Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Blog

Here is the link to our new blog. I had forgotten all the time it takes to get one together, so it will be a work in progress :) Thanks for stopping by ! Estep Express

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Long Time, No Post

I love to wear moms glasses !

It's been awhile, but we are still here ! Life never seemed to uncrazy after the New Year. We are doing well, just living life. An update on Vania... At her annual doctors appointment they said she has grown 6 inches and gained eleven pounds in a year. The doctor was quite impressed and even took her out to remeasure her to make sure the nurse was right :) That's what 3 meals a day,exercise and a loving family will do for ya. She said the sweetest thing on the couch the other day. We were talking about how big she was getting & then she asked " But why am I getting so big ? " and I said " Because you are eating good and exercising... " And she interjects " Doing my flips! " ( translation , gymnastics ). ". " Yes", I agreed. " She was quiet for a second and then said "You take care of me. ", Very seriously.
And my heart melted For sure :)

We have had our civil surgeon appointment and really need to get on the ball finishing the paperwork for citizenship. But, it'll get done. We have filed our taxes attaching a w-7 and just got word back that they need an adoption decree and receipts from the adoption process in order to receive the adoption tax credit, which we faxed over Friday.... So sounds like we will not need to get her SSN before we get the credit. PRAISE GOD !

I think I will be starting a new blog. More of a family blog now that our adoption process is coming to an end. It has been a wild ride, but well worth the journey. Thank you to all who have followed. Now, it's time to move forward on our new adventures. This last year has been a blur & I finally feel like we are settled as a family unit. So hopefully you will pop over and check out our adventures. I haven't got it together yet, but when I do I will let you know.

Today, Easter 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What a Year !

Rising Park

Lake Erie

Build A Bear


Feeding Goats , Pumpkin Patch

On the way to Put In Bay


Our beloved Park

Feb 1st, 2010

· Headed for home!

· After two flights, we arrived in Columbus with you and were greeted by your new brothers Zane and Carson and your new sister Zoe – who was jumping up and down when she saw us! They love you so much! A lot of our family was there, and some friends, to witness the moment. Even the local TC news was there to capture the moment! Your new life with your new family begins today. Thank you God. You have truly amazed me.

Love, Poppie

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gotcha Day, 1 Year Ago

January 30th,2010

· We went to the “His House Children’s Home” in Miami today to meet you. We started the paperwork and the worker that reviewed it said we’d have no problem getting you released today. Then we got to see you! You looked good. You had a blister on your hand and a little problem with your earlobe by your piercing. Otherwise, you look perfect. They said you were wild, which doesn’t surprise us, but you were quiet for us at first. You let us hold you and hug you and kiss you. In less than an hour, your true personality came out! Giggling, laughing, talking, eating beef jerky! We were so glad to see you. Then we went back to the office and they finished your paperwork and released you to us!

· Late today, we talked with Chareyl. She told us a little about your circumstances after the earthquake. From what we understand, your Birth Mother came to get you after the earthquake to make sure you were okay. Then she took you into the hills. Eventually, you were located with her. Brent told us that your Birth Mother is beautiful. This doesn’t surprise us because you are too! Chareyl said that your Birth Mother was very concerned about you and wanted to know for sure that you would still be adopted. Your Birth Mother loves you so much that she gave you to us. She wanted a better life for you than she could give you herself. We intend to deliver for her. She gave you the gift of a better life and us the gift of another beautiful daughter. I want you to know that your Birth Mother’s decision was motivated by love, nothing else. We thank God for her and for you. We thank God that he protected you during the earthquake that killed so many people in Haiti and that he gave your Birth Mother some time with you before you came to us. And also that he was able to give her assurance, through Chareyl, that there was still a loving family in the U.S. ready to open their home to you. I pray that we’re able to get a picture and an update to her about how you’re doing soon.

· Now, tonight, you’re sleeping in our hotel room. Unbelievable! The day after tomorrow we take you home. Zane, Zoe and Carson and so many others are so excited to meet you! You talked to them on the phone today. It was funny to hear you say their names!

Love, Poppie

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Unexpected Beauty

A few weeks ago I took Vania to the library. I can't remember if it was rainy or cold ( or both ) but I had her all bundled up from head to toe. Seeing that my hands were full with Vania & a backpack full of books a nice man held the door for us. Once inside I pulled Vania's hood down and put her down to walk. "WHOA!!!! " I heard the man say. "I wasn't expecting that !" Apparently we had just rocked his world by the unveiling of our ebony & ivory relationship. I just had to laugh to myself. This poor guy needed to get out more :)

Adopting a black child was totally something that came unexpected to Adam & I. When we were first looking into international adoption we had considered a few different countries but had decided that adopting a child of black ethnicity would be too hard for us as far as social acceptability goes. What ? I can't even believe we had that thought. But that's how we felt. It took God growing our hearts through many different avenues to realize that God would build our family the way he wanted it & it would be beautiful no matter what the world's opinion was. & it is. And she is. And I love everything about her.

Thank you Dr.Martin Luther King for opening the eyes of a watching world. Thanks to you the world is definitely a more beautiful place :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Rescue Plan

The children, waiting & ready to fly home
(Vania is in the middle with blue stripped dress)

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked Haiti. Many times over Haiti has suffered natural disasters this time bringing the country to her knees. I remember seeing the breaking news on the TV that evening not fully aware of the intensity of the journey that lay ahead. Our daughter along with many other children & people we had met in Haiti were there somewhere in the aftermath and no one had answers for what seemed like an eternity. We clung to every news story we could get our hands on. Prayed and prayed some more. Listening for the phone to ring or an e-mail to pop into our in box. The days were LONG waiting & waiting with a sense of helplessness & desperation being so far away.

For us it was a happy ending . Thanks to Team Hope we were able to eventually fly down to Miami and pick Vania up under Humanitarian parole. A few days later we boarded a plane and flew, home sweet home. And in August we were able to finalize her adoption.

Like everyone else my day was pretty normal yesterday. I went through my busy day with Haiti on my mind but not really pausing to reflect on the day of the earthquake too long. Why? Well, honestly it hurts. Adam & I like so many other families wallowed in days of sorrow & anxiety. Adam actually made a journal entry for Vania every day until we picked her up. He has tried to share it with me since then, but I can't get through the first few entries with out bawling. Those emotions are still lingering even after a year.

Last night my family & I gathered around & watched the documentary "Adopting Haiti " which premiered on Hulu yesterday. It featured a couple orphanages & their plight to get the children evacuated after the quake. I remember seeing a lot of that footage as it unfolded on CNN. But this time it was nice to actually see what was going on behind the brief broadcasts that would appear live on TV. And, we didn't have to wait through a whole flurry of stories to see what was going on with the children.

I went to bed with the documentary fresh in my mind. It was apparent that the ticket out for these children , who were obviously suffering, was that they were in process of being adopted.
That really hit home with me because throughout this whole adoption journey I have really connected more closely with what it means to be an adopted child of God.

This was God's physical RESCUE PLAN. Now , let me make it clear that I am NOT implying that he caused the earthquake as part of his plan. What I am implying is that God being omniscient already knew that an earthquake was going to hit Haiti & guess what ... he had a rescue plan for our children. ADOPTION.

This is a great picture of God's spiritual rescue for us in this broken , suffering world. A year later Haiti is still suffering after world wide monetary pledges and TV coverage. I'm not sure what God's plans are for Haiti & I may never understand their continued suffering this side of Heaven. But I know God has a plan & sees their pain . I do know that God has an eternal rescue plan for each & every one of us if we just ask .

In John 1:12-13 it says this...."Yet to all who receive him, to those who believed in his name , he gave the right to become children of God.-Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husbands will, but born of God.

I find that to be very comforting. Especially in the midst of suffering & unanswered questions in this life. Thank you God that you are all knowing. Thank you that you love us and made a rescue plan for us.Thank you that in the midst of suffering you are faithful to stand by our side and grieve with us. Thank you for keeping Haiti in our thoughts & prayers.Thank you for rescuing our children.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Prayer Request

A friend of mine from our local Haiti group has been working on finalizing the adoption of their little girl Sendy. Sendy has special needs and was here in the USA at the time of the earthquake for surgery. They were told today that they would not be able to finalize because she was here on a medical visa instead of humanitarian parole. Julie, her adoptive mom has been doing everything possible along with Sendy's orphanage to compile the needed paperwork to complete the adoption. As we all know too well satisfying the judge's sometimes seems impossible. Please pray for their family. As you can imagine their hearts are breaking knowing that she may have to return to Haiti. Her medical visa expires in a week.Please pray that the attorney would be able to fully satify the judges requests in a timely manner. Please pray for strength for Julie & her family. Please pray that God would move mountains to keep Sendy here. Sendy is so happy here. She is just flourishing & loving her family.Please keep this family in your hearts & prayers !