Thursday, April 21, 2011


I would like to introduce you to the craziness that we call life…  I can’t think of much else to call it right now!! 

Two weeks ago (11th), a team from Biltmore Baptist church in NC came in.  We worked at an orphanage across the city, pouring a cement driveway and laying down pavers for the same driveway!  There were a lot of buckets of sand and stone to be carried, and let me tell you, they got heavier with every trip!  We also had to transport quite a few pavers from one place to the next, not long trips, but still exhausting!  And then, of course, whenever the kids weren’t in school, you could pretty much guarantee that part of the team was out playing soccer with them, which both the kids and the team loved!!  We worked Tuesday-Thursday; they went to Antigua on Friday and flew home on Saturday.  This was really a fun group to be with and a lot of work got done!
Doing cement and pavers...
Lots of cement transport!

Hmm, how many buckets did we fill?

Only a fraction of what needed to be (and what was!) done!

Horray for cement!

Inside of my arm...  gotta love pavers!

In the meantime… on Thursday (14th), a high school team from California flew in.  They were working at an orphanage very close to our house (which is SO nice!), but it was a lot of hard, manual labor!  This team started a project that the rest of the teams will be working on this year, building a ¾ mile long fence.  Now, we’re not just talking a little chain linked fence either, this is a cement wall.  The wall is pretty much prefab, but we do have to clear the land (with machetes), level out a 3 foot strip the entire distance of the fence, dig holes, place 80lb posts in the holes, and then (after a few more steps), slide 40lb+ blocks down the posts.  Anyways, since this was the first team working there it took a little while to get into a groove that worked, but quite a bit of work was still accomplished!  We worked Friday, visited another orphanage Saturday, church and visit on Sunday, worked Mon-Tue, Antigua on Wednesday and they left this morning (Thursday).  Again, this was a very fun group to be with and really easy to interact with, which is always nice!!  =)
Clearing the area

Fence (so far) at the end of day 3!

Lots to do!

Digging holes

Positioning blocks to hold the fence up (for now)

Chicken BBQ for lunch on Saturday!
Two of the little ones to play with on Saturday...  Michelle (in front) is almost 4 years old, her little sister is 18months. 

 We (my dad and I) were out working with the team pretty much every day and Abby and Risa came along a few days as well.  Sometime in the midst of the teams, we also did our regular morning at the clinic, trips to FundaniƱos, and everything else.  Oh, and I finished my senior year of high school, actually, my last day EVER of high school, small thing.  =)

Right now it’s Semana Santa (Holy Week), so the country had kind of gone into a low-key mode, which is kind of nice!  Traffic is minimal, stores are closed, and there aren’t many people walking around.  I think tomorrow will be even quieter because it’s Good Friday, but I guess we’ll see!!  We’re just staying close to home and enjoying the quiet right now.  We have the rest of this week and next week “off” and then teams start in again!  Teams really are fun, but it does get exhausting! 

I think that about sums up the craziness for right now.  Next is to enjoy the Easter season and remember the amazing sacrifice that was made for us!  Happy Easter!!  

A cute face, just because...  =)

Monday, April 4, 2011


So I’m sure by now many of you have heard about the situation with Shyanne, but if not, here’s a quick overview…

When Shyanne was 2 weeks old, she was assigned to a family in the States for adoption.  In the course of the past six years, Shyanne has been in an orphanage, two foster families (ours included) and has really has not stability.  In May of 2009, Shyanne was moved to our home as a foster child, NOT to adopt.  Not more than a year later, because of corrupt lawyers and other complications with her paperwork, it was determined that Shyanne would not be going to the States with the family that began the adoption process in the first place.  Then, at the end of last year (2010), the case workers asked our family if we would be willing to adopt Shyanne.  This came as quite a shock to all of us since we went into this with the understanding that we could not adopt her.  After lots of prayer and discernment, we decided to make ourselves available to adopting Shyanne.  At the beginning of March we were told that the head-honcho would not sign Shyanne’s final adoption paperwork, thus meaning we cannot adopt her.  Between that meeting and today’s there were several other meeting to determine whether or not the adoption would be able to happen, but today we got the final confirmation that we will NOT be able to adopt Shyanne.

In addition to not being allowed to adopt Shyanne, today we were informed that, because of our work, we will not be able to adopt any children from Guatemala.  I think this was the news that hit me even more than not being able to adopt Shyanne.  With Shyanne, we had had a little bit of forewarning, but I can’t say I necessarily saw this one coming… 

I know everyone in our family is feeling different emotions this situation, so I’ll speak for myself right now.  Pretty much, if you name an emotion, I’m probably feeling it.  I am relieved that we finally have an answer after so much time in limbo, but I am disappointed that we will not be able to adopt Shyanne.  I am heartbroken that we will not be able to adopt children from Guatemala, especially since it has been a dream of mine to have a younger, Guatemalan sibling.  I am outraged that the children need to take the punishment for the decisions, and I am confused as to why God is allowing this to happen.  This only begins to describe the different emotions, but I think you get the idea!  =)

So what’s next?  The next step is to get a court document saying that we cannot adopt Shyanne, and then she will be moved.  There is really no saying how long this will take, but we’re praying that it will happen sooner rather than later, for her sake as well as ours.  There is a lot up in the air concerning what will happen after all of this, so we’ll just have to wait and see what God has in store!

Yes, this entire situation is heartbreaking, maddening, and whatever other emotion you can think of, but GOD IS IN CONTROL!!!  He knows Shyanne much more than we do, He knows our family better than even we know ourselves and He will do whatever He sees is best.  That doesn’t necessarily make things a ton easier, but it does give me a peace knowing that He is in control. 

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support so far.  I know I am amazed at how many people are standing with us and it really is a blessing!!  We have a long road ahead of us, but I know that, with everyone’s prayers, we will make it!!! 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Little Blessings

Have you ever thought about all the times in life that you are blessed?  Sometimes a blessing doesn’t have to come in the form of a huge financial gift, or even an answer that you were waiting for.  Sometimes the biggest blessings in life are actually in the form of small, seemingly “normal” things in everyday life.  I looked up the word blessing and I think my favorite definition is this one…

Blessing (noun):  A favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness

Wow, that kind of widens the extent of things that we might call “blessings”!  So, here are a few of the blessings that I have had in the past weeks.  

A clear, beautiful view of God's work.

Great friends (or family...) to act crazy with!

Sisters  =)

A sunset that is 300% better in real life.

This little miracle.

This little one's curiosity about life.

Their excitement over muffins!

His paws.  =)

His hair!

The fact that I FINALLY got this picture!


The fact that he is 3.5 years old and wears 12months pants...

His giggle

The hope that he has, even in his situations.

His smile.

This brat.

A precious newborn in a yellow dress after a confusing day.

Remember to look for even the smallest blessings in life, there are a ton more out there than you might think!!