Saturday, May 31, 2008

We are science humility

We are science humility coloring on a piece of paper.

Sounds deep doesn't it? What does it mean? Uhm... nothing. Luke wrote this in his journal. I'm not "deep" enough to figure out what our 4 year old brain child was thinking when he wrote this. Anyone have any ideas?

I do think I need to teach him what the word humility really means though, because he gave himself 4 stickers on this journal page and they all said things like "Great", "Nice Job", etc.

What are children for if not to amuse their parents?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Eventful Day

Yesterday morning started off with something to celebrate. I won't share what it is just yet (not adoption related) because I so often think good news is on it's way just to be surprised with something unexpected. So I will hold back and just say it was a victory and one giant step towards some good news. We had ourselves an ice cream celebration!

Then the day was full of running errands to get a new dossier on it's way to Haiti for Jacques. We were told we could gather some things up now and send it or wait for Stephanie, Jude, and Lovenie to come home and they could reuse our first dossier. We are going to do all we can to get a new one together. It is possible Stephanie, Jude, and Lovenie could be home before we could receive all the requested papers but just in case we can get it quicker or the children are delayed again... we feel better knowing that it's being worked on. So off to the bank, the police department, the notary, etc, etc. We even stumbled across our new local library and took time out to check it out. Kyle came home with 3 chapter books that he had finished all of within a couple hours. Even with the help of a library we could never keep that kid supplied with enough to read!

I also was able to get a doctors appointment in the evening. Just as we were getting out of the car a firetruck came blazing past us, then another one, and another one. As we got near the door we could see that people were being evacuated. Rumor made it my way that someone snuck into a bathroom to smoke and the second floor (where my appointment was) was now on fire. It was quite exciting to watch the firemen going in and out of the building with all their gear. We decided to see if we could wait it out and maybe still be seen. I was out of sleep medicine and I've come to really like my sleep! Eventually the fire was put out and the doctor came downstairs to see me there. I got my sleep medicine (and slept sound last night, sooooo good!).

We ended the night with pippin' hot pizza and the fantastic 2 hour finale of Lost. How will we manage to wait until it comes on again? HOW did Locke get off the Island? WHAT will we do with our Thursday nights?

So today's forecast is a much milder schedule (thankfully). School, a little cleaning, hopefully the repairmen will actually fix our dishwasher that has been broke for a month and they keep misdiagnosing, and then..... WEEKEND!!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fire, Flashback, and a Butterfly Garden

Fire, Flashback, and a Butterfly Garden pretty much sums up our fun Memorial Day weekend:

Saturday night~ Kyle and Johnny's best buddy comes over for a sleepover and we hold his parents hostage to stay and hang out with us too! A fire is made in the backyard and we tried out smores with Dark Chocolate.... SOOOO good!

Luke, Debbie, Kyle, and Andrew
Jim and Jim show us the right way to do smores!

Sunday Night~ We went to one of Jim's best friends house for a 80's themed Graduation party after he received his Masters Degree.
"I'm like totally ready to go Dude. Where is my Date?"

There is my Hard Rock Hubby. It was fun doing a flashback for a night. I wondered what the kids would think and Kyle informed us that we looked "Silly". It's not the first time we've looked silly and certainly won't be the last. Today I finally got out all 6 pounds of hairspray. I'm guessing women had a lot of headaches in the 80's.

Monday~ We finally finished the girls room. We didn't get nearly as much done as we had hoped but are happy to report that all the kids rooms are ready to be inhabited!

Room view from the hallway. It is difficult to get a good picture of the overall room but it includes a large canopy down the center of the room and a smaller one over the tea table, butterflies suspended in air, dragonflies in the corner, and much more.

Stephanie's "nook" under a giant leaf.
All set for our little Lovenie

Monday, May 26, 2008

Some GREAT News!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for praying for us!!! We have received information about the delay in bringing home Stephanie, Jude, and Lovenie. Because of Lovenie's health condition the doctor has requested that she has more testing done before he will sign her Medical exams for her visa. These additional tests have not been done yet. So, no, they will not be home this week or the next. However, this morning the director called us and told us they will work very hard on getting it done and that we should not be waiting more then 4-6 weeks total to have our children running around our home here in America!!!! We are getting there. Then even more exciting news came. We were becoming very concerned about Jacques adoption because of the delays. We were totally shocked to learn that his adoption has already been started and we need to get and rush some paper work to Haiti and when it gets there Jacques will be ready to enter IBESR! IBESR!!!! Woo Hoo. He does not see there being any problem at all with being where we need to be to adopt Jacques before he turns 16. You can't even imagine the relief it was to us to hear this. PRAISE GOD!!!

So now I go off of the "maybe it will be this week" mode and focus on getting ready for them to be home in just a few weeks. And I get to get out of the "fear for Jacques adoption" mode and finally relax a little. It's so rare that we get all good news like this so I think I'll just soak it in for a moment: soaking, soaking, soaking... okay, times up! I need to get working on some paper work that needs to get to Haiti so we can begin to also bring our precious Jacques home!!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

May Update Photo

This morning we received this beautiful update photo. Once again the news that came with it was not happily received. Not only are we not getting good news but we are getting very discouraging news. It looks likely now that there is no way Lovenie will be home for her 4th birthday and Jacques adoption is very much at risk. Please please pray for our family!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How Long Can You Hold Your Breath?

A couple days ago I started unpacking some boxes in Kyle and Jude's room. I came across the blue satin that was used to decorate their room in the previous house and just couldn't resist the urge to create an under water oasis again. Kyle is thrilled with the results. Let's hope that Jude loves it too!

The entry way from the door/hall. The boys love the cascading fish that you must walk by to get into the room.

Kyle just mellowing out by his window. There is something about being surrounded by blue satin that really is very tranquil.

Part of the ceiling "water" view. The ceiling is covered in waves of silky blue satin, and a school of tropical fish.

If you build it they will come: Found these strange sea creatures on the bed under their new waterfall canopy. So... Do you think Jude will like it too?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Two of my favorite people

What a treat it was to find this picture on Kez's blog today. This is our sweet son Jacques and our dear friend Kez (who introduced us to our son). Capturing his gorgeous smile in a picture is a very rare treat.

Weekend Of Great Encouragement

What a refreshing weekend it has been! God has been encouraging me again and again and there is just NOTHING that beats that!!! I'll share a few of the things that He has reminded me of:

On Saturday night I picked up a card off the stack of our mail. I had been expecting this card and knew it was a graduation announcement for someone we adore in TX. I decided to open it and as I slid the card out of the envelope in big bold print (covering most of the card) was the verse Jeremiah 29:11. Those of you that know me well know how much it means to me to "stumble" across this verse unexpectedly. It has been a gift God has given me again and again throughout the adoption wait and it's always right when I need the reminding and almost always followed by news (good or bad) about our children. Then we went to church the next morning and wouldn't you know that the pastor quoted Jeremiah 29:11 (Jim leaned over to me and whispered that we better start packing our bags). Then we had some good friends over for a swim and bbq and our friend mentioned Jeremiah 29:11. Jim and I just looked at each other and smiled. I think God's making sure I get the message. ;)

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Then everything at church on Sunday struck my heart so strongly that I was moved and overwhelmed by God's presence and kindness until I was on the verge of just breaking down into sobs. From every word of each worship song to every word of the message~ It was exactly what I needed to hear and so like our God to bless me that way!!!

The message yesterday had a lot to do with everyday people that do not feel like anything special but God uses to become extraordinary heroes. In Judges 6 you can read the story of Gideon who is hiding out below ground out of fear of the Midianites and doing a mundane chore when the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said "The Lord is with you mighty warrior!". Mighty warrior?? He's hiding underground out of fear! God did not see Gideon the way that Gideon saw himself (unimportant) but as the obedient and even brave man that God was going to call to do a great thing. Isn't that just like God to see us that way even when we can't imagine being brave or that while going about our "everyday" things that God has a great plan for our lives?

Then again this morning while reading the bible God caused these verses to stick out and encourage me greatly:

(When referring to the righteous man)~

He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; Psalm 112: 7-8

How great is that? If you're still with me this far in this long post~ thank you for letting me share with you my joy of what God is doing in my life (even when sometimes I don't see or understand it).

Friday, May 16, 2008

One little, two little, three little passports

How does that song go? "If you don't have the news you want love the news you have?" Something like that right? So I'm going to love and share the good news~ Our daughters Stephanie and Lovenie, and our son Jude all have PASSPORTS!!! I do think it is important to celebrate each and every step because they don't come easy (or often enough). The news we wanted was that our visas were applied for and it's time to bring our kids home. That ended up not being the case as something that had to do with the kids medical exams is being waited on. At least I know now and am not waiting every day thinking that "today could be THE day".

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What they really mean

It has amazed me over the last 3 waiting years the kinds of questions and comments we get regarding our growing family. I will attempt to translate or comment on the most popular ones:

"Wow, you are brave!" Don't let this one fool you. The translation is "Are you insane?!" This is one of my favorites and I laugh on the inside knowing what they are REALLY thinking when they say that.

"It's a great thing you are doing for these children." I know that it's meant well. I can even see their point a bit that in their eyes we are bringing them to America (which in American view is the greatest country ever) and giving them opportunities they may not receive if they were to stay where they are. To some extent that is true. In the big picture it is totally US who are blessed with these new family members. They are the gift to us. Many adopting parents I've heard also insist that it is not the other way around (meant in all humbleness and some truth) but shouldn't we be a gift to them as well? Yes, I think as parents we should also be a gift to our children. My parents sure are a gift to me. So, while this statement has a hint of truth to it (as controversial as that comment may be) I also believe it comes from a place that is simply from not understanding (and how could we expect them to?) and in my experience the person saying it is ALWAYS saying it with the best of intentions.

"How many kids do you have?" I'll admit that I'm never quite sure how to answer this question. Do you mean how many children with me at the moment? 3 How many children we are legally parents to? 6 Or how many including the ones we have committed to adopt as well? 8. Take your pick! ;) This question always leads to a conversation. Sometimes I'm in the mood to expand on my answer, and sometimes I'm just not.

When I'm not in the mood to expand on that question I simply say "8" and have often received the response of "Are they all yours?" At first I was confused by this question. Are they all mine? Why would I say I have 8 children if they are not "mine"? Since I wasn't in the mood for a discussion I did not mention that some of the children are added to our family through adoption. One day someone said that to me and then followed it with "Is it a yours, mine, and ours situation?" Ding... I finally got it! When I keep the answer that simple people make the assumption that my husband had a few with someone else, I had a few with someone else, and we had some together. I don't know why it took me so long to figure this one out! I thought it was pretty funny!!

"Any news on your children?" When I realized that the translation of this statement is "I want you to know that I really care and am excited with you for some news." How could you not be grateful for that kind of kindness? So, bring it on. Ask that question. And thank you so much for caring about our family!

"Why would you adopt from another country when there are so many children who need homes here?" Fortunately for me this is so simple for us to answer. We were not looking to adopt at all when God dropped Lovenie right into our lives and he has continued to reveal His plan to us of adding more children from Haiti to our family. We did not choose it but we did gladly accept the gift. It was not a matter of choosing NOT to adopt from the US or go somewhere else. If we were given the opportunity to choose I don't think I would have chosen the route of a US adoption for many reasons I won't get into. However, I am always so very excited when a child from America, Haiti, or anywhere else, that needs a family finally finds one. It's really a beautiful thing regardless of country.

"Oh, you are getting your kids the easy way!" This is a comment that will likely make any adopting mother want to hurt you. ;) Please just avoid it all together. Okay, I mean that mostly playfully. I've had the privilege of having 3 children through my own pregnancies. My pregnancies were so difficult that I jokingly told my husband that if he ever saw a positive pregnancy test on the counter he could go ahead and consider it my suicide note. No need to look for me, I've already jumped off the nearest tall bridge. Despite how tough I thought pregnancy to be.... I can say without any doubt at all that adoption is most definitely NOT the easy way.

I'm sure there are many many more that I'm not thinking of at the moment and I'm sure we have much more to come when our children are home and people are trying to "figure us out". What I am happy to say is that people really do seem to say things to us with all the best of intentions. I also usually welcome these questions as it offers an opportunity for an open dialog about adoption. When our children are home and by our side I may be more sensitive for their sake on how I answer the prying questions but for now they really don't bother me. (Most of the time)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And my heart melts again....

I just checked in on Kez's blog since it is so fun to see what she is up to in Haiti. She spent the weekend with the kids of NLL and HFC and had posted this picture of our sweet Jude all dressed up for church. He's also wearing my favorite accessory of his~ the smile. I'm telling you that I'm pretty sure he smiles even in his sleep because he's almost never without it! What a great boy. What an overwhelming honor it is to be his mother!

I've asked it before and I'll ask it again... Can someone PLEASE finally invent a way for me to be able to reach through the computer and hug our precious child??!!! Seriously, how hard can that be?

The pressure is on...

Hear that? Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. That is the clock rapidly ticking towards Lovenie's fourth birthday. We thought for sure that we would never see another birthday come and go without being with her. Now we are just not sure. At this point it could go either way. A while back I had signed our kids up to get free token coupons and discounts from Chuck E Cheese and in so doing shared their birthdays. So in my email today was this statement from our dear friend Chuck E~

Hey Angela,

We noticed that Lovenie is celebrating a birthday on June 11th! We want to help make this birthday as memorable and fun as possible. We also want this party to be easy for you before, during and after the celebration!

It sounds so easy doesn't it? If only Chuck E. knew...... tick, tick, tick, tick

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

You've come a long way Baby!

We got news yesterday on the adoptions but it is news I was not happy to get so I'm just going to skip that update and will share when we get some GOOD news! Meanwhile, on the home front...
I posted a while back that Luke surprised us by starting to read things on his own when he was only 3. Right after he turned 4 he was showing so much interest I decided to start him on the Hooked on Phonics program. I thought I would update how that is coming along. He's doing great and we are so proud of him! He reads naturally and effortlessly and constantly continues to surprise us with how well he reads and writes.

This is from this morning as Luke shows off the book he just finished reading with no problems at all~ first try!

The cover~ The story is Slam and Dunk Go to the Moon. It is a sixteen page book and he read it all in a few minutes.

Way to go Luke! Keep up the great work. Your family is so proud of you!!!

Tomorrow is Free day at the San Diego zoo. Remember when I posted my controversial post last year making it public knowledge that I REALLY don't like to go to zoos? (I know, terrible, isn't it?). We are still debating today if we should make it a special father and son day for Jim and Kyle or if we should go as a family. I'm strongly leaning towards staying home with Johnny and Luke (since they got bored quickly last year too). We'll see how it goes!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Traditional Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed

Happy Mother's Day My Dear Friends!!!!!! I hope you have had one filled with many blessings and lots of laughter.

This Morning I had my traditional breakfast in bed (always a bagel sandwich with cream cheese, fried egg, cheddar cheese, turkey bacon, and avacado, along with a bowl of fresh berries, yum!)

This is also the time that I get my gifts and cards. I love great smelling creams and aromatherapy oils and the boys did great stocking me up again!

Once I was allowed to get (back) out of bed and get out of my nightgown we all got dressed up and headed off to church. After service the church had a photography company there taking free family portraits as a Mother's day gift. I think we get them next week. It will be so great to have one. I've put it off for the last 3 years waiting for the rest of our family to be in it. I look forward to taking new ones when the kids are all home!

After church we stopped by the outlets mall that is just minutes away from our new home. It was fun to see some of the shops and I came home with a full bag from Bath & Body. I should be set until next Mother's day on all the frilly stuff.

Now it's time to search out that nightgown again and watch some major "girl" flics and pay no attention at all to the unpacking that needs to be finished.

Last Mother's day without Stephanie, Jude, and Lovenie!!! Of course next Mother's day (unless we receive a miracle) I will be crying again over our missing Jacques! ;)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day Picnic

First I just want to thank you all so much for your posts, emails, and prayers. I've truly got the most wonderful friends! Thanks for letting me be whatever it is that I am (happy, sad, goofy) and accepting it for what it is. The pity party seems to be over and there is laughter in our home again. It takes nothing away from how much I miss the rest of our family but I seem to have grieved not being able to be with them and moved on to accepting it.

Around here we don't just celebrate a holiday on the day but drag it out as much as possible. So welcome to our Mother's day weekend! Jim had planned to surprise me with a Family Chocolate Festival in San Diego but we got a late start and the weather here was much better then the weather there so we decided to stay in town and eat lots of chocolate right where we are! We got to use the ammenities of our H.O.A for the first time and it was PERFECT! We had a wonderful picnic lunch and some really great family time.

Chillin' with my boys

Kyle found a great tree to really make the most of our gorgeous view

He took these pictures for us from that tree. This is the view of the Lake from the clubhouse. This is the same view that we have from our windows at home~ Lovin' it!

Luke just being sweet

The day was warmer then we expected and we had not brought towels or swimsuits with us. We agreed to let the kids wade around in the kid pool

But of course it turned into this! Kyle takes a swim in the big pool and we return home with 3 dripping wet kids that just swam in their clothes and had no towels, and 2 very relaxed and happy parents.

Friday, May 09, 2008

If I am THIS blessed, why can't I stop crying?

Early this morning the waterworks started and try as I might I just can't seem to turn it off! How I would love to just "snap out of it" and focus on all my blessings~ and those blessing are so very great. I sincerely believe that I may be one of the most blessed women of all time! With Mother's day approaching it is a time to celebrate the Mothers in our lives. What an exceptional one I have. I can't imagine having a better Mom. My life is so much fuller because God has given me her. As an adult she has become both Mother and best friend to me. I know many friends who no longer have their Moms here with them and I pray for each of you as I know how painful Mothers day must be without them. I can't imagine life without my Mom. So for Mother's day I can truly celebrate one of the greatest gifts in my life. I also have received a second Mom in my Mother In-law. She has raised 5 children (including the greatest Man I've ever known!) and has so much I can learn from her. I respect her and have grown to love her very much over the years. She may not know it, and I may not tell her in ways that I should, but my life is richer to have her as a second Mom.

Now that I am a Mother it has also become a special day for me. My family showers me with more love then one Mom could ever deserve or earn every day, but Mother's day I am especially spoiled. I have a husband that is a father unlike any I've ever known (although my father is pretty fantastic also!). He's quick to jump in and help with the children and home, and so kind and loving to our children. Then there is my children~ they are more wonderful then a mother could hope for! I am truly blessed beyond anything I could have ever even thought to ask for!

So... Why can't I stop crying? How can I explain this gut wrenching pain I am feeling? I know many won't understand, but I thought I would get this out and maybe it will help to lessen the flood of waterworks....

I am missing (no, missing isn't even the word for it) our children in Haiti more then I've maybe ever missed them before. There is something about the thought of celebrating Mother's Day that just makes me feel sick to my stomach. I always end up in tears on their birthdays and Mother's day.. but this one seems to be far worse then times in the past. I think part of it is knowing that we had so totally hoped that we would be in Haiti or have our kids home this Mother's day. Instead.. we have had no news at all. We are also coming up on 1 year since I have seen them. I have had opportunities to go and be with them in the past and passed them up with the whole hearted belief that they would be coming home soon. How sick I am of saying "any day now" and truly believing and hoping in it. I am overwhelmed by homesickness for them. I have such a God given love for them that it is the same thing as someone coming to our home... taking Kyle, Johnny, and Luke from us, taking them to another country, and having no idea of when they will be able to come home to us. I know that waiting Moms separated from their adopted children know what I am talking about but I imagine it is a pain that any Mom could relate to. Will our children in Haiti ever really know how much I love them? Will they know that having holidays (and every day, really) without them was not "no big deal" to me? Will they ever know that I ached for them so much that I cried until I threw up?

I know... Shake it off. Concentrate on all the many blessings I do have. Focus on honoring my Mothers and fully being here for my children. I KNOW all these things already. Now can someone please tell it to my heart and watery eyes?

Okay, so that is the truth about how I am feeling. It's not pretty. It's not cheery. It just is what it is. I wouldn't turn down prayers right now and want my friends to know that I understand the pain so many of them are feeling also and praying for you as well!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Moments I'm catching up on

This morning I am taking some restful time to catch up on things I've missed while waiting to be connected. It is AMAZING how much you can miss... the homecoming of Ange and her new daughters for one thing ( . I have been so anxious to read all about it. I also found the sweetest letter from Jude. My reaction was~ We've GOT to get that precious boy home!!! There were many other great emails, posts, and surprises for me online. Here are just a couple more that brought tears to my eyes:

Found on Ange's blog:

"Lovenie fell asleep on me, I dreamt of angela at that moment!"
The times I have seen Lovenie she has wanted nothing to do with me or the friends I traveled with. Since my arms ached from missing out on holding her she was just plain out of luck and HAD to be held by me. Within 10 minutes she wouldn't let me put her down for the rest of the trip. If I tried handing her off to someone while I climbed in or out of the taptap, used the restroom, got some food.. She would scream her cute little head off until she was back in my arms. While it was exhausting... I won't lie~ I LOVED IT!!! Now I have been hearing stories from 3 different friends of her going to them willingly and allowing herself to be loved on. That makes me SO happy!!!!

Then I found this treasure today on Kez's blog:
Lovenie has discovered that she can come down the hall and hang out with the big girls. Her sister Stephanie takes good care of her and all week, every time I have seen Stephanie, I have seen Lovenie clinging to her skirt.

his makes me so proud of our beautiful Stephanie and so happy for our healing Lovenie!

Also, Bryn is back in Haiti also! I just got the news from her that she has a working webcam so as soon as we find ours (Isn't moving fun?) we will be able to set up a time to actually see and chat with our kids LIVE!!!! All good news. Another day of great gifts from God!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I've missed the cyberspace connection with you all! We are moved into the new place and everyone is well (tired but well). It took us nearly a week to get our phone/internet/cable but we are connected now.

So the question we are most commonly asked (and thank you for): Any news about the kids? Nope, none. We did hear that our paperwork to apply for the kids visas has made it to Haiti so we are hopeful that they have been applied for and we are just waiting for that ever so important appointment so we can head to Haiti.

I finally got a chance to log on to Ange's blog (it's been killing me all week to not know how it went) and I am thrilled to say that their daughters are home and well! Woo Hoo!!!! It was such a joy to hear!!!

So, I'm back... and blog therapy will resume shortly... so strap on your seat belts and lets have a good time, shall we??

BTW~ Our new email is ~ Please send us a note. After a week without you all I am very anxious to hear from you!