Thursday, July 26, 2007

All Alone

I sit here tonight trying to work, but finding my mind drifting off to so many other places. My Liberian children are far, far away in some place foreign to me - almost a fairy tale place because my mind just can't grasp the true experience of it all. I've heard and read many things about that place, but it won't be "real" until that day I step off that plane and I'm smacked in the face with the heat and wide range of new smells and sights. Joshua and Caleb are off to Cub Scout camp for 3 days. It's their first overnight scout camp. I have so many fond memories of scouting and camping growing up, but now as a parent, I wonder how they are doing and if they are in a safe place. And lastly Kim and the girls are down in Milwaukee at her Mom's house having a rummage sale to try and raise funds for our travel to Liberia. So here I sit in this empty house. The true church is the body of believers and not the building they gather in, for without the people there is no church. I feel the same could be said of my house. It certainly is no home tonight. It's very quiet, and other than a dog, parakeet, hamster, ferret, and goldfish I've been left to care for, there is no life. Not the excitement and noise that usually fills this place. So as I continue my wait to bring Josiah and Gabriella home, there is even more appreciation for the great gift they represent. What a privelege!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Much Needed Vacation

We just returned from a fun-filled vacation to Wisconsin Dells. We went with my brother Tim and his family to Mt Olympus Water & Theme Park. It's been featured on the Travel Channel and delivers a wide range of fun - roller coasters, go karting, and a wide range of water activities - both indoor and outdoor. If you've never been there - I highly recommend it. You get the best bang for your buck of any place in the dells. If you go to the park, you basically get to stay at the budget hotel for free. It was very relaxing and a great time to reconnect as a family without all the interruptions of normal day to day living. Boys were at Cub Scout day camp today, and tomorrow we are off to the Milwaukee Brewers game - with plenty of tailgating and fun before the game. We will be joined by my parents, aunt & uncle and bother and his family, so more fun with the cousins for the kids. Hope you are enjoying your summer - we are!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Rest of Our Family

We put together some pictures to give to Gabriella's birth mom, so we thought we'd post them here, since some of you haven't seen us in a while. We are sending the picture book along with some beach balls, balloons, shoes and shirts for the AOH Orphanage. Josiah's 3rd birthday is August 4th, so we are sending it along with another family traveling to Liberia soon to pick up their newest additions. Thanks for all your encouragement. I never tire of saying it but we really DO appreciate it.

Kim and Dale

Joshua - 11

Caleb - 9

Elizabeth - 7

Olivia - 4

It's Official

Thanks for all your prayers. We are delighted to announce that all Gabriella's tests came back negative so we have officially accepted her referral to be our daughter. As is custom, we had to wait a couple extra days to get the news. So our new prayer request is that all will go well to get her paperwork completed quickly so that we are able to go pick both of them up during the same trip late this year. Until next time...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sister and Brother

First things first -we did not get any news on Gabriella's health today, but if anything would have come up regarding her medical condition, they would have contacted the Wisconsin office. Every indication is that she is a healthy little girl. But they will confirm everything tomorrow and we will officially accept her referral tomorrow.

What an exciting week. We received additional pictures of Gabriella today and of Gabriella and Josiah together as "soon-to-be" brother and sister. We are bubbling with joy. Also there are no guarantees on anything, but if things go the way they have been going, we are in the August group of families to have our paperwork presented in court and Josiah's adoption will be finalized in Liberia. Also they will try and expedite Gabriella's paperwork so that we can go and pick them up together when that time comes - but things are looking good for a late November trip to Liberia. So we covet your prayers on all the remaining details. Thanks again - we are so excited. Enjoy all the pictures :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Quick Update on Gabriella

We received some more information on Gabriella today, and are just awaiting information on her health. Being self employed and thus self-insured, being able to provide for extensive medical needs is a concern. Of course, we are trusting God with the health of these children, but just want to know as much as we can before we make it official. Of course we have fallen in love with her already and can't hardly imagine her not a part of our family, but will know the results of blood work by Thursday at the latest. Unless something major shows up, and even if it does, I forsee us accepting her referral. So check back soon because they intend to take pictures of Gabriella and Josiah together as brother and sister and send them to us soon. Until then - good night.

On a side note, I found this song from Prince of Egypt where Moses mother Jochebed decides to give up Moses in hopes to save his life. And I can only imagine the "real" situation in Liberia, that has caused these mother's to give up their children. In both Josiah's and Gabriella's case, their mom's were to a point where they felt the orphanage was the best place for their children. And so I ask you to remember these mother's in your prayers. How difficult a choice that was, and yet somehow I believe they are grieving over that choice. Yet their choice has resulted in joy in our lives and in sharing that joy with all of you. But still i'm mindful that our joy is their loss. I pray God heals their hearts and gives them peace, and part of my commitment is to these mom's who have trusted me with a most precious gift.

P.S. We love to read your comments and encouragement, but realized until recently we had restricted the ability to leave comments. But that restriction has been removed, so comment away!

More Joy

We received this wonderful picture of Josiah smiling. It brought us much joy to see this side of him. We can't wait to get to know him and make him smile and giggle. Enjoy!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Introducing Kimberly

We'd like to introduce Kimberly. We are cautiously optimistic that she will become our daughter. We received a call today letting us know that they may have found a referral for our daughter. The social worker felt with the name "Kimberly" that it was somewhat divine and she sent us the two pictures you see. We need to wait on some additional information that is supposed to come from Liberia tomorrow, and if everythings checks out, Kim and I will accept her as our daughter and the search will be over. We plan to name her Gabriella. All that we know is that she is about a year old. So please pray that everything works out and if this is not who God wants for us, that that would be clear by tomorrow. Thanks again for your prayers and love and support. If you want to know other prayer requests, they are listed to the right.