Saturday, July 28, 2007

After Eight Years Of Marriage...

I'm finally catching on to my hubby's practical jokes. I applied for my passport last Friday and the woman who helped me suggested that, to avoid worry, I should have it expedited. She said that they're taking between two and three months right now. If I paid extra (ouch) it would only be two to three weeks. We had to do the same thing when Allyson went to Brazil (the youth group had to send away for visas all together which caused a time crunch). An aside: How strange is it that my 15 year old had a passport and I didn't?

The kids and I are still at the condo on Siesta Key. Jim has been coming down in the evenings, but going home (40 minutes north) to work during the day. He called me this afternoon and here's how it went:

Jim: You're going to need to call the passport administration.
Me: WHY?!?
Jim: Well, it's obviously a mistake, but they have you on the "no fly" list. We'll have to get this cleared up.
Me: WHAT?!?
Me: Wait a second. Did my passport come today?
Jim: Yes.
Me: Wow - that was fast.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday Prayers & A Huge Milestone...

In my post from last Monday, I mentioned that anyone who feels led can post a comment with their particular requests (adoption related or otherwise) so we can have the privilege of lifting them up in prayer. I'm a little late getting to it this week since we're back on Siesta Key and have been enjoying the island most of the day (plus - the internet has been unpredictable). Not only that, but this evening - We drove to a FedEx in Sarasota and sent off our dossier!!! Yes, it came with us to the beach. We figured our dossier needed a vacation, too. ;o) Actually, our copier at home ran out of toner so we had to bring it down to finish up some copying before sending it off. A few months ago, it was hard to even imagine this day arriving! But here it is. And how appropriate that it's on this day we've set aside to pray for Haiti.

Today is definitely a day of thanksgiving!! Our dossier is gone, we received out I-171H last week and plans are being made for my trip to visit Asa in October!! We're continuing to pray for our sweet little boy and are now praying for the paperwork that will be in Haiti soon. We're lifting up the Haitian government and anyone in a position of influence over all the adoptions that are yet to take place.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What's For Dinner?

I'm invariably asked this question at least three times a day - usually around 4:00 pm. I often respond with something like: grilled salmon with mango salsa (Camden's favorite), reuben casserole (frequently requested by Allyson) or black bean burritos (Chloe loves those). We enjoy Mexican, Italian, seafood and anything that can be thrown on the grill. We take this abundance of food for granted - Haiti is so different. Some people literally eat biscuits made of dirt. A mother was asked by one of the founders of our orphanage why she fed this to her children... "Better that they die with a full stomach than with the pain of hunger," was her reply. Most of the children have come to the orphanage severely malnourished. They are the fortunate ones. This picture below is of a woman making the common food staple: 10 cups dirt, 5 cups water, 2 cups oil, salt to taste...

We received an informative packet from our orphanage that details the activities they do with the children and the foods that are served. I have to say that Asa is so blessed to be in this orphanage. It's very clean, spacious and safe. And while the menu isn't what we're used to... we're so happy he is getting medical care, clean drinking water and three nutritous meals a day! Most of the children there have been matched with families - so that's good news. And even better - - four have come home to their families recently! In the meantime, the others are being loved and fed...

Here's a sample (exact wording) of what his age group eats:

Breakfast -

Lunch -

Dinner is the same every night -
SOUP WITH GRILLED FLOUR (which is something like cream of wheat, I'm told)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

An Answered Prayer...

We're home from the beach for a few days. We have some church activities this weekend and are doing the massive amount of copying required for the completion of our dossier. Just wanted to share something amazing that happened today...

Our orphanage has a family trip scheduled for October. Jim and I decided that I would go & he'd stay home with the kiddos. This thrilled me because I can't wait to meet our precious boy! But another important part of the trip is filing some immigration paperwork in person down in Haiti. Since we don't know if/when we'll get to go back, it's pretty important that we have the necessary immigration approval to take down. Well, we didn't have it yet. But I have to commit to the trip soon. So today, I e-mailed the Department of Homeland Security's local office to see if they could give me an estimate on our approval. What I received was a form letter saying that, based on our receipt number, it would be two and a half to four months. I was crushed. It could arrive before the trip, but there is no guarantee. I e-mailed our adoption coordinator and told her that I should probably just plan for the following trip (which would be December at the earliest). The sadness and disappointment hovered over me for most of the afternoon. I prayed that it would work out somehow but didn't feel much hope.

It stormed, as is typical here this time of year. I didn't bother to go out to get the mail because it was wet and I didn't expect anything of significance. When it cleared up and I went to the mailbox, guess what was there?!? THE IMMIGRATION PAPERS WE NEEDED. Amazing.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Prayer Mondays...

Posting from lovely Siesta Key...

Recently, I've learned (through a yahoo group) that a number of families adopting from Haiti have designated Mondays as a day of prayer and fasting. I was thrilled to hear this since I had been thinking how beneficial the unity of joining with others in prayer & personal sacrifice would be for us, our children & the process in general. While I'm certain that God hears and answers the prayers of an individual... imagine the power in the collective prayers of many!

So even though we keep all these things in our prayers daily, I hope to post every Monday - and anyone who feels led can post a comment with their particular requests so we can have the privilege of lifting them up.

Today, we're so thankful that we are in the homestretch. We should have our consulate authentications back tomorrow and then it's just a matter of compiling the dossier (making eight copies of everything). So we're praying that it will move as planned. As always, we're praying that little Asa's emotional and physical needs are being met in the orphanage and for the hearts and souls of his caretakers.

God Bless! Have a wonderful Monday!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New Pictures Of Our Asa...

Needless to say, we are aching to hold our precious baby boy. We should be receiving new pictures and updates every six weeks or so. These came at the perfect time. This afternoon, I was thinking about how much I love him without even really knowing him. What's his favorite toy? Does he enjoy cuddling? Does he like the animals they have on the orphanage grounds (a dog, a goat & chickens)? Does he get grumpy at naptime? How many teeth does he have? Then... these were in my e-mail tonight when we got home from church.

Pure. Love.

These have helped us to learn a little more about him. It looks like he might be teething, the way he's chewing on that finger (poor guy). He's absolutely gorgeous in yellow. He has a smile that just melts our hearts. And those little observations will get me through for a while. Or at least for tonight...