Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Please pray...

...for my friend and co-worker, Shawn. She is having surgery early Tuesday morning to remove a large brain tumor. Click here for her CaringBridge site. Please join us in praying for Shawn's surgery to go PERFECTLY, AMAZINGLY well and for a speedy recovery. Thanks!

UPDATE
From Shawn's CaringBridge page:
Shawn is out of surgery, and doing quite well. They were able to get the whole tumor out, and as of right now, thinks only her speech may be affected, and that she would be able to get that back. She has spoken a little bit already, and is able to get out about half the words, which is a very good sign. Additionally, her speech has improved since already over the 10 minutes that she has been awake. She is a little weak on her right side, but the doctor seemed very positive and not at all concerned. So, overall a very positive prognosis. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers (clearly they are working!) and we will keep you updated.

Another update: Shawn's tumor is cancerous. Stage 3. She has already started chemo and radiation. See above for the CaringBridge link.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Four Months Together!

We love you so much, Olivia!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Miss O Walking on Her Own!

Friday, November 06, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes

Dawn and I have joked that when Olivia babbles it sounds a lot like she's speaking Chinese. Well, I just read an article at Times Online suggesting that might actually be the case:
    Newborn babies mimic the intonation of their native tongue when they cry, indicating that they begin to pick up the first elements of language in the womb, a study suggests.

    Scientists were already aware that babies are able to recognise certain sounds from birth, such as their parents' voices, but they believed that infants were only able to imitate them from the age of about 12 weeks.

    Now research carried out in Germany suggests that babies develop a capacity for language much earlier than was previously thought. "Our study shows the importance of crying for seeding language development," said Professor Kathleen Wermke, who led the research at the University of W├╝rzburg.
We didn't meet Olivia until she was one, which means she had already been learning for about a year and nine months. She's a bright kid, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if she really is speaking Chinese!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Halloween

On the journey to Olivia, I put a post-it note on my monitor with a quote by Jean de la Bruyere - "Out of difficulties grow miracles" (it's still there - we need a few more miracles). Never did I imagine that a flower this beautiful would grow out of that long, difficult wait.We went trick or treating with (who else!?) my great-nieces and great-nephew and of course Jenny. Another friend joined us later. Jenny's kids are all from Wizard of Oz (poor Minnesotan kids have to wear coats over their dresses!) We have Dorothy, Glinda the Good Witch and Toto. We decided that Olivia was a poppy from the poppy field so that she fit the theme :)
What a fun night! Jenny brought homemade wild rice soup, we sipped apple cider, we all ate too much candy and the kids fell asleep all over the house while Jenny and I talked and the Daddies watched football. Just look at that face! I get and give a thousand kisses a day and I LOVE my little blossoming flower!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Haiti Trip #2

In case you missed it, we, along with several other families, had to go to Haiti on short notice to appear in court, in order for our adoptions to proceed. We were told we would meet with a judge, but if he was in the room, we didn't know it. We all signed blank pages in a notebook...a smidge unnerving! Thankfully, folks were discussing how many times they signed while we all waited and it turns out that both spouses were to sign TWICE per child that you are adopting. Two families, us included, discovered that we had not signed enough times and we went back in. We are so glad that this was discovered while we were still in Haiti. Can you imagine if we hadn't caught that?

Regarding our case, we are not going to share it all on the blog. If you want to know more, please email us privately and we will be happy to discuss it with you, but for the purposes of this open blog, we are simply asking for prayer over our kids and their adoption cases. We were told that they were likely about six months from coming home, but with some recent developments, their homecoming date is unsure.

Here are our photos:

Arriving in Haiti
A school girl, in uniform, walking home
Philippe swimming with Mama - by the last day he was going underwater and was much more gutsy
Three of us - Patricia learned how to swim on our last trip and she did great again, even wanting to take off her water wings...we let her but she had to stay by the edge in the shallow end!
Love it! This is one of our favorite things - watching our kids sleep. Can't wait until they do this at HOME
Our babes...We had a rough start, with lots of attitude and them pretty much flat out ignoring us. Even though we know they understand a lot of English, we asked a translator to sit down with us for a moment, just to make SURE they understood. We asked him to please explain to the kids that we know it is hard to have us come for such a short time and then have to leave. We know it must be confusing. That we want to take them home right now, but we have to wait for the paperwork. That we have only TWO days together and that we can make it a great two days, or it can be miserable. We expect them to look at us and answer us when we speak to them. We want to have fun with them. That we want to have a wonderful visit, but they need to help make that happen.

I guess this worked, because they were totally different after that!
I was asking one of the older girls about how to do Patricia's hair, and then before I knew it, I was actually DOING her hair. Here it is in transition...

Self-portrait by Philippe - eating a gummy worm
Another self-portrait :)
Philippe took some (many!) pictures of his gift from us...
Philippe pushing Patricia out of the bed! Just like last time!
Our dear ones...once again, check out that hair...those twists were done by me! Not too bad for a "blanc" lady! I need to get better, but when I finished, Patricia said, "Thanks Mama!"


Overall we had a great visit with the kids, those representing us and other adoptive parents. We left a bit downtrodden over our adoption process, and a few other things that happened, but the Lord blessed us with safe travels and good health. Last time we ended up in the ER upon returning home!

Please, PLEASE lift up our kids, their orphanage and the staff, and all the kids waiting to go HOME. We need to pray for paperwork to MOVE as it is such a WASTE to have children who are matched with families sit in institutions. Blessings to all the waiting families and thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers!
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