Monday, December 31, 2007

Look what God has done in 2007!

A new year coming is a great time to reflect all that God has done in my life this last year! It has been quite a year for me! I have grown a lot. Here are the highlights:
December 2006 Children of the Promise newsletter...


People were praying for Elijah to find a family. Meanwhile God was speaking to Jeremiah and I about adoption, but we weren't too sure about it.

February 2007
Kylie turned 4! She also began ballet lessons. How fun!
We began talking about adopting through foster care. I began going to classes through the state to become a liscensed foster care parent.

March
I continued going to classes for foster care and "graduated". I felt like it wasn't for our family. I began talking to Jeremiah about international adoption. I met with Sarah and talked with her about her adoption and the whole process. Jeremiah and I prayerfully made a decision to adopt from Haiti. I called a social worker to schedule the homestudy. We decided to adopt through Children of the Promise. Loren turned 10 this month.

April
We spent the month gathering paperwork, did our homestudy and had physicals. Jeremiah and I also had a weekend getaway in Bellevue for a Family Life marriage conference. Sarah and I became close friends and she told me of her work in finding medical care for 2 babies from Haiti. I was willing to help and made plans to go to Texas with her for a week during Jeremiah's days off.

May
We went to Texas! I met Helande and Christella at the airport with their escorts (Salem and Crystal). They were so fragile and I couldn't believe the strength God gave us to care for the these girls. We took them to the neurologist and the hospital and stayed at the hospital during surgeries and recovery. I left Sarah to go home. The girls were in Texas for a month.

June
Kylie had her ballet recital. We got to babysit our neice, Ambria for the night while her parents had a getaway before they moved. It was a blessing to care for her. Sarah and the babies got home from Texas and we were there to help. Jeremiah had training for work and was out of town so we had Sarah and her girls over for a sleepover. We also had our church campout. We got our referral for Elijah at the end of the month! I was so happy I cried as I opened the email!

July
We had our fingerprinting appointment this month, our garage sale, and Jeremiah began working a part time job for extra money. We took care of Christella and Sarah's daughter for a week while Helande had a shunt revision in Seattle. I drove down to see her, poor baby. Our family went to the circus, the kids went to VBS and we went to Lake Wenatchee with my family. Christella needed emergency surgery on her shunt while we were gone.

August
We had Helande to stay most of the time at our place to give Sarah some help, and because we loved having her here! We took her to a few appointments in Seattle and I learned a lot about her condition. I also was involved in massage and physical therapy appointments with the girls. I had quite the education! Maybe nursing school or physical therapy is in my future? Who knows. We went to Winthrop with some good friends for a few days.

September
I was really sick for almost a month, and the doctor didn't know what it was after many blood tests. It was some sort of virus they guessed since it affected my liver. They were worried about me going to Haiti, but I was better thankfully before we decided to go. Sarah and I decided it was time to bring the girls home to Haiti. We bought last minute plane tickets to leave at the end of the month. We had an amazing meeting with Lori, the parents and babies. We left for Children of the Promise and volunteered there for several days. I met Elijah! He was so precious. While in Haiti, Jeremiah's grandmother passed away. We all miss her. Mid September Corinn turned nine!

October
We came back from Haiti and stayed in Fort Lauderdale for 2 nights. At home it was a sad time for us. We really missed Helande. Loren was involved in soccer and the kids were taking swim lessons. We heard that Elijah was in IBESR.

November
We began getting ready for winter. We went to Jeremiah's parents house for Thanksgiving and saw family. Loren began wrestling. Christella passed away in Haiti on November 25. A very sad day for us.

December 2007
I enjoyed a night away to celebrate Sarah's birthday. I went to Seattle with my girls to see the Nutcracker. We celebrated Christmas early this year, because of Jeremiah's work schedule. We made plans to go to Haiti in March. We spent the Christmas season surrounded by friends and family. We are so blessed.

Who would have known we would be where we are now? God did! He knew we were Elijah's parents before we had really thought about adopting. How amazing is that? He has greater things in store for us in 2008, I just know it! I can't wait!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Inspired

I woke up at 6:30am this morning. Oh it was hard, I have been very sleepy in the morning these past few months (I've been dealing with thyroid problems), but I made myself do it. I am so glad I did. I am VERY motivated to lose weight, eat healthy and get active. "What?" you ask, "It's not even January yet!" I know, I know... I can't wait. I have 12 weeks to get in a shape other than ROUND for our trip. We will be staying in Fort Lauderdale for 2 days before we can fly to Haiti, so we will probably be spending some time at the beach. I am not a beach bathing beauty at this point! Also, when we get on that little plane to Haiti, we must be weighed. I want to prevent any smirks or comments made by little Haitian men. And, in Haiti it is very hot and humid and more uncomfortable if you are overweight. Sooo, I am highly motivated to get on track. I have tried many times before, but I am ready now.

I woke up and got my walking shoes on and did a workout called Walk Away the Pounds. It is great for beginners and for yucky weather because you can walk 2 miles in your living room. Then I did some crunches and arm exercises and tried a new dvd called Holy Yoga. I actually bought it in the airport in Florida during my last trip to Haiti but have not tried it until now. It was great! It incorporated yoga exercises with bible scripture and prayer. I loved it and it felt so good! It came with a book too that I may try to find time to read.

Now, I am off to make a smoothie. Pray for me please to have strength during the day and the rest of the week, month, year, etc.!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

We are going to Haiti




We just bought tickets for March! I am getting excited to go to volunteer at the orphanage for 9 days! We are discussing ways we can help with the kids as we are celebrating Easter and I asked if we can celebrate Elijah's birthday early so we can be there. I am also thinking about getting our church and community involved in a drive for items needed at COTP.
If you are interested in donating items, please visit www.childrenofthepromise.org and click on the NEEDS link on the left side of the page. It contains the mailing address and shipping costs for overseas. (which are reasonable)

We have been blessed to be able to send Elijah a few boxes to share with his buddies and he has also gotten a care package from his aunt and uncle in Germany. I am sure we will see some fun photos of Elijah enjoying his gifts!

Friday, December 28, 2007

"You can't change the world"

These are words I have heard frequently from people in this last year. It saddens me and makes me think. I wish I could, or at least try. I believe change must begin with me. I believe we are to live as Christ would live and love others as Christ would love others. I do not believe the world will change, but I do believe that I can with His help.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

"The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?"
Dorothy Day

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas To Elijah


Dear Elijah,
I miss you so much. I know you may not know me or remember when we met, but the memories I have of my short time in Haiti with you will forever be in my heart. I have dreams of Haiti almost every night and I long to be there again with you, especially while we are apart for the holidays.

I pray every day for you, for the time you will be able to come home to us and live together as a family. I pray the wait will be short and a miracle may happen so we can be together soon. Every day I wait is harder and harder.

I want to show you so many things, Elijah. I want to show you your new home, your sisters and brother, your doggies and kitty, your bed, your toys. I want to show you what a family is and show you all the love your daddy and mommy have for you.

I heard this song by Third Day. It is about an adoptive family who adopted a baby from China but I think of you when I hear the lyrics…

….But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire,
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine.

It’s Christmas time again but you’re not home,
Your family is here and yet you’re somewhere else alone,
So tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in His arms,
And I’ll tell you from my heart, I wish you Merry Christmas.

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights,
I’m warmed by the fire’s glow,
And outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
And make angels in the snow.
But half a world away you try the best to fight your tears,
And hope that heaven’s angels come to carry you here.

Christmas is a time we celebrate the Holy Child,
And we celebrate his perfect gift of Love,
He came to us to give His life and prepare a place for us,
So we could have a home with Him.

It’s Christmas time again but now you’re home,
Your family is here and now you’ll never be alone,
So tonight before you go to sleep I’ll hold you in my arms,
And I’ll tell you from my heart, I wish you Merry Christmas.

I can't wait to be able to tell you Merry Christmas and hold you in my arms. Merry Christmas from all of us Elijah.
I love you,
Mamma

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas to us

The girls and I had a great time at the Nutcracker in Seattle. We loved it, and the girls loved staying at the Hilton in Bellevue. It was quite a treat and we were able to finish up our shopping. We celebrated Christmas yesterday because Jeremiah is working over the holiday. We had a nice relaxing day together. The kids of course woke us up early, then we read the bible together and opened gifts. We kept it simple this year and I have to say, it was very nice and less stressful. The kids got some fun toys and things and we received some money from relatives to go toward the adoption. We have about $2500 left to go plus airfare and any additional expenses. Thank you to all who have helped. Anyway, after gifts we ate a nice breakfast, played a game of Clue, watched a movie and ate a snacky type lunch. We had a birthday cake for Jesus. Kylie got to blow the candles out this year. We had a delicious dinner and I was so full by the end of the day. Just a few more days to indulge before diet time!

Tomorrow eve. we are going to a friend's house for dinner and on Christmas day the kids and I are going to my parents house. I wish all of you a very blessed Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I600 Approval

We got it in the mail today! One less thing to worry about. I think God is trying to cheer me up!

One of those days...

I was very upset this morning, about such a minor problem. Lost glasses. Corinn had a vision checkup this morning and was supposed to bring her new glasses with her. I asked her to set them next to my purse (the brown one!) so that we would know where they are in the morning.
This morning, after a terrible night of sleep (weird dreams and nightmares) I got the kids and I ready to go. I went to grab the glasses case and noticed, no glasses. Corinn was NO help trying to find them at the last minute. We never did before we had to leave. I was so irritated and it was like a months worth of stress had just broken loose. I have been upset at the lack of respect the kids have had about chores, taking care of their things, etc.
Yesterday I put away some bicycles that have been out in the rain for about 2 months. One of them was very rusty and the wheels would not move.
To top it off, there is a mouse nest under our minivan hood. The tech. found it when he was changing our oil. Great. Wonder if he is friends with the mouse in the wall by our bed? I don't like this part of country living.
So I open my email today and got a very nice encouraging email from my awesome sister in law, telling me how much they miss us and what a neat family we are. I love ya Heidi, it was so nice to hear!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A good recipe to try...

Turkey Cranberry Wreath

2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls
2 cups cooked turkey or chicken chopped
1/4 cup celery (about 2 stalks)
3/4 cup craisins
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp honey dijon mustard
1 granny smith apple (peeled,cored and sliced)

Mix all ingredients together except for the crescent rolls. Place crescent rolls on a round stone, large ends overlapping. Place a scoop of filling on each crescent roll. Wrap crescent roll over top of filling. Bake for 20- 25 minutes at 375*F. Sprinkle cheese over top.

You can omit the apple, it is good either way! We will be enjoying this recipe at our early Christmas celebration.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Santa Baby




Just got these precious pictures today. I miss Elijah a ton and I can't wait to see him again.

My baby brother's gift


Guest blogger: Kylie
My name is Kylie and I am four years old. I wanted to give Elijah a present for Christmas, one I picked out all by myself. I wrapped up a penny in some paper towel and told mom it was for Elijah. She told me that he might choke on it. So I found a toy elephant in my toy box. I wrapped it in a paper towel and asked mom, "Does Haiti have a mail box, Mom?" Mom said that she already sent a box for Elijah and his friends to Haiti and that she would give him my gift when she goes there again. I wanted to be sure she didn't forget so I asked her, "Which purse are you bringing to Haiti?". Mom has lots of purses. She said she's bringing the brown one.

Our Christmas Letter


Christmas wishes from the Smith family!

We have had a wonderful year here in beautiful Western WA. We are still busy as ever, with three active kids, two spastic dogs, and a cat that hides under the house. We are in the process of adding to the chaos by adopting a 20-month-old boy from Haiti. His name is Elijah and we are so excited to bring him home in the next year (hopefully). Kim became involved in volunteer work for an organization called Real Hope for Haiti. She traveled to Texas for a week to be with two infants with severe health problems while they had life saving surgery. As a family we helped care for these babies while they were healing. One baby, Helande, was living with us for several months. The kids helped out a lot and treated her like their baby sister. In the fall Kim traveled with the two babies and her friend Sarah to Haiti to bring the girls home and volunteer in the orphanage we are adopting from. She met Elijah and gave him lots of hugs and bobos (Creole for kisses).

Last month, one of the precious babies we cared for died at a Haitian hospital. She is now in heaven and has no more pain. Ella will always be in our hearts.

Jeremiah is involved on our church’s worship team. He plays drums, guitar, sings, leads the team once a month and has even played electric guitar a few times. He really has grown as a musician and loves to serve in this way. He has also taken on a second job working for a friend who builds custom homes. This has been great for those adoption expenses and travel costs. He has a lot of time off from his "real" job, so he can work a few days in a row with Doug. What a blessing.

Kim is busy with home schooling the kids. Loren and Corinn attend a program through the school district for home schooling families. It has been a great balance for us. The kids go to fun, educational classes twice a week and Mom enjoys the break. Her traveling with babies was the highlights of her year. She has learned so much and has really fallen in love with the children of Haiti. Her goal for 2008 is to learn to speak Creole.

Loren will be 11 in March. He was involved in soccer last fall and is now in wrestling. This is his first season so he is learning a lot. He is in 5th grade and classes at home are getting tougher but he’s up for the challenge. Loren has a big heart and is an excellent big brother.

Corinn is 9 and is so creative. She is always drawing or making something out of paper, clay, cardboard…anything! She has been doing very well in school this year and enjoys all the art classes she is taking. One of the classes at school is called The Art of Public Speaking. She told me that she was disappointed because they haven’t done any art, just speaking. I think the name threw her off! She also has a great love for animals. Our poor dog, Jackson, is always being towed around but he loves her anyway. He sleeps at her feet every night.

Kylie is going to be 5 in February. She loves anything girly. She likes to style hair, apply makeup and dress up. She likes to dance in the living room for whoever will watch her. She is taking ballet lessons and really enjoys it. Kylie can’t wait to start kindergarten in the fall. She has a lot of little friends at the kids’ school and church.

This year we are celebrating Christmas at home, and even a few days early since Jeremiah will be working on the 24th and 25th. I don’t think the kids will mind opening gifts early. For year round updates on our family including pictures, check out our website- smithshaitibaby.blogspot.com

We hope you have a very happy holiday season and God bless you in 2008!

With love,

Oh Christmas Tree!



Saturday, December 15, 2007

This is Jeremiah's son!


Enjoying the two fistfuls of chocolate cake!

Elijah likes cake



We got some pictures of Elijah during some recent celebrations at COTP. "Elijah likes cake" was the title of many photos of him! So cute. We nicknamed him "Bubba". Doesn't it suit him?

Helande


Here is a recent picture of Helande. I miss her so much my heart aches. Jeremiah said that maybe when we go to Haiti we can pack an empty suitcase and bring her home with us. He was kidding of course! She is doing well with her parents and they are so happy to have her with them, healthy.

Nutcracker ballerina


Kylie is having her Christmas performance tonight. It's sort of an adaptation of the Nutcracker. This Thursday the girls and I are going to Seattle with my mom. She is treating us to see the real Nutcracker ballet. Then we are staying at a hotel in Bellevue. Can't wait!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Some hopeful news...

I saw this online today...
There is a meeting on the 18th of December between IBESR, MOI, and Parquet to discuss files that have biological children. I believe all dossiers will be signed before the new law takes effect. Our lawyer is certain of it after talking to Parquet.


I hope and pray that the situation gets worked out and that Elijah will be signed out of IBESR soon!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Prayer Requests for COTP

Please pray for Children of the Promise, Haitian adoptions and the people of Haiti.


"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

Praises!!!

- Wilnise went home to Florida on November 30 to her adoptive family!

- Nadege went home to Alberta and to her adoptive family on December 4.

- Mathieu went home to Oregon on December 6 to his adoptive family!

- Lily turned 4 on November 22, Woosben turned 4 on November 25, Obenson turned 4 on December 5, Kassandra turned 4 on December 6, and Reggie turned 1 year old on December 7! We are so thankful for the lives of these precious children!

-We are so thankful for good volunteers! Christina and Nancy have been a huge blessing to us, the babies, and the COTP staff. Please pray for continued health and strength for them as they wrap up their time here!

-Mary Young is also here right now and we are thankful for the time she can be here and the love she can bring to our kids!!

-Maria and Arlyn had a wonderful time in the Dominican Republic. They are now back at COTP – we are glad to have them back! J

-The flu bug and the fevers are gone!! Thanks for praying!

-Jacque has his passport!

-Jeffley is out of MOI!!!

-Landie is out of IBESR



The Staff and Volunteers

-Pray for Daryl and Sara, Blake and Katie, Maria, and Arlyn as they oversee the daily operation of Children of the Promise. This is a big job and can be overwhelming and very tiring at times! Pray for patience, strength, good health, and wisdom and discernment with all the decisions they need to make.

-Mary will be flying home to South Carolina on December 13, pray for safe travels for her.

-Nancy will be flying home to Montana on December 16, pray for safe travels for her.

-Christina will be flying home to Michigan on December 19, pray for safe travels for her.

-Pray for Antonio, Paulaine, and Clegy as they gather the paperwork necessary for adoptions and then get that paperwork to where it needs to go. Pray that the three of them will be able to work together effectively as a team and that they will not become overwhelmed and frustrated. Pray for them as they speak to our babies’ biological families and work with them to make the best decision for their children’s future.

-Fifi (one of our nannies) gave birth to a stillborn little baby on November 22. Please pray for her and for her husband as they go through this hard time that doesn’t make sense to them or to us. Pray for comfort for her.

-Continue to keep Suzette, our other nanny who lost her baby recently, in your prayers. She is doing better but still missing her little boy.

-Two of our nannies: Mme Ga and Nadia are pregnant. Pray for a good pregnancy and healthy babies for both of them.



The Children

-Pray that Christy will grow and thrive as she is transitioning from living at COTP to now living with her biological father. Pray that if she becomes sick that her father will take her back to us so that we can give her the medical attention/care that she needs.

-Wich-Love is our newest addition to the COTP family! She came on December 7 weighing 14lbs. She is 6 months old. Her mother is not capable of caring for her and her father is at a complete loss of what to do with her. Wich-Love is failure to thrive and is not interested in drinking at all. For the time being we are feeding her formula by syringe. Pray that she will start drinking from a bottle and grow into a happy and healthy little girl!!

-We have a lot of little ones right now. Pray that they will all grow, thrive, and gain weight. They are: Emmanuel (5 weeks), Jed (5 months), Richard (6 months), Nikenson (6 months), Wich-Love (6 months), Naomie (8 months), Yanise (8 months), Ruth-Nallie (8 months), and Daniella (10 months).

-Pray for our HIV positive children: Jeniflore and Samuel. Pray for good health for them.

-Yanise is in the hospital right now suffering from a sickle cell crisis. She is on oxygen and requiring IV fluids to keep her hydrated and IV antibiotics. Pray for wisdom for the doctors and nurses caring for her. Pray that the medications she is on will be effective.

-Continue praying for Ruth-Nallie’s health. She is growing and becoming stronger and healthier but she is still tiny and weak with a long road ahead of her! Her echocardiogram showed that she has an ASD – we are not sure of the severity of it at this point. She may need surgery, she may not. Pray for her heart to stay strong (right now she is showing minimal symptoms of having a heart defect which is a huge praise!) and that she will gain weight and not get sick again. Pray for wisdom for us as we care for her.

-Pray that God would be preparing Jesse’s, Moise’s, Isabelle’s, and Jacque’s hearts for this huge transition that is coming up. All four of them will be going home to their adoptive families within the next few weeks. Jesse and Moise are both 5 years old, Isabelle is 2 ½ years old, and Jacque is 3 years old. Pray that it will be a smooth transition for them and for their adoptive families.



Adoptions and Medical Visas

-Pray for adoptive homes for Yanise and Ruth-Nallie.

-Pray for patience and peace for adoptive families as they wait for their little one(s) to come home. We have had so many frustrating setbacks with papers and legalities and a lot of adoptive families are really discouraged. We, at COTP, are also really discouraged with how long things are taking. We are bursting at the seams and this makes it difficult to take in new babies that need care and have nowhere else to go. We need our children with adoptive families to start going home to their forever families so that we can decrease our numbers and be able to accept more sick and/or orphaned infants. Our kids are getting older and it’s also important for them to be home with their families before they grow up too much. L This may seem like a repetitive request but it is urgent.

-Pray that things in MOI would begin to speed up and that more of our files would be signed out soon. We are beginning to see files coming out of MOI and this is a huge praise. We have heard rumors that a lot of files should be coming out of MOI before the end of this year. Pray that that is true!

-We have many children that are out of MOI and in the final stages of the adoption process before they will be able to go home. Pray that these children: Jesse, Moise, Isabelle, Jacque, Kassandra, Noah, Pierre, and Jeffley will be able to go to their forever families soon!

-Pray that passports would be issued for Pierre and Jeffley soon!

-Pray that the papers for Jesse and Moise would be fixed this week so that they can go home to their adoptive family.

-Pray that the paper situation with Jacque will be straightened out this week so that he can also go home. Pray the same for Noah.

-Kassandra is out of MOI but she has a sibling, Robert, that is still in MOI. Pray that Robert will exit MOI soon so that Kassandra and Robert can go home to their adoptive family soon!

-We are helping another missionary with getting a little boy out on a medical visa. This little boy is living with his family outside of Cap-Haitien. He was born with his heart in his abdominal area. His heart is just underneath his skin – there is nothing (like a rib cage!) protecting it. One little fall could cost him his life. He is now 2 years old and Antonio is working hard at getting him to the US for surgery. He does have his passport now!! Pray that the rest of the pieces will fall into place quickly so he can travel soon. Pray for protection and good health for this little boy until his visa is ready and pray that all the paperwork will come together quickly!

-We are also working on a medical visa for two hydrocephalic children whose families have come to us asking for help. These children are still living with their families. Henri is 4 ½ months old and Joanise is 15 months old. A doctor, along with 2 hospitals – one in Pennsylvania and one in Delaware, have offered free care for these two children as well as many other hydrocephalic children that another organization here in Haiti is working to get medical visas for. This is a HUGE praise but now we have to raise the money for Joanise and Henri and get everything in place so they can head for the States. Please be praying for these two children!!

To Ella's mom and dad

This is a letter I wrote this morning to Chrstella's parents. They are going to be at Lori's clinic tomorrow and Sarah is gathering notes, pictures and letters from people to give them.



December 10, 2007

Dear John Robert and Guerda,

I wanted to write to tell you how very sorry I am about the loss of Christella. You must miss her very much. My family and I miss her very much too. She was such a blessing and joy.

I can’t believe how much she has endured in her short life, but she was so brave. I remember after meeting her at the airport and taking her to the hospital, she never cried, even in so much pain. She was so sick, but most people would have not have ever known.

When she was healthier she was such a happy little girl. She brought so much joy to everyone she met. Our family was able to care for her in our home over the summer while Sarah was in the hospital with Helande. She was so sweet and lovable and was a delight to care for. I loved to play with her; she would clap her hands and smile her silly grin.

I was so honored to have been involved with Sarah in helping with Christella and Helande. It was a blessing to travel to Haiti and bring Christella to you, healed and recovered from surgery. I will never forget how I felt when I saw her reunited with her mother. It was so good to meet you, Guerda, and hear your kind words. I will always be praying for you and your family.

We grieve with you for Christella and we hope that you will find comfort in the Lord. He is a great and loving Father who loves us all. He is playing with Christella in heaven and she is smiling her silly grin.



With love,
Kim

Friday, December 7, 2007

New Haircut

I got a haircut today with my friend Sarah. She called me the other day after watching Oprah saying that we need to go get a new do. I was so thankful for her hubby to take my kids to school today. Her daughter watched Kylie too! It was so nice to get pampered. Then we went to a tea/restaurant place in Lynden for lunch. Yummy. We stopped in a few little shops and found some fun things to buy. It was a very nice break with a great friend. Loved it.

Kylie also has a new haircut. She cut her hair last week for the third time in her short little life. She loves the scissors! I am a bad mom for having them accessible (just ask my mom). I now have all scissors up out of reach of four year olds. She cut her bangs very short. (at least this time it is just her bangs) She has ballet pictures tomorrow morning and a recital for Christmas next week. I am praying that they will grow fast before then! I tried to put her hair in a bun to practice and her poor hair looks hideous. I am also telling everyone that SHE did it, not me, in case they were wondering.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Girls Night in Canada

My friend Sarah's birthday is today and to celebrate we went to Harrison Hot Springs in Canada for the night. It was so nice and relaxing. Driving home we got a good sprinkling of snow, and there is about one or two inches at home right now. I hope it continues for a bit. I am not a fan of driving in snow, but if we are home, I love it. So pretty with all the trees around our house.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ella Bella


Precious little one year old Christella passed away in a Haitian hospital on Sunday. She was sick with a tummy ache and was sent to the hospital to get it looked at. Since it was the weekend and night time she was sent away by several hospitals. She was eventually seen and had an ultasound revealing her intestines were "twisted". They were getting her ready for surgery and she passed away. She is now in Jesus's arms in heaven with a perfect, pain free body, where she can run, walk, and play. I am so sad about this news but I know that God has a plan and we need to trust Him. It is hard to do sometimes though...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day to everyone... We are currently at my in laws enjoying time with family. We got here this morning after waking very early in the morning and driving for about 6.5 hours. I hope everyone has a great holiday. What are you thankful for?
I am thankful for all that God has given us and for the hope that Elijah will be home someday.

Please pray for my friend Sarah. She is very concerned that her adoption will not be approved because of her family size. I feel so badly for her. I hope that her son will be able to come home to his family! That being said it has made me worry more about Elijah. So far the process has gone well, but I think the fact that it's possible that he may not get signed out of IBESR is what's making my stomach hurt. All I can do is pray and trust God!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tired!



We are all getting sick around here, and I have had very little energy. We need to get ready to go to the in-laws this week and I am hoping I will be feeling better so I can do all that needs to be done.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Widows and Orphans

I recently had dinner at my friends' house on Sunday night. Her husband has a strange lump on his neck and while waiting for the biopsy results the couple have been joking about him dying. (We do strange things when faced with the unknown, don't we?) My friend and I got into a heavy discussion about how we, as stay at home mothers, would not know what we would do if our husbands were to pass away. We said that we would be so depressed and sad, yet we would have to carry on for our children's sake. We would be hurting financially and would probably have to sell our homes and move closer to family that would help care for the children while we got a job. (This discussion made me realize also that we need to buy more life insurance for my husband!) We would have to put our children in school, who have been homeschooled their entire school years. We also discussed how the church would help us for a while while we got on our feet...and I understood why God states that we are to help the widows and the orphans...

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

This month is National Adoption Month. Around this time last year I was listening to Focus on the Family on the radio and was greatly moved by the program and the idea of adoption. I wasn't sure if it was what the Lord had for our family at the time, but I really was interested in learning more. I went to the library and checked out some books on International Adoption and was enlightened by how complicated the process was. I let it be for awhile. Jeremiah was not against the idea but agreed that it was very expensive and far from possible at that time. Around that same time is when I met some women who were adopting or have adopted internationally and locally. It was a good chance to be educated and moved. It wasn't until early spring 2007 that we really decided as a couple to adopt, and we were going to go about it through the foster care program at first. God had a different plan for us, and through time we realized that a Haitian adoption was what we should pursue. I am thrilled and excited about the idea about us adding on to our family through adoption. I know there will be many challenges along the way, but I am so happy to see what blessings God has in store for us!

I will leave this post with a Haitian proverb that I love,

Di m' ki sa ou renmen, m'a de ou ki moun ou ye.
Tell me what you love, and I'll tell you who you are.
Your priorities shape your character.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Elijah Update

Here is an update on our sweet little boy...

Elijah is doing so well, happy and silly as ever. He’s definitely not shy about asking for attention, and he is always the first to start climbing on your lap if you sit down in the Boat room. He’s always jumping and dancing, and is so much fun! It is so easy to make him laugh, and he has SUCH a great laugh! I was playing in his room recently, and all I had to do was give him a silly look, and he kept doubling over, laughing and laughing, no matter how many times I did it. He’s going to have a happy outlook on life. One day I. was angry with Elijah about something, and a nanny told I. to give Elijah a kiss and forgive him. Instead, Elijah gave I. a kiss, and kept giving him kiss after kiss, which made I. so mad! This morning one of our volunteers left in the truck, and all the Boat kids came to the front gate to say goodbye. We were all laughing at Elijah because he was leaning out so far, waving both hands so vigorously, yelling “BYE!” We have a good welcoming and sending-off committee. He loves the evening videos, and tries hard to sing along, which is adorable. He keeps very busy, pushing chairs and beds around the room and hallway. He’s great at giving kisses, and saying “ba!” when he gives them. He tries hard to help M. give S. his meds, but he just likes to grab the syringes and then lick his hands. He still is saying mostly “ba” and “mama”, and today when a nanny kept trying to get him to say “papa”, he would say “ahpa” and then laugh at himself. Elijah weighs 21 pounds, 10 ounces this month.


I miss him a lot. I am hoping we can go visit him in March/April. Hopefully we can find low airfare to Florida.

Monday, November 5, 2007

No news....

I am so glad to report that all the kids' extra activities are finished, except Kylie's ballet class. I was getting so tired of driving around to here and there, and am so glad to have more time at home.

There has been no news on the adoption lately.

Please pray for a friend of mine, Stephanie. She is a great young woman who is going to Haiti to help those in need of medical treatment. She is a nurse and has a great heart to help others. Pray for her safety and that she will be able to help however she can and share the love of Christ.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

We got a grant...

...from Shoahannah's Hope!!! Tuesday night I had a great dream about Elijah's adoption. In my dream I opened an email from Robin and she had made a remark about how Elijah would soon be miraculously out of IBESR. I woke up in a hopeful mood that soon (I am praying for July) he will be home. I spent some time in prayer about the adoption and the $6500 we need to come up with when Elijah is out of IBESR. Yesterday I got the mail on our way over to Sarah's for their Halloween party and there was a letter from Shoahannah's Hope. I eagerly opened it and there it was, a letter stating we got a $3000 grant!!! I was so happy and after I thanked God I immediately shared the news with the kids and called Jeremiah. He was pretty happy too. I have a lot more hope that this adoption is what God wants and will be with us every step of the way.

Last night we went to Sarah's and had pizza, then the kids went trick or treating with the dads. Jeremiah was working last night so he missed out. It was nice to not have to be out in the cold, wet weather. Loren went to our church youth group's trip to Canada to do lazer tag. He had fun but kinda missed the candy! The girls are sharing of course.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Ultimate Gift

I watched the movie The Ultimate Gift this morning. It is a very good movie about a young spoiled rich man who, in order to get his inheritance, must perform some requirements left by his dead grandfather. He learns the value of friends and family and what it is like to give to others. It is a good family movie.

This year for Christmas, our family decided to exchange one gift to each other with a small dollar amount and with the remainder of the Christmas budget we are going to buy a gift for a family not so fortunate from World Vision's gift catalog. We are probably going to buy a goat for a family to have milk and some extra money from offspring. The kids are actually excited about this idea with makes me so proud of them. I think last year they would have been very upset, but the experience of taking care of Bug and me going to Haiti has helped them see how blessed we are.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Golden Compass Movie

My sis in law works as a promoter for Fox Family Films. She sent me an email about how we should not see this movie and warn our friends and family about it's "evil". So I checked out Snopes and here is the link:

www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

I will not be taking my kids to see this movie. Look into it!

Elijah is IN IBESR!

I found out today that Elijah is in IBESR! He supposedly went in on Sept. 27th. I hope his stay in this step will be short! Keep praying please!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Washington Post

http://video1.washingtontimes.com/photo/haiti102207/
This is the link to the Washington Post's photo journal of a visit to Children of the Promise. There are seven great photos of the kids and nannies there. Be sure to click on the captions on the bottom right of the photo to read about the pictures.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Helande update

Lori's blog www.xanga.com/haitinurse4life has an update on Helande and a picture. She is drinking more milk that any baby in their village! Yea, I did a good job fattening her up! I am glad to hear that her and her family faired well in the rainy flooding weather.

Upcoming Holiday Plans

We have been discussing Thanksgiving already. I have had questions from parents about what our plans are, like every year. Some years Jeremiah has to work on Thanksgivng and therefore we stay at home, but this year he took his vacation during the holiday. So we are pulled in several directions as to who we will be celebrating with. I heard from my parents yesterday and it looks like they have alternative plans if we won't be around. So the pressure is off there. My in laws would love us to come to their house, the only problem is the mountain pass conditions at the time and traffic. I also dislike leaving the house empty in cold weather, and we have to leave the dog. But it looks like if all works out we will be driving over the river and thru the wood to grandmother's house! Hopefully we can get a good idea of pass conditions and avoid traffic by leaving on Tuesday and coming home on Friday.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Prayer Request

I have been patiently awaiting an email from COTP about Elijah's file. It should be entering IBESR soon, and I have been praying for about 3 months each day will be the day. It has not happened yet, and I am getting very impatient. The longer it takes for this step it seems like we will have have to wait even longer for every other step. I am praying that Elijah's file will move quickly and that he will be home in less that a year from now. There are people that have been waiting a long time for their haiti baby to come home and I pray that those children will have their homecoming very soon. Please join me in praying for Haitian adoptions and specifically for Elijah's!!!

We have had a busy week, soccer practice, swimming lessons, homeschooling, etc. I went to Sarah's house and we made applesauce and canned it. Thanks Sarah for giving me a lesson on canning! We also made some pies that are in the freezer waiting for a special occasion (or for when I get too stressed out and need something sweet!). I am going to be cleaning the house this weekend, Jeremiah is working, and Loren has a soccer tournament Saturday.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Flooding in Haiti

This was a news story I saw online today after reading Lori's blog and her sister Licia's too. Haiti Nurse 4 Life, link on the left of the page. They posted some very sad photographs and stories about the village that was affected. So very sad, please pray for Haiti and it's people.

Flooding triggered by torrential rains killed at least 23 people in a village in central Haiti a government official said on Friday.

The loss of life in Cabaret, nestled in mountains about 30 km north of the capital Port-au-Prince, brought the toll from floods and mudslides across much of Haiti over the last two weeks to at least 31, civil protection officials said.

Forecasters said on Friday there was no end in sight to the downpours lashing the Caribbean country and some of its neighbors.

"In the Cabaret area alone, 23 people are confirmed dead but there could be more and we are still in the process of assessing the situation," interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime told local radio.

He said efforts were under way to distribute food, water and other supplies to the village, where at least 1,000 people have been made homeless.

Heavy rains have also caused havoc in Cuba and Jamaica.

But Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, is far more vulnerable to deadly floods because about 90 per cent of its forests have been cleared, mostly to make charcoal for cooking.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The life of an average Haitian

This is from a missionary doctor's blog: http://sleepydoctor.blogspot.com/

The cumulative effects of years and years of instability, coups, corruption and chaos means that for the average Haitian:

--If your child is sick or has a medical emergency, there is no 911 to call. No ambulance service. Let's hope it's daytime, because at night there's NO options. During the day, unless you are one of the lucky few who owns a vehicle, you will either have to take your sick child to the hospital on a very cramped, dirty tap-tap (the main form of public transportation here), or if you can't afford it, you'll have to walk. Once you arrive at the hospital or clinic, you might be turned away for any number of reasons (again, even if your child is severely ill)--the facility is full, you arrived after the normal "triage" time, they don't take care of children, you can't pay the doctor's fees, you can't afford to buy the medical supplies your child will need, or for no reason at all. At that point, if your child is still alive, you might try bringing him to another medical facility, which means either more walking, or more time back on a dirty tap-tap (or possibly several tap-taps). You may never find a place to take your sick child, and end up back where you started--with few to no options.

--Your kids can go to school, but only if you can afford to buy the uniforms, books, and supplies they need. And even if you can afford this, there's no guarantee that they'll receive a good education.

--If you can't afford to feed your children, there's no such thing as government assistance to help you feed them, and there's a very real possibility that your children will suffer from malnutrition, and a fair chance that you will lose a child to severe malnutrition.

--If someone breaks into your house or if there's a fire at your house, again don't bother calling 911. Hopefully your neighbors will help you out.

--You are probably not formally employed. And there sure aren't any unemployment benefits coming your way.

--If you are the victim of a crime, everything from robbery to harassment to rape to even kidnapping & murder, it's very possible the crime will never be prosecuted. You may not even be able to report the crime--because you might be able to trust the local police, but you might not. By reporting a crime, you might even face further difficulty and harassment.

--The garbageman doesn't come every Tuesday at 8 AM.

--If you have consistent access to clean water, you can count yourself as "lucky." And even if you have access to clean water, chances are you will have to go outside your home to find it, then carry it back to your home in big buckets every day.

--If you live in a substandard housing in a low-lying area, your home (which may be more like a shack) will flood whenever it rains heavily, like it just did tonight, because of the lack of basic water & sewer infrastructure. As I write this now, there are families wading through sewage and garbage-infested streams of water inside their homes. When there's major storms and hurricanes, you're lucky if your shack doesn't get swept away into the sea.

--as a Haitian you could face the very real chance that you will have to take your child to an orphanage and leave them there. Not because you don't love the child but because you DO love the child enough to give them up in hopes of a chance at a better life for them.

For the average Haitian, life can be (and often is) very, very hard.

And a comment left on that post:

For the folks who think Haitian poverty is "the same as most of the rest of the world", you are wrong. Haitian poverty is the worst in the Western Hemisphere by 50% worse thyan Nicaragua the next most poor country in the West. In the rest of the world Haiti ranks with the bottom 5 in poverty. Chad is comparable, we don't hear much about Chad these days because like Haiti, there is nothing there that anyone wants.

I have met person after person who have worked with the Peace Corps who thought they knew poverty until they came to Haiti. In Haiti always remember the people who live furthest from the road are the poorest. The government has been speaking of their stability of late, the level of corruption makes those claims laughable. Haiti is in a failed state. It will take a full generation of oversight and training to rehabilitate the populace. The culturally ingrained practices cause the corruption to continue to rot away the hopes of the people.

Haiti needs to be fully exposed to the light of the world. She is seen through the filter of insurection and rebellion. When those media fodder events pass so does the interest of the world. Ninety minutes from Miami lays the shame of the western world.

Video of Ella and Helande

This is a sweet video of the girls that Lori put together, enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWnpbZO-LbI

Details of my trip

The babies were wonderful travelers, not a peep on the plane at all. We stayed the night at a motel near FLL airport. We got on an early flight to Haiti, an AA plane so it wasn't too bad because it was larger. We flew into Haiti's capital, Port au Prince. It was so different, lots of hustle and bustle. We were warned about locals trying to "handle" our bags for $$, so I was prepared for that, but as soon as we were outside the airport doors I was bombarded with Haitian men trying to grab the cart from me and eventually realized that Lori, the nurse, had hired them to help us to the truck. It was confusing and I think they probably thought I was an idiot but oh well.

We met the parents of the girls in the parking lot. They came up to us and hugged and kissed us both. Helande's dad was there and was crying. They got a chance to hold and love their girls before we had to get in the truck to go to lunch. We rode in the cab of the truck with the babies while the parents and some extra guys rode in the truck bed. There were no road rules at all, people driving like crazy however they want, honking and passing every which way. I was terrified. We were holding the babies on our lap and I could here thud, thud in the back of the truck, hoped we didn't lose anyone along the way! We got lost trying to find the Visa Lodge, a restaurant and hotel. The driver pulled about 3 u turns in front of traffic to turn around. We finally found it and piled out of the truck. We were seating outdoors at the restaurant. It was pretty nice with a beautiful pool. The buffet wasn't ready yet so we sat and had water and talked to the mom's about the babies, their health, eating, medication etc. They looked at scrapbooks we had made of the girls. Lori translated everything for us to Creole. The moms and dad didn't want to eat and cost us money, so we got up and fixed them a plate at the buffet. There was some interesting food, beans and rice, goat meat, salads, pasta and seafood. I stuck with a roll, beans and rice, pasta and a bit of seafood. I wasn't really hungry and I was so nervous about the whole trip and flying on a little airplane. After a while, we got outside and made some video of the mom's saying thanks to all who helped their daughters. It was very emotional. Helande was pretty comfortable with her mom, but Ella was crying the whole time. She is 1 now and was just wanting Sarah to hold her.

We were driven to another airport where we met D., the director of the orphanage outside. He helped us get inside after we said goodbye to everyone (so sad). We met a volunteer M. who was holding Sarah's little boy, I. He had gone to an INS appointment for the adoption. D. was talking to the ticket counter trying to get us on the plane to Cap Haitian. I guess there was a problem but they finally agreed to let us on, but not our luggage. So we hoped to get them the next day. We boarded the HOT little prop plane (12 passenger or so). We took off and had a beautiful view of Haiti. It was only a 1/2 hour flight and we landed and got into the truck that the orphanage owns. We had to take I's aunt home (she had to go to the appt. too) and she invited us to her home. It was so sad to see how little she had, but she was so proud of her home. She had two daughters there who were so excited to see their cousin. We got back in the truck and were on our way to the orphanage. The roads were horrible! It was like a bad logging road with big mud puddles. What a trip.

We made it to the orphanage and were greeted by a bunch of babies at the gate of the children's house. I didn't see Elijah so M. went to find him. She brought him to me and he came right to me, smiling and happy. He was about just how I imagined him. I was so happy to be there and to meet Elijah. Sarah and I got settled in and played with the babies for a while. We were served supper and relaxed a bit with a Coke.

The time we were there was busy, but also had time to relax. We did get our bags the next day and had fun passing out treats to the kids and giving our boys some new toys. We sorted through baby clothes, helped feed the kids, put new labels on the cribs, held babies, brush teeth, played with the older kids, gave the older girls manicures, then the boys when they were feeling left out, and helped bath and change babies diapers a bit. The nannies there were great, very happy to have us there and encouraged Elijah and I. to go to us. Elijah really didn't need encouragement, he loved to be held and played with, but the first few days I. didn't want to go to Sarah. He wasn't too sure about it all, and finally he grew to love her. They are all so darling, and it was so good to be there. I really want Jeremiah to come visit so we are planning on going at the end of March. We need to work out the details and all but I think the Lord will work it out.

It was so hard to leave Elijah but I was so ready to go home. I had also learned about what the kids and Jeremiah were going through in Cheney. The kids were watching through the window as the paramedics were trying to revive Grandma. How horrible. They are doing ok but Kylie keeps talking about dying. We are so sad about Grandma Moncrief, but glad she is with the Lord in heaven.

We said goodbye the night before we left, and we left at 5:30 am on Monday morn. We had to be dropped off at the airport 4 hours early because of the volunteers scheduled flight with more INS appointments. So we went through security (very minimal) and sat and sat and sat. We also went to a little gift shop and I bought a painting. We finally boarded our little plane after many passport checks. The plane was old and scary and was ok for the first 2 hours but the last part was the worst!!! We could see air vapor come into the top of the cabin and the floor. We could see the cockpit, the pilots, there was no bathroom and Florida was very stormy. The plane was rocking back and forth, even minutes before landing. We made it and then had to go through customs and immigration.

Sarah's aunt picked us up and we spent 2 nights with her. She was great, used to work for a record company doing record promoting in LA. She treated us to dinner and lunch the next day. We went to see Across the Universe (a great movie) and got take out after. It was a great end to the trip, a chance to decompress a bit before coming home.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I made it back home last Wednesday night. What a trip it was. I have way to much to say and haven't been able to process it all into a managable post. I had so much fun meeting Elijah. He is so loving, happy and cuddly. I think he will fit in so well with our family. I am praying so hard now that he will come home soon. We haven't been waiting as long as some families have, but now that I have meet him the wait is going to seem like forever! I will try to post some pictures soon, our internet is too slow and won't allow me to at home. I took lots of photos and wrote in a journal. It all seemed surreal now that I am home. I am so grateful for what I have here and am so glad to be back, if only I could have my baby here too! Jeremiah and I both are planning on maybe going this spring for another visit.

Friday, September 28, 2007

We are here in Haiti

We are here, now at COTP. The trip went well, the reunion with the moms was good. We are on day 2 1/2 here volunteering. Elijah is such a sweet, cute kid! He will fit in with the rest of our family. Please pray for the rest of our trip, and pray the adoption will go fast, it will be agonizing leaving without him!
More later...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Leaving!

The day is actually here, or should I say the middle of the night? I am so tired, but am up, dressed, packed and ready to go. I ask for many prayers please, especially for Wed. as that is the day the girls will meet their moms and we will be in a very dangerous city. Also please continue to keep the girls in your prayers for a lifetime, as we don't know what their future holds in Haiti.
I will update when I get home,
Blessings!
Kim

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Many Blessings

Today at church we got up in front with Helande. Ella and Sarah couldn't make it, Ella's still recovering from a kidney infection. We explained our plans for our trip and Pastor T prayed for us. He also made an announcement about the funds necessary for travel to Haiti. Our church graciously paid for half of our expenses and he told people if they want to help further to see us after. We were very blessed with several people giving checks and cash, and we should also be getting some more funds soon. I can't believe the sacrifices people made so I can go to help in Haiti! I feel so blessed. Thank you all so much.

Thank You

Christella's Family... a thank YOU



The letter that Lori translated for Christella's Mom.

Hello Friends,

I am Guerda, the mother of Christella. Christella was a baby that I had without pain and when I was pregnant with her I never felt a thing and I was never sick. It was when she was born, I saw that she had something on her back that was giving a lot of pus (fluid). I didn't deliver her in the hospital. When she was born at 11pm and I saw her back, we ran with her and took her to Bernard Mevs Hospital because we were very scared for her. When I got to the hospital, there wasn't a doctor there. There wasn't any beds either, but the nurses looked at her. They said that there was no doctor right then but the nurses all agreed that they would hold her until morning when the doctor would come.

He said that they couldn't do anything. After that, I went to my house. This gave me many problems when they told me that they could do nothing for my child. The next day, I left my house very early so that I could go to another hospital called St. Catherines Hospital in Cite Soley, Port-au-Prince. This hospital didn't even receive her. They sent me to General Hospital, which is the big government hospital. At that time the General Hospital was on strike and they weren't really working. They told me that they couldn't do anything for her because that day they had 5 children die in the hospital. After that I was obligated to return to Bernard Mevs hospital. It was then that I found a doctor that said he would admit Christella to the hospital. Then he told me that she needed an operation, I asked how much money I had to give him. That doctor told me that I had to give him $5000 Haitian dollars (US$675). I told the doctor that I couldn't ever give him that much money because I didn't have it. Then he humiliated and made fun of me in front of many people. He said that he would never do anything for me or Christella. He never took care of her again.

I had to leave the hospital, but I still came back. After some time, a doctor wanted to operate, but he couldn't see in what way he would do the operation. He sent me back to my house again. After that, I just asked God what to do for my child because I didn't have any money. I didn't have anything at all. I couldn't work and care for my 2 year old twin girls. My husband couldn't find work. All I could do was pray because I had nothing else. It was during that time that her back healed and didn't have any fluid coming out of it again.

After some time, it opened back up again. I took her several other places and I can't even remember them all. Her back would leak fluid off and on throughout all of these months. I finally told Christella's godmother that I wanted to try to go to a hospital of white people with her. She responded that she would take me to a distant village called Kazale where there were good white people that believed in God and help people a lot.

Without even thinking, I said let's go with her now. When I got to Kazale, I found the white people's clinic. The man at the gate looked at her and let us in. When I got inside the clinic, they made a chart and they the white lady look at her. She sent me to Healing Hands. The doctor said that he would never touch my child. He said that if she was operated on she would die. I chose not to listen to him because he was encouraging me to give up and let her die. I couldn't lose hope.

I returned to the Kazale clinic and they made a way for Christella to have an operation for water on her brain. They put in a tube that has helped her a lot. He couldn't believe that she lived. After she was discharged from the hospital, I went back to Kazale to see Lori. Christella's back was leaking and she wasn't doing very well. Lori took some pictures and gave me some medicine. I took Christella home and gave her the medicine and put cream on her back. It healed up and stopped leaking. Lori called me that weekend and told me that she wanted to get Christella's birth certificate and come to Kazale on Sunday. I did that and she told me that there were some very good white people trying to help Christella by finding a hospital and doctor that could do the surgery for free.

On Monday we started doing all the paperwork. I couldn't believe it was all happening so fast. The white people said she needed an operation quickly and that they were going to do all that they could to get her to go to the United States so that an operation could be done. When she told me that I was very happy because I saw that God was doing HIS work for my child.

I don't recognize your face and I could never pay you for the services that you are donating for me child and my family, but God in Heaven will repay you.

Many, Many Thanks.



Helande's Family... a Thank YOU


This letter came with Helande's paperwork. Lori translated for little Bugs Mama and I thought that it was important to share with all you prayer warriors out there!

Dear Supporters,
I am Rosemene, the mother of Helande. I gave birth at my house in the area of Lacoupe Madigra. When I finished delivering her, I saw my child was born with a ball on the back of her head. When I saw this, I went to the Sodo Hospital with her. The doctor said that he couldn't do anything for my child. After that, they sent me to the Kanje Hospital, but I didn't go. I preferred to come to the Grace Health Center in Kazale. When I came to the clinic, they sent me to Healing Hands Hospital. When I got there, they did a consultation for her and they said that they couldn't do anything for her. When I was finished passing in all of these places and they said that they couldn't do anything for my baby girl, Lori said that she would create a way to find a contact with someone so my child could go and get an operation in another country for her head. After Lori told me that they found a good doctor who would do the operation for my girl, I was so very, very, very happy because now I had a hope that my child could be helped and saved. I tell God thank you before everyone. I thank Lori and I thank every person that I don't even know that gave us this big grace, this big favor. Thank you for the expenses and sacrifices that you are giving to help my baby and our family. You are doing this so that my child will have life. I believe that God will give you reward and repay you on my behalf. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My Health

I forgot to update about my tests. I was given several blood tests over a weeks time. The doctor told me that he screened for types of Hep., mono. and other things. My liver was enflamed, but was getting better. So I was given the ok to take my malaria medication for the trip, and when I get home I need to do one more blood test to be sure it is all cleared up. He guessed it was just a strange virus that I caught. Thanks for your prayers, I am glad it was not serious!

Getting ready

I am physically and mentally preparing myself for my trip to Haiti. I have been packing for a week now, tracking down items around the house, buying things I may need and making sure all of it will fit in one suitcase. I also have been preparing myself for the trip to a country I have never been. I have talked with Sarah a lot about what to expect but I know it will not be the same as actually being there. I KNOW I will come back a changed woman. I hopefully will change in a good way and become closer to the Lord. I can't wait to see my son, to make this whole adoption thing seem REAL. Right now it all seem so far away. I hope that spending time with Elijah doesn't make the wait harder, but that is something that can happen. I just pray that God will give me strength, for the journey to Haiti, to give the girls to their families, to see my son and then let him go again, and to return home with a happy heart. Please keep Sarah, me, Helande and Christella in your prayers this week and next.

A sad goodbye to these precious babies. They have certainly touched many people here in the USA. I know God has a plan for both of them and I pray that He will protect their health and their lives in Haiti. I am so glad they are going to parents that love them so much, but I am also so sad to think I will most likely not see them again. I will miss you both so much.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Going to Haiti

I can't believe it, it has been a whirlwind of planning! Sarah and I are going to Haiti! We are leaving next week, and flying Helande and Christella home to their families. It was totally last minute but we are actually going. I am nervous, excited and anxious. We are taking 4 different airlines/flights to get around. We will meet Lori or someone from her clinic and return the girls, then will meet Daryl from COTP and fly from PAP to CAP to the orphanage. Then we will spend several day there playing with the kids and helping however we can! I can't wait to meet Elijah!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday.. it's been a week already?

I can't believe it has already been a week since I last posted. I have been feeling sick for several weeks. I thought I was just fighting off the flu bug or something so I put off going to the doctor. I finally called on Monday and they had me get some blood tests done. I went in yesterday to hear the results. I still don't know what I have, but my liver is inflammed. This means I could have hepatitis, mono, or just a bad virus. I had to go back to the lab to get more specific tests done and I hope I will know more on Monday. Pray! Sarah and I are wondering if one of the babies could have passed hep A around? We are not sure if they have been tested.

Loren had another soccer game today. They didn't do as well, they lost 5 to 2. Loren had some really good passes though. He is really growing and looks like he is getting older. I don't know what I will do when he is taller than me.

Corinn turns nine on Monday. She had a birthday party at my parent's house last week with two of her friends. She and her friends had a good time.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

More Thank You's

Jeremiah's brother and his wife have sent us another gift of money for our adoption, or the upcoming trip. We are so grateful for their giving! I can't believe how supportive they have been, emotionally and practically! Thanks a ton!

Also, one of Jeremiah's co-workers gave us a bunk bed for the boys' room! It is in good condition and will work great for years to come. While Jeremiah was picking it up they also gave us a like new ten speed mountain bike for Loren! We have been blessed. Thank you!

Soccer Season

I am not a soccer mom. Sure, I drive a van. Yes, I take my kid to every practice and game. But I am not a soccer mom. I don't stand on the sidelines yelling at my kid, or other kids, or the refs. I don't bring snacks for everyone. (unless instructed too) And I don't know what is going on during the game most of the time. I am glad I have my husband who actually enjoys and plays sports with me to explain all the penalties, rules and positions. I would say he is a soccer dad. I also am glad that I was able to figure out on my own that Loren's team won (3 to 0) their first game! Hurrah for you, son!

This afternoon Loren is on the way to Seattle with his dad to see a college football game. They are both very excited. Meanwhile, I am picking up 2 little girls to go with my 2 girls to my parents' house. We are having an early birthday party. Corinn wanted to do a makeover party so we are doing a bit of makeup, nails and hair. Then pizza, dessert, gifts and a movie and come home. Should be fun!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Second Day of Homeschooling

It is day two of homeschooling. Yesterday was a long day. We didn't get through everything I though we should have, but we did 5 hours of schoolwork. We also had to go to the dentist to repair some of the kids' sealants. I scheduled it right in the middle of the day, bad mistake. Today we started out good, then went to the swimming pool with Sarah and her kids. It was a lot of fun and we got a good workout in! We got home late, but I had my kids finish up the rest of their work. Surprisingly they finished with no complaints! The best part is I can use 2 hours of pool time to count toward our school hours. We have to keep track of hours for the school program the kids are in. Loren needs 25 hours a week and Corinn needs 20.

I am off to put the kids to bed, we will see how the rest of the week goes.

Please help with Haitian adoptions

Bureaucracy Stops Adoptions in Haiti

A CALL TO ACTION

***********************************************************************

Dear friends of Haiti,

A bureaucratic nightmare has forced the stoppage of Haitian children from
receiving their U.S. visa and joining their forever families here in the
U.S. A simple phone call from the U.S. Department of State to the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security would quickly and easily resolve this
situation. To date, no such phone call has occurred and Haitian children
continue to suffer needlessly. We are asking everyone with a heart for
Haitian children to rally together, make some noise and help our children
find their permanent, safe and loving families.

What can you do? Make four simple phone calls.

1. Call your U.S. Senator.
o You can find your Senators' phone numbers at www.senate.gov
o Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

2. Call your second U.S. Senator.

3. Call your representative to the U.S. House of Representative.
o You can find your representative at www.house.gov
o Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

4. Call the Congressional Coalition on Adoption
o Their number is 202-544-8500

When should you call? Today, Thursday or Friday

o For maximum affect, we are asking you to make these calls within the
next 72 hours - sometime before the end of the day Friday.

What should you say? Speak from your heart and give them the following
information.
o The Department of State has stopped issuing visas to Haitian
orphans.
o The problem behind the stoppage was fixed by the Department of
Homeland Security.
o BUT, no one told the Department of State.
o Your office must get involved and make the Department of Homeland
Security communicate with the Department of State.
o Your office should contact the Office of Children's Issues at the
Department of State. Their number is 202-736-9090

Can you explain the problem behind the stoppage? Here is some additional
information...
o The U.S. Department of State (the consular office in Haiti) is
ruling that visas can not be issued to legally adopted children due to the
absence of the words 'irrevocable and unconditional' in the Haitian parental
relinquishment documents. The Department of State is incorrect. USCIS has
already resolved this issue and has been approving orphan status since June
2007. Sadly, USCIS has not communicated the resolution to the Department of
State. USCIS has already written a legal opinion that orphan status can
legitimately be granted to these cases, but the Department of State and
USCIS have thus far failed to communicate the information that will release
the children.


We need to send the same concise message to each of these offices: there are
legally adopted children in Haiti who cannot get Visas and come home due to
the lack of communication between DOS and USCIS.

Please act on this message yourself, and pass it along to anyone you know
who has children waiting, has adopted in the past, or just has a heart for
Haiti. Each adult member of your household can call separately.

We need to depend upon sheer volume to get our point across so please call
today!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Summer over?

It is Labor Day and here I am at the computer. Jeremiah is working today, but he just had his days off and we had a great weekend. It was Jeremiah's birthday and we went to this dirt racetrack with some friends and watched cars racing around on Sat. and were treated with a firework show after the races. Sarah watched the kids for us so it was a nice getaway. Then yesterday we went to church and a BBQ. We also had time to swing by a friends' house and pick up a bunk bed they were giving us! We set it up in our son's room and hopefully the bottom bunk will be used sooner than later by Elijah.

I have been feeling sad lately, mainly because of Helande and Ella going home soon. We were originally thinking that Sarah and I would take them back to Haiti, but now it looks like we will have someone else escort them home. It may be very soon. The whole thought of it grieves me. Mainly because if something happens with their shunts they need to get help fast, and they may not be able to do that in Haiti. I just wish their family could move to the US or somewhere with better medical facilities. I will miss both girls so much but especially Helande since she has spent so much time with us. Since meeting these girls and starting our adoption, my eyes have been opened wide to the world and countries that need help. I so want to help every single orphan or hurting child.

I have been praying about mission work, and I'm not sure where God will lead with that. Jeremiah is not at the point where he would like to give up his job, but he is able to take vacation days back to back so he may be able to take a month or two off at a time. Maybe we should just start with a visit to Haiti and see what happens.

Homeschooling starts tomorrow. I am not ready at all but that is ok. One of the benefits of homeschooling is flexibility. I mean, for the last 10 minutes my kids have been watching two spiders in the corner "fighting". That's educational isn't it! I am not sure if I should explain that they may not be fighting....

The weather here has been not too desirable, I am thinking summer may be over. I do love the fall though. I hope that we have mild weather so we can do some fun outside activities.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Elijah update and other news

We came home from a fun trip to Winthrop (an old western town in central WA) and our email box was full of great things. We got an update from July, the orphanage is behind, but still it was a long time coming!

Elijah has had a busy few months. He graduated from the Giraffe Room where all our smaller babies are and moved up to the Boat Room. Although his old nannies miss him they were all excited for him to move up as he was constantly trying to escape and play with the bigger kids! Elijah has been getting on really well in his new room; he loves to play with all the other kids and is certainly able to stand up for himself too. His crib is in between Samuel’s and Chrity’s and he loves to get up and chat with them. Elijah’s other big news is that he has started to walk and has mastered it. He’s amazing, he moves so quickly and can always be found near nannies, volunteers or any new people that come to visit. Elijah is very attached to one of his nannies in particular, Fifi. Although she only works in his room one day a week on other days that she is here she’ll take Elijah out of his room to spend some extra time with him and give him extra cuddles. Elijah loves to walk around the hallway playing with his friends and looking for toys. He is so proud of himself too and likes everyone to notice him so he’ll quickly cling on to my legs whenever I walk past. He loves to walk with his arms stretched up in the air and often tried to run and gives kisses with his mouth wide open! If he is in his crib he’ll hold on to the rails and sway from side to side, singing and dancing along to whatever is on the stereo. Elijah got a bad yeast infection on his bum recently and the poor little guy was not too happy about it. His nannies have been so careful to make sure that he gets to walk around free from diapers and we’ve started him on an antibiotic too and have been applying cream to it. Thankfully it’s started to clear up and he is feeling much better and back to his happy self, always smiling and laughing. His weight this month was 20 pounds, 9 ounces.

Reading it brought tears to my eyes. I realized how much I wish he was here and how much of his "firsts" I have missed. I am glad he is doing well and I hope to see him very soon.

Our trip was great. We went with some good friends from church. Dawn's dad has a cabin in a nice little resort community and let us all use it for 3 nights. There was a ton or wildlife (besides our kids), and Jeremiah even got to feed a deer out of his hand while petting it with his other! We went to Grand Coulee Dam and toured it and went swimming and looked at the local shops. It was a nice, relaxing time. Oh yeah, we also saw the Smoke Jumpers base. (these are the guys that parachute out of a plane to put out forest fires) We were given a tour of the plane and facility and I thought it was really interesting. Jeremiah thinks he should start smoke jumping. NO, not a chance!!!!

We are going to have a calm next few days, we will be celebrating our 12th anniversary on Sunday, and then school starts in a few weeks! I am going to get the kids into a routine so they will be used to getting up at a reasonable hour and get started on the books!

I have not posted any pictures because of my dial up internet. If you would like to see some pictures of Helande and Ella, and there is even one of Kylie, look at Sarah's blog, the link is to the left. www.ourhaitianjourney.blogspot.com

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sick Mom!

Now I am sick. Please pray that I will get better very soon. I am supposed to be going down to Seattle with Sarah and the babies for check ups. Helande's head is getting puffy in the back and they want to check on her, and Ella needs to have a post op visit. I don't want to go to Children's with a nasty cold or cough! I have been popping lots of vitamins and stuff.

Jeremiah was away at training for work and is finally back and has the weekend off. I am not sure if I will be up to doing anything fun, but it will be nice for him to be at home.

We got our I600A approval! Hopefully our paperwork in Haiti can start moving.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sick kids

My oldest child was sick last week and this week our youngest daughter is. She had a fever, headache and annoying cough. She is the saddest sick kid there is, so we skipped church this morning. My husband was leading worship and I felt bad to miss it, but there was no way she could go to Sunday school and would be bored to tears if she sat with Helande and I.

We have had some hot weather these last few days. Yesterday we dropped our son off with my parents for the weekend and the rest of us went on a walk along the bay. Sometimes I take for granted all the beauty that surrounds us here. Then we went to Costco. This older lady approached us, asking about Helande, who was sitting up in the seat of the cart. She thought she was a doll at a distance and couldn't believe she was sitting like that in the cart. She was next to our daughter and we were making sure she was stable, but she did great. It is hard to believe that in May she couldn't hold up her head!
She is making a remarkable recovery. Ella is doing great too. She is talking a lot now! Not real words but baby babble.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fun day

We went to the park today with some friends. One of them brought her two twin girls adopted from Ghana for us to meet. They just got home last night! They are so adorable and I loved to hear about how the homecoming has been, and how the adjustment is going. Can't wait to experience it myself with Elijah!

We have had Helande here for 3 days now and we are going on 3 nights. I hope she will sleep better tonight. She usually gets up around 2 or 4 am and then around 6 am. I was thinking that by almost 6 months she would be sleeping through the night. She seems like she is starving when I feed her though. I am not complaining, she is a joy to have here. She was talking to Jeremiah this afternoon (sounded like Native American jargon) and telling him all about her trip to the park and the ice cream cone she shared with Kika! (my nickname founded by Angeline)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Weekend Getaway

Wish I hadn't forgotten my camera or I would post some pictures of beautiful Lake Wenatchee. We stayed in a lake house there for 3 nights and just got back. My mom planned the trip and we stayed there with my parents. sister and her boyfriend. Jeremiah wasn't able to go, he had to work. The weather was windy so we didn't do much swimming but all in all we had a great time. We also showed our faces to the annual family reunion on Saturday.

While I was gone I found out that Ella had to go to Children's for a shunt surgery. What are the odds? She is already home and I stopped by to say hi. She looks good. Helande is here with us for the night. They are both sooo sweet!

I am off to go unpack and play with the kids.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Thank You

We just got a nice gift in the mail today. Jeremiah's brother and his wife felt led to donate some money toward our adoption! Isn't that so nice of them? I have been amazed with how supportive our friends and family have been with the whole adoption process. Before we made the decision I did some reading and research and was expecting a lot of negative opinions and comments but so far we have only had a few of those type, the rest so encouraging!

We are babysitting Helande tonight. She is doing terrific after surgery and is getting so cute! She is laughing and talking and super sweet.

Kylie's nose is healing and is really bruised but I don't think it broke.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Got my passport!

I got my passport in the mail yesterday! I am so glad it finally arrived and soon I can plan my trip to Haiti. There is a chance that Sarah may not be able to go with me now. The doctors in Seattle want Helande to come in 3 months for an MRI. If she can't come to Haiti, then I will be looking for a travel buddy. There is a young lady at our church who is very interested in coming and that would be great. I don't want to go alone! It would be so fun to go with Sarah too, we always have a fun time together!

I dropped off Sophie and Ella at Sarah's last night. Helande is home and is looking pretty good. She was kinda fussy and was screaming during her bath. I hope she is all better and there are no more problems with her shunt.

Today we are doing a deep deep deep clean in the house (after I get off the internet)! I recruited the kids, but we will see how helpful they are. I also developed a chore chart for them beginning on Sunday. I got the idea from Sarah (mom of 13)- each kid gets a section of the house for a week, then it rotates. I did discover that I don't have enough kids to cover all the sections of the house though! Each kid has to care for his/her own rooms, then they get two sections for the week to keep up. I will off course have to be supervising and on top of them, or it won't happen, which is sometimes more work for me then just doing the job myself.

It has been raining almost all week here, a nice break from the heat, but can't there be a middle ground God?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday, rainy blah day

I was able to take Christella and 3 of Sarah's kids down to Seattle to visit yesterday. It was a good visit, and I was able to hold little Helande for 15 minutes. She was so sad just laying there and as soon as she was in my arms she was so content. She has been a good baby considering her circumstances. I left 2 kids with Sarah to help entertain her youngest, and brought Ella and Sophie home with me again.

Ella is getting to be a big girl, she can hold her own bottle and is able to feed herself. She had some cut up banana this morning and a baby biscuit. She did great.

At the baby shower Ella did so well, and she was the star of the show! I felt bad taking the attention off of the mom to be! While I was there Jeremiah took the kids to the ballfield so he could play softball with the church team. Kylie got smacked in the face with a ball! She has quite a bruise on her nose and eye and I am praying she didn't break it! Does anyone know how to tell if her nose is broken? There was a trace amount of bleeding and it doesn't make a sound when I wiggle it. It does hurt her though and it was swollen until this morning. It is not so swollen now.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday update

We are having a quiet morning with 2 kids at VBS beginning today. I'm hanging out with Ella and Kylie and will be leaving in an hour to pick up the kids at the church. My middle child is at grandmas until tonight. I'm dreading her return, not because I don't miss her, but there is always conflicts between her and her siblings. It has been such a quiet weekend with her away. Do I sound like a bad mother? I do love her, just wish there could be peace in the home! I want to iron out all the problems now before Elijah comes home!

I am going to a baby shower tonight for a good friend I grew up with. She is having a girl and it should be fun. I am bringing Ella with me and leaving the rest of the kids with Jeremiah.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Helande Update

We have been blessed with the presence of two more sweet girls in our house, Ella and Sophie. I went to Sarah's to pick them up this morning and they will be staying with us while Sarah is in Seattle with Helande. She told me that Helande is doing well and they will just have to wait a few days to see if there is an infection. They are able to stay at the Ronald McDonald house. Keep them in your prayers.

Today after we picked up the girls we went to Lynden for the Raspberry Festival they have downtown. We ran into many people we know and the weather was great! Then we went to the grocery store and home. For dinner we went to a friend's house for a bbq and swimming. The kids had fun and we were able to leave one behind for a sleep-over! Tomorrow we are going to church and have no other plans for the rest of the weekend.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Pray for Helande

Please pray for Helande. Sarah called me today and told me the her scab over her shunt incision came off this morning and she could see her shunt because the skin opened up. She emailed the doc. in Texas and was told to take her to a hospital immediately. So Sarah met her husband down south and he is taking her to Children's in Seattle right now. They may have to pull out the shunt and replace it. Pray that there are other alteratives so she won't have to go through another surgery, and that the hospital will cover all expenses so Sarah and her hubby don't have to cover any. I may be having some of her kids and Christella at our house for a while, depending on how long Helande will be there and what happens.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Post Garage Sale Blues

I don't like garage sales. It's something about seeing all the things I have wasted money on over the years being sold to complete strangers for a buck. We did ok, made about $300, but if it weren't for "Crazy Jeremiah, everything must GO!" we may have made a bit more. I didn't want to give things away like he did, but he did get rid of a lot of clutter around the place. We brought the leftovers to my friend's house and we will have another garage sale at the end of summer.

Today I got my travel shots for Haiti. My arms are a bit sore but it's not too bad. The rest of the day was spent cleaning and I just got finished ordering the rest of the kids' homeschool curriculum for this fall. Tomorrow we are babysitting for a friend, and having a quiet day after that.

No passport yet.

God bless

Friday, July 6, 2007

Adoption News

We went to get fingerprinted this morning in Seattle. We left the kids with Sarah (thanks Sarah!) and got up at 5am to drive there for our 8am appointment. The CIS office was a lot like the DMV. Wow, lots of people to watch and interesting things happening there. We are done with that step now.

Jeremiah got his passport and I haven't yet. Hopefully mine will be here soon, I will need it sooner than he will.

Our garage sale/fundraiser is tomorrow! Pray that it will go well and we can raise a lot of money for the adoption/my trip to Haiti. The kids are ready to help!

So we just have to wait for the I600 approval and my passport and we will be set, then wait even longer for Elijah to come home. It is weird, I am trying to not get my hopes up in having him be mine, so in case something happens I won't get my heart broken. I want to get so excited, (I am, but guarded) and I can't wait to meet him, but I want everything to be final and guaranteed. I know there are no guarantees in life, but I am such a worrier anyway. Please pray for us, Elijah and the adoption. Pray that all involved will be blessed.

Also, a little girl from Haiti named Ana needs a medical visa for heart surgery. Sarah and I are trying to call Drs to get them care. Please pray that we can find her care here. She will be living with us if it works out.

Please feel free to post comments on the blog! I would love to know who is reading my exciting posts! Just click on the comment link and you can leave a little bit about you. (Sorry Ericka, I didn't quite have the hang of the mediator thing and I missed your comment, thanks for thinking of me and leaving a comment!)

God Bless