Monday, December 31, 2007

A Buck & A Quarter

I was sitting in the living room chair sneaking in a moment of relaxation when the most amazing "God moment" happened. My darling 6 year old boy walked quietly up to me and placed one dollar & one quarter in my hand. "What's this?", I asked. "It's money to bring home my baby sister", he replied.

What a beautiful, beautiful gift. This was a gift given from the heart - the amount didn't matter. He knows somewhere in Haiti there is a beautiful little girl that is meant to be his sister and he wants us to have the money to bring her home.

This unselfish gift reminded me of the story of the widow who gave all she had:
While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people putting their gifts into the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two pennies. "I assure you," he said, "this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has." Luke 21:1-4

The widows small gift was a sacrifice, but she gave it willingly and that is what made it so beautiful. Thank you Lord for giving my son a beautiful giving heart.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Wishes

As I sit in the soft glow of the Christmas tree it is so very quiet. The most quiet the house has been since 6 am when soft tiny fingers poked my arm and whispered "mama".

I am content in my peace. I am happy just where I am. And even though my house is not the biggest, my van is not the newest and my wardrobe has no designer tags I do not care.

I've been asked a lot this week if I'm "ready for Christmas". I'm sure the spirit in which the question was asked was as to whether or not I've got my holiday shopping done. I hear the chatter of people scurrying around to find just the right brand to make the best impression on people who do not want for a thing in this world. It's so meaningless - like gerbils running on a wheel to nowhere.

My wants for this Christmas have certainly changed. If I'm honest, when I reflect on Christmas past I do see myself caught up in all the hype. As I've grown in my faith and since we've started our adoption journey I feel like I'm seeing Christmas through new eyes. Not the innocent eyes of a child, but the eyes of someone who chooses to no longer look away from the many injustices for children in this world. The fact that millions of children have no clean drinking water, are sold into slavery & prostitution, have nothing to eat, die from diseases that are easily curable & have no family to love them - now that is something to be frantic about. Whether or not I got the latest "it" gadget really seems pointless.

The answer to the question is yes, I am ready for Christmas. I am ready to quietly celebrate the miracle of God sending His son into our world. A world full of sin and tragedy and despair. A world where a tiny baby brought new hope & light so that all who seek Him could be saved.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

In Honor of My Husband...Sorry I Couldn't Find the Original SNL Version Honey!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Not My Words, But I Think They Were Peeking In My Heart

I just saw a link to this posted on and have to say this post struck a cord with me too. I am forever changed by this adoption journey and I certainly see the world through new eyes.

This Guy Cracks Me Up...

God's Heart for Children

Monday, December 17, 2007

Adoption Update...No News is No News

I mailed off some paperwork and $$$ to our home study provider today. I really wish we could find some time to finish Jeff's autobiography, but he has been SO busy at work with the holidays. People are buying puffcorn & pretzels like crazy (if you live in our area, please support us by buying the Old Dutch brand - Frito Lay is a dirty word in our house).

We've received a couple of donations in the last few days for which we are VERY thankful. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for the prayers and financial support. We are eternally grateful.

The Christmas Story

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Grant Us This Grant O Lord We Pray

I applied for an adoption grant tonight! Please pray that the people reviewing our application will be moved to award us with a $2,500 grant. Thank you for being in prayer for our family.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:24

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tis the Season to be Crazy...Fa La La La La La La La La

The past 5 days have been nutty at best. The schedule of events this past week has left me longing for a day of absolutely nothing. While we have enjoyed the culmination of many practices and activities of the kids, it has just been too much.

Tuesday night was D's orchestra concert. The weather was horrible with snow flying and very slippery roads. Thankfully we did not have far to drive. I feel like this is the last of so many things for her. I know that after this year many things will change. It is her last year in elementary school which is certainly bittersweet. She played her cello wonderfully and we had great seats right up close to her. The other added bonus was that B sat still during the entire concerts. Clearly, this was a miracle!

Wednesday night the kids had Christmas program practice at church and I had to work. I normally don't work nights, but we had our major fundraising event for the Foundation called Festival of Light. All of the auction items were beautiful and it was nice to see some of the decorated trees being donated back to the community.

Thursday night was the "Winter" concert at school. It was a LONG night. Since the concert started at 6:45 we arrived around 6:15 to get seats. Thankfully we arrived early (which is not typical for us) because shortly thereafter it was standing room only. The concert concluded around 8:45 which means we were there for 2 1/2 hours. B did not sit still for this one. In fact he was down right miserable, which made us miserable as well. K & D did a great job. I love that K is so enthusiastic during his singing. His facial expressions and dance moves are great! D is so grown up and did a beautiful job as well.

Friday night we unfortunately had to attend a visitation at the funeral home. It is difficult to see someone so young pass away. We are praying for peace for her family during this time. I pray she is in the arms of the Lord who has taken away all of her pain & suffering. It was K's first time seeing a person who had died. He was very nervous at first to go in but after lots of reassurance and answering any questions he did fine. I want my kids to know that death is a part of life and it's nothing to be scared of provided you have the assurance of being saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Thank you Lord for your gift of salvation!

Saturday morning K had basketball and D had church program practice. K was supposed to be at church practice too, but since his part was a song (which he knew) and basically standing around in the "stable" I thought it would be more productive to send him to basketball. D had a lead role as one of God's Angels (based on the old TV show Charlie's angels) so she definitely needed to be at church. K also had a birthday party to go to in the afternoon. Later in the day nana came over to watch the kids so my darling husband and I could go to a Christmas bingo party for my work. It was nice to actually go out alone and do an adult activity. We didn't win anything, but we got to eat without having to cut up anyone elses food which was a huge bonus. Afterwards we went out to Target to do a little Christmas shopping.

This morning we had the Christmas program at church. It was really well done and all of the kids and coordinators of the program did a GREAT job. D was one of God's Angels and had to go on a mission to see Joseph. K was a chicken in the stable. Everyone said it was the first time they saw a chicken at the manger. I guess there's a first time for everything. After the program we had potluck so I got out of cooking lunch...yeah! When we finally got home we did nothing. I even got to take a little nap.

Our family is moving into a season of quiet reflection. We look forward to enjoying the true meaning of Christmas in these last weeks before the celebration of Christ's birth. This season is not about gifts or events or finding the right name brand to give. It is about our Lord and saviour coming into the world as a child to ultimately deliver us. What a miracle!

I'm praying that you are all enjoying the season and finding the time for quiet reflection. Blessings to you all...

Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’
Matthew 1:23

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Change Me, O Lord

Dear Lord change not Thy will in my life,
Or trial and sorrows to be;
Renew my faith and make me strong,
Change not Thy will, change me.

Though teardrops fall when trouble comes,
Like storms on a rolling sea;
Let Thy beacon guide my ship to port,
Change not the storm, change me.

When Thy Holy Word I don't understand
And Thy glory I cannot see;
Teach my eyes, give me sight and wisdom,
Change not Thy Word, change me.

If the fruit Thou hast given me to eat,
Taste bitter and sour, I plea;
Let not my will but Thine be done,
Change not the fruit, change me.

If sometime I murmur and grumble, dear Lord,
About the cross I carry for Thee;
Keep it firm on my shoulders, but hold my hand,
Change not the cross, change me.

If You change Thy ways to please me, dear Lord,
I would soon grow cold and turn from Thee;
That You may hear my prayers, dear Lord,
Change not Thy ways, change me.

There's a valley that I must cross,
Someday Thy face to see;
Lest I forget what power is Thine,
Change not the valley, change me.

~ Author Unknown ~

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Walking by Faith

The words to this song by Jeremy Camp were really on my heart today. I am praying & reflecting on them...

Would I believe you when you would say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day

Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
Well because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

Help me to win my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years
With the one breath You make me new
Your grace covers all I do

Well I'm broken- but I still see Your face
Well You've spoken- pouring Your words of grace

Well hallelujah, hallelu
(I will walk by faith)
Well hallelujah, hallelu
(I will walk by faith)

I will walk, I will walk, I will walk by faith
I will, I will, I will walk by faith

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Just in the Nick of Time...

I noticed on the Children of the Promise (our orphanage in Haiti) website yesterday that effective 11/15/07 they are no longer accepting new applications until sometime in 2008. Because of the long wait times being experienced in Haiti, they have a lot of children who are moving through the system slowly and can't go home yet. Please join me in praying that these adoptions move through the system quickly so the children that have been matched with a family can go home. Another bonus would be that new babies can then come into the center where they will receive love & nourishment and have a safe place to live.

Thankfully our application was approved on November 1st, so we made it in just under the wire. Praise God!

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:1-2

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Strawberry Hemangioma Anyone?

It certainly was an interesting day! Let me give you a little insight into what made it so interesting...
At the beginning of last week I noticed a small red dot on B's cheek. It was no bigger than a pin head. At first I thought it was just a speck of food. Upon examination it appeared to be blood under the skin. As the week went on it became more puffy looking, but still the size of a pin head. On Saturday it burst (for lack of a better term). This small dot bled, and bled, and bled some more. On Sunday there were two episodes of bleeding. This morning it bled for 1/2 an hour with no end in sight, so I called the pediatrician to make an appointment. Upon examination it was determined this tiny bleeding speck was a strawberry hemangioma (basically a tiny benign tumor). They quickly made an appointment for him to be seen in plastic surgery this afternoon to have this area "lasered" and they informed me the physician needed to sedate him for the procedure! This was officially more than I bargained for.

So I go home with my little strawberry boy and come back a couple of hours later. The plastic surgeon comes in and says he has decided we will just keep an eye on it. OK, I did not come back to the clinic so we could be charged another office visit & just keep an eye on it. I came back to the clinic for some resolve (which I received after indicating I was not really interested in "keeping an eye on it"). Two year olds are not really interested in sitting still while pressure is being applied to their cheek several times a day for 30 minutes...really!

Thankfully I am aware of the benefits of using a child life specialist for procedures. Through conversations with them I also learned that it would not be necessary to do a deep sedation so we ended up only using a local anesthetic. I work for Children's Miracle Network which provides the funding for this wonderful service. They played with him before the procedure which made him feel at ease. They helped swaddle and distract him so his tears and fears were at a minimum. These girls do great work!

So although it was an interesting day I'm thankful this little guy is fine and that it turned about to be nothing major.

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever
Psalm 118:1

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I'm Having a Pity Party & You're All Invited!

I am officially struggling with what to write...

We've had our first home study visit, which went well. Judy was very nice and easy to talk to. I've written my autobiography and Jeff needs to work on his, which I know will be more difficult for him. I've volunteered to type it for him if he wants so I think that will speed things up. He can just ramble off his thoughts and I will do my best to capture them. I actually think this is a fairly interesting part of the process. The questions we need to answer are actually interesting to reflect on and put down on paper. Here are a few highlights:

  • Describe the type of people your parents are/were, including names, personalities, occupations, etc. What is and was your relationship with your parents? What values did you learn from your parents?
  • How did you meet your spouse? Describe his/her personality. Describe your courtship & decision to marry. Describe the most difficult period of marriage and how it has effected your relationship.
  • Describe yourself, your personality, your likes & dislikes. What do you like most about yourself? What would you like to change?
  • What does becoming a parent mean to you?
  • What are your thoughts about religion & its place in your family life?

The list goes on, but these are certainly interesting questions to put thought into.

We are disappointed that the little girl we were hoping to get a referral for was given to another family. I know God has the perfect plan for our family & I am trying really hard to be faithful & believe He has it all worked out. I have to admit it has been harder lately to stay positive. People just have not responded like we'd hoped. If we'd announced a pregnancy everyone would be like hey, congratulations, let me shower you with encouragement. Unfortunately, announcing we plan to adopt has not had the same effect. All but a handful of people either avoid talking to us altogether or don't bother to acknowledge the adoption (apparently if you don't talk about it, it will just go away). Others are happy to inquire about our fundraising efforts, but feel no need to give of themselves. I'm frankly disappointed!

For the people that have given generously and supported us with many encouraging words we are VERY thankful. More thankful & appreciative than you could ever know. It is your gifts and words and hugs and prayers that are continuing to sustain us during this time. We do not regret our decision to adopt and we will continue to move forward in faith. This child that we long for will be revealed to us in His perfect time. I am praying for endurance for the process. I know that while people may let us down, we thankfully serve a God that does not!

Thanksgiving was good and I've so enjoyed my time off with the hubby & kids. We have much to be thankful for...

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joy, and dividing our grief.

Today was a good day! We had the pleasure of spending the day at the home of our wonderful friends - we enjoyed good food, great conversation and lots of laughter. They are just one of the many blessings in our lives and we are thankful that God connected our families together. It is so special to spend time with people who only want to build you up & not tear you down. We are blessed!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Ransom: (verb) to redeem from captivity, bondage, detention, etc., by paying a demanded price.

My daughter is being held for ransom. Not that the people who are caring for her have her held captive, or are mistreating her in any way, but the worry over financing this adoption makes it feel like a ransom. What would you do if your child was being held for a price? Would you give anything you had for their return? Would you go to the ends of the earth to bring them back?

Not having the child in our arms that God has called us to seek out and bring home is overwhelming at times. I long to touch her face, to see her smile, to feel her warmth. She is the missing piece of our family - a family planned by God's perfect design. Thank you God for the wonderful plans You have made for us. Let us rejoice and draw near to You in every challenge we face. Let us sacrifice our desires for Yours and bear witness to the wondrous things You have done.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Two Down...Two Thousand To Go

Well, maybe not two thousand, but it certainly seems that way! We received our official approval from CCI today along with the adoption services agreement. I guess the next big thing is our home study. I made lots of phone calls this afternoon to various organizations who provide these services. I am amazed at the price difference for the same service. We have had quotes of two thousand, three thousand, four thousand, and the whopper of all - six thousand! I think I nearly passed out when I heard that one. I'm certain I stopped breathing momentarily.

Thankfully I believe we have found someone to do this that we not only felt comfortable with, but they were also more reasonably priced. She will be coming to meet with us next Thursday afternoon at 1:00 pm. We will have one more long meeting after that in our home and then have to complete 16 hours of adoption training in Madison. This is probably the most important piece of paperwork that will be completed as it will ultimately decide whether or not we are able to continue with this adoption. Please keep our family in prayer and that all will go smoothly.

We are moving forward in FAITH, believing this process is in God's hands and that He will be our ultimate provider. We look forward to sharing His good news and saying "look what our Lord has done - he has provided a miracle for us".

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. Job 5:9

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Least of These

November is National Adoption Month! Please join us in praying for the orphaned children of the world. Take a moment to ponder what your life would be like if you had grown up without someone to love & care for you...

Taken from

“[Many Christians] do not realize that caring for orphans is central to our call as God’s people. Churches so rarely talk about this issue. We are to be his hands extended in caring for the orphans just as God himself would. God’s plan for his people has always been for us to represent him to the world. United as His body, I believe God is willing and planning to do even greater and mightier things through us corporately than he has done through all of us individually."
— Kerry Marks-Hasenbalg, former executive director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute

“We have been blessed with so much, yet too often we squander these blessings on our personal pursuits without a thought that God gives us these things to use for his Kingdom. Yet I believe the adoption of orphans is one of the greatest opportunities today for fulfilling the Great Commission. When children are received into families where they are introduced to the Savior, and grow up in a secure and loving environment, they are positioned to meet and experience the living God in a tangible way.”
— Dennis Rainey, president and cofounder of FamilyLife

Why This Matters To God...The World's Waiting Children Matter
The numbers are staggering...More than 143 million orphans worldwide...every 14 seconds an AIDS death leaves another child orphaned...more than 800,000 children pass through America foster care system each year.

Yet, there is One who cares — our Father in heaven. Throughout the Bible, God shares his compassion, his love, and his special concern for the most vulnerable among us — the orphan. The world’s waiting children. Children with no father or mother to protect them, waiting for someone to care for them, someone to love them.The Scriptures are clear that the Lord gives the family of God the responsibility to care for the orphan's needs — to love and protect them. In fact, God's concern for orphans is so central to his plan for us here on earth that he inspired James to write: "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world," (James 1:27)

Why would God tell us that caring for orphans is "pure and undefiled religion"?

Maybe it’s because the world sees God’s heart when he works through his people to help the helpless. And maybe it’s because caring for orphans is such a perfect picture of our relationship with God. In our inability to please God in our own efforts, in our utter helplessness to initiate a relationship with him, we are more like orphans and strangers than we like to admit.

It’s time for the body of Christ to step up. The urgent needs of orphans around the world are calling the Christian community today to a radical faith. One church, one family, one person can make a difference.

Today God is stirring the hearts of his people to this incredible need and opportunity. There is a movement of an increasing number of churches and evangelical organizations worldwide who are coming together as one voice to not only raise awareness but more importantly to mobilize the body of Christ to take action on behalf of the orphan.

For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!Matthew 25:35-40

Friday, November 2, 2007

Keeping the Faith

As the excitement of yesterdays bit of news has waned a harsh reality is setting in. We need money! As many of you know pursuing this adoption has been a great leap of faith for us. We know God has called us to do this. We know we are doing it for His glory. When I share the news of our adoption with people I always share God's presence in our actions. I really feel we have been able to use this as a ministry to share God's love with people.

Are we prepared to bring another child into our hearts and home to love - YES! Are we able to support another little body financially, spiritually & emotionally - YES! Do we have thousands of dollars sitting around to pay for this adoption - NO! I don't like to second guess God, but when I get discouraged it seems to be the first place I go (and then I feel bad for going there). Why would He put this desire into our hearts and not provide a way for it to happen?

My faith feels like a roller coaster lately. One day I am confident, faithful, sure. I know this seems impossible, but God will make a way. The next day I am unsure and second guessing the decision to pursue this. My mind starts wandering and wondering how we are going to pull this off.

It is during these difficult times that I know I am leaning on my own strength. My strength is not capable of withholding these floodgates of emotion. Thankfully I have someone else to lean on - my rock, my strong tower, my comforter, my good and faithful keeper of promises. He is capable of accomplishing so much more than I could ever dream to ask for.

So I will believe & trust in Him. I know He is working in our hearts and lives. I will keep the faith.

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2

Thursday, November 1, 2007


More good news today and one small step forward. Sara from CCI (gosh, I like that girl) called to say Children of the Promise had approved our application. Yeah, it is good to be approved!!! They will now be in prayer about who our daughter will be as we gather our paperwork and complete our home study. I am so excited to see what beautiful child God has in store for us. I know she will bless our family in a mighty way!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Welcome! Bien vini!

We received our welcome e-mail today from Celebrate Children International (CCI) to let us know they received our application, the accompanying reference letters and a recent family photo. They will now call our listed references to make sure we are "up to snuff" and suitable for their program. I'm sure they will not find anything out of the ordinary, but they may learn we are sincerely wacky and in love with each other and our family.

Once our application is approved, we will have to sign a contract, fork out some cash and begin the paper chase phase of the process. We will hopefully be doing this in conjunction with our home study. So, if anyone has an extra $6,000 laying around that you don't know what to do with, now is the time to step forward...ha!

It has been an interesting day to say the least. The highlights include:
  • Getting the e-mail from CCI...yeah, another step forward!
  • Getting the news that my cousin had her baby yesterday. Congratulations to the "K" family on the birth of daughter Mylee!
  • Getting the news that our nephew was in a very serious car accident in Minnesota, but miraculously walked away with minor injuries and lots of aches & pains - praise God!
  • Pumpkin carving with the kids - they had a great time. "D" liked squishing the "guts" between her fingers, but the boys were a lot more squeamish (girl power!). "B" kept touching it and saying "gross" which was pretty funny sounding from a 2 year old.

Blessings to you all!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's a 72 Hour Sewing Marathon!!

It's that time of year when the air is crisp and the colors are bold. Fall is in full swing which means one thing at our will be sewing. OK, I'll admit the whole sewing for Halloween thing stems from unfulfilled childhood wishes. And I'm also sure that admitting this must leave me diagnosed with some neurotic condition. Let me give you a little background: Every year at Halloween there was one girl in grade school whose mom always made her these fabulous costumes. Every year she would win a fabulous prize at the school costume party. Every year I was jealous. I know it's not pretty, but I'm just laying it all out here.

After my daughter was old enough to partake in this annual ritual of costuming I decided I would take up sewing. We'd carefully peruse the pattern books and fabric until we had decided on just the right one. I would cut and craft and make it just so.

Well, now I have 3 children - which means carefully crafting 3 costumes. They love picking them out and I really do enjoy doing this for them, unfortunately I also have this condition we'll call "proscrastinating". So finally this past Wednesday (one week until Halloween) we went to the fabric store and picked out patterns and fabric. I immediately got to work cutting and pinning and crafting. 72 hours and a very sore back later I have three lovely costumes - an Egyptian queen, a ninja, and a chicken - and even better I have three beautiful children with smiles on their faces. OK, well maybe just two with smiles since the two year old doesn't seem to be too impressed with his feathers.

My 72 hour sewing marathon has concluded until next October. We'll see what happens when I have four costumes to make - I can hardly wait!


Questions about Christians celebrating Halloween? Check out this article:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And It Begins...

It's official! Yesterday we sent our applications to Celebrate Children International (adoption agency - and Children of the Promise (orphanage - I feel like this is the start of a very interesting journey - one that will be filled with many highs and lows. Let us rejoice in the Lord through each of these moments. He has brought us to this place and I know He will see us through. We look forward to the day when the daughter of our hearts will be in our arms.

Please join me in praying for:
  • our family - strength for the paper chase, the mindless waits, and for the financing of this adoption
  • our friend Sandi
  • The Fry family and their joyful reunion
  • my mother Linda for her surgery today and speedy recovery
This verse is on my heart today so I will share:
I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. Phillipians 4:10-14

Blessings for your day!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate;
and the Master so gently said, child, you must wait.

Wait? You say, Wait! my indignant reply.
Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is Your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith, I have asked, and am claiming Your Word.

My future and all to which I can relate;
hangs in the balance and You tell me Wait?
I’m needing a yes, a go-ahead sign;
or even a ‘No’ to which I can resign.

And Lord, You promised that if we believe;
we need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I’ve been asking and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking, I need a reply!

He seemed to kneel,
and His eyes wept with mine;
and He tenderly said,
I could give you a sign.

I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want.
But, you wouldn’t know ME.

You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint;
You’d not know the power I give to the faint.
You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair,
you’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.

You’d not know the joy of resting in Me.
When darkness and silence were all you could see.
You’d never experience that fullness of love;
as the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.
You’d know that I give and I save (for a start);
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of my comfort late into the night;
the faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you asked;
of an infinite God, who makes what you have last.

You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true;
But, oh, the loss! If I lost what I’m doing in you

So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see;
that the greatest of gifts is to get to know ME.
And though oft’ may My answers seem terribly late;
My most precious answer of all is still, “wait”.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

There is a Time for Everything that Happens Under Heaven

After much prayerful consideration we have decided to pursue this adoption with a different adoption agency and orphanage than originally planned. Please know it is in no way due to any dissatisfaction, it was simply a financial decision. And since we hadn't formally applied to the other agency (just had a few phone calls and e-mails) there is no reason to not move forward with this alternative. I had a wonderful talk with Sara at Celebrate Children International ( on Wednesday morning. After we got off the phone I prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more (and cried a little in between). I believe she is one of the people on this earth that God will use to lead us to our daughter. Our conversation concluded with the name of a little girl residing in an orphanage in Haiti. When I saw her picture I began to cry thinking "this could be my daughter". I am reluctantly joyful. Reluctant, only because I don't want to become attached to a photograph. I want to give my whole heart to this beautiful child, but will be patient and let His plan unfold. If this is our daughter I know God will move mountains to bring her home to us. I am praying that His plan will be revealed to us in His perfect time. Blessings!


The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Plugging Along...

Yesterday I went to open savings & checking accounts just for our adoption money. We are so grateful to everyone who has donated so far. We are praying that we raise $2,000 by December 31st to pay for our home study. Once we have completed our home study we will have the opportunity to apply for adoption grants &/or loans.

Will you consider donating just $20 to our adoption? If 100 people each gave $20 we would have enough to move forward with this piece of the process. I know I have been guilty of spending $20 without thinking twice about it. Most of the time it has been on stuff I don't need or a few months down the road don't care about.

Please consider making a gift that will make a difference in the life of a child. Blessings to everyone!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Response to the Fatherless

I found this on the Faithful Adoptions website and thought it really gave a Biblical view of adoption.
(New Living Translation)

Give Them What They Need ~ Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:15-17

Support Those Who Support Them ~ Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. Hebrews 10:24

Provide Them a Safe Place ~ The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. Psalm 146:9

Go Visit Them ~ Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27

Give Sacrificially to Them ~ You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully. II Corinthians 9:7

Encourage Them ~ Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. I Thessalonians 5:14

Plead with the Father for Them ~ Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

Speak Up For Them ~ Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. Proverbs 31:8-9

Give Them a Forever Family ~ Father to the fatherless, defender of widows - this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. Psalm 68:5-6a

Mobilize Your Church for Them ~ Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Haitian Adoption 101

This was posted on our Haitian Adoption Group and I thought I would share to give you all a glimpse of what this lengthy & complex process will entail. Caution: your head may start spinning upon reading!

First things first - gather information for your home study & dossier.

Dossier: This is a packet comprised of all the forms necessary to complete an international adoption. Most dossiers require birth and marriage certificates, background check clearances, fingerprint clearances, approved home study, employee letter, INS Clearance, medical evaluations, and photos. These forms must be translated and legalized. This is the official document that goes to the government of the foreign country.

Home study: (adoption study) An investigative study of the family and home usually completed in 3 visits with a social worker. The homestudy will approve or deny the adoptive family for continued adoptive services, including placement of a child.

  1. Dossier arrives in Haiti at the orphanage.

  2. First Legal: Any document that had to be authenticated by the Haitian Consulate has to be taken to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for further legalization. They legalize the signature of the Haitian Consular Officer that legalized your dossier at the foreign Haitian Embassy in your country.

  3. If the child to be adopted is already identified and/or as soon as the child is identified, the child's portion of the adoption dossier has to be compiled. This dossier portion includes the social history on the child which is prepared by a Haitian Social Worker, a Psychologist report, a Medical report and a Lab Report is made. Additionally, the child's birth certificate, parent's death certificate or relinquishment papers are added to the dossier at that time. Additionally, any birth or death certificates have to have Archive Papers attached to the document. This certifies that the signature on the birth certificate and/or death certificate corresponds with the signature of the official who signed it.

  4. When all the papers are back from Legalization and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the child's paperwork is finished, the dossier is prepared for the National Office of Social Welfare (IBESR) and sent to the lawyer. The dossier consists of one original document dossier and three copy dossiers.

  5. Dossier is given to IBESR. The dossier has to get approval from three offices within the IBESR office. *About 500+ dossiers from various countries (U.S., Canada, Spain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, etc.) are in IBESR at any one time.

  6. Once the dossier is approved at IBESR, it must be studied and signed at the Parquet Office.

  7. Courts (2nd Legalization): Once the dossier is released from the Parquet, the dossier comes back to the lawyer. The court papers are typed and turned in to the court for the finalization of the adoption process. There are several steps that have to happen: (1) Attestation of the signature on the act of adoption. This is when archives in Haiti says that the signature on the act of adoption corresponds with the signature of the judge who signed it. Just legalizing the signature. (2) Legalization at the Minister of Justice Office. Papers must be legalized here for all countries, saying that the signature is the legal signature of the Judges involved on ALL papers. (3) legalization at the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Legalizing the signature of the Minister of Justice.

  8. Application for the child's Haitian Passport. The Orphanage representative submits a "mini" dossier that contains all the adopted child's and adoption documents to the Ministry of Immigration. From there, the dossier is sent to the Ministry of Interior (MOI). Dossier goes to the Minister of Interior for study and approval. This is the portion in the current process that has been very slow. The average wait for the MOI portion is about 4-5 months but hopefully that will change soon. Inside of MOI the Approved Dossier is sent back to Immigration from MOI. The orphanage (creche) submits some additional paperwork so that the the passport can get printed.

  9. Child is taken to have a Visa Medical Examination which is required as part of the visa application. Usually the medical exam has to be done after the passport is issued because the Embassy Doctor has to ensure that he/she is examining the child who is applying for the visa.

  10. At the same time that the passport application is in the works, the U.S. Immigration process must be completed:- Haitian adoption papers are translated into English, so that an I-600 can be filed in the United States or in Haiti if the adoptive parents come to Haiti. As soon as the family receives the I-600 approval in the mail from USCIS, the orphanage needs to get a copy of it so that the U.S. Immigration Office in Haiti can finalize the orphan investigation process, which is necessary for the granting of the child's visa that allows him to travel as an immigrant to the U.S.

  11. The Orphanage submits the Visa Application with copies of certain documents to the U.S. Consulate. Mr. Jeff Duffy at the U.S. Consulate reviews the completed dossier before approving the visa.

  12. The adoptive parents' have their appointment in Haiti to receive the visa.

  13. Get on the plane and go HOME with your child!
I've heard said that adoption is not for the faint of heart. I believe you will see from what you read above that it is certainly true! I know when we hold our beautiful girl in our arms it will all be worth it! Your continued prayers for the financing of this adoption is appreciated. Blessings!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Choose Life!

Good news! My mom got an e-mail this past weekend regarding my father who recently passed away. I guess one of my biggest fears was that he did not know the Lord. It turns out he started going to church a couple of years ago and was even baptized. Hooray! I hope he had (& has) a wonderful, personal relationship with Him.

When people die I think the one of the first things I think about is where they end up. I used to buy into the theory that because someone was a "good person" that they were going to heaven. As I've grown spiritually (trust me I have a LONG way to go) I know that is not the case. You cannot earn or buy your way into heaven. You are not going to heaven simply because you occupy a pew every Sunday for an hour. The only way to get there is to recognize that we all are sinners, believe in your heart that Christ died for us and rose again, and invite Him in to your daily life. It's that simple. There is nothing I can do on this earth to deserve it. The more personal my relationship gets with Jesus Christ, the better it gets!

Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

I hope today YOU are choosing life! Please join me in praying for:

  • our friend Sandi

  • the Fry family

  • all of the children longing for a family to call their own

Be a blessing to someone and you will be truly blessed!

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Death of a Father I Never Knew

I received word late Saturday evening that my biological father had died. I have thought about how I would feel when this day came. I guess I always thought I wouldn't feel much of anything considering he has never played an active role in my life - the last time we spoke I was in my early 20's. I am profoundly saddened by this loss. I am sad for the time we did not have. I am sad that the phone call will never come that says "I'm sorry, let's reconnect". Thank you to everyone who called with kind words. A special thank you to my dear friend Leona for our time together. You are all a great blessing to me.

Stephanie, click on "James Michael Shreve"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gifts from Above...& Down the Road

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! We still have a long way to go, but every gift we receive helps immensely. If anyone has any questions regarding this adoption we are happy to talk with you about it. I think the more people that learn about the process the better (and trust me, it is a PROCESS!). Blessings for your day!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Letter (sounds serious doesn't it?)

Just so we're all on the same page...the purpose of our letter was three-fold:
  1. To let people know of something very important going on in our family - we are excited about this adoption and hope that others will be excited for us.
  2. To encourage our family and friends (and anyone else for that matter) to support this adoption financially if they are able to and feel led to do so. Seriously, every bit helps whether it's $5.00 or $100.00.
  3. To get you all to pray, pray, and pray some more for this to all come together.

Luckily we are leaving this all up to Him to figure out. We know in our hearts He has a plan for our family and we will just have to be patient and wait for it to be revealed in His perfect time (upon saying that I think you'll need to pray for patience for us too). Blessings!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm Invisible

I read this on and loved it! Enjoy...

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm onthe phone?" Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter.

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees." I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become." At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I 'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there." As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

People Pleasing...

Jeff and I listened to a message the other day on the Walk in the Word website called "People Pleasing". It gave us a lot to think about and we had a great discussion after it was done. So often we go through life wondering what this person will think or that person will is a vicious cycle that drains a lot of energy & time and it is a battle that can't be won (there is simply no way to please everyone). I think this really applied to us because we often wonder what people will think of us adopting a child. The verse James referred to was from 1 Corinthians 4:3-5 (The Message version).

It matters very little to me what you think of me, even less where I rank in popular opinion. I don't even rank myself. Comparisons in these matters are pointless. I'm not aware of anything that would disqualify me from being a good guide for you, but that doesn't mean much. The Master makes that judgment.
So don't get ahead of the Master and jump to conclusions with your judgments before all the evidence is in. When he comes, he will bring out in the open and place in evidence all kinds of things we never even dreamed of—inner motives and purposes and prayers. Only then will any one of us get to hear the "Well done!" of God.
In the end all that will matter is that we be examined by the Lord. When the time comes we will not be able to give excuses...He knows our heart. Live today for can't go wrong! Special thanks to Susan for her supportive and enthusiastic phone call. It was a blessing!

Monday, September 3, 2007

So Here We Are Again...

Once again the summer fades into the distance and fall is upon us. Not that we don't have a lot of beautiful sun filled days left, but with school starting tomorrow it is a reminder that summer's days are indeed numbered. We went for a walk tonight to Griese Park - the kids were thrilled. School starts tomorrow - which is both good & bad. I will miss the carefree evenings without set bedtimes. I will miss the relaxed pace of summer days. Don't get me wrong, there have been a couple of times that I was wishing school was here. You know, on those days when they fought a lot and there was too much to do and not enough time to get it all done. All in all we did have a good summer - especially since we were neither moving (last like summer) or pregnant (the summer before). Jeff and I feel sorry for the kids having to go back to school. We both remember the dread of our last day of freedom before summer vacation ended. This too shall pass and soon we will be back into our "routine" (do we have one of those???). All is good and God's blessings are indeed evident in our home. Today we are praying for a peaceful transition back to school for all involved parties.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Why? What? How?

I'm sure the biggest question we will get asked is "why". Why adopt? Why from Haiti? Why, why, why???? I have to say the simplest answer is it's where God led us. It's not that we chose Haiti or did not choose America or a different country, but it is where our daughter is. I'm sure God will reveal her in His perfect time.

Up until recently, we had planned to adopt from Guatemala. For some reason I started thinking about Haiti. The thought of it wouldn't leave my mind so I started doing a little online research regarding Haiti and it's adoption process. When I informed my husband about my revelation I think he was seriously questioning my judgement. On Tuesday we came home from a day of school shopping to find a storm had messed up our phone lines. Jeff disappeared to our bedroom to work on a solution to this problem. He came out shortly after with the strangest look on his face. He said he had been praying for a sign that Haiti was the country we were to adopt from and when he opened up the box for the phone lines there was a sticker inside that read "assembled in Haiti". It was his sign!

I think the second question we will get is "how can you afford this"? This simple truth is, we can't! I read the following on a blog called "Haiti Adoption Help". It really struck home with me and I hope it will give you a little insight into our beliefs on financing this adoption.

Almost everyone that starts out in adoption does not have the money and has NO CLUE where it will come from! Again, if God has called you to this- trust that He will be the provider. Move forward in faith, doing whatever you can do and pray about provisions. You will be absolutely stunned at the way the money is always there when you need it. Don't try and figure out how it's going to happen because God goes beyond your wildest imagination!! I have heard story after story of people that have started out with no way to pay the adoption fees and have received every penny in the most incredible ways. Maybe in a later post I will share how God did this for us and ask others to share as well. It certainly would encourage and inspire you! Now that we are at the end of the adoption, if I could go back and change one thing it would be that I would not have wasted so much time worrying about the money and a lot more time having faith that it would come. God's grown me a lot through adoption. It is a great time to really grow in faith and patience!! (taken from

I hope this gives you a little insight into the "why" and "how". Blessings for your day!


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Well...This is Us Then

Hello! We are the Salzwedel family from Wisconsin. I'm new to this sort of thing, but thought I would take a crack at it. I'm hoping to use this as a tool so our family & friends can keep up with our latest adventure - adoptiong a daughter from Haiti. We have been married for 14 years (together for a total of 19) and are truly the best of friends. God has blessed us with wonderful children and we are a wonderfully close family.