Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Latest

The latest news from Rachel for those of us still waiting for a referral. There have been many miracles among our group lately~ many families will have their children home for Christmas! Please continue to pray for those of us still waiting to know who our child is~ that that can be our Christmas miracle!

I spoke at some length with Eric last night about the referral situation. There are plenty of children being prepared for referrals. The staff are working to make room in the orphanages, as well as to complete all the pre-referral steps. The whole purpose of restructuring the referral process on the Liberia end was to set a new standard of excellence. This takes time, but Eric really wants to ensure that everything is done well. Why bother restructuring and only doing it half-way?
I cannot tell whether they will be able to make any referrals before Christmas, but I am hoping (right along with you all!). There are difficulties now with the Liberian Ministry wanting to sign off on every child before he or she is eligible to be referred (this is for all agencies). This is an extra measure of security, so that is good.
Please check out the website for updates on how the referrals will now be issued. In addition, Eric is hoping to be able to include a photo of the child, a photo of the first family, a photo of the family home, as well as a case history, and possibly more in the referral report families will receive from now on. It's always hard to wait, my friends, but this seems to be really worth the wait.

Christmas Story in Liberian English

"Every Man Heart Lay Down"

Long time past - before your father live - before his father live
Before his father's father live - long time past
Before them big tree live - before them big tree's father live
That time God live.

And God look on the world - that He done make
And Him heart no lay down.
And He walk about in the town to see the people.
And He sit down in the palaver house to know the people.
And He sorry too much.
And God say "The people no hear My Word.
The people no walk My way. Nev mind.
All I can do is make a new country - and make new people."
And this time God's one small boy - Him small child
Hear God's Word, And the child grieve for people and for His Pa.
So he go for God's face and make talk for His Pa.
"Pa, I come for beg you," so He say,
"I come for beg you; Don't make the new world.
Don't lose the people what you done care for. I beg you.
Make it I go, I talk to people. I walk with people. Bye-m-bye
They savvy the way."

And the child go down softly softly and hold God's foot. (i.e.begged Him)
So God look on Him small boy. And Him heart be very soft. And God say,
Left me now, but hear me good; If you go you must be born like a man
You must live like a man - and you must have hurt and have hunger.
And hear me good; men will hate you and they will flog you, and
Bye-m-bye they will kill you, and I no going put my hand there."(i.e. interfere)
And the Child say, "I agree."
And bye-m-bye God call Mary to be Ma for the child.
Now Mary be new wife for Joseph and Joseph ain't touch Mary self.
So first time Joseph vex. But God say, 'Nev min', Joseph; this be God palaver.
And Joseph heart lay down.

And God see one king who try for do good for all him people.
"Ahah, now I send my Son for be new king."
And God send star to call the king.
And in a far country, God hear a wise man call his name.
And God say to the wise man, "I send my Son to be new wise man;
Go now with the star." And the star call. And the wise men follow.

And by the waterside - men lay down to take rest.
And they hear fine music in the sky like all the stars make song,
And they fear. And all the dark make bright like day.
And the water shine like fire. And no man can savvy.
And they hearts turn over. But God's angel come,
And God's angel say, "Make glad, all people,
God's child be born in Bethlehem."
And the star come low and stop. But when they go for mansion house
The star no be there. And when they go for big man's house,
The star no be there. And bye-m-bye when they go for hotel,
The star no be there gain - "Ahah, the star be by the small house
Where cattle sleep! " And it was so.

And they found Joseph and Mary and the small child fold up in country cloth.
And the king bring gold for gift
And the wise man bring fine oil
And the country people bring new rice.
And they look on the God child
And every man heart lay down.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Merry Christmas~ Third Day

Thanks for sharing this Loriann. It has deeply touched my heart.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Anxiously Waiting...

Every day I have to quickly scan my emails from the AoH yahoo group to see if anybody has gotten a referral yet. The offices will close on the 23rd. I'm really PRAYING that in these next 10 days things get moving and people start getting referrals (including us). It is so hard waiting and not knowing WHO she is. Sometimes I think I can visually picture her but then again I've looked at so many little African children since we began this journey that it could be a figment of my imagination! The Lord's holding on to the secret and I want in on it. It is all I want for Christmas. It would lighten up the holiday like no other!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

Another Yooper Family Adopts

I was encouraged to see that a family from 'back home' has also adopted. I don't know this family, but in my mind its rare to see this type of thing where I'm from. If you are interested in reading about the family who adopted from Ethiopia you can click here.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

More News from AoH

Rachel from AoH sent another email update. I'm going to include only the part that applies to us right now. I am believing that we will be one of these families!!! Please pray and believe with me.

I know that many of you are on the edges of your seats, as I am, awaiting referrals. As you know, changes in the US Embassy as well as Liberian policies, prompted us to "revamp" our referral process so that much of the investigations and paper-chasing that occurred after the referral will now occur before. This caused a window of time where children were entering the program but were not yet "referral-ready". Certain delays have occurred during this time (for instance, our staff brought seven relinquishing families to see a judge who did not show up for his appointment, causing our staff to have to take them all home and re-gather them later for the same purpose). This is typical in Liberia.However, earlier this week, I received a list of over 60 children who are in this process of being prepared for referrals. I am awaiting the final steps to be taken and then referrals will begin flowing over the coming weeks.

I cannot wait to find out who our newest member of the family will be!

Devotional- Paneled Houses

I got this in an email from Zach. Not sure where he got it from but I wanted to share.

Paneled Houses
Haggai 1:4"Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?"
There is a crisis of grand proportions in the spiritual house of God today. The moral fiber of our world has eroded. Greed, idolatry, and pleasure are the gods of our day. And it is no different in the Body of Christ.
The prophet Haggai wrote about a people who had lost concern for the need to build God's house because they were so focused on their own worldly needs. It is a dangerous place to get with God. When our world begins to focus around increasing our pleasure, building bigger and better homes, and failing to make what is important to God important in our own lives, this should be a warning to us.
Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," He said to them, " 'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers' " (Matthew. 21:12-13).
Jesus came into Jerusalem and found the businesspeople buying and selling in the temple. As far as they knew, this was an acceptable practice in their day. Their fathers did it, and now they were doing it. It was business as usual. Jesus got angry, turned over the tables, and said that His house was a house of prayer. He found the businesspeople of the day seeing His house as a place for profit, not prayer. They had stepped into a place of complacency that was not acceptable to the Lord. When we begin to blend in with the moral condition of an ungodly world, we begin losing God's perspective on life.
It is easy to begin blending in with our culture and to accept what is being modeled by the ungodly. God called us to be salt in a world that needs much salt. "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men" (Mt. 5:13). Each of us must ask ourselves if we have lost our salt. Are we having an impact on our world? Or is our world having an impact on us? Ask God to give you a vision for how you can be salt to your world today.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

More news from the office

Friends and Families,

I am pleased to update you on the progress that has been made since our last "post from the office." Much has happened in that short time and we have been able to find solutions to the difficulties we were facing at the Embassy. For one thing, the State Dept. promises to send more help to the Embassy next month. This is a necessary step as the reason given for tightening up on agency appointments was that the Consular's office didn't have enough resources to process more cases.

Also, we are working with the families most closely affected by the new policy (because they are ready to go through the Embassy procedures) to pioneer new ways of acquiring visas. As we see what works and what doesn't, we'll come up with a strategy to aid families further "down the pipe." Through it all, Acres of Hope will be here to guide you through the process. Of course, I can't predict how the policies will continue to change, but we are dedicated to these children and it is our strongest desire to see them united with their families and in their homes. All of Acres of Hope's staff, from Patty on down, are working hard to that end. The Liberian staff has been putting in long hours, working evenings and weekends on behalf of the children. Yes, all of this is difficult for everyone and things will be different in the long run, but Acres of Hope continues to be strengthened through it all.

And, it is important to recognize that despite all the difficulties, there have been at least 12 children (3 of them with special needs) who have come home in the last 6 weeks. And, as you all know, there are two more families (representing 3 more children, one with special needs) coming home next week. What you may not realize is that 4 more children will be escorted home next week as well! That's almost 20 children united with their families in a few weeks that were fraught with difficulties! And, we are scheduling travel for even more families in the coming weeks as we expect the new way of doing things at the Embassy will actually speed up the process at this point.

In addition, I have good news for those of you who have been waiting for a referral. We just heard that our new system of referrals is being embraced by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Because many of the steps, including paper-chasing and investigations, will be done *before* the referral, the rest of the process will be returning to time frames we saw about a year ago. While it's difficult to predict the exact timeline until we have some experience with this new procedure, we anticipate the time from referral to travel to shorten to perhaps 4 to 6 months.

Be encouraged, my friends. This IS a difficult season in Liberian adoption, and international adoption in general, but our God is good, and he's big and he loves those orphans beyond understanding. He'll make a way for those of us he calls to be their families, if we will only stand firm through the storms. The storm may not be over yet, but it does seem we're past the worst of it. And, one thing I know about storms--God reveals himself through them as the glorious victor and those of us who stand with him.well, we get the front-row seats!

Faith and hope,
Rachel, for all of us at AOHL

Remember, we're in the 'waiting for a referral stage'. I'm believing we'll know by Christmas who our dear daughter is. Please pray with me for this to be possible.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Important New from Liberia

This is something that was recently posted on our AoH group. It seems that there are constantly new road blocks and setbacks in Liberian adoptions lately and it is rather frustrating for ALL involved, no matter where in the process we may be. Please pray for all of us families and more importantly for those who are advocating for not only the families, but more importantly the children in Liberia.

Dear Families and Supporters of Acres of Hope-Liberia,
We have just received word this morning that the US Consulate in Monrovia has chosen to further limit adoption-related appointments at the US Embassy. She will now take only one appointment (for the required biological family interview OR for the adopting family to file their I600) per day, and only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That means rather than four appointments per week, there will now only be two. To this date, every Acres of Hope-Liberia family has received their child/ren's visa from the Embassy. And, we expect that trend will continue, despite having fewer opportunities to apply for visas.
Please understand that this is out of our control and our hands are tied. However, Patty and this agency are doing all that we can to advocate for change in this policy. Upon Patty's return to the US later this month, we plan to fly to Washington, DC to see what we can do to effect change. And, in the meantime, we will be contacting our network to explain the situation and require change.
We are extremely disappointed in the Consulate's decision because we have been face-to-face with mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers who are desperate to provide a better life for their children.Thousands of children in Liberia remain in need of loving, permanent homes, aside from those we are able to care for in our programs.
Acres of Hope-Liberia exists to serve God through serving the children who truly are the "least of these" in the world. We stand together with you in that commitment and we will not be daunted. We recognize that our struggle is beyond that of flesh and blood. We have an Enemy who hates the uniting of God's most precious ones with committed, loving, Christian families. Indeed, we are in battle "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Eph. 6:12b) We are united with you and with Christ in this battle, and we will carry through our commitment before God.
Throughout our lives and the life of this organization, we have found that spiritual growth thrives on challenges. Every obstacle we face is an opportunity for personal growth and for our growth as an organization. In fact, one of our goals for Acres of Hope-Liberia is that we would be constantly improving in our ability to meet the purposes of Christ through this organization. We are encouraged that our organization, as well as the entire process of adopting from Liberia, is being sharpened, honed, and improved through these challenges.
We are more than grateful for your dedication to the nation of Liberia, particularly her children, and your commitment to Acres of Hope-Liberia. We know that the families that partner with us in adoption and humanitarian work pray for the nation and orphans of Liberia, and for this organization regularly. We cannot thank you enough for standing and battling with us in this most significant way. We feel the power of your prayers. Now is the time to band together, to encourage one another in faith and hope. In the face of this challenge, we ask you to reflect on your original desire to invest your lives in Liberia. Draw strength from that commitment and expect our God to do the marvelous and miraculous on behalf of his beloved children in Liberia.
With expectation of great things,
Patty Anglin, Executive Director
Rachel Wilson, Adoption Coordinator

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Answers to your questions...

What happens next is that we're pretty much now in line for a referral. So many things are changing in Liberia and therefore our agency is trying to adjust the best it can, so that makes it hard to know how long that will take. I'm praying it will not take 6 months, but it could take longer. Then from there it could still take awhile to get the rest of the paperwork together, VISAs approved and all that. I know that the Lord's hand is in the whole process, I can just see Him moving through it all. I'm praying He will speed things along (or else that it will seem like its flyin' by). And yes, it totally felt like a positive pregnancy test.

It hasn't been until this past week that I have felt like I'm ready to get pregnant now. I just feel more peace about that. And its funny how when I let my guard down about that God blessed us with our paper we've been waiting for! And for the record, I think it would be awesome to be pregnant and in the adoption process at the same time. What added blessings that would be!

Monday, November 5, 2007


After 3 months and 2 days we FINALLY got our I171h approval!!!!! I saw the envelope in the mail and started jumping and running to the house yelling, "Woooo, we got it!!!!" People probably thought I was nuts but I don't care I am ECSTATIC!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


"Princess" who is our 7 year old daughter calls our daughter we're adopting, 'Our precious daughter'. When we pray for her or when she talks about her that is how she refers to her. Not her sister, or as Little Man (who is 5) says 'Our little girl in Liberia'. I just crack up every time I hear her say it. Tonight while we were at a church service we saw a little African American girl and Princess noted how cute she was and asked if 'Our little daughter will be that cute'. Even cuter, I'm sure!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Encouragement through this process

Last week we had a Bible conference at church. One night they talked about processes in general and gave some very good points. It really made me think of the whole adoption process. So, I wanted to share in hope that maybe it will encourage you as it did I.

He said processes are:
1. Unseen- we can't see what is happening at the time
2. Unhurried- we are unable to hurry them along
3. Unenduring- the process may not always be enjoyable but the end result is worth it

Then he also made a very good point: Opposition and oppression always arise with opportunity.

Of course we don't see behind the scenes the process of our adoption. We can't hurry them along, although many times we'd like to think we could! Sometimes the process really stinks. Maybe it takes forever, maybe you lose a referral. Or maybe you can't raise the funds and you're really stretched. But to bring our precious children HOME is worth all of the strife we face in the process.

And I have read from so many that they also have faced opposition from people, just as we have. With any opportunity this will happen. But how it really seems to happen to us when we're in the adoption process, yes? Not everybody will agree with what we're doing and many may vocalize their thoughts. But we need to keep in mind that we are working and employed by our Lord. We're doing what He has called us to and we need to keep our eyes on the path He laid out for us.

So while you are praying for your family through this process remember you are not alone and lift up a prayer for the other families enduring similar situations.
Hebrews 12: 1-3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A touching video

If you go here you can see another touching video on Liberia.

God is Good

What an awesome testimony of God's work. I remember praying for Darling Boy. I even sent a couple of emails asking for help for this boy. Just take a look at how God's hand has worked to change this boys life. God is good!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Getting Old

This waiting game is so frustrating. Every day I go to the mailbox in anticipation that we've received our I171h. But it hasn't been there yet. I know it will come, but every day we wait puts us a day later that we wait to see our daughter, to even know her name. And now our agency is changing some things and they're saying not to expect your child home for a year once they get everything for the dossier, including the I171h. So, that means we won't see our daughter until next fall or winter? Here I was hoping by the time we moved next summer we'd have her! I know AoH is doing all they can and I'm so thankful for their hard work. I am just not very good at waiting. Especially in circumstances like this. And so we wait some more.

I have a confession to make also. I have some built up hostility in my heart and I hate feeling that way. You see, it is no problem for a young woman to stand in front of our Sunday School class and share about her mission trip to England and to hand out prayer cards. This woman I've only seen at Sunday School a handful of times. I admit she has been preparing for this trip and I think she has even been serving on a different one. But when it is ok for one person to share about that, yet we are unable to share about our adoption? I have a really hard time not having resentment. It's not like we'd get up there and ask for money. We just wanted to share what God had laid upon our hearts. We're no different than the missionary going overseas...we will simply be a missionary in our own home. And part of me thinks that I shouldn't care. After all, next year at this time we'll be long gone from here. But at the same time this is our church family and they should be supportive and allow us to speak about how God is working in our lives. So, please pray that I can resolve this resentment I have built up in me.

Monday, October 1, 2007


My dear friend, Kim is adopting a 12 year old Liberian girl from another agency. A lady just returned from Dixville and had taken so many pictures of the children there, one of whom was Janet, Kim's daughter. I wanted to post one of the pictures of this beautiful girl! I cannot wait until she comes home to her family!!!


Zach has been real antsy lately wondering when we'll get our 171h. For some reason I keep thinking it has been only a month, but on Wednesday it will have been two months since we got fingerprinted. I bet God did that on purpose so it doesn't seem so L-O-N-G! Funny. Anyway, you can never find who to contact regarding it all. Zach emailed them and is hoping to hear back within two days. In the mean time I emailed our social worker, Jennifer, who did our homestudy and asked her if she knew how long they were taking. Here is her response:

Hey, Jamie! I actually spoke with someone at CIS on Friday. They were doing something with your case (I'm not sure what). They had the addendum and were trying to match it with your home study. She was supposed to let me know by today if she could not locate your home study and I haven't heard from her. So, at least you know they are working on you.I will let you know if I hear anything else.
So I am praying that our homestudy did not get lost and that they're simply working on our approval and I'm believing we will get it soon!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Praise the Lord- our papers were delivered!!!!! Now we need to wait on our I171h!

Sunday, September 9, 2007


So, we got delivery confirmation on our dossier papers. It was MISSENT. Please pray that is arrives safely in the hands of the AoH employees! This is not something I want others to get their hands on~ they could obtain quite a bit of information about us. I'm certain it will arrive in one piece but extra prayers don't hurt!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Well, yesterday we got our passport and other photos done and today Zach mailed off our papers for our dossier! We're still waiting for our I171h (fingerprinting approval) to complete it but thought we'd mail everything else!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Papers are DONE

Our papers are all together and done. We now have a few that need to be notarized. We have to print up a few pictures and then I will send all of the items off. Still waiting for our I-171 but I figure I'll send out what I can now! It certainly feels good to be 'almost' done with this part! A big relief and one step closer to holding our little girl.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Patty's Meeting with the Consulate

I know you all have been anxiously awaiting news about my meeting with the Embassy today. I am happy to report that our discussions were positive and the Consulate took several suggestions I made about making the process perhaps a little less stressful. She acknowledged the unfortunate families who have been caught in this new transition and express that she hoped not too many more families would be in this position.

One of the concerns shared was the increase in adoptions and why that was happening. My explanation was simply.........20 years ago before the war Liberia was a peaceful and relatively prosperous nation and with the African culture that supports extended families caring for each other, adoption was a rare occurrence. Then with the many years of war the nation was left with thousands of orphans. NGO's and Organization like our saw the need to respond.Now while the orphans may be for the most part semi orphaned or children with single mothers, the need for these children to find loving forever families is just as great. The war left poverty at such a all time high, that extended families in many cases are no longer able to care for the vulnerable children. I had the opportunity to share what Acres of Hope was all about and the many programs we have that are serving the children of Liberia. That we are committed to serving all the children of Liberia. In the big scene of things only a few will be lucky enough to find the loving arms of adoptive parents, but because of those few..........thousands of others will be served in Liberia. They were impressed with the humanitarian outreach Acres of Hope and that was a real plus. The Consulate was quite socked to see the 22 page album that we put together just showing our special needs miracles. She assured me she would consider the needs of some of the most fragile children and applauded Acres of Hope in meeting the needs of this special group of children.

After discussions of the latest venture my staff had to make driving 200 miles on terrible roads with life-threatening conditions, crossing bridges washed out by the rains and needing to be re-built, I informed the Consulate I would not ever put my staff in that position again and that her request certainly appeared as if she was trying to put blockades in the process. Again she assured me her intentions were not to stop adoptions. At that point I suggested we pre-approve the children for visa at the beginning of the adoption process at the time the parent signs the relinquishment. That way the investigation should not be so involved as the part of verifying the orphan status would already be complete. She agreed to this.

So what does this all mean?

There will be a new order to adoptions that would include a pre-approve of the orphan for adoption by the Embassy much like the I600A is for the adoptive parent.This should eliminate the fear that at the end something could go wrong.

Time wise.........well that is still yet to be known, but I truly believe that this will improve what has already been in place and probably cut the process down in the end.

We also discussed that it was necessary to allow processing to be 2days per week with Thursdays being the day to drop off papers and schedule appointment.The result will be much more order, still the same amount of time,but with some strict guidelines.

In conclusion, our new Consulate is very willing to work with us to improve the system. She encouraged me to meet with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to discuss all these issues and concerns I have in educating others in the country on adoption including NGO not in favor of adoption.

I gave her a stack of information on articles you all were so good to research and I know she will have lots of reading materials and hopefully learn alot.

All in all it was a positive and productive meeting and I went away with good feeling realizing that changes are always hard and take time to get use to, but in this case I am convinced it is for the better.

Too many agencies have done short cuts or been dishonest and this is what has caused the issues we are dealing with now.

Acres of Hope is committed to setting the standards for how adoptions should be and with all of your help I believe the Lord will bless our efforts.

Thanks you all for your many prayers and patience through this growing experience. I want all of you to know I personally along with our wonderful staff are here to do everything in our power to remain a voice for the children and support to you as adoptive families.

THREE CHEERS FOR YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Note: I will give each of your children a big hug and kiss !

Blessings,Patty Anglin, Executive Director


Uh, Donna from AoH just called telling me that my homestudy that was sent to them was copies- and some were only the backs of pages. What is our agency doing? They should know that originals are needed! Even I know that! Not to mention awhile ago when I got a copy of my police clearance (it was fine guys) the birthdate was wrong. Even some information in our homestudy was inaccurate. Good thing our social worker is coming on Friday to update our homestudy since we've moved. I will address this all with her then and hopefully we will run in to no more snags with this. Now I have got to get going on this other paperwork. It is difficult when I'm still trying to change my address with this and that. We still haven't gotten any mail forwarded from our old address and its been 2 weeks. We only moved 1 digit in our zip code away (if that makes sense). I'm also trying to get ready for the school year so life's been busy as can be. Just when I think it settles down I find more I need to be doing. Well, off to play a game with the kiddos!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I have been away from my emails and groups for some time and I'm just catching up. Seems like I've missed a lot and my heart is saddened by the latest news on Liberia's front. Please read what Donna from Acres of Hope has shared with us:

* The consular is requiring adoption agency's to make an appointment for a pre-visa interview. That can only be done on a certain day and only for a couple hours that day. After the petition has been filed; the consular requires 3 weeks to conduct a mandatory I-604-Determination on Child for Adoption.
-Due to security concerns; the consular staff is requiring that agency's bring in the relinquishing birth parent for an interview with the consular. Families within the city will be required to come in as well. Furthermore, DNA testing will be required for all cases which consular staff cannot determine parentage by interview.
-Adoption providers can drop off documents pertaining to adoptions on Thursdays from 2-4:00pm.
-Adoptive parents should not schedule return flights to the U.S. until the consular provides the date a visa will be issued. Parents cannot meet with the consular unless they have a visa interview which can only be Thursdays from 2-4.

*The embassy gets its directions from the state dept. in Washington. They don't want to stop adoptions. They just want to slow them down to such a point that parents will be discouraged and not adopt from this country. They are now considering requiring parents to stay in country for a month. If the agency cannot locate the parent to your child then they will not issue a visa.

Parents need to be VERY concerned and get involved now. We need families to write letters. Use statistics. Child Institutional care is not what is best for kids no matter what country. They want the kids to be kept here (what kind of culture is an orphanage?) yet we just read last week how they are closing orphanages and returning kids to parents who cannot care for them. Letters need to be written reminding the state dept of the Geneva convention- a child's right to be adopted. This goes far beyond clothes, food, medicine, and education for kids. Institutional care is not the answer. Patty (AoH director) is making plans to go to the embassy early next week with other people.

We know that 70% of kids in private foster care in the U.S, alone end up in prison. And that is in the U.S.! What is this doing to the children in Liberia? Realize that this affects everyone adopting. No one is left out. This will cause the cost of adoptions to rise again as it will take so much more longer for the kids to come home. Families whose kids are home- take action. Don't think that because your children are home you can breathe a sigh a relief. You have an obligation to get involved for your adopted children's sake. This is their home country and many more children need your help.

My 2 cents- UNICEF is a driving force. They fund the social services department of Liberia. They are convincing them that adoption is big business and all these kids are going to leave the country. I hope this stirs everyone into action.

I know I will be taking action to do what I can. Even if you may not be adopting from Liberia, you too can help us families that are! Please, please, please help us out!!!

Katy has posted about this as well, and if you scroll down she tells how it will affect the children in Liberia. This really breaks my heart and I want you to join me in PRAYING for Liberia, for the orphans and for those in power to change these new rules.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Home Visit

The home visit went really well. She got here early (I wonder if they purposely do that) and I wasn't quite ready. I was brushing Cuddly Boy's teeth, then had to brush my own. So, Little Man kept her occupied. Of course, she likes to ask the kids questions so she had her opportunity there. I guess he was really good, telling her he wants a sister and is going to help her and share his toys. It was really sweet. He was all over that woman like jelly on toast! Maybe because he's known for some time that she was coming! Most of the things she asked were the same things that were asked on the forms we had to fill out. So, Monday it should be sent to the state! Sometimes it seems unreal that this is really happening, yet it is so exciting. I'm in a couple of different yahoo groups about adopting and the people keep getting their referrals. It is so fun to see their children! I love to read the stories of those who have already adopted too. The groups have also been a great help as I have so many questions. There's so much that goes into it all that it can seem overwhelming- yet I'm not at all overwhelmed. God is moving so magnificently in our family that it amazes me. I know I was down for awhile because I was letting people's opinions get to me. No longer. It has disappeared and it feels GOOD!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cruising Along

Tomorrow is our home visit for our homestudy. Somebody asked if I was nervous. I am not at all nervous. I have nothing to hide or anything like that. I'm excited that its one step closer in this process. Also, in the mail today we got our fingerprinting appointment. It is August 3rd. So, things are cruising right along.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Not a Coincidence

Today I received an email from Samaritans Purse. I'm sure I've gotten emails before but I honestly don't remember. I know we get mailings but I don't remember emails. This email was titled, "Franklin Graham in Liberia". Now, tell me what the chances of that are! To me it is another confirmation of what the Lord has called us to do. I do not believe in luck or coincidence or whatever you like to call it. Interested in seeing what it was all about? Well, click here to find out. Be sure to watch some of the videos. I love the singing in the background!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

As I was browsing online tonight I came across some great articles. They describe what I feel and the truth I know (that is sometimes so hard to convey). First there is God's Heart for the Orphan and The Little Loaf of Bread. This from The Little Loaf of Bread especially touched me as it is exactly what I've been thinking on lately:
When we think of about giving of our means to support our churches and other Christian ministries, we should remember these words as written by George Muller (The Autobiography of George Muller, Whitaker House, 1985; chapter 22): “May 26, 1851. The Christian should never worry about tomorrow or give sparingly because of a possible future need. Only the present moment is ours to serve the Lord, and tomorrow may never come. Money is really worth no more than as it can be used to accomplish the Lord’s work. Life is as worth as much as it is spent for the Lord’s service….A believer should rest and trust only in God.”

Sunday, July 8, 2007


I've been mulling a bit today over some things. Why is it that Christians, churches, maybe people in general see the need to give to missions (or the poor) yet don't understand that adoption is a mission. You see, we will be missionaries in our own home. Adoption is a ministry, and outreach to a child(ren) who has no hope or future. Isn't the fact that we are adopting a child, whether it be from a third world country or the U.S., helping one in need? A poor, hungry child in need of a family. Why is it that people have a difficult time seeing this picture? Or maybe they see it with thick lenses. Maybe they think we need to just save our money to buy that new car, new boat or to send our child to college. After all, it costs a lot of money to send a child to college nowadays. And that is much more important than helping an orphaned child, right? Wrong. Not that a college education is wrong or a bad thing, but I think God will find it more beneficial that we help those less fortunate than us. I'm not trying to say I'm better than the man who is saving his money for his children's education or for a new car. I guess maybe I just have a different perspective. Maybe I see more into the heart of God when it comes to those in need. I hate to say that, as I'm trying not to be 'prideful' in any sense. I just don't get why we Americans can live in our comfortable homes and go about giving a minimal amount to the church, missions or whatever other ministry our heart desires yet not seeing that a family adopting is also a mission and ministry. Or maybe we don't even give at all.

We will be bringing a child into our country. Into our home. This child will be a part of our family. A part of our church. A part of our community. She will be our daughter just as Princess is. Princess is a part of our home, family, church and community. She is ministered to at church. I'm sure if there were a need with Princess people would be quick to help in some way. What about the child God has picked just for our family that is all the way in Liberia? Will that child be ministered to? Not only when she gets here, but what about now? Can't people see that she needs help now? As sickness sets in, as the rains fall, as food is scarce can't people see that our daughter needs help?

How it breaks my heart that people can't see our vision! The Bible states clearly that we are to help widows and orphans (James 1:27).

Below is an excerpt of something I wrote in my journal on June 23.

What is your hobby? Golfing? Scrapbooking? Bowling? Fishing? Hunting? Knitting? Eating out? Now think about your hobby. Think about how much money you spend a year on this hobby.

Most of us own a home. Many have two cars. Some people drive around in their new SUV. Some have boats that they enjoy spending time in. Some people may have a cottage.

Whatever it is, lets face it: we are rich. We own a lot. We pay on many things. Many people probably have credit cards, car loans, mortgages and other debt.

Maybe we have money that we squander. We let it sit in the bank and collect interest. We invest. And all of that is ok. But is it eternal?

You see, we need to think of the 'big picture'. We need to remember to live for the Lord, to do what we can to further His kingdom. We can't take any material thing on this earth with us when we die. But we can take people. Maybe an orphan. Please, let me know your thoughts. Am I far off to feel the way I do?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

I'm not sure anybody has found this blog yet, but if so- welcome! I'm not sure why I'm unable to put titles for my posts...its very frustrating but I can't click in the Title box! I want this blog to be a source where we can give our adoption story but also to be a help to others who may be adopting, both from Liberia and elsewhere. I have many, many more links I want to add to the sidebar so stay tuned!

Liberia - Sites and Facts

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


We got a call last night that we were accepted by the adoption agency, Acres of Hope!!! Not that we doubted, but it is so nice to get the confirmation! Just wanted to share!

Monday, July 2, 2007


We have an appointment for our home visit with the social worker scheduled for the 13th!!!! We cannot wait! It seems so unreal, this road we're traveling! We're so excited! Just had to let y'all know! Time to finish cleaning the house and folding the laundry!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Liberia means 'free land'. Freed American slaves were sent back to Africa, however they were not welcomed. They named their settlement Monrovia, named after President James Monroe. Monrovia now serves as the capital of Liberia.

Rubber is one of the biggest natural resources in Liberia and brought many jobs to the country. Some of the other natural resources are ire ore, timber, gold and diamonds. Liberia was becoming a thriving land with universities, electrical plants, roads and even drawing tourism as people wanted to go on African safaris.

In 1989 a civil war broke out. Before this there was already unrest in the country. A country that seemed to be prospering soon found itself falling. Today Liberia has no running water, electricity or postal service. People are dying of disease and malnutrition. Orphans are found everywhere and many parents are turning their children over to the orphanages for survival. Because this country has no health care, or very minimal, there is no way to treat the diseases. People are dying. Children and babies dying. Nobody knows nor cares about these deaths as it is a common occurrence.

People do whatever they can for survival. For example, by 11 years old most girls become prostitutes to try to survive. Most of these girls have not even hit puberty yet they're prostituting their bodies in desperation for food.In 2004 1 million babies died. Did I mention that the population is only about 3 million? Life expectancy is only 40 years!

This country is in extreme poverty. They are in need. I know there are other countries in the same circumstances, yet the Lord has laid Liberia on our hearts. He has called us to pull at least one child, a child of His, out of this poverty. To give them life, hope and a future. What will you do to help? Will you at least pray for us? Not all are called to adopt, but there are still ways we can help those the Lord does call to adopt these orphans. If it breaks my heart to see a picture of a sad, malnourished child imagine how it breaks Jesus' heart!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Step 1 Complete

Yesterday I handed in our homestudy papers so the journey has officially begun. We're so excited. As I was driving to drop them off I felt so giddy. It was the same feeling you get when you find out you're pregnant- you're so excited and wonder what the next 9 months has in store for you. Our social worker is really wonderful and I sat and visited with her for awhile asking questions. This is her first time working with somebody adopting from Liberia (besides my friend Kim who is also working with her and has also just begun the process).

We had to pay $50 for the application fee for the homestudy. No big deal, it was payday and all. Well, Kim's friend called and asked if she could rent our water slide from us for $50! Sure! See how God just threw that in our lap!?!? It was so cool! Then I got the bright idea that I could rent out our water slide to friends of friends of friends;) as a way to raise money. God is so good to provide all our needs.

Well I'm off to finish cleaning. I've been getting some negative feedback and while I know the people are well-meaning I feel like saying, "If you don't have nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all". Makes me want to keep this all to ourselves, but we can't do that! We NEED the prayers of our family and friends!!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Also taken from my other blog:

If I could sum up with one word right now at the beginning of our adoption journey it would be: emotional. I have always been an emotional person, just ask my family. They used to sing Van Halen's song, Jamie's Cryin' to me:

Oh, whoa, whoa, Jamie's cryin'
Oh, whoa, whoa, Jamie's cryin'

God made women to be emotional. That isn't always a bad thing. Little things can get me to cry, but through the years I've become harder. I don't always cry as easily at certain things. But things of God, well they still tear me up. Watching my daughter grow and sing songs to Jesus while doing the motions, hearing little children sing songs to Jesus and seeing God's work in my life are some of the latest things that God has shown me. And I just want to sit and sob! BUT, that isn't all. God has given me a heart like His like never before. And that is emotional! I've never thought I would see so much of His heart like this. It is amazing. I've always had a heart for orphaned children but not like this. With sharing all of this, I may as well just spill my little 'testimony'. Let me warn you that it is long! Before I leave you to read my life story in a nutshell, I want you to check out this song, One, we've learned at VBS (click on the song One once you get there). Something about the words of this song just touch those emotional parts of my heart. As I hear the words and sing it I could just cry rivers of tears. It makes me think of the child(ren) we may be adopting from Africa and how we are One with them- in heart, mind, love. It doesn't matter their skin color or that they live across the ocean. We are One in Jesus name.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Written June 8, 9, 2007

Ever since I was a little girl I've wanted to be a mommy. I loved to play with my dolls and even my Barbie’s, who would have big families. Even at a young age I would help in the church nursery. I was always drawn to children! I remember one time watching something on TV that has still stuck with me. They were showing orphans in orphanages in Romania. It broke my heart to see those poor children lie in cribs all day long. To see the conditions they lived in devastated me. As I grew older I began to baby-sit and I loved it! I loved to be around children and take care of them. Being an only child and the youngest grandbaby for many about 8 years, I didn’t have many little children in my family. At some point, I think maybe 6th or 7th grade I began watching the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. I was so inspired by how these sick children were helped, how despite their illness they were so happy.

It was about this time, in 7th grade, that the schools began talking about our careers and college. We had to think about what we wanted to do when we grew up. Well all I wanted to be was a mommy! But of course that wasn’t an option. I had to search out careers and find what I wanted to do (and forget about having children). It was in my search that I learned of social work. Perfect! I began to think about those telethons and dream of working in a children’s hospital. I thought of how I would make those ill children smile- walk in their rooms in a clown suit, have a puppet show, play with them, tell them of Jesus.

So as graduation grew nearer this was the plan. I’d become a social worker. After all, the thing to do after high school is to go to college, right? Who just becomes a mom?

Through college I always wondered when I’d find the right guy. I just wanted to get married and start a family! But of course- studies came first. My sophomore and junior years I went on a mission trip to Grundy, Virginia (Mt. Mission School) during spring break. We worked at an orphanage. The majority of the children were from African American families, families of poverty (which is why the children were there). Those children were so precious! They just loved for us to come and fellowship, sing and play with them. They were so full of love and hugs- and even smiles. That was such an awesome opportunity for me!

By my senior year I had met my man. Two weeks after I graduated we were married. I listened to those ‘wiser’ ones and was on the pill. It’s not feasible to start a family right after marriage. We needed to get to know one another, was what we were told. Well, I didn’t last long on the pill for physical reasons, but also because I wanted a baby! About two months after we’d gotten married we were pregnant! Two years later we had another baby. At that time I wasn’t sure how many children I wanted, maybe 4 or 5. We used protection but still thought if God wanted us to become pregnant He would allow it to happen.

Then I was introduced to the Above Rubies ministry. I devoured the magazines, joined the egroup and then we went to a family camp. We read their book, which is now called, ‘Be Fruitful & Multiply’ and it changed our lives. It opened our eyes and we’ve not been the same. God has really used Nancy Campbell and this ministry to change our family. I am open to any number of children. I see them as a blessing. I have learned about how to be a better, more Godly wife and mother.

I should also mention that at first in our marriage I knew we’d homeschool but I wasn’t too open about it. Zach totally wanted it but I was hesitant. Well, the Lord changed my way of thinking in this area as well. My sister-in-law gave us a book about homeschooling and I became excited about it and that fire has not burned out yet!

The past year Above Rubies has really focused on adoptions from Liberia. I also must mention I go to Women’s Retreats through Above Rubies- I’ve gone to 3 now. I enjoyed reading about these families who were adopting, thinking that someday further down the road we’d adopt. Since that day when I saw on TV those children in the Romanian orphanages I have had a desire to adopt. Through our years together once in awhile I’d mention it to Zach, thinking it would happen way down the road. He wasn't open to adoption, though. He thought it would be fine just to produce our own children!

God has been working on Zach’s heart. I’m sure I would tell him about some of these families who were adopting. One day, I’m not even sure when, he told me we should adopt. I couldn't believe my ears! So, I once again thought, ‘Yeah, down the road’.

Two years after our second child was born we had a third one- our second boy. After I had him it took longer to get pregnant (because I nursed on demand for a long time). When I did get pregnant I miscarried. This was August of last year. Two to three months later I again was pregnant. Things were going great, we saw the baby on ultrasound, heard a heartbeat. When I went to an appointment at 15 weeks I found out our baby died. We were devastated, in shock, angry, sad. Three weeks later I delivered Malachi Robert’s body into the world. We buried him five days later.

This was the most difficult time of my life yet I saw God’s hand through it all. Zach found out about an Adoption Seminar on base and wanted to go. I thought I’d go but wasn’t interested in adopting at this time. I just lost my baby and felt like I wasn’t being a good mommy to my three children. Also, while I was waiting to deliver our Malachi I attended an Above Rubies retreat. Nancy talked about how they were adopting from Liberia and told us about her daughter, who also adopted from Liberia.

So I go to this seminar and we get lots of good information. I think I’ll just hold on to it for the future. We’d even gotten a home study packet. I filed it all away. But Zach kept talking about adopting. We’ve even talked about foster/adopt but if we move next summer I’m not certain how that would work out. I wouldn’t want to get attached to these children and possibly be able to adopt them only to move and have to ‘give them up’.

So over the past couple of months I’ve been pondering adoption more and more. I realized it would probably happen sooner than what I originally thought. Then one night I went to a Mom’s Night Out, just 4 nights ago. My friend, Kim, was there. She is hoping to adopt a little girl, Janet Flomo, from Liberia. She was telling us about it, about Liberia. Things I’ve heard before. But for some reason this night it really hit me. Also, her friend was there talking about her foster care. I almost began weeping. I really had to hold back the tears. God really impressed it heavily upon my heart that “NOW is the time”. Some little girl in Liberia needs us.

I came home and I probably went looking on the Internet right away. I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. Zach was already in bed, so the next day I emailed him about it. His reply was pretty much, “Let’s do it!” He probably thought it’s about time I come around!

The past four nights I’ve slept fitfully. I keep seeing images on little Liberian children needing help. I’ve been researching online- adoption agencies, blogs of those who’ve adopted, etc. I’ve emailed a few who have adopted from Liberia.

Besides the fact that God has laid Liberia so heavy on my heart is something else. He showed me a ‘window’ the other day of how everything in my life has come to this point. Like:
1. I am adopted. My dad adopted me when I was 7 or 8. I don’t know my biological dad (although I've met him). I am also adopted into God’s family.
2. Seeing the Romanian orphanages, how it affected me and how I still remember it today.
3. Always wanting to be a mommy.
4. Getting a social work degree (Jerry Lewis).
5. My mission trips to the ‘orphans’ in Virginia.
6. Above Rubies
7. Even losing my babies.

I know there are many reasons my babies may have passed. I know God works all things out for His glory. I see good that has come through the losses. I believe if we hadn’t gone through them then our hearts wouldn’t be so open today to adopting. As I look back I see God’s always had me as a ‘candidate’ of His to adopt- He’s just been molding my life and heart until just the right time so that He will bless us with just the child who needs us.

Some verses I read this morning:
Psalm 112:9 He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor…
Psalm 113:9 He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.
Psalm 115:14, 15 May the Lord make you increase, both you and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Verses on ‘adoption’:
Ephesians 1:5 …he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will...
Romans 8:23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
James 1:27 Religion that god our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Monday, June 11, 2007

This is taken from my 'normal' blog...where it all began!

Remember a few posts back I asked you to pray for something? Well, I thought I'd finally share it. We are in the process to adopt a child from Liberia. I ask you to pray that this goes smoothly (as smooth as an adoption can go). I ask you to pray for the finances. Adoption costs a ridiculous amount of money and we are totally stepping out in faith here. We're in the military and we don't have extra funds lying around to just up and adopt a child. But God has called us to this point and we are trusting in Him. We know that if it is His will then He will help us to provide. Pray also for the children in Liberia. I will be sharing some of what we're learning as the days, weeks and months unfold. Pray for the people who will help us through the process- from the prayer warriors to the social workers to the adoption agency to the INS workers. I also have written something that I would like to share soon with you all (probably in increments as it is long). Unless I figure out a way I can send a link to it... This is a huge step, an exciting yet scary road we will travel. Thank you for your support and love! Not all have been supporting at this point and that is difficult, especially when it is people close to us. Which I why I will share and pour out my heart to you.

I will leave you with some facts about Liberia. In 1989 a civil war broke out, being rated as one of the most deadly wars in Africa. There's no electricity, running water or mail service. People are suffering from malnutrition and lack of medical care. Babies and others die daily from the disease and conditions that run rampant in that country. The population is about 3 million with a life expectancy about 40 years old. The country is hurting and in need of not only food and medical care, but most importantly they're in need of a Savior, Jesus.