Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Tonight, Javi, Joanna and I take the red eye flight to NY and then to the Dominican Republic. We will only be in country for about 4 days. The main purposes of this trip are to see Javier's family, let his family see Joanna for the first time, bring them tons of stuff (mostly for them to sell) and to check on our finished apartments. For all of you reading this thinking - beaches, all inclusive resorts and relaxing vacation - think again. Think more like big family gatherings, humble conditions, rain, mosquitos and a big pig roast - still fun, but different. It is always great to see Javi so relaxed and enjoying every minute. The kids will stay with grandma and grandpa which they are so excited about and a young missionary couple is going to stay at our house. I have SO much packing and cleaning as I prepare for our trip, the kids' "trip" and company staying at our house - but I am almost done. The only luggage with our personal things are the backpack and 2 carry ons - the rest is for his family.
We are hoping to find out some news concerning Zambia when we get home. On a great note, we got an email this morning from our agency saying that our homestudy is written and will be sent in to the government as soon as it is reviewed by the boss at the agency! This is great news. We also requested that she broaden our homestudy some so that we would be free to adopt 3 children if a sibling group happened to have 3 children. We still intend on adopting 2, but we did come across 2 neat sibling groups in Ethiopia (one that is available) and both of them had 3 beautiful children. We just want to be flexible.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Jehovah Jireh

The Lord provides so greatly! Our family has a list of things that we are praying for - one of which is $ for our adoption. Last week Jordan, out of the blue, got out his wallet with $11 and put $6 into our "adoption jar" that sits on our counter. Later that day, our agency let us know that one of our friends sent in $600 for us! We praised God for His faithful provision and we talked about how both gifts - the $6 and the $600 were precious in God's sight. It so reminded me of the boy who gave his fish and his bread and Jesus multiplied it and out of 2 fish and 5 loaves he fed more than 5,ooo people. Our God hasn't changed. We just need to step out in faith, follow Him and He will provide!

There is a neat story of how the Lord has provided for another family's adoptions. They are adopting beautiful twin girls and their 3 year old brother from Ethiopia.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Poor Jackie

Poor Jackie had a bad day on Wednesday. All of our kids LOVE going to the dentist, so Jacklyn was so excited to get her teeth cleaned for the first time. Well, it turns out that when we got there, they checked with our insurance and apparently we forgot to put her on our dental insurance this year. All of the other kids got called back and she cried that she did not get a turn. Then, we went to the diamondbacks game that evening and we sat way up high near the children's playground and kids' batting cage. Well you know how steep those nose bleed sections are right? Well she was getting out of her seat to start to go down to the main area when she fell head over heels down about 6 concrete stairs. I swiped her up and held her tight. She really only cried for a few seconds but when we looked at her she had a big bruise under her eye and a couple of scrapes on that cheek too. It is amazing how some popcorn helped it all feel better (I, however, had a knot in my stomach all night). We kept ice on it throughout the game and it actually looked better this morning. The picture isn't great, but you can kind of see her shiner.

"Sympathy is no substitute for action." -- David Livingstone, missionary to Africa

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” James 1:27

We have had a lot of responses as we started down this path of adoption - good, bad and shocked. Here are a few of the things that we have heard.

*Wow - that is so neat, I have always wanted to adopt

*What a blessing!

*Are you collecting children? Don't you know there are less expensive hobbies? Ha Ha

*Why don't you adopt children from here?

*How are you going to do it?

*I guess you will need a bigger house.

*Couldn't you just sponsor a child or two?
*Why adopt when you can have your own kids?

We aren't offended by any of the comments we are just glad to take any opportunity to share what God has laid on our heart. I also know there are some of you out there that secretly have wondered some of these things so I would love to answer some of these questions/comments.

Yes - it is neat and it is a blessing from the Lord - we are not neat - It is our Lord that is great and it is because we love Him that we follow Him and obey where He is leading us.
No we are not collecting children or trying to get a certain # of kids (although whenever someone asks my husband how many children we want he always says, "Oh- just 1 or 2 dozen" :)). We know from God's word and our own experience that children are blessings. It is one of the only things that is consistently referred to as a blessing/gift in the Bible. Even $ and earthly things that people will often refer to as blessings have sober warnings, yet the average American, and might I say even many American Christians, are quick to welcome all "blessings" of pay raises, better jobs, bigger houses, vacations, more comforts and things - but when it comes to blessings of children - well, the response is "no thanks - I can't handle anymore" or "we are too old" We too felt the same way - we only wanted 3. We had all of our reasons that seemed pretty good, but we were convicted early on that we did not have God's heart for children. We had a greater heart for our dreams of vacations, a calm life and financial gain. Through prayer, fasting, discipleship and studies we decided to question all of our decisions and see if we were making decisions that were influenced by our culture and selfish desires or if our decisions were truly lead by scripture and God's heart. This change impacted Javier's job choice, our time with our children, the way we train up our children, our dreams, our desire to go to unreached people groups to share God's plan of salvation and our desire to adopt.

We want to go to the neediest of people, those who are truly orphaned and have no family that is able to take care of them. In many African countries the middle age group is dying of aids, disease, war, starvation and childbirth. Those adults that are left are already caring for many children. Did you know that the poorest in the United States are still in the top 11% of the richest people in the world! We are rich with resources and to whom much is given much will be required. Yes - we have supported children in the past - we even got to visit 2 of them. I truly believe that it is a great work, but somehow it didn't seem like enough. It surely did not seem pure and faultless like James 1:27 said, we knew that there was more that we could and should do.

It won't be easy and we are not getting a bigger house - we are just being creative with the space we have (more on that later). We don't know how we will do it, but the Lord has always provided faithfully for our family. Sometimes it is financially through Javier's work or gifts from friends and neighbors, sometimes it is through friends and family who have helped with the children or clean our house, sometimes it is through mentoring relationships that help us draw our strength from the Lord. Our kids are also growing up and we are already preparing them by giving them much greater responsibilities with the house work and the little ones. All we know is that His plans are far greater than ours!

"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply" -- Hudson Taylor

That's a hymn!

On our way to the dentist yesterday, it was quiet so we began to sing "Come thou fount" - one of our family favorites. When we were done, Jordan said, "Hey guys did you know that is a hymn?" Then Julia, our 5 year old who is really trying to be one of the big kids said, "No Jordan, actually the guy who sings that is a HIM." Well - I guess that is true - we all started laughing. Our "Jules" has such an excitement for life, learning and trying anything new. Her sweet heart and biblical understanding really shows in her prayers, but on a day to day basis she says some of the goofiest things. We love that girl! BTW she also has a blog (like I said, she wants to be one of the big kids) - Janae helped her set it up and is typing her posts for her :). Julia siempre dice mucha locura. Le amamos mucho. Ella tambien empezo su propio blog porque quiere ser como sus hermanos mayores. Janae le ayuda escribir todo que pone es su blog.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Over the past week or 2 we have found out more behind the reasons why these families came home. One did not want to adopt and chose to come home. The other 3 families are hoping to complete their adoptions. I must be very vague due to safety issues (since this is a public blog) and due to what is in the best interest of the families hoping to complete their adoptions. Someone who is against our agency facilitating adoptions in Zambia contacted officials there and the press making allegations of child trafficking. It all sounded very bad. Everything with the adoptions stopped while they investigate the allegations. Our agency is working closely with officials and we are hoping that it will all be cleared up soon. Our agency has made mistakes in all of this, but I appreciate their humble spirit and open communication that they have had with us concerning all of the details. They are cooperating and doing all that is asked of them by the Zambian government. It is a great blessing to work with a director who is a strong follower of Christ. What we can not predict is what the Zambian government will decide as far as procedures for any adoptions in the future. We would ask you to pray that our agency and the 3 families hoping to complete their adoptions would have favor with the Zambian officials. Pray that they would even decide to make the procedure easier (possibly less travel time). Pray for our director who has had to endure ugly accusations and slandering. It is a spiritual warfare. We know that what man intends for evil, God can work out for good. We praise Him no matter the outcome!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Rocky start

I have been following the progress of the first 4 families in Zambia. It has been a drama almost every day. The bottom line is that adoption is rare and not an easy road in Zambia, which is different from what we thought when we signed up. Also, there are many orphans but few that have any paperwork allowing them to be adopted. 3 of the 4 families are coming home without having adopted a child. It is very sad and we are waiting for communication from our agency. Our agency has also announced that they need to raise the fees, which is a bummer, but probably necessary to get the children's paperwork in order. Basically, we have paid all of our government fees here in the US and are just waiting for clearance from them. We are going to wait and pray and not send any more $ to our agency until we figure out if we will continue with them. Some people are hopefully getting their $ back and changing countries/agencies. That is an option for us, but we are not going to be quick to "jump off this boat". We grieve with these first families and pray that the one remaining couple, who has an adorable little baby boy they are hoping to adopt, will indeed be able to complete their adoption and bring him home. Please pray for us, as this is sad news, but we walk by faith and not by sight. Lord give us wisdom and direction.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My son's blog

OK - my 6 year old son couldn't stand the fun that my daughter was

having making her blog - and he begged to make a blog too. It has been good for him. It takes a lot longer since he is just learning correct typing position, but he is a wiz at all of the technological stuff. This is a great and motivating way for him to improve his writing, spelling and typing. Check out his blog in my links. Jordan empezo su propio blog. Mira su blog en mis "links".

Monday, August 6, 2007

Espanol - para nuestra familia Dominicana

My husband has asked that we try and post more in Spanish for his family to be able to follow along. I will do my best to translate most of my posts. Mi esposo me ha pedido traducir lo que escribo en este blog - entonces voy a tratar de hacerlo - pero por favor disculpame que mi espanol va a tener equivocaciones. Yo creo que siempre voy a poner el parte en espanol con el color azul - entonces busca el azul.

Will they be chocolate?

Jacklyn (3) asked me the other day if our boys would be chocolate like Daddy. I said yes. She said, "Maybe if I drink more chocolate milk, I will be chocolate too!" Hey it is worth a try!

Jacklyn (3 anos) me pregunto si los ninos que vamos a adoptar van a ser "chocolate" como su Papi. Le dije que si. Entonces ella me dijo, "Quisas si yo tomo mas leche chocolate, sere chocolate tambien!" Bueno - vale la pena tratar.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


I just checked the mail and we already got our fingerprint appointments for INS. We had to get and send in one set of fingerprints with our homestudy info (I think for Child Protective Services?) and then we have to go get our digital fingerprints taken for INS. Our appointment is for next Friday (8/10/07). Things are moving right along. Praise God!

Bumps in the road

Well, the first group of 4 families have been in Zambia now for about 1 1/2 weeks. It has not gone as smoothly or as quickly as thought, but now at least some of the families have their children. The hope of this agency was for each family to identify their babies within the first few days and be fostering them immediately after - so they are about a week behind. These are the "pioneers" of this program so I guess this was to be expected. Our agency is learning and making adjustments. There will be pre-selection of children for the families before they travel from now on. The problem is that there are many orphaned babies and children, but few with any paperwork proving that they are orphaned. Even though these families may spend an extra week or two in Zambia, their total process with this Zambian adoption will be 2 -3 months because they all already had their homestudies completed for other countries. That is amazingly fast in the adoption world.

The magic of reading

This summer has really been a summer for reading. The three big kids completed a summer reading program through the library and earned prizes including Diamond Back baseball tickets. Unfortunately, the Colorado Rockies (Javi's old team) vs. Dbacks game is while we are in the Dominican Republic, so we will need to see the Padres or some other team. Anyways, the 2 oldest are reading chapter books like crazy and now the little ones ask Jordan to read their books to them, which gives Janae a break. Julia is doing well with her reading too, but she is still learning. She is Kindergarten age and is reading little readers and Dr. Seuss books - so we are proud of her. Jacklyn is actually learning a lot and reading some "sight words" just from doing "school" with Julia. Sometimes at night we give the kids 30 minutes or so to read under their covers with a flashlight. They just love that time together and we hear a lot of giggling and "read that part again!" coming from their room. The kids love to read the old testament too. They love the details and miraculous stories and have an amazing understanding of it all. Praise God for that love He has put in them for His word!