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!

Friday, July 22, 2011

God moves...again!

Once again we are truly amazed in this process. Today, we got our USCIS approval. A full six weeks ahead of schedule. The whole process was supposed to take two and a half months with immigration. Today we got our approval. We submitted officially June 15. Approval this quick is almost unheard of. I guess those people thinking this was unheard of haven't heard the good news. We serve an awesome God who can move mountains. Again I am left wondering, why so quick? Why me? Perhaps there is more to this plan. I think that has become the joy of my faith, learning about the next part of the plan.

Of other interesting note, I have been reading the book about Willem Charles. One thing struck me. Yes, he is a great man, but he too has had his share of life's mistakes and used them to further his ministry and obedience to God. Somehow it made me feel better about seeing his ministry first hand in a few weeks. I think it helped me to understand his humility and realize that I too, fatally flawed and all can fit into God's perfect plan. I just need to "Give my Best" as the title of his book says. So, I must say a shout out to one of my fellow mama blanc's who got me into the book. Thank you Lori!

So here I sit with several large obstacles to overcome before Nate comes home, but am more and more confident in God's ability to help me overcome those as well, either by giving me patience, ok, so I am not so good at that, or by removing the obstacles quickly. Nonetheless, three weeks from today, I won't be blogging at this time, I will likely be tucking in my little Nate!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The last few days this adoption is just dragging. Well, dragging more than usual. I checked the USCIS website only to see our case can't be tracked online. Then, I can't even get a handle on how long it will be. Then, I never did get an answer from our orphanage director that she got our wire transfer. Then, all at

Early this morning I got an email from our orphanage director. She finally got the transfer we sent a week ago. Something about her account changing. Anyway, she did let me know our paperwork is officially cleared the attorney and is now in ISBER, Haitian Social Services. I was just really glad she got it filed before she left. She is coming here for a visit next week. After e-mailing back and forth over adoption business, the one thing I wanted. She shared with me that Nate was working very hard to tap dance with Elmo this morning and it looked so cute! It just told me he was a Summers already! Tim plays many instruments and sings beautifully, Katya is an amazing percussionist who was section leader in the band, and plays in a teen praise band. Tim plays in the adult praise band too. I guess he will take after them. As for me and Jack, we love music, just a little shy on the talent side. Zachary loves music too, but we a not sure if he will live it out like his big sis.

As far as Elmo is concerned, that too made me smile. There is a certain Sesame Street DVD, that is legendary in our home. I think all five of us could sing it in it's entirety. It is "Sesame Street Sings". We owned it on VHS when Katya and Jack came home. In fact, I think it is how Katya learned English. She loved it and watched it over and over. When Zachary came we knew we just had to have it on DVD. He loved it too. Now, we will take it to Haiti to share with Nate who apparently already is a fan. It just reminds me one more time of God's perfect plan. Nate is becoming that missing puzzle piece to fit into our family just the way he was supposed to. Now, if this process would just hurry along!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Plans Change

Yesterday, we had a fabulous sermon about plans changing. Our pastor discussed how God can change your plans for a variety of reasons. This really struck a chord with me. It gave me a chance to reallylook at the last few years. In 2004, life was good. We had lived in Dayton for four years. We lived near Tim's whole family. We went to church together spent many Sunday dinners at my mother-in-law's house and lots of time together with my husband's brother's family. Wee had holidays and summer barbecues, we had it all figured out. Then many of our plans changed. I guess you could say we really didn't have plans at that point. We felt, I think we had arrived. Good jobs, great family, we had it all. Then, Tim's mom died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage, a year later his aunt who lived with his mother died too, then in a crushing blow, my sister-in-law died. That left the only woman still living in our group was me. I remember wondering why God would take all of them inside of 15 months. I didn't feel equipped to take any of their places. We helped make sense of Tim's mother's death by taking the money we inherited and adopting Zachary. He made us happy and once again we pulled it together and made our lives work. Then came the job issues for Tim through a downsizing scare and finally the odd opportunity that brought us to West Virginia. At the time, it seemed somehow crazy that we would leave our comfortable existence to come here. We didn't know a soul and had never even been here. Somehow though, we know God was leading us here. I remember being afraid. I remember worrying constantly and thinking how none of it made sense.

As I listened to the sermon though, I was able to see it all really made sense to God. At the time I couldn't even dream what we are living now. I couldn't imagine Nate or our faith lives or anything, yet here we are. I guess in some ways I can see God smiling and laughing right now saying "I told you so!" I have a feeling when I see Nate face to face I will hear God's laughter loud and clear. Only four weeks to go!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Details unfolding...

As we talk more and more to the family we are traveling with we continue to learn new things. The last email taught us that we are to expect the unexpected. When they went for their first visit, they were taken to the judge for one of the legal proceedings, without notice. They were also taken to meet their child's mother. Either of those things would be amazing to us. However, the most amazing is that we get to go to church with our host at his planted church. I have a feeling we will not understand a word of the worship, but it will be meaningful just the same. I try to picture myself there wondering how God will speak to us in that moment. I understand that service alone is really life changing.

Today, Tim and I found ourselves sitting on the edge of the pool we had taken the children to. We were alone and free to discuss our trip. The children were busy on the slides. We both remarked on how inconsequential our upcoming vacation seems, as we are going to Norris Lake in two weeks. I think given the chance we would just go to Haiti now and see what awaits us there outside of our new son. As wonderful as that sounds, that is not God's plan. So, we will ever so impatiently, wait.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Once again, more revealed

Again, I am amazed at how small Tim and I are becoming in this process. As I said before, I had thought Nate was our blessing. Our little gift from God as his name suggests. Then I learned about his mother and I was humbled that we would be the answer to her prayer. Today, I find myself humbled yet again. I had understood that we were staying at a guest house. There would be care takers who would cook our breakfast and dinner. I thought these were probably people trying to make ends meet by caring for us and other visitors. Wrong again. Today I found out the house is run by a wonderful couple, Willem and Beth Charles. Beth is American and Willem is Haitian. He has taken his small village from poverty and voodoo to thriving Christianity and a love of God. He started a church and a school and has so many studying the word of God, both literate and illiterate. So many new believers, so amazing. There is a book written about him by Andrew Dewitt. It is called "Give Your Best.". Of course I ordered it immediately.

As I waded through the Amazon site, I reflected on this new information. I thought about this amazing man of God and his wife and the work that they have done. Beth will not be there for our visit as she will be stateside. Willem will be. He speaks three languages and has brought thousands to Christ, yet he will make two meals a day for me and Tim. He will open his home to us to spend time with Nate and really I think he will have much to teach us. Another stop in God's journey for us and Nate. Somehow it makes it a bit easier to be patient knowing that God has more for us to learn before he comes home. I am beginning to wonder what comes next. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Well, we did it. We went to USCIS and got fingerprinted today. We arrived a half an hour early for our appointment and were pleasantly surprised to find the office in Charleston was actually quite nice. The building was small but new and the staff was friendly. Even the officer who wanded us down was nice. As we sat in the waiting area though, my nerves got the best of me. I had forgotten the last time when we had read on the website to use corn huskers lotion for several days in advance. I remembered when a lady was brought out from the fingerprinting area escorted by the fingerprinting agent. The agent was very apologetic as she gave her a bottle of corn huskers with instructions to moisturize several times a day and then come back next week. At that moment Tim turned his hands ove to reveal rough and worn finger surfaces. He had cuts and peeling skin, general man hands. I tried not to go into full blown panic mode. I silently prayed and prayed. I went first. I flew through it with no problem. Then I returned to the waiting room to wait for Tim. He was out in no time flat, way faster than me. I figured there was no way he got done that quick, surely they turned him away. Now what? He was just standing with his back to me in the holding area. He was looking down at the counter. Come on! Was he just disappointed and couldn't face me? At last he turned around, he was filling out his comment card. He wasn't disappointed at all. He was done! The fingerprinting lady came out and broadly smiled at us. I told her I was so worried about Tim's rough hands and she laughed and said his hands were perfect for fingerprinting, mine were harder! So, we are done. Answered prayers again.

Now on to the next phase, waiting for the USCIS to give us clearance to adopt and passing Haitian Social Services. Yes, daunting. I was actually totally overwhelmed the other day when I reached out to a friend. She amazes me every day. She has MS and has beaten all odds. Beyond that though, she loves the Lord. She looked at the picture of our son and in a split second spouted the name Nathanael and we knew at that moment it was to be his name. Anyway, as bad as I felt she told me that she does not focus on Nate being in an orphanage, or missing a meal or being ill. She pictures Nate in the arms of God, encircled and protected until we can go and get him. Just the right phrase at the right moment. She has become my prayer warrior who prays for us at every turn. From each notarized paper to every appointment. I only hope I can do the same for someone else. Thank you Tami!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Another milestone...

Well, we did it. The plane tickets are bought. It took some coordinating with the other family going but in the end, the tickets we ended up with were by far better than anything I had seen online. We originally were braced for a staggering 3 layover journey each way. It was the best I saw over the weeks of watching the fares. Then, out of the blue, on the American site, which previously had been very expensive, was a flight direct to Miami, a brief layover then Port Au Prince. We arrive in PAP a full 2 hours earlier than planned. God must figure we need to see Nate the moment we arrive. Hopefully that is a possibility.

Otherwise, I remain on pins and needles about our documents. They left PAP for deliver Friday morning at 9:00. They haven't been delivered yet. We were told it would be 7/5 for delivery, but tip am wondering why it takes two days to deliver from PAP. It is only a 45 minute drive. Nonetheless, I think I will just focus on that 7/5 date and try not to worry. Lol!

I did have fun this afternoon though. I started looking at the slowly growing Nate pile in my room and ended up pulling out a suitcase to start packing up orphanage odds and ends and Nate clothes. I wasn't totally sure what size he was so I bought several sizes. I am hoping to leave what doesn't fit with the orphanage. Surely someone can wear it. I even went out and got diapers and wipes as requested. The suitcase is about a third full. Now I have just 6 weeks to fill it all the way up. Next stop...formula, another huge need there. I have to say, the purchases today were not all my daugter's suggestion, I got a huge bubble wand. It should make bubbles as big as his head. I have a photo of him playing with bubbles, so I can't wait to share that! All I can say is that hopefully next fourth of July there will be another Summers American to celebrate!