Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Missing her so much today. Can't find the words to express this feeling. A hole so deep there doesn't seem to be a bottom to it. And ache so intense you're almost paralyzed. Going to go spend some time quiet in the Word with my heavenly Daddy. He understands this pain, this ache, this longing all too well.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Meeting My Butterfly

It was a long hard wait, but I finally got to meet my butterfly. And before we left, we made her a promise...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mama Gets to Meet Her Little Girl


Wrap all those words up with a big pretty bow and you have what I am feeling right now.

This was a path set by God, perfectly formed and chosen, before it ever was a thought in our minds.

A first meeting.
A first hug.
To hear her beating heart for the first time.
To watch her little chest rise and fall as she sleeps.
To hold her hand for the first time.
To look in those deep brown eyes.
Knowing she has a past but looking forward to our future.
A first real glimpse of what our family is becoming.

I have loved this little girl for so many years now. I am almost immobilized from my emotions. In just a few hours all of the above will be happening.

God is so good!

We are off to Haiti

Will my heart break when I have to leave for home? I can't even imagine the pain I will feel or the tears I am going to cry. I'm sure I will. But I know where to turn and where to look ahead to.

The joy and the promise that the Lord has laid in the folds of our heart. The giving of ourselves as parents, the growing of a family... God has made it perfectly clear that this is all part of His plan for our lives.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Waiting for a hug

Can't wait to wrap my arms around this beautiful bundle of laughter and love that is Nephtali.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

On Your Mark, Get Set...GO!!

The "waiting race" is now off to an official start. We received word yesterday that our paperwork has been received by IBESR. It will now be four months to a year before we receive word.

It's funny how a sentence can make you smile and frown all at once. The thought that we are one step closer - that if it all goes smoothly and on the short track we could be celebrating our daughters 7th birthday by bringing her home - makes my heart smile soooo big!! But the thought of having to wait another year, which would bring this journey to over 4 yrs, puts such a lump in my throat.

The next four months will luckily be blessed with holidays, our trip to Haiti to file paperwork and for me to feel the arms of Jesus through the tiny dark arms of Nephtali wrapped around my neck, and then birthday celebrations. But, wow, is the end of February going to be hard.

As a gardener, February always gives me such pains. I can't wait to get my hands in the rich soil and start the miracle of new growth. As a person with lazy circulation, the thought of not having to wear six pairs of socks on my feet soon makes me want to dance!

And now we will add the flutter of butterflies in our tummies as we keep praying hard that maybe along with the promise of spring will come our beautiful Haitian flower coming home to be planted in the garden of our cozy family!

Heavenly Father, please hear our cry! IF its your will, bring our baby girl home as fast as you can!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Long Overdue Update

Sometimes in the adoption process there are times where it seems nothing happens. Nothing seems to change, nothing seems to move, nothing seems to be getting done. Our dossier was sent to the agency. This meant we had no more appointments, no more paperwork to shuffle, no more rushing to meet deadlines. We couldn't make plans to visit yet. We received no e-mails or phone calls from the agency. There was just nothing.

But in reality that is wrong. There is always something , but it's just a matter of how you look at it. We have been working on our parenting skills to prepare for the special needs that are sometimes needed in adopting an older child. We have been on our knees a lot praying for her safety through storms, praying for enough food to keep her belly from hurting, praying for her little heart to grow closer to Jesus.

We've even been daydreaming of what joy will fill our hearts when we see six children at the dinner table instead of five or three little ones swinging in the yard instead of two. When it comes to adopting child, big or small, there is never nothing to do or nothing happening. So even though we haven't blogged in a little bit we have been filling the time that has passed with preparation and prayer.

So... is that our update? Nope! This past week we have received news of progress.

Our Dossier was translated and legalized and arrived safe and sound in Haiti. The lawyer in Haiti informed us this morning that our dossier is at the Foreign Ministry Affairs office for 1st Legalization and that she has Nephtali's social evaluation appointment set for next week. There are a few more appointments that need to be made and a few other things that have to happen before Nephtali's dossier is complete and ready but we are getting much closer.

Erin and I are waiting on pins and needles, to get the okay to buy our plane tickets to visit our little girl and file our I-600. The I-600 is the petition to classify Nephtali as an Immediate Relative of ours . This is the form that will give us permission to bring Nephtali into the US as an immigrant orphan. We will still have to wait for the Haitian Government to say she is ours. And that step takes the signatures of four different government officials and a dispensation from the Haitian President. So please keep praying, we still need it!

It's hard waiting for that final bit of news that makes it a go for us to buy tickets because the paper we are waiting on was already done last year. but the agency said it would probably cause problems to use it since it shows a prior relationship between us and Nephtali. And the Haitian Goverment would ask questions about why and how we had a prior relationship. Normally you would think a prior relationship would be a good thing but in Haiti's eyes they might worry that there was less-than-honorable behavior involved. And in a country with so many poor children sold into salvery and other horrible things, it's best to avoid any appearance of impropriety. So in order to help things going smoother, we are waiting for that paper to be redone.

Once we get word that it is done our tickets will be bought and within days I should be able to hold my little girl for the first time!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Which Precious Face?

This past weekend Haiti Lifeline Ministries had its first sponsorship event. Many dear friends put in countless hours to fine tune this event into a beautiful evening. We were blessed to have Nicole Dieudonne (the director of Centre Children International Lifeline d'Haiti orphanage) and her husband Daniel come from Haiti and stay in Topeka while they were visiting their own children here in the states this past weekend.

It felt so good to wrap our arms around them, to laugh together, to cry together and to praise God together. We were able to sit and start making some basic plans for our trip down to the orphanage this late summer/early fall  to sign some paperwork and, most importantly for me, to meet and hold our little girl. For now, I sent a hug back with Nicole to give to Nephtali and a whisper in her ear to tell her her mama loves her very much.

And though this night was filled with so much joy and so many accomplishments, there is such poverty and hopelessness in Haiti. Plain and simple there is so much more work to do. Not every one can go. Not everyone can adopt. But we can all give. Each of us and give time, our prayers and our resources and help the fatherless and those who fight to help them.

Could you please take a moment to look through the faces of the children of Lifeline Orphanage. There are about 75 children living there right now. 75 children in need of food. 75 children in need of education. 75 children in need of  health care. 75 children in need of a prayer angel.

Look at their precious faces. Maybe one of these children is whom you are called to pray for each day.  Maybe one of these children is the one who you are called to sponsor. Maybe one of these children is meant to be part of your family. Maybe, just maybe... so please give a few minutes of your time and take a look... and make a difference in a life.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Power of One

One God in control.
One Daddy waiting to see her again.
One Mommy waiting for a first hug.
One Family waiting to be whole.
One Goal... to bring her HOME!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

And It's Off... to Colorado!

The dossier (dossier = big stack of important and expensive adoption documents) has been checked, double-checked, prayed over and kissed good-bye! It will be on someone's desk by Monday morning.

Once there, it will be looked over with a fine tooth comb, checked that all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed, put through an acid test, gone the whole nine yards, and translated into French! When all that is done, it will be on its way over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean to Haiti where it will team up with Nephtali's dossier.

CCAI said yesterday that they located and received Nephtali's birth certificate and the rest of the paperwork from the old lawyer when we started before! (PRAISE GOD it was found!) It is as complete as it can be at this point. There will be a few more things needed for her dossier that can't be done until our paperwork is there. But as of right now no problems are expected.

Once the two dossiers are completed they become one and then the long wait for it to go through four different government hands begins. This is where the days turn into weeks, and the weeks months (and sometimes months into... well, you know), waiting for word that she is ours.

Today as I was reading Scripture,I read Isaiah 45:2

"I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron"
As our journey continues and we travel a little further down the road with Faith as our close friend and traveling buddy, what a joy it is to know our Lord goes before us and prepares the way!!

We would be grateful for prayers that:
  1. Our dossier arrives in Colorado safe and sound
  2. The critical review, translation, and legalization is quick and seamless.
  3. We have not overlooked anything, and that there will not need to be any changes, addendums, or further paperwork
  4. Our dossier arrives in Haiti safe and sound
  5. We arrive in Haiti safe and sound (when we go there later this summer to sign a very important piece of paper)
  6. Our dossier moves quickly and without problems through the four different IBESR offices.
Thank you so much. We will keep you posted.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nephtali, May You...

May you be safe and sleep soundly through the night
May you be safe as you wake to the morning's light
May you feel our love from so far away,
May it comfort and protect you throughout each day.
We will pray for you my little one,
Until our time of waiting is done.
We will pray that the Lord keep you safe from harm,
Until the child of our hearts becomes the child in our arms.

Friday, June 10, 2011

How To Say Thanks?

How does a family say thank you when they don’t know everyone to thank? Maybe I’ll just have to share, in hopes that you’ll read this and know that you were a very specific answer to prayer for our family this past week.

This past week has been full of many blessings. God is providing left and right for this adoption to take place!

Thanks to the generosity of so many of our family, friends, and those we don’t even know, the yard sale was a huge success and such an encouragement to our family. We are so thankful and have been blessed beyond measure.

How else have we seen the Lord at work? Last Thursday morning we received a call from The Topeka Community Foundation and learned we were awarded a $1000 grant!

And just this morning, we received a check for $500 for "unclaimed property" that we did not (until recently) know we had! That money had been sitting safely in an account with the Kansas State Treasurer waiting for just the right time and the purpose God had for it.

With all of these events, we've raised the money needed for the next payment to CCAI which will be sent in with our dossier sometime in the next week or so.

Does the Lord work at just the right time or what?

He's continued to shows us in BIG ways (and small) that HE has this in HIS control and we just have to continue to trust Him.

How can we not say that our Heavenly Father LOVES the orphan? That He rejoices in rescuing the perishing? That He desires that a child no longer sleep in an orphanage with no one to tuck her in at night, no one to tell her stories, no one to kiss her booboo's better, and most importantly passing on the gospel so that she can be adopted into His forever family!

So. . . thank you. Thank You. THANK YOU. You have provided tangible evidence of God is at work!
“Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.” -James 1:27

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


We need your help! Spread the word! It's an S.O.S!!!
Sale on Saturday!!

Get ready for another great day of new bargains and an opportunity to help us raise some funds for Nephtali's adoption!

This Saturday from 7:30 to 4pm at 1737 SW Amhurst Rd
(If it rains we will move the date to the following
Saturday, June 11th).

Please pass along the message to your family, friends, church and anyone else you can.

We will have...

Furniture (beds, bookshelves, table and more)
kids car beds
household ( Tupperware, ice cream maker, and more) Computers , TV, and other electronics
Kids toys ( Fisher price, Playskool , Little Tikes and more)
TONS and TONS of name brand clothes! ( kids, teens, womens and mens of all sizes)
Most only .50 to $1!!

There something for everyone....
even a MiniVan !!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Waiting on One More Thing So We Can Begin Waiting

Does that sound strange?

Most of the adoption process here at home is waiting and then waiting some more. Which is followed up by a good old fashioned dose of waiting.

Right now we are waiting for one more document for our dossier. Given that it is coming from the federal government it doesn't surprise us that its the last one we need and even though we are told every other day its should be done in a day, here we are still waiting.
Once that document is here we will be shipping our dossier off to Colorado and wait while the adoption agency goes over it with a fine tooth comb and translates it into French/creole.

When they are done they ship it off to Haiti and the real waiting begins!!! This last wait will be one of the hardest to do. There is no time line, no numbers to call and check, just time going by, day by day.

But each day will be a day to lift up our prayers to God. Each day, no matter how many go by, will be one day closer to bringing her home. We will fill them with faith in God's word and hope is the day we receive the words "you've been approved."

Until then we wait.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Growing Up in Pictures

Nephtali, age 3

Nephtali,  age 6

Being a mom or a dad watching your child reach the various milestones in their life is an experience that fills you with so much pride you feel like you will burst. Every little thing brings joy to your heart, even on those days when its comes after the messes are cleaned up and the sun is going down.

Plain and simple... it hurts to know our little is growing up. And for us she is growing up in pictures. 

So far she has grown up...

Without a dad to wrap his strong arms around her when her belly hurts.
Without a mom to kiss her boo-boos.
Without a dad to hold her tight when bad dreams come in the night.
Without a mom to fix her hair and tell her she is a beautiful young lady.
Without a dad to ask for a dance when she hears music made for a princess.
Without a mom to whom she can run when she is proud of a drawing she has done.
Without a dad to sneak her a treat just before dinner because she batted her big brown eyes.

And she's not the only one who's missed out. So far, we've...

Missed her first steps.
Missed potty training.
Missed her first twirl in a pretty dress.
Missed her first day of school.

And even though we get closer each day I can't help but stop and wonder ....

Will we miss her first loose tooth?
Will we miss her learning to read?
Will we miss the day she decides she is a "big girl" now?

Its so hard having your baby grow up in pictures. But through it all there is one thing that doesn't change...


Though she doesn't have a mommy or daddy with her there in Haiti, she has a mommy and a daddy here. Praying for her, fighting for her, loving her with each heart beat, each moment of each day.

And even though we have missed so much, and might miss even more, these things are happening and that means she is growing each day. Growing stronger, smarter, closer to our arms each day.

And when she is here in our home, in our arms, we can look forward to experiencing... together...

Her first sleep in a home all her own
Her first family photo
Her first family dinner
Her first taste of Brussels sprouts or Lima beans
Her first spat with a sibling
Her first real birthday party
Her first time to a zoo or park
Her excepting Christ as her Savior
Her first time driving
Her graduation
Her first love
Her marriage
Her first child

,,,and so so much more when our family is whole and she grows up in our arms along with our hearts instead of just pictures.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

God in the Details

Talk about God making himself known!

For those of you who have been following our adoption journey, you had heard that we were struggling to find a psychiatrist to meet with us and provide a document we need on short notice. After much searching we found one.

When we met with Dr. Mark this afternoon we told him our whole story, being sure not to leave out God's hand at work. He was receptive and kind, not rolling his eyes at the mentions of Jesus and faith (as honestly, I expected from a psychiatrist). When we were done, he pulled up a photo on his laptop and said, "you guys aren't going to believe this" as he opened up a little about himself.

As it turns out, he is also a follower of Jesus and he too, has been to and has a heart for Haiti. So he was able to relate and understand our hearts' desires. When we spoke of Haiti he wasn't imagining a far off land seen only on CNN. He was remembering and recalling his own personal experiences. He is part of a new orphanage project in the mountains of Haiti and has a special 'friend' there named Fundi (pictured here with Dr. Mark).

And there was more from God... you see, Nick and I were able to provide information that will likely help their orphanage as they try to build a safe haven for the children God has placed in their care.

God is so awesome. I can't help but praise Him and thank him for my new friend, Dr. Mark.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blessing and a Third Grade Hug

It's amazing how God provides! Throughout the last few weeks we were meeting up with friends and picking up their donations for the garage sale adoption fundraiser. Before the sun rose we were out setting up and if you know our family we do not like to do anything early in the AM. But our hearts were happy as we through on some warm clothes and got ready. The morning was slow but when the sun finally poked its lazy head out and warmed the air it brought the people we needed.

It was so wonderful to meet so many people who's lives have been touched by adoption and so many kind souls here in Topeka. What a great community our little girl is going to be coming home to. One little boy really touched our hearts that day and Jeremiah if your family reads this they can let you know Nephtali will know you helped, because we will never forget that you helped. You brightened our day and lifted our hearts as we watched your joy overflow and you also gave one awesome third grade hug!

As the afternoon started to draw to a close and evening snuck around the corner I had to stop and take in everything. God used a few fish and some loaves and gave us a banquet that fed a great need and there was still left overs for the next time.

Thank you everyone for your generosity. Thank you for your donations of items, your time, you funds, your stories, and your smiles. Through this day, filled so many blessings, we were able to raise a third of the lawyers fees.

Everything that was left over has been tucked away and along with donations of more items that have already been offered we will have another go of it in a couple weeks and see how close we can get to covering the rest of the lawyers fees.

Again thank you, thank you for helping us bring Nephtali home.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Birthday

Today is Nephtali's Birthday. Our little girl turns six. Today she will go to school. Today she will eat one or two meals of beans and rice. Today she might bathe in a bucket of water. Today she might run barefoot in the dusty field. There will be no balloons, no cake, or brightly colored wrapping paper hiding some surprise gift. No party or shouts of "Happy Birthday", at least not Haiti.

Today, as we miss our little girl, we will celebrate. We will shout with joy for the day she was born. Thanking God for knitting her in her mothers womb. Thanking God for His provisions that saved her life the day she was brought to the orphanage. Praising His goodness for giving her these six years. Thanking Him for her smile , her giggle, and her precious little voice that fills our hearts with such joy.

Maybe we'll play some praise music and dance in our home. She will surround us as we dance. She is here in the collages of our family. She is here on our fridge in crayon drawings she drew for me and sent home with her papa Erin. She is here in the drawings her sister Ivy has made of them hugging and playing. She is here as her little brother prays each night "help Nephtali come home soon".

Even though she is miles away in Haiti, she is here in our home. These things don't help shorten the distance but in some small way she is here and I am praying she feels our love and the joy we feel celebrating our beautiful six-year-old daughter.

Happy Birthday, Nephtali

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Yard Sale for Nephtali!! we work to bring our treasure home!

Come get some GREAT deals and help us raise the money needed to bring our daughter home!!

Saturday the 14th
7:30am to 4pm

1737 SW Amhurst Rd (corner of 17th and Fairlawn)

  • computers and laptop
  • printers, scanners and other electronics
  • grill, bread machine and lots of other household items
  • video games, 
  • little tikes and Fisher Price toys and much more
  • Play house
  • China set with silverware and crystal
  • bedding
  • Name brand clothing clothing 
  • collectibles
  • homemade hair accessories

just to name a few great deals you will find!

Some items even new in box!!

Gift baskets and drawings also!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Megaphones Needed

We shared with many of you already the wonderful news that our Dossier should come together in a matter of weeks instead of the months we were expecting and that means it should be in Haiti in less then 2 months!

Right now the Haitian government seems to be on a fast streak and has been approving some families with in a couple months when that part of the process is estimated at a year. The hope is that with getting our Dossier in faster we might catch this fast streak and bring our daughter home all the sooner! We are scrambling around for a CPA, licensed psychiatrist, wellness check by a MD and a place to get lab work done that might either have low fees or possibly lower their fees to help save every penny we can.

Speaking of pennies that brings me to another prayer request!

Because we are now trying to do this in such a short time frame instead of several months we now need to raise around $3500 RIGHT AWAY! We have been praying hard and know our God is big enough. We know this goal can be reached through prayer, hard work, and the help of our friends and family!

I have asked many of you if you would be willing to share our story before and I am asking again. Can you share ? Can you pray? Could you ask your church to pray? Can you facebook our story and need? Can you donate? Can you shout our need from the top of your house with a megaphone? Anyway you can help us get the word out and get the money we need in such a short time would mean so much to us!

If you know someone who might want to donate but doesn't like to use pay pal we will pass along our address or the address of the adoption agency. Please hit your knees and grab your megaphones and shout......Please help bring Nephtali home!!!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Having a Martha House the Mary Way

I've been reading Sarah Mae's blog, Like a warm Cup of Coffee, for a little while now and find her sharing to be such a blessing. I can't wait to read her new book, 31 Days to Clean – Having a Martha House the Mary Way. If you haven't heard about this book here is what she has shared about it...

"I am not a natural when it comes to cleaning. In fact, sometimes I think my DNA is allergic to it! However, I know that if I am to care for my home, and more importantly my family, I need to persevere in creating a clean, peaceful home environment (not a perfect one!).

31 Days to Clean is about the “why” and the vision and the heart for taking care of our domains. Each day I encourage you with some thoughts and ideas, and then we put those ideas to action.

After each days reading, you will be given two challenges:

The Mary Challenge -Something you do that encourages/engages your heart
The Martha Challenge – Specific cleaning tasks
Friends, 31 Days to Clean is a faith journey towards ruling, subduing, and loving. We are forgoing perfection; we are choosing life."

Do you need to abandon perfection and choose life? Could you use a little help?

Monday, April 25, 2011

40 baskets

Sometimes I have good ideas. Sometimes I have crazy ideas. Sometimes I don't know what I was thinking. Today, I was thinking, I'll do anything to help bring our daughter home! So when someone asked me if I wanted about 40 baskets I said, "Sure!"

We will be having a yard sale sometime next month. As I pile up everything in our house that isn't needed or nailed down, it looks like the yard sale will also contain baskets. Now to make those wheels turn and come up with a good way to use them to raise some money to help us reach our next goal. What do you think? Themed baskets? Goodie baskets? Mystery baskets? What would you buy in a basket to help us bring Nephtali home?

Friday, April 8, 2011

One Baby-Step Closer!

"Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you."

~Jeremiah 32:17

Praise the LORD!

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
~Psalm 150:1-6

Please join me is Praising God for His goodness! Our first payment was sent today to the agency! Baby steps to get to our baby girl...each one, bringing us closer to holding her in our arms! Thank you all so much for helping us take those steps. Thank you for letting God use you to bring our family closer to being whole.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A big toothless grin

Some would gather money along the path of life
Some would gather roses and rest from worldly strife
But I would gather children from among the thorns of sin
I would seek a little child with a big and toothless grin.
For money cannot enter in the land of endless day
And roses that are gathered soon wilt along the way
But oh, the laughing children as I cross the sunset sea
As the gates swing wide to heaven
I can take them in with me.

Author unknown

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Where Are Your Donations Going?

The Lenths

One of our biggest fears as we started on this adoption journey was the money it would take to bring our little girl home. But when you know God is leading, what else is there to do but follow? So we took a leap of Faith and we continue to pray each day that God will supply the finances to make it happen.

We have had big donations and small donations - each one is such a blessing and vitally important to helping us. Every donation that comes in humbles and amazes us as we watch God provide through His faithful Body. Thank you so much for giving what you can.

If you've never adopted or had someone close to you that has adopted, you might wonder what all the money is needed for. To give you an idea of the financial breakdown of our adoption, it is easiest to break it down into a few different parts:

Part 1 - Agency fees ~~ $3,400
  • These are the fees that CCAI , our adoption agency, asks for. We will be making the first big payment very soon with continued help. CCAI will be helping with our dossier, translations, communications, and other paperwork throughout this journey.

Part 2 - Our dossier and Nephtali's dossier ~~ $1200
  • This will take 3-4 months for us and the lawyer in Haiti to gather due to waiting on various government agencies. Once both dossiers are complete they will be submitted to the Haitian government and the waiting begins for them to be processed through several different Haitian government departments.

Part 3 - Haitian lawyer and Orphanage fees ~~ $5000
  • This fee will cover the work of the lawyer in Haiti, the processing of our paperwork, and provide for our daughter while she is living at the Life Line orphanage waiting to come home.

Part 4 - Nephtali's Visa, physical and other testing ~~ $500 to $1500

Part 5 - Travel ~~ $3300-$5000
  • Trip 1 ~~ $1500 to $2500 range
  • Trip 2 ~~ $1800 to $2500 range

We will have to travel twice to Haiti for the adoption. The first trip is to file paperwork. The agency usually sets up this first trip and you travel with a CCAI group. This is very helpful when you are entering a country you are not familiar with. For us this is different, since my husband goes down every January to work at the orphanage and has had a lot of experience with the culture, communities, and people. We are hoping to save cut some costs by planning our own travel.

The second trip will be to bring our daughter home!!

The costs of the trips vary because airline prices change so quickly and we are not sure when in the year we will need to plan either trip.

There are also other things that might or might not have to be done. Depending on the speed of the Haitian government, some forms are likely to expire and need to be updated. There is possible medical testing for Nephtali that may be needed. And as always, in life, there is the unexpected!

It is our hearts' desire and prayer that any money raised, beyond what we need to bring Nephtali home, be used to help other families adopting one of the precious 80 children longing for a mom and a dad and to help feed those 80 little tummies that some days growl with hunger.

If you feel moved to, we would love your help in reaching these goals. If you have any questions about the process or our journey please contact us. We will be more then willing to answer them.

We are all called to be good stewards of God's money. And if we can help you do that by answering your questions we would be more than happy to do so.

In His precious name.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An oak tree

I know its a little silly, but as I watched the giant full oak tree next door cut down to a skeleton and nest flung about, I couldn't help but feel so sad for the birds and the squirrels that call that tree home. Home is precious no matter who you are.
This week in Japan, still so many in Haiti, foreclosures here in the US, and that beautiful majestic oak. Lord, please bring hope to those without a home. May a safe place they can call their own be found soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Garden

The first day of spring is only 12 days away. Spring, beautiful spring! Warmer sunny weather, plants waking up from their long slumber, birds singing their sweet songs , seeds sprouting , newborn critters. But it's not magic. Its not all going to just "happen" on March 20th. It's a slow process that happens day by day. Sometimes that change is so slow we can't really see it happen until it's happened. But we know it will. God has promised us these changes. We can be assured that spring will come.

As spring fever hits our home and the kids minds are filled with visions of sunny days, mud puddles, parks, gardening, riding bikes and so much more, I have felt a hole in my heart grow a little bigger.

You see, in my heart is a beautiful garden and when I look at it, I can't help but smile.

I see my husband, the sturdy Oak, in the back of the garden. His branches stretched out providing shelter, food and comfort and growing a little closer to God each year.

I see a young sapling that has sprung from the oak. His trunk is still a little green and sometimes bends with the gust of a strong wind but his roots are strong and and some day he will grow and bare fruit.

I see a tall sunflower with a bright and shining face turned toward the heavens filled with lots of little seeds getting ready to provide for others' needs and grow other flowers for God's use and Glory.

I see a happy daisy that brings a smile to my face. There is always the sound of giggles coming from her that brings joy to my heart, even on the hardest of days.

Next, there is the morning glory who wraps her self around your heart. She starts each day opening herself to God's light and taking in His nourishment so she can grow stronger and spread her vines further. Closer to the ground you will see a Lamb's ear plant. Such a strong little plant, but whose leaves are so inviting and soft you can't help but bend down to touch them.

Keep looking; we aren't done! Do you see it? It's that hole I was talking about. Right there in the garden is a hole in the dirt. It was dug just the right size and depth waiting for something. God has a little rose bush with dark silky petals that will fit perfectly in that hole. Her name is Nephtali.

If you close your eyes you can see her there in the garden with the rest. What a beautiful picture! Everyone growing together at the hands of our heavenly Father, our gardener.

Sometimes I wish I could keep my eyes closed. But I can't. I have to open them . I have to face seeing that hole and the sadness it brings to me some days. But God understands and has given me His word

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

Because of His Word I know that hole is a good thing. And though I can feel that it has become a little bigger as another season comes and I still wait for my daughter, I know I can trust God.

I can stop every so often and close my eyes and see what can not be seen... my garden... complete. My faith is in Him. He is the one caring for His plants, providing for their needs, and smiling at what a beautiful garden He is creating.

So as spring comes and I await all the changes, I will wait with His Word in my heart and be sure of the work He is doing in our garden.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

First Words

Do you remember those first words? When you sweet little one spouted out the most incredible thing ever said by a baby. Did you squealed with delight, pick them up and danced around the room, called your spouse, fumbled for the video camera, called grandparents, post on the internet, write it in their baby book, and celebrated the rest of the night? Do you remember the joy that came bubbling up from your heart? How your smile burst on your face? Do you remember how amazing it was? That little person you love so much was able to express in words that they loved you also with a simple gift of "ma-ma"/ "da-da".

These tender milestones help make the sleepless nights, gassy tummies, feedings round the clock, piles of stinky diapers, saggy body, and more all worth it. All those things that you wish could not be part of the journey of having a child melts away in that moment. And nothing else matters but the gift of the moment.

Most of you know we have 5 children. I have been blessed 5 times in hearing those precious first words. But I was also blessed a 6th time. It didn't come with diapers, gas, or stretch marks . But it did come with sleepless nights, worries, giving up privacy, and so many other bumps in the road that make you trip and stumble and will continue to do so. But in those moments it all melted away. And my face burst with a smile. Joy was jumping up from my heart and my eyes in the form of tiny tears, and it was amazing! They may not have been her first words, and I probably wouldn't have understood them as sweet as I am sure they were. They were a treasure for another woman's heart at a time in life when things were different. But they were our first words.

I got to talk on the phone and video chat with my daughter for the first time this past January. And this is Nephtali saying those words I was so blessed to hear and can't wait to hear all the time.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Golden Oreos with My Little Girl

Here's a video of Nephtali and I sharing some Oreos a couple days before the Earthquake:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thank You

Just a quick note to thank those of you that took time out of your Sat. to give and help us bring our little girl home. God bless you all.

Friday, February 25, 2011

God's Timing

If you're a parent you will understand (at least some will) how you can love a child so deeply even when you have not held that child. How even though your arms haven't wrapped around that little person created in God's image, your heart encompasses them with every beat.

I have yet to hold our sweet Nephtali in my arms. It just hasn't been in God's timing yet. Nine months of cradling a baby in your womb, waiting to hold that someone for the first time, was a piece of cake compared to this wait. But I trust the One who created me and I know that one day this prayer will be answered too. He has whispered a tender lullaby to my longing soul . A lullaby that that only a parent that has longed for His own children could sing.

I know some have wondered why my husband has been to see her so many times but I have yet to go. Again, it's all in God's timing. If you have read "The Whole Story" then you know his soul had to wait years just to get to Haiti. Waiting can be a good thing.

If we have patience and wait upon the Lord, sometimes He has blessings for us that we would miss if we didn't wait. If my husband had gone Haiti when he first felt the tug, he wouldn't have met our daughter. He would have been in another part of the country doing work where it was needed for God's greater purpose, but not where our tiny child was waiting for someone to love her. How I shutter at the thought of that.

The year of my husband's second visit, our youngest was still too little to leave his Mama's arms. Everyday was still a challenge to keep him healthy and strong. Although I was needed here, hubby was able to to go back to Haiti. And then the earth shook in Haiti... and the people and children cried... and a scared little girl was held by her papa while his Father held him. Again, it was God's timing!

The months go by and a new year is fast approaching. People start asking if this is the year I go to Haiti to hold our little girl. Is it my turn? Is this pregnancy over? Why doesn't hubby just stay home with the kids instead? The answer was no, and for good reason. You see, for two years now, her papa has come to her.

For two years she has felt safe and loved in his arms. She knew that she is his and he is hers. But the last time he left her, her world was in shambles. Death still hung in the air with its pungency and darkness. Hopelessness spread through the rubble and cracks. Safety a daily struggle all around. Add to those monsters that crept all around her little world the fact that the last time she saw her papa, in her 4 yr old mind, he had left her behind.

He left with the group; but then came back. And when he did, he didn't take her with him. Instead, he took several of her friends. How did her little heart break? Did she wonder if he still loved her? Oh the pain of a heart too little to understand that he couldn't take her. And that her friends leaving with him wasn't because he had changed his mind about loving her but because they had a God-given window opened for them to go home to their new families.

There was no hesitation about who would go on the trip this year. She needed to feel her daddy's loving strong arms again. She needed to know she is still the apple of his eye. She needed to know we were still wanting and working toward bringing her home. She needed that stability in her rocky little world. How could I as her mama not give her that because of selfish thoughts of wanting to go instead. When you love that deep, you will do anything for your children. Just ask God. So I waited. And hubby got on that plane again.

The other day I posted the picture that a friend secretly snapped of a 'moment' he said he wasn't sure he wanted to impede on. The moment when Nephtali knew her papa still loved her. He was still there for her. He was still trying to bring her home. Do you remember that 'moment?' That moment when your world was a mess... but you found out that your heavenly Daddy still loved you? That He was still there for you? That he still wanted to bring you home? What a feeling that was!!!

I am so glad our daughter got to feel that in her little world. Someday when we finally have her home we'll teach her all about her heavenly Daddy and someday she will have that 'moment' again. All in God's timing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


My wife and I have put this blog together as part of a fundraising effort to help bring our soon-to-be adopted daughter, Nephtali, home from Haiti.

To learn more about our story and how you can help you can click on the links above or the ones below.

The (Very) Short Story

The Whole Story

The Giving Page

We will work very hard to keep this current with any updates, praises, and prayer requests we may have.

Thank you and God bless,
~Erin & Nicky Lenth