Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dear Woman Here is your son

John 19: 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," 27 and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

"Dear Woman, Here is your son". This is a very touching verse to me because it shows yet another beautiful example of adoption. As Jesus was on the cross he took the time to appoint John and Mary as Mother and son. There was no paperwork, no red tape, no asking permission or jumping through hoops. Simply the Lord said it and it was so. I believe God still appoints families in this way. This is something I think I can especially relate to while going through the adoption process. It is not a matter for us that as soon as our paper work leaves 2nd Legal they will become our children. God has already appointed them to us as our children, and us as their parents. We will certainly celebrate when that is recognized by the government, however, God has said to us in His way "Jim and Angela this is your sons and daughters". That is all it took for us to have a God given love for our children as our sons and daughters papers or no papers.

Today I was reminded of this verse and touched by a woman that I really admire and respect. She is not in a situation to legally adopt a child that she loves as her son but that does not change the fact that she has a God given love for him as her son and has committed to being there for him as his Mother for the rest of his life. I think it's just a beautiful example of how we should all live. Does being a Father to the Fatherless or a Mother to the Motherless mean we have to legally adopt and bring children into our home... not if that is not part of God's plan for your life. However, look around at all the hurting children. They are not hard to find, the ones that just want someone to love them. Listen to the Lord and see if you hear him say the words to you "Dear Woman (or Man), this is your son or daughter" and then see how you can invest in that childs life allowing God to love them through you. What kind of difference could we make in this world if we all cared enough to look at the lost and hurting children and see if God says these beautiful words to you, whether it means adoption in the legal since or just commiting to being there for a child that needs you- the adoption of the heart.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day BBQ/Eastvale Fellowship

Above photo's are some of the many great people that attend the Calvary Eastvale Fellowship. They have become like family to us and are such a precious gift to our family!

Kyle cruising at the park on his Harley Motorcycle

Our friend Mathew taking Johnny's truck for a spin.

Luke's as good of a driver as he is cute!

Johnny had a swinging good time.
We played the water balloon toss game. One look at this picture and you can tell what team lost! Jim and Luke surprisingly came out the champions!
Johnny trying to blow up a balloon and friends Kyle and Mathew trying to fit into the truck together
This was our funnest time at the park as the balloon is filled with water and we as a team had to keep it on the blanket or risk the chance of getting wet. This was the first time we played this game and we all laughed and laughed and were disappointed when we broke our last balloon (which suspiciously always seemed to land next to me...I'm just saying....)
To see a 26 second video of this funny game in action click here:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Another Family Fun Day!

Jim's parents were here for a visit (Nana and Papa) and when we were trying to decide what to do with our day together Nana suggested a place that she always sees from the freeway and wants to take the kids to called Scandia. It's pretty close to our house and so it was decided that they would take us all there for a birthday present to Luke (who turns 4 next month)
Nana, Papa, Johnny, Jim, Kyle, and Johnny playing miniature golf.
When we started playing Kyle and Johnny kept calling our shots birdies, eagles, bogies, or par. I wondered how they knew these terms and then remembered that they have a golf Playstation 2 game. :) I made a hole in one at the 18th (and last) hole and a siren went off and I won a ticket for a free game in the future.
Kyle, Luke, Jim, and Johnny in front of the castle on the miniature golf course

Me and Kyle speeding by on the race cars

Kyle waving to Papa as we make another lap around the race track (we had passed Dad and Johnny). Kyle got braver and by the end of the day was driving the race car himself. I was thinking of Jacques, Stephanie, and Jude and how I can't wait for them to come home and race with us too. They would all be big enough to drive their own race cars.
Jim and Johnny: You can barely see the top of Johnny's head over Jim's knee. Poor Jim is so tall that his legs stuck out of everything or he had to sit kind of sideways on the rides. On the roller coaster there was a sign that if you are over 6 feet tall you can not raise your hands on the ride or you might hit beams. Sure enough there were some pretty low beams and he couldn't raise his hands and said if he were any taller he would have to duck! I got to raise my hands all I wanted on the roller coaster-- the joy of being short!

Luke finally got brave enough to ride the race cars too. Doesn't he look so tiny in the picture? Once he did it we had to do it again and again. I thought he would be afraid of it but when I was going full speed he yelled to me "Can't this go any faster?"
Me and Luke on the pink elephant and Kyle behind us on the green dragon. Luke was too scared to go on it without me at first and there is a lever you can pull to make it go up and down and he only wanted to stay down. By the end of the day he wanted to ride alone and spent the whole ride as high in the air as he could get it. This ride was called something that had to do with a zoo... I want to know where you can find a zoo with a green dragon!
Johnny getting ready to take off on his flying green dragon.
Kyle, Johnny, and Me with Luke at the top of the giant slide
On our way down. This is a picture of Kyle and Johnny breaking the rules as you are supposed to only slide down sitting up. We did not know those rules until later and the person working there never said anything so they did not get in trouble for it but once I saw the sign I did make them go down following the rules.
Kyle, Johnny, Me and Luke at the bottom of the slide. Luke may not look very happy but as soon as we would stop he would jump up and run to the stairs to go down again!
Bumper Boats: Jim, Kyle, and Johnny battled it out on the water with their bumper boats with. They each had their own boat and we were impressed with how well Johnny and Kyle could drive theirs. Jim got stuck under one of the fountains that shoots out a stream of water and his boat died with him right under it and he couldn't get out. We laughed and laughed and Jim and the boys all got off the ride soaked! They were so cold and shivering and I ran to the car to get them sweatshirts that I thought to grab right before leaving the house. They were very grateful for them.
Jim and Johnny colliding as Kyle makes his escape.

Luke and Me in a little airplane. This is while he still wouldn't go on the ride by himself and only wanted to stay down on the rides that went up.
Luke got over his fears and flying high by himself on an airplane. Will he be a pilot someday like his Papa?
We had such a great time with Nana and Papa and this day was such a treat to our family.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

May Update Photo

Every month we get an update photo from the orphanage. We always look forward to it! This is the first time they have included Jacques in the update photo so it's extra special. We miss them so much. They are all healthy and doing well. Lovenie turns 3 in a couple of weeks and still only weighs 19 lbs. Our paper work is still stuck and has not moved at all but the good news is that there are some things happening with Jacques adoption that is reassuring. The only one not in the photo is little brother Vilner age 1. He is still at home with his mother and will be there with her as long as she is able to care for him and continue to nurse him. I'm so glad I got to meet him (and their Mom) while in Haiti and I'm so happy they have this time together. Please continue to pray for their health and safety.

We have received wonderful letters mostly from Jacques as his English is very good. We sent Dr. Bernard (the orphanage director and lawyer) an email letting him know that if we can't get Jacques home we will need his help finding us a job in Haiti because we have to be with our son. He responded to us in good humour and reassured us that, Lord Willing, all will be done to make Jacques a US citizen.

Jacques reads our blog so I'm going to add this for him: Bonswa Cheri, Ki kote souri ou? Ou tre bel. Mwen renmen ou anpil. Renmen, Mom

Thursday, May 24, 2007

3 Teenage boys have found their families!!!

Jefthe, Kez, and Emmanuel
Job at the pizza party

Bernadin and Kez
Anyone that knows me or follows my blog knows that while in Haiti I just totally fell in love with the teen boys and want so much for them to find a home. Not only is it way less likely for a child to be adopted in their teen years but girls are adopted even more often then boys are so the odds of teen boys finding a home become so slim. These were some of the neatest boys I had ever met and Kez and I began to pray specifically that the teen boys would find homes.
Not long after that a mission team spent some time with them and now that they are home the process has been started by two different families to adopt Jefthe, Bernadin, and Job. Bernadin and Job are going to be brothers! I've met these boys and they are each so sweet. I've also talked with their new Mom's by email and they are going to really loving homes that are so excited to have them. Also in the photo above is Emmanuel. I had posted him in the past as a teen looking for a home. I met him and just adore him. He has however turned 16 already and is no longer legally adoptable. So we will just keep praying for him from here in America.
I've also heard there is another family from the mission trip that is praying about possibly adopting another really neat teen boy who is 15 and will turn 16 soon. I won't post who he is because I know that my blog is sometimes read by the kids in Haiti. I'll update you if the family commits officially to the adoption.
Next month I have the honor of going with a great mission team. Please pray that God would prepare all of our hearts to go and love on these great kids and thank Him for the answered prayers as the teen boys are finding homes!!! God's so good.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Riddles Contest- Updated

You never know what you're going to get on this blog. Sometimes it's jokes and inspiration, sometimes it's family and adoption updates...but today it is Riddles. Let's see if you can figure these out:

1) One morning while she was eating breakfast, Laura's diamond ring slipped off her finger and fell into a full cup of coffee, but the ring didn't get wet. Why not?

2) What grows down while it grows up?

3) What is the only professional sport which neither the players nor the spectators know the score until the match is over?

4) What turns everything around but does not move itself?

5) What is the worlds greatest world-wide use of cowhide?

6) I know a man who can shave 10 times a day and still have a full beard. Who is he?

If you think you know the answer to any of these riddles please post as many answers as you can in the comments section. I'll post the answers to them soon!

Encouraging bible verse:
I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. John 12:46, NLT

Here are the answers to the above riddles:

1) The cup was filled with dry, ground coffee
2) A goose
3) Boxing
4) mirror
5) to cover cows
6) He's a barber

Another update: Smarty pants! I showed Jim (my husband) the riddles without showing him the answers and then sat back and listened to him processing each question and got every one of them right!!!

Way to go Jim: You are the winner of the riddles from Uncle John's Slightly Irregular Bathroom Reader. I'll work on getting you a trophy. I consider it my "duty" to do so!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Rollin' in the family Limo?

Soon we will need a vehicle that will hold at least our 10 family members and I would love to be able to take at least a couple more people in our vehicle as well for when we have company or the kids want to bring a friend somewhere with us. So our options had pretty much just been the 12-15 passenger vans. They tend to be fairly expensive, hard to find, and quite honestly... I don't exactly get excited about the idea of a great big van (sorry Ange, not to say the Schneider bus is not very cool!). I came across an add for a limo for sale and thought "Why not." At first it was just kind of a joke but has since become a fairly serious discussion of our future vehicle. It seats just as many but at least it seems to me that it would be a whole lot of fun! The more we look into it the more we feel it's actually pretty sensible. The mileage tends to be less then on the limo's then big vans and they are often way less expensive. For example the above photo is of a limo for sale for only $10K. As I began to think about it more I presented it to a large adoption chat group. While it mostly got some laughs and lot's of "Why not's" I also learned of other people who have used limo's for their large family vehicles and received an email from someone else that is shopping for one for their large family. Maybe it's not such a crazy idea.

Then yesterday someone sent me this link:

I'm pretty sure word leaked out and they stole my idea but am unsure of how to prove it. :) Look out world: The next generation of family cars is no longer the van (mini or otherwise) but the Limo.

The Pretty Princess and Sleeping beauty

Stephanie all dolled up for church and wearing her new shoes

Stephanie's new princess sandles

Bon nwit Jacques, Domi Byen Cheri
Here are the most recent pictures from Haiti. Stephanie is styling and stunning in a dress I brought to her when I went to Haiti, that was given to her by a friend and sandels that Nikki, the new missionary, delivered to her as a gift from us. We sent the boys watches. We have not heard if they like them yet, but we are hopeing that they do. The shoes look so pretty on Stephanie!
Jacques looks so handsome and peaceful while he sleeps. I can not wait until he is sleeping here at home! Sometimes I can't believe that he looks so grown up already. I may have missed a lot of his growing up but I am so very thankful God would let me be a Mom to him for the rest of his many years to come! I hope he grows up just like his Dad and treats his future wife the way that his Dad treats me, and that she will love him as much as I love his Dad.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A day of Goodbye's

Today is a day of sad goodbyes, especially for two women that I love as sisters and am many miles away from. Today is the Memorial Day for our friend Bill in Texas. Please pray for his wife and two young sons and everyone who loves Bill as we all say Goodbye for now, but we will see you again soon. I have a beautiful picture of Bill with his family but can not get it to scan and post. I'll share it soon if I can get it to work. Bill was a very kind man with a great laugh. We had the honor of knowing him and his family for several years and I love his wife Shelley like a sister. I remember when I first met her and we talked about her sons who I found out they adopted from Russia together (long before we knew we would be adopting internationally also). When I asked her about how they managed all the costs she told me about all the ways they scraped and saved, worked extra jobs, and the thing that I remember most was her telling me that Bill sold his Harley Davidson to help with the adoption fees. Last week I was praying for Shelley and I had an image flash in my mind of Bill flying fast by on a Harley, laughing loud, while he zoomed down streets of gold! I wish I were able to be in Texas to hug Shelley and our many friends. I will instead be here in CA quietly saying our goodbye for nows to Bill and sending up many prayers for my dear friend Shelley.

Above photo is of Jefthe, Kez, and Emmanuel

Today is also a day of sad goodbye's for Kez and the kids of Hope for the children of Haiti and New Life Link. Kez has been living with them for several months and has such a great bond with them. There are many tears already, and I'm sure many more to come. It is especially hard for the children/teens to say goodbye to someone they love when they have questions like: Why does everyone I love leave me? Knowing this also makes it harder on Kez. They will keep in touch by email but they are all feeling a lot of pain from goodbye's today as she is down to just hours left with them.

Please join me in prayer today for my sisters Shelley and Kez, and for Shelley's children and the children of HFC and NLL. Thank you.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mom's Cool Cuts Station

Johnny's Mohawk front view

Johnny's Mokawk side view

No Mohawk for Luke. He is our pickiest about his hair and he likes it nice and long.

Back view of Luke's hair cut and "Mom's Cool Cut's" Station
So when Kyle decide to go for it with his Mohawk Johnny told us over and over again that he would let me cut his hair but NO MOHAWK. He said it so many times and kept making us say we wouldn't do it. Then I did Kyle's Mohawk and Johnny surprised us all by thinking it was very cool and requesting one also. No way for Luke. He would be happy to wear his hair as long as he can which is fine with me because I think he pulls off the long haired look really cute. Then he was mistaken for a girl twice recently (maybe I should stop putting him in pink dresses) and he was ready to agree to let me cut it, but just a little bit.
The boys love the treat of going to a specialty kid's haircut place that has movies and games to choose from while you get your hair cut. So that they wouldn't feel too bummed about not going there Jim surprised them with a small tv and Playstation 2 in a bathroom that is almost never used (except for haircuts). They were so excited about it and called it Mom's Cool Cuts.

Kyle's Mohawk

2 thumbs up for his new "do"

He looks part sweetheart/ part rock and roll!

Side view
He really did it! We've talked for months about it and Kyle finally decided to go for it. Check him out sporting his new mohawk! :) He looks so different but we all really like it. Now we are just pondering what color it should be. Kyle's requesting his favorite colors of blue and green. We will keep you posted.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Happy Month-aversary Sweetheart!

Every month on the 17th and 18th there is a Month-aversary celebrated in our house. It's our way of remembering to slow down and celebrate our marriage and being together. Our first date was on Sept. 18th so when the 18th comes up we celebrate another month of being together. Then we eloped and got married just one day short of 4 months after our first date and were married on Jan. 17th. So on the 17th we celebrate being blessed with another month of a wonderful marriage together. Yesterday was our 112th month of being married, and today is then our 116th month from our 1st date. The fact that someone can put up with me for that long does indeed call for celebration.
I am always being told by others how wonderful he is and I couldn't agree more. Anyone that knows him knows that he is an exceptional person! Never before I have I seen such an involved and outstanding Father (although my Dad is in a very close second), and as a husband.... there are no words for how good he is to me! I wonder what it is that I did that pleased God enough to bless me with the gratest man alive, or is it that Jim did something really bad and I lucked out and got him as punishment to him? Hmmm...either way.... Thank you Lord for this very great man in my life!
And thank you Jim for living these words from our wedding in our every day life- Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
I love you more then ever!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pizza my heart in Haiti

Pretty Princess Stephanie- I hear she sweetly helped serve.

Princess Stephanie enjoying her pizza. Good thing we have 6 brothers to look after her...she's just way too pretty!

Jude getting ready to chow down.

Happy and refreshed and OH SO CUTE!

First thing we will do is teach him how to use a chair. Kidding of course...If I know our Jude he was using his muscles to help set up or clean up. He wore this shirt when I visited. It makes me miss our handsome young man so much!!!

Two of our beautiful children sitting with the many great kids. But they are not just any two kids in the crowd. God's so kind to us that they are our kids!!

Please forgive my "cheesy" pun about the pizza in the subject line, and then again forgive my "cheesy" pun about it being "cheesy". Thanks.
To so many of us pizza is a treat but we have access to it nearly when ever we want. For these deserving kids in Haiti it is indeed a great treat... so much so that you throw a party for the occasion! :) They even got SODA! What a great time they must have had. I can't wait to hang out chowing down pizza with all our kids home...boy are we going to have to order a lot of pizza for a family of 10!
PS- I didn't see Jacques in the pictures. Did you get some too Jacques?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

SO like Father like Son!

After my mention of being so thrilled about getting a picture of Jacques smiling I got these pictures sent to me in an email and was amused at how they came about: So after you raved about how great it was to have a photo of Jacques smiling, I pinned him down and held a mango to his head until he agreed to smile for a few more.

God just keeps surprising us with the neatest things! Take Jacques's name for instance. We refer to him as Jacques in the French sound, My Dad calls him Jack because that is what it sounds like he calls himself with an accent on a video. My husband and I were discussing this and right after that talk I looked on a chat site where someone else posted a question about a boy named Jacques that she is adopting from Haiti. They plan to call him Jack when he comes to America. Someone else responded that while people commonly think Jack is the American version of Jacques because they kind of sound the same that the actual American version of Jacques is James. WHAT???? We've checked it out and found this to be true. I've gone on and on about how blown away I am at how much Jacques reminds me of my husband Jim (full name James). Their personalities are so similar that if they didn't look so different anyone that knew them would be certain they were Father and son from birth. Now to find out they share the same name! Get outta here!!!! :) We thought that was pretty cool. The neat thing is that when the HFC directors found Jacques in the hospital he told them his name was Jacobain. They broke the one name up into two names making it Jacques Obain. I wonder if God planted that in their heads knowing that years later His plan would come together and now this boy was named after the Father God chose for him. I can picture God smiling as He knows Jacques and our future and knew how much that would mean to us.

I was excited and emailed Jacques to see if he knew he had the same name as his Dad. He knew that the American version of Jacques was James but since he had only heard of his Father being called Jim it had never connected that they were both James. God's so good as He continues to constantly confirm His plan in our life and bless us with so many great surprises.

Here is a link that tells you exactly how to pronounce his name (you must hit the play button for it to work):