Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vania Update

Great news ! We received an update on Vania today. She looks like she's doing well from her pictures. Maybe a little sad or just camera shy but we will be there soon to give her lots of hugs & kisses.The report says said we will receive a more detailed update in October ( probably on the trip I'm assuming) I like her pretty dress:) The top news of the day though, drum roll please........... we are IN IBESR ! YIPEEE !!!! This is a big & very important part of the Haitian adoption process. Our paperwork could be in this dept. anywhere from 3-12mo. Below is some info. on what goes on in this department. I am so excited to finally be able to update my time line in the sidebar:) As always your prayers are needed to keep this paperwork moving!

Your child's paperwork is put together with your documents and the file is then presented to IBESR (Haiti's Social Service Department) where a social worker will look over all of your documents and decide whether to approve your adoption request.The director of IBESR, the IBESR lawyer, the head of adoption services at IBESR, and the IBESR social worker must all sign off on your dossier. This is four stages of approval.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Treasure Box

Vania in her "treasure box"

I love packing for Vania ! It brings me much joy buying things to tuck away in her luggage. I never unpacked from the last trip. Sure, I took all the clothes out & washed them, but then packed them right back up. I look through the suitcase often at all the little outfits, the toys we played with & books we read together. Keeping them packed reminds me that this journey isn't over until we bring her home & unpack for good! She loves to sit in her suitcase & go through her things. Sometimes she would hurl them clear across the room for added fun :) (which reminds me I need to bring durable toys & cups this time! ) I remember washing some of her clothes one morning & hanging them in the closet to dry. She caught a glimpse of them passing by & was sure to point them out & let me know those were HER clothes hanging up. I assured her they were hers & I would put them back in her suitcase after they dried. A suitcase full of special things just for her is certainly a treasure box .Can't wait to spoil her rotten :) Not much longer now ...18 days

Friday, September 25, 2009

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon...or in this case...Denzel Washington

On the Set of "Unstoppable"

You ever hear of that game 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon? Well, we can sort of connect ourselves to Denzel Washington that way. Adam’s sister has recently become reacquainted with a close friend from our High School. Turns out he works for a major railroad as an engineer and several years ago, he and another engineer stopped a runaway train in Northwest Ohio. A good story to hear him tell it. Speeding train, dangerous chemicals, chasing it down in another engine! Here’s the fun part...Hollywood is making a movie out of it! Really! The name of the movie is Unstoppable and is due to be released next fall. His part is being played by Chris Pine (Cpt. Kirk from the new Star Trek movie) and the other guy’s part is played by Denzel Washington. Pretty cool. Adam’s sister got to talk to Chris Pine on the phone for about 10 minutes recently to give him all the dirt on what her friend was like in High School. I know you don’t know these people, but check out these pictures from the shoot. Looks like these guys had lots of fun!

Jesse (Denzel's Character) and our friend Terry

Chris Pine (Playing Terry's Character) and Terry

Terry and Jesse with Rosario Dawson

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Peek A Boo

One of my favorite videos of Vania playing :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Haitian Children & Families Initiative

September 21, 2009

Haitian Children & Families Initiative


Over the past three years, the processing of adoptions in Haiti have slowed to a crawl. Abandoned children are enduring adoption processes lasting two or three years before being united with adoptive families.

Not only is such lasting institutional care damaging to the children who wait and wait, but the slowed process has had a negative effect on the many desperately needy children of Haiti who are not waiting in orphanages. Orphanages in Haiti have traditionally been providers of humanitarian aid to their communities. Many support free medical clinics, schools, feeding programs and family preservation programs. Orphanages have been a resource for temporary care for children following a family crisis, such as a fire or illness. But now that children are languishing in orphanage care for years, orphanage directors report that the beds are full, the food and medicine supplies are insufficient, and the children needing temporary care are left on the streets with little prospect for life.

In a laudable effort to move towards transparent and democratic government, Haitian officials are now adhering to the Haitian Constitutional law regarding adoption, written in 1974 by Jean Claude Duvalier. While the law of 1974 places severe limitations on the size and age of those who may adopt, it does allow for Presidential Dispensation for those not meeting the family size or age limitations. Unfortunately, Haiti lacks an organized and transparent system for obtaining Dispensations. This confusion along with the absence of a sense of urgency regarding institutionalized children has caused extensive delays in the adoption process and further victimizes children who have already lost much.

The Solution

Haiti has a pending solution to this legal logjam. A newly proposed adoption law will clarify who may adopt, increase protections for Haitian children, their birth parents, and adoptive families, and streamline the adoption process. This legislation is supported by the United States and French governments along with Joint Council and the NGO community, including UNICEF.

The children of Haiti, the crèche directors who serve them and the adoptive families who wish to raise them need your help. We must encourage the Haitian government to pass the new adoption law and efficiently grant Dispensations in the interim.

The Haitian Crèche Directors’ Association has circulated a letter which 19 orphanage directors have signed, asking for our assistance in getting the support of the U.S. Government. This is our chance to help those who help the children of Haiti. You can review their letter by clicking here.

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has sponsored a letter to her colleagues asking for their support for the pending law and the issuance of Presidential Dispensations.

What can you do?

On September 28th, 29th and 30th make three simple phone calls:

1. Call your U.S. Senator.
• You can find your Senators’ phone numbers at http://www.senate.gov/
• Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

2. Call your second U.S. Senator.
• You can find your Senators’ phone numbers at http://www.senate.gov/
• Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

3. Call your representative to the U.S. House of Representative.
• You can find your representative at www.house.gov
• Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

After you have made the calls please.

4. Write letters for the Haitian Prime Minister, President of the Haitian Senate, and the Minister of Social Welfare.
• Your letter can contain the same information as specified below. If you are an adoptive family or are close to a Haitian-born adopted child, insert a picture of the child or your family in your letter.
• Describe your family’s commitment to Haitian culture and the country’s well being as a result of your contact with a Haitian-born adopted child.
• Mail your letter to Holt International, which has volunteered to collect letters and transport them to Haiti for hand delivery to the above government officials.

Holt International
Haitian Children & Families Initiative
P.O. Box 2880
Eugene, OR 97402

5. Sign the Joint Council’s online petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/haitian-children-families-initiative.html

6. Forward this message to everyone you know who cares about the welfare of abandoned children in Haiti. Individuals need not be personally involved in a Haitian adoption to let their voices be heard on behalf of children who have no one to speak for them!

What should you say or write to members of the U.S. Congress?

Speak from your heart and give them the following information.

Sample Statement


We are calling/writing on behalf of the Haitian Children & Families Initiative. We, as your constituents, are asking that the Senator/Congressperson sign the Dear Colleague letter regarding the pending Haitian adoption law, sponsored by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

As you may be aware, the Haitian adoption process is unreasonably delayed. Children already matched with adoptive families are languishing in orphanages for two and three years. The orphanages, which have traditionally served as humanitarian aid outreach centers, have run out of resources and are no longer able to offer assistance to their communities. Haitian children outside the orphanages are dying needlessly as a direct result of the delayed adoptions.

Your office must get involved and sign the Dear Colleague letter to support the Haitian government in their effort to assist the homeless and abandoned children of Haiti.
If they have further questions ask them to contact Amiee Henneke from Rep. McMorris Rodgers Office, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute or Joint Council at (703) 535-8045.

Thank you!

Can you explain the problem behind the current crisis?

Here is some additional information…

• The current constitutional law, written in 1974 by Jean Claude Duvalier, severely restricts who may adopt from Haiti. The only method by which the Haitian government may permit adoptions to non-conforming families is via Presidential Dispensation.
• The lack of a defined and efficient Dispensation process has caused delays of up to three years for children in the adoption process. Prolonged institutionalization has been scientifically proven to be highly detrimental to children.
• As orphanages expend their limited resources caring for children in the process of adoption over extended periods, they are unable to provide their traditional humanitarian aid programs to their communities.
• The existing adoption law provides almost no protection for the rights of abandoned children, their birth parents, or adoptive families. It offers no safe guards against human trafficking.
• A proposed adoption law will alleviate the crisis by standardizing and streamlining adoptions, and will far better protect abandoned Haitian children from child trafficking

Thank you to everyone that has read this material and taken action on behalf of Vania & all the other waiting children in Haiti. If you haven't had the chance , this is your opprotunity to make a difference for these children by letting your voice be heard.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Who doesn't LOVE chocolate ? Well, this weekend I learned that 90% of people love chocolate & the other 10 % are just lying :) I don't know the source for those statistics but I do know one thing & that is you cannot go wrong with the combination of women + chocolate. Am I right ?

Dove Chocolate has started selling chocolate products at home parties just like Tastefully Simple or Pampered Chef. This was a new discovery for me. I guess they have only been doing this for around 2 years, which is pretty new. They sell a product line called Dove Chocolate Discoveries which are Dove Chocolate products you cannot buy at the store.

Needless to say, I jumped right on an invitation to a chocolate tasting party & loved the products. They all tasted good, reasonably priced & most very easy to use or make. I also thought being so new it would be a great fundraiser for the O. SO, this weekend I hosted A " ladies night in ". For fun ( & totally optional) I asked everyone to bring a donation for Vania's orphanage as a "cover charge ". It ended up being a lot of fun . I only wish the samples could've been a little bigger:) But I guess it was a tasting not a meal. Anyhow, just an idea to pass along for anyone looking for fundraiser ideas . I'm hosting another party in November as a fundraiser. Not sure of the details of that one , but I'm going out on a limb & asking for bigger samples :) www.dove-chocolatediscoveries.com

PS... My sister got her passport in 1 WEEK ! Praise GOD.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Granola Bars

I remembered this face as I picked up Granola bars today for our upcoming trip. One thing I learned last time is to always have some sort of small snack on hand. You may be caught waiting somewhere longer than expected or asked for food through the van window as it comes to a brief stop on the street. This time we had stopped to pick up some pizza's from Domino's on our last night in Haiti. As we waited outside Dominoes many people came to the window inquiring what we were doing, trying to sell us something or ask for food. Definitely felt like being in a fish bowl. I had made eye contact with this sweet lady resting on the steps & offered her a granola bar. She graciously came over & took it through the window. I will never forget her smile. She returned to her step where she had been resting & then was sternly run off by the store security. I couldn't help but think of her today & decided on the family pack of granola bars so I am well prepared:) And yes....... who would of thought ? There really is a Domino's Pizza in Haiti :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meet Tiffany

This is my sister Tiffany & her two babies Roxy & Cortez !I am so thankful that she is willing to take the time & spend the energy to travel with me to Haiti !It can be quite overwhelming to get everything ready to go . She went this week to start her travel immunizations and has sent her passport off to be updated since getting married . She is a wonderful aunt to all her nieces & nephews and I am sure she will have a blast playing with the kids at the hotel :) Please pray that her passport would come back sooner than later. They told her it would take 3-4wks at the post office. One month from today we will be on our way ! HAITI OR BUST

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Monday ?

Slow to get up & moving this Monday morning , I opened up my carton of eggs & found a gentle reminder. The last line on the carton after the ingredients reads " This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it "Psalms 118:24. & I will . Thanks for the reminder :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Haiti Trip #2

It's official ! We have booked flights for a second trip to Haiti. We will be there October 17th - 24th. This time my sister Tiffany will be traveling with me :) I'm very excited for her to meet Vania & experience Haiti. Adam is saving vacation time & will hopefully be with me on the next trip:) I cannot wait to see this precious smiling face again! Let the countdown begin !

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hillbilly Water Slide

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend . We took the kids to Virgina for Adam's family reunion. One of the highlights of the annual get together is the hillbilly water slide. This consists of.... a piece of plastic , a hill , water and squirts of Joy dish washing soap to make it slick. For those riders that make it to the end , never fear, they have padding made of an air mattress and inter tubes to cushion the impact. Looks painful to me , but the kids climbed the hill both days to slide . No injuries believe it or not !Well, back to business today. No more Holiday breaks for awhile...but there is news on our upcoming trip to Haiti in October. Dates & flights are being set as I type . So excited !

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Be The Answer

Please Sign !

We received this e-mail from our agency yesterday. Please take the time to read and see how you can help to bring the children from Haiti home to their waiting families :) Thanks !

Dear Haiti Waiting Families,

I am sending this link out as a follow up to the Haiti initiative launched last week, we are hoping to launch another push in the next couple of days. Unfortunately we did not get many signatures from Senators so we really need to push again to get

Our government officials on board to help with the situation in Haiti. So let’s get this petition signed! Please send it out to whomever you think will sign it.


Please let me know if you have

any questions

With care,