Friday, December 30, 2016

Update on a busy past two months.....

So many things have happened.  Happy, sad, traumatic, exciting times. 

I got to go and see my girls in November.  As many of you know, W was in the hospital the whole time I was there, so I didn't get much quality time with her.  I didn't find out she was in the hospital until my flight was getting ready to take off to PAP.  God worked out the timing for this trip, as well as how everything went down.  I'm not sure she even knew who I was because she was a on serious meds.  Necessary, but meds so powerful, the person looks as though they don't have life behind the eyes.  Yeah, heart-wrenching for this mama to see her baby look like this, when I've only ever seen her smiling.  She ended up being in the hospital a day shy of 3 weeks.  I got to see her twice for about 15 min each.  I have pictures with her, but I'm pretty sure that she won't remember me being there.  So much of that trip was very, very difficult and honestly, it's quite hard to talk about even to this day.  So I will keep the details to a minimum. 

My trip with D was FANTASTIC.  I will NEVER forget that moment when she saw me for the first time.  She was in school and I came into the room.  She turned to look at who it was, and that smile, oh that big smile of hers, forever ingrained into my heart!  She recognized me, she knew I was back to see her.  The first break she got she ran over and told me immediately that her sister was in the hospital.  I told her I knew and that I was hoping to go and see her that day.  She loved on me, crawled into my lap and held my hands.  My heart was about burst.  She knew I was her mama.  I quickly told her this wasn't the homecoming trip so as to not add to the confusion.  I told her we were getting closer, but to keep having faith that we would come back for her and W.  I enjoyed that recess more than any other of the time with her!!  She wouldn't let me go - I felt treasured!! 

We were in country for 4 days with the girls and that time flew by.  The goodbyes were just as difficult - I was hoping for some ease in my heart, nope.  I still wanted to bundle them into my bags and just leave with them.  I am very grateful for that time with my girls, but it makes me want to be their mama even more. 

So here we are almost 2 months have passed since I let their hands go down from a hug.  I'm already yearning to get back to them, to tell them we are on the next step, to have them tell me what they want to play next, to pick out their clothes, to learn more about them, to share more of our lives with them.  So much....  Ryan and I are planning another trip for their birthdays.  We were hoping to get them off the crèche property to just have time with them, but it looks like that isn't going to happen.  We are still working on the details for a trip in Feb.  We are really hoping to tell them they have a new last name and that it matches our last name. 

Today is a sad day.  I've got my "adoption playlist" rolling along with the tears.  Please Lord, let Your timing be quick on this decree.  Sometimes I feel my heart is going to burst and that my lungs can't get a full breath because I want to be with them.  But You know this, You know the exact date.  So I will do my best to rest.....I'm not good at that, so I will need Your help! 
Lord I need you, every hour I need you. 
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God how I need you. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Another HUGE Step Closer

We got the email about 5:30pm that we had exited this long stage we have been waiting in.....6 months of silence! 

We had a huge party here - Ice Cream Sundae's all around!!  We called and told all our immediate family of the good news!!!  Squeals of delight, tears of joy, mixed in with whooping and hollering like you've never heard!!  We haven't shared the news with everyone yet, because we want to share it with our church family first!  They have been praying for this day since we got back from first meeting you! 

So what does this mean???  The waiting still continues, you aren't coming home....YET!  But, the best news is that I get to see you in November!!!  It's just Mama that gets to come.  Papa desperately wants to, but as he said, it's not his role right now.  He will stay home with the other kids and run the house, as well as earn money for our family.  He is a great provider and you will feel the security it provides when you get HOME!! 

So the next several steps are smaller, and hopefully less of a wait.  But there are a bunch of steps.  We all have to keep praying and having faith in God to get us speedily through the last part of our journey to bringing you girls home! 

We can't share you picture yet with everyone, until you get our last name, which hopefully will be in the next 2 months!  After that we have some more waiting in the courts to do and then Passports and approval from the government on both sides.  We are hoping for a Spring/Summer arrival of two beautiful girlies that we will complete our family!  It will be three years tomorrow that we started our long journey to finding you.  We knew God had something special in this whole process, we just didn't know the details, the who.... the when....  the process....  But God has made it abundantly clear you two girls are made to be Batchelor's babies!! 

Mama is busy, busy, busy making a list and checking it 900 times!  We get to come with your friends' mama as well, so that will be fun!!  We are talking about all that we are going to do together!  I will admit, I am a bit nervous about it:
     -Will you remember me?
     -How will you respond to me? 
     -Will you feel joy?  Or sorrow, knowing I am not going to be able to take you home yet? 
     -Will you remember our family sugars? 
     -How will you respond when I tell you, "Not yet baby girl, not yet?"
     -Will you trust that we will come back for you? 
     -Will this harden your heart towards us? 
     -Will you be even more sad when I leave again? 
So many questions, that I won't be able to answer until I see your sweet faces.  So for now, I will put the questions aside, be excited for our reuniting, and enjoy E.V.E.R.Y. S.I.N.G.L.E. moment I get to spend with you! 

Keep trusting, keep praying, keep hoping, but most of all, keep the faith that God designed our family this way and He will see it through - Promise Maker, Promise Keeper!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Too many months....

To my girlies:

It's been 6 months since I have seen you, or had any kind of communication with you!  Mama's heart is aching to see you and laugh with you!  But guess what....I am coming to see you!  We need one more signature for you to have our last name, and then I can get on a plane and come visit you.  It doesn't mean you are coming home then (I wish!!!), but it does mean that I get to connect with you a little more!  I am sad that Papa can't come, and he is too!  We need lots of faith for this trip to be pulled off, but we serve a God that can do it! 

Today we are celebrating your oldest sister's bday!  Any kind of tradition/celebration/holiday/etc gets harder and harder to celebrate.  We want you here, you are already part of our family, and we feel part of us is missing without you!  We want you to come spend the day with grandparents that are here visiting, we want you to sing with us as we wake Sister up, we want you to be jumping on the trampoline with the kids on this beautiful day, and we want you to eat a special dessert with us for E's birthday!  Like I said, each day gets harder and harder to spend without you in our house and part of our family! 

Last week was especially difficult for Papa and I.  Hurricane Matthew was heading for you and we couldn't do anything to keep you safe.  God protected you, thankfully, as He promises to do.  We got to see a picture of you after announcing that everyone was safe and Mama burst into tears when I saw your faces.  D, you are getting so tall!  W, your sweet smile melts mama's heart still!  I am glad all the nannies and staff were there to help you through what was probably a very scary time in your lives.  We were wishing we could be there to do that.  Hopefully soon we can comfort you and help you to feel safe.  There were many, many people praying for you! 

Only 24 more days until I lay my eyes on you - have faith girls, have faith....

Saturday, September 3, 2016


August has been quiet, which we knew it would be - lots of vacationing going on in Haiti.  I get it, people vacation, people need breaks, people have lives of their own....

But man, my life feels like it has stopped tonight.  The ache down deep in my heart tonight is FOR.REAL.  The desire to hug my girls, to know they are safe, to give them their baths, to kiss them good night and double air-kiss like I do with my kids here - all that deep down is aching.

I know, I know - in Gods timing and I will obey that, but tonight it hurts....

So I turn to my worship music to help me remember that.
"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me.  Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior."

I am trying to have that faith that goes so deep I can't falter, that I can't doubt, that I keep my eyes totally on God.  But tonight, that seems impossible.  If I put my music on repeat, maybe that will help??

When that failed, I had a chat with God.
Reassuring: "God you know the absolute perfect time to bring them home."
Claiming promises: "You will never leave me and won't give me more than I can handle."
Praying in faith: "This plan you started in motion, You will finish."
Somehow the tears still come tonight.....

I know eventually I will fall asleep with tears on my pillow and wake up to a new day feeling closer to God and truly lying in His hands....but tonight.....tonight is just.plain.hard!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Under the Mango Tree....

Under this mango tree is the place I met my girls....
Under this mango tree is the place I first heard them laugh...
Under this mango tree is the place I received my first hug from one of them....
Under this mango tree is the place their little voices taught me creole...
Under this mango tree is where most of my memories with my girls are from....

I sure wish I was sitting under this beautiful mango tree now laughing with my girls, hearing their little voices speak so quickly in creole, and staring at their beautiful brown skin.  However, this can't be done yet.  I am choosing to be happy in God's timing. 

I get asked so much about the progress of our adoption.  I am choosing to be patient with people when I say there is nothing new to report.  Everyone means well. 

I hear about other kids loosing teeth, experiencing fireworks for the first time, or a breakout at the crèche of chicken pox.  I know I am missing some milestones in my girl's life.  However, I am choosing to rejoice in the surrounding adults that make these things better for them when I cannot. 

We started to move furniture around in our house in anticipation of getting everyone else settled before the girls homecoming.  It was exciting, however, when it was all done, it drastically pointed out that there were people missing in beds.  I am choosing to let God fill that emptiness. 

Most of my feelings now days are just that, they are choices that I must make....sometimes daily, sometimes more often.  I am unsettled in my life at home, knowing that part of my family is missing.  However, I must choose to be content in where God has me.  He is still teaching me, molding me, to be the best person he wants me to be.  I certainly won't be finished any time soon, but I am choosing to have confidence in my Lord that He will see this through to the end. 

So under the mango tree memories were made and I am ever so thankful for every single one of them!  Help me (most days) to continue to choose to be happy and content where you have me Lord. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hard Week

Not gonna lie - this week has been a difficult week for Mom!! 

I want so badly to have my girls home, to love on them, to have them enjoying things we do as a family, to be able to give them a kiss when they fall down, to be able to brush their hair, to be able to do all the "mom things" that I do with the kids already in my house. 

I can step back and see that all of this will come to happen in God's time, that He knows the perfect design for how and when it will all come true.  Because that's what it seems like most days - a dream that I'm waiting to wake up from.  I KNOW that God will take care of all the details, but this week has been a difficult one.  I don't want to wait any more, I want to snap my fingers and have my girls here with me. 

Today my 7 kiddos went to the eye dr.  I talked about my other two girls coming home and I let the words, "hopefully by the time we come back in a year, they will be with us" come out of my mouth.  I know I haven't lost hope, I am hopeful, but sometimes my hope grows dim and I feel like it will never happen....that the chunk of my heart that feels empty will never be filled. 

So during this most difficult time of waiting, I will fill that empty space in my heart with God's Word, with prayers said through tears, with a voice so loud I think I shout at God, with lyrics of songs that God puts in my mind: we wait, we wait for You.  God we wait, You're coming soon. 
     -.....If your heart's in a thousand pieces, If you're lost and you're far from reason, Just look up, and know you are loved
     -.....Promise maker, Promise keeper, You finish what you begin
     -.....More of you, less of me.  Make me who I'm meant to be. 
All of these songs have been on repeat (ask my kids, they are starting to get sick of them).  Anything I can do to keep the devil out and not let him get a foothold! 

Flee from me devil - this mama is holding strong to the promises of God and His plan for my life!!

A friend of ours is heading to Haiti and he is going to stop by the crèche and tell my girls that their Papa and Mama are still thinking about them constantly and loving them from far away.  I am also getting a board book ready to send to our agency of pictures of us together and then one of the ladies will take it on their next trip to the crèche, so that gives me hope - just some sort of communication!  We've been home for 10 weeks and it feels like 10 years!!  Please Lord, let the time start to fly by and the paper work start to move!!

Friday, May 6, 2016

It's a Friday.....

....and Friday's in our house mean more than just a weekend coming.  It's a day when we start listening for "popcorn".  Ryan and I have assigned our case worker a special tone on our phones when an email comes from her (a genius idea, thank you Apple, inc!)  Mondays and Fridays are when a local representative from our agency goes to the IBESR in Haiti and checks on cases.  So any news that comes through, will be on a Monday or Friday.  Quite frankly, I'm just waking up by Tuesdays so I usually miss Mondays as being a prospective time to hear popcorn.  But Friday.....I don't miss those days!! 

We have been home 4 weeks and 2 days.  While I don't count the days each day - I do after awhile.  Wondering what my girls have been up to.  Is W's cough better, is D still doing well in her French, did they have good days playing with their friends, did they get a hug today from anyone?  These are just a few things I think about so much.  I know they are being cared for in their orphanage, their basic needs are being met - fed, bathed, and clothed.  And yes, this is more than I can say for most orphans in Haiti and for that I am thankful. But understand, these are my daughters and I want so much more for them.  I want D to have a reason to break out in one of her huge smiles that make her big, beautiful eyes squint at the edges like mama's do.  I want W to be able to hang her thin little arms around her daddy's neck and see that look of safety in her eyes.  I want so much for those two little girls, actually, for all the kids in that orphanage.  We came to love all the kids at NPLH and we would take more than the 2 we are matched with if we could. 

God placed us in this journey with another couple whom we haven't even known that long, but I am forever grateful for their friendships.  The husband is a hilarious, fun-loving guy who could always bring a good perspective to the situation.  The wife, well she is a life jacket to me!  We have been checking in with each other since returning home and quite simply, she just gets it.  She described our time right now as living in a tunnel.  It is so accurate.  And without getting too heavy on here about where my head and heart is at - it just describes it to a nutshell.....a tunnel.  Sometimes, I feel like I am going through the motions and trying my hardest to be present, but at times, I just can't.  I try to be the upbeat person I normally am, sometimes I succeed and other times I feel like people can see right through me.  However, even though I'm in my tunnel most days, I know God comes to me there.  I love that - that He will come to where you are at anytime, in any mood, in any shape.  I Peter 5:10 - "In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.  So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation." 

Ryan and I had another conversation that I will have to tackle another post, but it started with....
It doesn't stop here....It doesn't stop with just bringing our girls home....God started us on this journey and we have no idea where it is going to take us.  All we know is that God is working on our hearts right now.....and we were shocked to hear that both of us felt pulls towards more - it just isn't clear what that "more" is right now.  Pray for us to hear God's voice in our busy lives, that we can distinguish what God is wanting from us, from our family.  And as always, pray for my daughters in a country far away, but not far from my heart!! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A New Normal....

I am sitting here drinking a cup of hot cocoa - so different from where I was just a week ago.  I was sitting in a Haitian airport with sweat running down my back and face, wondering how I was going to make my legs move forward enough to get me on an airplane to fly out of a country that still held my girls! 

The most common question we get....that is, when I choose to go out into the real world, which quite frankly, I am perfectly content being in confinement in my home.... is "How was your trip?"  The person is usually beaming from ear to ear and expecting an exciting response from me.  Sometimes, I fake it, "Oh, it was good."  Sometimes I respond, " know..." while cringing inside.  And then other times I just break down, becoming a hot mess feeling like my heart is literally being ripped out all over again.  I know people don't understand.  I certainly didn't before I left!!  And really there is no way to understand unless you have gone through this process. 

We had two wonderful weeks with our daughters.  Most of their personal life I will keep private, because after all, it is their story.  Please don't be offended - that's just how we are going to do things.  There is no manual for how all this goes down, so we are choosing to write our own!!

These two weeks we were to "socialize and bond" with our girls.  We did all that and more.  Our oldest of the two girls (D) was much more aware of what was going on, especially at the end of our time.  She didn't like to see me cry and in fact, came over and wiped my tears away.  She is beautiful, bold and bouncy!!  She is a Batchelor through and through!! 

Our younger girl (W) is a more shy, timid, and charming little girl.  She would hang on our necks like she never wanted to let go.  I am not sure how much she truly understands what is going on - and part of me prefers it that way.  We would explain who the people in the pictures were and she would dutifully repeat their names and we would tell her they were her brothers and sisters, but I'm not sure how much of that she comprehended - it's a lot for a little gal!! 

We are amazed at how God picked these girls out for our family.  They are truly similar to some of their brothers and sisters!!  God has taken care of them thus far and we will continue to rest in the fact that He will take care of them until we can physically bring them home.  There will obviously be bumps along the road, but we are ready to tackle those bumps together as a family. 

The 7 kiddos here did wonderful while we were separated!  Shouts out to my sisters, brothers-in-law and parents who took such good care of them.  I'm not sure most of them wanted to come home!!  We will continue to talk through things with them and help them to understand the process and what's going to happen. 

As of right now, we have no idea when they girls will get to come home.  From what we can tell, it will still be at least a year before all the paperwork, courts, procedures, etc are complete.  While this seems like a daunting time frame - I am resting in the fact that my God I serve is powerful, that He can make this timeline shorter if He desires.  I am completely resting in the fact that His timing is perfect, as it has been thus far - not gonna lie - sometimes I have to remind myself of this every hour!! 

So that leaves us here - in this process of figuring out what our new normal is.  We left parts of our hearts in Haiti but I am glad that I serve a God who is in the business of healing hearts!!  We would love to have your support through prayers.