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Showing posts from March, 2009

Show Hope

http://www.showhope.org/Resources/VideoLibrary.aspx

Okay, go to this link and then scroll down to the last video, "Picture This." Now we really have to bring Lionel home!!!!!

Great Day of Fellowship!!!

Yesterday was a great day of fellowship! All of the women directors at Kanakuk threw me a going away party and we laughed for hours. They told sweet stories about memories of me and they told funny stories about memories we have shared together. I have known some of them since I was just a toddler and it was fun to laugh about life and it was nice to be honored for the day. I typically don't like to be the center of attention, but it was kind of nice yesterday. I laughed so hard and it was so refreshing! I am thankful for the friends I have here, in my work place. Thanks, ladies!

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Every once in a while it is so nice to get off of my regularly worn path and spend time with good friends from out of town. That is what I got to do last night and it was so refreshing. Andy and I got to spend the evening with our good friends Steven Curtis Chapman and his son, Caleb, Geoff Moore and Michael W. Smith. We got to talk about life and family and we got to talk about adoptio…

Letter From Bishop John

Dear Andy,

It was a real blessing to fellowship with you last week. I hope God blessed
your journey home and your family union.

Andy I can't agree with you more on the fact that your reach out to adopt
our babies in Rwanda is a clear a symbol of the Divine adoption of our
humanity.

Pray for me as I continue to approach the minister for the adoption from
Chantal's houses. I am handling it delicately because there are more people
behind you. We want to solve it for others as well.

Please pray for us. Love to Jamie Jo

God bless

Fun Evening With Fun Friends

Well, we all went to see Monsters vs. Aliens! The best part was hearing the kids laugh (and hearing Melissa laugh harder than all the kids combined). Next best was hearing Rae shout "Wall-E" (Gabby) the entire movie and scream every time some character in the movie screamed! What a fun night! What a great group of friends I have and my kids have. We are blessed and they will be missed terribly when we move!!

It is so good to have Andy home, too!

And Nimrods (Becca, Elliott and Chas), we miss you! Andy said that you could come back and live with us even though he is home!!!

And for all of my faithful adoption readers. . .no news. . .maybe tomorrow once the work week gets started again. Andy said that Bishop John said to give him a week. . .that would be Wednesday or Thursday! This will be a nice time for praying without being stressed to hear news from Andy each day about progress (or lack thereof)!!!

Andy Is Headed Home

Andy called and he is at the airport--headed home. They had a super time and I am so thankful that Andy and so many KCO kids got to see the country where Gabby came from!

No news on Lionel. . .my heart is heavy because I never imagined that Andy would leave Rwanda still not knowing. . .originally I thought we'd get Lionel by Christmas and that Lionel would be on the trip to Rwanda with his dad. Andy did talk to Bishop John this morning and he said that he has talked to a few people and that it is in progress. That is good news--I am just going to have to sit back, relax, get comfortable and wait. African time is not our time. God's time is not my time. I will just have to remember that Lionel is happy--very happy--and is in good hands. I'm the anxious one and as a mother, I need to remember that my child is fine.

I think the hardest part of this will be the not knowing. If it is a yes, then I am willing to wait. But if it is a no, then I just want to move on with pu…

Rwanda Today. . .

Today, in Rwanda, no news about adoption, but Andy got to go to Gabby's orphanage. Here is what he wrote in his blog prior to his visit:

Today we're going to an orphanage where my Gabby came from. I'm prepping myself for an emotional experience, but I know it's going to fill my in the holes in my heart for the unknowing that she brought to me being an orphan dropped off at the gate.

He had a good time and he is glad that he got to see where she spent the first part of her life. I cannot wait to get the full run down once he returns home.

He has some great stuff on his blog and some fun pictures. . .go to my list of "non adoption blogs" and click on THE JOURNEY. There is also some amazing information about the trip and about Kids Across Africa on Luke's blog. . .same list to the right, click on LUKE PARROTT.

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Proverbs 25:25
"Like cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country." That is my prayer today! Thanks for the rem…

News From Andy

"I called and had a meeting with Bishop at the church. I told him about the letter, and showed it to him. He gave it to one of his staff to have photocopied, and looked at me 'this is contestable!' YEA!! So, He's going to call a senator friend he has, and try to work it from his end. . . .the fact the letter demands we adopt from a Catholic orphanage is an outrage to the Bishop. I told him that your heart was heavy and you weren't doing well, and he put his arm around me and said, 'The Lord will redeem this letter.' So I don't know what that means, but I have his card, and he said to give him a couple of days to work something out. "

So, there we have it. I'm not going to get my hopes up. . .Bishop is a very passionate man. . .and the Minister will not look highly on us going "above" her or "around" her. God is good and I know it will work out!

I don't know if Andy got to meet Lionel or not. . .he left out that VERY impo…

The "Work" Day Is Over In Rwanda

Well, it is after 5:00 in Rwanda and I didn't get an email back from the Minister. (For those of you just following, I emailed the Minister yesterday thanking her for the Approval Letter and letting her know that we were wanting to adopt a specific boy who is enrolled in Sonrise School and not living in the orphanage mentioned in my letter.) Anyway, I didn't hear back from the Minister. I'm not sure if that means anything at all. It is a long shot that she will let us adopt a child that we have "picked out." I understand that.

I just know that God is a god of miracles and that He gives us the desires of our hearts. I know that if Lionel is supposed to be our son, then he will be regardless of what our Approval Letter says. I also know that if Lionel isn't supposed to be our son, then God has a much more perfect fit for our family already in the works. I just have to trust! I know that. . .I just don't want to "give up" on adopting Lionel…

Nothing New This Morning

No updates from Kigali yet. . .I haven't heard back from the Minister and I haven't heard from Andy.

In non-adoption news. . .Andy and his group are having a wonderful time! You can see great videos and posts on his blog and on Luke Parrott's blog. . .both blogs are to the right of my posts: "The Journey" and "Luke Parrott."

We are headed to the dentist this morning. . .four appointments which were made six months ago: Hays, Maggie, Lionel and Dax. Oops, I'm not sure that Lionel will be here by 7:15 this morning for his teeth cleaning! I ran into a friend of mine last night at the Landing who is my orthopedic PA and she is getting me in to see her tomorrow for my bum injury. . .she wants to rule out a cracked pelvis. Nice. . .I'm 100.

I'll keep you posted as I hear anything from the Land of a Thousand Hills (Rwanda)!

Pray for our hearts (especially mine and Hays's) and pray for continued miracles! Thanks!

Meanwhile...

Life does go on and my life is more than just the sad speed bump today brought. Hays went to school crying. . .he is so upset about the developments in Rwanda. Maggie went to school and got Team Leader--which is a VERY big deal in the Second Grade--we were there at the assembly to surprise her! Dax and Gabby and I played outside in the sun with Chaco and Jake. . .it is a BEAUTIFUL day! So, I am sad and confused and overwhelmed with the adoption and I'm dying for concrete answers. . . . . . .but on the other hand, my life is good and God is good and I have four kids who I adore. God will add the right child to our family at the right time. I pray diligently and fervently that it is Lionel, but if it isn't. . .God is faithful! Enjoy the slide show!

We miss you, Andy!!!

Also, go to www.andybraner.com or click on "The Journey" to the right to see videos from Andy's trip WHILE he is in Rwanda. . .he will be posting new entries and videos daily!!!

Update. . .

Well, here is what is going on since we received the Approval Letter. I have written an email to the Minister requesting two things:
1. a meeting with she and Andy
2. Lionel. . .I told her about Lionel being a true orphan and about him being at Sonrise School

So, now we wait. I am hoping that she will read my letter with an open mind and that she will change her mind when she meets with Andy.

We're just going to take it a step at a time from here. There are many scenarios stemming from many scenarios. . .I feel like I'm in a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book and there are many page options at each junction. I'm just going to go one step at a time and try not to let my mind wander down the "what if" aisle.

So, let's pray that the Minister will hear the plea of a mother's heart in that email I sent her. That is the step we are on right now.

Thanks!

Also, I received a bit of encouragement from another adoptive (and waiting) parent this morning and I …

Great News and Not So Great News. . .

Andy met with Jeanne Marie this morning. . .Africa. . .no real schedules. Anyway, he met with her and he said that she is great! (She is, I remember really liking her.)

We got our Letter of Approval!!! However, it wasn't generic. It was very specific. It said that the government of Rwanda is excited for our family to adopt again, but it must be from the specific orphanage listed in the letter. We knew this was a huge possibility.

Here is what the letter said:

Dear Sir and Madam

In response to your letter requesting for permission to adopt a Rwandan child. Considering the fact that you have submitted the required documents for that matter; I have the pleasure to inform you that after examining your documents, I have no objection to your request, and thus, you may now go ahead with the adoption procedures. You will however, have to respect all the legal requirements regarding adoption and particularly identifying the child in the Home of Hope Orphanage, managed by the Missionari…

I Talked To Andy. . .

Well, I talked to Andy and I am feeling much better. He is meeting with Jeanne Marie (not Veronique) on Tuesday morning. . .so, be praying Monday night. . .by the time we wake up on Tuesday, we'll know things! :) Anyway, he is meeting with Jeanne Marie. That's good. He also said that Veronique has apparently turned over a new attitude leaf and that she is so excited to help (according to his sources: Tim and Johnathan). That's good news!

Then he gets to go to Sonrise on Wednesday and meet Lionel and his friends! Wow! I cannot wait to see pictures and video footage from that!

So, my prayer warriors, go to bed Monday night praying for the meeting Andy and Jeanne Marie will have about adopting Lionel! We need to bring him home for Easter! Need. . .want. . .the line is very very fine! :)

Thanks for the reminder, Mom!

I'm not big on reading email forwards, but I read this one today (maybe because my mom did have the "FW" in the subject line). I have read it before, but it was exactly what I needed today! Thanks, Mom!!! (Also, if you are reading for the first time today, there is a Rwandan update posted below this post. . .please read!)
Isaiah 65:24

This beautiful story was written by a doctor who worked in South Africa .

One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive, as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator).

We also had no special feeding facilities.

Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.

Another went to sto…

Calling All Prayer Warriors!!!

Well, I just got an email from Andy (pictures above are of Bourbon Coffee Shop in Kigali where Andy gets the internet). They are doing great and having a wonderful time! His meeting in the Minister's office is Tuesday (I don't know the time yet) and he is meeting with Veronique--YIKES! For those of you who don't know, Veronique is the lady in the office who is making adoptions very difficult and she is the one who seems to have a personal vendeta with New Hope Homes (Lionel's home) and who has made it exceedingly clear that another child will never be adopted from there. I am still believing that God is bigger than everything and that He can bring our son home, but this meeting with Veronique still has me a tad stressed out. That is a confusing feeling. . .I really do have faith that God can do miracles. . .then why is this meeting stressing me out? Because I'm a control freak. Yuck! So, please be praying for that meeting. I'll give you all an exact t…

Interesting Picture

I found this picture and thought it was kind of interesting since we are currently still pursuing adoptions from Rwanda and China. . . .

(That is the Chinese flag in the continent of Africa. . .)

Andy's Trip So Far. . .

What a small world! Andy was on the plane from DC to Ethiopia with the Martin family!!! So fun! They are headed to pick up Micah and if all goes well, they will be on the same flight back to the states with Andy and the KCO kids!

They left the Martins in Addis and flew on to Kigali. They all landed safely without any big stories to tell! Thank goodness. . .traveling with 30 teenagers. . . .

Monday Andy will be meeting with Jeanne Marie and the Minister! LOTS OF PRAYERS NEEDED FOR THAT MEETING! I don't even know where to begin with my list of prayer requests for that meeting. The ultimate outcome is that we get to adopt Lionel and bring him home in a timely manner! Bottom line.

Thursday Andy and the mission trip students will be at Lionel's boarding school: Sonrise up in the Northwestern part of the country! I can't wait to hear how the first father/son meeting goes! WOW!

I'll continue to keep you all updated!

Andy is headed to Rwanda. . .

. . .and I am sitting in Winter Park with a softball size knot on my bum!!! So depressnig on SO MANY different levels!

I'm so excited that Andy will be in Rwanda soon! I'm excited that he will get to be in Gabby's birth country and that he'll get to see where she came from! What a huge blessing! I'm excited that he'll get to go to Lionel's school and MEET HIM and HUG HIM and get pictures WITH HIM!!! I'm so excited that he'll get to meet with Jeanne Marie (and maybe the Minister)! Prayerfully this will be a positive meeting and the process can speed up towards BRINING Lionel HOME because the meeting goes so well.

I wish he coudl bring Lionel home. Oh well. . .I'm glad that I'll get to go back to Rwanda and travel home with my boy!

I got an email from Jeanne Marie. She said that my "response letter" in "in process." I would have rather the email said that my APPROVAL LETTER is waiting for Andy to pick up. That would…

Jeanne Marie is holding my documents!

Thank you, Johnathan! My papers are in the Minister's office. We aren't getting that quick turn around on the Approval Letter that we were hoping for, but the documents are there and my dossier is finally complete! Jeanne Marie found out that Andy will be in Rwanda in a week and a half and she wants to meet with him before she gives us the letter.

Deep breath. Patience. Another deep breath. God is good.

I think J.M. wanting to see Andy will put and entirely different spin on the process. I don't want to speculate right now what kind of a spin it will put on it. I just need to leave it in God's hands. The weird thing is, I'm having a very easy time doing that. I think I am so nervous about what the outcome could potentially be that I would rather let God handle it!!! Isn't this the place that I should remain at!?!?!

FOR SALE

My home. The house I thought I'd raise my kids in and live in forever. It is for sale! We're headed to Durango! Prayerfully the house will sell before May 2nd and we can head to Colorado and have all summer to look for a house. We'll see! But the sign is up and it is official! 176 Maple Forest Lane is for sale and we are leaving!

We Need To Sell Some T-Shirts

Okay, prayerfully the day is getting closer for me to go get my boy! I need to sell some t-shirts so that I can afford to fly Hays and myself over there and then three of us back! Please help by going to www.annidesigns.com and buying one of our Rwanda shirts. They are great feeling shirts that run very true to size (guys' sizes). Thanks, in advance, for your help!

If we can sell 400 shirts, then the WHOLE FAMILY can go to Rwanda and pick him up! Wouldn't that be a wonderful experience!!!!

Again, we are praying for a GENERIC approval letter THIS Thursday or Friday!!! That is prayer number one (okay, number two after praying that the documents get to Jonathan Nimrod on Wednesday). I'll keep you updated prayer by prayer as we go! Thanks!

Thanks, Rebekah!!!

Rebekah Lewis is a counselor at Lionel's school and she sent me this picture today! Thank you SO much, Rebekah!!!

IN THE MAIL!!!

The last of my forgotten documents is in the mail and is supposed to be in Kigali Wednesday! Yipee!!! It will be to the Minister's office by Thursday morning (at the latest) and the prayerfully that generic approval letter will be just a signature away!!!

Off to DHL

I am holding my remaining documents and I am headed to DHL as soon as Dax and Gabby wake up! I'm going to pay whatever it takes to get them to Kigali by tonight!!! Okay, not by tonight, but as soon as they can get there! Baby steps, but expecting MIRACLE AFTER MIRACLE!!!

"No Record" Report Should Be In My Hands In Minutes. . .

Well, the Rwandan Embassy finished with my missing documents and they should be delivered to me by three o'clock this afternoon. I think I am going to DHL them to Rwanda so that Jonathan can take them to the Minister's office as soon as he gets them. Jeanne Marie, in the Minister's office, said that everything is ready to go as soon as she receives those documents.

So, the prayer is: that the documents get to Jonathan QUICKLY and that Jeanne Marie turns around our Approval letter in a day and that the letter is GENERIC!!! Once that happens, then Johnathan can track down Lionel's uncle and start the adoption process with the courts. Once that is finished, then we go back to the Minister's office for travel approval and we can bring our boy home!!!

Andy is headed to Rwanda in two weeks. It would be an absolute miracle if Andy could bring Lionel home with him, but I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES and I believe that MIRACLES STILL HAPPEN!!! God is big and He knows our situat…