Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A sample of Hubby's work :)

Here is a pic of the Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison boat headed back into town the other day (courtesy of the Madison Courier). See the black cover on the blower? The cover that has "eyes" on it? Yeah, my husband did that :) All of it was custom work...Isn't he talented??

Monday, September 29, 2008

Been MIA~

Sorry I have been MIA for so long everyone....back on the 14th we had a horrible wind storm that went through our county and left us without power for 8 days. Fun. yeah. to say the least. It could of been much worse and it was FAR from being completely devastating (although MANY homes, vehicles and such) were damaged. We were blessed in the fact that we only lost about 1/4 of our roof (not completely blown away, just had some shingles and tar to be fixed) and the trees that DID fall down were on the back of our property (40ft tall pine trees) so they didn't land on anything but the ground :) If the same trees at the front of our property would have fallen that way, it would of gone straight through the kids rooms. We praise God for saving us from that! Our neighbor, on the other hand had an oak tree completely uprooted and dropped on his truck...*ouch* Many of the trees around here were not even "torn", they were just completely uprooted. I am going to try and head out to get some pics of our area where there are still some trees down.

Hopefully we are now *back* on track!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

- no power for angela -

this' lori shepler & i'm posting for angela - as you can see, she's not been on here for a long time - this' due to the fact that she's no power & hasn't had any for almost 1 week now! - they're 'thinking' they'll get it restored sometime tomorrow or monday, but no guarantee, so we'll see - please pray with/for them as they're without all the conveniences that we all take for granted - thanks & i'll post on here again if i hear anything else!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ahnier is here!

And yes there is supposed to be one of those thingy marks over the "e" to make "ier" sound like "yeah"...but I have yet to figure that one out :). At any rate...head over to Lori's blog to see pics and welcome the whole family home!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dear Katharine....your adoption story

Dear Katharine,

Here is your adoption story, full and complete until the time you came home. As you continue to grow and read your story and look through your pictures we hope that you continually see where God had lead you, and where He is leading you. We loved you before we ever knew you, and will continue to love you all the days of our lives.

We began praying for God to bless us with a child immediately after we were married. God was continually showing us that the timing wasn’t right and that we were not looking in the right place for our special little one. As we began to pray, we became more involved with the people of Haiti, 1st through missions and finally by being touched by adoption. In September of 2001, we contacted Gods Littlest Angels about an adoption. We submitted some paperwork so as that we could be pre-approved by the Haitian government as we were not quite old enough according the specifications of the Haitian government. When the paperwork was returned we were told that we were not able to adopt a sibling group, but only a single child. We were disappointed but excited beyond belief about what God was doing in our lives! We compiled our dossier and were able to have it arrive it Haiti on June 28, 2002. After this was a wait…and more waiting…and more waiting….then on July 28, 2008 we received an email from GLA saying that a picture of our new baby boy was included, should we choose to adopt him. We were thrilled! As we continued to read we noticed that the email also said little Geno had a 2 year old sister ready for adoption if we were willing to try and fight the Haitian government. Attached to her email were 2 pictures, one of you and one of Noah. When we saw your picture we felt an immediate connection and there was no doubt in either one of our minds that you should be part of our family. We emailed GLA back and told them yes…and we immediately left the house to show you off to your new grandma & grandpa as well as Aunt Terri, Uncle Brian, and your new cousins. How happy everyone was! The excitement was just beginning. We had a picture of you and now we were just longing for you to come home and be part of our lives.

Just two weeks after we saw your eyes, we met two women who would be an instrumental part of your little life, Barbara Walker and Lori Shepler. Barbara was so glad to see us as she had brought many more pictures of you to share! We left our meeting with Barbara with light hearts and optimism. At the time, Haitian adoptions were taking about 90 days; you should be home by Thanksgiving!

Days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months. You weren’t home for your 3rd birthday and we cried. We mourned the fact that we had lost yet another milestone of yours. We longed to hold you, love you, and show you what life can be. After your birthday came Thanksgiving and you still were not home. By this time we had been in and out of IBESR 2 times. We were now in our 3rd time for good. While these times were hard, nothing could have prepared us for having presents under a Christmas tree with no children home to share them with. During the Christmas season of 2002, you were staying at GLA’s orphanage. Dixie gave us the BEST Christmas present ever…pictures of you! This was yet another time when your mom cried and cried….she cried because she missed you, she cried because you weren’t together on Christmas, and yet she cried because you were smiling in your picture and well….you were just so beautiful and perfect.

Months continued to roll on and we were seeing people come home with their children who started the process after us. It was very discouraging. You were growing older and not with your family. We so desired to be together but God knew what he was doing (as I learned over and over and over again during this process)!

Finally the day came! We had all your paperwork in order and we were to head to Haiti to pick up papers and get your visa. Oh how excited we were! We immediately booked our flight and left on April 14, 2003. We flew from Cincinnati to Atlanta, and then Atlanta to Miami. We spent the night in Miami and headed to Haiti on April 15, 2003. When we arrived we received disappointing news. The person to hand over your papers was not there anymore and we more than likely would not be able to get your papers in time to bring you home. We were faithful and believed that God could do anything, if it was His will.

As we excited the Airport we had a HUGE surprise! Noah was plopped into your mothers arms and you were plopped into your Papa’s. You had a huge scowl on your face! It was at that time the nanny explained that you had just awakened and you are ALWAYS a grouch when you get up! We were so glad to be prepared! As we scooted our way through town, you sat on your papa’s lap in the front seat and Noah sat on your mothers lap, asleep. You and your mother played “peek-a-boo” all the way through town…what a great memory.

While in Haiti for 2 weeks we met with your birth mom several times. It was so obvious that Christina absolutely loved you and she wanted you to have a better life than what she was able to give you. It was with tears in her eyes that she handed you over to us time and time again. She not only had tears of sadness (as she would miss you very much), but she also has tears of gladness (as the translator told us) because she wanted a life for you she had never had, a life she could not give you. She had completed very little school and so desired you to be able to be educated. Unlike America, education in Haiti is not free and open for everyone.

Every time we saw her she was drawn to you. She would love on you and kiss you, hold you and take care of you. She loved you and continues to love you. We always watched in awe at how strong she must be. We now understand how much she loved you and what a sacrifice she made for you. You see Katharine, like us, she loves you very much and wants you to grow up happy and healthy. How blessed you are to have 2 mothers who love you so much!

We continued through our 2 week stay in Haiti and you amazed us every day. You ate like a horse and even had to be taken to the Dr. as you were full of little intestinal buggies! We were all SO glad when that situation was…well…”cleared up.”

We made trips to the mountains and even to the beach when we were there. We took along a little beach umbrella and a little bucket to put Noah in so he wouldn’t have to go into the water. Once again you surprised us! You refused to walk into the water! YOU ended up sitting in that little bucket while Noah and Papa went into the water.

Oh the times we had! You delighted us with your songs and dance, and your ability to change a baby’s diaper. However, when it came to be night time you would cry…and cry and cry and cry. We felt so bad for you as there was no comforting you. You were grieving…stuck in a strange place, with strange people who didn’t even speak your language! You were “persistent” to show us your ways and how things were “done.” We ALL had a lot to learn.

We left at the end of those two weeks very weak and weary, teary eyed and sorrowful. We will never forget having to hand you over to The Nungsters at HIS home for children not knowing when we would ever see you again. It seemed like an endless cruel joke. We had issues with the Haitian government and we were now having problems with our own. Your mother cried out in despair so many times with a heart ache only another adoptive mother can understand…why….why were you to stay??? Oh ye of little faith…. (Remember how we said we learned much through this experience?)

As we boarded the plane, your mother cried. As we flew over oceans and land, she bawled. As she handed over a child we were escorting home to his new Papa, she cried even more. When we arrived in Cincinnati we were met by your Uncle Brian and Aunt Terri. We didn’t want anyone there…we just wanted to get home. As time went by we prayed for you and asked God to work in everyone’s heart so that you would be prepared for you new life in the states which we KNEW was going to happen…we just weren’t sure when.

After many prayers and contacts with our senator we began to see our prayers come into fruition. On June 4, 2003 your mother was once again with Lori praying for a little girl who was here in the states for surgery when we made that last call. It was to Katharine Sharp in Immigration in Haiti. She had all of our paperwork together and wanted to know if someone could be there THE NEXT DAY!!!!

Without hesitation your mother shouted “YES!” and headed home. As she was driving home she was praying to God over and over again, “Lord please give me a flight out tonight, be with my children. Give us safe flights, protect them. Lord Prepare them! Lord prepare US!!” As she raced the 2 hours home she called your papa to let him know that she was heading out…she just needed a flight!” She arrived home and was able to catch a flight….it was a good thing she was already packed as we had to leave the very moment your papa walked through the door!
That night she flew from Cincinnati to Chicago and then following day she flew from Chicago to Miami, Miami to Port-Au-Prince. She stepped off the plane and waited for Barbara and Kendra. Her flight was at the end of the day so the kids were not with them when they picked her up. After the visa appt. they quickly rushed back to HIS home for children. As your mom walked into the building, everyone was eating a wonderful looking dinner of pasta. She scanned the room for you but it wasn’t until she heard “MAMA! MAMA!” that she knew where you were. Her heart leaped with joy! Before she knew what had happened she had run over and was squeezing on you! After she picked up you and your brother she headed back to the guest house where your Papa was calling. He was waiting in pins and needles just to hear that you were safe and coming home…..finally.

You mom put you to bed early that night as you had to be up by 4am. When she woke you up…yes you were a grouch J that was to be expected though. She dressed you in a pretty little outfit and put on a pair of shoes. When you looked at those shoes you felt so proud. You couldn’t speak English, but would show those shoes to anyone who would half-way pay attention to you. The plane ride was uneventful and you even seemed to enjoy looking out the window and playing with your new toys. As we arrived in Cincinnati we had a small group waiting for us. Your grandma & grandpa were there as well as Lori, Spike, Brit, and Kiara (the other girls weren’t in the picture yet). Those who aren’t involved in the adoption arena often time don’t understand how important that “Airport” scene is! For us, it was like a “birth” a we were so glad to be able to share this homecoming with everyone.

From here on out your story continues…you will continue to grow and laugh, cry and mourn. If you take anything away from this, we hope it is that you understand that you were very much wanted and desired by not just one family, but two. God truly blessed us through this time and continues to bless us now. You are growing into this sweet young lady with so much potential. Keep your eyes on God, remain focused, love Him with all your heart and soul, continue to be obedient to Him and you will be blessed beyond measure…this is our prayer for you.

Love always,
Mama and Papa

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

WFMW- Mildew in caulking

Today's WFMW from Shannon is a backwards version so I get to ask YOU questions! My question today is about caulk. I have this wonderful garden tub which I clean daily. The only problem is...I continually get mildew in the caulk! I can't ever seem to get it clean and it is looking like the only option is to scrape it out and start all over. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to get the mildew out without having to replace the whole thing???