Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Life as a Christian Song...

With three children, two adoptions underway, and working three twelve hour shifts a week in one of four different hospital emergency rooms I find that most of my worship and prayer time happens in the car. Driving to school to pick up kids, running to work, running errands on a day off. I just seem to be alone in the car with some regularity. Through it all I have decided my life has become the lyrics of a christian song. For example, I blogged about Lincoln Brewster's "Everlasting God", as in "strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.". My favorite line through this torturous wait of adoption.

Today, I found a different sort of song that spoke to me. It is by Steven Curtis Chapman. It is called "Everything You Do". I originally loved this song as in the first lines it talks about picking up toys on the living room floor for the fifteenth time today, matching up socks, sweeping up lost Cheerios that got away...on an on he lists the tasks of my everyday boring life and the point is reached where we are to do what we do for the glory of God no matter what it is. That spoke to me, yet today I heard a whole new message, one I needed. One thing a lot of us mamas never talk about is that small percentage of people in our lives who do not understand this adoption process. The ones who do not support bringing home a child of another race. Fortunate,y, for me there are very few such people, but I had a recent encounter such as this. It reminded me that following God's plan is not easy. People may not agree or even try to step in and redirect our efforts. So, back to the song...I heard a line as if I had never heard it for the first time. Let everything you do tell the story of Grace. Now that we have named our new daughter Grace as a reminder of God's grace to us, this line meant a lot. I began to think of all the unglamourous things that go with finishing her adoption. The finger printing, the papers, the crazy seals and copies and let me not forget all the craziness as this person who plans every moment can hardly tolerate the continuous state of flux that is this process. Couple that with people who ask why not a sports car? Why not a fancy vacation? Why not do something else with your money? Why go through this aggravation? Didn't we want to retire some day? All those thoughts that seem to follow some logical lines and basically go against it all. Because, whatever I do will be to put a smile on His face and will tell the story of Grace (and Alex). :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The perfect Gift

I guess I have spent a lot of time in the last few days innsearch of the perfect gift. I had to consider each child's interests, what they wanted and honoring my own Christmas traditions. For some reason over the years I have several things I do for them. First, they always get a calendar. I like the challenge of figuring out this year's interests and finding the perfect wall calendar. Then, they always get a book. I think Christmas needs to be about more than toys. Zachary does not read my blog yet, so I am safe in sharing that he got the coolest shark book, complete with a look inside a shark with a plastic model. He LOVES sharks. Katya does read my blog, so sorry honey, you gotta wait until Sunday! Then, I always get them a stuffed animal. Usually, it is three matching animals. This year is no exception. I usually get them a big animal so that in the afternoon I get to watch them be littered about the floor watching movies still in their jammies all resting on their animals. Then, there is the wfsj's. That stands for Waiting For Santa Jammies. I have to put the initials on the tag so that I can find the packages easily on Christmas Eve. I also have to get them something very representative of me, a gift from my only vise...Starbucks. Lol!

I have spent weeks working on all of this. The last few days, I have been off finishing the shopping, wrapping, making a Christmas lunch for Tim's employees and generally running around like a crazy person. In the midst of it all, my heart aches to see my other two children. What would I get them this year? Why can't they be here? Why can't I just get an update from Haiti? Lots of my fellow mom's are reaching new adoption milestones. I am happy to see things moving, I just wish it were my turn. So, through the exhaustion and holiday crabbiness, tonight I picked the boys up from gymnastics and finally got home. On the door was a note that Santa had stopped by early for me. There was a trail of bows on the floor leading to a wrapped package. Tin stood there beaming with pride as I read a wonderful note telling me how much they appreciate me. I opened the present and found a wonderful speaker system for my iPhone. He knows I love to cook. I love making new things and putting out good meals. I experiment with fresh herbs and things, I find it relaxing. Usually I listen to my iPhone while I do it. This system will make the music sound so much better! I loved it. The thing is, this was the perfect gift on the perfect day. I had killed myself the last few days so that tomorrow ihad no errands to do. It is baking day. One of my favorites. I make sugar cookie dough and we roll them out and make cookies for Santa. I grew up with this tradition with my mom. She kept the metal cookie cutters in an oatmeal can and by the time my brothers and I were done there was flour on the floor, our bellies ached from eating too many of the decorations and the dough, but it was great. A large part of this too, was mom putting on Johnny Mathis Cristmas music on the turntable on the super hi fi in the living room. The whole house filled with the music. As an adult, my mom bought me one of the CD's and on my iPod in later years I downloaded all my favorites. I even downloaded John Denver and The Muppets Christmas, another record my mom loves. The only thing is, I had no way to fill my house with these sounds...until now. The perfect gift at the perfect time. So, tomorrow, I have the privilege of carrying out this tradition in fine style. I even have mom's cookie cutters as she gave them to me a few years ago. By the way...my children have there own Christmas favorites. Now I will fill the house with the meowing cat version of Dominic the Donkey, and The Fruitcake song. Be ready Santa, treats are coming!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What is in a name??

Often times we get asked about our kid's names. Our daughter has an unusual name, it is Katya. It is Russian for Katie. The thing is, when we were newly married and dreaming of children, we wanted a daughter named Katie. When we got her referral, and saw it was already her name, we figured it was meant to be. We gave her the middle name of Elizabeth, just like all the oldest girls in my family. My mother is Ann Elizabeth and my grandmother was Leora Elizabeth. As far as Jack goes, he is named after his great grandfather. His name had been John, but he was called Jack, and our Jack is the same. His middle name is David. My father-in-law was David too. He died when my husband was just 19 of a big heart attack. He missed him so much when we adopted Jack and it meant a lot to us to give him this name. The funny thing is, God intervened with him too...his Russian name was Ivan, this is the Russian form of John. Go figure.

Zachary was trickier. By that time we had worked in growing our faith. His adoption was one of the most Godly experiences of our lives. We wanted to call him Christian. In the end, Jack was struggling a bit with not being the baby, so the way we involved him was to allow him to name his new brother. He was ten and thought it would be cool if their names rhymed. Therefore he could say,"I'm Jack, this is my brother Zack!" When it came to Alex, of course, the boys came to our rescue. They wanted a short nickname like theirs. I wanted a nod to the love of my life and he will be Alexander Timothy, nickname Alex.

On to Grace. I feel as though I dreamt her into being. In July I dreamt of a beautiful black girl who would be mine. In my dream, she was named Grace. I just seemed this was to be her name. Since learning of her existence, I have been able to see God's unfailing grace to us. The gift of children to us imperfect parents. The blessings of being able to do these adoptions and the joy of being a family. I think yesterday I really got it though. I was flipping through the mountain of email I get in a parking lot on my way to run the bazillions of Christmas errands. I was rushed and a bit stressed. The first thing I saw was my home screen, a picture of Grace smiling. Simultaneously, I heard on the radio a song I love, but took on all new meaning. "Remember your people, remember your children, remember your promise O God....". Then the chorus,"Your Grace is enough, your Grace is enough, your Grace is enough for me."

I felt like in that moment, I got it. Grace is enough. Not the craziness of Christmas, or anything else, just God's Grace. I also became a bit overwhelmed when I began to think about all the things Grace and Alex will teach us. I have a feeling, our education from our children has only just begun.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

And so it all changes ... Again.

One thing that becomes clear during an international adoption is that things change constantly. This has been an interesting week. A few days ago, my fellow mama blanc emailed me a bunch of pictures and video from her trip to Haiti last week. I had worked 4-4 that night and could not wait to get home to see the videos of Gracie. I opened the video and here she was, swaying to some music, trying to clap her hands, simply lost in the sounds. She smiled big and I just knew she was that little princess my pharmacist/musician husband would truly treasure. Me too, but he loves music so much that seeing this was simply moving. I watched it through a couple of times. Along about the third viewing I began to notice a few things. First, children I knew who were three and four were walking around near my dancing queen. The thing was, they were twice her size. How small is she? I wondered. Then, I noticed she was in diapers. That too was very odd for Haiti. They were usually potty trained long before the age of four if for no other reason than economics. Diapers are expensive.

I had a tough time sleeping despite working all night. This did not add up. I said something to Tim and we agreed... Time to ask some questions. I zipped off an email to Rachel and nervously waited all day for an answer. It finally came late Wednesday. Rachel had told me the wrong birth year. She was born in 09!!! She just turned two. A mere 15 months older than Alex. We were thrilled. She was not small or having issues, she is a toddler! We have had to switch some gears in our thinking, but happily so.

Today, I consulted Zachary again on his feelings about sharing mommy. I told him we can still have our weekly date nights like we do now. He asked,"but where will the babies be?". I told him they could stay with daddy. He frowned and said,"no. Mama you have three babies now and we need to bring them, or it won't be any fun." once again, my genius six year old has reminded me of the greatness of God's gifts to us.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Once Again, it Boils Down to Sippie Cups...and Zachary

I have mentioned Zachary many times in this blog. The fact is, he is such a blessing to me. It was him at age four that out of the blue said,"Hey mama?" "hmmm?" I answered. "I was talking to God. He said I would have a brother." I reminded him at the time he already had a brother, Jack. He just laughed and said,"No mama, a brother MY size." I explained to him that at that time we weren't sure another sibling was in the cards. It was then he told me not only was he to have another brother he would be brown. Six months later we got the offer to adopt from Haiti and here we sit, Alex on the way. There have been several other instances where he has relayed his chats with God. They are not that common, but we have learned to listen when he tells us. My favorite story was when he was about four. He explained that he remembered making people with God. He described people of all shapes and sizes. He then chuckled a bit and said, "me and God, boy were we tired!" his description was innocent and pure. The joy he felt slaying the story was obvious. Besides, we hadn't been talking about that. It was just another out of the blue conversation. So, we have learned that we need to hear our little boy, and I have come to treasure his opinions.

So, today, the boys and I set out on a mission, ok mostly me. After losing Nate I was struggling a bit with trusting Alex's adoption, or even Grace's. Today I decided it was my job to have faith in God's promise to me. We went out looking for girl stuff. Zachary held my hand as we walked down the aisles. He pensively looked over the sippie cups and picked out some pink princess cups, saying,"here mama, Grace will love these!" Jack was maybe a bit less interested, but he played along as much as a fifteen year old boy would, although knowing him, he knew this mattered to me, so it was nice. At one point Zachary was walking, holding my hand and looking quite serious. At last he says,"Mom?" "hmmm?" I answered. "I think I am going to like having a little sister. I have thought about it, and I think I will like it."

For me, that was the ringing endorsement I needed. One thing about adopting children is that each child has their own identity. Their own role in the house. Adding two more children is a bit harrowing for them. Jack had a rough time wrapping his head around Zachary's adoption after being the baby for ten years. All it took was getting him home, and Jack made it work. Now they are very close despite the age difference. Katya is preparing to go to the military after graduation this year, so the adoptions do not bother her at all. Zachary was my worry though. He has been the baby for five years,now he won't be. However, he surprised me as he is really exploring his new roles. Grace's protector, Alex's teacher about all things boy related, and on and on. He is excited to not be the littlest. So, once again, this adoption has come full circle. Out of the grief and back to sippie cups and Zachary, my amazing little man. I only hope that one day I know the Lord as well as him! As for me, I sent the day in the land of pink dresses and Hello Kitty art supplies for our next trip. I can't imagine anything better.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Big News

As we ride through this roller coaster called adoption, we have our highs and lows. Today was definitely a high. We received another referral. We are starting the process for a four year old girl! We have named her Grace Mary. Her birth name is difficult to spell and pronounce. It is Kettelie, we figure Gracie is close, but we will see how she does. Many months ago, I dreamt about a girl. When we went to Haiti we were certain God had a girl, yet when the situation came up to add a child, it was Alex. At the time, we were a bit confused, but somehow we knew that was the way to go. Then, we lost Nate and again wondered if there was to be a girl, and here she is!!!

She is a bit older than we anticipated, but we know in our heart of hearts she belongs here. We feel a bit overwhelmed at God's grace for us. She is an amazing gift and we cannot wait to meet her. To be honest, I spent my day dreaming of painting her room in shades of pink with castles. A room fit for a princess.

The kids are excited. Zachary wants her to go to preschool at his school so he can be with her. He talks about walking her in and looking out for her. He feels so responsible already. He then wanted to be sure he learned all he could about Star Wars Legos so that he can teach Alex. He is amazing. Today, we will ride that wave and celebrate our blessings.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bloggers Block Broken...

I decided tonight that I was just not blocked in my blogging world, I was blocked period. I felt frozen in time unable to do anything. I think it was the grief of losing Nate and the lack of any word on Alex, and just flat out frustration with it all. Then, today I went to church as I do every week, only this time it was one of those times when the sermon was tailor made for me. It was on waiting. It referenced Christmas, but the bigger picture talked about being patient for God. I guess I hadn't realized Jesus' birth was foretold hundreds of years before. Hundreds of years! This struck a chord with me as I realized my anger, grief and frustration was equivalent to a period of months. When would Alex come home? June or July? Would it be later....ok, really? I miss him and it is awful being away from him, but maybe, just maybe there is something I need to learn from the wait, or something I need to be shown in the wait. Another phrase in the sermon was,"we need the wait.". As hard as it is, I think that is true too. I sent the afternoon quietly digesting all of this. I wanted it my way, bring him home now, then tonight I went back for evening service. A friend was playing the music, my husband had played this morning, so we went back to see him and some other friends. Wouldn't you know, a song was played that was not played this morning. "Everlasting God". Believe I blogged that a while back,"strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord."

I had forgotten. I had forgotten God's plan, surrending this adoption to Him. Grief had taken hold and soured things a bit. So, here I sit, blog almost complete and batteries starting to be recharged. Geez, if this keeps up I just may be able to purchase sippie cups again!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bloggers Block...

As the title would indicate I have decided that I have bloggers block. Blogging is easy when life is moving and shaking. Nate's adoption was clicking along, maybe a little slower an I would like, but moving nonetheless. Then we added Alex, more excitement, more stuff happening. Now, with Nate gone, and limited news on Alex, I find the wait frustratingly quiet. It is the time in the process when there is literally nothing to do. I cannot plan a trip, the paperwork is done, I need no signatures, and I am fearful of shopping for anything. So, here I sit, once again trying to learn my life lesson on patience. One of my fellow bloggers and friends suggested God was going to have her keep adopting until she learned the lesson. I am thinking it must be true for me too.

So, for now, I will work on my patience. Perhaps that means I should cut back from checking my email a hundred times a day, to fifty! LOL!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


As I reflect on the holiday of Thanksgiving, I cannot help but think about that special Thanksgiving five years ago. We spent about 16 hours on a plane with one layover in Atlanta bringing home our precious Zachary. He was fifteen months old to the day. I remember the plane ride and he was just so good. Fourteen hours in the air without a break and all he did was eat and sleep. When we finally landed in Cincinnati, the airport was deserted. Actually, our flight from Atlanta to Cincinnati was deserted. It was late,and outside of us, there were only two other people on the plane. I will never forget taking the escalator up to baggage claim in cincinnati to see our extended waiting family. It was like a private homecoming. When we got home, we ate our Thanksgiving leftovers out of plastic containers. After 18 days in Russia, food never tasted so good. I remember standing in the doorway of Zachary's nursery long after everyone had gone and I thought how nice it was to finally see that crib full. It was as if I wanted to memorize every feature in his face as if he would be gone by morning and it would have all been a dream. That wasn't true though. That same little boy jumped up and down in the doorway leading into the house as I pulled in the garage after work tonight. It reminded me once again, despite my grief over losing Nate and the uncertainty of Alex's process, one day his crib will be full too, and I am truly thankful for my adoptions.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I realize i have a few followers who watch our adoption process like our own little prayerful cheering section. To those of you, I must just say sorry. I realize I have not posted in nearly two weeks. The reality is, early on when we lost Nate my rational brain took over. I saw his mother's love and Nate's ability to remain with her. I still see this, but on the other hand I feel a sense of loss. We met him, loved him, made plans for him to fit into our family like a little puzzle piece. Each passing day brought with it more info of how he would perfectly match, until the day he didn't. To be honest, I have been truly blessed by a handful of people who have lost referrals for adoptions for one reason or another. These wise women, and you know who you are, have allowed me to do something I have come to value in this and that is grieve. They shared with me that although we lost Nate because of the love someone felt for him, we still lost him. So, we are trying to bravely look ahead and see what God's next move will be. I think the hardest part of that is to try to love our little Alex without fear or reservation. It is hard to give him my heart without being afraid one day he will be gone too. Then, I realized Alex is missing something Nate had all along...a mama. Nate was home until he was two, his mother leaving him was heart wrenching for her. Alex was brought to the orphanage at birth. He never had a mama to snuggle with. So, I think my true test is to love him without abandon and let God protect my heart when the time comes. Alex needs me, and it is not fair to hold back. So, for now, we are looking ahead and hoping for news that I can go and love my boy like only a mama can. The reality is, that news will probably not come until January or February,but still, God can move mountains, so why not my paperwork?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bitter Sweet News

I guess this is the valley in the roller coaster ride of our adoption.  Today, I got a call from our coordinator.  Nate was reclaimed by his birth mother.  She simply could not live without him any longer.  As disappointed as I am, I must say that having a child who is this loved is truly one of life's blessings.  In my three previous adoptions, there were no birth mothers involved.  They had simply abandoned their children, or in one of my children's case, had chosen to continue her alcohol addiction and allow my child to be removed from her home.  Life is different for Nate.  His birth mother cannot face another day without him.  When I think about it, I am not certain that I could carry a child for nine months, raise him in my home for two years and simply walk away with the knowledge he would go to another country and I would never see any of his firsts.  The first time he walked, the first tooth to fall out, the first day of school.  I realize they live a meager existence and probably the conditions he will return to are nothing like he would have here, but he will be with the person who loves him best of all.  In that, I must believe is God's plan. 

As to what comes next...we are still very excited for Alex.  We are ever grateful that we were faithful to God's nudging so we have our beautiful boy to focus on during this time.  We are also spending a lot of time in prayer.  We are still approved for two children and we are waiting to see if another child is in God's plan for us.  Thank you to all of our friends and family that have remained faithful to us.  We love you all.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Amazing Gifts

There are times in this process when you just begin to feel as though you are at one end of a very large tunnel.  In my metaphorical tunnel, there are train tracks.  I see trains going back and forth through the tunnel, but I never seem to move.  My babies are at the other end and it just seems like having them in my arms forever is just so far away, yet the trains keep moving.  I find myself wanting to throw rocks at the trains that pass so easily at times.  Just about the time I am ready to throw myself on the tracks and give up, something happens.  Some little beam of light that shines through my tunnel guiding me closer to the babies. 

Yesterday, I saw that light.  This time it came in the form of two lovely young ladies who, as it turns out, are working in the orphanage.  They have been there for two months and have grown to love my children.  They friended me on Facebook which opened up a treasure trove of information.  I saw pictures, I got a long email describing my babies in brilliant detail.  I learned that Alex thinks having his diaper changed is hilarious.  I learned that Nate is fairly regimented in his routine.  I found that really funny because I already have two boys like that!!  Most importantly, I learned that Nate is very concerned with Alex.  Out of fifteen babies, Nate is close to Alex not even understanding that he is in fact, his new brother.  Nate is forever standing over Alex with his bottles saying "Baby Mange!"  (Baby Eat!)  Their caregiver told me it must be a God thing that the two are so close.  In fact, I think she was relieved they were to be forever brothers.  I also learned Nate is the caregiver of the bunch.  He is the first to rub the babies backs who are crying and is very consoling.  I got to feel that I knew my boys that much better, a jump start on bringing them home. 

I got a brighter light later in the day.  My friend Denise, a fellow mama blanc, is there visiting.  She shared with me that Rachel took Nate to church yesterday.  When he was so ill, she stayed up all night and begged God to spare him.  Truth be told, I did too.  She promised God that she would testify if He would just save him.  The next day, Nate received the blood she had arranged.  The doctor warned one transfusion would not do it.  His hemoglobin was 2.  This is not compatable with life.  Not only did he survive, but his hemoglobin skyrocketed leaving the docs scratching their heads I think.  Rachel took him to church yesterday.  She took him to the altar and testified of God's graces for my beautiful son.  I found myself, again, humbled at the power of God.  I guess it would not just be the power, but the fact that He chose my son to give grace too.  It makes me wonder what God's plans are for this boy.  His life has been spared three times in Haiti.  His twin died of malnutrition before he was brought to the orphanage.  He became dangerously anemic in March and almost died then too, now this.  I cannot wait to see what His plan is!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Still Waiting...

This has been a difficult week.  One of the babies in the orphanage did in fact die this week of meningitis.  I will not soon forget the look on the face of one of the doctors I work with when I told her.  We, as medical professionals in the US could not even fathom a child dying of meningitis.  It is nearly unheard of.  Yes, the diagnosis strikes fear in the hearts of parents and often brings them running to the Emergency Room any time their child has a fever and a headache.  Nonetheless, we treat them with antibiotics and mostly they make a full recovery.  Not in Haiti.  Once again, their limited resources and overwhelming need for even the simplest of things becomes blatently obvious.  It also reminded me once again of how fragile life can be there.  It also made me in an even bigger hurry to get my babies home.

To be honest, I am convinced my coordinator in Haiti feels the same sense of urgency.  We are pressing on with two adoption processes and hoping for the best.  I continue to look for ways to ease the pain of the wait.  This week, I found a great way.  Our church is part of Samaritan's Purse, Operation Christmas Child.  It is a program where people donate shoe boxes full of toys for needy children  The boxes are shipped all over the world.  It dawned on me as I thought through this program that I would not have Christmas with Nate and Alex.  We just will not be done by then.  So, today I went out to get boxes filled in their honor.  You can select what sex you want to buy for, and what age.  I picked male ages 2-4.  They did not have a category for under two, but I figured Alex would not mind.  I picked out Nate's favorite things, a stuffed Elmo and a stuffed Cookie monster and two race cars for each.  The directions said personal items would help and as luck would have it I had toothbrushes and toothpaste for toddlers, so I threw those in too.  I am wanting a couple other things to add, maybe a ball or two.  There was an option to put a note in describing your family with your address.  The thought was the children could write you later.  I am still mulling this over.  I am doing this in honor of two unfortunate children who will one day join our family and set out on a life they could never have dreamed of in the mountains of Haiti.  I am afraid sharing this with children who do not have this opportunity would make it difficult.  I also think that these boxes need to be special.  The children also receive with their boxes the words of Jesus.  They are introduced to Christianity because of my giving.  I think for me, I would like to leave off the note.  Let them open this special box, with shiny toys and hear the words of Jesus without my interference in the message.  I will have to think on that a bit more.

Nonetheless, today was a bright day.  Kiersten, through the grief of losing her baby delivered.  She brought me news of Rachel's hard work on Nate's adoption and the most important thing....PICTURES!!!  Here is the latest, taken just this week of Alex.  Nate was still in the hospital, but is home now and I should get new ones of him next week.  THANK YOU to my fellow mama blanc's!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hoping for News...

The last week as I said in the last post, has been just draining. The good news is Nate is better. He had a scary episode with a fever, but was doing well as of Friday. The fever scared me as one of my fellow mama blanc's is trying to cope with her child in a Haitian hospital suffering from meningitis. He is so ill, yet we have no way of really knowing how he is. She is going to Haiti Tuesday. Through it all, I have spoken with her many times trying to impart medical information with limited return info and just trying to support her. Through that I saw something inspirational. She wants to go to Haiti to see her baby of course, but she has taken this time to champion the cause of all of the orphans. Sh has broadcasted the needs of the orphanage and is using this difficult trip to be a blessing to the other children. She is bringing supplies and trying to meet the needs she can through the grave illness of her baby. Through her grief she reached out to me to see what she could do to bring my own little sick baby home. I gave her some questions I really needed answered and she is on that fact finding mission.

My other mama Blanc friend is traveling too and is bringing my babies a proper mama hug from me, plus something worth more than gold right now...pictures. It is through these awe inspiring acts that I am learning that maybe this long and painful wait is really God's plan to teach us how to be a blessing to someone else. I decided to take my wait and try to maneuver my travelto Haiti to include a long overdue visit with my mom as she moves through her chemo. It turns out I stumbled on amazing airfare out of Chicago. Now, just to get the word to put that plan into action. Until then, I will live out this week being ever grateful to my mama Blanc friends who are taking time out of their own time with their babies to make my wait just a little simpler. I cannot wait to return the favor.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Tough Choice

The last few days have been laden with ups and downs. On Monday night we heard Nate was very sick. His hemoglobin was dangerously low and the Red Cross in Haiti was out of blood. It occurred to me at that time it was time to trust God. There was nothing for me to do in this situation. I could not magically produce blood even if I were there. God showed up, and showed off. Nate survived the night and sent some friends to our coordinator to donate their own blood so Nate could survive. He is better little by little. This has led us to make some tough choices. We have split his adoption off from Alex. He is much further along in the process and cannot wait until Alex is ready to go any further. Our coordinator estimates that would delay Nate's homecoming by about six months. He nearly died this time, I am not sure waiting for a next time would be best.

So, here I sit, anxiously awaiting another email from our coordinator. Our lawyer is checking on things and we are hoping that we are nearly out of social services so I will have the feat joy and privilege to travel to see my babies. I need to hold my Nate and praise God that he was spared. I need to hold Alex again. Last time I held him he was God's little orphan, this time I get to hold him and tell him I am his mama. I think somehow through this frightening time, I have received several gifts. First, I get to see my babies soon. I wasn't otherwise going to see them until at least January. Second, with them coming home months apart, I will have plenty of time to enjoy each baby as they come home. Here is to hoping I can go soon!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Out of the mouth of...Zachary

It has come to the attention of Tim and I that our six year old Zachary, seems to know things. He told us a year and a half ago, long before Haiti was on the table, that God was sending him a brother. One that was his size and brown. There have been several other things he seems to know. He told me once he remembered sitting with God and making people. He described making people of all colors with straight hair and curly hair and that when they were done, they were really tired. He was 4 at the time. I asked if they had talked about creation in Sunday school, his teacher had said no. So, although it doesn't happen often, we have learned to listen when Zachary talks about God.

Today, I was puttering around in the kitchen doing my prep work for the dinners this week. He was sitting at my bar playing Lego's when he began to talk about Abraham and Sarah. He said, "see mom, everyone told her she was too old and she had a baby." he seemed to have a good understanding of their lives, and the story. He had learned it today in Sunday school. I stopped what I was doing and sat down with him. I hugged him tight and he smiled. I told him this was my favorite story. It reminded me that all this waiting and my advanced age, I am 41, meant nothing in God's plan. The babies were coming, if I can just be faithful and carry on, just like Sarah. Leave it to Zachary, at his ripe old age of 6 to have just the right message. I returned to my puttering, but pausing now and then to watch him with his Lego's and wonder if he had any idea what a treasure from God he truly is.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Sick Child

There are some big differences between this adoption and the adoptions we completed before. In other adoptions we simply had no information. No updates, nothing. This one I have the privilege of speaking to the orphanage director, and now friend, any time I want via email. This seems like such a blessing most of the time, but there are times it is more of a torture of sorts. Yesterday, I got an email that Nate is sick. He is crying a lot, and he was taken to the doctor yesterday and is quite anemic. He has been anemic before and has even had transfusions. I gave this all to God. He placed the loving orphanage director there to care for him when I couldn't and I know she loves him very much, but still...it is my baby and I want to be there. I cried as I wished I could dry his tears and put him on my lap or squeeze him tight through the blood draws, but I can't. I am frustrated by this too.

Then, a cool day happened. Tim played a breast cancer event with his band. It was a whirlwind of emotions for me. It was the good music and the breast cancer survivors and the texting of my mom recovering from chemo, all of it. It made me glad to be there with friends. After Jack and I did what we do best, shopping. On the way home though, the tide turned again. Jack's throat hurt, he is starting to run a fever and coughing. We came in the house I dosed my child with advil and tucked him into the couch and our favorite holiday movie was on, Christmas Vacation. I know, odd, middle of October, but still. I rubbed his head and took great joy in caring for my baby here. Somehow, I felt through this I helped Nate too. I hate that Jack is sick, but somehow I think God gave me this caregiving opportunity to heal my saddened heart at not being able to help Nate. Now, to take a realistic stance and hope it doesn't spread through the house! LOL!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Little News...

One of my fellow Mama's Blanc described the emotions that go along wth seeing our orphanage director's name in the address of a new email. There is excitement...would there be good news? There is anxiety...what if the news was bad? On and on it goes. I have been waiting to hear from her for more than a week now. I had several questions, mostly administrative in nature. Finally, today, it all came together. She had received our latest round of paperwork and today, just today, had finally been able to push full steam ahead on our beautiful little Alexander. His papers will join Nate's and we are moving inside Haitian Social Services. That is a very unpredictable process. With Nate I sweated out every day, then we were suddenly done right after we accepted Alex's referral. Pretty quick really. I am hoping Alex's will be just as swift. Now, I can finally hit the pause button again and put this adoption back into play mode. I feel like with the paperwork delay and the decision to bring home Alex, that we have been paused forever.

I would love to say that I was angry about the delay. Say that somehow the time was wasted and now the children are older. I honestly cannot say that. God used that time to tap us on the shoulder and give us the blessing of little Alex. One day, I will look at him asleep in his crib and be able to think I could not imagine my life without him in it. I also think God has big plans for these two boys. Those plans could not have been carried out had we zipped through Nate's adoption ignoring God's plan for Alex, or the blessings he will bring our family.

Now I only hope that things will keep moving. The minute we are done in social services we get to go see our babies again!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Whirlwind of a Day!

Today marked the official start of trampoline meet season. Jack and I arose at 3:30 am to make it to Columbus for his first event. It was his first time competing as advanced in trampoline. He arrived, and although he would not admit it, I think he was nervous. Then, in the stretching area were four other advanced male trampolinists from a gym in Michigan. They obviously have been advanced a while through the slew of double tucks and double fulls flying off the trampoline. Nonetheless, Jack did fine. He came in behind all of them, and I think was a bit disappointed, but I reminded him he hadn't been advanced all that long. Then, on to the double mini. There he was fourth, beating out one of them. He was happy about that. Then, on to tumbling, where he remains sub advanced this year. Fortunately there was only one person he was competing against there, of course from that same gym. He lost by a couple tenths. Not bad. I think it inspired him to work harder.

The rest of the day was full of adventure for us. Off to Starbucks, our favorite hangout, chipotle, a favorite lunch spot which we don't have in West Virginia, then on to Jack's favorite mall, Easton in Columbus. We used his Easton app on his phone, and covered a lot of ground in a short period if time. He carefully picked out Lego's for Zachary, jeans and a sweatshirt for his sis, ok, I helped with that, and sugar free candy bars from Godiva for his diabetic dad. He got a few things too. On the way home, he talked about how great it will be next summer. He will drive and I can "rest the whole way!" he talked about taking all his little brothers to the Lego store and spoiling them. It made me proud that he would think about what life would be like with the babies. It didn't hurt when he mentioned rest for me! In all, it reminded me that our little adventures will one day be quite different with all the babies, then in another time, our adventures will slow down quite a bit as he moves off to college. It made me happy to have had today. I think the best part was watching him and Zachary carefully making a building out of the Lego's Jack picked out for him, and later watching Katya give voices to the characters they had built. God has given me great babies and there are days I can't believe He is blessing me with two more.

Now...if I could just wait on this whole God's timing thing! LOL!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Big News!

I spent the last few weeks trying to figure out this delay. Our paperwork was delayed with seemingly no answers. A wise friend of mine suggested that God has a reason. Maybe He had something planned? I must admit, at the time I held on to that but was skeptical. I could not understand why God would not want Nate here with us. Then, the plan started to come, little by little throughout the last few days, it came. First a call. My boss called. Not the little supervisor, but the big boss. Oh geez. What did I do? I wondered. The other freaky thing was he called me at home on a day off. Hmmm... I nervously started talking to him. It turns out he was simply offering me to work at another hospital for about three months. I live halfway between Charleston and Huntington. I currently work in Charleston, and he offered me to work in Huntington for a little bit. They were short of nurse practitioners and he thought maybe I would like to help them out. He then offered me a bonus. The exact amount we needed for something we have been praying about.

From the beginning we were approved for two children. Now, we had the exact amount we needed to do just that, adopt another child from Haiti. Somehow we just knew we needed to do it. We had the perfect child in mind. When we went there was one baby not matched with a family. It has haunted me since we were there. Why didn't anyone match with him? I asked some of my adopting friends if they would take him, none could do it. I hated it. Fifteen babies and he was the only one with no mama. We fed him, rocked him and held him when we were there. I laughed at him as he was working toward crawling and he just couldn't figure it out because he had a thumb in his mouth and couldn't use that arm to move. Today, we agreed to be his parents. Yes, another baby. A ten month old boy, yet to be named by us. We are working in that! LOL!

My wonderful friend and fellow Mama Blanc, Denise immediately sent me pictures of him she had taken in January. He was ten days old when she met him. He was in his birth mother's arms. In the other pics, he was snuggled into his crib, sound asleep, same thumb in his mouth.

Here is the thing, after agreeing to take him, we found out as soon as our papers get there in a couple days we are about to come out of social services for Nate. This will put his process on hold until the baby's stuff catches up. It will put us back a few weeks, but in the end a few weeks is nothing compared to a lifetime with a beautiful baby. Besides, I firmly believe God would have put the roadblocks up until we figured out his plan for us was this beautiful baby all along.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Great Fixer

I believe I have proven today that endless prayer certainly pays off. Today, most things broken got fixed. First, the Internet guy came and I am happy to say during his five minute stay here he it it done. Never mind the painfully simple thing he did! I must admit, I was annoyed at spending half the day waiting on him, but that too was fruitful. I got the bills paid and a pile of mail sorted and my kitchen clean. However, I did have a small mishap there. It turns out balancing my phone between my ear and my shoulder over a sink of pine sol and hot water was probably not the best idea I ever had. Yes, phone submerged into a sink. The good news was it was TOTALLY disinfected. The bad news was, it was TOTALLY broken. That was not awful news though. I strongly disliked my phone. I was impatiently waiting for my upgrade. I was lucky though, I went to the store and I was eligible for a free upgrade! I got the iPhone 4 which I have wanted for a long time. So, that was awesome! On the way home I got the mail. In there was the official letter inviting my oldest two to the USCIS office to collect their US citizen certificates. I have been waiting for this for a long time too! As if it couldn't get any better, the person renting a house we own who has promised to get a mortgage for two years to buy the place, out of the blue has a meeting with the mortgage broker tomorrow!

Tim and I just looked at one another in stunned silence tonight. I think good news on Nate would have just capped the day. We didn't get any, but God blessed us beyond our wildest dreams today. I think we will spend some time sending up some praises for such a wonderful day and see what comes next.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Things getting fixed...

Well, things are slowly but surely getting fixed. Cable guys are mailing us a new box, then coming out for service. The Internet guys are coming too. The cars are fixed and I believe I have found a dishwasher I like for a fairly reasonable price. So, things are coming together. There really is only one major disaster left. The paperwork. I still have heard nothing, but hopefully it too will follow the rest of our disasters this week and be fixed.

On a different note, today I was treated to a comment made by Jack, my 15 year old, that absolutely made my month. We were driving along, having just left Starbucks on our way to Best Buy to fix some of the disasters. "Mom?" he said. "Hmmm?" I answered. "I wish I could go back to the orphanage." I asked him why. He went on to explain his desire to track down the woman who selected him out of all the babies there to be adopted by us. He said only this,"I would THANK her!" to have this child who has blessed me in countless ways be so grateful to be part of our family touched me in a way I cannot describe. It reminded me once again, that this process however frustrating, and difficult at times has the greatest rewards. Here is to hoping for some news tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

All things broken...

Well, everything broke. Really. I think it must have really started Sunday. I took the car for an oil change after church. The guy convinced me it needed differential fluid. He gave me a colorful description of how the gears work, and the need for the fluid. I even saw him rubbing someone else's oil on his hand to test it. He went by "Red" and was boastfully strutting his car knowledge. I explained I was in healthcare. It didn't stop him though until I was 160 dollars lighter convinced if I didn't do what he said all four wheels would fall off simultaneously. On the heels of that, I opened my dishwasher which was having issues anyway, and the whole front panel fell off and the plastic buttons skittered all over the kitchen. Now it looks like a robot that lost his steel face and the dry cycle doesn't work. Then, it was the satellite tv box in the basement. It has decided to give it up too. This was all not to be confused with the $600 repair on Tim's truck yesterday. The final straw came last night as I worked 3p-3a and I got a text in the evening that my wifi was not working. In the midst of all of this, the consulate has refused to write the letter I need saying it simply was not necessary. They are right it would seem, but now we are left to find another way through. Our attorney is working on it.

What did all this do? Well it frustrated us, it angered us, it made us crazy! Today, one wise person in our lives gave us a reminder though. It was much needed. We were reminded that sometimes when you try to listen and do the will of God roadblocks are put up to take our eyes off God and not pursue what He has for us. I must say, it worked...until now. God has sent us the incredible friendship and prayer of some amazing folks so that we can face another day. Here is to praying that tomorrow nothing breaks. If it does, I will know that no matter what happens we are one day closer to my little Nate coming home.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Got Some News

I got some news today. What kind of news? Well, it depended on what time today you would have asked me. First, I got my papers. Social Services sent me back some translations of documents to be stamped. That was bad news. Those documents are not officially notarized or sealed meaning that the consulate would likely not stamp them. I called the consulate and they said no, that they would not give me the stamps I was asking for. Bad news. They went on to say that the stamps were not necessary as the originals were already stamped. Good news! I quickly fired off an email explaining this to our coordinator. She ran it by the attorney who wanted a letter from the consulate stating that the stamps were not necessary. I didn't get that word until the consulate was closed, bad news. I did, however, check in my other consulate paperwork and I got a real live person who was working on it today. She was wonderful and gave me her name, so now I have someone to call for this letter. Good news. Up and down and up and down...thus goes the road to international adoption. I am booing to have the letter next week and will get things rolling again.

In the end, this is all better news than I thought. Our delay shouldn't be too long now that I have someone at the consulate to work with. Here is to praying that the call to the consulate runs smoothly on Monday. In the meantime, I am still waiting on an update on how my precious boy is. What a blessing he will be when he finally comes home.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Rays of Sunshine

After my little ray of sunshine with Chris Thomlin tickets the other day, I decided that there must be more rays of sunshine around even if I have to look a little harder for them. Today, I excitedly went to the post office hoping my documents were there. They were not. I also had noticed the Fedex truck had been in the neighborhood earlier and I had left out the garage. I would drive back up the hill we live on, really more of a small mountain, to look at the front door. I went up the front hill and when I got to the top I saw two things. First a pack of wild turkeys wondering in the subdivision. There were 8 of them. OK, that is odd. It actually made me laugh out loud as to the ridiculousness of it all. I waited patiently for them to cross the street, no, not chicken to the other side, turkeys to the other side! I drove down two blocks to the empty lot next door to my house. There I saw two beautiful deer, also smack in the middle of the subdivision. That too made me smile. Odd as it may be there have been times in my life when things were rough. As I prayed my way through those I somehow knew this were going to be ok when I saw a deer. A message from God if you will. The night my mother-in-law died, there was a full on multiple point buck right on the side of the busy city street in Dayton. Tim saw it too and we somehow knew as hard as it was, we were going to be fine because we had God. My papers were not on the doorstep, but somehow I knew it was OK. God had a plan.

Later, I had the opportunity to pray with someone I know well. She too is impatient about things in her life. I was able to use those same lines from the Chris Thomlin song"strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.". It really helped her I think, as it helped me. Although nothing has changed, we are no further now than we were yesterday in Nate's adoption, I at least have my little rays of sunshine to carry me through. I think I just needed that to remind me of God's perfect plan.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Finally, there was news...

Today was probably not the best day to work. I was distracted and worried all day. Good thing we were not that busy in the area of the trauma center I was working in. Mom's mastectomy was supposed to start at 2:30. My brother said they took her back at 1:30. I waited and waited only to hear at 5 she was still in holding. It turns out that they had some trouble getting the rooms moving there. She is in Chicago, I am in West Virginia. She went into surgery in good spirits and I did get to tell her, via text message that I loved her as she went off. The next three hours were like torture as I waited and waited. The good news is I got off work and got to come home. Finally, my brother called. She was out and in recovery. He is not a medical person, but did such a good job talking to the surgeon. Things"went better than expected". It had "not been as hard as they thought." They even think she will go home tomorrow. I was very grateful that one of her surgeries ended in good news. Every other one in her string of biopsies have been bad news. Always malignant, always more treatment to come, always more surgery. I am happy to not hear that today. I grieve for her and this diagnosis, but am grateful to God she ended up where she did with such good care. The original plan did not include such an extensive workup. Despite all the hard news, God brought her where she needs to be and for that I am very grateful.

I must admit through my prayer time I have grown a bit selfish. I have been begging for a break in the action. Some little ray of sunshine to hold on to. Today it happened. God sent me just a little break in the clouds. I got in the car to go to work. I turned on klove as I always do. It was then I caught it, an ad for Chris Thomlin. He is coming to town! One of my fellow Mama Blanc's recently posted all the lyrics to one of his songs on our list serve as many of us mom's are struggling in the wait. "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord" the song goes. Wouldn't you know I get to hear that live. I immediately got online and bought tickets. I didn't bother asking Tim, I simply emailed him the confirmation with a little note. He loved it. So, we now have an awesome date night planned for Nov 5 to hear one of our favorite artists. One little ray of sunshine when we really needed it. Now, here's to hoping those papers arrive soon!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Praying today...

Today is definitely a day to pray. Tomorrow marks the official start of my mom's battle with breast cancer. She has spent a month being scanned, poked, prodded, biopsied and thoroughly worked up all leading to tomorrow. She will have a mastectomy followed by radiation and possibly chemo. We have had the privilege of having lots of conversations about life, the past, and the future. She is committed to dancing at Nate's wedding. Considering he is only two and not home yet, she is going to have to fight hard. It touches my heart that he is already such a big part of her already and she has never met him. It strengthened my resolve to get that paperwork moving despite my disappointment in the delay. Hopefully, the paperwork will arrive tomorrow. Then it is yet another push to the consulate for the stamp.

So, as I said, today is a day to pray. It is a good thing I am still doing my forty days of prayer and fast. I can only hope that through this tough time of delays and cancer God will quiet my anxious heart and reveal what comes next. Until then, good luck Mom, I love you.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Some News

Well, as speculated we did hear something today. The thing was it was not what I had hoped. Apparently social services wants some more Haitian seals on some of our documents. So, they are winging their way back to me as I type this. I am not sure which documents or what they might need exactly. I had everything stamped that was supposed to be, but the consulate stamped some of them on the backs of the documents so I am wondering if that is the problem. I am a little disappointed in this setback, but I am trying to be positive.

There were two things that happened that tell me God is in this. One was that since some of our docs have been kicked back, that tells me someone is looking at our stuff. That is good news. Second, our coordinator found out yesterday this needed to be done, and someone was on her way to the states today and she is sending them to me when she gets here. That makes things easier. So, I suppose if there is a delay, being able to deal with it swiftly is a blessing. This very thing happened with Zachary's adoption when we hit the translation phase. All of our docs had to be resealed because of an error made with one of the dates by the county notary. That, of course, turned out just fine. I am hoping this will too and it will not put us back further because of the documents.

Here's to praying this document thing is a short little bump in the road!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Angels among us

This week has not been without it's challenges. Tim had a health scare, yes, in the middle of an adoption. Then, mom's latest biopsy showed the cancer was in her lymph nodes, then some challenges of parenting, not to mention no news on Nate. Through it all, I began to wonder where God was in all of this. I kept praying and wondering how it would all end. Then, slow but sure God showed up. Tim's health was going to need work, but be ok. Mom was actually chipper as she told me about h lymph nodes. I told her I was confused, was this good news? She went on to explain that at the facility where she had her mammogram they only wanted to do a lumpectomy. She had gone to a bigger breast center and all of the rest was discovered. She was grateful for that and is headed into surgery next week. Then, I went to church today. I was exhausted emotionally and really needed a God size fill up. It came. My church family like angels little by little dismantled the issues and reminded me of how blessed I am to have these people in my life. I left renewed and ready to take on whatever is coming my way this week.

I even got my update on Nate. I learned that when your paperwork leaves social services it is published in a paper that comes out each month in the middle of the month. That would be this week. Thanks Denise for that info! Maybe this will be the week we hear something.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A wall of bubbles

Every now and then I think God tries very hard to remind me about some of life's better things. Through my discouragement lately ov a multitude of things I have continued on my fast and prayer. This is now week three. Again it seemed I was not getting much in the way of answers. Then, some answers came from the most likely source. It was Zachary. On the way to school I was admittedly grumpy. I have worked many shifts this week and work all night tonight. We dropped the teen off and were on our way to the elementary school when Zachary, age 6, began asking me about the "soda drinking hat.". As he described it I realized he was talking about those silly hats that hold two cans of soda with a straw to your mouth. I have no idea how he knew what it was but he did. He talked about blowing bubbles with that straw. "I could make a whole wall of bubbles to run through!" he then asked if I would hold his hand and run through with him. The visual of he and I doing this carried me through the day. I smile even now as I think about it. It reminded me how Zachary's adoption made no sense. Our kids were older and moving on, we were secure in our careers. I guess we have given stuff up to have him, but to have him want to run through bubbles with me reminded why he is here. It renewed my excitement to see what Nate has in store for us.

Later, Zachqry reminded me of something else. He was talking about death. He is a curious boy, not morbid, just curious. He asked,"so, you to through all your years then you get old and you have finally made it." he smiled as he said that. I asked what he meant and he said,"you finally get to be with God." He somehow knows this is the most amazing thing. He was fearless and excited. It reminded me again, this is how it should be. Doing things that honor and glorify God and not worry so much. Again, I firmly believe this is Zachary's sole purpose, to teach me. In the end he went back to his wall of bubbles. He had decided we needed to be patient and wait for Nate to make our wall, because it would be more fun with him. Somehow I think he is right.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Forcing the issue...

Sometimes, I find myself in my impatience pushing through things in the hopes of a quick answer. Last week I found myself feverishly sending emails and texts in a futile attempt to come to some answer on moving ahead with our adoption, my mom's cancer and some other things. It was as if I became very proactive answers will come. It led to as my husband so affectionately put it, me, banging my head on the proverbial wall. Yes, after ten years in neurosurgery prior to my triumphant return to emergency medicine, I know better than to use the real wall! Nonetheless, I found myself at church yesterday. I looked around at the expected thinner holiday crowd as everyone was trying to have their last hurrah of summer or whatever. The pastor commented on how he expected the crowd to be smaller, but he just knew that of those of us listening God knew we needed to hear it. Once again, there was a lot of truth to that.

We listened as he shared the accounts of how the fast and prayer was going. There was one account by a friend of mine that opened by saying she had been faithful with her prayer and it didn't seem that God has revealed anything. That struck a chord with me. All this furious texting, emails, prayer, yet no answers. Then I slowly began to realize all those things were not of God, they were of me hoping for God's quick answer. Geez. Later, more and more got revealed to me leading up to an email on my adoption list serve. A friend has posted all the words to a favorite song of mine. A Chris Thomlin, the chorus of which says,"strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.". I smiled as I read it. Ok, be patient. I get it. So, on to the continued fast and prayer, off with the texts and emails, unless necessary and let God do it.

Until then, I hear my little Nate is doing well. I left a photo album with him so he wouldn't forget his mommy. In the meantime Zachary has spent his evening trying to figure out where Nate would fit on mommy's lap ( he takes up some room and isn't giving up his spot). Once he figured out those logistics (he would give up one leg for Nate to sit on), he moved on to just which slides at the Great Wolf Lodge Nate would be able to go on. He sweetly described each slide he thought would work and said he would have to go down first to show him. What a brother he will be!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Amazing Blessings

As I look though my fellow blogger Denise's post, I become acutely aware that I am not the only one suffering from the frustration of no news. Through it all though, I learned something in the last few days. I have a colleague, former employer and friend who is Lybian. In February, he went to Lybia to help with the war effort. I couldn't imagine him doing this. He is a successful neurosurgeon, with a wife and four children. Why would he do this? He explained at the time he just had to see if he could help. I told him to be careful. Less than a month after his arrival there he was reported missing. It was weeks before it was finally discovered he had, in fact, been captured and was in jail. There was no other news for months until last week. Te rebels had taken Tripoli and he had been freed when the rebels stormed the jail. He arrived home here last night to a hero's welcome at the airport. Such a huge blessing.

He and I have spent much time together. Between middle of the night craniotomies to long philosophical discussions in the office. He is Muslim and I, am christian. I must admit I knew nothing about his religion until we worked together. He explained we worship the same God, just he believed Jesus to be a prophet, not the son of God. He was well versed at the old testament and spent much time in prayer. I remember on Fridays at his appointed hour if he could not slip out to church, he would quietly go in his office and shut the door for his prayer time. One Friday, however stand out to me. He did not have time to go to his office, he was waiting on a case to begin. He simply took a green surgery towel, found an empty OR and knelt and prayed. Why? It was time to pray, plain and simple. We are not used to that in our society, so there was plenty of snickering. I must admit, even for me it seemed a bit much. Now, though, I think it was his faithfulness that got him through. He never cared who saw him pray, and was not going to let the realities of life stand in his way.

Today, he appeared on the evening news. He was much thinner, and looked every bit his 50 years, but there it was his unwavering faith. He pulled his shirt up and the scars of numerous beatings were obvious. He was asked if he feared death during his time in captivity. He said no. He said he remained faithful feeling that if it were his time to die, then God would take him. He said for the faithful, death is not to be feared. He sat with his family, all smiling broadly ready to move forward with life. He even talked about coming back to work, I can't wait! Nonetheless, it was a good reminder that God is there even when times are frustrating and hard.

As if that were not lesson enough, my good friend had her much awaited baby today. After a tough job, a tough time getting pregnant and a host of other difficult things, her baby was perfect, her job is awesome and her life has all come together. Blessings upon blessings for sure. Through my frustration it is wonderful to have a front row seat to God's amazing works. I guess I will try to be more patient. :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Something to do...

Well, it was a tough day.  I was off, which was of course, a blessing after working the night shift on Saturday.  At some point I will have to share the fun and excitement that is a level one trauma center on a Saturday night in the summer!!  Nonetheless, I was exhausted yesterday.  Today, though I faced the day.  It was another biopsy day for mom.  Today it was the lymph nodes.  There are times I really hate that she is far away and I cannot get in the car and be with her.  This was one of those times.  Leave it to modern technology though, she was able to text me.  LOL!!  I got the blow by blow of the injection, the waiting, the endless waiting, to the description of the nice warm blankets they had her wrapped in.  I think my favorite text of the day was a steady stream of nonsensical consonants.  I asked if she had mis typed it, but when I got no answer, I later learned she had just been medicated.  LOL!!  In the end, she called, half loopy to say she was headed home.  What a relief.  Now, time for some serious prayer that the nodes are clean. 

In the midst of my day I looked at a blog by Denise.  She talks about how she thought she would react hearing she had passed through her dispensation and on to IBESR.  I know about that question.  I too fantasize about what that would be like.  To hear, we are through the worst of it, and have moved on to the beginning of the end.  I too began to wonder, will I be at work?  Will I cry?  Will I go crazy?  What exactly?  I am not sure.  Then, as I was thinking about it, I got an email from the orphanage director.  Our beloved Rachel.  No, it wasn't our approval, but a copy of a power of attorney in french that needs to go through the Haitian Consulate.  Well, not what I was hoping for, but at least the ability to do something to contribute to the process.  I do better with work.  This idle waiting is hard.  So, off to call the Haitian Consulate in Chicago first thing in the morning to see how to get this ball rolling.  I think I must be the only one on the planet excited about doing that.  LOL!!  However, it reminds me that every task, no matter how small is one step closer to bringing my little Nate home where he belongs.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A light in the dark

Ok, I will admit it. I am very good at worrying. The Bible tells me,"don't worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself.". For me, that is such a hard lesson, especially today. I have a lot of worries. I worry every minute if Nate is OK, does he remember me? Is his tummy still bloated? Did he get his medicine? Then I worry about my mom's fight with cancer. She is having yet another biopsy Monday, and more surgery later in the week. I worry about if our adoption paperwork will move out of social services soon? Or is it as the blogs say, it has fallen into "the black hole".

So, I drifted through my work shift, worrying along the way. I got home and poured over the email hoping for some glimmer of hope that something would be solved. Nothing. Then out of the blue, Zachary presented me with a sealed envelope."Here Mom, you got email!" He was so proud of himself. I opened the envelope and inside was a simple piece of white paper he had carefully written three little words"I love you". Just what I needed. I hugged him tight and he just beamed with pride. He knew he made my day. It reminded me of all the frustration and worry that came before his adoption was final. It also was a firm reminder that no matter how hard it is, one day I will be looking at Nate in my living room and it will all be worth it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Well, I am sensing a theme through my posts. The last one was hurricane, this one is earthquake. Lol! So, today, we had an earthquake. The epicenter was reportedly in Virginia, but Facebook and other outlets are covered with reports of where people were and what shook and how they felt. I was home when it happened and other than a small thud I heard from upstairs that I mistook for the cat jumping off a dresser, I would not have even known if it were not for the news. Nonetheless, all media outlets are covering it. Interviews, reactions, evacuations and on and on. I found myself just tuning it out. Instead my attention was turned to those Port Au Prince images burned in my mind's eye. There was the vision of the the tent cities showing no signs of emptying any time soon, crumbling buildings, and the people. It made me a little annoyed with the media reaction of an earthquake that as of a few hours ago had no injuries reported.

I guess my annoyance was not to last though. In a fit of frustration, I flitted around fox news.com to try to find some other news when I stumbled across an article about Rob Lowe. He is arranging a Habitat for Humanity project in Haiti to build 50,000 homes! I remember seeing their logo down there, but had no idea what the project was. Even better was he publicly challenged Donald Trump to back the project with his many zillions of dollars. How awesome.

On another note I found myself wondering where my little Nate was when it happened. He would have been 11 months old. I know his twin died, but was left wondering if his twin was alive then. I have been composing some questions for his birth mom and I found myself adding these things to the list. It must have been so hard for her with little babies and the earth shaking
under her feet. I am now only hoping she will have the courage to meet us on our next visit.
I would like to be able to share these things with Nate as he grows.

Monday, August 22, 2011


One more time, I nervously watch the news hearing of yet another hurricane. It doesn't look like Haiti is going to get too much of the wind, but certainly a lot of rain. I saw they are to get nearly 10 inches. It makes me worry about Nate as when we were there it was pretty clear he didn't like storms. Today, I could stand it no longer and zipped off an email to the orphanage director inquiring about the state of things. I really don't expect to gain any meaningful updates on the adoption process, but it maybe I will get a good anecdote about Nate. This is where my lack of patience shines!

Anyway, we were given a challenge at church yesterday. It was to fast for 40 days, be it a fast for food or Facebook, or whatever. We were to change that time for prayer to ask God what it was He wants to do with us. How can we be used, in other words. I think this came at a good time for me. Outside, of adopting Nate, I am sure that God has more for us. I am just not sure what that might be. Wuld it be another child? A medical mission? Many more trips to Mountain Top Ministries (ok, so I would love that!) in all actuality we are just not sure. So, day ine down, no good answers, but through my time in prayer I was able to come away wi that there were two people I needed to reach out to. One was my mom, spiraling through a very frustrating cancer work up with no answers just yet, and my friend, hugely pregnant due any day. I love them both and after taking the time to do this realized I had gotten a chance to enjoy them both and be distracted through the frustration of waiting for Nate. We shall see what day two might bring!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to work...

Today was my first day back to work. I was dreading it as I lived in my nostalgic world of Haitian memories. As it turned out, being busy wasn't all bad. It took my mind off the seemingly insurmountable wait laying ahead of us. Suddenly today as returning to reality set in, I had a sudden thought of realizing I was completely unable to do anything more in this adoption. I am in the great unknown of when the next step will happen and completely not in control of it. It is all a bit frustrating. We are now waiting for our paperwork to come out of social services. We really aren't sure when this will be. It went there at the beginning of July and at that time we were told five months. Now they are saying,"much sooner.". Whatever that means.

So, working and the kids going back to school must be what I need to take my mind off. I am hoping God finds some other way to speed this up. As I have eluded to before, patience and not having a plan are not exactly my strong suit. That is probably why I endure this stuff. God continues to try to teach me patience. I wonder if I will ever get better at it???! LOL!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reflections on a day with Nate

Yesterday, we arrived in Haiti.  Nothing could have really prepared me for what I saw through the streets of Port Au Prince.  There was such a huge number of people bustling around all with the same goal.  That was to make some money.  There were young men attempting to wash the windows on the truck we were in, there were children selling ice, many people with stands of American clothing, women with baskets of fruit on their heads and on and on.  This all amidst the backdrop of buildings that had crumbled, all in various stages of being rebuilt. As we left Port Au Prince we began to drive through the winding roads up the mountain to the village of Thommassin.  The area got nicer and nicer as we went.  Then, it happened.  After months of prayer and love from our friends and family, we arrived at the orphanage.  I walked in to our little Nate playing with the children, only to have him immediately walk to me arms held up ready to be picked up and he didn't want to be down much the rest of the night.  I think he somehow knew I was his momma and was ready to go. 

He was a bit stoic for the first hour or so though.  Quietly looking around, not really interactive, just on my lap.  I tried to put him down to see if he would play, but he just gripped  my neck tighter. Eventually, it was time to eat.  He ravenously ate down rice, beans, salad, bread, chicken til I thought he was going to bust.  As he sat on my lap eating, I was able to really look at him.  He has a big bloated belly we became so familiar with in 1996.  Our first child had this as well.  Otherwise, he looks a bit anemic, but we already knew that.  I think God really didn't want me to worry, because all my concerns were a bit better watching him eat.  Eating like that will solve all that when he comes home.

After dinner, we went with the Summers standby.  We fired up the laptop and put on Sing Yourself Silly, a Sesame Street video.  He loved it.  He started to loosen up a bit and eventually began to play.  He did come off my lap but was sure I was not to be more than a foot away.  I watched him with amazement.  He was curious, wanting to find things and learning how to vroom the cars his big brother picked out for him.  In the end, he snuggled in and went to sleep.  It was really a wonderful day. 

This morning we sit in the guest house, viewing the beautiful mountain scene

Yet Still My Head is in Haiti

I am beginning to wonder if I left part of my head in Haiti.  I think at this juncture it is a given that my heart is there.  My little Nate is there, and by default, part of my heart.  However, I have found in the last 48 hours, my head is there too.  I am finding it increasingly more difficult to look at life in the same way.  Today, my daughter, a senior was filling us in of all of the latest teenage drama.  She shared a variety of her concerns about this person or that and on and on...I found myself thinking all of that was so insignificant, when we were face to face with people who could not eat regularly.  I found the line at Target less annoying and just grateful to be in a Target that was ever so convenient compared to the steep gravel road where we bought carrots on Saturday. 

Speaking of which, that was an interesting time.  We pulled up to this gravel road on the side of the mountain.  On the side of the road were several tap taps.  A tap tap is basically a truck of some sort, pick up, flat bed whatever, benches are installed in the bed and sides fashioned out of metal and then the whole deal is painted with colorful paint.  It is used for basic transportation.  People jump on, pay about fifty cents, ride until they want to get off.  They tap the sides of the vehicle to let the driver know it is time to get off, thus the name.  Anyway, there were several donkeys, and even a pig.  The people there were hard at work gathering their vegetables and organizing them for the tap taps to take to market.  We bought some veggies for the orphanage and ate some carrots right out of the ground.  They were really good.  Anyway, as we were drinking it all in, I noticed the road continued on at a crazy grade up the mountain, that vehicles could not drive on.  Two of the children from the orphanage had come from the other end of this road.  I probably mentioned before that their birth mothers had walked twelve hours one way to give their children to the orphanage. 

While we were there a man approached our orphanage director.  He noticed two white families with our black babies and started to ask questions.  Their interchange lasted quite some time as I found out later he had many babies.  Some with mothers, some with fathers, some with no parents.  He was struggling to help his community to deal with it as they did not have even the basic needs for them.  He asked if she would take the babies.  She had to explain she would take children between 0 and 2 as they stood the best chance of adoption.  Besides, at Rivers of Hope all 15 babies except one are linked with families, eight of whom are nearly ready to go home.  Thinking about this, I thought about how difficult if must be to try to decide who would go to the orphanage, who would stay, would they live?  Again, the little things that seemed annoying before our trip, now seem just silly.  I guess this must be one of those life lessons God has set out to teach us on this journey.

However, I did have a true joy today.  I was able to get our orphanage pics uploaded for my fellow mamas blanc.  I loved hearing from them and how excited they were to see their babies even if only on film.  Here's to hoping we can all see them more than just on film, but under our very own roofs!!  No news yet...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More Reflecting...

My fellow Mama Blanc Denise asked me today how I was adjusting to life at home. I think this is actually a very good question. About a zillion different things come to mind. I miss Nate of course, but head is just swimming with things. First there are the sounds that linger, the crowing of roosters, the pack of dogs barking, the sound of praise and worship music being played by my husband and Pat, the sounds of Willem's guitar and most important the sound of Nate's laughter. There are the images burned in as well. The sight of Nate's smile, the view of the mountain, the images of the farmers bringing their vegetables down the mountain, or my favorite image, Tim and Pat going by four wheeler up the mountain to Gramothe. It was quite funny actually to see them trying to figure out Willem's new four wheeler then taking off through the MTM gate out into the streets of Thomassin. I think Lori, the other mom and I made idle chit chat while our husbands were off making their way across a river bed and up a very steep mountain. What I later realized, was that we both were just praying. I was a bit nervous about them going out unaccompanied, as was she.

They returned safe and sound, excited looks on their faces. Tim told me all about Willem's church and driving through the village. At one point however, Tim ran over a pile of construction rocks that a man was using to build something. He apparently had to drive over it because the road was tough to pass. The villagers laughed at them trying to navigate their rough roads and steep hills. One man even shook his head while he laughed.

And so it goes...so many memories, so many meaningful conversations about God with Willem and the other family. It made realize once again, our adoption is way more than me getting a baby. I find I am learning many lessons here, and I think Denise is right. It will take me some time to adjust back here. As long as it is still fresh, I will not be in any hurry.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


What else can you do while stuck in Miami for a four hour layover? Think about the trip and all of it's glory. Yesterday, we were to go to the orphanage to meet Nate's birth mother. She never did come. However we we're blessed to see the interaction of the other parents and their child's birth mother and sister. To be honest meeting my child's birth mother has been a source of anxiety for me, but they handled it with such grace. It gave me an idea of just how hard things are for the women of Haiti. Rachel told us that really there is no birth control available and mostly the women find men who can provide for them and have children. Often things happen to the men, they leave or die or something, then the women are left to fend for themselves and their children. Many times women have more than one father to their children just trying to survive. These things are unimaginable for me.

Nate did not handle being at the orphanage with us very well. We were trying desperately to hug the children as they swarmed around us, while still trying to focus on Nate. He did not like me holding other children and I found him crying more than once, when the only time he cried in the guest house was if he had to go potty. As much as I don't like to see him cry, it made me happy that he had claimed us as his parents and didn't really want to share. Ultimately, we ended up in a separate room to play for a while. At that time he was getting into this breakable bowl. We told him no and he went to hide behind my chair, his face stricken. He did not like being in trouble and I think he was fearful we wouldn't love him. It took a lot of coaxing to come out, but ultimately he recovered. When it came time for us to go, he cried and cried. We watched as the nannies bathed him and when his jammies were on we got to hug him and calm him down. At this point I was trying to find that magical way to escape with him in my arms. No such luck. We said our goodbyes and then it was my turn to cry.

The good news is, I miss my babies at home and after talking to them from Miami I know they are waiting with open arms. We keep hearing we need to return to Haiti soon to meet with the dean as we should be through social services soon. We will keep praying that comes quickly. Apparently we do not need presidential dispensation so we should go faster than the other families. However, thank you Denise for letting me know signatures are starting!!! Praying for you too!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I thought I would put up a quick post while my little Nate is sleeping soundly on the bed next to me.  Last night was truly fun.  We got to have Nate all day long.  He played and played and at the end of the day actually started making some sounds.  He had been quiet up until then.  He would point to things and grunt wanting to know what everything was, but he didn't make any other sounds.  Today, though, he did it.  Now, he is pointing at everything saying,"Ma?"  It turned out he didn't really like the downpour we had earlier.  However, we were eternally grateful, as it cooled things down a bit.  Up here in the mountains, it is warm, but not near as bad as it is in Port Au Prince. 

This morning we went to Port Au Prince for church.  We did not go to Willem's church in Gramothe as he was preaching elsewhere, so we went to church with Rachel, the orphanage director.  The church apparently is normally air conditioned, but not today.  There are only brief periods when the public electricity is on, and during church today was not one of those periods.  As we drove through Port Au Prince on our way to church I was struck by all the people walking.  They were in fancy dresses and suits, on every corner and street.  I came to know they were all going to their various churches to worship. Little girls had fancy dresses on and bows in their hair, the boys wore ties and the men suits.  It looked like there must be a fancy wedding somewhere, turns out it was just Sunday.  When we entered the church as the only white people, we were greeted cheerily,"Bonjour!" and smiles.  Music began to play and everyone was on their feet, some dancing, some with their hands in the air, some eyes closed, all in worship.  I stood in the Lord's house listening to hymns with a calypso flavor with my little Nate in my arms feeling very grateful the Lord brought us here.  The other mom we are travelling with was moved to tears, as was I. 

I must make a shout out at this juncture to my Southridge family...,"What can wash away my tears, nothing but the blood of Jesus!" sounds amazing with a calypso beat.  The other couple and Tim and I sang it in English against the back drop of Creole.  I began to look around and it really sank in.  These people have very little, at least some of them.  We passed the tent city just a few blocks away.  No real roof over their heads, no good source of food, nothing really, yet here it is, Sunday, their hands are in the air praising God.  It made life make just a bit more sense. 

After church, we stopped at a street vendor and bought some fresh bananas, which Nate gobbled up, and we even got some flowers for Rachel.  It was the other couple's idea and I loved it.  When we got home there was an early Sunday dinner for us, which was delicious.  Funny, I didn't realize we were eating so early, frankly every day here is a bit of a mystery, so I had heated Nate up some Gerber Ravioli pick ups.  He didn't like it.  I thought he was just full from his banana, but no, he was just waiting on the Haitian rice!!  Two bowls later, plus applesauce he was finally full.  Poor guy.  He is still having diarrhea, so I was glad to have some rice in him. 

Tim made me laugh while the cook was putting dinner out, he was busy teaching Willem how to play boogie woogie on the piano.  It was really funny, as he was not too familiar with it I don't think!!  We also got treated to Tim, Willem and Pat singing some amazing Christian tunes.  Pat is an amazing worship pastor I have a feeling and his daughter can harmonize like crazy. 

Tomorrow we will go to the orphanage, the plan is to spend the day there.  We were to go today to meet Nate's birth mother, but she didn't come.  Maybe tomorrow.  To my other Mamas blanc...pictures tomorrow and I promise to love all of your children!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

We made it!

Well we did it! We are here enjoying an afternoon with Nate. Our Internet is a bit sketchy, so it has been tough to get a post up. Nonetheless, our travel was as we like it, uneventful. Port Au Prince was really an eye opener. There were a tremendous number of people on the streets all out for the same goal, make money. We saw window washers, kids selling ice and a host of street vendors. The tent cities remain, and there are still crumbling buildings. In the midst of all this though is some new construction, signs of hope.

From there we drove up the mountain to the orphanage. The temperature dropped as we drove which was truly a blessing as we all take turns riding in the back of a pick up truck wherever we go. When we arrived at the orphanage I was surprised to find a reasonably nice facility and the best? Nate greater us at the door. He quietly walked up to me arms stretched wide indicating he was ready to be picked up. He spent yesterday in my arms, not even wanting to be down to play too much. When he arrived today he was a bit more adventurous, but really he doesn't like me to be out of site. I guess this mommy thing is pretty nice for him.

This morning we awoke to some typical Haitian sounds, roosters crowing, dogs barking, but if we listened a bit harder, we heard the sound of a guitar playing ask and it shall be given unto you, Alleluia, alleluia...". It was our host Willem sitting with his feet propped up on the window ledge facing the glorious mountain behind us quietly playing. This led to more spirited music. Tim played the piano in the living room and the couple wen are traveling with, Pat and Lori, it turns out, Pat is a worship pastor. We have had a house full of music since. We are finding this to be a pretty great experience.

Today we had lunch at the Baptist Ministry. It is an American mission complete with a restaurant serving American food. There were plenty of Americans there eating things like hot dogs and pizza! It was nice to see others doing just like we were.

Nonetheless, am off to spend the evening with Nate. We get to keep him til 8 tonight! That means I even get to give him a bath. It is going to be hard to leave in a few days.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

On our way!

The bags are packed, the last minute errands are run and we are in the car travelling to Columbus. I finished out my week of lasts with one more conversation with Mom. She is in good spirits as she is headed for another biopsy Monday. She was more interested in hearing about Nate though. Somehow I think he will keep her going through this cancer. I also spent some time today reflecting on how many people have gotten us to this point through their diligent and thoughtful prayer. I even had a chance to send some thank you's. It dawned on me that I really wish I could bring them with me! It is as if we could be encircled by our prayer family we would be better prepared for what God has in store for us. Nonetheless, their prayers will surely be felt in the Carribbean.

We said our last goodbye's to the children who hugged us tight and I think wished they were coming, but will enjoy their time with Grandpa. It is sure to be filled with a whole lot of golf and grilled chicken! Lol! Grandpa is clergy and prayed for us too. So, I guess we are prepared as we are going to be. I hope Nate knows his Mama Blanc and Daddy are on the way!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A week of lasts...

Well I did it. I finished my last 12 hour shift in the trauma center before we leave. As I was reflecting on my day it dawned on me I was having a week of lasts. Monday, my daughter surprised me by coming to my Zumba class with me. She has been working a lot and is usually too tired. What a blessing it was. She excitedly told me about finishing high school this year. She shared her hopes and her dreams and laughed and laughed. I have been feeling nostalgic about her adoption remembering the beautiful little three year old girl who sat at my table sipping hot tea and speaking fluent Russian. It seems like yesterday. Now before me was this girl who had faced a lot of challenge and was now becoming an amazing young adult. It was so nice to spend one last evening with her as I am also realizing these evenings are becoming numbered as she is quickly growing up.

Tonight I sit in my recliner, next to Jack in his recliner and we watch our favorite show and enjoy our last night together. Tomorrow will bring a long scheduled afternoon date with five year old Zachary. He is a bit upset about being without his mommy, so he has planned a trip to Target. I believe he has some Lego's in mind to soften the blow! I have a trip to Starbucks in mind so he and I can play the game of Life on my iPad as he loves to do. Maybe this time I will win! LOL! Then it is off to Columbus for dinner with my favorite niece for her birthday and overnight at a hotel airport for our early flight Friday.

The lasts go on and on, last trip to the bank, last trip to church, last conversation with certain friends and on and on. However, there was one last I actually bailed out on. I called my mom tonight. Her recent struggle is newly diagnosed breast cancer. She had her work up
today and wanted to fill me in on the events and I wanted to be there for her. This led to other discussion on this or that and it dawned on me, I wasn't ready to have this last conversation be it. She must not of either as she asked me to call her again before we leave.
I was happy to oblige.

It is funny how I have had all these little opportunities with each important person before leaving on a journey that will be a whole new chapter in our lives. I must admit nerves have set in as we excitedly see what God has for us. In a lot of ways I am humbled by all of this. I guess I never fathomed we could do something like this, and I am amazed at how God has blessed us so much already, so Nate is just our special gift and in two days I get to see him!
Can't wait.

Friday, August 5, 2011

One week to go!

I have spent the week nervously watching the weather. Hurricane Emily was slated to hit Haiti hard this week. I read this article on the Fox News website about helping the people of Haiti. I was encouraged by the headline initially thinking someone had some grand master plan to help these people through a natural disaster. I read on only to learn that the help was not all that helpful. It described a woman currently still living in a tent city 18 months after the earthquake was given one simple object to get through the storm. It was a ziplock bag. Really? A ziplock bag? How is that helpful? She was told it was to put her children's important papers in like birth certificates etc... To be honest, I never even considered this type of thing. I was hoping for the simpler things like shelter and food. After reading this I also learned that there was little else that could be done. There was simply nowhere to evacuate these people to. I started thinking about that for a moment. Nothing but a ziplock bag could be done. For the umpteenth time I realized we are going to learn a lot visiting Haiti. I can't imagine hearing of a such a dangerous storm headed my way armed with only a ziplock bag and a tent, well God too, but still.

Nonetheless, from our perspective I was pretty glad the storm is now gone, and in one week we will meet our precious little man.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Daddy is preparing!

The last few days have been a whirlwind for me. My biggest cheerleader is facing challenges of her own so we are trying to be the rock for her to lean on, love you mom! Otherwise, we are just thrilled to be home from vacation. It is time to prepare. 11 days and counting until we leave. I have been running around doing the practical things, gathering the donations, contacting our coordinator to see what papers we need to bring, printing off forms and on and on. Tim however, seems to be preparing a bit differently. Tonight I got onto my laptop and found the most interesting site up. It was a hymn in French. He apparently has been tracking down praise music used in Haiti and is making the effort to learn some of it. I have long understood that my husband worships through music. He feels close to God when he is playing. To see that come together with our Haitian experience just makes me smile. I suppose it is his time to nest. Lol!

Anyway, off to buy the perfect light weight suitcase tomorrow and some toddler snacks for Nate. The list of "do's" is simply never-ending! Lol!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Every year we gather up my brother and his family and my sister-in-law's family and hit Norris Lake in Tennessee. We are there right now. All week we have been boating, swimming, tubing and generally enjoying some great meals as sew take turns trying to outdo one another in the kitchen. I must say, I was pretty proud of my satay one night and lasagna rolls another. Nonetheless, it has left Tim and I with some much needed time for reflection and actual discussion between the two of us. Together we read Giving Your Best, the story of Willem Charles who will be our host. We learned a great deal about the Haitian people and culture as well as the notion of sacrifice for the honor and glory of God. We began to once again realize we have much to learn with this process as God really isn't done with us yet! Started to discuss what more we could do. In the midst of our enthusiasm I received an email asking if I would consider examining the children who have recently arrived to the orphanage. That sent me out to assemble some medical things, bandaids, triple antibiotic ointment, desitin, etc... Now I am nervous, hoping I can do them justice. I do work at the pediatric hospital in the ER, but there I have lots of back up, in Haiti I won't.

In other news, I got an email from my mom today. She had found the perfect book for Nate. It was everything he needed to know before he turned five. She was quite proud of the illustrations, and it reminded me of how nice it is to have her as my biggest cheerleader.

Two weeks and counting until we meet Nate!