For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future. Jer. 29:11

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Sweetest Gift

A few weeks ago some friends of ours went to Haiti to spend a week at the orphanage in Camatin loving on 28 little girls, teaching them some bible school lessons (Daughters of the King) doing crafts and having a teaparty with them. They also feed the community as well as ministered to some individual families in the communities surrounding the orphanage.

Anytime someone we know goes to the orphange we always send a care package for Cadonia as well as something for one of the other girls or a family we have gotten to know there. This trip, my friend Beverly took our care packages. We always send Cadonia a few clothes, snacks she loves (Fruit Loops) and something fun. Woody recorded one of those new recordable storybooks from Hallmark for her about Disney Princesses. We also included a letter to her as we always do.

I love when these friends come home from Haiti because I stalk their facebook pages for pictures of Cadonia and stories about her and all her friends that we love so much. After this trip Beverly told me she had something for me, so of course I was eager to get my hands on it, knowing it had to be something to do with Cadonia. Well, the sweetest gift I have gotten in a long time came in the form of a letter Cadonia wrote back to us as well as a picture she colored. She wrote some in Creole and some in English. She wrote that she loved us much and can't wait to see us in August, Mommi Cheri (sweetie). To my new family,God bless you.

Well, I had just been trying to decide that day if I was going to go at the end of August or if Woody was going by himself for our US Embassy appointment in Port au Prince and when I read that I knew I was going! I can't wait to see her in just a few short weeks.

I have to say thank you so much to all those who have gone to Haiti, have loved on all those amazing little girls at the orphanage at Camatin, those who have made room in your suitcases when you had no room, just so you could take something to my girl for me. Thank you for every picture you have taken and hug you have given. Each of you are a part of our journey to Cadonia and we are blessed because of you!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Oh HAPPY Day!!!

UPDATE on our Adoption Paperwork:

February 5-11, 2011-Went to Haiti on a Mission Trip

March 1, 2011- Contacted Clarity Group and East Tennessee Adoption Services

March 9, 2011-Recieved our dossier prep package from Clarity Group and went to work on getting our dossier together.

March 15, 2011- Home Visit with our Social Worker, Mary Harmon

March 22, 2011-Individual interview with Mary Harmon

March 30, 2011- Woody's individual interview with Mary Harmon

May 19, 2011- Homestudy Complete

May 23, 2011-Mailed I600A form to USCIS to get our fingerprinting appointment

June 3, 2011- Dossier mailed for Translation

June 9-16, 2011- Trip to Haiti to visit Cadonia and the other girls at the orphanage in Camatin

June 23, 2011- Translated copy of dossier received

July 5, 2011 Woody, Josh, Jordan and I went to Nashville for our fingerprinting appointment

July 6, 2011- Paperwork mailed to Hatian Consulate in Chicago for stamping

July 11, 2011-Received dossier back from Chicago, three copies were made and sorted

OH HAPPY DAY-July 20, 2011-Dossier was hand delievered to Haiti by our friend Preston Cunningham who went to visit his girls Redgina and Jesula

July 21, 2011-Received USCIS Favorable Determination Letter (Approval from the US to adopt internationally)

July 23, 2011 Received our US Embassy Appointment in Haiti for August 30th. Even though it is a little early in the process to do this step we are going to be going with 4 other families that are adopting. This has to be renewed online every 45 days until Cadonia comes home.

I must say, the last four months feel like they have held alot of blood, sweat, and tears or at least copying, running paperwork around the state and a few papercuts!! We have been so anxious to get this dossier complete and to Haiti but I must admit that I felt stange letting it out of my sight.

We had two groups of friends that were able to pray over the dossier with us, which was so special. We know that we have been called to this journey, that God is in control and it will all happen in His time!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Daddy meets his girl

We arrived in Port Au Prince the morning of June 9th and had a mighty wild ride up the mountain to the orphanage. Woody and I were separated in our travel to Camatin because I rode in a van and he was in the back of the truck. The van was able to get there about 30 minutes before the I said it was a wild ride!

As I got closer to the orphanage I started to have fears and doubts about whether Cadonia would remember me when she saw me, after all I had only spend a half a day with her in February. We had talked to her on the phone several times as well but I just wasn't sure. I know that it was just one of Satan's little tricks to discourage me. As we started down the driveway I could see her along with a bunch of other little girls waiting on us on the big porch of the orphanage. What a sight to see. As I got out Cadonia ran out to meet me with a huge smile on her face and a big hug as well. My eyes immediately flooded with tears as I realized we were still so connected after months of separation. I noticed though that she was looking around for something or someone. I asked if she were looking for Poppie and she said yes. I told her he would be here soon and she seemed to understand.

Being separated from Woody for the last 3 1/2 hours I wasn't sure what he was feeling at the time he arrived but was told from the people he rode with that he was pretty much a nervous wreck about whether Cadonia would like him or take right to him or not. He needed to not have worried. When she saw the truck at the top of the long driveway she ran downstairs to meet him at the door. She could hear Woody calling her name and waving to her as the truck drove in and she was smiling and waving back. She even ran back inside telling her friends that her poppie was here and wanted them to come out and see. She immediately went to him when he got off the truck and hugged him like she had known him her whole life. That had to have been one of the best moments of my daughter I connected with months ago meeting the man I have loved for most of my life! The picture above was taken just after Woody arrived at the orphanage.

We had a great trip loving on those girls as well as ministering to communities around the orphanage and getting some adoption stuff done. More to come later!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

30 Days

....the number of days until we go to Haiti. The number of days until I get to spend more than just a few hours with Cadonia. The number of days until Woody gets to actually see his daughter for the first time. It seems like such a long time but I know when we get there the time we have with her will fly by. But still, I am looking forward to getting to know her better. I have been thinking alot about her this week, especially with Mother's Day being this past Sunday. I have been thinking about all the things that I do know about her, which isnt much. I know the following:

1. Her birth certificate says she is 5, and will be 6 in October. (I don't believe that)

2. She says she is 8.

3. She like Fruit Loops.

4. She like dogs.

5. She has 7 siblings.

6. Her favorite color is red.

7. She gets car sick.(the times she has been to the beach with groups from Knoxville she has gotten sick) Poor Girl!

8. She is totally adorable and won my heart quickly.

I can't wait to add to this list got it, 30 days!