Sunday, October 17, 2010

Our Adoption Story

Sorry for the quality of the picture, I'm not sure why my camera did such a nasty job. This picture was taken on Naomi's second birthday.

As long as I can remember, I've wanted to adopt. I used to joke with a friend in college, that we would both remain single, and open a home for children with disabilities, adopting them all. Ha! Anyways, I've also suspected that I might have issues with conceiving, considering my cycles were never regular.

I met Rich, and we soon talked marriage. He told me from the get go that there would be issues growing our family. He had had a vas in a previous marriage. That said, we opted for a reversal, and talked to my Dr. about my fertility issues. I was then diagnosed with PCOS.

Rich went through the reversal 5 months after we were married, 6 months after that, we were told that the reversal was a failure. We felt like we were in a pit. I had always dreamed of also carrying children and nursing my children...what was going on.

I prayed and prayed. I could have named at that time EVERY SINGLE miraculous pregnancy mentionned in the Bible. I pleaded with God for a miracle. I also prayed that if pregnancy was not HIS will for my family, that He would change my heart.

One day, as if it was written in Bold and Underlined, ALL the passages about the orphan and fatherless. I was gung ho! Let the adoption adventures begin.

It took a little more time for Rich to be ready. While he was open to adopting, he was also considering ways to start a family biologically. We spoke about the financial repercussions to our choices and what we wanted. One day Rich came home and told me that he was ready to adopt. He said that adoption was EVERYWHERE! TV, Radio, Newspaper...God was surrounding him adoption stories.

For some agencies Rich was too old. For others, I was too young. Rich had previously been married. We didn't have enough money. The list of things went on and on. One day, while praying and looking about the living room, I looked at a carving a friend had brought me back from the country of Haiti. It was a Madonna and child. I began researching adoption in Haiti. I found a photolisting and looked at the requirements. Haiti seemed to be the country for us. Within a few months, we were going through our homestudy and gathering the documents for our dossier.

I'll never forget the day I "found" Simeon. I was looking at our placing agencies photolisting, and came upon Simeon's picture. He seemed so peaceful and serene. Rich was not due to come home for lunch that day, and I was begging God. How could I wait until the end of the day. To my surprise and delight, Rich came home for lunch, late. I ran out the door and actually fell and skinned my knee. Rich was busy asking if I was alright, while I was frantically trying to get him into the door, to the computer to see the picture of Simeon. Within the hour, our baby boy was put on hold and we were expectant parents.

3 months after finding Simeon, I was able to go visit and spend some time with him in Haiti. I'll never forget the moment I held Simeon in my arms. I describe that moment as the moment I became a mother. He looked up into my eyes and smiled. My heart melted, and I was changed. Before leaving Simeon in Haiti, I cried and cried. God blessed me with the opportunity to meet Simeon's birthmom. After meeting her, I was still heartbroken over saying goodbye, and as I sobbed, I heard God ask, " If she can give him away for a life time, how much more can you entrust him into My arms until I give him back." What could I answer, my leaving was still difficult, but I thought of that encounter with God often.

Things began to deteriorate in Haiti, soon after my return to the US. Our US placing agency left us, and took all the money we had prepaid. We were left with staggering child support fees for the orphanage and the rest of the legal process. Many times I asked God where He was, and why it was so hard. I was reminded that God had a plan. In April, 9 1/2months after beginning our process with Simeon himself, we brought him home. What a great day that was.

5 years later, we were in a position to adopt again. We wanted to return to Haiti, but after the difficulties of the last adoption, we decided to be wise about our agencies and asked around. There were two agencies that were recommended to us. To our dismay, NEITHER agency would work with us. One agency was closed to incoming parents completely (laws had changed and they could not process adoptions fast enough, to make room for new adoptions) and one agency refused us because of Rich's biological daughter. ( I believe this was God because I knew for a fact of a couple that was adopting through this agency that was carrying a bio child.)

We decided after much trepidation to go forward with a domestic adoption. A couple of months after being ready with our agency, we were matched with a young woman who was due with a baby girl in just 6 weeks. God's fingerprints were just all over this adoption. From providing friends with me to stay with in the city in which she was being born, to friends in our home church providing free airfare for my trip. Naomi was born, and she has been with me/us ever since. Again, I"m flying over the details, but the agency we worked with has since closed and we were very blessed to be able to finalize our adoption. Not many couples that worked with that agency had such happy endings, many of them in fact suffered from crushed dreams.

Adoption has been a blessing! If I had to do it all over again, knowing the hardships and obstacles that would arise, we definitely would. Even now, given the resources, I'm sure that we would adopt again. The thing is, adoption while joyful, is also wrought with loss and sadness. Its a delicate balance. A balance that I am learning everyday as I love on the two blessings that God has blessed me with!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Canine Addition

Well, after talking about getting a dog for a few years, and talking ourselves out of it, we adopted Sealy yesterday. She is a sweet and sensitve dog, who loves to play, is great with kids. She's part hound, and walking her is somewhat of a challenge. She's already getting better, but when she gets a whiff of something, she's off and trying to run. A little over 24 hours since she came home, and I'd say we're smitten.

Naomi loves her from afar for the most part, but we have found her using sealy as a pillow and trying to kiss her gently. She greeted her from her nap wiht a wave and a, " Hi, doggie."

Simeon is in doggie heaven. He has so wanted a dog for so long. Poor dog is going to die of being overly loved, pet and brushed. He keeps wanting to teach her tricks. I keep telling him that he needs to wait until she sits, lays down and comes consistently. I wouldn't change their dynamic for the world though. He was hurrying us home from church because he wanted to see his dog, he missed her.

Easter Pics!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Open letter to an awesome husband!

Dear Rich,

You are such an amazing man. I love how involved you are with the kids. How you take time to really savor and enjy time with them. Somethimes, I'm in such a rush to tick things off my to do list, but you remind me of the gift of time. Thank you! You know, we often tell Trisha that God will surpass anything she could ever dream or imagine if she surrenders to Him. How TRUE! You are so much better than any quality or person I would have ever dreamed up for a husband.

I know that you are a little nervous about the lack of overtime and travel. I know God will get us through another rough patch. You know, I read today that experts say that 78% of ALL second marriages end before 7 years. I am so thankful for a God who moves in our lives and brings us and grows us together despite those scary statistics.

I LOVE YOU Rich! I look forward to many more years of discovering what God has in store for us. What an adventure He has set before us.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Just an Update...

Well, altogether we have raised $1646 dollars. I am continually amazed at everyone's generosity and support. We are looking forward to a bakesale a week from tonight. May I encourage you to actively seek news on Haiti. has a great blog with up to date stories of what they are doing there. While the major news networks have gone onto other news stories, the real story of Haiti and its rebuilding and healing is VERY MUCH new and recent, it will take years to rebuild, and we must not forget!

Phil, thanks for the shout out in your blog post! We appreciate your support!

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I just want to thank all of you for your generosity in supporting Simeon's readathon and Heartine's Haiti ministry. As of today we have $1426 raised. The majority of it has been/ will be donated to Heartline, while some people chose to donate in Simeon's name to charity's of their choosing. The numbers are still coming in, and we have been given the opportunity to be part of a bakesale with all proceeds going to heartline. It simply amazes me to see how God has used the desire of one little boy to help his country of origin, to mobilize such aid in such a NEEDY time! Again, THANK YOU!

In the previous post, I listed all 30 books Simeon read along with their authors! Be sure to check it out!

Books Simeon Read for Haiti Fundraiser

1. The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble
2. King Bidgood's In The Bathtub by Audrey Wood
3. It's Not Fair by Amy Crouse Rosenthal
4. Owen by Kevin Henkes
5. Snow Day! by Patricia Lakin
6. Snowmen At Night by Caralyn Buehner
7. The Little Snowflake by Steve Metzger
8. A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza
9. One Fish two fish red fish blue fish by Dr. Seuss
10. Curious George Goes to a Costume Party by Margret and H. A. Rey
11. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
12. 47 Beavers on the Big, Blue Sea by Phil Vischer
13. Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
14. Bubble Gum Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler
15. Sledding by Elizabeth Wintrhop
16. llama llama mad at mama by Anna Dewdney
17. Snow Day by Barbara M. Joosse
18. Bat's Big Game Retold by Margaret Read MacDonald
19. The Paperboy by Dav Pilkey
20. Clams All Year by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
21. My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann
22. The Big Snow by Beta and Elmer Hader
23. The New Baby by Mercer Mayer
24. Curious George Goes to the Beach by Margret and H.A. Rey
25. The Treasure by Uri Shulevitz
26. Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats
27. Ernie's Little Lie by Dan Elliott
28. BIGMAMA'S by Donald Crews
29. Daddies by Janet Frank
30. Tawny Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Simeon's Fundraiser for Haiti

Dear Family and Friends,

As many of you know, we adopted Simeon from Haiti almost 6 years ago. The earthquake has hit us hard, as we wonder about his birthfamily, as well as missionaries we support there, and countless children in orphanages who need food water and medicine. The biggest need right now is money to buy the basic needs mentionned above.

Simeon has been asking what he can do to help, and this is what we have come up with. Starting tomorrow, January 15th, 2010 and for the next two weeks, Simeon will read as many extracurricular books as possible. We are asking that you would consider sponsoring him an amount per book. No amount is to little. At the end of two weeks, we will post the titles of all books he has read on my blog: . Along the way we will try to post video of Simeon reading some of his favorite books.The money we raise will go to . They run a children's home, prenatal program, a sewing program, as well as a few other ministries in Haiti. John and Beth Mchoul have been working in Haiti for 20 years now. We are asking that all donations be done via paypal on January 30th, 2010. This money will go directly to heartline's earthquake
relief fund.

For more information on that, see Http:// . Please let us know how much you have pledged at so Simeon can see how just a little effort can make a big impact.

With many thanks,Rich, Jessie and Simeon

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reading the Book Madeline by by Ludwig Bemelmans


Painting Like Michelangelo

We read about Michelangelo in art this week. One of the things we looked at was the Sistene Chapel. We discussed how it took Michelangelo 4 years to paint it. So, we decided to try painting upside down. It was a neat activity!