Thursday, June 28, 2007

Meet Asa...

Here he is! This is our little guy, Asa. We received this single picture and some information on him over a week ago. We couldn't wait to see more. Look at that adorable profile...

He is 18 months old... in fact, his birthday is a week before Camden's (they're two years apart). Another December birthday - yikes! We have a lot in December and January. And here's another picture we received today. Don't you want to squeeze those cheeks?

He looks incredibly healthy for a toddler who was brought to the orphanage severely malnourished. From the director: "The day of his admission I was not certain he would survive this is how bad his condition was..." Which makes the American name we've chosen for him even more meaningful.

Asa Means Healing...

I'm writing this on 2/19/07 but probably won't post it until after we get our referral.

This has been on my mind for over a year. Actually, this part of the story starts all the way back in 1991. It was Memorial Day - I was 16 and living in Columbus, Ohio. My paternal grandfather is originally from the Cleveland area and he thought it would be an appropriate time to take some family members up to his old stomping grounds and to visit the gravesites of his relatives. If I recall correctly, I wasn't thrilled about being dragged along (would any teenager?) but I did love the stories he shared about his childhood. And as morbid as I thought it was to spend time in a cemetery, my cousin and I enjoyed reading the names of relatives we'd never met. One name that really caught my attention was Asa - some kind of great uncle, I believe. And I actually said that it would be a nice name for a little boy. With each pregnancy, Asa was always on my list of favorite potential names.

It was early last year when we really began investigating the details of a Haitian adoption (although we've been thinking about it since 2000). I had it on the brain so it didn't come as a big surprise that I had an incredibly vivid dream about meeting a little boy, our son, for the first time. Asa. In the morning, I made a note on my calendar - February 10th, 2006 - and I researched the name. Asa was an Old Testament king in the lineage of Christ. It means "healer." The significance hit me instantly because a huge motivating factor in adopting from Haiti is the possibility that our son will return someday and work toward a spiritual revival & healing there. More on that later.

Tonight, I decided to do a little more research on Asa the King. I found this: Physician, son of Abijah and grandson of Rehoboam, was the third king of Judah. He was zealous in maintaining the true worship of God, and in rooting all idolatry, with its accompanying immoralities, out of the land ( 1 Kings 15:8-14). The Lord gave him and his land rest and prosperity. So you can see where I'm going with this.

Physician. It's not that we want our son to be a doctor, necessarily. But we hope that we can instill in him an intense love for the Haitian people. They are poor. They are sick. They are lost. Haiti is a country that needs the kind of healing that only Jesus can provide. I pray that Asa (any of our children, really) might choose to go to Haiti as a missionary who can minister to their spirits and maybe even as a doctor who will care for their physical needs.

Maintaing a true worship of God, rooting out idolatry and immorality. Voodoo, witchcraft, murder, kidnappings and the rampant spread of AIDS; I can't think of better examples of idolatry and immorality. There are some very dedicated Christians in Haiti right now. They are working tirelessly to show the love of Jesus in an attempt to bring about the true worship of God. I feel that our family will, in some way, contribute to this endeavor.

The Lord gave his land rest and prosperity. And this is our prayer. We hope that in our lifetimes, we'll see a real change in Haiti. While it may be unrealistic to believe that poverty and injustice could ever really be eradicated (Christ himself said "the poor you will always have with you….") we know that the only true healing and liberation comes from a personal relationship with Christ. We hope that our Asa, who will certainly be a blessing to our family, will also be a blessing to everyone he encounters and that his life will further the kingdom of Christ.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Translations - Done. Authentications - Done.

We've received our French translations and we just got an e-mail from FedEx tracking; our state authentications were mailed back to us today - they'll be here by 1:00 Wednesday. And I wasn't kidding about having some news this week. We should know a little more in a few days.

An aside: Keep my brother and his wife in your prayers right now. They are currently on a mission trip in a place that isn't friendly toward Christians.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Check Back Next Week...

Things are happening. :o)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Any Day Now?

I'm definitely running the risk of speaking too soon here, but I feel like we could have a referral any time. The official copies of our homestudy arrived in the mail today. A copy was just faxed to our coordinator who is forwarding it on to the orphanage. That's all they need to "match" us with a child. One copy will go on to meet up with our 1-600A (an immigration form) for visa approval. Another will make the long trip to Haiti as part of our dossier after being authenticated, translated into French and sent to the Haitian Consulate in Chicago.

We're pretty much at the mercy of the US Postal Service and the State of Florida for the next few weeks in regards to the dossier. Once it's all authenticated, there are a few more brief stops before it lands in Haiti. Then we're at the mercy of the Haitian government. And I think they're a bit more disgruntled than most US postal workers.

So if I was to compare an adoption to a pregnancy, this would be the time just before a first ultrasound; knowing there is a baby in there, but yet to actually see him/her. This is the second "pregnancy parallel" feeling I've had. The first was when Jim handed me the e-mail from our coordinator (see my post below from February 11th). Reading it elicited the exact same feeling I have when I see the second line on a pregnancy test.