Seven Months Home

I was just reflecting today on all that has changed in the past seven months…well, I can go back even further and say the past year. This time last year, we had learned on Spring Break that there was a mistake in some paperwork which ended in a month-long delay, followed by very bad news in early summer that Orlanka would have to stay in Haiti another 3 months for a TB test. Multiple trips, multiple phone calls to doctors, and multiple prayers finally got our girls, Eva Orlanka and Zoe Woodjina, HOME at last. Our Gotcha Day was August 31st and we landed in Kentucky on September 2nd. Leaving the creche with them that day was just as sweet as I ever had dreamt it would be. They were overjoyed…no more goodbyes.

In seven months, we have definitely had joy but we’ve also definitely had sorrow. One child more than the other really misses the people she loved in Haiti (as expected). There is insecurity at times and lots of need for gentleness and affection, which sometimes in my rush to teach and take care of four kids I’m sad to say I have to be reminded of. Stories and memories come to their minds often about their life before us, and I am recording those. I often ask them to draw pictures and try to remember details. We are blessed they have each other, so they’ll never lose those precious pieces of their identity.  Nighttimes can be hard sometimes; I still sit with them until they fall asleep (thank you, my friend Melatonin!) At first, one child complained that at the orphanage the nanny would sleep on the floor of the kids’ bedroom, so she liked it better there. (I kind of wish I had a picture of my face at that moment. It would be funny now.) We definitely work through strategies for fear at times, and those times are becoming less often. There have been a few instances where they had an idea in their minds of how something would be, only to find out it’s not–such as ice cream. They just recently got to where they can actually eat it. Before, it was too cold, and it wasn’t purple and sparkly like they had seen in pictures (darn Lisa Frank)! They can definitely have their picky moments, their complaining moments, and their unreasonable moments, like all kids.

But the joys…wow. These girls in themselves are an absolute joy. They love to go, they’re also happy to stay. They are quick to obey and want to get along well with their sisters. They have enjoyed every friend we’ve gotten together with and LOVE their grandparents (how could they not though?) They are thankful and they are loving. I didn’t share this with many people before they came home, but the personality and behavior of one of our girls (while living in the creche) was beyond challenging. I was truly worried about how her moods would affect our home. She is honestly the most stable and easy going person in this crazy household!! It is amazing and God gave me a wonderful surprise in her!! They love to learn, and oh how they love their Daddy. One day when I was in the other room, I heard Eva say to Jack (my husband, her dad), “I said to God, ‘God, will you give me a Daddy?’ And He DID!” We all cried…imagining her praying that prayer, the joy of it now answered. Yes, God does settle the lonely in families; yes, He does hear their cry!!

I remember when the girls first came they were so fascinated with/we kept running out of:

Toilet paper

Eggs (they would eat 4 or 5 at a sitting, and 2 or 3 a couple hours later!)



Barbecue (yes, the meat, the sauce, anything bbq related!!)

These things have calmed down now. They still always want to know what we’re having for each meal, and always want to know if they can have more (long before they’re done with what they have). We’ve finally figured out how to handle some of the more difficult “meal issues” and they only overeat pizza and spaghetti (understandable?!) They do so well with rewards, chores, homeschool, imaginative play, asking with respect, and even talking about their feelings and sharing their problems. Their ability to speak English has increased exponentially, and most sentences they say are about 50/50 Kreyol/English. I’ll end this blog today with two English sentences said to me recently. The first is so completely precious, it’s one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said to me:

Eva (6): “Mom, your face, my present.” (I know!!! Heart melted!!!)

And another, sweet in its own way:

Zoe (5): “Mom, I coming, but I not want to bring my fart to you.”


Thanks for journeying with us. There are lots of ups and downs, just like with any family, but we are certainly learning to love and lean on Jesus and therefore are very, very blessed. 🙂




It Happened


So, we are terribly behind in sharing the news because once IT happened, our life flew into a whirlwind! On May 29th, 2015, we got the phone call we had been waiting 18 months for. Our adoption agency had our referral letter for two little girls in Haiti! They are 3 and almost 5 years old. We are so excited to finally have pictures and names. I’m sorry to not share that part yet with the world, but we are letting more steps of the process occur before we “go public” about our newest family members.

After getting the referral, we were on a plane to Haiti in less than 3 weeks. We stayed in a nice guest house associated with the creche the little girls live in. Almost every day of our 15 day “socialization trip” we visited our children at the creche. The creche is a big house with many levels for different ages of kids and nannies in each room.








Our girls quickly (like within minutes) wanted to be held and called us “Mama and Papa Blan”. They were told we would someday be their parents, and in case you don’t see the connection to the French word for “white” (blanc), the word “blan” is “white” in Haitian Creole. So basically we were White Mama and White Papa. (Yes, you can laugh, it’s pretty funny.)

The girls do not speak any English at all. This was certainly challenging, but we brought a lot of toys to play with together. We also sang and prayed a lot, especially when emotions were running high and deep. We got to meet many of the little girls’ friends, playmates, and nannies. It really struck me how unique the community in the creche was. Kids were happy for each other when their friend’s “Mama Blan and Papa Blan” came. They understood it would happen for them someday, too. There was a sense of hope and excitement, not despair. It was a really simple existence but not lonely and not miserable and certainly not fearful or unhealthy. The children also understood that when Mama and Papa Blan went away, they would be coming back, because they had seen other friends go through the same process. This comforts us greatly, because being with these precious girls for two weeks and then leaving was excruciating. I wanted to get back to my daughters in the U.S. very much, but it was very strange and sad to leave.

We are told we have 10-14 months before we get to bring them home. They are not yet “ours” and there are many legal steps to take, each taking weeks to months. We would love to have you praying with us to receive our IBESR Authorization and Adoption Decree swiftly. We are praying for miracles, but I want to say I have a joy and peace that honestly shocks me. Soon I will blog about the monumental way God has removed worry and fear from my heart and life! I can pray with thanksgiving and confidence that our Father has my family in His perfectly capable, loving hands.

I can’t wait to see what He does.