Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Adoption Day!

Today was a very important day in the life of Josiane Francois, an abandoned child from Port au Prince, Haiti. Today Josie now has a daddy, a mommy, two sisters, and a brother. She has a forever home, a forever family, and she now has a place to belong. While she has been living with this family for 2.5 years, it is now official and legal! No more adoption paperwork, renewing of medical visas, homestudies, fingerprinting, and most of all, no more worry of Josie having to return to Haiti! God is good!
As I breathe a huge sigh of relief that this part of the journey is over, I can't help but wonder what is next. What does God have in store for Josie and the rest of our family? I have grown so much through this process and have learned much about myself and my Creator. We are so happy for Josie and we feel our family is getting her one step closer to meeting her Heavenly Father - the very One who created her. It is a great honor and privlidge that I get to be Josie's mommy.
I would like to thank those that have walked with us in this journey from day 1. I remember numerous times spent in prayer in the prayer room at Trinity Church. I remember the many words of advise, encouragement, and words of skepitcism. I appreciate those who even spoke out against us adopting Josie. You had the courage to show us you cared and wanted what was best for us. Thank you. After Josie came into our home, I remember the meals that were dropped off, the gift shower, the opportunity for me to share our story in church. Thank you.
Some of you have just begun to walk with us in this journey. Your emails, encouragement, respite care, and meals have been greatly appreciated. Thank you.
I heard a couple of times today that Josie is lucky to have a family. Perhaps there is some truth in that statement, however, I feel I am the "lucky" (blessed) one to have Josie in MY family. She brings out the best in me. She reminds me of how fortunate I am. She reminds me of the love God has for all his children, including me. We chose Josie to part of our family. God has chosen me to be part of his family.
My friends, this journey is not over. It has only just begun. There is one less orphan today, praise be to God!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

10 Random Things...

I really have nothing to say today so I am just going to post ten random things. Most of them will be about me, but some may be totally random. Hopefully you will learn something new about me.

1. I will NOT eat mayonaise or most salad dressings. Just the smell of mayo makes my stomach turn.

2. I have never been out of the country. Sad, but true. :(

3. I like the sun, heat, and humidity. I really like getting into cars that have been outside in the heat and humidity. I like to sit in them for awhile....then turn the air on!

4. I don't like cell phones. I have never sent a text. I don't know how to get my voice mail messages on my cell phone. (can't remember the password) And, if I had it my way, I would not have a cell phone. And I don't think anyone else should have one either. This was kind of confirmed to me when I saw a grown man sitting with his family texting during church. Not just one little text, but pretty much the whole service. I get kind of annoyed, too, when I see moms at the park or pool with their kids and the only thing she does is text on her phone instead of talking to or playing with her kids. I guess I did have something to say. I know, I know, one of these days I will be forced to send a text.....that will be a sad day.

5. I am trying to make healthier choices when it comes to food. I have my good days and I have my bad days. I just can't turn down a fruit roll up.

6. My mom was a Tulip Queen and made an appearance on the Tonight Show with Steve Allen. I was not a Tulip Queen and I was told when we moved from Orange City that none of my daughters will have the chance to be Tulip Queen either. They can always hope for Pork Queen or something. State Fair Queen? :)

7. I used to waterski all the time. I tried to waterski on Memorial Day after an 8 year break. I couldn't get up. Devastating. This is what prompted #5.

8. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I went to school to be a teacher.
Any suggestions?

9. I learned today that my second oldest daughter likes and can even see the color yellow. I painted the bottom of our island yellow and I couldn't keep her away from it. She got a little messy, but it made me laugh. It was kind of like when bugs swarm toward light. I put her in a chair that she can't get out of and she got really, really, mad.

10. Funerals always get to me. I always leave a funeral wondering what will be written about my life in that little pamphlet thing.

I told you it would be random. There are more that are popping into my head as I type. There might be a part 2, but don't hold your breath.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Home Alone

I am home alone. Josie is at group respite, the other three are at their grandma's house for the day, and my husband is golfing. I don't quite know what to do with myself. I am having the internal debate of whether I should clean house and get groceries OR go and do something fun just for myself. I could get so much done in the house without the kids here, but, on the other hand, I could also get a lunch that doesn't come with a toy in the box. Perhaps I will land somewhere in the middle and get a few things done in the house, and then go and do something fun for myself. What to do, what to do?

We did meet with our attorney on Monday and things went VERY well. Josie's official adoption day will be Wednesday, June 30, at 8:30 am! Jon and I both testify in court and Josie's last name will become Nelson! We will walk out with the necessary documents to prove it. No more renewing of paperwork, fingerprints, homestudies, medical visas, temporary protected status, etc. She will become ours! We still have to go through the process of getting a social security number, citizenship, and then Title XIX. But, getting the adoption finalized is HUGE and we are feeling very blessed to have this step almost done!

I feel strong and confident in our decision to adopt Josie. The Evil One has been at work. It has been a hard fight with many roadblocks. Many roadblocks that seemed impossible to knock down. The kind of roadblocks that would have been impossible if God didn't show up. God has not only showed up, he has prevailed! And will do it again, and again, and again! The words to a Chris Tomlin song go something like this..."and if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us, and if our God is with us, then what could stand against" I want to have this song blaring in the court room, but I don't think they will let me. Instead I will be singing it in my head as I take the stand. I am confident that God will show up in the Polk County Courthouse on June 30, and His glory will be made known!

We love you Miss Josie! :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Adoption Update...

It has been quite a week! In response to my last post....well, lets just say and I am still standing, barely. I made it through orientation, barely. They snapped a picture of me, barely. (However today they said they couldn't find my picture and I might have to do it again....) If you have no clue what I am talking about you need to read the previous post. I am too tired to write about it again. Today we worked on lower body and abs. Enough said.

My kids are home on summer break. I am having a hard time finding time to blog, so my blog posts this summer will be few and far between. The kids all want their computer time and between runnning here and there I just don't have large chunks of time anymore. I will post when I can.

I will try to post with updates on our adoption process. Jon and I are signing some papers our attorney has prepared to submit to the court. To be honest I am not sure the exact process, but our attorney informed me that after the papers are submitted it will be three to four weeks! I think a hearing takes place sometime in I mentioned, I will keep you all updated. It has been over three years now, and to think it is all coming to an end is something I can't wrap my mind around. We are so relieved but yet don't want to get too excited because there is still a chance that a judge will say no, and we will have to continue our process in Haiti.

I am asking for prayers.....
Pray for our meeting with our attorney on Monday and that all the neccesary papers are in place.
Pray for our attorney. He needs to plea our case in front of a judge. We are extrememly grateful that he is willing to do this for us.
Pray for the judge that gets our case. We aren't doing things "by the book." Please pray that the judge rules in favor of the best interest of Josie. Pray for a compassionate heart.
Pray for our family. I can get pretty anxious about this whole process.

God has answered some prayers too....
A couple of months ago I saw no hope in our adoption. I was in a very dark place. I had a lot of questions and doubt. At times I didn't even know what to say or pray. Many people said prayers on my behalf. They prayed for mountains to be moved. People would ask how they could pray for us. I would tell them two things....Pray for God to be glorified in this process and I asked people to pray for the BIG one...that our adoption can be completed here in the States and we don't have to deal with Haiti anymore. God is working and He will continue to work. He can move mountains. Glory be to God!

Thank you to all of you who read this. To know I am not alone in this journey is what keeps going on some days. All of you are greatly appreciated! Blessings to you.... :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stressing Out

There is a phrase that rarely comes out of my mouth. It goes something like this..."I am really stressing out." I am pretty laid back and low key. I just pretty much go with the flow. I don't worry about much. However, I am really stressing out about something I have to do on Saturday. Intrigued? I thought so. Let be back up a bit.

The last six months have been, well, a little stressful. (I said it again...) My husband took a new job, we have moved, we haven't sold our previous house, the kids have started in new schools, our everyday lives have been turned upside down. I will admit that I am an emotional eater or I often reward myself with food. Emotions have run high and low the past few months and lets just say I have put on a few pounds. That doesn't bother me so much, but I know that if I don't make some lifestyle changes things could get pretty bad quickly.

So, here comes why I am so stressed out about Saturday. My husband and I are doing a 10 week boot camp called Farrells Extreme Bodyshaping. It is six days a week for 45-50 minutes. That sounds bad enough, right? When signing up my husband came home with this paper. On this paper it said that all participants must attend orientation on June 5 from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm. Not so bad. Here comes the bad part. This is what the paper said - my comments in red.

1. Be prepared to do physical activity and run 1 mile. I can understand the physical activity part, but RUN 1 mile? I haven't done that, well, since high school. And even then it was painful. This is orientation. I don't run on purpose. Just ask Kara and Lori. They tried to get me to run. I would much rather sing or play or speak in front of large groups of people, but not run. If the running part isn't bad enough, read the next line.

2. Make sure you where proper clothing for your before picture. Be assured this will be done privately and away from other participants. Women should wear a two piece swimsuit or a sports bra and bike shorts. We must be able to see the bottom of your thigh, 2" min. and your belly button. Just as I was in shock about the running part, I read this. Huh? NOBODY has seen my bellybutton for at least 10 years. Bike shorts? I feel sorry for the person taking the picture. It won't be pretty. This is another fear, getting my picture taken. I don't like to get my picture taken even when I am fully clothed. Just thinking about this raises my blood pressure.

Some of you are saying just suck it up. I hear you. I will go and do it, no matter how anxious I am about it. However, some of you who are reading this are nodding your head in agreement with me. You know exactly where I am coming from. This post is for you.

I assure you I will not be posting any pictures of this event. I am pretty sure there will be a blog post or two about this in the coming week. I will keep you "posted."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Eating popcicles on the back of the boat...
Mary and I tubing!

Hannah was brave and jumped on the tube!

David and I enjoying a tube ride!

Josie floating in the pool. She apparantly likes the water!

Today is June 1 and I could not be happier! There is not much that I don't like about summer. I like the sun...I like the water...I like the heat...I like a looser schedule. I had a great weekend with my family. The weather was beautiful. Welcome summer, I have been waiting for you!