July’s Jubilee

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All packed and ready to depart for Haiti!

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Our first moment on the porch

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She was so tired. She was ready to nap with Daddy ASAP.

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Daddy was ready to nap too!

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The hotel pizza is always a hit!

Stories with Daddy.  She will fit right in at home.

Stories with Daddy. She will fit right in at home.

Still her favorite thing to play with, a spoon and either a cup/bowl/plate or the lid to the hotpot.

Still her favorite thing to play with, a spoon and either a cup/bowl/plate or the lid to the hotpot.

Daddy's girl!

Daddy’s girl!

Naika's birth mom came to meet us.  What a special experience.

Naika’s birth mom came to meet us. What a special experience.

We also got to meet Naika's birth sister.  She was a sweetie!

We also got to meet Naika’s birth sister. She was a sweetie!

She still loves to swim!

She still loves to swim!

Getting braver!

Getting braver!

Floating with Daddy, for a moment.  With Mama nearby, it was a short float before she wanted her Mama.

Floating with Daddy, for a moment. With Mama nearby, it was a short float before she wanted her Mama.

A favorite activity.  Splashing in the pool jet.

A favorite activity. Splashing in the pool jet.

Swimming lessons

Swimming lessons

A family photo moment

A family photo moment

Our last night tradition, ice cream!

Our last night tradition, ice cream!

It seems that on every trip, she tries to pack herself home.

It seems that on every trip, she tries to pack herself home.

Snow fun, just wait until she plays with the real stuff.

Snow fun, just wait until she plays with the real stuff.

Warming up with Daddy

Warming up with Daddy

A naughty moment.  TPing already.

A naughty moment. TPing already.

Coloring with Daddy.

Coloring with Daddy.

The last moments.  The dreaded goodbye.

The last moments. The dreaded goodbye.

One last love.

One last love.

Naika just keeps on growing.  We just got word that she has moved up to the toddler room at the orphanage.  No more baby for her.  She’s hanging with the big kids now.  Hopefully she won’t be in the toddler room too long, because she is home.

Looking forward to my next visit.  34 days our precious miracle.

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Checking out the porch from the toddler room today.

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Thank you!

It’s a team. It’s reciprocal. We are thankful for Maison. Maison is thankful for us. We are in this together.

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2012 Concordia Academy Mission Day for Maison

Remember last school year’s Mission Day for Maison?

Today was our Mission Day for Maison for this school year.  We were once again blown away by the generosity of the students and their families.  We are so blessed to have such amazing support during our long adoption process to bring home Naika.

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I was a bit smarter this year and drove John’s slightly larger vehicle.  We were once again filled to capacity, but it all fit.  After unloading all the donations, Asa and I sorted and counted them.  Outstanding quantities of love traveling to Haiti!  I will pack 3 bags today to distribute to 2 friends that live in KC that will also be traveling to the orphanage in October.

My BFF Darcy is traveling with me in October and will finally get to meet our youngest daughter.  So she will take 2 bags of these donations for me and a bag of her own donations.  She has played such a huge part of this process.  The support she has provided has been indescribable.  She has adopted 3 children already and had a miracle biological son.  Our 7 children are all very close in age and will grow up together.  We’d be happy to arrange some marriages for our children if needed.  I wonder what her husband will say when she falls in love with the children at Maison?

Another bag will go to the amazing part time missionary for Maison.  I cannot wait to see her again and introduce her to Darcy and meet her husband.  This October trip will be remarkable!

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360 bars of soap

100 containers of baby wipes

43 cans of formula

38 bottles of lotion

29 bottles of shampoo

15 bottles of conditioner

11 containers of oatmeal

11 crib sheets

8 reams of copy paper

6 plastic serving bowls with lids

5 packages of diapers

5 containers of baby powder

4 containers of Nido milk

4 toothbrushes

3 bottles of adult acetaminophen/ibuprofen

2 bottles of children acetaminophen/ibuprofen

2 boxes of envelopes

2 rolls of toilet paper

2 bottle nipples

1 petroleum jelly

1 cotton ball rounds

1 box of alcohol prep pads

1 tube of Desitin

1 container of applesauce

1 pair of shoes

I am humbled by the response to the Mission Day.  And so thankful for the 2 others Moms that helped me this morning.  One of the mother’s adopted her son from Maison a few years ago.  She has become such an appreciated mentor and advisor.  It’s so good to see that children do come home.

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31 more day until I can hear that silly laugh in person.  This mama needs to hold her baby.  It’s been way too long and this waiting is tearing me apart.

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June is for…Birthdays!

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We love birthdays!

When we saw Naika’s birthday, we knew she would fit right in.

Asa’s 4th birthday celebration at Red Robin on the 6th

Checking out his cake for the family party. It was a brownie “cake.”

Naika’s 2nd birthday cake on the 26th

Listening to the card from Amara

Listening to the book Daddy and Amara recorded

Cake! So delicious!

Amara’s family birthday cake with some cupcakes in honor of Naika

Grandma and Grandpa surprised her (kinda) with her first American Girl Doll. Spoiled!

Thanks! Grandma Carol is much appreciated

Thanks to cousin Rachel we had some beautiful butterfly cupcakes for Amara’s friend party on the 30th

We finished off the day at the annual fish fry pot luck at the cabin. Love seeing a bit of nature on the girl!

I cannot even imagine the birthday celebrations we will have in 2013!

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Marvelous May trip

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Hello again my sweet girl!

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My dear friend Lindsay traveled with my in May. She is my first friend to meet Naika. She was also one of my first friends to meet Asa and Amara.

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Lindsay brought some super fun toys, like the cool mist fan. It was a hit with Naika and all the kids at the orphanage.

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Lindsay also brought this funny George book. Naika loved it!

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One night we had a chip party with Naika’s zanmi Hugo. Bon bagay! But a crumbly mess to sleep on.

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Have another!

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Then we decided to take out Naika’s braids. Hours later and a few tears they were all out.

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She seems to be thinking, “Don’t touch my hair again, not until you learn a little bit more.” I have lots to learn yet.

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It’s not a hat silly mom!

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Thanks Grace! You make beautiful dresses

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Our last night together tradition, ice cream!

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Another gift from Lindsay. My Haitian princess

Less than two weeks my precious daughter!  Mama misses you oh so much.

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Mother’s Day

I received this picture in an email today. Better late than never. I’m getting good at waiting. Thanks Angie!

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Last year on Mothers’s Day, we shared about Naika with our family. I had received an email with Naika’s picture and a brief description of her at the end of April.

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“Naika is a petite, verbal, smiling girl born in June 2010. She is good at making her needs known, but is also easily satisfied once those needs are met. She is healthy and likes to be held and talked to. She grips toys, and is sitting up with assistance. She likes to sit in the Bumbo seat, taking in all the activity around her.”

I immediately knew Naika was our daughter when I saw that email while I was at work. After communicating with our agency we learned Naika was “on hold” for us the first part of May. On hold, for us. We joke about our Woodward reservation. It sounds wrong in so many ways. But she will be ours, hopefully before next Mother’s Day.

5 more days my precious daughter!

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Sisters

In March, Amara, Grandma Carol and I were able to travel on the family bonding trip and visit Naika.  We had such an amazing time bonding with Naika as a family.  It was truly perfect.

Amara slept with Naika and me every night, except one.  Amara escaped and slept with Grandma the night Naika’s diaper leaked all over and we both woke up wet.

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Sister snuggle

Snoozing sisters

Sister time is exhausting

One afternoon an Easter celebration that included decorating a bag and hunting for eggs was organized by another visiting sister.  Thanks Rachel for such a fun activity for all the kids to participate in!  Sisters rock!

Amara trying to encourage Naika to go hunt for Easter eggs together

On the hunt for Easter eggs

Silly hair sisters

Amara and Naika both loved swimming together.  Amara spent all her time rotating between the two float toys.  Naika refused the float toys and preferred to be held by me the whole time.  I was a bit surprised Naika enjoyed the pool so much this trip since during the January trip she refused to even get in the pool.

Preparing for pool time

Amara did a great job both sharing the iPad with Naika and also protecting the iPad from Naika.  It survived.

Sharing the iPad

Since we took an afternoon flight into Port-au-Prince we were served a nice snack pack on the plane instead of the usual morning muffin.  Amara saved her snack and shared it with Naika.  I did too, it’s part of our tradition.

A sister snicky-snack

One night we had a dance party with the glow sticks and necklaces we brought to celebrate all things sister.

Swinging sisters

We spent part of a day at the orphanage helping with some tasks and visiting the other children.  Grandma spent some time rocking her grandaughters (and another special baby boy) on the porch.  This porch is my happiest place on earth.

Grandma love, such a blessing

Special sister snack time

Naika’s all time favorite thing to play with is a cup filled with water and a spoon.  She had a set with her most of the time.  We are packing more fun items like a tea set for the next trip.

Slurping sister

One mother planned a birthday celebration for her twin girls that would be turning 3 in April.  Another family that lives in Haiti picked up a cake on the way over to the hotel.  Those Haitian pastry chefs sure know how to create a delicious cake.  Amara ate all her frosting as usual.  Naika ate her whole piece of cake and the rest of Amara’s cake.  I suspect this was Naika’s first taste of cake, and she approved!  Thanks Donna!

Celebrating sisters

A sister swagger

On the last 2 trips I have brought instant snow.  You just add water to some crystal-like sponges and you have snow.  It’s a hit with all ages!

Sister snow time

Snowball sisters

Those of you that know my mom, you know that she seems to always have her eyes shut in pictures.  Always.

3 generations of sister love

Sharing bubbles

Sweet sister love

We have begun preparing for Amara’s  6th birthday in June.  Amara started off her birthday wish list with American Girl Doll stuff.  Oh, how Amara can play dolls for hours. Within minutes Amara had revised her birthday wish list.  All she wants is for Naika to come home on her birthday.  While I realize this is not remotely realistic it broke my heart to explain this to Amara.  Our new birthday wish is for Naika to be home to celebrate Amara’s half birthday on December 30th 2012.

Please pray for this wish to become a reality.  God’s perfect timing will be revealed one day.  But oh, how I pray it will be this year.

26 more days Amara’s special sister!

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