Friday, March 27, 2009

Urgent Prayers and Help Needed!!!

Dear friends,

This is so very difficult to write but I realize it should be done. We have shared that we have been having problems with one of our adopted children but it has escalated into a very serious situation. Stephanie has caused serious harm to two of our children and can no longer remain in our home. CPS came by yesterday and had planned to leave our home to go to Stephanie's school and pick her up (without even a goodbye) and take her into custody. After long talks with the social worker we agreed that we could very short term keep our children safe while looking into alternatives. We have until Tuesday until we speak with them again. As of now, if Stephanie is removed from our home they say her issues and age make it very unlikely they will be able to place her in a family setting. She will likely head to a group home hours away from us. We feel this could be a very bad thing for her. We have very few options, but one option may be to find another family for her ourselves. It would have to be a family without young or mentally disabled children, without sexually active children, and a family willing to help her with very serious issues.

We have no idea what is going to happen. We know it is a real stretch to find her a home at her age and with her issues, but we must at least TRY! Will you please keep our family covered in prayer during this extremely difficult time? Could you please pass on this information and our contact information with anyone you know of that may be able to consider taking in Stephanie?

We ask that you would please pray pray pray pray. We are in the need of a miracle here! We know many of you will have questions about what happened. We ask that, unless you need to know to decide about taking in Stephanie, you please refrain from seeking the details of what brought this about. We want to seek help and a home for Stephanie but do not want to get into situations of simply gossiping about the situation. Our family is hurting in very big ways and your support and friendships are always very much appreciated.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Then WHO Can Help?

The difficulties continue and the stories get increasingly sad. There are a lot of things going on that we will not likely share on this blog for the sake of our children's privacy~ but times are really tough so please keep praying for us!

Today I went to the first appointment with a psychiatrist seeking help for one of our children that really needs a lot of help. The psychiatrist is at a large mental health clinic. I know some of the things we are dealing with are extreme and serious but I was thinking that psychiatrists have likely seen and heard it all. Imagine my surprise when the psychiatrist was overwhelmed with the issues. That's when you know it's bad. ;) She was kind, spent a couple hours with me, and seemed determined to help in any way they can. There will be a meeting held on Thursday morning when we will find out if they will be able to admit our child to receive help from the clinic or have to refer us elsewhere. I have been warned though that the Dr. thinks it likely the issues are too serious for them to handle. I would have never expected that response.

Beyond that~ because of a situation that has come to light regarding something that happened with a couple of our adopted children (before joining our family) the psychiatrist has a legal responsibility to report it to CPS. I understand that and since we have never been in a situation like this before was unsure what you need to report to who. I'll admit that most stories I've heard involving CPS are not good ones so am not thrilled at this prospect. There is a chance they will choose to not investigate it since it did not happen while in our home.

This all is such a great reminder that there are things in life that people, no matter how well trained, can not help us with. Our strength and help truly needs to be from the Lord. He may bring people along to help but our trust really needs to be in Him. Our children need healing beyond anything any person can offer (including us parents). We do trust in God to see us through this and heal our children. We don't know what His plan is or how many more dark days we have ahead of us, but we do know He loves our kids more then we do and He will not leave us in this place. One day our family will have an amazing testimony to share! One day we will be able to reach out to others to help encourage them through similar hard times (like others are doing for us). This too will all be used for the good!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Thanks to God for his grace! I'm still not much in a celebration mood today (not to mention being exhausted) but that does not change the fact that I am so very thankful to be where God has brought me to today!

Jim returns home to us late tomorrow night. We are so excited!!! We've decided we will not allow him to leave the house ever again once he gets home. ;-) Okay, I guess we'll have to let go of him at some point but for now we will at least have the weekend.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Worlds Greatest Guy!

A huge shout out to my man! This week has been an especially hard time for our family with breaking (as in heartbreaking) happenings. The timing was just terrible as Jim had to leave early Sunday morning for a business trip. The days have been just horrible with the heavy weight of the things that need immediate attention and decisions. Jim's been calling to pray with me, encourage me, and talk with me whenever he can. Insisting that he wishes he could be right here helping with the situation.

To top it off, today is our much talked about monthaversary and Thursday will mark the 2 year celebration of being seizure free. I have not been in much of a celebrating mood (shocking, right??). Then my doorbell rings and I am handed a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. It nearly brought me to tears (a different kind of tears then the other many shed ones)! How does he know exactly what I need and exactly when I need it? What a GREAT guy!

This is not a time I would wish on anyone but I am not in it alone. Not only is God right here throwing sunshine moments into my day but he's even given me a strong and thoughtful husband to see us through it all. There is a lot of comfort in that!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What are the plans for little Vilner?

The situation is such an odd one. I'm still not really sure WHAT happened. It was also a little over 2 years ago that we learned about Stephanie, Jude, and Lovenie's little brother Vilner. He's so very adorable! It was a neat little story.... A friend (dear Kez) sent us an email that their Birthmom and little brother stopped by to see the kids. Our reaction... "There is a little brother??!!". We had no idea! We prayed about this little boy a lot and wondered what God might have in store for him (and if it included us). When we called to request to adopt Jacques we decided we would ask about what the Mother's plans were for Vilner and asked the director of the O if there was anyway he could gently ask her and to let us know if she would want him adopted as well. Jim asked the director about it and the director was very quiet for a little bit. He asked Jim how we knew about the baby brother and we told him a friend had met him. He then shocked us by telling us that their mother had already come to him and asked him to ask us to adopt Vilner as well. He told her he didn't want us to feel pressured to do it so he would not mention anything about it to us and pray that God would have us find out about him if we were to know~ and He did! So, at the same time we requested to adopt Jacques we committed to adopting Vilner as well. Then months later our adoptions of Vilner and Jacques were both denied.

Here is the odd thing about it all~ I always felt that there was a reason that their Mom needed us to commit to the adoption of Vilner (for the time). I also never felt the same peace that he was going to be our child, the way I felt about the other four. There just wasn't the same connection. I thought maybe that would change once I met him (which I did just three days later). Nope. I adored him but there was no maternal connection. I talked with their Mom, in person, about adopting him and sensed a great reluctance. I could tell she did not really want him adopted. She said she would be willing to have us adopt him because she would want him to be with his brother and sister. I just knew in my gut it is not really what she wanted. I expected her to change her mind and back out of the adoption. So it was not really a surprise when two years later he still was never brought into the orphanage. We asked repeatedly what was going on and never received an answer. We assumed she had changed her mind and, honestly, we were thrilled for her and determined to help support him while he remained with her.

Friday night we learned that she changed her mind again and brought him to the orphanage asking that they would take him in and have us adopt him. She was told that it is now too late and he returned home with his mother. I have no idea what has been going on in the last two years, or what has changed now. I do believe now that he may not be intended to be part of our family (although still not totally sure). I have mixed feelings... I'll admit some of the feelings are relief. We have been dealing with dark issues that are way beyond regular post-adoption issues and most days we are just struggling through each day. We know that one of our children is mentally ill and that there is a family history of mental illness. I do think that if we were to add another child with mental illnesses to our family right now we would likely just fall to pieces. On the other hand, after learning about all the abuse and painful situations our children have endured it is so hard to not run to Haiti and bring him here. How could we just leave him and know that he is likely headed for the unimaginable pain and suffering our other children have endured??? It's a tough situation. One that requires lots and lots of prayer. It is so hard to not say yes to an adoption. We just need to wait on God's leading here. We'll see what he has in store for us. Until then we will most certainly be needing to be covering precious little Vilner in our prayers. Will you please pray for him with us?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Life As A Reality Show

When people see or hear that we have a somewhat large family I often get asked if we've seen the Jon & Kate plus 8 or 17 (now 18) and counting shows. I used to just say "Nope" until being asked so many times peeked my curiosity. I recently have watched a few episodes of each. It's totally amazing to me that we will sit and watch someone elses family just existing in another ordinary day, and yet there is something about it that sucks me in when I watch them!

So today I was thinking about this and wondering "What if our family had a reality show? What footage would they use?" Each day seems so normal and sometimes dull.... feed the children, pay some bills, feed the children, run some errands, do school, feed the children, clean, feed the children, feed the children. Who would want to watch that?? Then I think about the many "moments" stuck in the middle of all the doldrums. There are countless fun and memorable moments!

Yesterday I needed to get a smog check to renew the tags on our van. I loaded up the six pack (of kids, of course) and off we went to get it done. Because downtime at an auto shop is no fun, the kids and I hit the streets! At each red light we started a new game. We would all together take a deep breath, exhale loudly, reach our hands towards the light, and in unison yell out "CHANGE". When it would change on cue all seven of us would scream and jump around excitedly. It was fun and silly. Can you imagine what the people in there cars must have thought of us? The puzzled looks we get while we are out and about are priceless. People are always trying to "figure us out". I can almost hear their minds thinking "must be a daycare" because I get asked that all the time.

The network could have featured the moment that a woman mindlessly started to go through the crosswalk during a red light~ nearly wiping out half our clan. I can picture how they would show that clip over and over again leaving everyone in suspense.... will someone be dying or not?? Just to find when they play it that it really wasn't THAT big of a deal! We could have shared our stop at KFC for a double chocolate chip cake that is advertised for up to 4 people but we split up for more then enough for 8 (saving a piece for Dad). On and on our adventures went in just a half hour slot of waiting for a smog on our car. There are so many more slots of time that are just little bursts of laughter, fun, silliness, cuteness, and love. Sometimes when things are really stressful and busy it is easy to forget about these kinds of moments, but they are sometimes the very thing that helps push us through the things that we "must" do so we can get back to the fun. I'm convinced that every family is living their own lives of adventure and drama. We should ALL have our own little reality show! ;)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Years In Waiting

It's been a little surreal recently to be thinking about the fact that it was almost exactly 2 years ago that we requested to adopted our dear sweet Jacques! 2 years ago that he found out that a family (the first family he has ever known) had requested that he would please join our crazy little clan for the rest of our lives. Almost 2 years ago that I first hugged him and knew without any doubt he had always been destined to be our son. We had attempted to add his adoption to the paper work that we already had in progress to adopt Stephanie, Jude, and Lovenie. It was a couple months later that we learned that IBESR (Haiti social services) had denied our request to adopt him saying that we would have to wait for our adoptions of the 1st three to be complete and then try again. Crushing... just crushing!

We know he is more then worth the wait but the waiting can be so hard. Because we have been facing so many issues with one of our children we sometimes think about how this might be part of the "why" he wasn't able to come home too. I would really love to have a stable family for him to come home to.

It was so great when the kids had internet access and we could at least write him and have a relationship with him. For the last several months the kids at HFC have not had internet access and so that kind of contact was lost. During our move a couple different people went to Haiti and we usually beg whoever is going to please take letters, pictures, and gifts to our son for us. These last couple of times the timing was hectic and we didn't get anything in the mail in time. How I worry that he will think we just stopped caring! I wish there was some way to pour out to him how we feel about him and how much he is wanted here with us. We just continue praying for him and thinking about him everyday. One day this will all be behind us and I can cuddle up with him (you think a teen will cuddle??) and tell him all of this face to face. One day he'll know how much we want him. He may never understand how humbled I feel that God would let us parent and love such an amazing boy! I would much rather have years of waiting then to not know him at all.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


In him, therefore, we stand. Thus today we do not fight for victory; we fight from victory. We do not fight in order to win but because in Christ we have already won. Overcomes are those who rest in the victory already given to them by their God. (Nee, 1957, p. 55)

We already know the battle has been won. We already know that all things are working together for our good. We see a lot of battles~ and it's sure not fun to be in the midst of them~ but what a great comfort to know how it will end!

Friday, March 06, 2009

A Licorice Cowboy

I guess since my first name ends with La and my Last name starts with La, perhaps I was destined to check out into "LaLa" land from time to time. That time has come again. Above is proof! Eating ropes of licorice turned into creating a licorice cowboy. Do I have better things to do with my time~ Oh yes. Is there much more pressing things that need my attention~ Oh yes! However, a licorice cowboy made me laugh and THAT is exactly what I'm needing these days.
Yesterday was one of the lowest points of our post adoption experience, really one of our lowest points ever. Heartbreaking situations and information was brought to light that my head (and stomach) is still on spin cycle from it all. Please do keep praying for our precious children who need healing of so many hurts. It brings thought back to the fact that there are very real people living in very real pain all around us. Please pray also that our family would be spilling over with love for each other, that God would protect each family member, and give us "new to this all" parents lots and lots of wisdom (oh, yes.. and strength!).
On a positive note~ There have been many opportunities for conversations about God's forgiveness lately. We have also talked a lot about the beauty of everyday being new and fresh. A whole new chance at a new life and making good decisions. It really is amazing, isn't it? Yesterday I felt nearly paralyzed with sadness, fear, distress, you name it. Today the circumstances are the same and yet my heart feels glad(ish). I laughed, did school with the kids, and have found comfort in a God who is always ready to offer comfort. BEAUTIFUL! Thank you God for the brand new fresh day and for Licorice Cowboys.
UPDATED~ Now singing~
Licorice Cowboy 1 "I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy."
Licorice Cowboy 2 "I see by your outfit you are a cowboy too."
Together "We see by our outfits that we are both cowboys."
Singing together to us all "If you get an outfit you can be a cowboy too"
Oh LaLa land can be so nice.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Yesterday I was walking by and noticed all 4 boys huddled up together in a small space. With so many areas they could spread out in the house they were all content to hang out real close to each other. It was just one of those very sweet moments as a Mother. I love these boys!!!

Monday, March 02, 2009

A Day Out In The Big City

Saturday rolled around and "Mom's Day Off" was reinstated. Woo Hoo!!! I'm excited about this new area and my Saturday morning adventures. There is just so much to do around here. For the 1st adventure I took BART (the train) into San Francisco and got off right at Union Square. Oh the fun I had shopping, shopping, and MORE shopping. It was so fun to go to places I'd never been. These stores are all very high end~ Saks, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, etc. It was interesting going into Barneys and finding a shirt I liked for ONLY $1200, or the casual dress for only $1700. The clothes were beautiful, but seriously... WHO buys these things??? It was fun to look though. I managed to only buy adorable throw pillows for our couch, a show of great restraint! The day was ended in a Cafe at the very top of Nordstroms with a great view of the city. Then back on the train and headed home.

Saturday night we were given a wonderful treat when Jim's boss and his wife took our entire family out to eat to welcome us to the area. They couldn't have been any kinder to us all. They even both had all our names memorized the moment we arrived (we were all impressed!). It was a great time.

Things continue to roll along at our house. A few more boxes have been unpacked and that's always great! We would like to ask for your continued prayers for the healing of one of our children. We are learning more and more about what we are facing and it's not good. We are at a point that we are trying to make an extremely difficult (and even painful) decision. Please pray that God would give us wisdom and make his will very very clear to us in the best interest of everyone in our family.