2 1/2

We leave for Haiti in 2 1/2 days and I am filled with emotion. Our plane leaves Nashville at 6:00 am. on the 30th and we land in Port au Prince at 3:55 EST. I don’t know how long it will take us to go through customs then be taken to the orphanage, but I think by 6:30 pm we should be meeting our 2 1/2 year old little boy. Just typing that leaves a lump in my throat. I will be so thankful to give him a hug, look into his eyes, love on him. ❤
I’ve been packed for at least 2 weeks. I keep adding little things to the suitcases that I think the children will enjoy. I’ve checked the weather, tried to check the political climate there, double checked my tickets. There is nothing left to do but wait until Sunday.

I read a blog post a few days ago by someone describing their experiences on a mission trip to Haiti.  I can’t seem to get her final words out of my mind:

The vast disparity between where we lived in Haiti for a week and no matter where we live in the United States is difficult to comprehend. It wakes up a part of your being that rarely gets stirred and leaves you stuck between two worlds.

That’s really how I feel.  I can’t wait to get there and meet my little boy, of course.  But I also can’t wait to get back to that simple world and feel the Caribbean breezes, see the Haitian smiles and, believe it or not, even to feel the humidity that causes me to never stop sweating.  There is something in my heart that keeps pulling me to Haiti.

2 1/2 more days!

Empowered to Connect

Joey and I are lucky enough to be attending a conference called Empowered to Connect.  I say lucky because Dr. Karen Purvis, founder of said conference, has devoted her life to developing research-based interventions for at-risk children.  We sat and listened to her most of the day yesterday and learned so much, it went by too quickly.  I know Joey was thinking he would go the first day (to make me happy) and then maybe skip out on the 2nd day, but even he enjoyed it and is looking forward to going back again today :0

I think most of my family/friends believe that my expectations are that we will bring Bo home from the orphanage and he will fit in to our home and lives effortlessly and we will all live happily ever after.  That’s not really what I think.  I’ve read books, spent hours and hours researching the internet, met with social workers, read more books, followed multiple blogs by moms who have adopted children from hard places.  I know about the risks and challenges that face adoptive parents. God is blessing us with the opportunity to be parents to another precious child and I am humbled that He would choose us.  (It’s not because we were unbelievably wonderfully perfect parents the first time around and those of you that know us personally would, I’m sure, agree!)  So, I want to go into this thing well prepared, ready for the unique and sometimes uncomfortable situations I know we will face.  So, bring on the conferences, books, blogs…I can’t seem to get enough of them.

Laura

Only 15 days til we meet Bo! Whoop Whoop

the next 20 days

What a week it has been  🙂    Thank you so much to everyone who watched our video on Give1Save1caribbean this week.  I feel like our story is a bit different and I pray that it brought awareness to the  orphan crisis and maybe spoke to another couple who has been thinking about adopting but fears they are too old.  The donations received will help pay for one of our trips to Haiti to visit our son in the orphanage before we are able to bring him home.  If you donated, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.

We will be leaving for Haiti in 20 days to meet our son, Bo (age 2 1/2), for the first time.  I get so many conflicting emotions going on inside when I think about what this experience will be like….excited, happy, joy…I can’t wait to hug him.  I can’t wait to look deep into his eyes and somehow convey to him that I am his mommy and I will fight to bring him home to us as fast as I can.  I want to sit with him, play with him, eat with him, nap with him.  BUT, I also have these fears constantly sneaking into my mind:  What if he doesn’t like us?  What if he is scared of us?  What if he looks at us and thinks “why are everyone else’s new parents young, but my new parents are old?”

Since March I have been living each day listening to and trusting God at every step of this very long adoption process.  God has taught me so much along the way (like, I found out how much God actually talks to you if you are listening 🙂  Over the next 20 days this is what I’m going to focus on:

*I will be listening to God each day…all the way to Haiti.

*I will try so hard not to listen to the “voices in my head” telling me I’m too old.

*I will look forward to the totally unique way that God will bring us together with one of His precious children.

*I will continue to be humbled by God choosing me to be this little boy’s mommy (I still can’t believe He would choose me )

*I will pray that, to my very special little boy, I look like the mommy he has longed for.

If you have already had this experience of meeting your adopted child for the first time, please share your experience..the good, the bad, and the ugly 🙂

Haiti’s Orphan Crisis

Facts on Haiti………. Haiti has the highest percentage of orphans of any country in the Western Hemisphere (430,000 before the 2010 earthquake). 1 in 7 children die before the age of 5. 1 in 5 are born with a disability. 25-40% of children under 5 suffer from malnutrition. …

Life expectancy is 50 for men and 53 for women. 80% live under the poverty line. Average annual income is $480. Only 53% can read and write.

The Facts on Today’s Orphan Crisis

Throughout the world tragedy separates parents from children leaving the broken lives of little ones who need caring people to intervene and change their paths. How bad is it? Here are some facts to keep you informed. Fact: Nearly 150 million children across the world are orphans. …

Fact: Every 2 seconds, another orphan dies from malnutrition.
Fact: 87.6 million orphans live in Asia. 43.4 million Orphans live in Sub-Saharan Africa. 12.4 million orphans live in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Fact: 6,000 children are orphaned by AIDS every day. That is a newly orphaned child every 14 seconds.
Fact: Around the globe, 15,200,000 children have been orphaned by the AIDS crisis. If all these children held hands, they would stretch across the United States. By 2011, this virtual chain will reach around the world. Fact: It is estimated that there will be 400 million orphans by 2015.

Family of the Week

Thankful!  God is faithful to His promises!

This week we are the Family of the Week at Give1Save1Caribbean.  I have been truly touched by the willingness of friends and total strangers to donate to our adoption.  It’s humbling.  I sat at work this morning and saw some more people given and I almost broke out in tears right in front of students.  They already think I’m crazy and that would have confirmed it for them.  But I am really, really grateful.

If you haven’t seen our video yet, head on over to the Give1Save1Caribbean site and check it out.  Thank you to everyone for your support.

Laura

Our Big Surprise

(taken from our Facebook pages this morning)

BIG NEWS!!!!      We are adopting…
At the beginning of this year our thoughts were about getting our youngest daughter married and then transitioning to the next phase of life…saving hard for retirement!  But through a series of events we felt God was leading us to adopt a little boy from Haiti. So we started the process in April and we now know who our son will be!   International adoption is quite expensive and so we are trying to raise additional funds this week to help cover some of the traveling expenses as we hope to travel to Haiti 5 or 6 times over the next 18 months to visit Bo before bringing him home. Our first visit will be at the end of this month. Our adoption story is being featured this week at Give1Save1.  I hope you will take a minute to check it out and if you would like to be a part of our story we would be so grateful. The concept of Give1Save1 is if everyone gave just one dollar it would make a big difference to help adopting families with their expenses. You can give whatever amount you would like. They feature a new family each week. We hope you will help us get the word out and share our story on your Facebook page as well. We will post updates during the week. Thanks for your consideration and help.