Tuesday, May 25, 2010
This has been a very long wait to bring home our girl. I will post the entire details shortly, but wanted everyone to meet our sweet girl NOW! Watch for details in the future. We are still short on our fundraising, and have a very short time to draw in the final few thousand, but we are confidant God will provide!
Ladies and gentlemen, friends, family & adoption supporters worldwide, with great joy, we are thrilled to introduce you to...
Our daughter Maire
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
However, we have made a decision to continue pursuing adoption. I'm going to be vague for a bit, so please forgive me. But things are so crazy in this ever constantly changing world of adoption, that I would hate to make any "announcement" only to have to retract it in a week or two. I have made that mistake before! So, I say with great enthusiasm, the fundraising continues! Right now, we have about $7000 more to go to reach our goal needed to finalize everything. I venture into the next weeks with slight trepidation, but I have so much Faith in my God, I know that fear will soon fade.
Please keep us in your prayers as we march along down this wandering path toward our daughter! thank you!!
Friday, April 23, 2010
My faith is in the Lord not the Lotto. (repeat daily)
Sunday, April 11, 2010
The weather here was amazing today...like an August day in Maine! The boys enjoyed church with my folks while Andy and I stayed home and .... yip, you guessed it! CLEANED! Ug, the house was this side of a disaster-just awful and embarrassing! But the real reason we had to clean? We have someone who wants to look at it tomorrow! How exciting, our first showing. (If you didn't know, I had a wild hair and put the house on the market last week!) Don't ask me where we will go...I have no idea!
The garage sale was a huge success! We had tons of folks who brought over donations for us to sell (huge rocker, home appliances, futons!) It was truly amazing! And tomorrow, we send off a big ole check to the agency! Woo hoo...one step closer to baby girl.
I swear our boys have grown 2 inches in the last week! Jack took off on his big bike "20 inch with hand brake/no trainers". Within a minute or two, he had that sucker whipped! So proud of him! Change is hard and he hated giving up his little 14" bike, but he looked ridiculous trying to pedal it...his knees would hit the handle bars! Jude followed right behind him on his little bike (with trainers) trying hard to keep up! While making a turn, he took a digger on the neighbors sidewalk and bloodied his knee. But never fear, today he decided to check out the creek at our local park and ended up soaked head to toe and another bloody knee. So they match now! He is all boy!
Well, I still have so much cleaning to do, so I'd better stopped procrastinating! Wish us luck tomorrow! It would be nice to trim our monthly house payment, but I sure do love my house... hmmmm.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Love seat, futon, luggage, children’s clothing of all sizes, women’s and men’s clothing, playschool toys, Thomas the Train ride on, household items, glider rocker, large outdoor rocking chair, sandbox, toddler bike, tricycle, outside play equipment…
& lots more!
No early sales, please.
Bake sale, too!
All proceeds go to the Wells’ Family Adoption Fund
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
As you may know, Andrew and I are in the process of adopting our daughter from Africa. With ups and downs over the last 2 years, we've recently applied to adopt from Ethiopia. As a result of this process, we have become aware of the devastating poverty that affects the children of this region. We all know of food shortages and contagious diseases that run rampant, but have we ever stopped to think about what this truly means for those unable to help themselves?
Due to poverty, many birth families give up their children with hopes of providing them a better, healthier life. However, poverty is not the only reason children are abandoned. Education is another common factor. In many countries, birth control is not widely offered nor is it taught. Birth mothers also lack education on how to parent a child. Some lack the capability to earn a living wage to support the child. So, education can play a large part in children becoming available for international adoption. In some situations, when a birth mother becomes pregnant, both her family and her community may shun her. Often this leads to desperate situations that force birth parents to either abandon or relinquish their child. Sadly, there are other factors that create orphans—war, famine, drought, and in some countries, the AIDS epidemic has also created a need for adoptive parents.
Without orphanages and families around the world willing to open their homes to these children, those abandoned would die of malnutrition. Street gangs will kill others and some will turn to violence, leaving this country in a far worse state than imaginable.
How can you help? We are not asking each of you to adopt a child, although that opportunity is available! However, we are asking for your help in creating funds to help us bring our daughter home and support the orphanages of Ethiopia. With the help of families, friends, and other advocates for adoption, we are arranging a “Coast to Coast” raffle. We have fundraising stations in Washington State, DC, California, Chicago, Maine, Florida and Missouri. With over 7 locations advertising this raffle, the plight of this small country to find their children homes will not go unnoticed.
Proceeds will be used toward the lawyer fees associated with the adoption, translating important paperwork, court fees, and the required orphanage donation. Any extra received will go directly to the support of The Thomas Center, our agency’s privately run foster center. This will be the home for children awaiting their forever family.
As part of the Coast to Coast Raffle, we are asking our friends and families for donations: Cash, products for the raffle, unused airline miles, gift certificates, new electronic devices or household appliances. Any cash/check donations will be tax deductible when made out to Children’s House International (our adoption agency) and will go directly to the account designated for the adoption of our daughter. Any other donations will be raffled off at a later date, we are hoping for June 5. Watch your mail for more details on the raffle.
With millions of orphans all over the world, and hundreds of thousands in Africa alone, we felt drawn to the opportunity and security of Ethiopia. We cannot wait to travel to our daughter’s home country and marvel at the sheer beauty of Africa. We also know that we will witness first hand the devastation that surrounds her and other children just like her. With a goal of $30,000, we can provide hope for these children.
Our contact information is listed above, so please contact us with any donation. You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, in advance, for making a difference.
Friday, April 2, 2010
June 6, 1944 at the age of 21, he landed on the beaches of Normandy and fought in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. His life spared as he watched those around him sacrificed in the sand. And yes, he brought home 4 bronze stars for his bravery during the war, he also brought home the memory of that day. A day he didn't speak of for over 1/2 a century.
Today, another hero was lost. His journey on this earth ended at 5:30 this morning, with 2 daughters by his side. My grandfather served his country with pride. He came home from the war and built a company from scratch. A successful business that thrives today. He provided a wonderful life for his wife and 5 children. He buried one son and one grandson far before their time. He lived the American dream. A life of highs and lows. Love and loss.
Allen James Hicks was born May 29, 1923 and died April 2, 2010. His amazing life on this earth will be rewarded with riches in Heaven.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Looking for a used car to raffle off (or maybe a lawnmower, atv, etc). If you donate it, you can get a nice tax credit AND you can help bring our daughter home!! If you're interested or know someone who might be, contact me via email @ email@example.com.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
My grandfather still waits for his journey to Heaven. He has some lucid moments, but they are now few and far between. My heart burns to see my father & his sisters and mother suffer through this. I can't imagine the pain and I have no words to help ease it. I can only pray for peace. And I know my grandfather did amazing things here, and amazing things are his reward.
Check out the "chip in". We got another donation today! Not to mention the many items that have been brought for the sale on Friday/Saturday. I asked friends to help out with a multi family garage sale, all proceeds going to bring home our girl and wow! did they step up! I am so blessed. And excited about the future. Working on grants now, pray my heart and soul can be expressed in 30 words or less! I know the God put this on our heart and He will see us through!
Spring break is 1/2 day away! Woo hoo, can't wait. Today was a perfect day. The boys and I enjoyed some outside time, and I had all the doors/windows open. I was going to clean the garage but...oops! Didn't get to it. Maybe tomorrow!
Signing off for now. Keep those prayers a'comin' folks. They work wonders!
Monday, March 29, 2010
We are not giving up on this waiting child (Ethiopia) yet. I feel like I must bring her home...something about her has stolen my heart. And her birthdate...that is another story. The agency is so very awesome and has given us more time to raise the first step of the fees, so many of my friends are donating items for a multi family garage sale this weekend! Plus, I've opened a pampered chef party and a Scentsy party...both of the sales reps are donating their commissions!! I have amazing friends! Most of you will be getting einvites to "attend" these parties, plus you will have a chance to purchase through the blog.
It was a beautiful day here, and the boys enjoyed the 70 degree weather outside. I'm fighting off something (low fever and ear ache) but I only have 2 more days till spring break! Hanging in there!
Pray for us and our fund raising efforts. Our God is good all of the time! I just know it!
Thank you so much for the numerous well wishes and prayers. They've meant the world to us! We have heavy hearts today as we say goodbye to "Zoe". We had to withdraw from the Burundi program for numerous reasons. We also decided it best to really focus on what God's path is for us, not just follow our heart. So we have also decided to pass the file of the waiting child in Ethiopia onto the next family in line.
My grandfather currently battles for his life in a hospital, and we know he has very little time left. I am so excited that he will be journeying to Heaven soon, but fear his loss. I know he will be missed here and that scares me. Not sure I'm ready to let go.
I will turn to God for strength, I know he is the only one who can truly provide the comfort we need right now. But, I would by lying if I said I wasn't bitter...because I am. And it takes a lot to get me bitter! I am usually very optimistic--not so much this week.
My heart hurts, my eyes sting, my nose hurts (from blowing it)! Every time Andy sees me, he has this sympathy in his eyes (I think I might be hard to look at after days of crying!! Not as pretty as they are in the movies!!) Of course, he is heartbroken, too. We all are.
So, long story short...it might be a while before you see me on here again. Of course, I do believe in miracles, just not sure I'm expecting one anytime soon. Right now, I'm just praying for daily bread...one day at a time.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Adoption is a beautiful thing, except when it's not. It is not coming up roses after all. In the adoption world, nothing is certain…nothing is clockwork….nothing is a guarantee. We’ve learned that the hard way--by investing time and our hearts on a sweet child that was not meant to be ours. With sadness in our souls, we regret to let you know that our adoption plans for Burundi have fallen through. This was a fear we had from the beginning, but a risk we were willing to take. So we take a deep breath, cry for the loss of our sweet Zoe and trust that God is in control. We will never forget the beautiful eyes of our daughter in Burundi and can only pray for her safety and health as she lives her life, unaware that she was “lost” to us.
Some friends have already given to our cause. We want you to know that the money was not wasted. Much of it has been put in an account for future adoption expenses. Zoe’s foster family in Burundi did receive some payment, as well. We will rest knowing they used it to feed and clothe a child who needed both.
However, when God closes a door, He opens a window. Our window? A waiting child from Ethiopia. We stumbled across this sweet girl and have been taken aback by the overwhelming sense that she is already ours. Of course, “stumbled” is not accurate, as we believe God led us right to her.THE UGLY
We have about one week to raise $15,000 to bring this child home. Ouch! (FYI, in the world of international adoption, $15,000 is not a ridiculous number--this is quite normal). Don't think it is going to happen, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try! I wish I could reach into my bank account, book the flight to Ethiopia and bring her home. I cannot, most of us would have trouble doing the same thing. So while she continues to grow in an orphanage, thousands of miles away, we hit high gear and continue our fund raising. Ethiopia is an established program with thousands of adoptions completed. With any adoption, there are certainly risks, but they are far from the ones we experienced in Burundi.
We WILL bring home a child who needs a home. Not Zoe, and maybe not this child either. But the day will come and God will show us the path. When he does, any funds we've raised to that point will go right into bringing His child home. May be you have already helped with Burundi, and if so, THANK YOU for your belief in us and what we are doing. If you can't contribute financially, no problem. Pray for us and our journey. If you can contribute financially, hit the "chip in" button. Know you will be forever in our debt and thanked everyday in our prayers!
I've been kissing my boys over and over again today, and they are not sure why. I should kiss them that many times everyday! I will.
Spilling my heart,
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
But things are back to normal--as normal as they usually are around here! I will post my Haiti experience soon, but it is not all on paper just yet. Again, so much to share.
On the adoption front...well, nothing, once again. Being a pioneer has been hard, but I fear this process has halted and our agency has yet to inform us... We are getting nowhere and we are debating how much longer we "hang in there". Tough stuff.
So I leave you with this picture of myself and my beautiful "Cici" (Katiana is her given name--sounds like KaChanna) but I called her Cici which she quickly took to! She was 10, and had God allowed it, I would have brought her home...sigh...miss her.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Saturday, February 27, 2010
I just tucked in my sweet Jude and he told me "Mom, can you take one of those 3 year olds my Diego Backpack...they would like that." I melted... (Because I teach in the 3 year old room here, Jude believes I will teach in the 3 year old room in Haiti, too!) Sure do love my boys.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I will be flying to Miami then onto Port Au Prince, Haiti. From there, our team of 10 will be taken to a village outside of PAP. Here I have a very hard job...playing with kids for 5 days! I am so excited, yet fear how much I'll miss my boys...all 3 of them! I know this is an opportunity I may never get again, and am so thankful God has put it in my path. I will keep you posted on things to come! Keep us all in your prayers!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
No adoption news yet. But I will keep you posted on Africa and Haiti!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Within 2 months of dating, Andy and I knew we would marry. However, he waited a whole 5 months before asking my father for my hand (and my Dad made him wait an entire weekend for a decision...wasn't that cruel!!) Two years later we finally married, that was 11 years ago this September (1999). We had Jack (2001), our first son, 2 years after we were married, and Jude 4 years after that (2005)! We love our boys, and immensely enjoy them! After Jude was born, we decided to adopt our next child...a girl from China. In July of 2006 we started the process and on October 18, 2007 we were logged in line for a healthy infant girl from China. We were told the wait was about 12-18 months.
However, as time went on, that wait grew and grew. We had some serious decisions to make. Do we wait...or do we switch to another country. One day, our agency announced they were looking for pioneer families for an entirely new program in Burundi, Africa. After praying, discussing and a dream I had (yes, I had a dream...God's only way to get me to truly listen to him!) I woke up (July 27 of 2008) and said "YES, this is the path." Andy agreed. So we DID NOT remove our dossier (the paperwork) from China, but we DID begin the new process to adopt a little girl from Africa!
Truth be told, it was expected to take less than 6 months. But then governments got involved! I understand the need to be careful to protect the children, but sometimes the wait is excruciating! In Spring of 2009, we heared a rumor that a young girl *might* be available. Because we were one of two families in the program, and the other family had already been assigned their sweet boy (see "Waiting for little miss" on the left hand side), we thought "This might be our girl!!" On September 30, 2009, our agency called. "Her HIV test came back negative! Pictures of your daughter are on their way to you via email!" We waited breathlessly! She is beautiful and so very sweet. And I cannot wait to post her picture!!! But not yet!
We hit high gear and updated all of our paperwork, got everything authenticated at the state level, the US level, and the Burundi level...we fedexd, fedexd over nighted, hired an escort...lots of crazy stuff and 2 weeks later our dossier landed in Burundi. What happened next, you ask...? Well, we just don't know! Because this process is so new, there is a lot of language barriers. Not to mention, we Americans tend to be pretty high maintenance, while many other cultures are more laid back. Our "soon" and their "soon" are not exactly the same.
We know our paperwork has been translated and we know "Someone" has it, we are just waiting for that "someone" to say, "Ok, come get your daughter now!" So we wait. It will be in God's time. And our agency has recently made steps that will hopefully get things moving again. I know the wait is necessary. I want to make sure our girl truly is ours, and that we are not taking her from a home or family that indeed can still provide for her. But with each day that passes, I know she does something fantastic, and I miss it. She is 24 months old now... I pray we travel soon.
If you would like more information about Burundi, contact me and I will forward my agency details. If you would like to help us bring Zoe home, please feel free to "chip in". Know that any funds raised on this site go to her adoption. If you have a child from Africa or are adopting, let me know. I want this site to encompass numerous blogs from families sharing their experiences.
Keep us all in your prayers!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Pray for my friend Erin who heads off to Haiti for a week long mission trip! It is an amazing person who realizes there is a need and can step up to fill it. May God keep her safe during her travels!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
However, as my sister in law reminded me last night, I live a life of faith. Faith, that in my eyes is strong and never failing. To others, my faith may seem naive or misguided, perhaps downright irresponsible! I mean, we have been waiting for our daughter since July of 2008! So many others might have given up or become bitter or angry. And believe me, I have had my days. But, as promised in the Bible, I become weary, I turn to the Lord and with every praise of His name, He strengthens me for another day.
I find myself, once again, strengthened by His favor and mercy. And looking forward to another day. For tomorrow may be the day we get "our call". Thank you for following our journey and keep us and our children, be they tucked in safely upstairs in their beds, or in a land far far way, in your prayers.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Hi friends and family,
On January 12, the ground moved, buildings crumbled, and the lives of thousands of children in Haiti were drastically changed forever. My heart broke for them. When I looked at my children, all I could see was how amazingly blessed by God I was... I thanked God that I had family who would step up in my absence, I thanked God that I never worry about how to feed my children or how to keep them safe. I am so thankful and happy in my life, but felt this huge hole inside. How could I, a broke pre k teacher in Missouri help those in Haiti? And I prayed. Then, I got an email saying simply "Volunteers needed to play with Haitian Orphans for one week." God showed me how I could help! So, I set my sights on raising $2000 for my trip.
I was so thankful to have someone offer to sponsor me, but when I called to book my trip on Wednesday, it was full. As a matter of fact, every trip from now through May 1 was booked solid. At first, I was broken-hearted (still am, really) but imagine this...12 trips of 10 people each. That is 120 servants of God who had signed on to help within a week of being called! This is a great thing! I was waitlisted, but highly doubt my name will make it to the top anytime soon!
The orphans of Haiti have had hurdle after hurdle. From the horror of this event, perhaps a more global light will now shine on the devastation that they have endured for years. Prior to the earthquake, an adoption from Haiti took 2-3 years to complete. That is ridiculous, if you ask me. Maybe in the future, organizations will fight harder to break through the red tape that can be so detrimental to our world's most vulnerable.
Thank you all so much for the outpouring of support in my recent decision to join a mission trip, even though it didn't work out. I know God has another direction for me. Perhaps Africa in the near future...? We still wait for word on Zoe, but our last update on Monday the 25th, seemed a very positive one.
Please keep Haiti in your prayers, far after the spotlight has shifted to a new worldwide crisis. Their pain and suffering will endure for quite sometime. But maybe this is our chance as Christians to exercise our power of prayer. Remember, because we pray, things ARE different.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
So, approximately 24 months ago, a young mother gave birth to a daughter. After trying so desperately to provide for her child for 2 months, she decided giving her child to the village leaders to care for was the best for her child's future. Month's later, a pominant politician entered the village and spoke to the leaders about American families looking to provide homes to orphans. They immediatley thought of the young girl currently in their care. A year later, the child moved to Bujumbura, the capitol of Burundi, Africa to wait for her forever family. After testing and medical exams, she was classified "an orphan" and on September 30, 2009 her forever family received her pictured via email...it was 10:30 pm. And they were ecstatic...and we still are!
Our agency contacted us by phone late on September 30 to inform us our daughter's picture was on its way via email! However, due to an unscheduled computer issue, it was going to be 2 more hours before the pictures would be sent! You can imagine it was the longest 2 hours ever!! We had pretty much decided on a name for our girl, but after receiving her picture, we both knew Zoe was the right name for this child...not Eden, as we had planned!
Our Zoe has amazing brown eyes that are bigger than I can describe! Her sweet hands clasped together showing slight apprehension in having her picture taken. Her faded blue jeans that are 2 sizes 2 big, a striped shirt (obviously a hand me down from a boy), yellow plastic flip flops, and beautiful bald head, and glorious brown eyes! We loved her instantly. I long to see those beautiful browns light up with a smile, hold her small hand, taking away her fears, kiss those sweet brown chubby cheeks!
We had hoped our sweet girl would be here to celebrate her 2nd birthday, but that is not going to happen. Red tape has slowed down the process, but certainly not tainted the love or excitement we have as we wait for our princess to join us. Financial fears linger as the process is very expensive, but we have amazing faith in our God, and know he will provide when the time comes to journey to Africa.
For now, we pray for the health of our girl, thousands of miles away. We know she is well cared for by her foster family, but that doesn't take away our desire to get her home! Our boys continue to ask about her and when she will come, and it is difficult to help them understand. I am sitting on my couch typing this blog and I've come across Annie on GMC. My favorite all time movie...I wanted to be Aileen Quinn when I was a child, I was always going to name my daughter Annie, I know the movie and soundtrack by heart. Funny how I watch it tonight with a totally different outlook on adoption than I did when I was 9...for better and worse.
Love you Zoe...miss you sweet child
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I got sunshine...on a cloudy day!
The song "My Girl" has been in my head all week! Gee, I wonder why?!? We learned we can send a gift package to our little one, so the boys made her tons of pictures. We are putting together a family photo album for her, too. We also learned that we might be able to send our dossier to Burundi directly with the Bishop. He is visiting the states next week and has offered to take our dossier back with him! But we have to get it authenticated first! Pray for speedy paperwork chase!! Also pray for financial stability as we move into Andy's slow season.
Bug and Gma went on a field trip to the fire station on Wednesday and I took my class today... Thank God I survived, but just barely! 19, 3 year olds is a lot of work! We had to cross a busy street (busy for our little town, anyway!) and about one block before we got there, I see my mom in her truck coming our way. She stops, puts on her flashers and everyone behind her stops so we can cross safely! Doesn't she deserve the Mom of the Year Award for that?
Nana and Pop came for a visit last week and we all went to the Giants Game in KC! We had a great time! Enjoy the pics!
The boys hanging up the picture of their sister!
Mommy and Daddy on the happy day :) (Referral day, not game day!!)
Nana and the boys after stuffing ourselves with stuffed frech toast at I HOP!
My sweet little man...
Loving the game
Thanks Nana and Pop!
Little man after a toy story 3 d double feature!
My big man .. also conked out!
I know, it has been too long. The summer has quickly become fall, the trees are beginning to thin, and our lives are more full than ever. We have a daughter. She is...amazing... I stare at her picture countless times throughout the day. I cannot wait to hold her.
I don't fell comfy sharing her picture just yet, there are still so many things that can go wrong. Our boys adore her and talk of her constantly. Bug thinks we should name her the same thing we named his brother...I explained that might get confusing!
We were able to share her picture with my folks on the eve they jetted off to Italy for 2 weeks. I am so glad they were here when we got the call. And amazingly enough, Andy's folks were flying in the next day, so they, too were able to share in the great news.
So much has happened since our last post. I took a job teaching pre school full time (mornings, 5x a week). I absolutely love it. I truly do. We were able to see the Giant's spank the Chiefs live today at Arrowhead. One of the best outings we've ever had as a family! We knocked ourselves out getting the house ready to sell (took one year to get the outside ready, took one month to get the interior ready--the interior needed more work!) It looks amazing and I couldn't be prouder. We love the location and the house, but it doesn't fit our family just right. Still searching for that perfect home...!
We are getting our paperwork ready to mail to Burundi. I pray she is home for Christmas. Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes. We couldn't be happier!