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 house...mom 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: http://www.christianitytoday.com/16017

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And It Begins...

It's official! Yesterday we sent our applications to Celebrate Children International (adoption agency - www.celebratechildren.org) and Children of the Promise (orphanage - www.childrenofthepromise.org). 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 (http://www.celebratechildren.org/) 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.


http://www.tomblynfuneralhome.com, click on "James Michael Shreve"