Monday, May 27, 2013

In the Air

We are in the air. And we appear to be making good time after a lengthy delay due to heavy rain and lightning.

If we land when we are predicted to we will have about 12 minutes to get to our connecting flight. At the Dallas/Ft Worth airport, that's not likely. We're hoping there's a flight available later in the afternoon or evening..

Please continue to pray that all goes well and we are able to arrive in Haiti as scheduled.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

12 & 96

12 - The number of hours until we get on a plane.

96 - The number of hours until our little girl gets off the plane.

And Nick as healed enough that we are not concerned about her travelling... That's a very good thing indeed. Praise God.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Joy & Prayer

We have been experiencing a whirlwind of emotions over the last week.

First the good news. Nephtali's Visa appoint is set for tomorrow and plane tickets have been purchased. If all goes as planned, we will be flying to Haiti next Monday on the 28th and will be bringing her home on the 30th.

Now the not-so-great news. Nicky is experiencing extreme sciatica and cannot not sit down for more than a few seconds without tremendous pain. As it is now, there is no way she could endure the plane rides (or even the hour-long ride to the airport). The last time she experienced sciatica, it lasted almost six weeks.

As anyone in her shoes would, Nicky wants so desperately to make the trip. And as anyone in my shoes would, I want her by my side when I make the trip. Please join me in prayer that God will heal her in time to travel.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


What words do you type to describe a feeling so long in the making that you yourself, when you hit your knees and raised you hands high, couldn't find? When the only sounds were moans and tears? 

Maybe instead of finding the words I will share the ones sent to us and you will understand. "USCIS in Port au Prince, Haiti is pleased to inform you that the I-600 petition, which you filed at this office on December 7, 2011 on behalf of Nephtali Lehaut, seeking to qualify her as your immediate relative has been approved" 

Approved....4 year and 4 months praying for those words. 

Our Butterfly is coming home.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Daughter, a Stranger, a Blessing

Wednesday is Nephtali's 8th birthday. This is the 5th birthday spent apart from our not-so-little-now Butterfly. The years have gone by and she is not the round faced little goofy toddler that ran into my husband's arms chewing on a crayon and sashaying down a pretend runway to the laughter and clapping of the big girls around her. She is now a little lady. A spunky beautiful little lady so eager to learn new things but so stubborn when she is not interested. So quick to flash her smile and melt your heart, to act a clown to make you smile, and to stop and bow her head in prayer.

Over the years we have learned  may things about this amazing child of God. This child that we have prayed for, fought for, and have been blessed to call our daughter. But in truth, as hard it is to say... a little lady of eight. Five birthdays later... and still a stranger in so many ways.

There are so many mysteries to uncover in this bundle of curly black hair, big front teeth, and skinny little arms and legs. What is her favorite color? Will she favor chocolate or vanilla? Is she afraid of spiders like her Papa?  Will she be a book worm and soak up stories? What talents has God given her? What giants does she battle when she closes her eyes?

There is a beautiful tapestry that has been woven over the past eight years with perseverance and pain, laughter and love, caution and curiosity,  but we haven't been able to be close enough to see those individual threads that have been used in its making, just the big picture it makes when seen from afar.

May 15th, this year, will be the same as it has been the past four years in many ways. Nephtali will go to school, she will play, she will eat her rice and beans, she will be still with her thoughts and dreams, she will close her eyes and fall sleep. Will she even know it's her birthday?

Here in Kansas we'll make Haitian spaghetti, we'll hold hands and thank God for our far away butterfly and pray for her well-being, we'll make a cake and sing happy birthday in hopes that a note or two will be carried on an angel's wings across the ocean to her ears as she drifts off to sleep.

But May 15th this year will also be a little different. This year there is a seed of hope growing - a whisper in the winds from heaven - a stirring in our hearts. A whisper which says this is the last last birthday of hers we will celebrate apart.

We are almost there sweet butterfly. We are almost close enough, precious daughter, to see, to learn, to embrace the colors, the textures, the strengths and weaknesses that make up who you are. We are almost ready to stretch out our arms and hold you tight, never to let go again.

All Glory to God. He creates the most beautiful things and writes the most amazing stories.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Interview Done

Thanks for all the prayers. We do know that the interview on the 9th did happen, but we do not know how it went. We now continue to pray and wait for USCIS to send us an email to see if their confusion is cleared up with the information they were given. It could take a couple weeks to get a reply from them.

Nephtali's 8th birthday is this coming Wednesday. This will be the 5th birthday of hers we've celebrated apart. Praying hard it can be celebrated for two reasons. The first in thanksgiving because of God's goodness at bringing that precious butterfly into this world and the second for an approval to bring her HOME!

Monday, May 6, 2013

So Close

It's a little over two weeks since our final documents were submitted. We were expecting 3 or 4 weeks before we heard anything but on Tuesday of last week we received an email from USCIS (US Customs and Immigration) asking for clarification on some dates in the paperwork.

Nephtali's birth father has abandoned them and gone to the Dominic Republic years ago but had since come back to Haiti. Because he was back in the country IBESR (Haitian Social Services) wanted him to go to court to relinquish his rights. When he did so they put that paperwork in with her mother's, making it seem that the mother and father appeared together and making the previously-provided dates appear inconsistent. USCIS asked our lawyer for clarification and a written statement of what happened.

The Lawyer responded quickly with an email explaining the confusion and said she would get them the written statement and another document to support the clarification.

We received an email this morning from USCIS stating that they had scheduled an interview for the birth father and Nephtali on May 9th at 9am. The orphanage director's assistant has responded that she should be able to find the birth father and get him and Nephtali there. Later the lawyer also responded that the written statement would be delivered at that same time.

This is the same heart-wrenching interview that was done last year with Nephtali and her birth mother.

Friends, this interview is not pretty. USCIS is making 100% sure that there isn't the slightest chance the birth family can be restored. With so much trafficking and bribery in the adoption system, it's something they can't avoid. But it can be a very ugly interview. It's broken my heart several times to hear stories of children repeating the questions and answers about them in this process. Please pray for Nephtali's heart as she, again, has to sit in a room listening to one of her birth parents explain how they do not want her or anything to do with her.

Please also pray that Her birth father can be located, has his ID, and says all the right words to satisfy USCIS and that the written statement from the lawyer clarifies everything so that we can receive our final approval in the next week or two.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Giving Page & Airfare

We've had a few people ask about how to donate to help us raise the funds needed to fly to Haiti and bring Nephtali home. We have updated our giving page on the right to reflect what our current needs are. We've also posted a video we made a little while ago, Our Promise to our Butterfly, on the giving page. To view it, just click the play button on the "then and now" picture of Nephtali.

Some of you have also asked when are we going to bring her home. We do not have an exact date yet; but it will be very soon. Once we get the final approval from the US government, which is expected in a few weeks, we will be given a date for Nephtali's Visa appointment. Her Visa will be ready for pick-up a couple days after her appointment. Once we have this date we will be buying tickets and flying from KS to Haiti, where we will need to stay for a few days. It could be more if there is an issue with the any final documents. This has happened to a few families and adds a couple days to the stay.

During our time there we will be giving Nephtali the time she needs to say good-bye to her orphanage family and throw something of a going away party to celebrate her leaving to join her forever family. Then, when all the documents are in order and we are ready, the three of us will fly HOME!

HOME!!! I just had to say it again! after 4 years and 3 months this part of the journey is almost over and we can start to walk down the new road of learning to be a family... TOGETHER!

Praise God!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Praising our God for His continued goodness. Our daughter has her passport. We are on the final stretch prayer warriors! Next stop is USCIS were they will take a few weeks and give their final approval for her to come to the US. A few days after that they will schedule a Visa appointment for her and, Lord willing, she will be on a plane with Erin and I and on her way HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every Child Deserves A Home

"Every Child Deserves A Home"  by Newsong

To be remembered on your birthday
Feel a father’s kiss goodnight
To have a mother wrap her arms around you
And say it’s gonna be alright

These are the things we take for granted
That every child should know and love
It’s simply heaven’s way of telling them
They are precious in this world
Precious in this world

Every child deserves a home
Every child deserves to hear the words, “You are not alone.”
Every life on earth is sacred
Every heart is heaven’s own
Every child deserves a home
Deserves a home

They are out there by the millions
Hurting children without hope
Little boys and girls who need a family
That they can call their own

Now it’s up to us to help them
We can’t just close our eyes
Jesus loves the little children
And His arms are open wide
They are open wide

Every child deserves a home
Every child deserves to hear the words, “You are not alone.”
Every life on earth is sacred
Every heart is heaven’s own
Every child deserves a home

There’s something in their faces that tells us their story
There’s something in their cry that keeps calling out, “Don’t forget about me.”
Red and yellow, black and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus died for all the children of the world

Every child deserves a home
Every child deserves to hear the words, “You are not alone.”
Every life on earth is sacred

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Are You Listening?

It's another weekend, proceeded by another week of no news.  Weekends are hard. The silence is madding and filled with wonderings of why, still, no news. But this Saturday morning there was a voice in the silence.

So many in our world do not believe God is real or if they do, that He really cares. They close their eyes to things they see or hear and turn from Him instead of to Him.  He is always there, even when all we hear is silence. He is in the wonders around us. He is in the day to day. He is in the things that rock our world.  He is in the little note from a friend. He is everywhere. But are we looking? Are we listening?

This Saturday He was there as I sat at the kitchen table with my cup of coffee. Sitting and thinking of how to spend the next two days. How do I fill the weekend so that I don't dwell on the thought that there was no news and won't be for the next few day?. How to I fill the weekend so that I am  redeeming the time with my family as it is now before it changes? How do I get up and fold the laundry when I don't care how high it's piled? How do I do it when I just want it over and Monday to be here?

And there was God. In the note of a friend. In the sunshine on my face. In the pages of a devotional I didn't want to read.

"WHEN I GIVE YOU no special guidance, stay where you are.Concentrate on doing your everyday tasks in awareness of My Presence with you.The Joy of My Presence will shine on you, as you do everything for Me.Thus you invite Me into every aspect of your life.Through collaborating with Me in all things, you allow My Life to merge with yours.This is the secret not only of joyful living but also of victorious living.I designed you to depend on Me moment by moment, recognizing that apart from Me you can do nothing.

Be thankful for quiet days, when nothing special seems to be happening.Instead of being bored by the last of action, use times of routine to seek My Face.Although this is an invisible transaction, it speaks volumes in spiritual realms.Moreover, you are richly blessed when you walk trustingly with Me through the routines of your day."  ~Jesus Calling

He loves me. He answered my questions.

He loves you. He is speaking to you too. Are you listening?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Still Waiting

Over four weeks have passed since we got out of MOI.  The projected passport printing after one week did not happen. Nor did it happen the week after that, or the one after that.... and so on. This is all part of adopting from Haiti. Something as simple as printing a few pages can take, what feels like, forever.

We had heard from a family, adopting from another orphanage, that on the week before Easter the immigration office had run out of passbooks. They were expected in the Thursday before Easter, but did not come in before they closed early that day for the holiday weekend. The Monday after Easter this family received word that their passbooks were in and, later that day, printed and picked up. It boggles the mind how one can move so smoothly with information along the way and another without news or movement.

We have faced that our dreams of having her home before her 8th birthday are no longer a reality. Now we are praying that possibly we could have USCIS's final approval by then and know that travel would be likely only a few weeks after that.

Most of my posts on here, lately, are just quick updates. To look deep and write from the heart right now hurts too much.

The wait has not gotten any easier after four years and three months. It has gotten harder... much harder. The missed milestones have been piling up in my mind. I am ready to brush those aside and replace them with a new pile of togetherness.

But you can't have togetherness without the together part. And for that we are still waiting.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On His Shoulders

I was too excited and... well... slightly in shock, to share on Friday that we received word we were out of MOI! Two weeks and two days... WOW! In the four years we have been walking/running/stumbling along this road we have never seen quick movement like this.

Thursday night I was talking with a friend and expressing to her how my heart was hurting. I was crying and, quite frankly, whining about how tired I was of the wait. I told her how I had prayed for a sign from God we were getting to the end of this. That the wait would soon be over and we would be holding our daughter. My mind knows I shouldn't have been whining. I shouldn't be pleading for a "sign." God has been more than generous with me and my cry-baby episodes over the four years and has made very clear that He has got this. But I was just like a tired toddler, who doesn't intend to pitch a fit, but is just overwhelmed and needs rest but won’t lie down and close its eyes. And just like a patient and loving parent, for the 100th time, God wrapped his arms around my trembling shoulders and soothed me with His sweet voice and answered my prayer for a sign with an email in the morning.

He didn't have to answer. There is so much more work to do in me. He could have let me wait and remember the things He has already taught me. But instead He acknowledged how worn out I am.

Now, this doesn't mean the wait is over, but the finish line is within sight. How I tremble typing that. We can see the finish line. There might still be a pit or a boulder in our way as we get there. But we can see it!

Our loving Daddy picked us up and put our tired bodies on his shoulders as the journey continues so that we can see the end. Telling us, yet again, that as each day brings us one day closer to holding her, "I got you. I got this. I will get you there."

Please continue to pray with us. We are now waiting for Nephtali's passport to be printed. Our prayer is that it is printed and completed this week. If it is printed this week or next we could still be looking at bringing Nephtali home for her birthday (mid-May)!

Friday, February 22, 2013

One Step Closer

Prayer Warriors

We have moved to the next step in our adoption. We are in MOI (the office were our paperwork is checked over and we are granted permission for Nephtali's passports to be printed). This step has gone as quickly at two weeks for some and as long as several months for others. Please join us in prayer that all our paperwork is in order and we can be granted permission for passports very quickly!

Nephtali, sweetie, we are getting closer!!!

*Once we do get to passports that step can also be as little as a few weeks or as long as several months to get them printed. So please keep that in your prayers also!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Dear Little Far-Away Valentine

My Dear Little Far-Away Valentine,

I am missing you today, just like everyday. I know today is really just another day, but as I watch your little brother and sister I wish away. I you were here eating a silly valentine's breakfast. I wish you were here to smell the sweet flowers. I wish you were here cutting, and gluing a huge pile of red and pink paper. I wish you were here, paint on your clothes and marker on your fingers. I wish I could squeeze and tell you I love you. I wish I could make you smile and giggle.


Until then, know your mama is praying for you. Every holiday, every season, every month, every week, every Thursday, every Monday and every day in between. I am praying that you smiled. I am praying that you are safe. I am praying for your belly to be full and your heart to be content. I am praying that you giggled and shared a hug with a friend. I am praying you know we are missing you and love you so. I am praying the time apart is coming to a close. I am praying we've seen the last valentine's day separated by long and lonely miles.

Happy Valentine's Day, Precious Butterfly.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Four Years

The other day someone asked me, "It isn't really four years. Is it... really?" Their head was tilted to the side and their eyebrows raised. My old nature pressed against my heart to answer. Pain wanted to give a snippy reply. But instead I closed my eyes for a split second and sent a S.O.S. up to God for guidance and responded with a gentle yes.

Four years have come and gone this past week. Four years since my husband sat down with the adoption lawyer and started the plans to bring our daughter home. Four years with paperwork gathered, lost, regathered, not good enough, gathered, updated, redone, gathered again. Four years and three lawyers later. Four years of Haiti opening, closing, opening, and changing the adoption process. Four years with an earthquake, floods, and riots. Four years of watching our child grow and change in pictures. Four years of her asking if can she come home yet. Four years of praying, hoping and trusting.

It is so hard sometimes. I struggle. I take that pain, hurt, jealousy, and anger and I lay it down at the cross. I don't want that burden on my heart, but honestly, I never leave it there for good. Whenever the longing comes, whenever I see a new picture of her, whenever I think of the things she should be doing with us, whenever I miss her... its right there again attached to my thoughts of her by an invisible tether.

I am tired. My heart is so tired. I long for the days when we look at pictures and heaps and heaps of memories with our family together together fill my heart, instead of empty silence and hundreds of miles.I look forward to the day that tether is broken. When the pain of the wait and the things that have been missed is only a tiny blip on the radar of my memories.

I can't change the past. I can't change that it has taken four years to get to this point. I waste so much energy sometimes, wishing I could, wishing it was different. Each day I have to start at the present moment and keep trusting God. Because he has painted a picture that is much bigger than the four years worth of snapshots I keep looking at over and over. It's a picture that is in the past, the present, and the future. It's one I should always look to with faith. I can pull that bigger picture to my heart and know that it is good because He is good...always...even when the tears fall and the wait is long.