Tonight was girls night out!! We had a great time! Jenny has a foreign exchange student living with them for a month and her name is Nana. She is from Shanghai! We went to see Mamma Mia! It was pretty good! Didn't expect it to be so quirky and funny. THEN we went to California Pizza Kitchen. Yum. SO excited. They brought back my favorite pizza: Pear Gorgonzola pizza. And it has a salad on top of it. You might think it doesn't sound very good, but it. is. awesome. Oh, by the way, the theme this week is, "What did you cook last week?" So, once again, I am not following the rules.
We were so hungry everyone grabbed slices before I took a picture.
Jenny says, "MMMMMMMM"
She liked it so much she had another (a little protective of it, too!)
Nana said, "This is splendid!"
Ahhh, soooo good!
Jenny and Nana admiring the Tiramisu. Nummy.
Me and Nana right before we said night-night.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
My Dad (ain't he a cutie?) had his latest tests and his PSA numbers are still down so HURRAY - the radiation seemed to do the trick! Both parents still cancer free. I am thankful for this, but with Dad's already returning once and Mom almost taking a permanent trip to see Jesus, I can't say that I am not fearful of the ugly C-word returning to our lives. I know I am not supposed to be afraid. I know about the verse, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). I know. But this is my Mama and Daddy we are talking about here. It is hard not to worry.
While I am so thankful to hear of my father's well-being, I found out tonight that a fellow Chinese adoptive mom and friend of mine, Kristi, lost her father this morning (Wednesday, as I write). It was a long battle as he struggled with memory issues. Please pray for her and her family as they celebrate his life and mourn his loss. I know that this can be a Thankful Thursday for Kristi as well as I know she is thankful for her father, his life, that he passed peacefully and that he is now with our heavenly Father. Thank you for your prayers.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Here is a quote from a Palm Beach Post article, regarding the newly orphaned children of the tsunami in 2005: "'If a child has already lost everything, we feel there is no point in making things worse by imposing a new country, customs and language on it,' said Marc Vergara, another UNICEF official." Here is a link to UNICEF's statement regarding international adoption.
Interesting that I happened to post on dirt cookies/mud cakes last week, because an article was just published this week on the topic. There are more details of how Haiti has landed in this crisis situation. I fully recognize that similar things are happening in Ethiopia, Africa and other places. There is just something about Haiti being a two hour flight from Miami that makes it more sickening to me. That Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas. That it is the only Caribbean island that is not a vacation destination. (Try to find a travel book on Haiti at the local library or bookstore.) That when you hear about starving children and poverty, you don't hear about Haiti; you hear about Africa. Haiti, in my estimation, is overlooked, both by those reporting the news and by those adopting.
We were one of the couples who didn't even think of Haiti when we discussed adoption. We found these blogs from Greg and Cara before we were even adopting from Haiti. We didn't pick the country and then decide to adopt though. God simply directed us to Patricia (and then Philippe), who just happen to be in Haiti. It isn't a short process, and people want a short process. I don't blame them. I hear that Ethiopia is growing in popularity for international adoption because of the short waits. I just pray that there is far more to their decision than the speed of the adoption process...
Anyhoo, if you don't have time or interest to read the article, please just look at the photos and ask yourself if you would like to live in Haiti. I wonder if UNICEF officials would like to live there! I will leave you with one last story. People we knew from our former church adopted from Ethiopia. Their car broke down in a village on their way to the airport. When people in the village realized that they were adopting a little girl and taking her to America, they pushed their children up to the car and asked if they could take their kids to America, too. It is not that the parents don't love their children. It is that they love them so much that they would let them go, so that they can have hope, opportunity and so much more.
Monday, July 28, 2008
My great-nieces slept over this weekend...Ava's first sleepover at our house. All went well except for when she realized she was ACTUALLY sleeping over! We went to the park. I love the determined walk that the girls take on when they are excited about something. One of the fun things that Ava said was, "I need to have a turn leashing the dog."
Unta Wee and Ava
Thursday, July 24, 2008
We have been in the adoption process for nearly three years but the decision to adopt from Haiti has been a significant life change for me. We have heard it all our lives: "Eat your vegetables, children are starving out there." But the children were never MY children. The children suffering from malnutrition are now MY children. The pictures of the naked kids with empty tummies are from my children's homeland. The 300,000 restaveks (child slaves) are my kids' ages or younger. It has changed me. I can't hear the stories and then forget and move on with the rest of my day anymore. In a way, I wish I could. Ignorance IS bliss, to be sure.
I have heard people say, "I want to help, I just don't know where to start." I provide several names of places to start and then it is quiet after that. They perhaps ponder it for a moment while they drive to Starbucks, and then move on with their day. I am not trying to judge here or be holier-than-thou. I just have such a heavy burden on my heart. I need to share it to lighten the load a bit for me, but also to perhaps make an impact on you as well. All I know is that there are 143 million orphans in the world who need moms and dads, a hug, Jesus, love, and food in their bellies. Our orphanage turns away 80 children a month because of funding. 80 more kids who could have gotten an education. 80 more kids who could have had three meals a day and clean water to drink. 80 more kids who could have found forever families and be adopted. Both of our children were turned away. It is by the grace of God that they are where they are right now and it will be by the grace of God that they come home.
SOOOOO, I am thankful for all the blessings we have in our cushy, easy lives. But this all just came out when I started typing! I intended to write today about being thankful for the Haiti Nurse, Lori. I warn you up front that you may not want to visit this site if you are squeamish. I AM squeamish, but I visit anyway, to see what the people of Haiti are dealing with, to pray, and to see what Haiti Nurse is up to. She is an American living in Haiti and doing the best she can every day to help. They see sometimes hundreds of people in one day. I think she needs encouragement. I know she needs prayer. I left a comment on her blog and was surprised to receive a very long email from her. At the very least, the next time you have to wait in your paper gown in the freezing cold room waiting for the doctor to come in, instead of complaining, could you whisper a prayer of gratitude?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Paul said we could shrink back in fear, or have faith and move forward. We knew we would move forward even before he called, but I can't say I wasn't freaked out at all about three adoptions at once. I definitely felt fear. Lee, on the other hand, was remarkably calm. While I kept pacing and repeating, "Oh my gosh! We have a son!" He said, with his classic matter-of-factness, "Yup, we do!" He said that he had been praying for a son. We had discussed adopting a boy later on, so that we could close the gap a bit between the girls. We had discussed how much easier it would be for Patricia if she had someone else from her orphanage to come home with her. God just (uh-huh) once again, (yup) had something else in mind for our journey. It would be now. It would be Philippe.
Throughout this process, and throughout the entire time I have known him, actually, Lee has been my calm and steady. He rarely gets mad (but of course I am the one who can draw that out of him); hardly anything phases him (except political and social injustices); he is a wonderful chef; he is a hard worker; is remarkably intelligent (is an analytical thinker and quite the theologian); he is witty; he has many talents, and he takes great care of this house, the critters and me. He is eager to take care of our kids and will be an excellent father. I am very grateful that when we both know which turn God is directing us to take, we both have the same strong sense of peace...adopting three kids at once, for example!
So Happy Birthday, calm and steady! We all know that someone as bouncy and hyper as you-know-who needs that as a counterbalance!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Jul 17, 2008
PORT AU PRINCE HT
Int'l shipment release
PORT AU PRINCE HT
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Clearance in progress
PORT AU PRINCE HT
PORT AU PRINCE HT
Package available for clearance
Jul 12, 2008
At dest sort facility
Departed FedEx location
Departed FedEx location
Jul 11, 2008
Arrived at FedEx location
Left FedEx origin facility
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
My cousin, Pete, goofing around
Today we had dinner over at my folks' house and Jenny made the dinner. She might have to put this recipe on for Foody Friday, it was so good! July has the most birthdays for our family. My brother-in-law who lives in CA also has a July birthday and Philippe's is the same day. In the picture below is Matt, Ava, Me, Lee and Corene - pictured in the order of our b-days, all exactly a week apart except Ava, who slipped in the middle there. When Philippe comes home, he will be between Matt and Ava! :) Today just happened to be mine! I don't really want any more birthdays without my kiddos home, so let's get GOING!!!
The girls going through their loot
Visiting at my parents' new place. My brother and his wife flew in from San Diego last night, so that was another reason for today's get together.
**SIGH** Good times, good times.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Well, today marks 28 months to our 6-8 month wait! Hardee har har! If adopting from China has taught us anything, we have learned to be
We do believe that while we know China puts great effort into their matches (they don't just take the next family in line and match them with the next child in line), we have faith in our Lord that ultimately HE is charge of this process and who our daughter is, and yes, even when she will come home!
Phil 1:6 "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
So they have given referrals to those registered before 1-25-06. Our documents were registered on 3-13-06. Most projections still have us getting our referral in January, some say March. The next few months will be very telling as we get past the Olympics. It would be fabulous if after the Olympics things speed up. The reason for the delay that we have received from China is that there are not enough babies, so if that is accurate, there will likely not be a speed-up.
Our friends with a November 2005 LID got their baby in October 2007. Our friends with a January 2006 LID will be traveling in August 2008. Those two families only had two months between their log ins, but 10 months between travel times.
So I guess what I am saying is that we still don't know anything!