Monday, June 30, 2008

Lights! Camera! Action!

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match. Find me a find, catch me a catch...

This is one of the tunes the entire family will be singing around the house starting in a couple of weeks. Baby girl D auditioned for the kids theatre camp production of "Fiddler on the Roof" at our local university tonight. Last year was her first in the annual production & she was definitely bit by the acting bug. She loves all things singing, dancing & acting.

I got her settled in at auditions & came back two hours later to find a smiley girl. I love how confident she is. She said they asked for a volunteer to audition first & had no takers so she raised her hand & got the job done. Way to go baby girl! She sang pieces of two songs & did a few lines of dialogue from the script. We'll find out Thursday if she will get a main character part or be a part of the chorus.

The only thing that may hold her back is that they have to turn in a conflict sheet showing when they will be absent & she will be gone for a whole week at the end of July on a mission trip. They did say she was a strong singer so maybe they won't hold this planned absence against her. We prayed together before the audition & I told her it would turn out however it was meant to. She seemed comfortable with that.

The picture is from last year's production of Bugsy Malone. The entire family knew the score by the time of the show. I'm sure this year will be no different!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I Have a Passport!

Just ten days ago I went to apply for my passport & was told in 4-6 weeks I would receive it in the mail. I was incredibly surprised to find it in the mailbox today!!!

I do not have any plans to travel soon to see Anchise, but the Lord has been moving quickly lately so I guess I should be prepared for anything. You just never know what He has up His sleeve...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Speeding Through the Final Pieces

I once again can't believe how quickly I have gotten our paperwork back! I sent our authentications to the State of Wisconsin on Wednesday and they were returned to me today (along with the one item from Minnesota). I also received an e-mail from our translator saying she had gotten everything & would have our dossier translated before she went on vacation starting July 3rd! Once we get our translations back we just have to send our few items to the Haitian consulate & then we can pray over our entire dossier & ship it off.

Praise God that He has cleared the way for our paperwork to get done in record speed!

For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;

I will sing praises to your name.

2 Samuel 22:50

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Record Time

So last week when I went to order my passport I did not know I had to give up my only original certified birth certificate. I very reluctantly said goodbye to my birth certificate & promptly ordered another one. I sent the request via priority mail last Friday & got the new one in the mail today. I can't believe they were so speedy! I thought for sure it would be at least a couple of weeks before my new one arrived. I don't know why, but I feel so much better having this document in my hot little hands. Thank you Lord (and the State of West Virginia)!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How Do You Spell Precious?

At our house, one of the four ways we spell it is A-N-C-H-I-S-E!

More dossier progress today...I got all but the authentication confirmations mailed to the translator & the Wisconsin authentications were expressed to the secretary of state. I told the lady at the shipping center that I was mailing documents for our adoption. She was excited for us & asked where the child was from. I told her our daughter was from Haiti & I got "the" question she black? Yes, people, she is black - well actually a beautiful shade of brown. Oh brother!

We are now at the mercy of others to get these things back to us. Once they are back we will only have to have our few items legalized by the Haitian consulate & then we are D-O-N-E baby! Oh yeah! Please pray donations come in for the remainder of our fee so we can send our dossier as soon as everything comes back.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

All Night, All Day...Angels Watching Over "B"

We are thanking God that our Mr. B was not seriously injured Sunday night. We had been at the brat stand all day (earning $300). I was getting out of the shower when I heard a huge crash followed by screaming. Jeff zoomed past the bathroom door, down the hall, and ran in the boys room to find their five drawer dresser crashed onto the floor completely on top of Mr. B. He said he picked up the dresser & felt like he could throw it through the wall. He found B laying face down flat with his legs each out to one side. He had decided to scale the dresser & ended up on the losing end.

Miraculously he walked away from it with only a bloody lip. I know very well that this could have ended much differently. He could have been seriously injured or even killed. We are thanking God that he kept our precious one safe from harm. Hopefully our little monkey will think twice about climbing. He can seriously climb just about anything whether it appears to be climbable or not. Praise God for His protection!

Outside fun

Climbing at the zoo last week

Walking around the park

Monday, June 23, 2008

Not What a Mom Wants to See...

Hiding under the crib (love the beads in her hair!)...

Still hiding...

Still hiding...

The caption on the photos from yesterday indicated that Miss Anchise did not like all of the visitors to Three Angels so she hid under her bed. I'm so sorry someone is not there for you now baby girl. I pray I will hold you in my arms sooner than later.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Brat Barn Confessions

I have a confession to make. All day long I've been dreading having to do the brat fry tomorrow. We will be serving up brats most of the day & I know from past experience that by the end of this event I will be tired, sick of the smell of brats & have very sore legs & feet.

So as I'm sitting here feeling sorry for myself, I see new pictures of Anchise get posted from today. I am quickly reminded why I am willing to do this. It's for her. It's all for her. So I will happily dish out as many brats as I can sell, knowing that each one brings us closer to our financial needs for this adoption. We love this girl & are happy to be stinky & tired for her. Thank you God for this opportunity to raise money for Anchise. We ask that You bless this event abundantly so that we can give You the glory.

So pretty. I long for the day I hold her in my arms.

I wonder what she is thinking? I'm thinking I want to give her a squeeze!

OK, I know this isn't exactly a photo of her, but she has her back to the camera at the bottom & that's good enough for me.

Group pictures are like playing "Where's Waldo", but there she is on the back right in the pretty pink dress. Seriously, if I think her arm is on a picture I will save it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Passport Witnessing

We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

You just never know when you will get an opportunity to bear witness to the great things God can do! I found my opportunity today while applying for my passport. Who knew (well God did, but you know what I mean)? The very nice lady at the counter asked me when I might be traveling abroad. I told her hopefully sometime this summer as I would be going to Haiti to visit the little girl we are adopting. She was very interested in knowing why we were doing this & how it came to be. I shared with her that we were adopting because it was something we have been called to do. I shared with her how God had revealed the country of Haiti to us & how He has provided exactly what we have needed at just the right moment. I know she was truly blown away. She had a big smile on her face & said she got goosebumps listening to me talk.

I decided to do some looking online for information on witnessing. I came across an article that put it this way:
Sharing Christ is about being real and demonstrating our faith with passion, conviction and sincerity. Evangelism is allowing others to picture Jesus in us, not our trying to verbalize without showing Him demonstrated in us first. It is our lives telling His story that the Spirit uses to win people, not just our mouths. Our mouths are to further explain Him.

I love the thought that by simply sharing with conviction & sincerity the things God is doing in my life that someone might see a small glimpse of Him in me.

I also have a huge PRAISE THE LORD to share! I was moved to tears when I logged on tonight to find that our online giving had doubled. What makes it even more amazing is that this generous donation was made by a family we only met a few short days ago. God is so good & so faithful. A huge thanks to this family for being His hands & feet. God is good - all the time!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bye Bye I-600A!

I bid our I-600A a sweet adieu today! The lady at the post office had to pry it out of the death grip I had on it. I prayed for my paperwork & sent it on it's way. Shortly thereafter I ran into a guy I graduated from High School with (aka "Frog" - which is also a peculiar coincidence as you'll find out when you read below) who now works for the U.S. Postal Service. I told him to say a prayer & take good care of this precious cargo when he picks it up. I think running into him was God's way of saying it will be alright.

I also sent off my one item to be authenticated by the State of Minnesota. They are half the price per document than Wisconsin! What's up with that?

It was another great day with beautiful weather. I took the kids to the local zoo for the "Frogs & Butterflies" program. Every Wednesday during the summer they have a different free program. There were a lot of kids there, but many cleared out at their parents prodding because it was so full. There were two more shows after the first, but we were determined to see the early show. They got to hold some frogs & salamanders - even Mr. B did so without squealing. Vacation ROCKS!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Itty Bitty Pretty Ones...

I was blessed today with these pictures from Kathy - thank you!!! Please continue to keep Kathy's daughter Shakira in prayer as she is recovering from an injured foot.

She looks so different with her hair braided this way - I'm used to lots of braids hanging down.

I don't know what's going on here - looks like a little WWF action...

I was able to check a few more things off on the dossier list today. I received the new copies of our home study in the mail (long story - just thankful I got the copies) so I can send off my I-600A tomorrow. I went to the bank to get our notarized letter stating our accounts were in good standing. The lady looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. I got the "why do you need this" question (does it matter why?). It is worth mentioning that she did not crack even the slightest hint of a smile during our interaction. She seemed especially less than pleased when I noticed she had spelled my name wrong after it was already notarized (insert smile here).

All in all a great day. Actually, it's been a great week so far as I'm on vacation from work...woo hoo! It was beautiful outside & we spent most of the afternoon playing outside on the swings & in the sandbox. The kids cousins came over later in the afternoon which made for double the fun. Lots of laughter coming from the yard with six kids running around playing tag.

Again, thanks to Kathy for curing my "new Anchise picture withdrawal".

Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds his name is the LORD and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
Psalm 68:4-5

Monday, June 16, 2008

Artistic Genius

Papa Jeff received a wonderful Father's Day surprise in the mail today! It made us all cry & was so appreciated.

Miss Anchise colored a BEAUTIFUL bookmark that will go straight in our Bible. Thank you Cara for blessing us today!

Please First

In case you haven't heard, Mr. B can be somewhat - dare I say - DEMANDING. He walks around barking orders of his likes & dislikes & needs. Not that we haven't attempted to put him on the path to politeness many times, it just doesn't always last.

This morning his first order of the day was "get me some juice". I let him know that he cannot bark orders at people & that if he wants something he needs to say please first & ask in a nice way. I told him he needed to ask again nicely. He subsequently said "please first can I have some juice". Hey, you've got to give him credit for doing what he was told.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I LOVE this song! I spent some time reflecting on the lyrics this morning before church. It's so amazing that God would offer everything to me when I have done nothing to deserve His grace.

All of You is more than enough for
All of me for every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You
Is more than enough

You are my supply
My breath of life
Still more awesome than I know
You are my reward
Worth living for
Still more awesome than I know

All of You is more than enough for
All of me for every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You
Is more than enough

You're my sacrifice of greatest price
Still more awesome than I know
You're my coming King
You're everything
Still more awesome than I know

All of You is more than enough for
All of me for every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You
Is more than enough

You're enough, you're enough, you're enough for me
You're enough, you're enough, you're enough for me
You're enough, you're enough, you're enough for me

Enough by BarlowGirl

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Reality Check

I've been struggling. Lately I have been down right weary & I know it is because slowly & silently sin & doubt have been creeping into this adoption. And of course, that's just how satan likes it. He wants to slide his way into the picture without being noticed. He has been hard at work and up until recently it hadn't even caught my attention.

I have very few things left to do to finish our dossier. If I'm being honest, the truth is that I've been avoiding them because I haven't trusted God to provide for us. You see when these items are finished we will have to pay our fee to get the legal process in Haiti started. It is sad & sinful that I am holding back from starting this process because I am not trusting God to provide for our remaining fees. It is not fair to Anchise or to our family. That ends today.

As a good friend recently reminded me this is His adoption, not mine - and I need Him for this. I am tired & cannot go on without His support. I need to stay in His word for strength, peace & trust. I need to lean on Him more & rely less on my own pitiful strength. I can pray that people's hearts will be softened and will step forward to help us. He will finish this good work He has begun.

I'm laying it down Lord, it's in Your hands...

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-34

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

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14

Saturday, June 7, 2008

So Precious

Anyone who welcomes a little child like
this on my behalf welcomes me,
and anyone who welcomes me welcomes
not only me but also my Father who sent me.
Mark 9:37

Friday, June 6, 2008

I Am Tired

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This Whole Thing Just Changed For Me

I don't know how to explain what I'm feeling. I think my heart just grew in leaps & bounds in a matter of seconds. I thought I loved seeing pictures of Anchise, but after seeing a video of her, this adoption just changed dramatically for me. She's not just a sweet face on the screen or printed on paper - she's a little girl with a big smile waving her hand. She's more "real" to me now (if that makes any sense at all). A video of eleven seconds long just changed my whole world...amazing!

We love you baby girl!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Afterthoughts from the Brat Barn

We were soooooo tired last night. It was all I could do to muster the energy to post the grand total yesterday. Let me just say we are so thankful for the success of the brat fry.

Sunday morning we left the house around 8:45 a.m. to get to the store to shop, set up & get grillin'. My sister had taken the boys overnight because we knew it would not work out to have them there (especially for such a long time). We were very steadily busy until around 2:30 in the afternoon. After things died down the time went very slow. It had gotten much hotter later in the afternoon also & the constant smell of brats was really getting to me. We started cleaning up around 5 so when it was 6 we were ready to roll.

My legs & feet were killing me from standing all day. Hubby didn't have a care in the world since he is on his feet a lot, but I was feeling like a complete wimp. Baby girl D helped out all day & was AMAZING! She took orders, got sodas, served up brats & hot dogs & chatted up the customers. She was there all day with us & gets huge props for the great job she did!!!!!

Lesson learned #1: We cannot do this alone. It was way too long of a day & we were all exhausted last night. We are going to have to enlist some helpers to take a shift.

Lesson learned #2: Nana can come to our house to watch the boys. We were all missing them & the house just isn't the same without them there.

My sister dropped the boys off around 5:30 so they could feel like they were at least a part of the day. Half an hour was about all they could handle before wanting to run. All in all it was a great day and I can't say it enough how thankful we are to God for this blessing!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Drumroll Please...

We are hot. We are stinky. We never want to see a brat again. But we are excited to report today we raised
Seven Hundred Dollars

Praise God for this blessing. The guys at the grocery store told us it was going to be a bad day for sales because of graduation today, but they were WRONG...ha! God sent us customers & donors who were excited about what we were doing.

I don't have the grand total yet for the Tastefully Simple fundraiser that my aunt held yesterday, but it should be around $200. I'll deduct that total from our amount due once I get the final amount.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for our success...your prayers were heard!
P.S. Believe it or not, we are doing this again on June 22nd.