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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Matthew 25-Why I do what I do...

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

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

A beautiful day...

Fantastic weather here today. Chilly but the sun was shining so brightly, it was perfect! Got some desperately needed cleaning started, but not done...never will be! Didn't do an ounce of packing yet either! However, I did go to the local consignment shop (Serendipity) to do some shopping for the kiddos in Haiti. I explained what I was doing and before I knew it, the owner had 2 boxes full of GREAT stuff packed up! Ribbons, bows, sunglasses, dresses, shorts--It was like Christmas!! I may not have MY stuff ready, but I certainly have the orphanage bag ready to go! I am still planning on picking up some wipes, diapers, medicines, etc for them, too.

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

Talk about a whirlwind!

I wish I could say I was on my way to get my daughter, but we are still waiting for our formal invitation. However, I am so excited to tell you I am traveling to Haiti next week! YES, next week! I learned late on Tuesday that myself and a friend had cleared a waitlist with Global Orphan Project in KC. I had all but given up and was thrilled to get the call! Because I am spending the next week getting ready for my mission trip to Haiti, we will most likely push the adoption raffle/auction back a week or two, so stay posted.

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

Packing my bags...

Don't get excited! I am NOT going to Africa! However, I recently posted about my desire to travel to Haiti with a mission team....welllll, stay tuned for some exciting information. I am waiting for the confirmation letter to arrive via email, but as of right now, I leave for Port Au Prince on March 4th! I am so excited, nervous, scared, anxious...but I also have amazing faith and am going with a good friend, so won't be alone.

No adoption news yet. But I will keep you posted on Africa and Haiti!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Our adoption story...

Some of you know us very well, others simply know us by our journey to adopt. However you found us, we consider you friends. Here is our story.

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

Thank you!

Check out the "chip in"! We have $100!! Thank you so much!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In the mail today!

We got our first check in the mail today! Friends of Andy's family have contributed to Zoe's adoption fund! It is so exciting to see people respond to our request! I've added a widget (isn't that a fun word!) for those who want to give electronically. No new pictures of Miss Zoe, but maybe next week!

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

Our hand is out...

So, we started our full blown fund raising efforts this week. Basically letters to friends, family and acquaintances asking for help. This is a "2 fold" effort. We are in need of funds to help finalize our personal adoption for Zoe (the cost is outrageous!) But we also hope to help raise enough funds to help start the building process of a center in Bujumbura. According to our resources, a mere $10,000 will create a center like no other in the capital city. We heard from our agency yesterday, and there is an extreme focus on getting Zoe home very soon. Because we are a "pioneer family" we have so many ups and downs in this process and have no real true straight line to follow. With other countries, this entire process has already been laid out and is quite linear...not Burundi!

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

24 months ago

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

"My girl..."

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!

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The boys hanging up the picture of their sister!

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Mommy and Daddy on the happy day :) (Referral day, not game day!!)

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Nana and the boys after stuffing ourselves with stuffed frech toast at I HOP!

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My sweet little man...

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Loving the game

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Thanks Nana and Pop!

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Little man after a toy story 3 d double feature!

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My big man .. also conked out!

More on baby girl

Blessed beyond words...

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!

Zoe Blog Pic

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Soon to be a family of 5!


It is 10:35pm on September 30, 2009. We are waiting breathlessly for pictures of our daughter...YES, you read that right...OUR Daughter!!!! Stay tuned....