Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Late Present

Woohooo!!! We received a great belated Christmas present. Our file has cleared Parquet and is now with the Ministry of the Interior! There is a pinprick of light at the end of this tunnel.

We also received a new picture of Nathan. Starting to wonder if he is part chipmunk.....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Christmas

We had a great Christmas at our house.

Brent's family came over for Christmas lunch. I don't know if you know this, but amongst Brent's list of vast talents is "goodness - this man knows how to prepare meat!" He makes up these fabulous recipes and they're always awesome.

He was so excited about the holiday that he went a bit overboard on the turkey. He bought 3 of those turkey breasts from Costco and marinated them over night. It was a flavor extravaganza! He made raspberry chipotle turkey. He made citrus pepper turkey. He made Tuscan herb and pinenuts turkey.

Did I mention that he only has 2 siblings and that there are only 6 grandkids on that side of the family. There was a lot of food but I think everyone had a good time.

We ordered a new couch about 6 weeks ago. They told us it would be here by mid-December, which should have made it in plenty of time for both of our family parties. Yeah... still not here, but everyone made due on both sides. Maybe by next year we'll have adequate room and adequate seating.

As we were cleaning up last night after everyone had left Brent said, "THIS is why I wanted this house." It has room for everyone to be happy and together and play and not be right on top of everyone.

And, I'm so happy to say that my niece got out the sleeping bags and tested out the staircase. I was pretty sure they'd be awesome for sliding down and it turns out I was right.

I love the staircase in this house. I have dreams regularly of Jessica and Nathan playing on these stairs. Please, Heavenly Father.... please let us get Jessica back and get them both home soon.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Welcome to the Family!

In all our craziness last week, I neglected to announce my beautiful niece is here. She looks a lot like her lovely mother and a bit like my awesome brother.

I got the news that Lilly Elizabeth was born about 36 hours after we got the news about Miss Jess leaving us. I turned my car right around and went right to the hospital. Who needs to be to work on time when you can have reminders like this sweet angel that life is good and God is great and families are forever??

Welcome to the family, Miss Lilly Elizabeth. We're so excited to have you with us!

Can you imagine the jet lag these brand new little ones have?? What is the deal with all this cold and light? THIS was not in the brochure...

Lilly Elizabeth and her mommy and daddy - Paige and Brian
Is it just me or does that look like curly red hair???
Congratulations to Brian and Paige. We're so thrilled for you. (You did good yet again, B! You seem to have very good taste in women! ;) )

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Think of You Whenever Life Gets Me Down...

These have been on the site before, but I thought I'd share them again in the interest of keeping thoughts and prayers in her direction. These are from our trip in Feb of 2009.

Playing Bongos on Papa's Bald Head:

Mama Turns to Goo:

I love the way she starts singing and clapping when she sees her Papa at the end of this one...

THIS is who Jess thinks of when she wonders where her Papa is.

Please keep praying that she'll be ours again soon

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hopalong Jess...

Here's another video to keep Jess on everyone's mind...

Thank you for your prayers. We still haven't had any further word but hope springs eternal.

Suzanne's girls loved this video. I posted it last Feb after our trip. Suzanne had just brought her girls HOME.... FINALLY

She said they loved watching it

I still get a kick out of watching her discover how this cool tube works. She's never had something like this. She's just experimenting with putting things in it and making her voice echo and shaking it all up...

And her sweet little "Didida" as she tries to say her name.

The "Ma-MM" at the end with that little face just cracks me up.

Oh, how we love this little girl!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Daughter Has a Drinking Problem...

Still no more news on Jess. I assure you I'll update as soon as we hear anything.

I thought I'd give you some pictures to keep happy thoughts of our sweet Miss on your mind.

First off, Jess may possibly have a drinking problem:

Then, we took down these collapsible bins to keep all the toys in while we were there. It took Jess about 5 seconds to figure out that they also doubled as "gunny sacks" and that you could stand in them and hop and it would move with you.

Please keep Miss Jess in your prayers.

We hope your families have a good holiday season.

Friday, December 18, 2009

If We Invested in Funeral Homes, They'd Find a Cure for Death...

If I didn't know me, I'd think I was making up my own life. Seriously... how do these things keep happening to us?

On Tuesday we got word that Jessica's birth father had come to the orphanage and taken her back.

Anyone besides me having horrible, terrible flashbacks to the other times this has happened to us. We lost Lexi and Nathan in February of 2008. We lost Malot in October of 2008. Not to mention Asnica before we started Haiti.

We've had a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad few days.

As far as we know, Jessica's birth father hasn't had contact with her for at least a year and a half. She's not even 3 yet, so that's a very large portion of her life.

HE isn't the one that Jessica thinks of when she wants to know where her Papa is. He's not her Papa.

Today we got word that our contacts in Haiti have found someone from the area where Jessica's father lives and that they are working to get her back. The information we do have is positive as it appears that he does want to bring her back but has some issues he is working through. I don't have much more detail beyond that, but we're trying to have hope.

After all, we got Nathan back in October of 2008. Stranger things have definitely happened.

Please keep our Jessica and our little family in your prayers.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thoughts and Prayers Needed

Please keep our Jessica and our little family in your thoughts and prayers. We need some miracles.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Giving

People have asked me what they can do to help things in Haiti or with our orphanage or make a difference in general.

I'll throw out two options from our experience with two non-profits that work in Haiti. Contributions to either are tax deductible as well.

First, there is a non-profit organization that supports the orphanage where our children live. Both the orphanage and the non-profit are called "Hope for Little Angels of Haiti". There are no administrative expenses with this non-profit so 100% of the donation goes directly to supporting the orphanage by paying for the facility, the workers, food for the children, etc.

The website is being redone with the help of some nice designers and developers who are donating their expertise.

You can find that on Facebook here:

and become a Facebook Fan here:

Another organization that we believe in is The only way to break the cycle in Haiti is with education. You need to teach people that there are options... that there is another way to live and interact with the world.

HaitianRoots helps the children of Haiti get an education by matching individual children to sponsors. It costs $250 a year to send a child in Haiti to school. That is an astronomical figure for most families in Haiti. Here in America... come on... who hasn't something like that during a trip to Costco!

We know the people who run this non-profit and know that they also use their funds for the children and we know they work very hard at what they do. They are making a difference, one child at a time.

Brent and I have personal experience with HaitianRoots. We support a little boy named Mackenson through them. This is him
Our measly $250 sends him to school for a year. He's learning English and math and he's getting information to help him see how to make his world better.

This last trip, we brought a few little things down for Makenson, hoping he and his family would be able to come to the hotel to meet us while we were there.

It turned out Makenson was sick, but his father made the trip alone. He wanted to thank us for helping his little boy get an education. This is Brent and me with Makenson's dad.
There are so many wonderful people in Haiti. Good people who want the best for their children. They just don't have the means to help them even get an education.

You can choose to make a difference - even if it's a dollar at a time.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Who Knew It Worked With Orphans as Well

I've seen people get their dogs or cats to chase a laser light, but we really had no idea that the kids would be so fascinated by it. Jess and Collin where very serious about trying to squash that thing....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Love How She Sings This

Guess even the 2 1/2 year olds pick up a few things from the teacher at the orphanage....

Etsy Store on Hiatus

Hi, All, if you have a link to the Etsy store, we've put it in Vacation Mode.

We haven't had a lot of traffic for a bit and so we'll try it again in the spring.

We were able to raise over $2000 through that store for the orphanage. We need to send our special thanks to Darlene Hexum, who created countless cards and crafts for the store, and to Grandma Rosenlof, who made so the many beautiful baby blankets. You both inspire me. Thank you for your time to create such goodies for our babies.

Everything on that store was donated by someone somewhere who cares about our babies. We thank you for your love for them even before they're home with us.

If you have a link to the Etsy store on your blog, you'll want to take it down. Thank you for your help to make people aware of Haiti.

If you'd like to add the PayPal button (see right) to your blog, you can leave me a comment with your email address and I'll send you the info.

Donations to that go directly to the orphanage - 100% of it. Plus, Hope for Little Angels of Haiti is a non-profit organization so you'll get a receipt for tax purposes for any donation over $50.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Idea for a Family Discussion About Gratitude During this Christmas Season

I had a random thought this morning (I know... shocker coming from me).

You're probably all familiar with the rubber wristbands that Lance Armstrong made popular a few years ago. The non-profit organization that supports our children's orphanage recently ordered a bunch of these. They say "Hope4LittleAngelsofHaiti" which is the name of our orphanage.

At this Christmas season, the list of what we think we need just grows and grows, right? I was thinking that it might make an interesting family discussion to tell your kids/family about Haiti and the kids there. You all have a connection to Haiti (like it or not) though me and my kids, so you can honestly tell them about your friends who live in a 3 room house with 68 other children and sleep on a tile floor because they don't have a bed. You can tell them that they only get to eat twice a day and that every meal is rice and beans.

You're welcome to use any pictures or stories on my blog for this discussion.

Another family who is adopting from our orphanage took their teenaged old son down with them on this trip and he made this video for a school project. It explains the problems in Haiti and I think he did a good job. You might find that your families would be interested in it. I don't think K will mind that I'm sharing it with you all. (Great job, again, K. You astound me with your talents at your age.)

ANYWAY, if you think your children would listen to this type of discussion, you could order those rubber wristbands for them to use to remember what they have. They come in lime green and light blue and you can order them for $1 by emailing your address and how many you want to They'll get them shipped to you.

If what our kids are going through can help your kids see how awesome their families are then maybe we all win, right?

Merry Christmas!