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!