Friday, February 29, 2008

Two weeks...

In just over two weeks we will be leaving. I am getting excited, nervous and overwhelmed. I have been cooking meals and freezing them for my mother in law while she is staying with the kids. I figured it will be helpful for her, she will be busy with homeschooling them, running them around and celebrating Easter with them. I wonder if it is my guilt that decided to do this for her? This will be the longest period of time we have left the kids. I am so thankful that she is willing to come across the state to stay with the kids. It will be a lot easier on them.

I am almost packed too. I am bringing Easter eggs to the orphanage for the kids to have a little egg hunt. These eggs are light, but take up a lot of room, so I opened them and cupped them so they can all fit in one ziplock bag. I hope that everything will fit. I may have to borrow a larger suitcase. I also have to pack baby clothes, blankets, diapers, formula, etc now as well!

I have been shopping for baby clothes. I found a couple bagfuls of clothes at a few local consignment stores. I also have a few friends looking in their garages for clothes to lend/donate. I know how much babies grow at this age so I don't want to over do it! Alex is about 7 weeks old now and will be 11 weeks when we meet him.

The schedule:
We will be leaving on the 19th, flying to FLL where we will be picked up by our friend, Wendy. She lives in the Keys. We will be staying with her for 3 nights. She will be driving us VERY EARLY in the morning back to FLL airport on the 22nd. We will take a tiny plane to Cap Hatian, Haiti. Someone from COTP will pick us up and take us to the orphanage. We will celebrate Easter and Elijah's second birthday while we are there! Then on the 29th, we will have Jeremiah fly on a little plan across the island to Port au Prince airport. We will be meeting someone with Alex, and he will take him back to CAP with us. We are flying back to FLL on the 31st. We are staying in a hotel near the airport for the night, and be home on April 1st.

I still have a lot to do, but am getting more prepared every day. I am going shopping tomorrow with my mom and sister so it should be a fun break!

If anyone would like to donate to help offset our expenses, please email me: Bless you!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I am still so moved when I read this email from nurse Lori. To think that the actions of these volunteers and doctors can create change in a whole other country. Amazing!

I wanted you to know that this is the first child that I have seen with this condition. It's not because it doesn't happen around here. It happens, but the people think that it is a devil child. They think that the thing coming out of it's head is a horn. In our area, they have killed every child that has been born with this condition until now. I think that Alex's parents heard about us through Schnider's parents (boy with cleft lip/pallet here in US) and just took a chance. It will be a monumental testament to God's Grace if Alex gets surgery and comes back here. If they can see that these children CAN be helped, grow up, and NOT turn into a, my wonderful friends, will save many lives for years to come!

Can you imagine the huge effect this can have in their village? How helping one child can truly affect an entire village, thus influencing the views of an entire country?

Monday, February 25, 2008


Look at these before and after pictures of the girls..
Helande before:
Helande after:

Ella before:

Ella after:

Here is another picture of Alex. I can't wait to see what the miracles of medicine does for him in America. In Haiti, he would possibly die, and be shunned the rest of his life.

Thanks to wonderful doctors, hospitals and volunteers he can live a normal, healthy life! I feel so blessed to be able to help.

Lots of News

We found out a few days ago that a little boy in Haiti who needs surgery, is getting donated care in the Northwest. We are going to be his host family if all works out. His name is Alex, he is one month old and has an encephalocele, like Helande did, except on the front of his head, not the back. His prognosis is better because of it's location I am told. Prayerfully, we will be meeting him while we are in Haiti, then bring him home with us for several months before his surgery. The surgeon, plastic surgeon and hospital is all lined up in Sacramento. We hopefully will be bringing our whole family for a vacation/surgery stay in CA. Good times! So we have a lot to do before we leave for Haiti now! I need to get ready for a little baby. I have no boy clothes at all, we need to get diapers, formula, supplies, etc. We have nice pac n play that we bought when Helande was here (it has a bassinet insert) and Sarah has a bunch of car seats, swing, etc. So we should be good on that end! If anyone wants to donate for Alex, please contact me at He is need of some more funds for visa/travel expenses too. Thanks so much!

Check out the Medical Advocacy Team blog too:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

IBESR woes

I just looked on the IBESR website today. We are passed up by a long shot and I am sad. The lastest numbers exited are 15913 and 15914. Elijah's is 15477. We are working on sending in our letter to the President. We just got it translated and now it is off to the Consulate in Chicago on Monday. I hope we get it back soon so I can get it to Haiti. I have not heard of anyone getting Presidential exemption lately. Praying.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Helande update

Got an email about Helande today!!! Here is the latest:

Hi to all,

I had the wonderful pleasure of seeing Helande today. She is doing great!! The last time that we saw her, she weighed 16 lbs 12 oz in Dec. Today, she weighed 19 pounds!! She is waving bye-bye and loved to play with a rattle/flower that we gave her today. She did NOT want me to touch her! I couldn't even be the one to take her picture. My husband had to do it. She is so scared of white people. She did the same thing with Licia. She is well adjusted back with her mom and didn't want anyone but her. Her head seemed fine. Still soft in the back, but no protrusions. Her reactions and vision seemed fine. We are still giving her formula and vitamins every month (a month's supply). Her dad is often the one that comes to get it, since the trip is so hard for them. Every time she comes, I'll get you some pictures and let know how she's doing. She was a real bright spot in my day today. Her and her mom couldn't make the trip back up the mountain tonight, so they are sleeping here and will leave tomorrow AM.

Thank so much for all of your hard work, services, and love that you gave to precious Helande!

Seeing these pictures made me cry. I miss her so much, but am so happy she is there too. I can't explain, just wish we were able to visit in person. It is good that we can still get updates once in a while. Thanks Lori!
This is her head, it looks so GREAT! Her hair got long too.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Our trip...

We are leaving in one month and two days. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at how fast this is creeping up. I really hope that things with the adoption will be resolved before we go, to avoid any heartbreak and worry. I am so excited to see the kids at COTP again, especially Elijah. There will be some kids I will miss, many have gone home to their families, and many will be leaving in the next few weeks. This is really good news! I will be spending the next few weeks planning, packing, and organizing. Corinn will be going to Disneyland with my mom and sister at the end of March so I will also need to pack for her too!

African Lullaby

by Dawn Stride

Who will sing my lullaby
Who will hold me when I cry
When I awake and no one’s there
Who will sing my lullaby

One straw mat
Two sisters, one brother
Our father is gone
Now we cry for our mother
Who will protect
And watch through the night
Who will be there
To blow out the light

Will you sing my lullaby
Will you hold me when I cry
When I awake, will you be there
Will you sing my lullaby

Friday, February 15, 2008

Feeling at Peace

I have been feeling a bit less anxious about Elijah's adoption. I have been online a lot and from what it seems, the Presidential waiver is just another step added to the process for people with children. I read this online:

Adoptive parents who have biological children must be granted a presidential waiver by the Haitian president in order to become eligible to adopt. Historically, presidential waivers have been routinely granted to families with three or less biological children. Families with more than three biological children were granted waivers on a case by case basis.

I have been praying and feel like I just can't worry anymore. All I can do is pray and that is what I am doing. I am mailing the letter to the President today to get it certified, and then we will proceed to translation, then to the Haitian consulate.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Praying harder

I saw this post on a blogging friend's blog. I really like the way she so elegantly worded it:

Praying for Haiti
I am asking you all to be in prayer for all of the families currently trying to adopt from Haiti. A lot is going on in this country. Satan seems to have a strong hold over the people in power of the adoption process there.

Many families have gotten a lot of bad news over the last few days. Families that have biological children have been told their files will not be signed out without special dispensation from President Preval or have been told they will never be signed out. These families have been waiting for months believing they were making progress only to be told they have not moved at all. The legislation currently being proposed in Haiti could be detrimental to a lot of adoptive families & children.

Please be in fervent prayer for the children of Haiti. Pray that files will be released. Pray that the wicked & corrupt will be removed from power. Pray that President Preval will sign off to allow all of the couples with biological children to complete their adoptions. Pray that all of these road blocks will be removed and that our God will be glorified in the process!

Email from Sylvia

We got this lovely email from Sylvia, the chaperone who stayed with us.

HI, how are u doing? Hope that yo all gr8 en doing well. How are u princess Kelly"sori lf i spelt lt wrongly ma dia"en how are u Loren,girls miss u big time! Hi kim,thanks 4 opening yo house for strangers like us,en the lord will reward u 4 that, Hi corin"sori again lf l spelt yours wrongly too gal" Jeremiah,when l look in yours eyes,l so that love of wanting 2 help en your so thoughtful indeed. The chn call you "our dad who is a policeman". Thanks 4 all your efforts 2 make us so comfortable. LOVE U en God help yo chn understand him more en more en love u as there dad en appreciate u."everything u have is just a seed,sowing today,you will b reeping 2morrow." Tak care of yoselves en may God watch over u en fill u with his ever lasting joy. We are going 2 perform 2day at 7pm in Everet then Stanwood on sunday in their 3 services.9,11 en 6,pliz keep us in yo prayers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More Pics

Here are some pics of some beautiful children!! We had so much fun together.
This one of all of us together

We painted the girls' fingernails pink on Monday night

All the kids grabbed a musical instrument and played away!

This is Josephine performing on Sunday morning

Happy Birthday Kylie

Kylie turned five last week! I can't believe my baby is five years old. We had a nice quiet day with Grandma and Grandpa because she didn't want a big party. Less work for me I guess! We ate lunch, opened gifts and played games, then ate vanilla cake and vanilla ice cream.

Letter to the President

I wrote my letter to President Preval asking for him to sign a waiver to approve our adoption. I am told if he does then IBESR HAS to sign out our file. Pray, pray, pray that he will read our letter and sign a waiver for Elijah's adoption. I feel right now this is our only hope. If it doesn't work, it is my plan to wait things out a bit longer in hopes that the situation changes for the better. Things in Haiti change constantly so hopefully sometime soon it will change for the good. Thanks for your prayers.

Special Olympics Washington

You are invited to a PartyLite candle and jewelry show to benefit Special Olympics. My friend is hosting this amazing fundraiser, she does it every year. If you are in the area and would like to support these special kids, please stop by!

This is fundraiser for Special Olympics WA
25% of the proceeds go to SOWA

Show Date/Time:
Thu 02/28/08 06:00 PM
Special Olympics
Masionic Temple
Bellingham, Whatcom WA
Phone: (360) 224-3130

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More News

Got this email today titled IBESR issues:

As some of you may have heard there are now issues regarding files in IBESR. IBESR is requiring Presidential Waiver/Dispensation for all families that have ANY children. We need you all to write a letter explaining your family situation, financial situation, what you can provide for the child, why you want to adopt, etc. with supporting financial documents. Make the letter personal and request for President Rene Preval to give them a Presidential Waiver so that you can adopt your child.

PLEASE keep praying, maybe the President will get a large stack of these types of letters from parents, he will march over to IBESR and fire those people standing in the way of our adoptions!!!!

The Ugandan children left today. We will all miss them a ton. Pray for these little missionaries as they finish their tour. Especially pray for "our" girls, Viola, Ester, and Josephine!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ugandan Orphans Choir

They are here and we are having a great time! We are hosting Ester (10), Josephine (8) and Viola (10). They are the sweetest girls. We also are hosting a chaperone, Sylvia, who was sponsored by Childcare Worldwide and went to college. She is now a teacher! We met them at the church yesterday, had lunch and went to the bowling alley. They were so excited to bowl, Ester scored a 120, not bad for the first time! The girls love playing with our toys, dolls and watching movies. They also love to have their pictures taken, or take photos with our camera! They were amazing last night at bed time. They were ready for bed and asked my kids to come pray with them. They were praying in their language, Lugandan, and would just break out in song, then pray again. They were truly worshiping the Lord. What a blessing!! The choir had their performance this morning at church. It was soo good. They danced and sang their hearts out. They also had some volunteers come on stage for a dancing lesson. Jeremiah and our girls went up and Jeremiah busted a move while I busted a gut! He acually is a good dancer!

The kids are down south at another church performing this evening. Tomorrow we will have the afternoon to spend together. I am trying to upload some photos of us with the kids so we can give them as gifts. This has truly been an amazing experience for our family.

Friday, February 8, 2008

IBESR bad news

Here is some news from adoptivemomhaiti's blog:
"Quite a few families are wondering why they have been stuck in IBESR for over 6-9 months now without being approved for adoption. Upon further checking, I have learned that families' files are stuck because they have biological children and need a "presidential pardon" letter. Some families with "too many children" are having their adoption request denied because IBESR knows that Mr. Gassant (the man in charge of Parquet - The Chief Prosecutor) is enforcing the old law of having no bio children.

I know what you are makes absolutely no sense to me either. What future do the children have in the alternative from the adoptions that have been denied by Mr. Gassant? All we can do is pray and to remember that God is control. Also, some families are talking about petitioning President Preval regarding this situation.

Some files are taking longer to get through IBESR because of UNICEF's pressure regarding child trafficking in Haiti. As a response, IBESR is going through the adoption file documents with a fine-tooth comb and are rejecting documents for typos or misspellings. Having to obtain new documents (often they are in need of new Archive documents) can take a while, sometimes several months.

Once the files are approved by IBESR, they have to go through Parquet (Mr. Gassant's office) who is currently only signing adoptions for families without biological children. Other files sit around for months without movement.

I get emails from people asking what to do about the situation regarding Mr. Gassant/Parquet. I cannot give answers to that...aside from: pray!

My heart breaks for those families and children because there is a future for an abandoned child and that is being prevented by one person! The Haitian adoption process is one that is unpredictable and it reminds me of the staircase in the Harry Potter movies (you know, the one that constantly moves around and changes). It is frustrating and discouraging, but I am hoping that the situation will resolve itself. After all, how can one person (who is not the elected president) have what appears to be almost limitless powers, above the law and without any compassion for his country's children?!"

Please pray for all these children and families. What will happen to them if only families without bio. children can adopt them? There are too many waiting far too long.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I have been praying this morning, and was telling God that all I want was a phone call...when all of a sudden the phone rang! I answered it quickly with much anticipation, but no one was on the other line. Not funny God, you didn't let me finish, I want a phone call from Robin telling me that Elijah was signed out of IBESR! I guess I will need to wait some more, and trust.

I read this passage from Psalm 102:
Lord, hear my prayer!
Listen to my plea!
Don't turn away from me in my time of distress.
Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you.

And this is another passage that spoke to me, Psalm 104:
O Lord my God, how great you are!
You are robed with honor and majesty. You are dressed in a robe of light.
You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens; you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariot; you ride upon the wings of the wind.
The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants.
You placed the world on its foundation so it would never be moved. You clothed the earth with floods of water, water that covered even the mountains.
At your command, the water fled; at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away.
Mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed.
Then you set a firm boundary for the seas; so they would never again cover the earth. You make springs pour water into the ravines, so streams gush down from the mountains...

The entire Psalm is great, and it made me think about how powerful God is. He made the world, and me, and he can move mountains! He can help in my time of need, if it is His will. How can it not be His will? Why would He not want these children to have a loving home? Please Lord, help these babies come home!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Count Down

I am counting down the days to when we will have a house full of sweet orphans from Uganda. We are hosting three girls and a chaperone. I can't wait to meet them and see how the kids do with these guests. They will be coming on Sat. afternoon. We will be eating lunch at our church together, take them bowling as a group, and then come to our home for the rest of the night. They are going to perform in their choir at our church on Sunday, then travel to another church further south. Then Monday we will be seeing them in the morning, and afternoon/eve. They will leave on Tuesday morning. So really not a lot of time together, but I know it will be great! I think it will be great for our community as well. Meanwhile I am cleaning, de-cluttering and will be grocery shopping.

I am also counting down the days until I hear news that we are out of IBESR. I have been hearing/reading rumors about people with bio. kids not being signed out. I am getting very anxious. I am going to be fasting and praying like crazy tomorrow. Why is this so difficult? I think I could endure the waiting, it is the not knowing that is hard. When we went into this we thought it would be a done deal as soon as we got our referral. After being online I have discovered many families (and personally know one) that are having so many problems getting their kids home.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Chicken Pox

Please pray for the kids at Children of the Promise. So far two of the older kids have chicken pox. Pray that it won't spread to everyone, and that the sick children and babies are spared especially!