Friday, March 31, 2017

Embrace the JOURNEY

So often we have a plan, a destination, an end goal. We often strive and long to get to a certain point that we are so focused on the end, but what about everything that happens from that first step until the end. What about everything in between? What about the JOURNEY?
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What about everything that God is bring us through and teaching us about on this JOURNEY....what about all the people that God brings into our lives on this JOURNEY....what about the ways GOD is using our JOURNEY...

I've been on this JOURNEY for a while. Almost 5 years actually. I've struggle through parts of this JOURNEY but I've been filled with more love than I could have ever imagined. There have been days where I have longed for this JOURNEY to be over. But at the same time when I think about this adoption JOURNEY being over, it makes me sad. (Don't get me wrong there is also a huge part of me that is so excited as well!) 

As I reflect back on this JOURNEY and all the lives I have encountered, all the times GOD has been faithful (which has been numerous), all the relationships I've been blessed with, all the things I've learned about myself, and all that GOD is doing--I am thankful for this JOURNEY. I am thankful that GOD has been faithful every step of the way. Thankful that HE is in control of every part of this JOURNEY. 

My life has been forever changed on this adoption JOURNEY, not just because of these two beautiful children but because of this JOURNEY. Because everything that is and will happen from the beginning to the end. 

We all have a JOURNEY. Can I encourage you to EMBRACE that JOURNEY today. Even if it just for today. Embrace the JOURNEY that GOD has called you on whatever yours looks like. 
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Take the time to pause and look at the beauty GOD is creating on this JOURNEY of yours. Because it is there, you just might need to take the time to be present and appreciate it. 


Be blessed today. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Haiti Days...

LAST week was....I guess you could say typical Haiti days....Let me document them for you for your reading pleasure...Long story short....nothing is ever easy and I've never needed so many passport photos in my life!!

Monday: Woke up to a crabby child (the older one) who had no desire to do a few worksheets and be kind...Trying to get ready to go to the US Embassy with another girl so she could try to get some answers for her adoption process, which in turn would be helpful for me. Before I left I tried making crabby child not crabby by hugging him and kissing him and telling him I loved him. He refused to give in. As I walked out the door he quickly came over and gave me a kiss before I left...mom for the win!

Arrive at US Embassy and have to wait outside for about 45 minutes before we could go...might I tell you that I failed to bring my US Passport and thought for sure I wasn't going to be able to get in! I played the "I'm with her card" and thankfully was able to get in with no problems! Whew another win! Once we get inside we were directed to several different places and after sitting for about 2.5 hours waiting they called us to the window. We literally talked for about 5 minutes and that was it. Needless to say after all that we still didn't get very good answers or direction. sigh.

Talked to not crabby anymore child on the phone on our way home. He assured me his worksheets were done and he was playing on the ipad! Great....until I actually get home and find out he lied to me and to the nanny about getting his work done. Fail. :( This momma is now a crabby momma with a crabby child.

Thankful that day ended.

Tuesday: Considering I am still here in Haiti with no passport for Lydia I figured I could start trying to gather paperwork for the adoptions. Win for mom to be on top of it! Lovinsky is doing the ambassadors soccer camp so he is occupied pretty much all day! Thankful for the scholarship so that he could attend (we were really hoping we wouldn't still be here, but we are so were trying to make the best of it!)

So I need a police report...after gathering information about the steps I need to take we started the day! I had to first go and pay for my visit to the police station (yes that is right...pay to go to the police station. I asked if it was payment for the background check and finger prints but he told me nope we needed that paper just so we could enter! Say what! The background check is free but we had to pay about $2.00US to get in. Funny huh! At least its cheap!) So we go to the place up the mountain to pay. By we I mean a friend/driver from school. We couldn't find a parking spot..of course you know people want you to pay them to 'watch' your car. We passed by a few guys who made me a little uneasy, yes I have these fears after a few past experiences I am always on high alert!) So we continue past them after they were telling us to park there. Instead we go a little further away sort of down by this little ravine. As I get out of the car there these guys are walking towards us! UGH really. They were talking smack but we kept walking. Needless to say I wasn't walking back down there to get to the car! ;)

Inside things actually went smoothly...I had to stand in line to tell them what I wanted....to get a piece of paper to go stand in another line to pay....to go stand in another area for my name to be called to pick up my paper so I could go to the police station. While standing in line to pay I told the guy with me, why don't you go get the car and I'll pay. ;) He insisted he would stay. After a little bit I told him again he could go get that car and I could do it, we were crunched for time because we were told we had to get to the police station before noon. Thankfully he finally did!

When all was said and done he was just parked right around the corner when I walked out! I told him I was glad he was so close because those guys scared me!

Off to the police station...it's about 11:15 now...I told him maybe we should just go tomorrow because we probably wouldn't have time to get there before noon. He assured me we could make it all the way down the mountain and close to the airport before noon! EEK! We took bumpy back roads and were cruising! I think that was the first time in a long time I started to feel a little car sick in the car! But what do you know we made it! Only to be told we needed more than just the piece of paper! UGH! Of course! Thankfully the guy we were talking to was very kind and helpful. I needed 2 passport photos (Can I just tell you I have never needed so many passport photos in my life!!! I feel like I need them for everything here!!) A letter of employment, a document stating why I need the background check (for the adoption) and copies of my passport and Haiti residency and of course the paper we paid for.

So I came back to school and talked with the financial lady and asked her if she could please write me a letter of employment for my background check. Well she was done working at noon so it would have to wait until tomorrow.

Thankful to come home and have sometime to relax...

Soccer camp was done at 2:00 and right after Lovinsky took a quick shower and the 3 of us and our driver were off to the doctor for check ups for both kids, a medical certificate for Lovinsky and to get labs done. All of which are needed for the adoption!

We waited for about 25 minutes for the doctor. Appointments were quick and easy. Then we had to go to the lab to get blood drawn and give urine and stool samples! Lovinsky was brave as could be, he didn't have a choice it was only me and I was trying to tend to Lydia so I told him he had to be brave! He did great! Next I went, I wanted to make sure that after Lydia went that we could get out of there ASAP! When she did mine she got it easily and then something happened and it got jabbed in further and then she took it out and blood was streaming down my arm. All this while trying to hold Lydia in lap and keep her from trying to touch it! Oh Lord help us!! Then poor Lydia, oh I felt so bad for her! Then the lady hands me a cup and says ok I need her urine. What!? How in the world am I going to get her to pee in this cup right now! We take the cup plus the two other for stool samples pay our bill and finally are headed home. Sweet Lydia was fast asleep after the trauma!
Brave little man!!

Keep my arm like this was the only
thing that helped!
That night my arm was killing me! And we had to somehow get a urine sample from a baby!! So we stripped down had the cup ready and waited and watched and gave her lots of water to drink. Of course we got distracted and she started peeing! So we waited some more (this is something we are getting a lot of practice at these days!) Finally after about 20 minutes with my hand full of pee we had the sample! And lets just say we got the stool samples eventually from both kids as well! ;) haha

Thankful to end this day with the ever so great Full House episodes!

Wednesday: We have to go back to the police station. The letter hadn't been written yet and she said it would be another 30 minutes. So trying to make the best of our time we ran back up to the lab to drop off the samples. Quick and easy until I'm getting of the car and look in the bag and see that it's all wet! Sigh. I pretended I didn't know and walked in with the bag in hand and told the lady I had the samples. She told me just set them on the counter and I walked out...hoping there was still enough in there for them to get what they need! So I guess it was somewhat of a successful trip.

When we got back to school she was just finishing up with the letter. I grabbed all the other paperwork and we headed out. We had to drop someone else off at a store to get some stuff so of course he was flying down all the back roads again! We made it to the police station and went and talked to the guy that had helped us before. He took me to another guy and told me that my driver couldn't come with me! So here I am little ol me trying to do this! It was basically a small pavilion outside with many people sitting in benches outside of the pavilion and others sitting inside with one officer at a table. I went to the officer and the guy explained what I needed and then gave me a piece of paper I had to go fill out. Of course I didn't have a pen so I had to ask one of the guys sitting there to borrow his. Um...I can't read French. The top part was easy enough...then I was stumped so I had to go over to officer and ask ever so sweetly if he could help. He soon figured out that I was American and when I tried writing what he was spelling for we all the vowels were mixed up. I said please just write it for me! haha Thank you Mr. Officer for helping me. Then he told me I had to go the office building and ask for a guy, who's name I couldn't understand--I asked him twice to repeat it! He said go to the 2nd door. So there I went passing all those people sitting and waiting, part of me felt guilty but most of me was like thank you Jesus!! I walked in and there was a long line of people. I had no idea what I was doing...I saw the 2nd door and I mumbled something like is this where I'm supposed to go and then some guy came and said no back here. I guess he meant 'after' the second door.

This guy was taking peoples weight and height. He told me to sit down on the chair. I seriously wanted to gag from the smell of the mans feet that was being weighted. Then he told me to take off my shoes and step on. I was instantly grossed out at having to stand on the scale and tried to put my feet as far off to the side as possible! Thankfully I had little socks on but still! He then looked at my paper and said you need the addresses of your references you better call them. Of course I still had no pen so I had to ask another lady to borrow her pen and thankfully I was able to get the addresses I needed. So there I stood in this little hallway behind several other people waiting to enter a single room to get their fingerprints taken. Once the line started to go down they would bring in another line of people who had been siting outside, I felt guilty then as they all walked past me. At least they guy taking the measurements was funny and kept things comical. As the one group was coming in he said, "Lets go everyone walk with your feet." "Everyone keep walking walk to the back you can do it keep on going." He had all the people in line chuckling.
Another lucky customer getting ready!

Finally I got to the front of the line, that was thankfully away from all the stinky feet. I got in there and they guy looked at my picture and said it's not good. I said what do you mean. I tried playing dumb hoping that he would just let it go. He said the background is not good. It's not white enough. You need new pictures. WHAT?! Seriously are you kidding me!! He told me go outside across the street and you can take new ones and then come back. So we ventured down the road a little bit to a little outdoor photo station. I'm not sure those pictures were any better than the ones I had but whatever! As I walked back in one of the police officers from the little shacked yelled out to me and said Hey you came back! Yep sir I sure did! This is the same officer who was picking on me when we first came and made me try to explain why I was there even though he already knew...he just wanted to hear my horrible creole speaking skills! I told him he already knew and he was just being mean to me and walked away! ;)


The fancy passport photo shop! ;)

I walked back into the building with my "new and improved" passport pictures and I stood right by that door so that when it opened I'd just walk right it! I'm sure all the people in line were mad at me again! Thankfully I got in right away. I sat in the chair while the lady sitting in front of the computer continued to text on her phone. I sat there a minute or two and then she finally started entering my information into the computer. Then stopped and wrote a text and then continued on...thankful that was it...Supposedly I am to return next Thursday to pick up the letter. Lets hope that is pretty uneventful!

Thursday: 
 And this is what my arm looks like today.... :\


For about the last 9 days our house has been getting a little renovation...so our lives have been all over the place...eating lots of peanut butter sandwiches and noodles. Maybe this will make us appreciate MN all that much more once we finally get there!

Thursday we spent our entire day working to bring all of our items that were upstairs back downstairs and clean and try to get settled back in!! It was an exhausting day! 

And somewhere in the midst of all this this little one has grown up way to fast!! Crawling all around and being as cute as can be!!


FRIDAY: PASSPORT DAY!!! Yay on Friday we finally received Lydia's passport!! Wow it was such a blessing and such a great way to end the week!!

So while Lovinsky was at soccer camp I worked hard to get everything set up to schedule a visa appointment for her!!

First I had to go online and fill out the form...easy enough except that I had to start over after it logged me out after waiting too much time for me to upload an acceptable picture of her. UGH!

Finally got it done....then I had to go to a "sogexpress" like a little minnie bank to pay for it. THIS WAS A TASK!!! First one we went to I realized I didn't have the write paper, but they also didn't have a "signal" and couldn't process it for me anyways.

I went home got the write sheet of paper and off we went... WE WENT TO 6...YES 6 different places before we found one that could process it for us!

Now I had to wait until my receipt number was in the system before I could schedule an appointment....

SATURDAY: Woke up bright and early and checked my account and my reciept number had been entered....Thankfully there was an appointment opening on TUESDAY!!! So TUESDAY the 28th we have LYDIA'S VISA APPOINTMENT!!

We finshed the day with the last day of Lovinsky's soccer camp and thankfully went to some friends house to swim and hangout.

SUNDAY: Of course the cold that I had been fighting off finally struck me! I was miserable but I had to try to finish up organizing the house and getting papers ready for Lydia's appointment.

Thankful for a restful Sunday and an early bedtime for all!!

Let's just say that I am beyond thankful that not all my weeks look like that and that I was actually able to get something accomplished! There is never a dull moment around here!! :)

PLEASE BE IN PRAY FOR LYDIA'S VISA APPOINTMENT ON TUESDAY THE 28TH!!! PRAYING WE CAN ALL GO TO MN TOGETHER!!! GOD IS GOOD!!! 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

UPDATE...waiting..perseverance...love..sacrifice...family

I haven’t shared much lately and maybe that’s because I have felt that all I have been doing is “waiting” 

Brief update: About 3 months ago we submitted paperwork to get Lydia’s passport so that we could apply for a visa and hopefully be granted a visitors visa so all three of us could come to MN this summer….that hope is not dead but it’s a waiting game. I can’t tell you the number of times I was told ‘it should be done tomorrow’ ‘I think we can get it on Wednesday’ ‘Its in verification. It’s almost done’ With every statement I had my hopes up. Hopes that this would be the time. This would be the moment we would have it in hand and can move to the next step. 

This week I found out that her passport had been in the adoption verification process. The problem with that it shouldn’t be in the adoption verification process!! There is no adoption file there for it to be verified with! I am almost positive that this is where her passport has been siting for the last several months. This is not an adoption case, this is a guardianship case and she just needs a Haitian passport and thats it. I was frustrated but also relieved to think that ok maybe this will create movement and we can move forward. I’m holding onto that HOPE that we will get it soon!! Praying that it will be in our hands with in the next week! Will you pray that with us please!! 

After we get the passport we will have to try to get a visa appointment at the US embassy. Please pray that there is an opening right away and we don’t have to wait a long time. Finally pray that she is granted a visitors visa like her big brother so that we can all travel together to MN!! 

That basically sums up the last 3 months of this process with her paperwork…waiting waiting waiting...

So what are we learning here…waiting is hard, in a family we have to make sacrifices for each other, but in the end HIS timing is perfect. 

We have had a few struggles this summer, as doing a summer in Haiti brings on it’s own challenges. Also our bathroom is being redone because of mold, which is a good thing but it has created a crazy week with trying to live in two places and one thats a disaster. We are making the best of it and just thankful for the national workers who are still here on campus helping us out and keeping us company! Once summer hits almost all of the teachers at QCS head out for the summer. So with having limited transportation and the cost of it we are trying to keep ourselves entertained. Overall it has been pretty good. Thankful for other friends who are still here and having playdates to keep us all sane! 

Haiti is difficult place right now. Lots of instability which takes my insecurities and fear to a whole new level which makes me want to take a break and get refreshed with family and friends even more! But I have to BE brave and know that God is going to take care of us and try not to let my mind get the best of me in the dead of night! 


On the bright side we got to have a great visit with Marie! She isn't feel that well lately and has been in a lot of pain from a growth in her mouth so it was blessing to be able to spend time with her! 






We've enjoyed hanging outside with all the staff and eating green mangos! :) 


We enjoyed a day at the pool! 

A trip to the mountains! 

And getting lots of stuff done for Anchored in Hope...planning for Christmas already and coming up with new designs! 


Enjoyed our time with sweet friends before they left. 



Went to a fun restaurant with friends that has a fun climbing wall for the kids! 
Lovinsky surprising loved it and did great!! It's those long arms and legs! ;) 
Who wants to take us to Vertical Endeavors when we finally make it to MN!! 


Lydia gained a love for dogs...


Where are we now….

Perseverance and love…thats whats keeping me going on this journey. The other day while lamenting about all that was going on a dear friend of mine said, ‘your perseverance and love is incredible’ I needed to hear those words. 

It’s LOVE. It’s PERSEVERANCE. It’s SACRIFICE. It’s FAMILY. 

Would you continue to pray for us on this journey and that we would all be able to make the trip to MN this summer TOGETHER!! 


So here we are...hand in hand...FAMILY...WAITING on God's perfect timing....





Monday, March 28, 2016

Grandmas are the best!!

A month has passed so I guess it's time to blog about it. :) 

As a single momma of two kiddos, blogging as become a low priority. ;) 

I can't believe it's already been a month since Grandma (AKA "Gran Joy" to Lov.-thats the nickname he gave her because she's always so happy--He's so right! ). 

All I can say is 1 week is NOT long enough!! 

His smile pretty much sums up how happy we all were to have her here!!

Dr. Seuss week at school so she got to hangout in the classroom reading Dr. Seuss books. ;) 
The kids kept asking her when she was coming back to read to them!!




This was the BEST gift she brought down for little miss!!! 
It is her absolute favorite!! She is really start to cruse now!!




Grandma got lots of exercise while she was her! ;) 
She's actually quite competitive...there was no 
"I'm gonna let you win." 
Go hard or go home! :) 


I mean seriously right!??! Grandma and little missy watching big brother play soccer!


The one adventure she wanted to go while she was here was to visit the elderly in Titanyen that she has met in past...I think we have the same heart. :) 
This little jokester!
What a great treat to run into him at Grace Village!!
 Miss him and his spunky self! 

Taking in all the beauty...




And of course....MARIE!!!!! 
oh this woman!!

    


This picture makes my heart happy!!
We even facetimed with my dad and sister!! ;) 



A stop at the mass grave site...always so sobering. 


Grandma even made it to horseback riding!! 
He was so excited to have her come and watch!!


Even little missy made it on the horse!! 


Then a nice relaxing afternoon at the Clay Cafe! 



THIS. 
The kitchen was Grandma's most visited place! 
Cooking dinners--which Lov noted that she is a much better cook than I am.
I must say I agree! 
A freezer full of meals for us and LOTS of BABY FOOD!! 
Simply Amazing!! 

haha :) The food was a hit! 

nights together...makes me sad now writing this blog a month later. 
come back!


This sums it all up. 

We are truly blessed with an absolutely amazing "Gran Joy"
The days flew by, but every moment of her visit was such a blessing and joy. 
A little girl always needs her momma! 
I only hope I can be as amazing for my little girl someday. (I doubt it but maybe) ;) 

Thank you mom for everything!!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxo