Thursday, March 31, 2011

Still waiting:

Waiting now for my Sister in law and her children and our cousin to arrive!!!
They get here tomorrow and we have all kinds of do nothing plans together! Watch the children play, listen to the children play, watch the children perform a play...
Cindy and Laurel are both whizzes on the photography front so I am hopeful that they will be able to give me a crash course on my camera before next week!

Also Miss H has to put on a party for her school project. She has decided to give her friend Leia a surprise birthday party and we will be having the homeschool group over tomorrow to take part in that and play. Mom's will watch, listen and enjoy the children playing and will catch up on some adult conversation that does not involve diagramming sentences or speaking in phonically basic word groups! It's all about socialisation people!!! Those homeschool Mom's need to be socialized!! We practice once a week and are getting almost fluent!I give us an A for effort and output!

As if we didn't have enough to keep us busy and while away our time between now and the cousins arriving we will also be having our pre house inspection. A team will come and tell us all that we have to do to be ready to move out. I can hardly wait!.. oooppps sorry.. I know you can't read sarcasm in print, I CAN really wait..really :0)Never have been one for the "Oh please give me a list to clean by!"

One thing that can't wait though is bed time.. I must away and get a few zzz's so I can be up and at it int eh morning. As funny as it would be for the housing inspection team to be standing in my room writing out a list while I snore the Z's I'm not sure even I could live that one down.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Camping: First time this year

Steve and our oldest son had a Scout event this weekend so the girls, Benjamin and I decided we would venture forth too. We packed everything... well almost everything.. up and headed out to a camp ground about an hour away called Wateree. It is managed by the base and is a GREAT place to escape to.

After battleing with the tent for a few minutes we manged to work out which way was up and front and got it standing and secured.. no small feat considering the gusts of wind that we fought against and the help we got from Miss C the 4 year old!

We should have realised it was going to be an interesting night when the temperatures started dropping.. FAST! Benjamin had a fabulous fire going though and we all huddled close. Way too many s'mores and a really great (though I say so my self and shouldn't) dutch oven stew and we were ready to dive into our tent and sleeping bags. We'd warm up once we got under the covers...

As the temperatuers dropped and the teeth started to chatter we realised we would have to huddle to keep warm. I could have packed up and gone home..except the van's battery died as soon as we got the camp site and I wasn't going to disturb anyone trying to get a jump start at midnight! In the end we survived the night with no lasting damage and rose to a misty morning that promised to turn into a beautiful day.

For the record.. night time temps dropped to 29 degrees Fahrenheit!

We are polar bears!..we survived to tell the tale.. and see this sureal sight in the morning...

The sun came out..and by late morning the children were paddling..then wadding in the water!!!!

....we want to go again but will wait until it has warmed up a little can only have SO much of a good thing!

Wednesday's Wait...

When Steve deployed a while ago I would allow my self "Tuesday's til the water ran cold" to complain and cry.

Well this week I am allowing Wednesday's blog to be my Hurry Up and Wait Blog.

I have wasted my day hitting send and receive on my email and then check in my junk folders..just in case the documents we need to file our I600 are there, they weren't.
We went to Charleston yesterday to get our fingerprints re-done.. it's b een a year since we tried to bring Philip and Whitney home, it seems SO much longer! I think I had a thought in my head that getting the fingerprints re-done would mean today I'd see progress, maybe even documents. I have to remind myself that progress is being made even if I don't see it. So while I'm dumping my expectations, once again, at the side road of my time line I'll add.. visas and passports by April.. oh.. maybe I should add, boys home with us when we return  to that pile as well. Let me add a Holy Spirit flame to burn up these plans I have made for me..again.. and I'm back on track..waiting patiently,perfecting my faith, trusting!

While I am in the mode of confession of my impatience let me tell you that I have taken breaks from hammering my send and receive button today. Yes I've walked outside to look down the road about 30 times just in case the UPS van is arriving. I'm expecting a camera in the mail and I can hardly stand the wait! What a great way to get some exercise in as well.

I've given up waiting for Caroline to stop shouting, for Rocket to start sleeping and for the dishes or laundry to get done with out my saying so.. but I am back on the training train.. or did I just never get off? Seems like I have been teaching children to lower their voices for..well..for ever!

OK.. well I'm off.. looks like I need to check the drive way one more time.. or hit send and receive...
or.. OK Ok I hear you!! May be a nice cup of tea and a sit on the swing!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two weeks today!!!

Two weeks today I'll be in Haiti, holding tight to Wadley and loving on Peter. I can hardly stand the wait!!! I've been learning French and Creole and learning all about digital photography so I can actually get some decent, in focus, meaningful shots this time round. I love my point and shoot but had I known that it was going to be the last memories we were to have of Jesley I'd have paid better attention to the quality of each shot... and probably not have slept all week so I could have watched him every last second... sometimes it's a good thing we don't know the future and just live here, in the moment.

I have been surfing everyones facebook accounts looking for Creche pictures. Seeking that familiar face and the chubby, kissable new one. I'm looking forward to getting to know children who have become special to my heart since I returned because their Mothers have become "online" friends. Fellow adoptive moms who pray for each other and hold each others children close when we go.

Meanwhile on the home front, Miss C emptied the kitchen trash all by herself tonight and is currently helping big brother B dry all the dishes. Big brother B is being kind and considerate and letting her dry all the plastic ones!

My Sisiter in law and cousin in law and my amazing nephew and nieces arrive on Friday.. something else to look forward to!

AND.. despite a short set back mid year.. it looks like we are going to finish school on time! I was pushing for June but as we move in May I'm thinking end of April? I might be over estimating our desire to put away the books, but everyone is pulling out the stops and plowing through the remaining chapters.

The sun is out and friends come to visit in the afternoons so we can swing, watch our children play and catch up on friendly chatter.

Life is good and we are living each day in the moment, looking to the future, learning from the past, enjoying the now.


Monday, March 28, 2011

For Melanie

BBBBBb... science

This has happened before. It will happen again. It feels like this apect of parenting will never, ever end!!
You know what I'm talking about... yes.that's right... Teaching Phonics to four year olds! every time I get to this stage of parenting I am tempted..just slightly.. to give it the.. "She'll read when she is ready" approach. Or maybe follow the "you don't have to teach a child you have to learn from the child" approach. I wonder if it is too late to switch to a hands off education approach.. until say.. 21?...Years!

Not likely! Miss C arrives bright and early this afternoon to let me know it is time for her to learn her letters. We go through the ones she knows and get to B (we weren't in alphabetical order).

C "BbBbBb hmmm what this letter start with?"
Me "You mean what starts with tis letter?"
C "Yes..what this letter start with?"
Me " Well, what is Emma reading?"
C" OHHHHHH... BbBbBb science!"

As Tim Hawkins likes to say.. the woman in the corner talking to herself is my homeschool mama having a parent teacher conference!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

De-Cluttering my Time

Part 1: Decluttering..Getting rid of my age in stuff... made it to 21.. think I must be trying to tell myself something :0)

Part 2 of my de-cluttering journey.. Time!

I hear it so often, the wonder, question or statement..
                   "I don't know how you do it!"
                   "How do you get it all in?"
                   "I could never do what you do!"

When I hear these statements I truly don't know what to say. Do I answer with..

                   "I KNOW!!! I have no idea how I do it either!!!"..followed with a small panic attack?

                   "Some days I put my left hand in,, the next my right hand in.. , in , out..and shake it all about..I do the okey, cokey and turn about.. that's what it's all about.. OHHHHH...."    

                   " Oh whatever you think I am doing.. I'm not doing it!...btw What SHOULD I be doing?"

Today I am asking myself the first three questions and trying to answer it with practical ideas for a smoothly running household. I need the systems to work so we can: Do IT.. Go to Haiti, come back and move, GET IT ALL IN.. and still have time to do the most important thing.. spend time with family and friends.. and DO WHAT I DO... be a military, homeschooling,adoptive, senior spouse, Mom and retain my sanity while doing "the do!"

I'm going to be adding my progress as comments and would love to hear what strategies YOU employ to not just survive, but thrive.. in your day.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The rhythm of ... a military life!

I just found these writings in an old note book. I thought I'd pop them here. That way I can a) declutter the note book (see previous post) and b) refresh my mind and reassure my soul that I have done this before.. survived and will do so again!
This writing was made just after we had left Germany. We had spent a short year in Germany, had moved to Alabama for ten  months, we would then move to Idaho for two years (of which my husband would deploy for four) we would then head to VA and a few years later.. to SC.. where we are waiting to move to OK in a few short weeks. My daughter is 9, Oklahoma will be her 7th house!

July 2003 Hail and Farewell

Today as I push the kart around the commissary I feel as though I have stepped back in time. Standing at the check out counter with a basket containing a small dishwashig soap, small laundry soap, another salt and pepper shaker,a jar of peanut butter which seems WAY TOO BIG! and the ever faithful bunch of bananas I'm feeling like I'm have de ja veux all over again!

Nothing so extraordinary about my purchases except that I have purchased the same items a short year ago as I arrived in Germany.. we are in TLF..again.. in a weeks time I will buy the exact same items for the TLF in Alabama, ten months after again in a place to be announced.

It did just strike me, as I waited in line to pay, that these few items could (and maybe should) come as standard issue when you arrive at a new station.  But for now I have been hailed and farewelled from Germany entering and exiting the commissary 15 items or less check out line!
As I read this I remembered entering the base here and heading straight for the essential supplies at the commissary here. We had stopped at IHOP for pancakes and coffee (for me) chocolate milk as a special treat for the children. It had been a long car ride and we were all a little weary, Steve was at a scout camp with Jacob and the girls, B and I were heading to set up camp ahead of their arrival.

We enter the commissary, C says.. "my tummy hurts" and before I can do anything, she deposits the entire breakfast and carton of chocolate milk right in the reception area of the commissary.. (infront of the sushi bar to be exact!)  Ummmm CLEAN UP on aisle 1!

The big sisters take her to the bathroom to clean up, I rush round to get the mandatory list (see above) and they meet me by the peanut butter with the baby dressed in a huge T shirt and leggings from a big kid (tied at the corner with a hair band!). I shall never forget THAT experience!!!!

Choosing to bring these items along with us this time and for going the chocolate milk!

Decluttering Muses...

I'm doing well so far. Have only lost it once when a family member decided to go through all the discarded books and started pulling things back out! I am constantly reminded of how many things we have and so.. this blog is my own personal challenge to track how much I can give/throw or consign away between now and the time we go to Haiti.

The great news is that when we come back from Haiti non of our "somethings" will matter anymore... only are "someones":. For that reason alone I am glad we are taking the whole family.

1) I am decluttering "stuff"
2) I am decluttering my time
3) I am decluttering my weight
4) I am decluttering my head

I'll be posting my progress as comments below.. if any one wants to jump on in with one, two or all of the categories I'd love to have you walk with me. .. deadline for end of project: April 8th

Friday, March 25, 2011

Update on Peter and Wadley

Wadley is looking SO GOOD!!!! What a relief.. and dear little Peter trying to sit up like his big brother! This photo brought so much joy but first I had to allow the washing of the grief to pass.
     Wadley's weighing in at 18 pounds and t is 26.5 cm tall, Peter's Weight is 12 pounds and he's 22cm. tall. wadley looks like he might just get up and run away in this photo! In three weeks we will be right there with them, getting to know Peter and reconnecting with Wadley.. we are trying to wait patiently!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oh Dear God,

Oh Dear God how I am missing my baby tonight, how my heart aches to know I can't hold him close and kiss his cheek one more time. How I yearn to watch him demonstrate his prowess of crawling and standing tall on all fours!

Oh Dear God how I long to gaze into his eyes as he sucks his bottle and snorts along, how I wish I could bathe his little body and hear his giggles again.

Oh Dear God how I wish I could take him to the Zoo to get a photo of him and his brother by the animals, to see his face as he discovers your creation and learns the names of your wonders.

My God I am hurting and grieving, I know he is walking with you, holding your hand and being loved by you.

My God I am hurting and grieving, I know there are no tears or sickness where he is now, that he breathes deeply and laughs for pure joy.

My God I am hurting and grieving, I know that my eye has not seen nor my ear heard the wonders that my little one experiences tonight.

Oh Jesus hold me tight, kiss my cheek, hold my gaze, reveal to me your wonder of creation.

Love and heal me; your child, for you have a child who was only mine for a moment. in your arms tonight.

Dear God of Heaven thank-you.

Holy Spirit help me.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting ready to give 50%

We are moving and usually I encourage our whole family to "consider the ant" and give 100%. well that's not going to work this time. This time we have to give about 50%..away! We are going to be downsizing into a significantly smaller house than we have been in for the past 5 years. SO....

Proverbs 6 vs 6 says: Go the ant, you sluggard, conider her ways and be wise.

It goes on to tell how she gathers her food in the winter and stores her harvest.. well I've been doing a good job gathering but if I don't reverse the process we won't be fitting in our "anthill" this winter!

Today I went through our books and will have plenty to consign or give away. Books I have read but won't read again, books I have intended to read but know I'm not going to get round to, books I should read.. well maybe I'll keep a few of those. With about three weeks in the house before the movers arrive I had a crazy idea of trying to read all the books I should have read or could have read! That way I could downsize them guilt free... so I have a stack of about 50 books... I have an inkling I might be over estimating my abilities here!

Proverbs 8 vs 12 tells me that "I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. " or inother words wisdom lives with good judgement and can easily work out when there is a daft idea around!

Each child will be giving up 50% of their room so they can buddy up. With being allowed to live in TWO base houses here we all got a little spoilt. So now Jacob and Benjamin will be back together and the two older girls, the two younger girls and once we bring the boys home they will stay with us in our room for about 6 months while they settle down. While we are hardly going to be cramped we are going to need to be inventive!

Our school room/living room/dinning room will be a little more crowded too, but I'm actually looking forward to having the children all around me again. Here they can spread out, I have enjoyed the peace but missed the constant contact!

There are definite blessings to be being a large family in a large house BUT I think there can be as many gifts of relationship found in sharing and being more accountable to each other for the way we use our space.

And with that being said I'm off to move bookshelves into living areas and give my 50%.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Quote to live by....

Dr Bernard (our orphanage director) has blessed us in many ways! His gentle admonition after Jesley died still sticks in my heart and mind. We were asking about funerals in were we going to bury our little boy? Gently and strongly he replied to my husband "Steve, Jesley is in heaven with Jesus, his body is in the morgue", we got it.. to focus on the human shell was to miss the truth of eternal joy.. it was hard but brought us peace..there was nothing we could do.

On the New LIfe Link Website there are three sentances I have to go back to read and re-read..

It is important with the prospective adoptive parents who adopt directly from NLL. Know that we are doing our very best for your child to be with you as soon as possible. The sooner is better for all parties involved. With the grace of God, we believe that we are doing a good job so far. However, we can improve our service to you if you help us, by limiting your e-mails, and phone calls to us and by controlling your anxiety during the waiting period.

Be still... know that we are doing the best we can... stop clogging up our time with requests for information we can't give you. It is SO HARD to apply this when your brain is spinning with
when's and what if's but it is great advice. Dr Bernard said "God does not always work as fast as we would like.. but He is never late." Another quote to live by!

Mothers,remember that for our relationship with you to stand the test of times, we need to build it on a solid foundation. We need to trust the Lord and trust each other. If you truly believe that the Lord Jesus leads you to adopt from NLL, you will need to prove it by trusting us as God's instrument in the adoption process of your child. We will never knowingly deceive you or neglect your dossier. In the Name of Christ our Lord, and with His grace through the power of the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to do our very best for all of our children and their adoptive families. You are important to us.

When I first read this I vowed to be the model patient mother.. I have failed! Why is it that I think that the mere knowing of the progress of my adoption will make it go any faster? I have to remember that everything has a time and a season and you can't rush one or t'other. As I told a friend the other day "remind me that it is a Trinity not a Quadrity and even if there was a vacancy I would never qualify to fill it!"

And I know without a doubt how keen everyone is to have the children home in loving arms and starting their journey to health, healing and hope.

Three weeks today I will be in Haiti!! I'm trying to cultivate a peaceful calm spirit while I count down the seconds! I can hardly wait to have Wadley in my arms, to feel his heart beat against my chest, to check him over and see for myself he is well and strong! I'm looking forward to meeting Peter and getting to know him and fall in love with him too. I am grieving my Jesley and can't but help but cry thinking that he is not there waiting for us.. while I am peace that he is THERE waiting for us.

I'm taking this day to re-commit my children to their creator, to proclaim my trust in the processes in Haiti and especially in Dr Bernard and his staff. I'm taking a moment to truly, really, give it all up and leave it at the foot of the cross.. again...

Monday, March 21, 2011

From there to here and beyond....

My Grandfather used to say "Oh you can't get there from here" and it would make me laugh! He always said it with a twinkle in his eye and a tease in his throat. I hear that statement often as we navigate the adoption of our children from Haiti.

We fell in love with Haiti and the Haitian people through supporting our friends in Idaho. As they struggled to bring their children home for life saving surgeries, simple surgeries for cleft lips and
palettes but without which their precious babies would have died in Haiti, we learned about the culture, the politics and the challenges of adoption. We started a home study application, but before it was all finished Steve deployed and then we got orders to Virginia.We could not transfer our home study and didn't have the funds to start over.

With a heart for the orphaned and abandoned we asked God to show us how we
should proceed. When my husband came home and told me he'd signed us up to be
foster parents I have to confess my response was less than enthusiastic. I simply could not see how we would manage to handle the disruption and home school at the same time. However the Lord knew what He was doing! I learnt so much from the staff at the DSS office and even more from the children whom entered our home. We loved and prayed and parented and mentored. We wept when our first daughter was allowed to stay in our home and become our forever child. We wept with joy for the gain and also for grief of the loss. We are always keenly aware that for a child to enter our home through adoption they must first leave another. We learnt to be compassionate and loving and thankful.

With a few months left before our second daughters adoption finalization we learned we would be moving South   Carolina. we weighed the options and decided that Steve would go ahead and the family would stay if we needed to. While we were weighing the what's and ifs we got an email from our brother in law. He had recently returned from a trip to Haiti with a team who went regularly to provide help and hands to a ministry in Haiti that worked with orphanages and clinics. While there they had been made aware of two children who needed a family. Did we know of anyone interested in
adopting from Haiti.

My heart leaped when I read the email.. it was crazy to think this could be for us.. but still I couldn't let it go. I sent the email out to several friends who were thinking of adoption but no one responded that they could do it. Then I refreshed my email and saw that my husband had responded.. "Yes, we
are." Well OK.. we still had a home study and background check on file inVA.. we started the process...

We moved to South Carolina and ran into our first hurdle.. no one would take us and work our adoption for us because we would have to get Presidential Dispensation to adopt from Haiti....
we began to petition the necessary agencies to get dispensation.. it seemed that the answer was going to be no.. and then an earthquake hit Haiti. We were frantic, trying to get information of our two children whom we had now fallen in love with and wanted home ASAP! Then we heard we had been given a thumbs up to move forward.. we applied for Humanitarian Parole and were granted it! We
had our home study in hand and needed just one more piece of paper to bring the children home. Dr Bernard agreed to work with us to bring the children home even though these children were in a different orphanage and one that typically did not facilitate adoptions. (We had to get special
permission from the President of the organization to move forward)...

Steve flew to Haiti on 4th July 2010. By that time we had heard that a man claiming to be the children's father had visited the orphanage to check they were OK. We were amazed and
relieved! We had been told the parents had died in the flooding two years prior. No news of the father having visited before had surfaced so we could now get his consent to adopt.. it would be easier in the long run and.. who can be sad that a person survived? Not us.

To cut a long story short, the parents had lied about their death to make
sure that their children could get food. Life is desperate for many, many
families in Haiti, we don't judge them or even fault them for that, what a terrible choice to have
to make! They had been visiting their children secretly and did not want to
give them up for adoption, especially as there would be nothing in it for them.
They chose to leave their children in the orphanage. At the time I thought I
would never be able to take another deep breath again. The air wouldn't suck
into my lungs, the grief of loss hit me hard! I had though at each turn and
each open door that "my will was being done" not realizing that it
ALWAYS "Thy will." Now I can see the blessings of this terrible time,
then I couldn't.. all I could see was the death of the dreams, plans and joys I
had planned for my two children. The death of our relationship.. the death of
hope! Oh me of little faith!

Steve and Dr Bernard returned to the New Life Link Orphanage at Bethel House. Dr Bernard
had moved the children from their destroyed orphanage in Port AU Prince to the
beautiful guest house in the hills. By God's grace not a single child had been
lost when their house collapsed! A missions group had been staying at the house
and Steve had a chance to share the loss of our children with the youth. It was good to see the Lord leading us to accept His will graciously so as to bring glory to Him and to encourage others
to do the same thing in their lives. Our plans are not always God's plans but
God's plans are always perfect for us..even if it hurts! Dr Bernard gently encouraged Steve and I to think of transferring our parole to two other children who were ready for adoption.. who needed homes.. in one of hardest decisions ever we agreed. Steve went to the embassy the next day.. only to be told we could not transfer. The lady he talked to was distressed to hear what had happened to us and even more so to tell us that we would have to start over if we wanted to bring these children home. Two days.. more loss!

After Steve returned from Haiti we thought long and hard about moving forward again. We talked to the children and considered the options. At the end of it all we couldn't deny our love of Haiti and our
call to have a home for children. We emailed Dr Bernard and asked to be considered for adoption, we asked him to allow the two children Steve had met while there to be placed with a family if one should come along before we were ready with our dossier. We could not bear the thought of any child waiting for us and missing a chance at a family. We had no idea if we would be able to be approved again, it seemed so hard the first time. We started over...

IN September our dossier was ready to go, had been through all the checks and balances here and was ready for Haiti. A few weeks later we were blessed with the referral of two beautiful twin boys. Our new sons Wadley and Jesley.

In February 2011 Jacob (my eldest son) and I traveled to meet our children. We spent a blissful week loving and bonding with our children. It was a healing time for me and a gift to us all.

At the beginning of this month.. March.. we heard the terrible news that our little gift Jesley had been called home to Christ. His death stunned our family and the grief is deep and painful. We were
concerned about our remaining son Wadley. Again the Lord comforted us in ways only He can. A friend was there to take a photo of Jesley the day he died.. not know that it was the last photo we would ever have of our precious boy! Another friend was in place a few days later to take a joyful Wadley photo and let us know he was doing as well as he could be.

Again we had to face the painful choice of choosing to be open to more children and said yes to another placement. A week later Wadley became a big brother to Pierre Charles Peter, a two and a half month old bundle of rolly polly joy!

The day Jesley died we heard that we had passed through the social services section of Haiti's
adoption processes. We are currently waiting to hear that Pierre has passed through the same process so we can apply for both their visas and bring them home together.

And we are moving.. to Oklahoma...

We have found a follow up agency and we have traversed the mountains of
agencies and government offices. We have learnt love and loss, have learnt to
allow grief to remain as grief and not become destructive forces of anger and
doubt, we hurt, love and laugh in the same breath, we have learnt to live with
joy and grief side by side.. we are valiantly trying to finish our race knowing
that but for our guide and master Jesus Christ there
is no way we could possibly "get THERE from HERE!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Homeschool Happenings...

We are back from the Homeschool conference in Greenville.. first of all heads up to any one
who ever gets a chance to see Tim Hawkins Live.. GO!! He is hilarious.. be
prepared to be a little offended while you laugh your head off!

I needed the laugh after a day of battling with High School Transcripts and
"post year guilt". (I'm thinking I am not the only homeschool mother
in the universe who gets to the end of a year and wishes she had incorporated
"Architectural bridge building in Greek for kindergarten" into her
curriculum.. I jest but only a little.

I sat and watched several mothers come rushing from a seminar to an
exhibition booth and hurriedly cramming multiple resources into their bags, I
know they think they have just stumbled upon the solution to perfect
homeschooling.. hopefully it will work, if not there will be another seminar
and another exhibitor next year. The scope, resources and choices are mind
boggling.. I decided years ago to chose one and stick to it. I supplement and
provide resources from other folks but I'm done leaping from one solution to
another when the real solution is Just Do It.

I sometimes daydream about being invited to speak at one of these events...
of encouraging mom's and dad's to stick at it, to be consistent and persistent
and not judge others or themselves..but especially not their children, lest
they become prideful and conceited or discouraged. I'd love to be able to share
some of the struggles we have faced as foster parents and adoptive parents and
the lessons we have learned along the way. It would be nice to throw in the
military life we lead and how we have to rethink our strategies sometimes
because we move before the end of a school year, into a State with vastly
different laws and into a job that may or may not require my full time
attention as well as my husbands. Maybe I could encourage folks to look outside
of their school room to their non homeschooling community, to relish the fact
that the neighborhood children love it at their house and the table always has
extra folks at it.. or to encourage them to at least try it.

Would I be able to stick to an hour? Do I need to write a book first so people can rush out and cram it into their bags and lives? How many people would I offend? Could I get away with offence if I was funny and spoke in a really strong British accent?

Fun thoughts and questions which I happily do not need to find an answer for as 1) I am not a published speaker or syndicated author and 2) I'm not likely to be any time soon.. the probabilty of me ever being asked to speak at an event like this is little to none. I certainly do apprecaite the folks who were willing to do so though!

And I did come home with a bunch of books to add to our studies next year or to read... just for fun!

"Masonary for toddlers.. how to pay for and build your own home by first grade".. should be fun, caroline watch out!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wonderful Wadley!

News from Dr Bernard this morning!

Wadley is doing fine, taking his meds and looking good.. all his tests came back NEGATIVE!!!

The relief is huge!! Ironically today has been a very hard day for me in missing Jesley, I think the relief of Wadley being OK has accentuated the fact that Jesley is eternally well but gone from us for this time. I wonder how other people handle the loss of their child over time? I want to keep Jesley always in the conversation.. want people to know that he was and is part of our lives even though he isn't part of our adoption plans..and yet he is!

It's complicated, because you can't really say.. "we are bringing an 8 month and 2 1/2 month old home... these our sons.... we lost our son Jesley......" yet it is all so intricately bound up in our hearts and minds. Giving it up.. leaving it at the cross.. really getting to know what that really means  in a much bigger way.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

After a "Worrisome Wednesday" I woke this morning thanking God for each new day and the priveldge of living it with His hand over me.
I am thankful for each of my children Here, in Haiti and in Heaven.
I am thankful for my Family, Friends and Fellow believers.
I am thankful for Love, Laughter and Lighthearted moments.

I am thankful for all the uplifting and encouraging notes I've recieved.
I am thankful for my fellow military spouses who have wrapped their arms around me and not let me stray.
I am thankful for children who are still eager and open and excited about our adoption journey.
I am thankful for family members who love my children with all their hearts and feel the loss as deeply as we do.
I am thankful for questions asking about our adoption process, and for the wisdom God gives so I can answer honestly without complaint.
I am thankful for each person in Hait who holds my babies.. even for just a moment and fills their lives with love.
I am thankful for the adults in my life her on the base who encourage and support my children in their various endeavours. They speak words of life to them and let them know that they are part of a bigger picture than themselves.
I am thankful for my children who give so sacrificially so their parents can support the families on base.
I am thankful for moments on the swing outside chatting with with my children and watching them play.
I am thankful for pizza and movie nights, for devotion times, for camping trips and homeschool conventions which allow us to do things as a family.
I am thankful for my church, for the faithful preaching, the hands on gift of love, the casserole minisrty that gives more than gives love, peace and comfort to families in crisis (which seems to have been us a lot recently!)
I am thankful for so much more but have to run to a bible study..for which I am very thankful!!!

I'd love to read what you are thankful for... please feel free to leave a comment :0)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wadley update

Dr Bernard emailed to say that Wadley is on medication and is getting blood work today.
We are so thankful for Stephanies update and photo of him yesterday!!!! We are believeing that the Lord has healed him and will continue His good work in him and are also extremely thankful for the love, care and caution Dr Bernard and his staff are showing our prescious son.
Please continue to pray for health and healing.

We will be going to Greenville tomorrow for three days to the HomeSchool Conference there, throughly looking forward to it while wishing I could also be in Haiti this weekend!

I will update from the computer in the hotel as we get information.

Monday, March 14, 2011


“ Arise, cry out in the night, At the beginning of the watches; Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him For the life of your young children, Who faint from hunger at the head of every street.”  Lam 2:19

Tonight I am up praying fervently for the life of not just my child but the lives of all the children in Japan and Haiti. These young lives which have already suffered so much trauma and loss. I am praying for the mighty hand of God to cover them, for the heart of God to be moved in His people to show love and compassion to the widow and the orphans.

I am praying for all those who will see the destruction around us and turn from God instead of TO God.

I am praying for my friend Roger who has turned his heart from his own wife and children and lives according to the desires of his own heart. I am praying for him to be convicted once more, to remember his first love and to turn his heart to home..eternally and temporal.

I am praying for my friend Lori who is moving, her first PCS away from family. For all she has ahead of her adn for the Lord to bless her and Sam as they head on to new pastures.

I am praying for my children who are sleeping to wake with the knowledge that God IS and His love endures for ever.

I am praying.....

Pray Pray Pray

We just recieved this message from Dr. bernard at our orphanage:

Dear Steve and Wendy,

 I want to inform that today this afternoon, the
supervisor of the NLL informed me of a little bump in Wadley 's body in
about the same spot it was on Jestley. We prayed with him and rushed
him immediately to the clinic. They are still at the clinic.

Please, join us in prayers for God's
intervention in a miraculous way for healing.



I emailed him, back and can find no better way to express what is on our hearts so I'll copy and paste here.


We thank God that the lump was seen and for you taking him to
the clinic. We will not fear for we know God has a good plan for Wadley. We
hope that plan means he will come home to us here to be raised for God’s glory.
We leave him in our father’s hands for God is good and that truth never fails.
We are sad and we are concerned for Wadley and for the staff. Our family prays
for loving arms to hold all the orphans, for warm and safe homes for them, for
a family who will teach each child about Jesus and His great mercy and love. We
wanted to be that family for our Jesley but the Lord brought him home to HIS
house, what better place to be! We want to be that family for Wadley and Peter
and we trust God to do what is good for all His children.

Please keep us informed, I know you are worried about us too
because of your great love for your families, do not worry, we are safe in
God’s word, the children pray, our friends pray, we testify to God’s goodness.


Steve and Wendy


Please join us in praying for Wadley's healing. Two weeks ago today Jesley presented his bump.

Our newest blessing!

Born 27th December 2010 and being lovingly cared for in haiti until we can bring him home with his big brother Wadley.

One Week, One day

One week, one day we have lived knowing we will not bring Jesley home.
One week, one day and God is still good, oh so good!
One week, and one day we have grieved wholly before God.
One week, and one day God has heard our cries, God is good, oh SO good!
One week, and one day and my heart is still breaking at the though of not holding my baby again.
One week and eternity God holds me and Jesley and all our family, God is good, Oh SO GOOD!

Thank-you Lord for your love poured down. Thank-you for all your good and perfect gifts. Thank-you for being and knowing and loving us though we were but sinners. Thank-you for sending your Son for us.. for me.. for Jesley.. Thank-you Jesus!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

mum video 007

"Satan is no respecter of grief."

Why is it that we think that once something painful happens that we will have a break from anything else happening? A friend reminded me today that "Satan does not respect your grief" which would be why bad things happen to people... in more than threes.

2 Corrinthinas 12 vs 9 sums up my focus for today..
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Some versions say "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

The web would crash if I took up all the space "boasting about my weaknesses" they are SO MANY! Chocolate being one of the chief offenders ( I know I heard an amen out there somewhere when you read that!) but I can honestly say that I have never felt weaker than I have the past week.. yet I have never felt closer to God and stronger. Again I think how I'd never wish this feeling upon another human being, yet at the same time I am glad for this time to get to know my God better.

So while Satan may be no respecter of grief, my God IS. He is big enough, loving enough, wise enough to know what I need and to provide it at the time I need it.. and He is wise enough to know when waiting for healing means kowing Him more fully and so healing more totally. God is good!


Those who know me know that I "don't do waiting".

Once agan referring to 1 Opinions chapter 2 vs 1 :" I know the plans I have for me".

How thankful I am for the true word which states "11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That's from a true book called the bible and can be found in  Jeremiah 29:11

So today I am reminding myself to remain true to the true word and ,live in the peace that comes with knowing ,God has a big picture view of my eternal life , He has me in the palm of His hand.

So while I wait for assigment notifications, baby referrals, news of my child abroad,  notification of conferences so we can book tickets  to Haiti and what if anyting we are going to get back from our house sale.. I will do so knowing that God is in control and even if it doesn't line up with my idea of what should be.. I know Gos IS and He deserves my whole praise, commitment and acceptance. how else can we stand?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

haiti 098

haiti 096

Joy comes in the morning...

Waking up is the hardest part of my day since Jesley died, I have intense peace followed by intense loss and nothing to do but give it up to the Lord and get up to my day.
Yesterday though one of our NLL friends returned fro a trip to Bethel House (the orphanage where our son lives.) She posted several photos of the children and staff there. So this morning when I awake it was to this photo image in my mind...

What a balm! What an answer to prayer! A friend reminded me that the God who filled the universe before there was light/dark/world as we know it.. is surely big enough to fill the space for Wadley. I am holding on to that thought and thanking God for an answer to prayer and continuing to pray we can get him home soon to fill his spot in our home!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Faithful friends and words of hope and life

While no words can fill the void the death of a child leaves in a family, there is a great deal of comfort gained from knowing that people are caring. We have been truly blessed by the love and support our family, church, friends, community and fellow adoption families have poured out upon us.

Here are just a few of the healing balms that were sent to support us through the storm.

I am SO sorry and sad. What heartache! I will be praying that God gives you comfort, peace, and clear direction. But also I will praise God with you for His sovereignty. We truly are a vapor ---- HE is eternal, constant, unchanging, and our ONLY Hope!

Will will rejoice with the Angels in Heaven as they have embraced your precious son and we are weeping with you and your loss. Please know you are in our prayers. So glad God gave you confirmation you are still on the right path, His path, with the notice of being out of IBESR!

"I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy
instead of sorrow."

There are not words for the loss, but we will praise Him in the storm with you. Peace upon your family and Godspeed on bringing home and comforting W......

Overwhelmed with emotion for you and all of your family
happy you were both able to hold, love on, adore your sweet, sweet heartbroken that it was only for just a moment. "Jesus we
ask you to hold so very close your children tonight, we know that YOU promise us
that YOU know every tear that falls from our eyes. And I can say that I have
found YOU to be faithful even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of
death and with that confidence I pray tonight that YOU will be again faithful to
this family-your children! For their precious child still waiting to come home
and join them may YOU bring him peace, and comfort and understanding beyond his
tiny age. For their children waiting at home for their brothers to arrive be
their comfort, peace and hope tonight. Thank-you that when ALL around us changes
YOU alone are unchanging and in that truth we put ALL our confidence! We trust
YOU, we love YOU, we need YOU. Amen"

These are but a few of the many wonderful posts of blessing and encouragement we received. They are a balm to my heart and a reminder that we don't grieve alone nor do we stand alone when we raise our eyes to heaven and chose to praise Him in the storm.

He gives and takes away.. blessed be the name of the Lord

Last week I posted this to the yahoo group I am part of. These families are also in the process of bringing children home from New Life Link in Haiti. I want to share the post and also some of the responses we have received. God has been faithful and just.

"I pray that as I share this you will be able to join with us in praising our God
who knows the plans HE has for us, plans to bless us and bring us to an eternity
of worship with Him.

Last night we learned that one of our little twins died. He had a lump that
turned into a wound, the NLL staff took him to the pediatrician and were
treating him with medication, but the Lord released him to Himself at 8 pm last

We rejoice in the time we had him as our son, my oldest son and I had a
wonderful week loving him last month. Our family is grieving but we are walking
in the truth that Jesus calls us to worship Him in the valleys and on the
mountain tops. God is good all the time. Pray we will grow deeper in our love
for each other through this.

We also learned today that our dossier came out of IBESR yesterday.. who knew? We
didn't even know it had gone in.

At this point we are re-committing to our belief that God is calling us to have a home for children (rather than wanting us to have a child for our home.. ) and we are trusting Dr. Bernard, as we always have, to make the right choice for our remaining twin .

Please pray for wisdom and for the hard transition we have to make from grief of loss to hope for those God has for us to love. We can never replace Jesley.. he was one adorable bundle of pure love, energy and joy! We can but be faithful to our call to teach and train the children in our home to worship through the storms.

If we are to bring another child home as well we pray for favor in the system and speed. We need our little son home so he can start to heal from his loss."

We have chosen to be open to another child and while this does not take away the grief of loss, it does open a door for joy and hope. Children are a blessing.. in every country, in every way!

Welcome to our home.. a home for a child.

I've started many blogs, note books and diaries over the years. The note books and diaries have gone by the way side as I got frustrated with keeping up. (I AM a former Jones you know.. kind of hard to chase yourself and never catch up.. but I digress..)
I blogged for a while but eventually drifted away from that too, I think I was waiting to grow up to have something really worth publishing.. well I think this journey our family is now on is worth writing about.
It is a journey of mountain tops and valleys, joy so intense your heart leaps and sorrow so deep you have to remember to breath.
This is our journey to be a home for a child....