Thursday, February 26, 2009

Back from Haiti...

I was excited to see the mailman pull up today. My friend, Terry, just happened to be filling in on our route so it was nice to have our dossier returned by a friendly face.

I opened the box to find our big brown accordion file with the name "Anchise" written on the outside. So many hopes and dreams for that sweet girl were attached to those papers.

It's still hard. It may always be. So today I continue to pray for her. Today I continue to trust that I have and will continue to be refined by this process. She will ALWAYS be the daughter of my heart. We love you baby girl.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

She's Not Dead...She's in Florida

Our family is friends with an older couple who is currently on vacation in Florida. While driving the kids into school this morning Mr. B told me he wanted to see Bev. I told him that Bev is gone.

Keaton promptly pipes up and says, "She's not dead, she's in Florida". Mr. B replies, "Bev is dead...oh no". I then had to go into a great lengthy discussion about what a vacation is and that she went on an airplane, etc, etc. It's amazing how one simple statement can trigger a discussion you never saw coming. I love that about kids!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Good News From a Distant Land

I got my first e-mails today from two ladies at the orphanage in Ghana. I thought it was cute to hear how one of them described our precious one:
God has blessed you with a wonderful baby girl. She is well behaved, disciplined and above all has the fear of God in her. She is very calm. Your baby is excited already and she is happy she has found you.

We did a little family photo shoot today so we could send the Divine Miss M a picture (that was an interesting adventure). We are excited that we were told to write, call or e-mail as much as we want. A lady from the orphanage will help her reply to our e-mails. It's times like this that I REALLY appreciate technology.

I continue to stand in awe of God's faithfulness. Thank you Jesus for this gift.

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:1-3

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Because Inquiring Minds Want to Know...

Here's the information I received from our agency about the Ghana adoption process. It truly seems like a walk in the park compared to our previous expectations. We've actually been checking into several agencies and talking with some Ghana parents for several weeks now.

I can assure you this beautiful girl did not just fall into our laps overnight. We've had her picture for a while and have been praying about her. As you can imagine, we were feeling a little skiddish to commit to anything, but once we made the decision to move forward with her things came together quickly and it felt like a huge weight had been lifted.

  1. Obtain required paperwork for dossier...1-3 months
  2. Upon receipt of dossier, Ghana Team begins to prepare documents for court...2 – 4 weeks
  3. Once documents are completed, attorney files papers in court...2 – 4 weeks
  4. Once the court grants the adoption the court documents need to be recorded by Registrar...1 - 4 weeks
  5. Child’s passport is applied for and obtained...up to 4 weeks
  6. Receive court documents to file with the I600 USCIS application at the U.S. Embassy in Accra or families home state...1 – 3 months
  7. When I600 is approved by the US Embassy they will forward the file to the U.S. Consulate in Accra. Agency applies for the visa and goes to the visa interview...1 – 4 weeks
  8. At end of visa interview the U.S. Consulate will inform agency of the date visa will be ready for pick up...1 – 2 weeks
  9. Travel time!

Truly our biggest obstacle now is financial. This is a total leap of faith and we are trusting completely for God to work this out. We have several fundraisers in the works and are also praying to find favor with some grant sources. We are in the process of updating our homestudy and we need to get our I-171H approval changed to Ghana.

So, there you have it...the ball is rolling and we are praying this precious girl home.

Praise be to the LORD,
the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
Psalm 41:13

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Divine Miss M

I'm Ghana Introduce You To...

Our new daughter "M" from Ghana!

I cannot tell you how good it feels to have made this decision. Our family spent a lot of time yesterday thanking God for leading us to our sweet daughter. We can hardly wait to meet her and bring her home.

Here is how the orphanage director described her:
She is a little shy but she has something special about her. She likes to hug and cuddle. I know whoever decides that she is the daughter they have prayed for will be blessed beyond their expectations.

I am in the thick of the paperchase once again, but thankfully Ghana's dossier is much smaller and less cumbersome than Haiti. Praying everything falls into place quickly.

Praise the Lord!
For he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
Psalm 28:6-7

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Big News Coming Soon...

This is just a teaser until I tell a few more people in person,
but there is exciting adoption news on the horizon.
Stay tuned!!!!
Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you,"
declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Step in the Right Direction

I did it! I filled out an application and printed out some grant applications to start on tonight.

Please join me in praying that we will find favor with the grant funding sources. If things work out, we will need to come up with the money fairly quickly.

God is able!

God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.
As one psalmist puts it,
He throws caution to the winds,
giving to the needy in reckless abandon.
His right-living, right-giving ways
never run out, never wear out.
This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.
2 Corinthians 9:8-11 (The Message)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Scared to Start

Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

I've been feeling semi-overwhelmed at the thought of starting again and the root of the problem is fear. Fear of loss. Fear of choosing the wrong country. Fear of not having the money we need. Fear of what others will think. Fear of failure.

The problem for me is this - if I am choosing fear it means I am not choosing trust. This thing called fear is keeping me from reaching the potential God has for my life. If I don't step out in faith by filling out an application or applying for a grant then I have put fear above what God can do.

God has brought me to this place. Lord, help me to be "an ounce more devoted than I am afraid".
But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?
Psalm 56:3-4

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Least of These

Since I last shared about the adoption (or lack thereof), the third and final door to Haiti has closed. It is officially the end of the Haitian road for us. If I'm being honest it almost feels like a relief. The constant back and forth pull of staying in Haiti was rather draining. The process is a long, tough road. I will continue to pray for everyone in this process and I know that it will be worth every waiting moment once your Haitian angels are home.

I think one of the greatest gifts I have received on this journey (besides my amazing new friends) is the change that's happened in me. My vision of the type of child we want to add to our family has also changed. When I completed my first application and had to consider what special needs were acceptable I don't know that I checked any of the boxes. My version of "acceptable" has changed dramatically as I realize my Father's love for the least of these. Imagine not only being a child without parents, but a child with a healthcare need without parents. It's got to be a tough road.

So here I am once again filling out applications. What do I check? Which of the least of these deserves a loving family? Are there any of them that don't?

As I think and pray about what boxes to check I am happy that my heart has been expanded by the King of Kings. God is good.

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

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cappuccino Thursday

Almost every Thursday I get a hot steamy cappuccino delivered right to my door. Granted, it's not the expensive St*rb*cks kind. I'm not really what you would call a cappuccino snob. The kind you get from the gas station is just perfect in my book. It's blended with love - part creamer, part vanilla coffee, part pumpkin spice cappuccino (when in season).

And the delivery! Well let's just say he's the best part of the whole thing. He even gives me a little hug and a kiss on his way out the door. Thanks hubby for always thinking of me and bringing me my Thursday treat.

So again I say,
each man must love his wife as he loves himself,
and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:33

Monday, February 9, 2009

Can I Let You In On a Little Secret?

I've been feeling for some time now that God has given me a message to share with people...a message about stepping out in faith to follow God's plan. We feel our personal faith journey involves adoption, but the message I would like to share is that each of us have our own faith journey to follow. We are all called to do different things and they can all be used for the glory of God...trials & all.

I've sat down several times to try & put something together, but the truth is I feel grossly underqualified to do anything like this. I've been praying for some time now that I would find some type of a class or seminar that could teach me a thing or two (or ten).

The good news is that I've found something that I really feel is meant for me. I'm hoping to attend the Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks Conference in Concord, NC. However, since we are socking away every bit of extra for the adoption it's hard to also save for the conference registration & airfare.

The reason I'm sharing this with you is two-fold:
  1. To put it out there. It's just been something that's been on my heart for some time. I thought if I share it with others it would keep me more accountable in trying to achieve this goal.
  2. To ask you to pray with me. Pray that if I am meant to do this that God would provide a way for that to happen.
Thanks for praying and be blessed!

Daddy Date Night

On Saturday Delaney & Jeff attended "Daddy Date Night" at a local church. They have gone for quite a few years now and always have a great time. My baby girl is growing up too fast, but she's never too big to spend the night with her best guy.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Directionally Challenged

In real life I am what they would call "directionally challenged". GPS is my friend. I literally would be lost without it. Heck, sometimes I'm lost with it. There have been times when I actually don't trust the GPS, but I trust my "gut" - and I have to say I've had about a 50/50 success rate when those times come.

Lately, I have been feeling "directionally challenged" regarding the adoption. It seems there have been too many choices and I've had a hard time sorting out in my head what the right thing to do is. Every single day I pray for wisdom...not my wisdom, but God's wisdom. We want to do what is right in His eyes. We want to follow His plan for growing our family through adoption.

Today two of the doors for adopting in Haiti have been closed. We now know we will no longer be working with Three Angels. Although it was not what we were hoping for, it is an answer to prayer. It's been hard to think about moving on elsewhere when our foot is still in the door with them. We've also heard back from the other potential orphanage that it is not wise for a "large" family to begin the process in Haiti and they cannot accept us.

We've been told by more than one person working in adoptions in Haiti to run as fast as we can in the other direction. We've been told there are many better options. Less painful options. Shorter options. At this point it truly looks like all doors to Haiti may be closing and we should seriously consider going to Ghana.

I asked a friend today to pick up our dossier when she is in Haiti. That was a hard thing to do. I know when it arrives back at my house I am going to look at it and burst into tears. It represents all that never will be and a realm of possibility all at the same time.

I pray & trust that I will not remain "directionally challenged" for long.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge him,
And he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Life Interrupted

Each morning I get a beautiful devotional delivered to my inbox from Proverbs 31 Ministries. They are always such an encouragement to me, but today's particular devotion just fit exactly where I am today...struggling with navigating through a life interrupted. Today I'm praying for a vision of the new landscape. Blessings!

Orange & White Barrels by Van Walton

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths… I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)

Last spring I monotonously approached my neighborhood exit where a newly posted sign announced that I could not make my normal left turn. Lined up on the road as far as I could see around the bend was a neatly laid row of orange and white barrels. Road construction had interrupted my usual routine.

My daily plans would now be detoured due to the construction. Faced with this disruption that would surely put a kink in my life, I felt agitated and even hit the steering wheel with my fist. I would have to design new ways to reach my destinations and I wasn’t happy about it.

One day when construction was completed enough to allow some through traffic, I turned left and surveyed the sights. I couldn’t believe what I saw. No more lovely forest. Gone were the inviting trails into the woods. Decades-old wooden fences and bridges had disappeared. Honestly, the place resembled the combined affects of earthquake and fire. That whole summer I rolled up to the intersection with its orange and white barrels, and it triggered in me negative thoughts and feelings.

Soon after, my life was more seriously interrupted. A disturbing phone call forced me to drop everything. The bad news exploded like a bomb - my heart and mind quaked with emotion. Spiritual frustration filled my soul in the following months. I can’t remember how many times my fist hit hard places. I screamed at God when life carried me away from the direction I wanted to take.

“How long will You take me out of my way?” I questioned God. I longed for my life before the interruption. Managing my days on autopilot was no longer an option as I faced my new circumstances. Slowly I began to see that this spiritual reconstruction paralleled the roadwork outside my neighborhood.

Once all the orange and white barrels were gone and I was free to turn left at that intersection, I appreciated the results. Smooth asphalt spread out before me. Two lanes of traffic moved steadily. The “earthquake zone” had been transformed into a park-like setting. A tree-lined sidewalk encouraged pedestrians to walk toward the ballpark and the neighborhood church. Admiring the new landscape, I realized I’d been inconvenienced, but now I could see that the long delays were worthwhile.

Today, although my life continues to zigzag through various “construction sites,” I realize God allowed me to experience the orange and white-barreled roads to illustrate a truth. He is at work up ahead rearranging the landscape of my life. Psalm 37:34 says, “Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land.” (NLT)

I may not be able to see what that land looks like, but I believe His Word. So, with His help, I put my hope in Him, traveling the paths He lays out for me, even though they are not the familiar roads I would normally take.

Father God, You know how difficult life is right now. My interrupted life and the difficult roads You have me traveling feel like they’ll break me. Give me the capacity to graciously travel the paths You lay out before me. Help me trust You, In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

For the Love of B

I happen to love the stage Mr. B is at. I love his 3 year old spunk...his fearlessness...his zest for life...his nothings gonna stop me attitude. I love that he is old enough to not be completely dependent on me for every little thing, but is still young enough to cuddle at any given moment.

I love that his favorite things in the world are blueberries, dump trucks & trains...oh and I can't forget pancakes. I love that he can't wait to grow taller so he can play basketball and that he loves to play outside every chance he gets.

I know there are good and bad things that come with every age, but for right now I am relishing every moment of Mr. B being 3...and wishing these moments could last just a wee bit longer.

Monday, February 2, 2009


I wanted you to know about this publication I’m a part of called Serious.Life Magazine. They just published the February issue today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine… you’ll really like it.

The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers you’ll appreciate, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia ( The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics.

Again, the subscription is free, and I know you’ll enjoy the magazine, so take a minute to check it out and sign up to get future issues.