Friday, June 6, 2014


This boy. I love him so. He is bold, charismatic, protective and full of life. He has a beautiful artistic temperament...precise, thoughtful, heartfelt and with a full range of emotions. He will be a true romantic.
He feels all things deeply. Joy, frustration, remorse, love. He is capable of such love.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

3 years

Yesterday marked 3 years since Jivenson passed away. That is a day I will not forget and the moment I got the call that he was gone will forever be burned into my mind.
Today marks 6 months since Caleb & Guerlens have been home.
When we went to Haiti for Jivenson's funeral was the first time we actually met our boys. I held Guerlens, Caleb climbed on our laps along with the other kids. Of course we had no idea that our futures were bound together.
This is one picture we have with all 3 of them together. Guerlens is in the purple bouncy seat in the back. (The little girl in the middle is Mika)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Melat's Gotcha Day

Tomorrow will be 6 years since the day we met Melat and took her from an orphanage in Ethiopia. We celebrate her Gotcha Day every February 19th and it brings so many memories to the surface every year.

My first months with Melat were not ideal and were not what I had expected.
My love for Melat began before we even knew her name. It is difficult to explain, but it can be likened to being pregnant and loving the child in your womb before they are born. They are a part of you, a part of your future and you will fight for them and protect them at all costs.

That love grew as we saw her face, knew her name and read her medical report over and over. We ate up every picture we received from our agency and other families who visited the orphanage.
When we met her for the first time and the nanny put her in my arms she screamed. She cried anytime I took her. She cried when we left the orphanage, all the way to the hotel and that first night we put her to bed. But after all of that, she wanted me, not Kevin.
And in the days and months that followed all she wanted was me. Precious, good for attachment but incredibly hard. I did not anticipate how hard that would be, how smothered I would feel and how much I would mourn the life I knew before. I could not sleep, or go anywhere alone. I could not run, my personal form of therapy, and I did not handle it graciously. My lack of sleep, the jet lag following the trip, the fact that I did not feel a lot of warm fuzzies in that situation left me feeling crushed with guilt that turned to shame.
This was all secondary of course to the pain and incredible adjustment Melat faced every day as she acclimated to her new life.
We sought wise counsel and it helped immensely but our greatest healer has been time. Healing, not just for our relationship, but for the brokenness that comes with adoption, no matter how ideal.
Adopting Melat brought all of my flaws and weaknesses to the surface and it hurt.
But she truly amazes me. Melat is sweet, loving, nurturing, brave, hilarious & honest, among many other things. I love her magnetic personality! As a child I was a bit more timid and shy of others but Melat is confident and's something that I admire so in her.
When Melat first came home and things were hard, I loved her. I felt a mama-bear, throw-myself-in-front-of- traffic, protect-her-from-hurt kind of love. The part of the love I did not naturally feel was the warm, cuddly love. But it has fully come.
Our journey has not been easy, not been what I dreamed it would be. I admit I carry an edge of cynicism when I see bright eyed pre-adoptive parents just beginning their journey. It's not fair and I certainly was one too! NO ONE could have told me different, no one could have said anything to truly prepare me for what I would face. However, it has shaped the way I see the world, caused my lens to shift, I believe there is a reason and I would not change it.
One verse I held onto when we began our adoption of Jivenson was Psalm 119:105.
"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."
I heard a sermon on this verse a few years ago. The speaker gave a picture of how much light from a lamp is thrown onto a dark path. The light from a lamp will not light the entire path in front of you...just enough to take a few steps.
This has been my journey..not knowing what is before, trusting that God knows the way and I choose to walk in it.
Melat is my child and I love her deeply, warm fuzzies and all.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


A very good friend sent this to me today, as an encouragement and reminder of what is true...and it is.
"The anointing on the call to adoption was not meant to end once you get your child home. There is a supernatural power that accompanies the call to adopt that flows continuously. It is a power that transforms the orphan into a son or daughter. It is an effective thing that manifests in your parenting. Wisdom,understanding and creative ideas flow in this anointing. And it is yours regardless of your skill, your feelings about parenting, your experiences growing up or your "goodness" as a mother or father." -Beth from Hope at Home

Monday, December 23, 2013


Our boys have been home for over 2 weeks and we are one day away from celebrating our first Christmas with them!
When we arrived in Haiti to bring our boys home, they ran to us and jumped in our arms. They eagerly packed their suitcase and happily spent the night with us in our room. Caleb woke early to get dressed and packed so we could head to the airport. He practically ran across the tarmac to our plane. They both took it all in. The excitement, adrenaline and the stimulation of so many new experiences carried them happily through that huge day. We got off that plane in GR and walked into a wall of people who loved us, who prayed for us, who rejoiced with us in that precious moment when our family of 6 came together for the first time.
The last 2 weeks have been quite a ride. So many things are brand new for our boys. The car rides (which they absolutely love!), grocery shopping, new people, cold and snow. So many things are brand new for all of us. It has been good, not easy by any means, but good. If we were all gliding through our first days together with no friction or issue, I'd be worried. Trust is being built and that can be tough. If I have learned anything in our adoption journey, it's that adjustment takes TIME.
I look at these boys and I truly love them. There is a love and relationship that has been built over the last 2 years and for that I am overwhelmed with gratitude. What we have now is a fresh and somewhat complicated extension of that relationship into which we have already invested. It is changing and morphing and God is stretching and growing, and that part can hurt....but therein lies my utter dependence on Him.
Having 4 kids is double the crazy, double the loudness and chaos but TRULY it is double the fun and joy!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


When I have more time I'll share more about our trip & travel but for now....we are home

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Anticipation....this is the title for our church's series for the month of December.
This word could not describe more clearly the feeling we have had for a good part of the last 3 years. One of it's definitions is 'expectation or hope'.
Over three years ago we were living in hope of adopting Jivenson. We lived in anticipation of meeting him and when he was so sick, we lived in expectation of bringing him home via a medical visa so that he could receive much needed medical treatment.
With his passing, hope and expectation were crushed.
But two years ago, hope was renewed. God opened our eyes and hearts to a new story He was writing. The story of adopting one precious son, turned into a journey of adopting two. We never could have guessed this would be the future for our family.
Now it is here, all of the anticipation is transforming into the experience of actually completing the adoption process for our two amazing sons.
And now the real journey of our family of 6 begins....