Thursday, May 28, 2009

Intimidated & Overwhelmed

I got my official "International Travel Packet" for Ghana, West Africa yesterday. I think I could use two words to describe how it felt to be reading it were intimidated & overwhelmed! It does certainly sound like the staff will take good care of you while you are there which is a relief. You have to buy minutes, but they do provide you with a Ghanian cell phone to use while you are in country. They also included detailed packing checklists for both personal items and paperwork which should prove to be extremely helpful.

I was particularly enlightened by the section on the "facilities" with the subcategories of "squat toilets" and "toilet paper woes". Hmmm...

We're hoping to take in a few touristy type things while we are there. I mean who wants to go all the way to Africa and not see what they've got going on. Some of the sights they suggested was the Akumoso Lake Boat Tour, Kakum National Park & Cape Coast Castles tour, Wli falls, and Aburi Botanical Gardens. I would love to go to Kakum, but since heights are not my thing we will have to see how brave I am.

I did get to talk/webcam with Mercy this morning which was the perfect thing to lift my spirits. Just seeing her smiling face and hearing her voice makes this wait just a little more bearable. I am sending a few things for her with our agency director as she travels to Ghana next week. I asked Mercy what she needed and she told me candy, biscuits, a dress, socks, and two pairs of shoes - one for school and one for church. She's certainly not shy about asking for what she needs. Love that girl!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Waiting for the Appointed Season

I read an online article that defined weariness as exhausted strength, failing endurance, and washed out vigor. Let me just say check, check, & check.

I have been waiting, quite patiently I might add, to hear something about our adoption. I'd love to hear from USCIS. I'd be delighted to hear good news from Shaohannah's Hope. I'd be tickled pink to hear we have a court date. Something. Anything. A bread crumb if you will.

Quite honestly the last few days I have been feeling very tired of the whole adoption process. I just want this over with. I am completely sick of dealing with it all.

So of course, in typical satan fashion (he's SO predictable), we've had some other stuff going on. We had the air conditioning fixed on our van Friday and it's already no longer working again. On Saturday the pipe running from the shower started leaking down the wall and into the basement. And today our washing machine quit working (PTL my talented hubby was able to fix this). We were really looking forward to a long relaxing weekend, but instead feel more tired than when we began.

I am so thankful my Father knows my weariness. I need to spend some dedicated time laying this at His feet and He will renew my strength.
So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.
Galatians 6:9

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Beautiful Day

It was absolutely gorgeous outside today - in the 80's, breezy (OK, really breezy), and sunshine. It was pure heaven! The crab apple trees lining the streets are in full bloom and because of the strong breeze, the petals were flying all around like snow. Some lawns were actually pink with blossoms. The air was thick with the floral perfume of the crab apple blossoms and lilacs. Beautiful!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Going Soft

My tough Haiti-made facade has been cracked. My "I'm in it for the long haul" attitude has been kicked to the curb. It's happened...I've gone soft.

When we were first considering a Ghana adoption and I would hear people complain about the wait I thought what a bunch of sissies (insert my humblest of apologies here Ghana moms). I mean seriously, I signed up for a 2-3 year wait of watching my baby grow up in a Haitian orphanage. To hear I could be waiting a mere six months for my daughter to come home was like a cake walk. Easy peasy.

Well let me just eat a little crow and say that this wait is beginning to kill me (in an I'm-so-excited, please let this happen soon kind of way). I don't know if it's knowing that we are in the home stretch of a court date and subsequent travel. Maybe it's because my heart grows a little bigger every time I talk to our baby girl. I feel like a piece of me is missing. I miss this sweet girl that I have never held in my arms, but grows more in my heart with each passing day. Thoughts of her are never far from my mind.

I've officially become a wimp, but it's all for love! Come home baby girl...come home!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Need Your Advice

I'm still waiting to hear back from USCIS. They received our country change request on March 30th and I have not heard from them. After we were fingerprinted last year it only took two weeks to get our approval in the mail. What is taking so long?????

I did e-mail them on the 8th. The website says to give them seven business days to respond. I am trying really hard not to be impatient, but seriously how hard is it to change one piece of paper to say Ghana instead of Haiti?

So my question is aggressive should I be in dealing with USCIS? How soon should I e-mail them again? Should I sent another written/certified letter? I don't want to tick these people off so how should I handle this situation? Any advice would be appreciated.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dance, Dance, Dance

We are all danced out! It was dance recital weekend so our household lived and breathed dance. Of the five performances, Delaney was in four (two for modern and two for ballet) and Keaton in one (jazz). Mr. B sat amazingly well through all three shows and only started to show signs of disdain at the end of show #3.

We asked Mr. B if he wanted to be a dancer next year on the stage. He quickly told me, "The gym is my stage. I'm going to play basketball". Well then...

It was a great end to a good dance season and we are ready for the summer break!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

To Ghana with Love

I just learned our dossier did make it to Ghana safe & sound at the end of last week. Hooray! We are now praying for a court date and hope to hear of this "magic" number soon.

I do expect, however, that it could easily be rescheduled once or more since that seems to be the norm. No matter what, knowing a date will certainly give me something to hold on to.

The agency handling our adoption is going to try to get our court date scheduled with another adoptive family we know in hopes that we could travel together so we are praying for that as well.

To quote Rhino from the movie Bolt, "Let it begin! Let it begin!"


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Day to Remember

It's been a year since we officially learned we had a daughter in Haiti. I honestly thought I would be OK today - after all I haven't had a good crying spell over our loss in a while.

I. was. wrong.

I'll never forget the pure bliss of learning she was ours. I'll also never forget the intense pain when we learned she indeed was not. The truth is that she was never ours. She is His.

Will you join me in prayer for Anchise today?

Heavenly Father,
Today I pray for protection and blessing over Anchise's life.
I pray that she will experience you in a real and personal way and that some day she will accept You into her heart.
I pray that You will send people into her life to provide for all of her physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Thank you Lord Jesus for letting me be her mother, even if just for a short time.
Watch over her and keep her safe.
In Jesus name I pray.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Anticipation. Anticipaaaaaaaaaaaaation.

Yeah, Carly Simon can really belt that one out. It certainly could be my theme song of the day.

I am anticipating so many things in the days ahead:
  • finding out our dossier has arrived
  • getting a court date
  • finding out when we can travel to pick her up
  • seeing, holding and loving our daughter in person for the very first time

I continue to be amazed at the way God has opened the doors for this to really happen. I am filled with anticipation for the events of the coming months. God is good...all the time!

Anticipation - Carly Simon

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

To Cut or Not To Cut...That is the Question

Lately Mr. B has been looking a bit like a cross between Frodo Baggins and Albert Einstein. The big question of the day is whether or not to cut the hair he is known for. Because of his tiny stature, his big curly hair tends to really make a statement. I'd love to hear your two cents on this subject...

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Day of Good News

Several of the families adopting from Three Angels have gotten good news today and it makes me so happy. There are kids coming home, needed approvals have been received, and others who can now officially start the process. It is definitely a day to rejoice and a reminder that God continues to be faithful to those who call on Him.

There was also good news posted to our Ghana adoption group today from the National Visa Center which will affect everyone filing an I-600. This news can potentially cut 3-5 weeks of waiting off of our already short process. It looks like I'd better make bed shopping a bigger priority!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cute Things for a Cute Girl

I've gotten a few great things on clearance lately. It is so much fun shopping for little girls! I can't wait until I am packing these things in a suitcase to go get her.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Eight is Great

After Delaney was born, we said we wanted to wait five years before we had another baby. Surprisingly, Keaton was born three days after her fifth birthday!

Keaton has such a gentle spirit. He doesn't like to play rough and has the biggest most caring heart of any boy I know.

We love you Keaton!
Happy Birthday!

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Next Steps

Now that our dossier is on it's way to Ghana things are suddenly feeling really real. Like this really could happen. It may not be a dream after all. Wow!

I got an e-mail from our agency today saying that the folks in Ghana have Mercy's paperwork ready to go and will combine our stuff with hers when it gets there next week. Once everything is ready they will schedule a court date. We are thinking sometime in the next month (maybe a little more or less). After court is done and our adoption has been granted, we will file our I-600 and wait for her visa to be approved.

Our specific prayer requests include:
  • that we will be awarded a grant from Shaohannah's Hope
  • that we will have a speedy court date with a full adoption granted
  • that we will receive our country change approval and a new I-171H for Ghana from USCIS soon
  • that God will prepare everyone's hearts for the big change that could be happening sooner than we think

Thanks for your prayers...have a great weekend!