle a month or two ago, but just could not get the hang of it on the bike. So she is very proud of herself and enjoys riding her "purple bike". He bike is pink and blue, but it has purple handle grips and purple rims inside the tires, so that makes it a "purple bike".
The baby seems to be developing well. His heartbeat is strong and he tends to be very active several times a day. It is nice to be able to feel him move around. So now that I am entering the final stretch of the pregnancy, I will be going every other week for a checkup instead of once a month.
I go back to work for inservice soon, so I will be very busy. But at least I have a six week break to look forward to when the baby is born. I have really enjoyed spending time with Matthew and Alisha this summer. I remind myself often that I need to spend as much time with them as I can now, since two new boys will bless our life soon and my time will be even more limited.
God is so wonderful. I can't explain how blessed I feel. Even though I have a hard time understanding why He sees fit to keep Michael far away from us for so long, I remind myself constantly of how adoption is a picture of God adopting us into his family. God was willing to pay the ultimate price to adopt us. And He is willing to wait for us as long as it takes. Some of us accept Christ as our personal Saviour and become sons of God at an early age and some people take a long time to accept God's gift of salvation, yet even though it takes a long time, God is still willing to wait and accept that person as one of His children. God knows what is best and He loves us and our son and will bring him home in the right time.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Nothing New


I thought I would post just in case anybody is looking for an update. I did get an email from the orphanage the other day that said that they go daily to check and see if any files have been released from Haitian immigration so that they can then get the passport printed immediately. However, at this point our file has not been released for passport printing yet. Please continue to pray that things will start moving in Haiti. If we don't hear something soon, we may have to repay to have our fingerprints redone for the US immigration department. So I am praying for a miracle so that we can bring home Michael very soon.
Here is a new picture of Michael. I always enjoy getting to see him, so I thought some of you might like to see a new picture as well.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Pictures of Haiti

I thought that maybe some people would like to be able to see some of the beauty of the country of Haiti. Most of the time we focus on the poverty, filth, and violence in Haiti. But God designed a beautiful place when he designed Haiti. These pictures were taken when Aaron and I went to visit Michael last summer. All of these photos were taken looking out from the orphanage. Unfortunately, the area around the orphanage is not so beautiful, but there is a lot of beauty in the country. The mountains and beaches are beautiful and there are so many beautiful people. Please pray for the country of Haiti. Poverty and violence make life very difficult for so many people. There is a huge need for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be spread throughout the country. I often wonder how Michael's birthfamily is surviving. His birthmother has 6 other kids and is hoping to place at least two more of them for adoption. Unfortunately, with the adoptions taking so long, the orphanages are full and many children are being turned away every month. Some of these children will not live long enough to find a place in an orphanage. Our orphanage is run by a missionary couple from Ohio and they raise all of their support to care for themselves and all of the children in the orphanage. Please pray for the people of Haiti and for the missionaries that give their lives to help these needy people.