Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"I will recount all your wonderful deeds..."

I just heard that our agency is cautiously optimistic about the adoptions being able to move forward relatively soon!!!!!

( Let's just take a break here and PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! )

"I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your

wonderful deeds.

I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before your presence.

For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving

righteous judgment. "

Psalm 9:1-4

The Child Bill will most likely be passed in Liberia, and will allow adoptions to move forward with very strict guidelines.

Our agency will have to apply for a new accreditation with the country to do adoptions. This process sounds like it puts the timing of being able to move forward with adoptions at 2-3 months. Now, if the Bill does not pass, we will just have to see what comes then... but all indications point toward it passing (without the intention of HALTING all adoptions!). After that 2-3 months, then our paperwork can begin to be processed in Liberia. I won't even guess at a time frame for that. It could be a long time b/c of the new policies we'll be working with.


I almost don't believe it. I mean, the ups and downs of the information in the last several months has got me pretty cautious. I almost don't believe information at all unless a good chunk of time goes by without it changing!

Obviously, we are incredibly thankful for this news. We trust that God worked the miracles that we have prayed so fervently for in order to have made it possible to continue our adoption. Thank you for interceding for Kelvin and Hawa, for Liberia's government, and for our peace and comfort in the recent months. We are so grateful!! I wish I could thank each of you individually and tell you how much it means to us, and how God has comforted us through you. It is amazing and humbling to know that there are people praying for us that we don't even know. People at our parents' churches and small groups in Wisconsin and Oregon, past teachers, people in Thailand, Mexico, & South Africa, children from families all around us, and our incredible family and friends. We just know he is moving in this, and we are sure that your faithfulness is a huge part of that!

That said, there are still very grave concerns. This struggle is not just about our Kelvin and Hawa. It is about ALL the Liberian children who are caught in the crossfire of poverty and politics. While adoptions may be able to continue for a small percentage of these kids, the vast majority will stay in Liberia, and will need assistance to live. The orphanages extend some hope for life... food, education, etc. The policies that UNICEF and Save the Children are pushing for could drastically change what is required of orphanages. This may affect many, many children and their ability to be allowed to live in the orphanages, thus displacing them. Please keep praying that the officials in charge of these extremely important decisions are influenced by God to do what is truly the best for the children.

Can I just say that I am in awe of how God uses these times of desperation to draw me close to him? He doesn't cause these problems, but he most certainly uses them for my good. He has proven to me, once again, that he is faithful to redeem the times that look so dark and hopeless, even while I have no idea what the outcome will be. In the midst of all this, before I had any reason to have optimism about bringing the kids home, God gave me peace and the assurance that EVEN IF things turned out badly... He would hold us all and show us the way through. He's that trustworthy, he's that good.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I was excited & encouraged today! We got to see the video from Angel's mission trip to the kids' orphanage! How incredible to see and hear of what God was doing on that trip... and continues to do in the hearts of those that went. Also... we got to see Kelvin and Hawa (just tiny little snippets) on the video; Kelvin looking at our album as he learned he had a family waiting to adopt him, and Hawa as she enjoyed the lollipop that we sent! It's the first time we have seen our children moving a little! How exciting for us! If I can get permission to post it, I will do that soon. You can watch it by going to and clicking on the video link on the left side of the screen. Angel's husband, Dan, put it together... I feel like God has used both Angel and Dan's talents and gifts "for such a time as this" (as is spoken of in the book of Esther). I am so grateful. I would highly recommend checking out her blog, especially the entry from today where her husband writes about the "after-effects" of their trip to Liberia.

It's been a heavy couple of weeks for me.... ones that have driven me to my knees even more. God has been so faithful to sustain me and give me hope just in those moments where I felt the despairing thoughts creeping around my head. I have never known the burden of something that meant so much to me. More than anything else, I have been made acutely aware of my desperation for God to move on our behalf, and of my need for him every moment. He's our rock, and our strong tower, and our refuge. So, I can see the value in this time, even as I am willing the circumstance to pass. Those moments when God speaks to my heart in such an obvious and purposeful way, to lift me up and show me that he cares for me, are worth the struggle. He has answered me when I have called to him, he has held me when I needed holding, and he has comforted and strengthened me with others that he has brought into my life.

Although there is no solid news yet on the Child Bill in Liberia, we have gotten a tiny bit of encouraging news today... that the severe restrictions may not be outlined in the bill as we had been told was the worse case scenario. We will have to wait that out and see, but it's possible that there may actually be some good news on that front eventually. We are told though, that UNICEF and Save the Children are still working very hard to stop adoptions, as they did in Guatemala... where because the parents , as well as the government, cannot care for these children... they are thrown into the trash piles. Yes, I'm talking about babies being thrown into the trash. I'd like to ask UNICEF...How is that better than allowing them to be adopted? How is that in their best interests? Unreal. I just cannot fathom the thought process there.

On a infinitely less important note, I got bar stools today! :) As some of you know, we have been in our house for 4 years now, and have never been able to justify spending the money to get bar stools for our breakfast bar, since they need to be tall & sturdy to be safe. Well, I was given permission to find and buy some a few months ago, but was discouraged that they cost so much. Today, I was with my sister and our collective 4 children at Target, and we found bar stools that were sturdy, tall enough, and matched my cabinets... and they were $50 each! Woo-hoo! I am ALL about half-price things! :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Child Bill of Liberia

The following information has been confirmed about the bill that has passed in the House of Representatives:
A four month residency would be required in Liberia by adoptive families.
Adoptions would only be allowed for children who have lost both birth parents to death.
A Central Adoption Authority would be established in Liberia to oversee adoptions and accredit adoption agencies.

This bill is not law yet. It still needs to be voted on by the Senate. It would effectively end adoptions in Liberia. It sounds like it is possible that President Sirleaf would take the adoption clause out of the bill, and put that into the hands of the committee she formed to deal with adoptions. The problem with that is that the majority of the committee members are the very people that have trying to stop international adoptions and are very tied to UNICEF and Save the Children.

What we really need is for God to turn the heart of the President in favor of adoptions. Most of the people in Liberia are for adoptions... it is NGOs that have convinced the leaders of the country to see adoption as a form of child trafficking. Somehow they need to be stopped from perpetrating this lie.

There has been an indication that the Liberian government would give permission for in-process adoptions to move forward. But this is not in writing and no details have been given as to when they would be allowed to move forward or how far along in the adoption process a family would need to be to be allowed to finish. While our dossier is in Liberia, and we have been matched with Kelvin and Hawa for over 5 months... Liberia had never started to process our papers. We have no idea what this means for us in regards to being allowed to adopt and bring the kids home.

Part of me is dumbfounded that this is really happening. But a bigger part of me is not really surprised at all for some reason. Each step of this process has been difficult. Why would it get easy now? There are mountains in our way... we can't go around or through or over. They have to be moved. Hmmm.

The faith of a mustard seed, people. The faith of a mustard seed. Ever seen one of those things? They're tiny. I mean... really, really tiny.

Matthew 17:20
For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you."

I oscillate between being resolved in my faith that God is bringing them home, and getting teary and wondering in my deepest heart, "what if he doesn't?". I know that's just my humanity. But I don't want to waver in my belief. I can't think about the "what ifs" right now. I have to trust in the power of the only one who can possibly get Kelvin and Hawa into my arms.

Eph 3:20
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

No news

I was under the impression that we'd know something today, but I was wrong. It may be quite some time before we have any details or information.
That's OK. We're hanging in here and believing God for big things. I'll post again if I find out anything at all.
Thanks for praying with us!