Monday, November 26, 2012

The Not-So-Skinny on our Adoption Update

Just an update here...a "not-so-skinny" on our adoption process for those following along.  A "skinny" means I'm just going to give you the concise details/facts without a lot of unnecessary details.  For those who have been following this blog or know me well you will immediately recognize this as a challenge for me--I'm just a wordy girl--so, alas, this is the "not-so-skinny"!  Anyway, on with the details...

We got an email from our orphanage director last night saying our Adoption Decree is being prepared now and she hopes to have it next week to prepare it for MOI!  This is awesome news!  The Adoption Decree is the tail end of Parquet Court (where our paperwork is currently).  This decree, on paper, legally makes Nora Josephine officially Nora Josephine Thieszen!  Yep, it means on paper she will legally be ours, however, there are still many things that need to happen before we will get to bring our girl home.  It will still feel wonderful to know this major step has been accomplished.  The preparing of our paperwork for MOI is a series of 4 different legalizations/signatures from 4 different departments verifying other signatures on our paperwork.  This stage is supposed to take 1-2 months.  Each signature should only take a week to receive, but each department only signs the papers on specific days of the week so if our paperwork gets dropped off on a Wednesday and they only sign on Tuesdays then it will sit until the following Tuesday.  If that happens at each place the 4 weeks turns into 8 pretty easily.  Please pray for our paperwork to get to each department on the perfect day to move us through in 4 weeks!

After those legalizations are complete we move into MOI (Ministry of Interior).  This part of the process is a very tedious check over all of the paperwork in order to issue the child's passport.  If the paperwork has no errors, this part should be only a month long at most.  If the paperwork has mistakes, however, it can be a very long and daunting task to get them corrected.  For example, if there is a spelling mistake in the second sentence, they will just stop reading the paperwork at that point and send it back saying it needs to be corrected.  Once that spelling error is corrected, it would go back to them at MOI and they would continue reading.  If they find another mistake in the third sentence then back again it goes to the lawyer for more corrections.  Our paperwork would go on and on with the back and forth dance until it is all correct.  So, obviously, in this stage we are praying for all of our paperwork to be error-free so we can move through this stage quickly.

After MOI, our passports will be printed.  We hope our passport time frame will be similar to the others of our orphanage, which is just a few days, but others adopting from other orphanages seem to be getting stuck in passports for much longer so, again, another area where we will pray God can issue that passport in just a few days.  With a passport in hand, all of the paperwork can be presented to the US Embassy to complete our visa application.  From what we have heard, this ending visa stage could be around another month of time.  When the visa is complete we can head down to pick Nora up and bring her home!

So, if all goes well in each of the following stages, we could potentially have Nora home in February/March!  However, with everything in Haiti, there is always potential for delays, changes, mistakes, etc.  We continually try to be realistic in our own thoughts for time frames--we humanly estimate more of a late spring/early summer homecoming.  God, however, is completely ABLE to bring Nora home as soon as miraculously possible so we will allow Him to be the one to truly decide the homecoming time frame.  Both of Micah and my birthdays are in March and I can't think of a better birthday gift this year than to have my little girl in my arms in Goshen, Indiana!

So friends, we covet your prayers this week for our paperwork to be finished up in Parquet court and for our Adoption Decree to be printed so we can move forward into legalizations.  The following week we want to also ask for prayers specifically on Wednesday, December 5th.  This is the date of the birth parent interview at the US Embassy.  Nora's birth mom, Adrienne, has to go before the Embassy to give them her own "okay" for Nora to become our daughter.  This sounds easy enough, but from what we have heard, this interview feels more like an interrogation than a pleasant meeting.  Please pray first of all that Adrienne will show up for the interview and for her to remain calm and simply answer the questions they have for her well.  Pray for the Embassy worker to not be harsh on Adrienne for her desire to see Nora have a "better life" than what she feels she could have offered her personally.  Pray that the interview would ultimately be a success and our visa paperwork would continue on in the process uninterrupted.

Thankfully, our director also sent this in her email last night: "I just talked to Adrienne as I was reading your e-mail. She will come December 5 for the interview. She was telling me that her phone doesn't work properly, so she has to put her sim in another phone when she has to call somebody. Thank God it was the right time I called her."  Another testimony that God is in control here, friends, and He desires for Nora to get through this process even more than we do!  I'm praising Him today for making things as simple as phone calls to go through at the exact right time!

As always, thank you all for your prayers.  Keep them coming over the next few weeks for these important steps we need to get through.  I will update everyone as we know more--perhaps a more "skinny" version of an update...perhaps not-ha!  Blessings!

P.S.  We had also gotten an update a few days ago about Nora.  She was only a few days away from taking her first steps on her very own so this could have easily have happened over the weekend.  This is a thrilling event for her as well as us.  She was walking well with our hands while we were there so knowing her progression is happening as it should comforts us in the wait.  I can't wait to be able to see that walk again with my own eyes!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Lincoln"--More Than Just a Movie Review

Micah and I took our date night this past weekend to head to the movies.  This does not happen often.  The timing of our regular babysitting group has to line up just right with a showtime in order for us to make it to those comfy reclining seats, but this time it worked out perfectly so we bought our tickets and headed into a packed theater.  Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" was the movie of choice.  I saw the preview for the movie one time and for whatever reason (a.k.a. God) felt a strong urge to go see it.  I am a visual learner in general, so give me a bit of history on a movie screen and I knew I would come to understand that moment in the books much better than I had understood it before.  I sat hand in hand with my man in a dark room surrounded by many others as I not only watched history come to life, but oh so much more.

If you haven't even heard about the movie, here is the trailer for you to watch...

I can not say enough positive things about this movie.  My movie review would be short and simple: Two thumbs up from this household--go see it!  My extended review that goes beyond the movie itself would be the following:

There is a line spoken in the movie (and in the movie trailer above) that stirs the emotions of my soul.  President Abraham Lincoln, remarking about the importance of the ratification of the 13th Amendment (to abolish slavery) says, "This settles the fate for all coming time.  Not only of the millions now in bondage, but of unborn millions to come."  Oh, yes, President Lincoln, oh yes.  As I sat there watching the 13th Amendment being fought over and eventually signed in front of my eyes Saturday night, I wept tears of abundant thanksgiving for this immensely critical moment in the history of our country and world.  Freedom for the black-skinned creations of God.  Freedom, as Lincoln said, for the millions then and for the millions unborn.  Freedom for a daughter I had no idea God would bless me with.  Freedom for our family to include such a precious soul into our hearts and lives.  Freedom for Nora Josephine.  In that moment on December 6, 1865--almost 147 years ago--my life, my personal life, was changed by a room full of men I will never meet nor get to thank personally.  I just wept in the theater as I thanked my God for each of them.  I thanked God for President Lincoln's deep conviction and desire to see all men and women, regardless of the color of their skin, equal.  I thanked God for bringing Nora into our lives to make moments of our country's history mean something more powerful than it ever did previously.  I thanked Him for this thread of history touching our lives in such a rich and meaningful way.

No, Nora, is not an African American.  She is not a descendent of an American slave family who would have been released from their chains of bondage because of what President Lincoln did.  However, she is still a descendent of a slave family in Haiti.  The Africans were shipped to Haiti as slaves just the same as they were shipped to the shores of North America.  They were abused just the same.  They were killed just the same.  They had their own slave revolt and fought for their freedom (and won!).  There was much blood shed on the ground of Haiti for Nora's rights as a human being just as there was blood shed on the ground of the United States of America.  Because of both histories and better yet, because of both countries' heroes, we are grateful. This moment of the 13th Amendment in American history, as well as the account of the Haitian Slave Revolt, has changed our lives forever and made possible the adoption of a beautiful black-skinned child of the Most High God to our white-skinned family.

Tears of thankfulness and joy, deep appreciation for victorious freedom, and the blessing of having our lives touched by the was so much more than just a movie on a Saturday night for me.  It was so much more than just a two thumbs up.  It was the work of God in our history being seen as a work of God on the big screen that touched the work of God in my own left an impact to my core.  I can not help but encourage others to go see the movie and allow that one defining moment in our country's history to also impact your current day-to-day life in a more intimate way.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Italy, Cancun, and Sauder Village...10 Years and Counting!


What would you say if you could sum up marriage in one word?  Perhaps it would be "challenging".  Maybe "amazing".  Possibly "stretching".  Then there is always "love", "sacrifice", "compromise", "happiness", "grace", "hard", "hilarious", "brokenness", "commitment" and an infinite list of others.  I'm going to go so bold as to say the word I've been mulling over in my head for my own marriage.  It's..."perfect".  I know, I know, no marriage is "perfect" and nothing aside from Christ alone can be perfect this side of Heaven, but let me explain why I'm choosing this word.

No, I don't think everything about my marriage is perfect.  I am not perfect.  Micah is not perfect.  The events in our day-to-day life are not perfect.  Our actions and reactions towards each other are not perfect.  But what is perfect is the fact that a perfect God brought us two crazy, incomplete, holy, loved, broken, and valuable people together to go through life beside.  God's plan of pulling us together was and still is certainly perfect after 10+ years of being together and that is what makes my marriage perfect...everything else involved NEEDS His perfection infused daily to keep it all together.

November 30th is fast approaching and Micah and I will celebrate 10 years of being united under the vows of marriage.  10 years of learning, growing, shedding tears--of joy as well as sadness.  10 years of building each other up and, unfortunately, at times bringing each other down.  10 years of bringing out each others' strengths as well as weaknesses to work on.  10 years of sharing accomplished dreams and our worst nightmares.  10 years of imperfect people living with a perfect Lord guiding us along the journey = 10 years of marriage perfection.

When we first got married we naively said we would take our dream trip to Italy for our 10 year anniversary.  Ha!  10 years seemed like such a long time off...we would have plenty of time to save up the money and then whisk ourselves away to a romantic time together amongst the beauty and richness of Italy.  Then came the purchase of our dog, a change in career choices for Micah that meant more schooling, a move from Friedenswald to Goshen, a career change for me, a hospitalized kidney infection for me, the birth of our first child, the purchase of our first house, a totaled vehicle and purchase of our new-to-us van, the birth of our second child, emergency heart surgery on that second child, gall bladder surgery on me, the birth of our third child, preschool for our first child, a medical mission trip to Haiti, the sale of our first home and purchase of our second one, the need for a second vehicle (a.k.a. piece of crap), too much maintenance on that piece of crap second vehicle, and then the sale of that vehicle and purchase of a different and better new-to-us second vehicle.  Whew!  Italy wasn't looking too realistic come year 8 of marriage.

So, Italy got put on the back burner.  We narrowed down our focus to a more realistic choice...Cancun.  Yes!  Cancun it would be.  A week of luxury and alone time for me and my man along the shores of the beautiful ocean.  Ahhhh.....  Then came the decision to answer God's call to adopt, the expenses to see that adoption actually happen and preschool for our second child.  Hmm....Cancun???  Well, as much as we still wish it would be a reality, it just isn't.  Without knowing the length of the rest of Nora's adoption we can't risk spending that extra saved money on a week in luxury.  So, just as Italy got put on the back burner, Cancun also got put on the other back burner, but that doesn't mean Micah and I will not get to celebrate our anniversary in a special way.

Thanks to my parent's willingness to watch their adorably cute grandkids for an overnight, Micah and I will get to spend a night at the Heritage Inn on the grounds of Sauder's Village in Archbold, Ohio.  Yep, Sauder's Village...the place I went to as a kid for a field trip-ha!  No, it's not the romance of Italy or the warm climate of Cancun, but it will still be a time for just the two of us to spend together.  Maybe we'll spend our time reflecting back on our 10 years of a perfect marriage of two imperfect people.  Maybe we'll take a walk around the grounds of the village.  Maybe we'll...well, sleep.  No matter what we do, we will enjoy every single second of that quality time away together.  The reality of marriage is not that two lives get whisked away to enjoy each other every second of every day with no regard to the world around them.  It's more like two lives coming together and living those lives as one life instead--a life full of busy, hectic, wonderful, crazy moments.  It's a life that comes with many, many things that change the course of a planned future....a life that changes trips from Italy, to Cancun, to Sauder's Village.

Is that changed future any less exciting, romantic, blessed, or free?  Not really.  Maybe the vacations and breaks are not as long and not as far away, but the tradeoff is priceless.  I would NEVER trade in Micah becoming a nurse using his God-given talents to help cancer patients who desperately need his sense of humor and care for a trip to Cancun or even a trip to Italy.  I would never trade in any of my 4 precious children.  I would never trade in the memories made in our two homes.  I would never trade in the health of my family.  I would never trade in the journey of adoption.  I would never trade in 10 years of a perfect marriage guided by a perfect God for what we assume would be the "perfect" anniversary get-a-way.  The life we have lived over the past 10 years as a married team is far too amazing...far too beyond my dreams.  I'll gladly take my overnight to Sauder's Village instead.

I am blessed.  I was blessed before I met Micah.  I am blessed to have met and married Micah.  I am blessed to have the life I live.  I am blessed to be celebrating our 10 year anniversary with an overnight at a local inn.  I am even more blessed because a God who loves me, cares for me, and lives with me each and every moment of my life has made it all perfect for me.

10 years and counting, Babe.  I love you so very much.  I respect you more and more and more each day we are together.  You have enriched my life by simply being you.  Thank you, Micah!  We have so many more years together--eventually we'll get to Cancun and to Italy, I just know it.  Here's to 10 years and to making the movies jealous...

(Sorry about the quality of some of those earlier photos in the video...they are photos taken of photos in my early scrapbooks.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Trip Worth Taking

Let me apologize first of all for not getting this post out sooner...our time in Haiti went by super fast with little to no time to be on the computer and since I've been home, life has continued on without a blink by celebrating Quinn's 3rd birthday (Blues Clues cupcake cake and lots of fun presents) and having Toby's annual heart appointment (no changes from last year so cleared for another year-Praise God!)  I am finally able to sit down today and share about our trip through words, photos, and videos...whew!

I think it may be best to tell about my trip through the answers to the prayer requests I asked before we left and then to fill in little extras here and there.  God certainly went before us, was there with us, and will continue on this journey with us here and with Nora there.  I was continually amazed at the ways I saw God move on our behalf.

Request #1 was: Tropical Storm Sandy, which then turned into Hurricane Sandy.  I asked for you to pray for the weather to be calm enough for our flights to continue on as scheduled.
  • Answer: Everything went through completely fine.  Haiti had seen 4 days of straight wind, rain, and cooler temps until we arrived on Saturday.  All was warm and sunny while we were there and we never saw a drop of rain.  The effects of the storm were still evident as we did not have electricity, internet, or phone for the first two days there and the dry riverbed we had to cross to get to church was not so dry anymore, but instead had ruts of rushing water going through it.  We were thankful to have come down when we did and not a day sooner!
Request #2 was: To have my sis-in-law's flights to be running on schedule since she was with American Airlines.
  • Answer: She had no delays and arrived safely in Haiti one hour before we did just as planned.
Request #3 was: Travel sickness to not happen.
  • Answer: Well our first flight from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale was the roughest turbulence I have ever been in.  I had taken only 1/2 of my pill and regretted that decision.  I felt horrible, but managed to get through it all without actually getting sick so that was a praise.  For all other flights and even for the two days of driving the crazy Haiti roads I took full doses of medicine and felt GREAT through it all with little to no sleepiness--Yay!!!
Request#4 was: Layovers of flights
  • Answer: Our overnight layover went as smooth as it could.  We had 5 hours of sleep in a hotel room and I still think those 5 hours of rest were definitely needed before heading on over to meet Nora.  I was feeling pretty gross at that point so getting some sleep helped.  Lily did fabulous despite the fewer hours of sleep--she was rather excited to see her first palm tree instead!  Our 8 1/2 hour in airport layover on our return trip turned into 9 1/2 hours because of the need to use a different plane.  The time went surprising quick, however, and we enjoyed our moments together watching movies, working on photos, and playing some games.
Request #5 was: Haitian Airport
  • Answer: Couldn't have gone smoother!  Rachel and Judi were able to come back through security to help us with luggage and Lily was able to walk with her hand in Aunt Judi's the whole way to the car so I was relaxed and enjoyed those first moments in the sunshine of Haiti.  The crowds were also not nearly as bad as the last time we flew into PAP so I'm sure that helped!
Request #6 was: Our US Embassy appointment and our Parquet Court appointments to be swift in the wait, all the paperwork would be correct, and questions would be answered.
  • Answer: WOW.  The forecasted 4-6 hour waits at both appointments were never seen.  Our US Embassy appointment was under 2 hours and our Parquet Court appointment was 1!!!  Praise the Lord!  The buildings that were supposedly freezing cold were completely fine and the building that was supposedly incredibly hot felt like it had pleasant air conditioning-ha!  It was amazing to get in and out of those places in the times we did.  We literally were stuck in traffic for 2 hours each day getting to the appointments so having them go faster than the drive it took to get there was wonderful.  After being called up very quickly at the Embassy appointment, I was told there were a few sections on the paperwork that still needed to be filled out by our director and she hadn't done that yet.  I was fearful we would be waiting forever since we didn't have it all together when they originally called us up, but was thankful the wait until she called us again was only another 1/2 hour.  Whew. The next day when we went to Parquet, we were running pretty late (not getting there until 11 a.m.), but when we arrived we found out the Dean had not even been there yet that day so if we had been there first thing in the morning like the original plan we would have just been waiting for hours.  What an answer to prayer!  The Dean ended up being so busy when he arrived, the assistant simply took my passport back to him and he signed off on our paperwork without even seeing me face to face...I'll take it!
Request #7 was: Sleeping arrangements.
  • Answer: It all worked out beautifully.  Lily and I shared a double bed the first two nights while Judi had a bunk bed (upper bunk unfortunately, but it was a good mattress at least).  Our beds unfortunately didn't have mosquito nets, however, and Lily got eaten up the second night.  The following two nights, however, we were able to switch into another smaller bedroom where we each had a bottom bunk under mosquito nets so that was even better.  The team of 17 who were helping at the MTM clinic and also staying at the guest house with us were all very nice and fun to be around.  I am forever grateful for the entertainment they provided for Lily especially.  When they left half way through our trip she was a bit lost on what to do since their domino games were not as frequent-hee, hee!  It was nice to have a little of both "worlds" on the trip--lots of people to socialize with at the beginning of the trip and a night to ourselves at the end.
Request #8 was: Time with Nora and for the bonding between Nora and Lily to go well.
  • Answer: It was REALLY good to be there for 5 full days.  I won't lie--the first 2 days were pretty overwhelming for me.  Between my organized personality not having anything organized, trying to care for Lily and make sure my sister-in-law was doing fine (which she always was), being tired and not feeling the best from traveling, trying to even find a cleared off space on my bed to sit down on, and then having my little girl given to me with no instructions and not enough supplies for the day (a bag with 2 diapers, an extra change of clothes, and a sippy cup)...well, let's just say I was overwhelmed.  I had no idea how much she ate, what she was even able to eat, or how much she slept during the day.  I also thankfully had packed a bottle, formula, and many more diapers since those were not included in the daily bag.  Oye.  It definitely took a few days to figure out how to even best care for her--I felt much like I did bringing home my first baby from the hospital, but it was just a 1 year old baby instead of a newborn!  Those first days are overwhelming for any new mom.
  • Nora was also overwhelmed in those first two days.  She would smile at us every once in a while, but her two fingers were in her mouth quite a bit.  She always used her fingers in her mouth on the last trip to fall asleep--a comfort suck--but now that she is older, she also uses this as a comfort when she is uncomfortable, scared, or uneasy.  We saw them more in her mouth in the first two days than the last 3 for sure.  As we spent time with her she warmed up to us and began to understand we were safe people to be around, fun to play with, and loved her very much.  With each day she became more animated, more smiley, and MUCH more loud with her words!  She was always happy and content, but definitely vocal--it was so nice to hear her say her favorite words of the week "Daddy!", "Huh???", and "Mama".  The last day together we even went to a few public places and I found her clinging to my shirt when strangers came near her...that is a GREAT sign of bonding.  She knew I was safe and who she could cling to and for those moments, I was so grateful to have had 5 days with her to get her to that point.
  • As far as Lily bonding with Nora...yes, they are definitely sisters!  They had fun coloring, shaking maracas, loving on Lily's kitty stuffed animal, eating snacks, and building towers with the blocks we brought down for her.  When it came time to say good-bye, Lily was all smiles and hugs to Nora in her car seat, but once she was gone, oh did the tears come.  We were able to share in those moments of sadness together through our tears.  As I assured her it was completely fine to be crying because it was definitely a very sad thing to be leaving Nora behind, I heard her say through tears, "Mom, I wish you would have never brought me to Haiti."  I asked her why she said that and she answered, "So I would have never had to say goodbye to Nora."  Oh my heart.  It was a moment of such heartache on one hand and such blessing on the other because it was clear as day to me that Lily indeed bonded as a sister.  We talked for a few moments about all the good things we experienced on our trip and that if Lily had not come at all she never would have met Nora yet and that would have made Lily just as sad.  We talked about how the best thing about this trip was that it was the last one we would ever have to make where we had to leave Nora behind in Haiti.  After several more minutes of being alone upstairs where Judi and I could hear Lily crying, she came back downstairs ready for a few last games of dominoes before bedtime.  Leaving Nora behind was a hard moment for all of us, but one I feel was still a wonderful moment in Lily's life.  It was a moment where she realized just how much she loved Nora and wanted to be with her forever.  It was a moment I treasured as a mom as well.
Request #9 was: For our cameras to all be working well so we could get as many photos and videos as possible.
  • Answer: Well, we had over 700 photos and 37 short videos to begin with-Ha!  That was before I could sort through the photos and delete off a lot of blurry ones and such.  We ended with 448 photos and still 37 short videos!  So, yes, this prayer request was answered for sure.  There is a slideshow at the end of this post to enjoy the highlights from the trip (don't worry, it doesn't have all 448 photos-ha!).  Following that are a few of my favorite video clips of our sweet Nora.  I hope you enjoy watching our little girl in action.
A few other tidbits:
  • I got to shake hands with one of Haiti's past presidents, Baby Doc, while Rachel drove us towards one of the best little pastry shops in PAP.  It was so random and crazy and cool!  I wish I would have had my camera more ready, but the fact his face was so close to mine (right outside the window of my side of the car) it wouldn't have turned out very well anyway.  I'll take the handshake instead...I can't even say I've ever shook the hand of a past president in the US!
  • I had the BEST drink--a cherry drink at a restaurant Rachel took us to.  I don't like cherries at all, but this was wonderful and tasted nothing like US cherries...I could have had that drink every day.
  • Our trip to MTM's church was super exciting and totally crazy as we bumped our way down washed out pathways and across the river with raging waters in a truck and a 4-wheel Ranger.  We got stuck for a little while trying to get up the steep roadway on the other side of the mountain.  We have some pictures of the truck going over the middle of the riverbed, but they definitely do not do justice to what the ride was actually like.  Lily's quote once we were back to the guest house after church was, "Mom, I don't EVER want to do that again!!!!"
  • Lily enjoyed seeing goats, chickens, and cows randomly on the roadways.
  • Lily also was amazed at the way everyone carried such amazingly heavy things on their heads.  She attempted to carry her stuffed animal the same way in the airport on our return trip home.
  • I was so incredibly blessed to have Judi on this trip with me.  She was an amazing helper with the girls and just a joy to be around.
  • Skype is one of the best inventions.  Micah and the boys (and my mom) were able to get a few chances to interact with Nora this way...what a blessing!  When we closed the computer after the last time, Nora looked at me with her big eyes and said "Daddy?!?" and waved her little hand.  So sweet!
  • We were unfortunately not able to get a hold of Nora's birth mom while we were down there so I am hoping she will be able to see us off on our next trip.  I have great respect for her and desire to know so much more about her before we bring Nora home.
  • One of my favorite memories on the trip will be hearing Lily whisper to me in the airport waiting to board the plane for PAP.  She seemed quite surprised despite my efforts to enlighten her earlier that almost the entire crowd of people getting ready to board the plane had black skin.  I told her again that yes, we would be more of the minority once we were in Haiti because Haitians are (generally speaking) black skinned people.  I think this concept, although known from the beginning, did not become truly known until she had a visual for it.  It is my hope and dream to see each of my children break out of their normal little box of life and experience the many cultures and beautiful people God has blessed the face of the world with.  What made this moment even more special was seeing a note Lily wrote on her dry erase notebook during our church service at MTM just 2 days later.  There is a photo of it in the slideshow, but it said "I love blak pople" (translation: "I love black people").  I love that God can help change a shy, whispering girl into one who proudly writes her heart on a note for all to see in a matter of 2 days.  Praise God for that!
  • Please continue to pray for our process to continue on swiftly.  The average time frame until we would bring Nora home is another 6-9 months.  It could be longer or it could be shorter as well, so, as I have from the very beginning, I am praying for it to be as fast as miraculously possible.
In conclusion, this trip to Haiti very much reflected our adoption journey as a was hard and sweet at the same time.  It was definitely a trip worth taking...this adoption journey is also definitely a trip worth taking.  Thank you again for praying, friends.  We were never meant to go through this journey without you!