Sunday, July 31, 2005

Today, Scott was sick with a cold, so I brought the kids to church myself and met my mom there. The service was about how we can be "stolen by success". One of the bible quotes really struck me - I think it might have been from the Message translation - I should really see if I can find it again. It was about how to truly be a success in God's eyes, and one of the lines was something like "Do not be impressed with yourself". What a convicting message! It's so hard to keep God at the center of everything and not want praise - not want to feel like you did a really good job. I am always looking for things that make me feel good about myself. I should only be looking for things that make God look good - after all, anything I do is because of Him.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Adoption Books

This evening, Jaden and I went to the bookmobile. They had three books on adoption on hold for me. I was very excited to get them. I've already read 60 pages of one of the books, which is on the issues of trans-racial adoption. It's been a really eye-opening book to read. It's interesting how I've managed to live such a color-blind life. I never really thought about the fact that the reason I am able to do that is because I'm white. African American people don't have the luxury of being color-blind because, no matter how the world has changed, there is always someone out there who will treat them badly because they are African American. It also never really occurred to me that, although our child will in many ways be growing up as a typical white American, when he is not with us, he will be seen as a typical African American. It's definitely good to read these things and to try to get a handle on the special needs that our child will have simply based on the fact that he is black.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Deaf Magnet School

I found out today that there is a deaf magnet school just about 2 miles from our house. What are the chances of that! This is the deaf school for all of Lake County and it just happens to be practically in our backyard. Guess God knew why we should be here!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Homestudy Paperwork!

Our packet from the homestudy agency came! Wow! There is a lot of information that we need to fill out! I think we decided that we want to travel to Haiti ahead of time, just so we don't have to worry about becoming a licensed foster home and readopting - whatever we can do to make the process less arduous. Even without the foster care paperwork, we have to fill out a bunch of questionaires which ask for very detailed information on our lives. We each have to fill out a family history, a marriage report and a discipline form (describing our views on proper discipline). Then, together we have to fill out an adoption questionaire, asking questions about why we want to adopt, what we think it will be like, etc. These questions are very detailed - For example, we have to talk about jobs that we've had, going all the way back to high school! It took me many hours to fill out the first one (which I did today).

I guess the paperwork fun begins!

Thursday, July 21, 2005


One funny thing happened today - My mom and I decided to watch a movie that I had gotten from Netflix. It ended up being about people who had encephalitis! At first, I thought, "I don't know if I want to see this." The people in the movie had become catatonic years after their illness. But, by the end of the movie, I really was struck by the feeling that those people deserved love as much as anyone else. When they "awoke" from their catatonia, they knew that people had come to visit them - they knew they were loved. Of course, I was also relieved to find that the type of encephalitis that they had was an epidemic that happened in the 20's and doesn't happen anymore.

Another interesting "coincidence" - Scott found out today that his boss, Doug was adopted and that he had encephalitis as a child. Doug said that he was really happy that his parents had adopted him, since they knew that he had many severe food allergies, which would be difficult to deal with. All of this just strengthened Scott's conviction that we are doing the right thing - Which I'm sure was God's plan!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Moving Forward

I wrote an email to Robin today and sent it to Scott to see if it sounded okay. I basically said that we had found out further information about encephalitis and that we didn't think that we were equipped to deal with the issues that could come from it. I took Deb's advice to heart and decided that I needed to assume that if Scott wasn't feeling right about this that perhaps it was me that wanted this adoption and not God.

But, when Scott wrote me back, he asked if I was convinced that this was the right thing to do - he said that he was having a hard time closing the door on Louis.

Scott came home for lunch and we discussed Louis some more. Surprisingly, Scott said that he didn't want to say no quite yet. He suggested that we email Robin and try to find out some more about the type of encephalitis he had, how he is developing and whether or not he has ever had any seizures, etc.

I did email Robin, and got a response back from her. She didn't have much more information to give, but she did say that he had one seizure the day he got sick and hasn't had one since. She also said that he is developing completely on track for a child in Haiti.

I talked to Scott on the phone while he was waiting at the airport. He is flying to Las Vegas for work tonight and his flight has been delayed. I was expecting him to say that he didn't feel like the email gave us much more information, but instead he said that the email gave him a much greater sense of peace about the adoption. We talked about it and agreed that Louis is a normal little boy developmentally right now. As far as the future, we have no guarantees, but for now we are going to continue moving forward with the homestudy. We're just going to have to trust that God is with us through all of this and that He is not out to sabotage us. Things might be hard, but I think we can handle it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Christian Friends

Our friends John and Deb and Hailey came over this evening. It was so great to see them again! We really miss hanging out with them. We talked to them about the adoption with them and they were very encouraging. Deb told me that they have been praying for us and that they truly believe that this is what God wants for us. But, she reminded me that I need to put God's will above my own and that if this is the child for us, God will put Scott's heart at peace with it. She said that, maybe, if Scott is feeling uncertain, this child is not the child God has planned for our family. It was really good to get her perspective on this. I had been so focused on the fact that it seemed like God did want this to happen, that I never considered the fact that perhaps Scott's feelings were due to the fact that God was giving him a different message. At the same time, Deb told us that the fear we were feeling was not coming from God and that we shouldn't make a decision based on fear, but based on prayer and what it seems that God is telling us. I'm trying hard to do that, but sometimes it's hard to hear what God is truly saying. I know that I felt so strongly a year ago that this was what God wanted. Our Christian friends really seem to support us in this and believe that it is a true leading. It's just hard to figure out moment by moment if we're still being true to his will.I am praying now that God will give us the answers we need. I pray that He will either give us a sense of peace about this adoption or that He will show us that this is not the child for us and that He has another plan for us. Please, God, show us your will.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Encephalitis Scare

Tonight was a rough night. My mom came over and mentioned that my dad said that there are lots of problems that can go with encephalitis. I decided to look on the internet again and this time found a couple of sites with extensive information about encephalitis. These sites said that children who have had encephalitis can develop seizures, lack of short-term memory, behavior issues, balance problems, vision problems... the list goes on. And, many of these things you just wouldn't be able to detect in a child as young as Louis is - we just don't know if he will have these problems in the future. This freaked us out quite a bit. Scott and I talked about it and Scott basically said, "I don't think that I can handle that."I was so sad - even though I'm scared about what could happen, I'm already pretty attached to little Louis. And things felt like they were moving along so well - like they were meant to be. It just made me start to question all over again what it is that God wants from us.I felt somewhat reassured when I read more and more stories of children with encephalitis. It seemed that in the worst cases, the children were pretty bad right from the start - couldn't eat, couldn't drink from a bottle, couldn't roll over, had seizures. It seemed that kids who were developing on target (like Louis is supposedly doing - for a child in Haiti) or a bit behind weren't that bad. Also, I found several instances of children who were left deaf by encephalitis, but didn't have any other major problems.But, Scott didn't think that he wanted to risk it. I spent much of the night just crying, wondering what was supposed to happen.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Homestudy Packet

Not much to say about today. I called a homestudy agency and they are sending us a packet with information and an application. We went in the pool after Scott got home from work. That's about it.I couldn't sleep tonight, so I ended up staying up till 12:30 AM, writing a letter to Mike Breaux, the pastor at our church. I really hope that Willow can do something to raise awareness about adoption and possibly even raise money to go toward adopting families. It breaks my heart to see so many children waiting.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

As of tonight, it looks like we're adopting a little boy! We got some more information from Robin about Louis and the more that Scott and I talked about it, the more we felt that this orphanage and this boy sounded great. I wrote back to Robin and told her that we would like her to go ahead and send us the list of paperwork that we would need to file. Later, I was talking to my mom and she said that she didn't see Louis in the list of children (on the page that I sent her a link to). I thought at first that she must be crazy, but when I went to the page, his name wasn't there. So, I decided to take a look at their "Our Babies" page, which lists all of their kids, even those that already have families waiting for them. Sure enough, there was Louis with a blue border around his picture - to quote the site, "The babies that are highlighted Blue already have a family." Wow! I couldn't believe it when I saw that. We hadn't even started our homestudy yet. I had no idea that she was going to put him on hold for us! Was it really happening? Did Louis have a family? The thought of it now makes me cry. There's a part of me that thinks it still won't work out and that it's not real, but then there's another part of me that feels like God is purposely making this happen quickly so that we can't overanalyze and back out. I prayed that he would let us know if this is meant to be - put a stumbling block in our way early on if this was not the path he wanted for us. And here we are -not a stumbling block in sight. The fact that the people from Children of the Promise are such strong Christians is also reassuring to me. I know that they are also praying about what is best for Louis and they obviously feeling led toward us as well. I'm really excited (and a little bit scared) about this whole prospect!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Learning More about Louis

Today would have been a relatively unremarkable day, if it weren't for the fact that we got information about little Louis. I found out that he is still available and found more information on him on the website for Children of the Promise (the orphanage where he is living). Scott and I read about Children of the Promise and were really impressed with how wonderful this place seems to be. What a blessing to have this kind of resource in Haiti. We also looked up a bit more about Haiti. We're both so incredibly sheltered - we knew nothing about this country - not even where it is located. It turns out that Haiti is just south of Cuba, near the Dominican Republic. They speak French there (thus, Louis full name - Louines Pierre). I have also heard the language called Creole, but I need to look into that further to see if it is a French dialect or if it is its own language. It seems that there has been a bit of unrest in Haiti recently, so it's not the most stable country to adopt from, but we really feel good about the orphanage and about this little boy. At the end of the day, Scott and I decided to fill out a preliminary application to adopt from Children of the Promise.
I have attached the picture and info that COTP had on Louis.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Finding Louis

This evening, I sent an email to a woman from Until All Have Homes, which is a group that helps find homes for special needs children. I wanted to know if a child that I had heard about on the Deaf Adoption Yahoo group was still available. He is a little boy named Louis, who is in Haiti. He had encephalitis, and because of this, is now deaf.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Decision

Today at church, Mike Breaux interviewed a 15-year-old girl who lost her arm when she was bitten by a shark two years ago. It was amazing and inspirational to hear about this girl's journey. Just four weeks after her attack, she was back in the ocean, surfing. The thing that really amazed me about her is that it seemed like she never had a moment of "why me?" pity. She said that she and her mother had been praying that she could have more of an impact for God and that when the attack happened, they felt like it must somehow be an answer to prayer. How much faith she must have to immediately jump to that conclusion! I couldn't imagine that that would be my first thought. Obviously, since her attack, she has been an inspiration to hundreds of thousands of people, so it was an answer to her prayer. Certainly not the one she had been expecting, I'm sure!

After we got home from church, Linda and Chris and Krista and Molly came over to visit with us and to go swimming. Everyone had lots of fun playing with the new pool toys we got for Jaden's birthday.

When they left and the kids were napping, Scott and I ended up hanging out in the pool together and having a conversation about adopting. I felt like we had kind of avoided the issue lately and I wanted to get a good understanding of how Scott felt about it. I feel so strongly that God was leading us toward adopting a deaf child. I won't go into the details of why that is now - I will leave that for a separate post - but, suffice it to say that I felt like God had made it clear that this was what he wanted for us. Because of this, I feel that if we don't do it, we are basically saying, "Sorry, God, I know what you want me to do, but I don't want to do it." After talking to Scott more, I realize that he has fears about how adding a deaf child to our family would affect us, but that he also feels called toward it - perhaps in different ways than I do. He says that whenever we have a conversation about it, he feels encouraged. He made a joke that now I just need to get him to sign on the dotted line soon after one of those conversations. :-)

When the kids woke up, we decided to watch the Veggie Tales movie "Jonah." Interestingly, the story, of course, is about how Jonah tried to run away from what God told him to do. The moral is that we need to follow God's commands, even when it's not something that's easy for us to do. Neither Scott nor I failed to see the parallels with the conversation that we had earlier today.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Dreams of Haiti

So, I'm creating this blog to document our journey to adoption. And our journey to Haiti, which we now feel so connected to. We hope to someday find new ways to serve in Haiti. Right now, we're working on the adoption and we're hosting Ruthlande - here from Haiti on a medical visa. For now, we'll have to be content with that... and with dreams of Haiti...