Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Growing Faith

Check out what Nate has to say about faith at the end of this post. Although I honestly do not believe that my situation is as severe as what he is facing, I do think that alot of what he had to say about what he is learning through his blogging is what I have been learning through this adoption. God knew that Michael's adoption was going to take this long and He knows when Michael is coming home. I just have to surrender that completely to Him and let Him do what is best. He (God) does know a whole lot more than me about what is best anyway, afterall He knows everything. El Shaddai!

Cool Praise

If you notice down a few posts, I posted the lyrics to a song by a band called Casting Crowns. I love this band because their songs really hit home and are practical to everyday Christian living. Their songs have helped to encourage and challenge us throughout this adoption process. Well, we noticed a while back that they were going to be in our area next month and thought it would be really cool to go spend an evening praising God with this band. But with the adoption expenses we could not afford to buy the tickets. I decide to step out of my comfort zone and I emailed the band and told them about our story and how much their music has helped us. I asked if it was possible for them to give me two tickets so I could take my husband. I never imagined that they would be able to do this for me, but I got an email from them today letting me know that they were giving me two tickets to the concert. Praise God! Isn't it neat how God sends us encouragement just when we really need it the most. Thank you Casting Crowns for allowing God to use you to bless some of His children.

Adoption Update

Well the orphanage got the originals today and got them delivered to the lawyer and the lawyer had them delivered to the office where they need to get the first stamp/signature that is missing. As soon as the lawyer gets them back, my understanding is that the orphanage has to get one more stamp on them and then deliver them back to MOI (where they spent the last 8 months). MOI "guaranteed" they would sign them out when they get them back. After MOI, the papers go to immigration where they actually print the passport. Once the passport is in hand, the orphanage has to schedule the visa medical and the visa appointment. Since we filed our US immigration paperwork here in the states, the consulate in Haiti will have to meet with Michael's birthmom at the visa interview. Please pray that when we get to that stage they don't require DNA testing because that would add at least three more weeks onto the process.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Who Am I

I listened to this song on my way home and I thanked God that He truly does hear me when I call and catches me when I fall. Isn't it amazing to think that the Lord of all the earth not only knows my name but also cares to feel my hurt. Please read through the lyrics of this song.

Who Am I

by Casting Crowns

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours

I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours

Pics/Still waiting on official news

Well, I got an email from another adoptive mom that they are waiting on getting originals in order to get the stamp/signature that we thought was supposed to be done yesterday. The orphanage is supposed to go get originals tomorrow morning I am told. Please continue to pray. It has been 8 months now that we have been waiting for this passport. Here are some pics from and adoptive mom that just visited the orphanage.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday

Well, I am home with the kids today. Matthew was throwing up last night and was still pale this morning, so I kept him home. He seems to be doing okay, but I am keeping him quiet.
Today is the day that the one stamp/signature is supposed to be done. I am hoping to hear from somebody today as to whether or not it got done. I know I've said this before, but it is getting harder and harder to wait. My mind used to wander and I would dream of the day I got to see my little man in person again. Now it just hurts to think about it because I have absolutely no idea when he is going to be able to come home. I just put some clothes away that I had bought for Michael expecting him to be home in January. Well, it looks like those clothes will be passed down to Kevin without being worn by Michael at all. Please continue to pray. Feel free to post a comment to let us know that you are praying. It is amazing how encouraging it is to hear that brothers and sisters in Christ are lifting us up in prayer. We know God is in control and we are trying to trust Him each day.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kevin Joseph

Well, I'm posting a lot today, but... I wanted to share that Kevin rolled over for the first time Monday. He rolled from belly to back. He has almost rolled completely from back to belly, but not quite. This morning, he was sitting up with only my hand resting on his one thigh. He was sitting in front of the mutt, Bailey, and talking to him and reached out and "pet" him (more like grabbed a handful of hair, but he tried). I can't believe he is getting so big. I'll have to try to post pictures later.

An awesome Post

If you haven't been following the story of baby Gwyneth, you need to check out Nate's blog.
He put the most awesome pics up. Tricia finally got to see baby Gwyneth and Nate posted pics. Isn't our God totally awesome.

And yet another week has come to an end...

...with no adoption news. All we have heard was from another adoptive mom that talked to the orphanage director. She was told that our files are supposed to be done with the one missing stamp/signature on Tuesday. I'm still not sure what all is going on, but from my understanding there is still the other stamp/signature that will have to be obtained once the orphanage gets the files back before it can go back to MOI. Then my friend said that she was told that MOI has closed down for two weeks to reorganize, but I don't know what two weeks they are closed for (last week and next or the last two weeks or the next two weeks???). Once we finally get back to MOI and get out of MOI it will probably still be a few more weeks for them to print the passport and obtain the visa. The US really stinks when it comes to international adoption. If only they would let us bring home our son, we wouldn't have to deal with all of this heartache. Why don't they let people bring their children (children that are legally their children) home to live with them? The past 8 months and the rest of the time we wait is all because of the US. And all of this hassle is only for Michael's plane ride home. Once the plane lands in Florida, his Haitian passport and US visa are no longer necessary. But he has to have the passport to get the visa and he has to have the visa in order to be allowed on a plane headed for the US (where he should already be living). Please help me bombard our senators and congressman with requests to change the laws in regard to visas for adopted children. We need to see this change for all of the other families in the future who will adopt internationally. Why make these babies/children and their families wait for so long for them to come home?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Prayer Request

Please pray for a lady named Amy and her family. She posted this request on an adoption group that I am a part of. "My husband and I got a call today that is an adoptive parent's nightmare. Our baby girl (3 years old) has an unidentified mass in her abdomen. Tomorrow they will do tests and let us know the result, but they are predicting surgery next week. There are a lot of unknowns here and we are still putting all the pieces together." Her little girl is in Haiti (at a different orphanage than our son). Adoption is stressful enough without this type of stress added to it. Please lift this family up in prayer. The little girl's name is Via.

Nothing

Well, I felt like I needed to post to keep people updated, but I don't know anything. I have emailed the lawyer and not heard back and I called the orphange, but they haven't called back yet. It looks like January is a definite no for Michael coming home. Please keep praying. Pray for Michael's safety and health and that God would prepare him for the huge transition ahead. Pray for the adoption paperwork to finally get done. Pray for us as we try to wait patiently. Alisha asks every day if Michael is coming home to live with us today. Matthew is wanting to listen to the Kreyol CD to learn how to talk to Michael. It is very hard on us emotionally, but God is good.
Feel free to post a comment to let us know that you visited the blog that you are praying for us.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

Please read Nathan's posts about the Sanctity of Human Life on his blog today.

A friend's thoughts

A friend of mine that is adopting from our orphanage writes a prayer list for our orphanage group each week and each week she shares a scripture verse or verses. This week she put parts of Psalm 34 (multiple verses) “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let exalt His name together. I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears…The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him…The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry…The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit…” Then on her blog she shared the following thoughts about the passage and they so closely mirror my own thoughts and feelings that I wanted to share her thoughts here. "I thought it was fitting for multiple reasons. One is the resounding theme in my life right now to "praise God anyway" and this passage definitely covers that. Another thing I found fitting is that I feel "afflicted" in this adoption process. I love that it says the Lord is attentive to my cry and that He "saves those who are crushed in spirit." I am definitely brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. In retrospect, maybe it's not such a bad place to be. This passage says that God is good and that He works in those situations. I say, "Go for it, God!""

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Frustrated and Discouraged

I am feeling very frustrated and discouraged lately as you can tell by some of my recent posts. But the Lord keeps reminding me that He loves me and He is in control. I would like to ask everyone that reads my blog to pray with us that week that Michael's file will move forward and we would be closer to being able to bring him home. He is almost 2.5 now and as time continues to go by it will only be harder and harder for him when he has to leave the only "home" he has ever known to come and live with his family. He has never known what it is like to have a real family. Don't get me wrong, the orphanage does a very good job caring for him and it is a "family" atmosphere, but it is not a family. If you are praying with us this week for Michael's file to move forward, please post a comment on this blog entry. It will be encouraging to myself and other adoptive parents to see that other people care about getting adopted children home to their families. Please also pray for my friend and her son "J" that his file would start moving also. Thank you.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Funny Statements

Yesterday morning Alisha got up and went straight in the kitchen. I called to her and asked her what she was doing. She came to the doorway of the living room, with cheese in hand, and told me that she was just getting cheese. I asked her why she was getting cheese so early and she looked at me and in all seriousness said, "because I was coughing in my bed." What does coughing in bed have to do with eating cheese first thing in the morning????

Today I asked one of my students why he wasn't taking notes. He looked up at me and said,"because I have my pencil." What??? The entire class laughed hysterically and many students told him that having a pencil would be a reason TO take notes not TO NOT take notes.

We all need a good laugh sometimes, so I thought I would share.

Well...

the week has ended. No adoption news. I read my friends blog and she described how she feels like laying on the floor and kicking and screaming, but knows that it would do no good. Boy did it sound tempting. It was an awful day. I had a student scream at me, tell me that she hated me, and that I was stupid all because I had "the nerve" to mark her tardy when she was late to class. She actually looked at me and said "I was just outside the door", well, then you weren't in the room, were you? I had another student tell me that I was just reviewing for the exam because I "forgot to prepare for class". I had so many students late and absent that it took five minutes each hour to list their names on my attendance sheet. This was all after having a parent show up for after school tutoring yesterday. Yes. A parent. She wanted me to teach her how to do the math so she could help her daughter. Good concept. Bad timing. She tried to manipulate my time when I had about fifteen other students there that needed help for their exams next week. So the bad day today was even more frustrating to me. But God knew before it all happened that I was going to need some time to focus on Him. After dinner tonight, I went to a "Call to Worship" ladies meeting at church. It was set up like a coffee house thing. There was catered coffeee (yes catered coffee, I had never heard of that before) and pastries. Then there was a time of praise music. It was such an uplifting time and I loved spending time praising my Lord. I took the baby with me, but he slept through the whole thing. I woke him up at the very end so I could change his diaper before I left.

End of the week Urge to Prayer

Please spend some time praying today. As this week comes to a close, I look back and see so many things that need prayer. Elections, Tricia, Gwyneth, a friend with breast cancer, our adoption, other adoptions, my kids, my students, my family... Our world is very messed up and many people need the Lord. There is an orphanage in Haiti that has lost several kids recently to starvation and is trying to place the rest of their kids with other orphanages before they also die from lack of food. Most of us have things so easy and we take it for granted. Please spend time with our Lord in prayer today thanking Him for what you have and praying for others that are in need. If you don't know my Lord, please know that I am praying for you today. Feel free to leave a comment and I will try to find someone in your area that you can talk to about our wonderful Saviour.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord! Tricia is awake. If you missed her story, please check out her husband's blog.

Please continue to pray for our adoption. This adoption journey is really wearing us down. We can't wait to have our son home. It is very hard on our emotions to have to keep waiting. Today's verse that keeps coming to my mind is "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." Isaiah 40 :31 It is only through the Lord's strength that we can stand at this point and that we can go from day to day. Praise the Lord that we do have HOPE in Him.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Frustrating Technology

I have been very pleased at the technology available so that we can talk to and see Michael. So today we were supposed to talk to him. My parents even came over to see him. Then the webcam wouldn't work. We finally got it to work and the orphanage had switched to the computer that doesn't have a webcam. So we were able to talk to him some, but we couldn't see each other. He did sing his ABC's but it was hard to talk to him without seeing him because the girls kept talking so it was hard to tell sometimes if it was him or them talking. Still waiting to hear any news on the passport. Please continue to pray that things would get done down there and he could come home. Also I would ask that you continue to pray for Tricia and Gwyn and Nate.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Another Week Gone By

It seems harder to end each week when we still haven't heard any news about Michael. My heart aches to know that he is coming home. My arms ache to hold him. ALisha is more and more insistent that Michael is coming to our house. Which makes it hard to have to tell her that he will come... someday... but not today and we don't know when. How do you help a 3 year old understand that. She just wants to play with her brother. She wants to hug him. Matthew almost seems to have given up hope. He gets very quiet and reserved when we talk about it. I can't pray about Michael without crying anymore. I beg God daily to allow him to come home. All that to say that we did not hear anything again this week. We are scheduled to talk to Michael on Skype tomorrow. It's been about a month since we talked to him, so I am looking forward to seeing him again.
But with all of that said, I am brought to my knees in prayer and praise to our Awesome God as I continue to follow the story of Tricia & Gwyneth & Nate. Their faith is standing firm through some pretty tough tests. Praise God for His mercy so far. Please pray with the thousands across the world for this family. Thank you Lord for loving each of us.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pro-Life

I just read a really awesome post about pro-life on Tricia's father-in-law's blog. Please read his post. http://nagsheader.blogspot.com/2008/01/how-pro-life-are-you-really.html
I've been listening to Blessed be the Name again and thinking about how we need to choose to praise God. Then I found this song on someone's blog and it really touched me. We really need to CHOOSE to praise God no matter what our situation. It is our choice whether or not we will praise Him each day.

"Praise You In This Storm"
by: Casting Crowns
I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

El Shaddai

Something hit me while we were singing together as a family tonight. We were singing Jesus Name above all names. We got to the part that says, "El Shaddai, God is Sufficient". Wow! So I looked it up to see exactly what El Shaddai means. El Shaddai (Hebrew: אל שדי) is one of the Judaic names of God. See El (god) and Names of God in Judaism. It is normally translated "God Almighty who is all sufficient". Isn't that just awesome. God is all we need. Praise the Lord. So as I think of all the things that I "need", I just need to focus on El Shaddai and remember that He is sufficient.

Please continue to pray for Tricia and Nate and their baby girl. Baby Gwyneth Rose was delivered today and weighed in at 1lb. 6oz. Please pray for her to develop properly and grow stronger. Also continue to pray for Tricia. She needs to regain her strength and improve a great deal in order to be able to have the double lung transplant that she needs. Also pray for her husband Nate and all of her family during this extremely emotional time.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

God's Precious Gifts

I was thinking today about gifts as we had to exchange one of my son's Christmas gifts for a bigger size. I thought about all the hassle his gifts were this year. He wanted radio controlled helicopters. Well before he even saw them on TV and asked for them, he already had two of them coming. I had seen one on sale for the day after Thanksgiving and bought it online on Thanksgiving day. I thought it was something my brother would buy so I knew Matthew would love it. Little did I know that my brother had already done all kinds of research and bought one for him also. Matthew was so excited when he opened them at my Mom's house on Christmas day. So we put batteries in and charged them up. And they didn't work! So we had to return the one I bought because the store didn't have anymore. Then we were going to exchange the one from my brother, but the lady said that it was the third one she had returned in the last hour because they didn't work. So my husband went online and searched and found a different one, similar price at another store and so I had to go there. It was a lot of running around, but he finally has one that works really well and he really enjoys. As tired as the shopping/returning part of it made me, the joy the final gift gave him was worth it. The final one he got had been out of stock and we got one of the only two they had gotten back in stock.
All of this to share how it made me think of the gifts God gives us. Sometimes the gifts that come easy are the ones that we don't appreciate and we take for granted. My son isn't concerned about some of his other gifts that were no problem to get for him. But especially after he had to help me shop and return to get one that works, he really appreciates the helicopter. What a picture of all of us. Recently I have thought about how much more I should appreciate my children. Matthew came very easy for us. Alisha was a little more difficult of a journey. Kevin took a full year of fertility treatments. Michael has taken almost two years and still isn't home. Then I have been watching a young couple expecting their first child. Tricia has CF and her health and the baby are both in danger. Yet, I read her husband's blog and I see the magnificent grace of God. We do serve an awesome God and He reminds us when we need it the most. I remember in college when I was struggling and the Lord presented me the opportunity to help out one of the professors. His wife was very ill and had to have a protein shake every four hours kind of like having a baby. So some of us girls that lived in the dorm near their apartment took turns helping to prepare shakes for her and cleaning. We didn't think we were doing much but Jeremy and Alisha were so thankful. I sometimes wondered how they could be so "happy". But I learned that it was their Faith in our Almighty God that was pulling them through. Now I watch as they will be having their first baby in March and praise God for healing her. Now I am begging God to heal Tricia (whom I've never met) in the same miraculous way. Please take the time when you read this to thank God for His gifts. Whether that gift be a child, healing of a friend, or even a trial that helps you to focus your eyes back on Christ.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Please Pray for Tricia

A friend of ours has asked us to pray for the sister of her college roommate. Patricia has CF and was about to be placed on the list for a double lung transplant when she found out she was pregnant. Tricia's lungs are not doing well. She is about 24 weeks along in her pregnancy. Please pray for Tricia, her baby girl, and her husband, Nate. For more information please visit her website at: 65Roses4Pattysue.com

Thursday, January 3, 2008

An article I want to share

I read this article the other day. It really shows one of the ways that adoption can be a picture of God's acceptance of us into His family. Please read this article from Focus on the Family:
http://www.family.org/parenting/A000000420.cfm

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Day by Day

As I was listening to the words of the songs and the pastor's sermon on Sunday, I thought of a song. It is a song that helped me through many rough times in college. So I finally had a moment to look up the words today and something hit me. Jesus was willing to come to earth and take on the the punishment for my sins. And God is my heavenly Father. As a parent I would do anything to take pain away from my children. However, there are times when we must allow them to go through pain or unpleasant times to teach them something or for their health (i.e. shots, blood tests, etc.) I'm sure God feels the same way about us. Here is the song.

Day By Day And With Each Passing Moment

Day by day and with each passing moment
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He's whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best-
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Everyday the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Power
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the day, the moments fleeting,
'Til I reach the promised land.
© Public Domain
Words and Music by
Lina Sandell and A. L. Skoog

Happy New Year!

Well, to end off the year I had one more disappointment. It has been really rough these last few months with not knowing when Michael will ever come home and I was so looking forward to spending New Year's Eve with my parents, sister, nieces, and nephew as well as my family. I have spent New Year's Eve with my parents and sister every year since I was born. Since Aaron and I bought our current house, we have hosted the New Year's Eve gathering. Usually my aunt and her family have joined us but they moved out of state this year. So I have spent the last week getting my house ready, planning the food, shopping, and preparing the food. Then about half an hour before my family came over, Matthew puked. We thought maybe it was something he ate, so we postponed dinner for half an hour to see how he was doing. He was playing and having a good time. So just as I was going to call my mom and give her the all clear, he puked again. So for the first time in my life, I was not with my parents and sister to bring in the new year. Matthew threw up several times throughout the evening and fell asleep laying on the floor holding his stomach around 10pm or so. Kevin got really fussy and went to sleep shortly thereafter. Alisha was the only one that stayed up with Daddy and I. She was so good. She opened her magnadoodle that she got for Christmas and played for over an hour. I started feeling really sorry for myself as all of this transpired. But as I was walking home from taking my parents and sister their portion of the dinner, the Lord reminded me that life isn't all about me. So I spent the evening caring for my children. It was the quietest New Year's Eve ever. But I am looking forward to an exciting year in 2008. Matthew will graduate from Kindergarten. Alisha will turn 4. We will celebrate many of Kevin's milestones as he learns to sit, crawl, walk, and start talking. And Lord willing we will welcome Michael home to his family. The Lord has blessed us greatly and I am trying to focus on His blessings rather on the things that I didn't get. Thanks for all of your prayers throughout the year. Please excuse me if there are days in the near future when I don't seem to want to talk much, but my heart is heavy and I am leaning on the everlasting arms of my Savior. I do need all of your prayers, but sometimes it is not easy to talk.

Here are the last pictures that we got of Michael for 2007. Notice he once again has a snotty nose.