Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
- We got a check in the mail for $700 from friends from our old church! Wow, thank you Lord!
- I emailed about our i600a and got a call from them a few hours later. They said they will be working on our file and we should be getting approval shortly! Hurray!
- I got some new pictures of Mercy today. (she is washing the car)
- We are just a few steps away from being ready to go. Who knows how long it will take to get a court date.
- I emailed the FBI today too to ask about our fingerprint clearances. Pray we'll hear back soon.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Yesterday was I was busy catching up on emails. I have had a LOT of people inquire about becoming a host family. I need to figure out a way to get the host family application on the MAT blog. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm not very computer savvy. Sarah suggested maybe scanning it and having it on a jpeg file. I thought that would work, but it's a four page application. We have had a lot of activity with MAT, and a lot of drama with Haitian kids and immigration. Please pray. I took a break from the computer to help E. with a potty accident. He had waited too long to get to the bathroom. As I was changing his pants, I returned to the living room to see S. with a bottle of curry powder (he had climbed in the pantry cupboards). There was yellow powder all over my keyboard and the floor! I was not happy. I felt like I just could not catch a break. I spent last night ordering some childproofing items online at One Step Ahead. And I also bought this... I am sure the boys will love it and it will be great for their occupational therapy! I did have a wonderful chat on facebook with a woman caring for our daughter in Africa. I was so glad to get to know her better and hear a great little story about her personality. (if you want to read my private blog please send me an email- on side)
Today started off poorly too, with both big kids missing the bus, at two separate times! How does that happen? L. forgot to set his alarm, and when he realized he had slept in he didn't want to wake me up. He thought he'd be in trouble! L. is very responsible most of the time, and has never slept in before. I would not have been upset, but now I was, since he didn't let me know he needed me to wake up and drive him to school! J. was working out at the gym and I knew he would be home soon. I waited for him to arrive and he got L. off to school in time. All the other kids were up early, so C. was ready for school in time. Except I noticed she had not changed her clothes! I made her go change, and got her out the door. THEN realized she had come back in to grab another piece of bacon as the bus drove by. Thankfully J. was able to take her to school on the way to work.
I was in a pretty bad mood this morning. I don't like waking up to children fighting, not doing what I ask, or them talking back to me. I don't like feeling overwhelmed and buried in paperwork. I don't like burned toast or bits of burned sausage in my scrambled eggs. And I don't like when my 2 year old won't stay out of things and has knocked three of my pottery dishes on the floor by climbing on the table! I don't like that he doesn't "get" that it's not safe to climb up or into things. (we have still not determined if it's a cognitive delay or just that he's a very active two year old boy) I don't like waiting for papers for our adoption. I don't like that UNICEF is causing hang ups for adopted children from Haiti to come home to their families. I don't like that my house can never stay clean for more than a few minutes. I don't like that this precious little girl lost her life way too soon. I don't like that there was a devastating earthquake in my boys' country of origin effecting millions of people, some whom I know well.
It really helps to blog about my rough times. But the best therapy is reading God's promises. I especially loved reading this verse in the Message translation:
Monday, January 25, 2010
Daryl has not yet gotten to PAP. His charter flight keeps getting pushed back. He is now scheduled to arrive tonight as long as everything is still a "go". He is still going to try get to the embassy, but we have been told they are no longer issuing any humanitarian parole's. He may get turned away right away without even trying. PLEASE pray things change. If he gets turned away from the Embassy he is going to try get to CAP to help out there. We have some people stateside that are still trying to help get all our kids out. We just don't know what is happening with any of it.
Send to all your prayer warriors you know!
UPDATE: Daryl is in Haiti. He is riding a bus to get to Cap. tomorrow. Please pray for him!
"'...I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me...I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'" -Jesus speaking in Matthew 25:34-40 (The Message)
Had a great chat with one of Mercy's caregivers. Here is the highlight!
Mercy was really great yesterday in church by the way. She has a hard time staying in her seat during worship, she rather move around greeting and hugging in the church, so I made her sit on the chair behind me. When the song "so good to me" started she jumped up, ran past me and started this really joyful dance in front of the church. It was so wonderful to see!
She was so adorable!
oh how sweet! We love music and dancing in our house, so she'll love it!
She really will!
I love when Mighty to Save comes on the radio,
it reminds me of her, is that her favorite song still?
Oh yeah! Big time!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I received this email and thought it worth passing along:
Adopting Orphaned Haitian Children
AdoptUsKids has received a number of inquiries from families that are interested in adopting Haitian Earthquake Orphans. At this time, the first priority of government and disaster recovery officials is to address the immediate medical and physical needs of the people affected by the earthquake and assist in the reunion of family members who have been displaced or separated by the disaster. Therefore, it may take a long time before children affected by the disaster may be available for adoption. The U.S. Department of State provides information on the adoption of children affected by natural disasters and conflict on their website at:http://adoption.state.gov/news/Haiti.html.
You also can locate contact information for adoption agencies that place children from Haiti through our resource list of U.S. Adoption Agencies That Place Children From Abroad at:http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/country_resource_lists.cfm.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
and his parents (our close friends). Go here to read about how they are actively trying to get their son out of Haiti. Pray for safety. Pray for mercy. Our friends have been waiting for over three years for their son. E. wants his best bud home soon! It's almost been a year since they last saw each other.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Thank you all for your patience in waiting for me to find the words to tell the story of our adventure last week. It is still very surreal to me that Little M. and I were in Port Au Prince, Haiti when the earthquake struck on Tuesday. The destruction to Port Au Prince is devastating and the suffering of the Haitian people absolutely incomprehensible. And yet Little M. and I survived the inital quake and I felt protected at every step of our journey over the next few days. For that, I praise God. And I write, not to sensationalize the event, but to personalize it and to ask you in the coming weeks, as the media moves on to other news, to continue praying for and supporting the Haitians through their recovery and rebuilding.
Last month I had planned a short trip to Haiti for some meetings regarding Little M. Our American Airline flight into Port Au Prince landed half an hour early at 3:45 pm on Tuesday and we deplaned quickly because the airbus flight was only 3/4 full. I had only checked one small bag so Little M. and I were out of the airport by 4:30pm. We went straight to the Visa Lodge hotel (which is only a 5-10 minute drive from the airport). I checked in, quickly dropped our bags in our room, and returned to the patio restaurant of the hotel. I had just ordered food for Little M., when the shaking started. Ceiling fans and panels fell around us and chaos immediately broke out on the street below- people screaming, dust clouds billowing. At first we werent sure if it was an earthquake or if a bomb had gone off. I even initially felt relief with the first aftershock, knowing that we were not dealing with a coup or chemical weapons. Most hotel guests immediately went to the pebbled driveway/parking area of the Visa Lodge. An American pastor also staying at the hotel had an iPhone that worked intermittently for the first few hours after the earthquake. That is how I immediately knew the magnitude of the quake and was also able to send a text message that Little M. and I were safe. The American Airline staff arrived at the Visa Lodge later that evening reporting that part of the control tower at the airport collapsed and that their offices were destroyed. Had our flight not been early or I had chosen another hotel or we had been in a different part of our hotel, our outcome could have been very different.
Aftershocks continued through the night and we spent it outside in the driveway (open space) of the Visa Lodge. The kitchen of the hotel was destroyed in the earthquake and the main buildings had large cracks in the walls. At first light Little M. and I, 2 American pastors, and a few other guests from the hotel caught a ride with an airport shuttle that was taking some pilots to the airport to survery the damage. We all knew the international side of the airport would not be running flights that day. But we were initally hopeful that the small airport, which normally runs small airplanes back and forth to other cities in Haiti, would be cleared to at least fly its planes out and we could get to Cap Haitian. After a few hours we realized that was not going to happen and that we were also not going to be allowed to leave on the private plane of a man from the DR who had offered to take us. One of the other Visa Lodge guests who was at the airport with us was from the DR and had a pickup truck parked at the Visa Lodge. At that point he decided to try to drive to the border and he graciously allowed us all to go with him. It was 12 people total by that time and we must have been quite a sight piled into that pick up truck with all of our luggage, too. We had no idea if roads would be passable and I wondered if I would have trouble getting across the border. The critical care nurse part of me was pretty disgusted leaving a place in such dire need. My heart was torn over the unknown whereabouts of many friends. But it seemed the only option as I had no way to provide safe refuge or clean water for Little M. for more than a few days.
We saw small bits of the destruction in PAP as we passed out of town. But by the time we were a few miles outside, it was eerily quiet and undistrubed. The rest of our trip to the border was uneventful. Our time at the border was tedious but no one questioned us and we all passed through within a few hours. From the border we drove 5 hours to Santo Domingo. Once we were across the border into the DR cell service returned to the iPhone and we were once again able to send a text to family and also (unbelievably!) rebook our plane flights to leave from Santo Domingo Thursday morning. We found a hotel in Santo Domingo by 7pm that evening. And our travel from there to Miami through customs/immmigration and to home on Thursday was smooth... another amazing occurrence.
Little M. and I had an adventure last week. An adventure we will not forget. We were protected from harm and safe during extensive travel. I thank the Lord for that. And I am deeply indebted to the pastor whose preparedness for his trip (iPhone with an international plan!) allowed us to contact family and who provided help and protection in countless other ways. We will continue to process our experience for a long time- but at this time I feel, above all other things, blesssed. Thank you all for your prayers, support, and encouragement this week.
In closing, I want to offer a few suggestions for practical ways to help Haiti in this time of great need:
The most efficient and effective way to donate to the immediate relief effort is to give money to organizations that are already in place in Haiti and prepared for this type of situations. Organizations that I recommend include Partners in Health (www.standwithhaiti.org), Doctors without Borders, Real Hope for Haiti (www.realhopeforhaiti.org), Feed My Starving Children (www.fmsc.org), and Water Missions International.
One of the next greatest concerns at this time is for the NGOs who run orphanages and rescue centers in Haiti. Many of them survived the earthquake but are concerned about access to necessary supplies (infant formula, medications, food, soap) to continue caring for their children and the ones they will receive from this crisis. If you are interested in helping in this way, please send money to Children of the Promise (www.childrenofthepromise.org) or Real Hope for Haiti. And if you are interested in collecting basic supplies, please contact me for more information.
It's been a while since I have updated the blog about my grocery challenge. I have really fallen behind on that but I believe I am still on track. The whole Haiti thing has really put things in perspective for me and I realized that in the big picture I would rather spend my time volunteering for the Medical Advocacy Team right now than record grocery spending! I have been glued to the internet and news... and heard great news tonight that orphaned Haitian children who were in the process of being adopted will be granted a visa or humanitarian parole! How exciting for these waiting families. I knew that something good would have come out of the rubble. I have been quite depressed the last few days, after the reality of this sunk in. People I have met, and places I have visited are forever changed. The footage and stories I have heard just break my heart. And yet, our lives here continue on. The Medical Advocacy Team is working full force to get things lined up for the kids we were working on before the quake. There may be more coming. It will be interesting to see how this all happens. My inbox has never seen so much action! There are many people wanting to help. I also created a facebook page for MAT, so you can join and keep up to date there. My home and kids have been a bit neglected this week, but they are just as concerned for the Haitian people as I am. They have been asking about the kids we have helped in the past. I have heard that Clepson is ok, but have not heard from anyone else. I would love to know if S.'s birth family is ok.
Pray with me please, and praise God that there are so many people who desire to help!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
- Wait for our i600a approval
- Get a letter from MAT about how we heard about Mercy (almost done)
- Wait for a final draft of our affidavit (lawyer still needs to get a few more details)
- Get my college transcript in the mail soon. DONE
- Get a letter from a doctor saying Mercy needs specialized care. (emailed doctor and he is going to work on that for us)
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Mercy's friends and "siblings" have chickenpox right now. She is fine. Please pray she will remain healthy. I am not sure what having a high fever would do for her epilepsy. It probably wouldn't be good. I also got some new photos and we are traveling to get our fingerprints today.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
My heart aches for Haiti after hearing the news of the earthquake this afternoon. Prayers are with friends and loved ones there, especially my boys' birth families. I can't even imagine... *warning, graphic images* http://picfog.com/search/haiti
Monday, January 11, 2010
- spend time in God's word
- take a nap
- clean, declutter and childproof (even more) the living room
- pray for my husband
Saturday, January 9, 2010
From our lawyer. I feel better about things:
I should have ur affidavit ready by end of this week, am
sorry that it has taken a while, i will make sure it is ready this
I talked to S. and it seems they are well prepared and only lack a
license for the orphanage, that is something i think we can work
around and even do without, i will send someone to S. within the
next 2 weeks, we shall get to read through the file and know how we
Please keep in touch.
The Ugandan side of things is relatively easy to handle.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Hi, am sending someone down to see her, i think she is not 100% ready
as yet, but once ur ready we shall go for it.
Please keep in touch.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
E. got some mail today. Registration paperwork for speech therapy. I heard back from them the other day and found out there is waiting list. He will most likely not get an evaluation until March or April. Ugh. The only people who can really understand him is our family. Everyone assumes he is two years old. He will be four in April.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Weed killer: Did you know that dumping vinegar on weeds instead of chemical weed killer will do the same job without poisoning the ground and getting into our water systems? It will.
1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha Soap equals ½ a bar (usually with the regular body soaps)
1/2 Cup Washing Soda or baking soda (buy at a bulk store for cheap, 12 lbs about $5)
1/2 Cup Borax
For light load, use 1 tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 tablespoons. For really dirty clothes add ¼ cup extra borax to the load. For whites add ¼ cup baking soda.
Friday, January 1, 2010
- This is the year I will finally get in shape and reach my goal weight.
- We are starting our grocery challenge: $100 a week.
- Spend more time reading the bible and praying.
- We pray we can travel to Africa in the next few months to bring home our daughter.
- Be better stewards of the money God has blessed us with.
- Use my time more wisely.