Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Her daddy is nesting

Her bed is made.

Her dresser is filled.

Jackets and snow pants and pretty dresses hang in her closet.

Little pink slippers that say 'Love'.

Her very first stuffed animal.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *  

Jason is nesting.  This weekend he decided it was time.  She needs a bed.  And she needs a dresser.

I came home from work Monday night to a very excited Henry.  He couldn't wait to show me what he and his dad did.  The dresser is ready.

That evening her bed got put together.  As Henry was helping his daddy read directions and assemble the bed, he quietly walked out of the room.  When he came back, he placed this by her bed.

His toy saw.  And the little chair.  We bought this chair in PAP while at the Heartline Guesthouse.  It reminds us of the chairs they have at COTP.  It sits on our dining room table.  A reminder that we have a little person waiting on us.  Depending on us.

As soon as it was assembled, Henry insisted we make her bed.  He shared his pillow.  It's got a pink pillowcase on it now.  He climbed her bed in and slept there last night

It's hard to describe my emotions.  I'm nervous.  Should we have waited?  Our paperwork has been there almost 9 months.  It's been long enough.  But is it too soon?

My beautiful friend encouraged me to fill the dresser.  Little shoes, jammies, more pants than she'll ever wear.  Adorable little sweaters.

Will they fit?

What will I be taking out before she gets home?

Will she get to wear any of it?

We continue to wait.  We continue to pray.  We continue to have hope.

We wait for news.

Henry will keep her bed warm until she gets home.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The experience

I'm not sure why, but I haven't wanted to tell the story of this trip.  We did so much in the 5 days we were gone I'm having trouble remembering things.

I got maybe a total of 6 hours of sleep during the entire trip.  I stressed over the details of the flights, fretted when we didn't get picked up at the airport in CAP, and nearly had a panic attack as I felt I was suffocating in the middle of the only night we slept at COTP.  Jason, on the other hand, had a great 'vacation'.  He loved all the flights, the tour of PAP, trying new foods, and just the adventure of it all.

Our time at COTP wasn't nearly long enough.  We were covered in kids as soon as they woke up from naps on Saturday.  It was beautiful to see Jason's arms always filled with kids.  Three kids in particular didn't want him to put them down.  One little guy, who was recovering from surgery, was an absolute love bug.  He wrapped his arms around Jason and snuggled into his chest.

The little girl didn't want much to do with us at first.  She's full of spunk and personality.  And she only does what she wants to do when she wants to do it.  She's exactly like her big brother.  She has the sweetest giggle and most beautiful smile.  But as soon as she sees a camera come out, she loses the smile and turns her head.  Again, exactly like her big brother.

Sunday afternoon we traveled to PAP.  It was pouring rain when we left.  We were given a broken umbrella and ran to the plane, laughing as we jumped in the puddles.  The wind was whipping, and I said a lot of prayers about our quick flight.

While rain is cleansing and healing and puddles are fun, my heart was raining as much as the skies.  I met her.  I held her and kissed her and made her laugh.  She fell asleep in my arms.

I don't want to leave her.

At 6:15 on Monday morning we were picked up for our appointment at the US Embassy.  We waited outside until 8:00 before being called in.  To a waiting room.  With about a hundred people.  Where we waited even more.  The process was emotional for a variety of reasons.  Not having all the required paperwork, having left the little girl behind, not knowing what to expect.

At one point we had to raise our right hands and swear to the truthfulness of the answers we were about to provide during an interview.  The question that got me: "Do you feel you bonded with her?"  How do you answer that?  I started to cry.  My response: "I want to bring her home right now."

I must have said, "Thank you Jesus" about 20 times on the trip.  From seeing Nick's face to the Embassy having our I-171H printed to landing in Miami.  The trip was a series of short prayers that were continually answered.

We are blessed beyond measure that we can be on this journey to bring our little girl home.  We are blessed that we were called and have the resources to do it.  We are blessed that we had the chance to meet her.


I'm not patient and I'm not a saint and I'm not a wonderful person.  Right now I'm sad and bitter and cynical.  This process started 18 months ago.  Our paperwork has been in Haiti for nearly 9 months.

I'm tired.

I'm tired of the process.  I'm tired of errors.  I'm sick and tired of the unexpected and the extra money and the non-stop flow of additional paperwork.

To answer the #1 question we've heard since we got back, we have absolutely no idea when she'll be home.  There's no timeframe.  No details.  No general idea.  I will apologize right now if I'm rude to you when you ask that question.  (Unless you're my sister or Amy S or Mary or another adopting mom - then I won't lose it for some reason.)

I suspect this is what most parents go through after they've met, fallen in love with, and had to leave their child.

In all of this, the emotions, the impatience, and the ugly...I trust.  Our God is bigger than a broken process.  He is with her and all 147 million orphans every single day.  They are not forgotten.  They are not unloved.  They have a father who loves them greater than I can ever comprehend.

And because of that, I can sleep at night and trust that - one day - she's going to be home.

This says it all.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Do not be afraid

I'll be the first to admit that I had fears before our trip to Haiti.  I knew everything was going to be fine, but the irrational Karen thought of every single thing that could go wrong.  Six Seven flights, leaving our kids for the first time, places we've never been, depending on others.  It was enough to make me sick to my stomach.

On the flight down I read a book called Kisses from Katie.  While my sweet friend Kara thought it was the wasn't the best choice (she was kinda right - I was crying on the plane) it ended up being the best thing I could have read.  Here's an excerpt:

"Jesus called His followers to be a lot of things, but I have yet to find where He warned us to be safe.  We are not called to be safe, we are simply promised that when we are in danger, God is right there with us.  And there is no better place to be than in His hands."

I can't tell you how many times people said, "Be safe" before I left.  Yes.  I had fears about many things.  But our God is bigger than my fears.

The following scripture kept going on in my head: "From everyone who has been given much much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much will be asked."  Luke 12:48

Much was asked of us.  We were asked to leave the comforts of our home and our daily lives to travel to an unknown.  We were asked to work hard to bring a little girl home to be part of our family.  We were asked to shake up a lot of our world to make it all happen.

From everyone who has been given much...

From Katie's book:

"The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children.  And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians.

The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.

This is the truth.  I have the freedom to believe it.  The freedom, the opportunity to do something about it.  The truth is that He loves these children just as much as He loves me and now that I know, I am responsible."

On Saturday and Sunday we spent the day with a few of those children that He loves dearly.  We got to meet a little girl for the first time.  A little girl full of spunk and attitude and the greatest hugs a mother could ask for.  One who I can already tell will be sassy and big trouble when she's finally home with her brother.  One who I was in love with before I ever met her and I cry now thinking about leaving her.

This is a long journey to bringing her home.  It's filled with challenges and unknowns and a few times I've wanted to vomit my guts out.  But He has called us to fight for her.  To fight for these children.

The least of these.

God never said it was going to be easy.  But He did say He'd be by our side the entire time.

I have felt Him with us this entire trip.