Archive for August, 2010

August 26, 2010

My sweet little Ugandan…

My sweet boy hasn’t been feeling great the last couple of days.
He’s had a bit of a fever and just been fussy and not himself.  I’m hoping he feels better soon.

Oh, I forgot to post this picture!  I think it might be my new favorite.  He couldn’t be any cuter if he tried.

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August 24, 2010

New adoption program!

I am excited to announce a new adoption program!

For several months I have been working with Adoption Advocates International (AAI) in WA to develop a new adoption program in Uganda!  I am thrilled that AAI is on board and wants a Uganda program, they are one of the most respected and reputable agencies out there.  They have a long history of advocating for the adoption of harder to place children, older children, special needs, HIV+, etc.   I love that they are truly in the business of finding families for children, instead of children for families. 

Our Uganda program is coming together so well and I’m very excited about the possibility of helping many orphans in Uganda find loving families!

We are still developing our connections with the orphanages we will be working with.  We expect that we’ll have babies and children of all ages waiting for families.  We expect to have older children (over age 3), both healthy and HIV+, waiting for families.  We haven’t seen many sibling groups (especially young sibling groups) in the orphanages we’re working with but there may be some that need families.  We expect to see abandoned and orphaned infants and toddlers refered to our program as well.  

Some of you who have followed my blog and followed our journey to adopt from Uganda might be shaking your head and saying that after what we went through, there is no way you could adopt from Uganda.    Well,  I’m happy to say that guardianship/adoption in Uganda is going well again.  Unfortunately, we got stuck while some changes were made to the process, but families who are coming home with their kids now are reporting that the process seems to be back up and running smoothly. 

That said, this is what we call a “Pilot Program”.   We need some adventurous pioneer families willing to pave the way for our program.  I expect everything to go smoothly, but like any new program there can be bumps and unexpected twists in the road.  

If you are interested in learning more feel free to send me an email at sister_haiti@yahoo.com 
I’d be happy to share more or send you a brief information sheet.  

The program isn’t up on the AAI website yet but you can check out their other programs and general information.
www.adoptionadvocates.org

August 22, 2010

Mayer loves his daddy…

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August 22, 2010

He’s got style…

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August 22, 2010

I’ve been a bad blogger – sorry about that!

We’ve been in potty training mode for the  past two weeks and I’m happy to report that Mayer is pretty much potty trained!!  Woo hoo!  Yippee!!  I knew my boy was a smart cookie.  :)  We haven’t had any accidents in a few days  and the only time he’s in diapers now is bed time and naps.  He has been wearing a pull up out and about when we’re at the store, church, etc but he’s come home dry every time so we may be saying goodbye to those soon too!  Yay Mayer!

In addition to potty training, work, normal daily stuff, and MAT stuff, I have started a new job!

I will write more about it soon, but I’ve started an adoption program in Uganda with Adoption Advocates International.   It has been a LOT of work setting up this program but we’re making some real progress and are looking for our first “pioneer” families!  Let me know if you want more information – I’m really excited about it. 

Mayer had an appointment with the infectious disease specialist out the Children’s Hospital regarding the spot on his hea.  It has been there since we’ve met him and he’s been treated twice.  We were trying to determine if we need to treat him again but the doctor seems to think that it is going away and we just need to wait for the hair to grow back in.  We’re going to give it a few more months.  We’ve got orders to get his blood tested again to check on his iron levels.  I’m really hoping they are normal now. 

I can’t believe summer is almost over!  Keith starts school next week and I know Mayer will miss having Daddy around every day!

I will try to post some pictures soon!

August 15, 2010

adopting toddlers

Maybe you’re like me and you hear the words “toddler adoption” and inside you cringe just a little bit.  I know I did.

Honestly when we started this process  – I was hoping for a baby. We said under 2, I said we would provide a family to any child who needed one, but I was really secretly (or not so secretly!) hoping for a baby.

I’m sure I didn’t admit it to anyone but the thought of adopting a 2 year old made me pretty nervous.  When we got our referral information and had to pick between the two boys (both days apart in age and almost 2) I actually emailed the lawyer back to ask if there were any younger children available.  I did.

Toddlers aren’t easy in the best of circumstances. But to adopt a toddler – to take one from the only home they have ever known (even if it was an orphanage) from the only “family” they have ever known (even if they are paid caregivers who are caring for far too many babies for far too little pay) to take him from everything familiar…It can very easily go from the happiest time of your life to the most overwhelming.

I seriously prepared myself for the worst when we decided to adopt Mayer. I gave Keith all these warning of things we may see from him, how he might act, behaviors he might have. How everything in our lives would be different.

I was literally preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

Our  first week with Mayer was exhausting.  We did get overwhelmed at times as we tried to figure out the best way to help him through his grief.   We were a little unsure of how to handle certain things.  We were nervous.

But day by day his attachment to us grew and he was more and more comfortable.  And we started to see the child he really was.

We started to see Mayer.

As we got to know him I kept thinking to myself, this little boy is so amazing!

His entire life was just turned upside down. Can you imagine what you’d be like left in a strange place, with strange people who look, speak, act and smell different then anyone you’ve ever known? And yet he was still smiling, still laughing, still playing, and was attaching to us. What a resilient child!

Mayer’s adjustment since he’s been home has been amazing.  Nothing like what I had expected.   It is going on six months from the time we first met him. Sometimes I look at him and think “was that really six months ago?? It seems like a lifetime….” And sometimes I look at him and think “just six short months ago this child was an orphan. He was living in an orphanage with 40 other babies.  And now he is an adored son with a mom, dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins….so many people who love him so much.”

The contrast is just staggering…I think of what his life was like compared to what it is now.  I think of what may have happened to him (do you know what happens to many orphans who age out of orphanages?) and what his future can look like now. I am so thankful God led us to Mayer. So very, very thankful that we said yes to him.

While I am so very happy right now that my son is home, I can’t help but think about all the other toddlers out there.  Toddlers like little Nicholas…the little boy we said “no” to when we chose Mayer.   I struggled then on whether we should say yes to both. But it didn’t seem practical or even really possible at the time.   I recently saw a picture of Nicholas.

Still at the orphanage.  Still waiting.

And my heart breaks for him and for all of the children that are so often turned down by adoptive families because they are too old, or have too many issues, or are not quite healthy enough.

Those children who are just as amazing as my son but who may never have the opportunity to show that to a mom or a dad.

So I pray for them. I continue to advocate for them. I hope we can adopt one of them. I encourage others to adopt them.  I do what I can. And it still doesn’t feel like enough.

We recently asked our lawyer in Uganda about Nicholas.  We thought he had an adoptive family six months ago when we went to get Mayer but he’s still at the orphanage. We’re trying to find out what happened to the adoptive family and if he is still in need of one. Pray with us for little Nicholas.  Pray for all the waiting children.

August 13, 2010

Man is he adorable…

August 12, 2010

Adorable.

Some cuteness from today.

August 12, 2010

It is that time…

I haven’t been posting much.

I could blame it on the fact that we’re potty training Mayer and I have spent all day the last three days saying “Let’s go potty!” over and over and over again. :)

But really – I’ve been busy!

I’ve been trying to find medical care here in the US for some little ones I met in Uganda who desperately need medical intervention they can’t get there. I’ve got some great people helping me look for hospitals and some good leads. Hopefully we’ll get something lined up for them soon!

One thing I haven’t posted about yet is that I am working with an agency here in the US to start a Uganda adoption program. We’ll be focusing on special needs children but will be helping any child that needs a family. I’m excited about it and the possibilities. I know independent adoption isn’t for everyone – I have talked to many families who want to use agencies but many of the agencies out there are SO expensive. I hope we can provide a lower cost, excellent program that will find families for some really special little ones.

I will have more details soon as they come together.

I have been rejoicing lately as several families have come home with their Ugandan children…it is such a relief to see this process going smoothly again after all that happened.

I recently learned about an adoption program in a very small West African country that sounds very interesting. For families interested – parents must be over 35 and married 10 years (no, it isn’t Haiti though the requirements are about the same) and they are independent adoptions. The orphanage is very open to discussing adoption and can let you talk to other families who have adopted. Let me know if you want more information.

The wonderful Licia from the Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Center gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday. Lori & Licia run an amazing program in Haiti…really, I have been there. Seen what they do, held the children whose lives they have saved and loved their ministry for years. Check out their blog form some pictures of a super cute new baby girl. Man, she’s adorable! http://haitirescuecenter.wordpress.com/

August 8, 2010

Eight…

How is it possible that K. is now eight…??

EIGHT?!?!?!

I will never forget her first birthday – we missed our flight to Haiti and were stuck in Florida. We didn’t arrive until the day after. Keith was on a different flight to Haiti and was the only member of our family to see her on her 1st birthday (though Keith wasn’t actually a member of the family at the time – he and I were still dating). We had a small birthday party for her the next day.

What a tiny beautiful baby girl she was! She’s grown into such a beautiful, sweet young lady. We love her so much!

K. age 12 months.

K. with her BFF N. at the park yesterday.

K. and N. met six years ago at that same park. Both were toddlers and had recently been adopted. I love their friendship and watching them grow up together.