Monday, September 12, 2011

In Country

Yesterday marked 4 weeks that our Dossier has been In Country, this is an adoption term meaning our Dossier has been in Haiti for 4 weeks. Guess you could have figured that out. We haven't received any word on a refferal, in case your wondering, YES.... I am anxiously waiting. However, I know that Dr. Bernard and his staff have been reviewing our documents and praying over the correct little girl for our family. That sounds so strange to say that they are praying for the perfect child for us. God already knows and has known for along time which little child would enter our lives and when our family would be ready to meet her for the first time.

I must say that adoption is so different than having a child. Ok, ok, I know your thinking, REALLY?.!@ did you just stumble onto this almost one year into the process. Yes and No! When your pregnant each day something new is happening, your either feeling the baby kick, gaining weight  or visiting the doctor- those were basically my three stages :). I loved being pregnant with both my kiddos minus the weight gain. You anticipate the end and feels like it is never going to get here, the moment you will meet you precious little bundle of joy. Realistically, you know you can't be pregnant more than 40 weeks give or take a couple. With adoption while your collecting documents and gathering paperwork, you experience that daily connection. However, this current stage of adoption seems like, us bringing our daughter home, just isn't real. I think our kids are beginning to think the same thing.They pray for their sister and Riley draws pictures of her family of 5 but I can't imagine how long this process seems to them. I know I have talked about this before but it just boggles my mind. I feel so connected to our little one some days and distant others. These emotions do have one thing in common with pregnancy, there are highs and lows.

I know the wait can't even compare to the super special memories we will make as a family of 5. We pray for our daughter's needs to be met but also that God will not only continue to do a work in us but in her as well, preparing our hearts for each other. God is great at prepping us for what is ahead when we seek him. I'm so thankful that our God is in control, I know He is working in me each day.

BTW - I sure hope to be posting some great news the next couple of weeks!!!!      

Monday, August 15, 2011

Can't Believe We Are Here

So the moment has arrived when we finally sent our Dossier to Haiti. We are part of a group through NLL where the families support each other going through the adoption process, let me just say how thankful I am for this group. I'm sure this want be the last time that I will be super grateful for the support, a sweet couple from the group was headed to Haiti Sunday and agreed to hand deliver our Dossier to Dr. Bernard. What a peace I felt when Lindsay agreed to do this for us.

I can't wait for the moment we receive our call or email from Dr. Bernard with a picture of our sweet, precious child. What a wave of emotion that will be. I keep thinking I have already experienced every emotion possible but then again I know this is only the beginning. (On a side note I teared up Friday when we packaged up our Dossier to send to CO, Brad thought I was alittle overboard but from one mother to another that resembled one step closer to bringing my sweet child home, He gets it, he was really happy but he just didn't feel the need to shed tears. However, this momma couldn't have stopped them.)

I can't wait for our first evening as a family of 5 at home just hanging out or our first Sunday at church together. We went on a small day trip over the weekend and I couldn't help but think our child should be there with us making these family memories. I am overcome with joy that the Lord has found our family faithful and worthy of such an AMAZING opportunity to walk with Him. I continue to feel God's grace during this process.

I know we will continue to struggle as more time passes, our hearts will become saddened by that fact that our precious child sits hundreds of miles away waiting for us to bring them home forever. I will do my best to remind myself that my Heavenly Father loves our child even more than we do and His plan is perfect. May His will be done and may glory and praise be given to Him.   


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It has crossed my mind several times to post in the last couple of months but I just really haven't had any news to share. Not any news that I wanted to share. We received all our documents back from the Haitian Consulate right before our trip to the beach the first week of June. I was super excited and ready to send our Dossier to Haiti. I was on top of the world thinking we would have a photo any day of our child. However, the same day we were scheduled to leave for the beach, we received a letter from USCIS requesting additional information for approval here in the US. Most familes adopting have to wait for this approval before moving forward to their child's home country but that was not the case with Dr. Bernard. This was another advantage so it seemed when adopting from Haiti, you could go ahead and move forward with the process in Haiti before receiving approval here in the US. This was not going to be the case for us which saddened me. After receiving the letter, we made the decision to gather all documents and wait for approval before moving any further in the process.

The thought of not being approved for adoption broke my heart. Brad and I have both prayed and cried, cried and prayed and prayed some more. I know in my heart God can move mountains, He can make a signature appear where He wants it too. My flesh began telling me maybe we weren't meant to adopt, we weren't going to get approval and my dream of bringing our little girl home was looking so distant. I wrestled with myself over and over through the last few weeks. I kept coming back to God already knows all the details, He wrote this chapter of my life along time ago. We have prayed for God's will and we have been praying that our plans for our family were God's plans for our family. We jumped through hoops to get everything ready to send out. This past Friday our updated homestudy and all documents were ready to be sent to Lees Summit, MO, our deadline was the end of the day Monday. So as I walked out of Pony Mailbox Express Friday afternoon I gave our documents over to God and said may Your will be done, I trust you. I was thinking it may be weeks before we would hear anything.

To my surprise when I arrived home yesterday, Brad said I received a call from USCIS just a few moments ago. My lip dropped and my heart sank. He said our case worker called to let us know that she had received our documents and everything was on her desk to be reviewed. He took the time to explain how much we hoped our case would be approved and we had everything ready to send to Haiti as soon as we received approval. Our case worker said that she would call me today with an answer one way or another. So you can only imagine how my day went, my phone didn't leave my side all day. I anxiously awaited. Each time I called Brad today, he would answer saying did she call? I began thinking is she ever going to call. I was even thinking about how I was going to respond.     

So after the longest day/wait in my life, my phone rang at 4:51 today, And the answer was......she was recommending us for approval from her supervisor which is routine. I wasn't sure if I wanted to cry or scream. I continue to learn through this process that God has all the details and He is never a day late with his blessings in our lives. I hope to be able to share our story with others to bring glory to God. He continues to show me His grace even when I don't deserve it. Thanks to everyone for your prayers, we love you all. We hope to send our Dossier to Haiti in the next few weeks and we will yet again be asking for your prayers but we will be so grateful.   

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

Summer is officially here. The kiddos last day of school was yesterday and they couldn't be happier. This past week has been crazy with two birthdays. I now have a 10 year old man child  and a 5 year old going on 16 little lady, man where does the time go. I certainly feel alittle saddened by how quickly they are growing and changing, as I watch them play together in the floor as I type this post.

A week ago today Brad and I had the opportunity to meet the current legal guardian of our little one at a BGM benefit dinner. It was so nice to meet Dr. Bernard, he has dedicated his life to caring for orphaned children in Haiti. He is a Godly man who is highly respected in Haiti. This helps when dealing with the Haitian Government. I am 100% confident that we are exactly where we are meant to be and grateful that God lead us to NLL. This was also a nice middle of the road feel good. It has seemed for several weeks that this process is surreal like we keep talking about adopting a child but it just isn't happening. The process is so hard to explain the ups and downs and crazy emotions that go along with it.

I received an email update from our translator this week, she has begun working on our documents but isn't done yet. I am hopeful we will get some good news next week with the long weekend ahead. I will not be dragging my feet to send our docs to the Haitian Consulate like I did with the translation. I  going to be on stand-by... ready to lay down some mini van rubber on the way to the Post Office to overnight our docs to Miami.

Several family friends decided to continue on the path of adopting through the Jeremie orphanage, they are on a difficult road, please keep them in your prayers. A particular friend, Seth is leaving tomorrow to go to Haiti to meet his son. Please be praying for his trip and Momma & kiddos here while he is away. I know God has a plan for all these precious kids in our families, I can't wait to see where we all are in six to nine months from now.

Have a great weekend!    

Monday, May 02, 2011

Broken Record

This post might sound like a broken record, I know I have been saying for weeks that we were hoping to finalize all documents so we could send everything off for translation. Well, today was the day.... I FINALLY sent our Dossier off to our translator. One more step closer. This should be a happy time for us but last week was a difficult week for me. I have begun having a roller coaster of emotions, I had all our papers ready for over a week now. However in an effort to save time, I lost a week and a half and now one more family is in front of us. I kept thinking that I could find someone who could have our documents back to us in a week or two. Ok, I was completely wrong! Yes,they can translate a Dossier in a week but it depends on how many people are in front of you. Needless to say, disappointment set in and I drug my feet. I so wanted to get our Dossier sent to NLL in early June with someone from church rather than sending it overnight. I mean this packet is our entire life and I can't IMAGINE how I would feel if something happened and it didn't arrive. I just so want a picture of our child I can't stand it.

Some friends of ours received a referral last week, for an 18 month old little girl. This is the same age range we are in. I am so happy for them but yet saddened that we aren't there yet. God is still teaching me and for some reason I just want listen. It isn't our time yet but that certainly doesn't make it any easier. Maybe He knows once I get the picture of our little girl I will want her even more than I do now and I'm just not ready for that. I trust in HIM for all things and am thankful my Heavenly Father knows far better than I do what is best for me and my family. was a new day and I decided to not let another day pass without sending our Dossier. I have been my own worst enemy. I have checked our email and Deborah received our documents so we are in line.

I am anxious for us to be a family of five but God has blessed me with two amazingly wonderful children and I am going to enjoy them everyday before things get alittle crazier!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Perfect Timing

I am so excited to be typing this post, our t-shirts have arrived along with the warmer weather. Perfect timing! The cost of the t-shirts are $20.00 for an adult and $15.00 for youth.We have all sizes, if your interested please contact Brad or myself and we will get you one, two, or three. :)  We are asking that payments be made to The Abba Fund, this is an account we have set up through our church where they will match the first $1500.00 we raise. Your entire purchase will be tax deductible.

On a side note, we are thinking of having another yard sale. I KNOW.... I think we are crazy too. Our neighborhood will have a community yard sale on Sat, May 14th. If any of you just didn't have an opportunity to clean out your closets for our last sale, now is your chance. Just give us a call and we will gladly pick up any items between now and Fri, May 13th.

Proud brother and sister sporting their new T's. Poor Trent had the hiccups horribly while we were trying to snap this photo earlier today. They only lasted about 20 mninutes, it was driving me nuts, I know he was so glad when he finally got rid of those nasty little things.


Friday, April 01, 2011

Once Again I'm Amazed

I have once again been blown away by how AMAZING and FAITHFUL our God is. I'm alittle late posting about our yard sale but again things are crazy in our world. As I sit home on this Friday afternoon with my sick not so little, big guy I thought it was time to share how God continues to move all around us. We made $2300.00 at our sale, we had an amazing turnout, beautiful weather and we were still able to pass some stuff onto another family for their sale. Our immediate need was met, as it always seems to be. This isn't a shocker to me but it is always nice to feel like I am right where God wants me to be.

We submitted our I600-A this past Tuesday, I am hoping to get an appointment in the mail anyday....I'm sure it won't be that quick but again I said I was hoping.

We are going to purchase a Minivan this weekend.....I did say I probably wouldn't ever drive one of those but I'm good with it. Brad may actually be driving it, he is trying to tell the kids it will be his fun bus! He is ready to load it up with a PlayStation in the back, Trenton loves that idea. :)

We received our design for our T-shirt's and I can't brag enough about how awesome they are gonna look. I'm super excited and can't wait to get them in. I may get me one for everyday of the week, laundry isn't my favorite thing.

Well my little guy is up and needing his Momma's attention so that's all for now.    

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Where do I begin....

It has been a month now since my last post, not because I didn't want to post but things have been crazy in our world. And yes, I'm asking for more with another kiddo but I will gladly accept it.  First the Lord has shown himself to us in so many ways. His timing is amazing, as well as, his provisions. Just when I think I know what needs to happen God tells me he has another plan. I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father's plan, it is far greater than mine and so much more rewarding.

We have completed our psy evaluation, we are waiting on our letter to arrive any time this week. Applied for my passport, check. Our yard sale is HERE.....this Friday and Saturday from 8-1. God is providing good weather for us!

Next week we will submit our I-600A and order our T-shirts. It has been slow moving these last few weeks but we are getting there and we couldn't be more excited.

I know I will be posting on Saturday telling everyone how God blessed us with sales beyond belief.

Friday, February 11, 2011

One More Step

We are one more step ahead in this long journey, we received our rough draft of our home study this week. How exciting!!!! It is weird to read a story of your life written by someone else and you only spoke with them for two hours tops. Kelly has been great, bless her heart, she endured 3 kids with the Flu while writing up our home study. She is making minor revisions and then we will get our final draft sometime next week. We are so ready to take the next step!

I have joined a message board for NLL and have seen some precious pictures of Haitian boys and girls from a recent trip to the orphanage. OH MY.....MY HEART just about melted. I can't wait to see a picture of our sweet little one. I wonder so often what he/she looks like and how they spend their days.

Please keep us in your prayers as we move forward, the enemy wants us to get discouraged but we will look to Him in all situations.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

When It Rains It Pours

If you read the title of this post you are probably thinking that I am going to be a Negative Ninny but actually I'm going to be quite the oppisite. Just call me Positive Penny..... HA.  Just let me start by saying that GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME, ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD!!! These past few weeks we have been blessed with several donations, so much so that we now have two storage units. We originally started out with a super small unit not knowing how many goodies we would we get for our yard sale. Needless to say we have filled that unit and gotten another larger unit. We like to see it as a good problem to have. We are extremely grateful and thankful to the families who have donated. Our prayer is God will bless each and everyone of you. We have been able to list some of the items on Craigslist and possibly gotten more than if we would have had the items at the yard sale. Let me tell you we listed a washer/dryer tonight and within an hour and a half of posting it, we were driving home from the storage unit with cash in hand.

We started this process with no cash in savings and not sure how we would get the money required to bring  our sweet child home, but God has not only been AMAZING through donations but the sale of the items as well. We just keep pushing through the darkness and He keeps providing. I know this want be the last post from Positive Penny, so this isn't good-bye it is just until next time.

P.S. We plan to have our yard sale middle of March so we will be accepting donations until the day before the sale. We would love to have to splurge to get a 3rd storage unit.     

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Needed Prayer

This is going to be a short but very important post. We were notified earlier today that there has been a Cholera Outbreak in the Orphan Village in Jeremie. Two young boys have passed away and 10 other children have been hospitalized. Please be in prayer for the leaders, momma's and children in Jeremie, these men, women and children have become more than just faces in another country to so many at Long Hollow. Not to mention our family and the other families who have hopes to adopt from Jeremie. Our prayer tonight is that God will shine through this dark time and protect our brothers and sisters in Haiti.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

First Waiting Period

We finished our home study on Tuesday, WHEW...... I was nervous but all went well. So our first round of documents are in Kelly's hands. Over the next couple of weeks Kelly will be finalizing our home study. How Exciting!!!  My home study folder has now become my Dossier folder, it goes to work with me pretty much everyday. I continue to gather documents, once we receive our prepared home study from Kelly we can submit our paperwork for our I-600A.

I continue to hear heartbeaking news about Haiti each week. Please be in prayer for the country as there are so many unknowns for the men and women living there, not to mention our child. However, this past Sunday we heard awsome news of how God is moving in Carrefour, Haiti. Source da la Grace is a church that was planted in Carrefour by Pastor Mosie Vaval, Mosie not only lost his son in the earthquake last year but the church was also destroyed. Mosie did not lose faith or his vision for Haiti. Our church was able to share in rebuilding Source da la Grace, which held its first service in the new building since the quake this past week on January 12th which was the one year anniversay. The service started at the exact time of the quake and the church was overflowing with attendants, over 1500 to be exact. I don't know about you but that just gives me chills.  So many familes were displaced  just over one year ago and still to date over 1 million people are living in tents. God is using his people to bring light to Haiti. I feel so blessed that God has called us to walk along side our church family to help make a difference for his Kingdom.  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Adoption Costs

International Adoptions are expensive. So many people consider adoption but are scared away by costs among other things. There are so many fees along the way. I want to be honest with everyone, our adoption has been estimated at $15,000 - $16,000 to get our little one home. The fees have already started and we are confident that God will provide for this child to have a forever family. With that said, WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Brad and I have gotten a storage unit and are taking items for a yard sale in the spring. This will be one of our many fundraisers to help fund our adoption.  If you have anything that you had planned to give away or take to Goodwill we will be happy to come pick up the items if you are willing to donate them for our orphan. Please go through your closets, garages and cabinets. Every dollar adds up so we are willing to take anything. I plan on consigning some of our kiddos clothes so if you have children's clothes that you are willing to donate I will add them to our stacks. Anything that does not sale will be donated to another family adopting (we know so many people adding to their families) or taken to another charity.

Another way to support us is by purchasing coffee from our coffee store, $5 from every sale comes back to us. Not to mention helps other orphans. We are in the process of designing t-shirts so keep your eyes open for sales info on those shortly.  Thanks to everyone, we truly are grateful for your support.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Whats happening Now

We have told you how we got here, now let me tell you alittle bit about where we are in this overwhelming process. We have had our initial home study meeting, I was extremely nervous but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. All our first round of document are in order, we are reading "A Connected Child" (Brad and I neither one are big readers but we are really trying). We have to complete a webinar after we finish the book, we have given ourselves until next weekend to complete the book and webinar (this is one area where prayer will be needed).

Next Thursday the 13th, we have our final meeting with Kelly, our social worker, this is where she will talk with Brad and I separately. After this Kelly will draft our home study report. Then onto bigger things...compiling our documents for our dossier. First I plan on submitting our paperwork for our I-600A, then they will respond with a date and time for us to get fingerprinted. Then onto pictures of the house, kids, family& friends, more reference letters, passports and blood tests. So basically between working, being wife and mommy, I will be up to my elbows in paper work. To be totally honest, I can't wait! This is such an exciting time....Brad has recently compared me to a race horse and he is trying to catch up. I want to talk about everything and he is saying lets address on thing at a time. I can't seem to slow myself down.

More exciting news...there is a medical trip for Jeremie scheduled for early February where additional information on the orphans will be available. I believe that there are around 300 children at our orphanage currently and one of them is ours. We are hopeful that shortly after the trip we will be able to select the gender and age of our child. WOW!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Haiti Chose Us

Happy New Year!!!  This is going to begin as a continuation of my last post. So here we were.... we made the decision to adopt and immedately we were lost and confused. As I stated before we had no idea where we were going to adopt from, we wrestled with Demostic or International. We made the decision to go International due to the living conditions, future oppertunities, and sharing the gospel with a child in a third world country who may never have lived to the age of 10. Theses children are living in a country where all hope has been lost. Here is where I will remind you WE ARE SO BLESSED!!!!  So Haiti had crossed our minds since that trip with God's guidance had changed our entire family. However, Haitian Law states that you must be married for 10 years and one applicant must be 35 to adopt. We had the ten year marriage under our belt but age possed an issue. So we were out. Let me just tell you how crazy some countries would think this process would go much smoother since these children have no home. Litterally there are dumps in these countries where people can just drive up and leave their kids. I mean they are eating trash off the side of the road and only then can we hope they are taken in to an area orphanage with room for them.

In November, Long Hollow was having an adoption weekend where several people would be available to discuss their journey and different agencies. We said we were going to leave church knowing which agency we would use. The reason this is so important is because you have to know which country you plan to adopt from before you choose your agency because each agency doesn't serve all countries. Just the day before we found out several families had inquired about adopting from our orphanage in Jeremie. There would be a meeting after service on Sunday. We went with an open mind and found out that we could apply for a waiver since we weren't 35 and we wouldn't need an agency since the church would handle everything with our partners in Haiti. Here's your sign...only a 2 x 4 could have hit us harder. Haiti it is....and we are super excited.