Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What's Your Name?

Just for fun and just because I need to remember our silly, beautiful girl and her laugh. Mercy thought her new last name was quite hilarious.

Miss. that. girl.

Wordless Wednesday - Pressure

Said acquired paperwork
still not in hand...

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Back-Up Plan Gone Awry

We've been doing a lot of things around here to save money. We've changed insurance companies to get a better rate. We switched to a bundle package to save on our phone/internet/cable. Best of all we have been in the process of refinancing our house to get a much lower interest rate and save money on our monthly payment.

Since we have some equity available in our home we were initially told we could probably get at least a couple of thousand in cash when we refinanced. Needless to say we were thrilled at that prospect and that it certainly would be an answer to prayer! We just found out our home didn't appraise high enough because of the market so we no longer qualify for that type of loan. We can still refinance, but there would be no cash out. Bummer.

I checked with Jeff's work this week about borrowing from his 401k. They do not offer a loan program through his employer and adoption was not a qualifying event for "hardship withdrawal". Drat!

Two. doors. closed.


I've sat down several times to fill out an adoption loan application, but it just doesn't feel right. I make up my mind that I'm sick of wondering where the money will come from, I pull out the paperwork, and I just can't do it. Something deep in my gut tells me it's not what I've been promised. Plus, the thought of filling out another 10 page form to prove myself worthy AGAIN doesn't sound appetizing (although I'd do it if I felt I was meant to).

So as we reach the final stages before Mercy comes home and I compare what we have vs. what we need, I get overwhelmed sometimes. I know many adoptive parents are in this same situation. I have been trying very hard to cast all of my cares and not carry this burden. I pray every day for clarity and wisdom about finances. There is no back up plan...God WILL provide.
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Matthew 6:31-33

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Breaking News

Our facilitator spent 5 hours at the birth and death register, but I am thrilled to report we have a birth certificate. We also have the death medical needed to get the letter. It is expected we will have the adoption order by mid next week and then we can file our I-600! Once we have this approval it is just waiting for the visa and then I can travel and bring her home.

The potential hold up is that Mercy's passport has not yet been applied for. I am told it will be applied for on Monday and that it can take 6-8 weeks or longer to be approved. I am praying that somehow her paperwork will get in the right hands and we will have quick approval.

Please pray for speedy approvals for all necessary paperwork. We are praying for God's continued provision for the pick up trip. What seems to be impossible for us has always been proven POSSIBLE with God. It seems we could be in the home stretch...thank you Lord!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Next Week

Today was the big day - the day I would get an update on the status of my needed paperwork. Here goes:

Adoption Decree: person who signs them has been out for two weeks. He did happen to come in today and managed to sign two decrees. The assistant took them to foreign affairs to be stamped, but can't remember which two names were signed for.
Verdict: It will be ready for sure by NEXT WEEK.

Birth Certificate: New and efficiently done computerized (?) birth certificate process vs. handwritten. I am in the middle of this new and improved process.
Verdict: It will be ready for sure by NEXT WEEK.

Death Certificate: Oops...did we need that?
Verdict: It will be ready for sure by NEXT WEEK.

It's been a downer of a week for me so I was really hoping for some positive news. I know I've had a bad attitude, but I need to choose to praise instead of feel down. I am reminded how weak my flesh is. I am ashamed when doubt creeps in and I am blinded to the fact that God is faithful. I am saddened that I so quickly forget the amazing ways God has provided for this journey. I hate that!

I am hoping and praying that NEXT WEEK I will be able to report that I actually have all of these things. Please join me in that prayer.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Hebrews 10:35-36

Monday, September 21, 2009

No Words to Speak

I don't know what to say that you haven't heard before:

Frustrated with not having paperwork that I should have had a long time ago...yep, you've heard that one already.

Worried about the cost of bringing her home and how to come up with that...yep, you've heard that one too.

Sad that this time last year I was preparing to go meet Anchise and now I'm feeling raw again with that date on the calendar approaching...been there, done that.

I have many thoughts and posts swirling in my brain that I don't know how to put into words where my heart will be clearly understood. I will just say I need prayer. I am at a loss.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WHEN is She Coming Home?

That is a superb question my friends! I only wish I knew the answer. We were thinking it would be 4-6 weeks from when I left Ghana, but alot depends on a few sheets of paper.

We are needing some specific paperwork (one of which I THINK we will get for sure this week):
~ birth certificate
~ passport (can't get without the birth certificate)
~ adoption decree
~ father's death certificate

Once we get these papers we can file our I-600 locally. I've talked to the gentleman who handles our case in our local office and he told me to e-mail him when I was overnighting our paperwork so he could watch for it. Once we have I-600 approval we will just be waiting for her visa to be issued and she can come home.

I am going to be an optimist and say she will be home in the next couple of months. I am praying somehow it is before October 29th when our fingerprints expire. Nothing is definite in this process, but all in all I would say we have had a pretty good timeline. God is able, so we just keep on praying and believing!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Life is Grand When You're 4!

Could someone please stop time? I want to freeze Mr. B in this moment and not let him grow one bit more. My wild child turns 4 today.

Let's just say Brezlan is full is personality. He has an opinion on everything. He is a total momma's boy. He loves digging in the dirt and trucks of all kinds. He LOVES pancakes and would eat them for every meal if I would allow it. You never know what he will say. He has no fear. He makes me crazy and delights my heart in every way possible.

Happy Birthday baby boy! We love you so much.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Two Weeks

It's been two weeks since I...

saw her face

touched her hair

held her hand

rubbed delicious smelling cream on her

colored with her

heard her singing
bought her plantains

cut up her "kitchen" (chicken)

watched her dance

played countless hands of Uno with her

watched her working with playdough

held her tight while she mourned

walked the streets of Ghana with her

drank tea with her

heard her laugh
watched her pout

snuggled in close with her to go to sleep

heard her call me mommy...
I. miss. her.

Lord, please remove any obstacles to bringing her home.

“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. “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
Matthew 7:7-11

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How God Sent Me to Africa

I've really been struggling with what to say on the old blog. I'm still processing the events of the trip and all that I've felt about it since being home. In light of that I thought I would take a step back and share how God provided for this trip.

When I heard I had to go to Ghana I'll admit I freaked out a bit. As I've said before, we do not have credit cards to fall back on. I know that is something a lot of people have opinions about, but it's what is right for us. We made a lot of poor choices using credit cards when we were younger and quickly learned they were not healthy for our financial situation. God used some really hard financial times to teach us about good stewardship and I will praise Him for that trial until my dying day.

When I shared with all of you that I had to travel, a few people helped spread the word that we had an immediate need. In typical God-like fashion I was blown away in how IMMEDIATELY we were provided for. In one weeks time we received almost $1,000 in donations. Initially when I checked ticket prices they were around $2,200. After waiting a couple of additional days to book my flight and checking at a couple of travel agencies, I was able to get my last minute ticket to Ghana for $1,400. Amazing!

I called a friend to see if I could borrow some luggage from her for the trip. Not 45 minutes later someone who I hadn't discussed our luggage situation with showed up at our door with a brand new 3-piece set of luggage. Amazing!

God even provided right down to the shoes on my feet. When I went to Haiti the cheap sandals I wore were trashed by the end of the week. I knew if there was one thing I needed was a good pair of shoes to wear. I went to a local store and ended up finding a pair I loved that were even on sale. They didn't have my size in stock, but a store about 30 minutes away did. The sales person offered to have them hold them for me, but with all of the preparations going on I didn't have time to travel to pick them up. I ended up running into a friend on my way out and told her what I was doing and about the shoes. She offered to drive to pick them up for me and pay for them on top of it all. Amazing!

The day before I left we received a donation in the mail for $200. My flight to New York was delayed due first to computer problems and then the weather courtesy of Hurricane Bill. I ended up missing my flight to Ghana and had to spend the night in NYC. I was not blessed by the airlines with a voucher for the hotel and ended up spending $160 for a room close to the airport. If I hadn't had that $200 come in I would have been short on cash in Ghana. Amazing!

These are just some of the amazing ways God cared for us so lovingly on this trip. So when worry starts to creep in about how to afford ANOTHER trip back to pick Mercy up I try not to think about it. God CLEARLY has this covered. He deserves all the glory. I continue to be amazed by His faithfulness.

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Philippians 4:19-20

Thursday, September 3, 2009


We spent LOTS of time coloring at Rye Manor. I think she could have colored all day long. I sure miss that girl.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The First Time I Saw Her Face

After an interesting flight to New York and subsequent full day delay in getting to Ghana courtesy of Hurricane Bill I arrived in Accra.

It was strangely familiar to walk off the plane and onto the tarmack. The heat hit my body the moment I touched the ground. I walked toward the building knowing my life was about to change in a whole lot of ways. I made my way through immigration and customs and followed the winding ramp down praying I would see a sign with my name on it. I recognized my driver Edward immediately.

The drive from the airport also had a sense of familiarity. The heat, sights and smells were reminiscent of my time in Haiti. At a stop light our car was approached by a man in a wheelchair begging for money. A young boy tried to clean our windshield for a small fee. We continued down the streets seeing trash, people , barbed wire and many small buildings full of people selling their wares.

We checked in at Rye Manor and dropped off my bags before we proceeded to the children's home. I was greeted with hugs and smiles from the children. They all wanted to be held. Each of them a beautiful treasure - deserving so much more, but making the best of the hand they had been dealt. I adored them all, but quickly found a favorite to share a few moments with before heading to Mercy's grandmother house to pick her up.

We left the home and drove down the bumpy roads to Mercy's grandmother's house. Passing people and buildings, unaware of where we were going or how far we would have to drive. In the distance and on the left I saw a little girl twirling in her peach-colored dress. I couldn't see her face, but even at the distance my heart knew that I was catching my first glimpse of Mercy. We pulled over and got out of the run down vehicle. We crossed the street and I saw her standing by a line of homes. The little girl in the peach dress - Mercy in the flesh. I could hardly believe my eyes.

I was introduced to her grandmother and what I believe were her brothers. I restrained myself and asked if I could hug her. She said yes and we talked for a few moments. Her grandmother handed me her bag and we walked to the car hand in hand. We were immediately mother and daughter. No looking back. I could hardly believe it was real. The day I had dreamed about had come to pass.