I made my first trip to Haiti in 1998. Fell in love with my first orphan in 2000. Started a non-profit to help Haiti in 2003 and started taking teams down on short-term mission trips soon after. I fell in love with Wanna and Fritzon (and a lot of others in the same orphanage) in March of 2010 and had to wait over 2 years to start the adoption process due to the laws of Haiti and a process that is always changing. Our documents were finally submitted and accepted in the fall of 2012 and are currently moving through the court system. We are quickly (hopefully) approaching the end of our adoption. This is my blog to talk about all things related to our adoption and any thing else I think is relevant to it. Enjoy!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

United Nations Dinner Table

People wonder how someone who was abandoned or abused goes on.... usually the only thing that saves abused kids is FAMILY LOVE. If you want to be moved... If you want to see what the gift of family does to a child who doesn't have one... If you want to see "dead" children living... watch this. This is what life is about for us. It's not about how much money we make or keep in the bank. It's not about hoping to help someone one day when it's more convenient or affordable (because it will never be convenient and "affordable" is relative)... it's about just doing it and trusting that LOVE and FAMILY WILL WIN in the end. I love adoption. http://vimeo.com/55307071

In this video the dad said someone told him once when they walked into their dining room that, "It looks like a United Nations dinner table". That's what I want. I want to have a table filled with children from wherever God brings them from that need the love we can give them. If I could take in every lonely, hurting, parentless child I would and I hate it that I can't. No child should know the pain of feeling abandoned and alone. As we took some family pictures the other day all I could think about is the fact that Wanna and Fritzon are such a part of our family and our hearts.... I can't wait until they can be a part our daily life and our pictures.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Longest Pregnancy EVER!

FYI - I'm still pregnant! Pick your jaw up off the floor... it's only in my heart but it's been the longest pregnancy EVER!!!! Have you ever wondered how or why people adopt or how we can love kids that we rarely see or don't really know? I know people wonder this b/c I get asked ....well it's because God does something in our hearts that we can't control. We can't control the love we have for children we birth... it's just there and there's a maternal instinct to love and protect those children. Just as God gives parents that connection and bond at physical conception or birth He does the same thing when He conceives adoption into an adoptive parents heart. People never question a parent's devotion to their biological children or even step-children but yet adoptive parents are questioned all the time. So if you're wondering how we can wait for almost 3 years and still want and love kids that we rarely see this is the only way I know how to explain it. Every day I think about my kids just like you would if you were separated from your kids. Every time we have a family function or picture I long for them to be with us. I'm fighting for and working through the system just like you would if your kids were put in jail overseas...doing whatever it takes to bring them home. Just want you to see how real the love is for us. It's not a phase or a fad... it's not a humanitarian thing... it's a true, deep, unconditional love that a parent has for their child. I didn't ask for it... it was just created inside me just as a baby is conceived in her mother's womb and all I can do is be in awe that God gave us this gift, these children, that I get to love the same way I love the kids I gave birth to. Sooo I sit here still pregnant.... longing to give birth and I don't even get the pleasure of knowing a due day or birth week or heck, even a birth month! Oh well... not much I can do about it now. :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Orphan Sunday

Tomorrow is Orphan Sunday and as I arrive back home from a country overflowing with orphans who need families I am thankful for the decision my birth mom made to allow me to go to a family who could raise me and for the family who had enough love to raise me as their own. No child should ever have to dream about having a family of their own. So many people love the idea of adoption but are scared to do it themselves.... Scared of what others will think, scared they can't handle it, scared of the unknowns... but there are so many qualified people. If you've ever thought about foster care or adoption do it. If you aren't in a position to take in a child then consider helping a family who is or sponsoring a waiting child. Imagine your life without your family, be thankful you didn't have to feel that growing up and help a child or family so they don't have to ever feel that lonely again. If you, your family, church or organization are interested in sponsoring a family who is adopting or a child who is waiting please let me know. I can hook you up. :)"

Monday, October 15, 2012

One Less Orphan...

My friend flew to Haiti today to pick up her son, Jack, and fly him home. I hope that my kids will see that and know that I'm coming soon for them. I pray they know how much we love them. My heart also aches for all the kids that never get to be a part of a family... For those who have always dreamed of a mom and dad of their own. It's very difficult for me sometimes to know that we are taking 2 but leaving behind so many others....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why help overseas????

The local paper did a story on our adoption and living in a small town I usually see the responses on FB or hear the discussions that are going on.  I've seen a few posts on FB and had a few people ask me directly about helping people overseas vs here when there are starving children in the US. I am not offended by those questions.. Just wanted to share my response here in case you are wondering but not asking: American children may be hungry but they are not starving to death and if they are it's not for lack of resources available it's simply due to abuse. Sometimes it does make sense to just send money but if there is a country where there aren't enough people or resources to help then someone has to be there to take those resources. I can send tons of money to Haiti but that money can't buy medicine because it's not there to buy. That money can't hold a child that was found in a trash pile and nurse him back to health unless there are people there with medical training (and in Haiti there is a 1 trained dr for almost every 1 million people) . We have enough resources in the US that even the poorest and most unfortunate have more than some in other countries. I've never seen an American child go get water out of a pothole in the middle of the road but I have seen that happen in Haiti. I've never seen an American child not have a public restroom he can go into for clean water to drink or wash off with. I don't understand why or how there are children starving in the US with all the aid programs we have here. And if we took just a few of the salaries of pro-sports players or actors/actresses we could do a lot of things too but we support them and cheer them and their over salaried selves. I know that helping people in other countries isn't for everyone but that's my heart. I would rather question why or how people spend so much money saving animals and how they can spend thousands to run sappy commercials for abused animals when we have kids that need that money and help but I just remind myself that we each have a calling in life and I'm following mine and it's not my place to be upset with someone else if what they are doing is helping.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fundraising Help

I'm usually one to beat around the bush but I'm just going to put this out there.... We need help with our adoption fundraising. I know not everyone has the ability to give financially but I have several ways I'm asking for your help and some don't require your $ :) 1. If you have a church or organization ask if I can speak about missions in general or missions and adoption. I LOVE to talk and can do a short thing or the whole service. 2. I have Bulldog jewelry for sale at Sassy Chix Salon and at the high school with Dawn Staker Randolph. I'll post a link below with more info. 3. I have handmade paper bead bracelets at Bits N Peace's and part of that goes to our adoption and the other part goes to the Haitian who made it. 4. I have a recycling fundraiser with info on my webpage (link below) 5. You can donate things that I can sell online (online auction or ebay) 6. You can give me some other creative ideas. :) And I know there are kids here in the US that we could adopt for "free", however, these are the kids I feel in love with that God put on our hearts. I'm not going to argue with that over $. I don't see adoption as an "us vs them" type of thing. Kids are kids, orphans are orphans and it doesn't matter what country they are from...they deserve a family...all of them...equally. Thank you for all your love, encouragement and support. That's as important to me as the financial support we get.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Refuse!

I can't not do what is in my heart. I know not everyone understands my desire to do missions/outreach or adopt from Haiti but that is what I am called to do. We are on earth for a short time... As much as I selfishly would like to think it's all about me, life is about soooo much more! This song is my ringtone to remind me that: "I don't want to live like I don't care.... I don't want to say another empty prayer.... Oh, I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else.... To do what God has called me to do myself.... I could choose not to move.... But I refuse"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Adoption Update: I think I have almost been too afraid to post this for fear I was dreaming but I wasn't..... We have moved another step in the process... a huge step. Again, it's hard to explain how adoptions work in Haiti but there are TONS of "pit stops" that adoption paperwork goes through.... and it's actually paper work, not electronic. It it literally carried and hand delivered to various places and offices for various checks. Our paperwork was at a stop that basically determined if we could continue on or if we would be "rejected". There are lots of reasons why they reject families and it happens a lot so we've been waiting for our official numbers stating that we could move on and praying, praying really hard that we wouldn't be rejected and have to stop the process, wait another year or start over. Well.....we got those numbers today!!!! It seems so small but it's such a big thing. Each of these updates gives me a little more hope and reassurance that our kids will be coming home soon....that they will have a real family and they will know the love of a mom and dad. It breaks my heart I can't be mom to all the kids at the orphanage, or in Haiti, or the world but I have to focus on the fact that for these two, our family will make a world of difference in their lives and that we are doing what we were called to do. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers and encouragement. I can't wait post that we are bringing them home!

Friday, August 3, 2012

To be like Christ

I wish.... I wish that being a Christian in today's society didn't turn so many off. I wish that when people heard the word Christian they actually thought of Jesus, His love and His life instead of corrupt leaders/churches, judgement and discrimination. I hope.... I hope that I can be one that helps others see love...His love. I hope I can do more to show that Christians have a set of standards they live by but it doesn't mean we judge, hate, or don't want to be around those who live or believe differently. I hope to not just talk about Christ but to be like Him. I wish the world was different. I hope I can do more to change it.

Another note...

Why do people assume that just because a Christian has a different view or opinion from others that we automatically must hate people who have the view/opinion we disagree with? I'm not sure when disagreeing = hatred

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Adoption Progress

Yesterday I got some very encouraging and exciting news about our Haiti adoption...there has been progress!! It's hard to explain the process because it's just not like the US adoptions BUT I can say that we are actually getting closer to actually bringing them home instead of just sitting idle and waiting... however, there is still a lot more sitting and waiting to be done and a Haiti adoption is never a sure thing until they are on US soil....so keep praying for us! I appreciate all the love, encouragement and support we've gotten. I don't post a lot about it because there isn't always a lot to say except we are waiting but it's so encouraging to have so many supportive family and friends.... even if some of you think we are crazy. :)

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Phoneraiser for adoption. If you have any old cell phones or printer ink cartridges we are collecting to help raise money for the adoption costs. There's a company that will pay for them...some are only worth a couple dollars but others are worth a little more. Every little bit helps. If you work at a business and can put up a collection box that would be awesome too.

I'm getting a great response to the Phoneraiser for our adoption. Just found out in addition to old cell phones and ink cartridges I can all turn in old: Laptops & Netbooks, MP3 Players, Digital Cameras, Digital Video Cameras, GPS Devices, Radar Detectors, Kindle & Sony Book Readers. If you have these laying around (outdated, broken, unused....) or want to put up a box at your work, let me know. They aren't worth a whole lot individually but together it will add up and every little bit helps. If you don't live close by but want to help I can send you a label to ship in directly to the company for us. Thanks so much!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Color Blind

So I've been a terrible blogger.  There is much to say about our adoption process.... the wait, the papers, the comments of those who don't support it or don't believe it will ever happen or should happen.... did I mention the pain of the wait?  I spend a lot of my time analyzing everyone else's blogs and timelines and helping others in the process of their Haiti adoptions.  I pour over the pages of several FB Groups filled with other families and mothers who understand what it's like to love a child conceived in your heart and not your womb.  There are few that really get it, and I'm okay with that.  I don't believe we are all called the same things in this world.  We each have our own calling, our own purpose and I would never tell you that the desires of your heart were wrong or that you shouldn't follow them so I don't understand why people think it's okay to tell me my dreams or desires or passions are wrong.  I was under the impression those desires were put there by God, not by anyone down here so if I'm wrong I'm sure He'll let me know.

I've been reading about fitness trainer Jillian's recent adoption of a little girl from Haiti (and secretly a little jealous that she's home so quickly) however, it's the comments people make on those articles that is causing me frustration.  They are the same comments I have gotten myself and the same ones I read after the earthquake in Haiti and I'm sure they are the comments that people say in their heads but are at least nice enough to keep them there. 

"Why adopt/help a child from another country when we have people here that need help?"

I have several thoughts and responses to this.

1.  If all those complaining about people who help others out of the US would step up and do something themselves here IN the US then there would be so much help given that they would NEED us to help other countries because all the needs would be met here.

2.  Since when did those born in the US become more important and valuable than anyone born any where else?  Jesus made it clear in the parable of the Good Samaritan that it's not about your physical neighbor and those closest to you in distance....it's about seeing a need and meeting a need.  For me, that need is in Haiti.  Where's the need you are supposed to meet and what are you doing about it?  Don't spend so much time getting upset with others who are using their lives and resources to help others simply because those aren't the ones you would help if you were doing something.  Take that energy you have worrying about us and go do some good for those you are worried about.

3.  A child is a child is a child.  How can anyone get upset at anyone helping a child?  As a former foster and adopted child from the US I really do get the need for domestic adoptions.  I am a product of it, but I don't see how it matters what system an abandoned child comes out of, that child needs a home.  If you are worried about the kids in the US foster care system then become a foster or adoptive parent yourself.

4.  A child is a child whether that child is white, tan or black.  I guess I must be color blind because I just see children in need.  I see them in our schools, in our foster care system and in the orphanages I work at in Haiti.  I just see kids....I see eyes that tell a story there aren't words to....I see smiles from a simple hug....I see hearts in need of love and somehow, somewhere along the way I miss what color their skin is.  It's probably because I'm not looking at that.  When I see a need I don't decide if I should help them based on where they live or what color they are.  I help if and when I can as often as I can.

This was put out there for those who "just don't get it".  Maybe you still don't get it but maybe you will at least understand how or why I do.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Sweet Wanna

I have a 7 year old daughter who reminds me of one of my favorite childhood actresses, Punky Brewster.  She is full of life, love and spunky personality.  As we started making our trips every 4-6 weeks to the Cabaret Baptist Children's Home in the months following the Jan. 2010 earthquake, I saw my own daughter in Wanna.  I saw a girl so full of love and life but so desperate to be held and loved.  I saw a girl too grown up for her age yet still holding on to innocence.  I looked at Wanna the way I did my own daughter and felt the tug in heart from God telling me to love her as my own.

 As I continued to lead teams on short term trips, I continued to fall in love.  It was never my plan.  I know the process to adopt is intense and long.  I know the current law says I have to be 35 and 2 years after meeting them I'm only 31.  I know many things stand in the way but I know that God put this on my heart, on Chris' heart and Christopher and Destiny's heart and they are our family already. 

It's very hard to go through the motions of our lives knowing our kids aren't with us but knowing they will be one day keeps us going, hoping and praying.

My Little Fritzon

The other day on FB I was connected with a woman who was at the orphanage the week they found Fritzon in a trash pile.  He was so week he could barely open his eyes, his ribs were sticking out and they weren't even sure he'd make it.

Breaks my heart to know what he went through those first 2 years.  It's been 3 years since then and he is so handsome and strong.  It breaks my heart that he's still waiting for that motherly love I know he has missed out on.  I know he is happy and in a place where he has many friends but having been through foster care, I know the pain that lingers.  I hope and pray I will be able to love him through it all.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fundraiser Bracelets

These bracelets and necklaces are made in Haiti and $4 of each sale goes back to the person who made them.  The rest goes towards our adoption.  If you would like them shipped to you, please consider an extra $2 donation to help cover the cost.  If you are interested in helping selling for me I will send extras for you.  Please include your shipping address in Paypal.  Thank you!!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Adoption Progress

I just returned from a week in Haiti and feel like I made some progress.  I'm still waiting for the President of Haiti to sign the new adoption law but I am hopeful it will be soon.  In the mean time I met with Fritzon's dad who is excited and supportive and said Fritzon's mother will be too.  Same went for my meeting with Wanna's mom.  I took Wanna with me to see her mom and it was heart breaking to watch her withdraw into herself.  I'm not sure what was going on in her mind but she didn't want to talk to anyone while we were there and Wanna is a very outgoing child.  I'm sure it was overwhelming.

After waiting for almost 2 years to begin all this, simply because of the age issue, I have finally found someone willing to work with us.  I have contacted countless agencies in Haiti the past 2 years and no one was willing to work with us because of our age and even if they were the cost of the adoptions through all these agencies are so much. 

I'm still struggling with raising the money needed for the Haitian fees but I believe it will work out.  If you are interested in helping I have 2 fundraising things going on now and I'm always open for ideas.  One is selling Haitian made bracelets from the Apparent Project.  The first $4 goes to the Haitian that made the bracelet and the rest goes towards our adoption.  If you are interested in buying some or selling some for us please let me know.

If you want to help let me know!  Thank you for all the prayers and support.  I hope I can post a picture of the entire family bringing in next year together!