Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm Sick

What next, God?

I have a horrible cold, along with 3 others in our household. My theory is we caught it in the ER or hospital. Or church. Or the grocery store. Who knows. I don't like being sick, especially on top of recovering from surgery.

I spent an obnoxiously long time online last night looking at flights to Haiti. We are trying to decide what to do when the time comes to travel. Do we have Jeremiah fly to Fort Lauderdale or Miami, then to Cap Haitien? Do we have him fly to PAP and have someone take Elijah to PAP? (this is the cheapest option) or fly to PAP, take a small plane to CAP to get Elijah. The Lynx Air website wasn't working so I couldn't see their schedule but they have certain days they fly and this is sometimes a conflict. That is why when we went last spring we stayed in Florida for several nights. Anyway, after I fell asleep I had Nyquil induced dreams about flight schedules and travel. I am glad I am not going to travel to Haiti, although I'd love to be there to see Elijah right away, I don't like sitting for so long. I also heard of someone being kidnapped and killed in PAP last week. It is still a dangerous place. We are leaning towards flying on Lynx to CAP. Jeremiah can be at the orphanage for a night or two and give Elijah a chance to say goodbye.

Then the phone rang at 5 in the morning. It was J's work asking him to come in. This rarely happens, but he was up and out of the house in record time. He is missing his meeting at our church for the worship team. I am sad for him since he was really looking forward to it. He is planning on showing up late when he is done at work, I hope they don't mind!

So, I am still in bed, with a cold and not too sore tummy, with 3 sick kids and my laptop. Still praying, still hoping, and dreaming of traveling to Haiti very soon!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Sun will Come Out...Tomorrow

I took the girls to see Annie at the local theater last night. It was a great production and the cast did a wonderful job. It was a fun "girls only" night out. I love this musical and have fond memories of my mom taking me to see it with friends in Seattle. We were about 8 if I remember right and the whole way home we were singing "Tomorrow" at the top of our lungs. Stopping to laugh really hard at the line "bet your bottom dollar"! We thought it was so hilarious that Annie said "bottom". Well wouldn't you know it, my girls laugh at that same line! It was so good to see that Corinn loved the theatrical version more than the movie and she may even be interested in being in a play and singing. She is a very dramatic person and would do really well!

I couldn't help but have my mind on Elijah during the play, since it is about orphans. I am so thankful he is where he is. He is loved and cared for and there certainly is not a Miss Hannegan at COTP!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I know that I keep asking you all to pray...I keep thinking that the more people are praying for Elijah and his visa, the more God will listen and do what we want Him to do. I know that's not really the way God works, but one can be hopeful right? I need to remember that God's timing is perfect and He has a plan that is better than I can ever imagine. I need to remember to stop acting like a kid at times. throwing the classic fit "I want it NOW!". But, just in case my little prayer theory does work, I went ahead and sent out this email to many people today:

Hi friends,

Most of you know about our plans of adopting from Haiti and our son Elijah. We have been waiting for Elijah, now two and a half years old, for about nineteen months. We are at the very end of the process now, thank God! We are requesting your ernest prayers. Last week, Elijah had his visa interview. The US embassy had requested a difficult paper to obtain, and our adoption workers in Haiti have been trying hard to get things in order. They are going to try to submit a receipt and are hoping the embassy will accept this paper and issue Elijah's visa. This will hopefully take place in a week. As soon as Elijah gets his visa he can come home. Jeremiah will be traveling to pick him up as soon as we get word his visa is in hand. PLEASE remember to keep our family and Elijah in your prayers, so we can be reunited as a family VERY VERY soon. Pray that the embassy will accept this paper so things will not be delayed any longer. And please pray for the other children and families who have been waiting a very long time for their homecomings too!

Thank you so much,

I love knowing people are praying for us. I love that our church prays for us. I love that our kids pray for their brother's adoption at EVERY meal. I love that they ask others in their sunday school class to pray for their brother. I gives me a sense of comfort and peace. I have seen God do amazing miracles and am hoping he will do one for us. I posted Elijah's passport photo again (above). I am hoping it is the last photo I will post on the blog until he is home. I can't wait to post those airport first (well, third for me) meeting pics! I will update when I get some more news. Until then, pray for a miracle!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Elijah's paperwork update

We got an email with a bit of info about Elijah's needed paperwork. There may be a loophole that our worker is trying.  It will take about a week to see if it works.  Please keep praying.  This is encouraging since the alternative is waiting at least another month.

This is why...

PLEASE go see this site . You will see photos that will warm your heart.  They are two girls that came over with the help of MAT to have surgery.  They were just reunited with their mama's in Haiti.  It brings me to tears to see the fruit of many people's labor!!  I spent many hours online working to get things worked out for these girls...for what seemed like a year!  They were able to come to the US, stay with a wonderful host family and receive much needed surgery.  This is why I am always on the computer, and why my phone line is always busy (because of our "country" dial up!)  I feel so grateful to be able to play this small part to help these families out.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This is the "after" photo!

I was looking at the COTP website, it was updated and changed a bit. There are some great things happening there lately! Anyway, look at this old photo of Elijah. It is in the before and after part of the site. For some reason, the before photo doesn't ever load, but look at the after! I am amazed at how far this little baby has come. He is growing so fast, and looks so healthy now. You would have never guessed he had suffered from malnourishment. Love this boy! What a miracle. Praying he will be home soon.

Birthday Photos

Playing piano with Angelina

Samuel gets a new riding toy from Grandpa and Grandma
Aunt Allison and Nick give him a pounding toy...he likes to bang on things!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunny Sunday

Can I just say how much I love our church? We had a rough start this morning getting the kids all ready and in the car in time, but we made it to church right at 9. We go to Sunday School and Jeremiah and I are in a class called Young Families. We technically aren't a young family in my definition, but the assistant pastor who teaches says we qualify! I guess if you have young kids you would be a young family. Even if you also have a preteen. The kids go to their classes and we have adult "Young Family" bible study for 45 minutes. We were the first couple to arrive so we were able to talk with the pastor, who also serves with Starfish Ministries in Haiti. His parents, the Bovencamps, are there right now. He has been praying for Elijah and our family diligently. We have been studying the book of James. We had a great discussion about James 1:12-15.

12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
13When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Then during service our family was prayed for in the opening prayer and were included in the prayer request bookmark again. This makes me so glad to know others are praying. There were guest missionary speakers from Guatemala... Bethel Ministries International. They help build homes and shelters, help with wheelchair distributions, medical care and other needs there. I was able to reach out to let them know a little about MAT and gave them my contact info. There was a photo on the slide show of a baby with Spina Bifida. It reminded me of Ella. Mr. Mooney spoke about trials and seeing the good through them all. It really helped brighten my outlook and I felt like soon enough Elijah will come home. I can't wait to see the miracle that God will perform through all this.

After church we went to get lunch. It is really a beautiful day out, but very COLD! We are now watching movies and curled up in bed. I am still pretty sore and get tired easily. It is so hard to not carry the baby around and clean up around the house. I hope to be feeling back to normal soon. I also want to be able to start working out again. I joined a new fitness club called Thrive Fitness and I want to visit soon!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


We finally got Samuel to wave! He has waved at Grandpa and Grandma, Mommy and Daddy and the dog Jackson. He is also signing "more" and "eat" regularly. He started to say doggy and Jackson too! What a big boy.

I was in the hospital for several days while Jeremiah was out of town, so Samuel and the rest of the kids stayed with my parents. He did great and really loves his Grandma. He would crawl up to her and pull himself up on her legs until she picked him up. As soon as he was up, he wanted down. He got a lot of love and ate a TON.

A little more information

An explaination of what is going on with Elijah. Thanks so much to D. who took the time to write to us and explain it all. I still haven't heard back from COTP's adoption coordinator, but probably because she doesn't have any news as of yet.

The archive of the adoption decree is not impossible to get but can take some time to get because it has to come from the archive office and they might not have the registry book yet. The Adoption decree is registred like a birth certificate in Cap-Haitien. It is registered in a book that will probably need to be brought to PAP to the archive office so they can issue the archive. The embassy has always accepted an "attestation" in the past which is just a verification of the signature on the Adoption decree. It is possible that they are requesting the archive instead of just the attestation because the adoption decree was issued in 2008 and now it is 2009. I gets complex! So, in other words it is not common that they ask for this but it is also not overly suprising. It will get done, but the wait is no fun at all :(

So I am trying to stay positive and remember that God can move mountains! Please continue praying and help me remember to not lose hope.

I'm home

I am home, picked up the dog from the vet, and dropped the girls at my friend Tammy's house down the road. She will be driving them home in a few hours. I started some laundry, opened the pile of mail, and made a list of things for Jeremiah to do when he gets home. Now, Loren and I are watching a movie and hoping someone will take a nap soon! Jeremiah is on the way home, but his flight was delayed. He should be home by dinner time and I gave him instructions to bring home something to eat.

I'm feeling pretty good and I am only taking Advil for the pain. The most sore spot is around my belly button, and it hurts to bend over. I have been feeling very moody and depressed. I am looking forward to going to church tomorrow.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Crying out

Dear Heavenly Father,
I know that you are a loving, caring and all knowing Father and that you love me very much.  I just don't understand why you are letting me hurt so much right now?  I am alone, with my husband gone and you send me to the hospital.  Amidst all the medical stuff I hear good news, that Elijah will have his visa appointment and could be coming home any week.  That really lifted my spirits, Lord.  I felt instantly better and at peace. 

 I had to go home with my mom, since my children are so young and a handful, and there was no way I could take care of them and myself a day after surgery.  Unfortunately, my mom has been through a lot taking care of the kids for the last 3 days.  She is not used to having such a busy house, and busy kids, because you gave her 2 very quiet, shy girls.  You certainly did not prepare her well for the job of full time grandma to 4 busy kids. 

 I  tried to rest while my husband is in AZ, training for work in the hot sun.  I cried out to you for strength during my crazy hormone/pain/medication induced tantrum.  I prayed and prayed all night during my waking moments for Elijah's visa appointment, feeling like you had it all taken care of.  I trusted that you would have Elijah home very soon.  I thought those were your words I heard on Christmas morning telling me that.  I couldn't sleep in that morning, hoping for news from Haiti.  I opened the email and all I could do was sit there like I was slapped in the face.  "It didn't go well"  "impossible"  "more documents" were words on the screen that SCREAMED at me.  I read as my mom listened, trying so hard to be strong and no cry out.  NO!  I NEED this to go right.  I NEED Elijah to come home now. I even had the flight schedules pulled up on another window.  "I guess I don't need to look at that", I said as I shut the A. Airlines window closed.  CLOSED.  That is how I felt.  I didn't know what to think.  I sent out a few emails, asking others for input, prayer and help.  I didn't go to you.  I am sorry, but I felt like you betrayed me.  My body ached and I felt like I couldn't even breathe.  I needed to lay down.  Why would you chose to allow this to happen? 

I am so ready to go home, even if I have to take care of the kids and myself.  I have no more patience and neither does my mom.  She is gone with two kids while I sit here weeping and praying and writing you this letter.  I feel so heartbroken, alone and forgotten.  I am waiting to hear some more news, but every time I open my email there is nothing.  Isn't there anything you can do  God?  Don't you want your little baby boy home with a family who loves him so much?  Please won't you fix this and make it right?  I need a band aid!
I love you,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Curiouser and curiouser

“Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English). ...

Here is an email from Vera after I contacted her with a question about Elijah's situation...

An archive is a certification of the adoption decree. I am surprised that your file made it through Ministry of Interior without it having an archive certificate (if the adoption decree is less than one year old) or if it is more than one year old, then it has to be a copied typed page from the Archive log book.

There is nothing unusual in this request and it makes me curious to know how your file made it through MOI?

So I am wondering if this is really the requested document or if it is was so hard to hear that things got lost in translation. PLEASE PRAY.

update update

We have to pay for the visa, $400.

They need an archive of the adoption decree.

Another family from COTP was also requested to get this and hopefully enough people have been working through the process so that it can get figured out.

I was told not to contact anyone in the states yet so not to make the situation worse.

I sent the prayer request out on facebook, emailed people at church, and this blog. Please pass it around, pray and hope for God's hand in this situation. I know He can move mountains.

Hopefully more news tomorrow. Going to nap again. Oxycodone is a nice drug.

VISA update

Email update, please pray for a miracle. This is rough for my body to take right now. Might go lay down.

Well, not great news. They are now asking for a document that is nearly impossible to get. They have only asked for this document for one other family and we are still trying to fight/figure it out. A. doesn't get back from PAP until tomorrow and it was very loud on the phone. Hopefully we will have more clarification then. I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blood Sweat and Tears

I was admitted to the er on Monday after a horrible weekend of pain and a trip to the urgent care center. They did some blood tests at the clinic and were going to schedule an ultrasound, but when they got the test results back they called me and told me to go to the ER. That is after I noticed my urine had turned orange and my eyes were yellow. Not good. Also, Jeremiah had left for AZ that morning. Nice timing. So I called my mom, thankfully she was off work for MLK day. She met us at the hospital and helped with the kids. Then she took them to her house where my sister met her and Allison watched them so my mom could be a the hospital. They gave me an ultrasound and an MRI type test. I was pretty out of it, so I don't remember a lot, but my friend Teresa was by my side making me laugh and keeping my spirits up. They thought I had passed a gall stone and it was blocked in a duct. They couldn't find it. So, they assumed that one had passed and irritated my pancreas. So my diagnosis was pancreantitis.(sp?) I was told they wouldn't do surgery until that was better. Well thankfully the surgeon disagreed and wanted to have the gallbladder removed before that happened again. It was full of stones, I saw them roll around on the ultrasound. I didn't have surgery until yesterday afternoon and I am now out of the hospital at my mom and dad's house. They are helping with the kids and me.

ALSO We found out Elijah will have his final visa appointment TOMORROW. This is it, we could travel and go get him as soon as the visa is in hand! PLEASE pray and pass along this to anyone you think would pray for us.

God is good to have the timing of me being sick work out before Elijah gets here. Even though it is so hard with Jeremiah not here to help and support me.

The post title came to mind as I was crying and having a breakdown after getting home and having my pain killers wear off. It has been an emotional, tiring week. My good friend and huge support is in Texas with Baby Bear and am so sad she is not here too. She cried when I told her Elijah could be home soon. She will most likely miss his homecoming. I am so glad she is able to be with Bear. Please pray for her, she's had an emotional week too!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

not sure what it means, but...

Here is an email from our adoption worker.

I got an email from A. He doesn't mention anything exactly about needing another paper, but I will try to make sure. From what I understand this is what happened.

Elijah had his bp interview. They asked for another document. A explained that it costs a lot to keeping flying to PAP with the kids. They said "okay, you can pay for the visa now then". Well, A didn't have the money with him. He stayed in PAP and was able to get money. He emailed them to ask if he can bring it in, but they said no, they wanted to see Elijah again (ugh). So he emailed them to say he can be there next week on the 22nd and he is still waiting to hear back from them. So pray they accept this. It's all I know at this point. I think he is waiting for the final visa approval appointment, but that is what I need to make certain. Sorry to not have any further information.

So I guess we need to keep praying! Please pray hard for this all to get straightened out. Pray that his birth parent interview was approved, and that the final visa appointment will be made. Pray that there is no mixup, or misunderstanding and that there is NO chance for the embassy to deny Elijah's interview. Thank you so much.

Today we got a huge box of clothes from J's brother and sister in law. They have been so kind and supportive of our adoption. They've been saving all of their son's clothing and passing them to us. Not only are they doing that, but they are shipping them all the way from Germany, where they are stationed. Also, the clothes are very nice, GAP and Old Navy boys clothes in near perfect condition. Thanks B. and H.! Elijah will be one well dressed little boy, with minimal expense to our growing family. What a blessing!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I am breaking my internet fast (which I have been really good about by the way) to ask for more prayers please. I heard about the appointment a few hours ago and here is what the email said:

I just heard from A. He said the appointment went well, however, they are now asking for an archive for his birth certificate. A explained to them how expensive it is to keep making these trip with Elijah. They seem to understand. So we'll see what happens next. A will know more by tomorrow.

So, I am not quite sure of the answers to some of the questions that the email made me ask, but I do know that more prayer is needed. I guess the best prayer would be that they will find out that the archive for the birth certificate is not needed after all and the appointment will be approved. If that can't happen, and they do need the paper, then pray that it can be obtained very quickly and without problems. Ughh, this waiting is SO hard. We went into this adoption knowing how long it typically takes. But we are at the end of that time frame now (some families wait much longer than 18 months) and the labor pains are beginning, so to speak. It could be he is home in a few weeks, or it could be longer. I am really hoping it is soon. I have been spending more time in prayer and reading the bible. I've been reading the book of James every day.
This really speaks to me:
James 1:2-4
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:12
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.

Another urgent prayer request...

Baby Bear is a baby in Haiti with spina bifida. He needs to come to the US for surgery NOW. He was supposed to arrive a few weeks ago but things keep getting delayed and messed up. He needs his passport and visa so he can travel very soon. If things are delayed even further he may not get surgery until February due to scheduling conflicts with the neurosurgeon. He may not live that long. Please pray that he will get his needed paperwork so he can travel and get life saving surgery ASAP. Check out the Medical Advocacy Team website for updates:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Power of prayer

Yesterday at church I opened up our bulletin. They have a weekly bookmark inserted in the bulletins every Sunday with prayer requests for members of the church. I was excited to see our names on it! It said: Please pray for the Smith family as they await the arrival of their adopted son, Elijah. Pray that Elijah's visa will be approved so he can come home soon!
Isn't that cool?

I decided to do a fast. I am giving up the internet. My addiction, I must admit. Since beginning this adoption I have become overly attached to this thing, and now I will only be checking my emails once a day starting tomorrow and until we get news on Elijah's visa. This is going to be very challenging for me, but I feel it is something that I must do. Please keep praying for us, and if you feel called to, join me in this internet fast! I will not be posting on here until we have word of Elijah's visa, or until the end of Feb. which ever comes first. If it's the later, you can expect it will be a post asking for you all to pray some more!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy first birthday to Samuel! I can't believe he is one already! We first met when he was 12 weeks old. Time flies so quickly. He has accomplished a lot in one year, and I can't wait to see what the next will bring.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Sammy with the kids, modeling the New Year hat Kylie made at Children's Sibling Playroom. (poor Kylie always has hair issues!!)
Samuel sleeping off the anesthesia. He sleeps with his eyes open sometimes, he's unable to close them all the way.

Well, we didn't get to have Lena come over as planned. Baby Bear in Haiti was unable to get his visa and he is still not in the US. We will see what happens, but hopefully he will be ready to travel this coming week. Then Sarah will leave, and we will likely have Lena stay here until she leaves for Haiti to see her mama.

Samuel had his MRI on the 31st. He did well, and we will hopefully hear the results of that soon. They also did a shunt series, a set of x rays to see how his shunt is working and be sure it's in place correctly.

We went to a friend's house for New Years Eve. Samuel did so well, even went to sleep in his pack n play without a problem. Love that kid! He was so charming with everyone; showing off his dance moves, crawling around and pulling himself up on people's legs, and giving kisses to his favorite people. So cute! He is very musical, and loves to dance to music, pound on things, and play his xylophone and drum toy. Maybe he will be a musician as he grows!

Tomorrow is his birthday. We have a few friends and grandma and grandpa coming over. I am making some sloppy joes and Jeremiah is picking up a cake at Costco. I hope Sammy likes chocolate!