Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thank God for High Ground

We heard around noon today from Holt. They were able to contact KBF in Manila and found out the boys' foster home is at one of the higher elevations in Manila and was spared the flooding. Soggy but in one piece. We hope they stay safe as there is a storm predicted to hit Friday and another earlier next week. If you've seen any of the video from the Philippines you know that there is nowhere for thousands of people to go and resources are extremely limited or non existent. We're so greatful the boys are safe and want desperately to get them out of Manila.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Flooding in Manila

As we've been waiting for word about picking up the boys I watch the current news and weather coming from the Philippines. Just makes me feel connected with Lucas and Eli's days. They have now been through 4 typhoons since moving to Manila and for the past 30 plus days it has rained everyday. Not unusual for this time of year but unfortunately Manila and Luzon have been hit by another typhoon this week-end. From the news and videos things in Manila are very bleak. Power is out and cars had to be abandoned in the streets. People are wading through water up to their necks in places and houses have been washed away. We are anxiously waiting to hear how the boys and the foster family are doing. At the best of times this takes days of communication because of the time difference, now with no power we just pray that they are safe.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

No Words Can Explain.....

......but I'm going to try. We still cannot get a true grip on the generosity of so many people who have been a part of our adoption. The most important one being God who has been an ever constant support. Mike keeps saying that for every step of this journey God has opened doors when we felt them being slammed shut. No more so than when we have been struggling to meet the final set of costs to travel.

On this past Sunday as the Fellowship Committee and Church Youth were preparing the pancake benefit (See Previous Post) Lynn received a call from her sister Janee. Janee has been involved in the lives of Lucas and Eli a long time, way before us. She began praying that the boys would be united with their parents (she even knows the date she began - September 25, 2008). Her own boys refer to them as their internet brothers.

Prior to last Sunday Janee and I had never spoken. Our only knowledge of each other was through Lynn. Lynn has shared stories of Janee's support for the boys and our adoption but we've never met. Last week Janee had been in prayer about a particular gift that she wanted to give our family. On Sunday Janee felt that she was led to make that gift.

Just prior to the end of the second church service Lynn, Tim and Sydney came up the church aisle. As they passed the pew we were sitting in Lynn handed Mike a kleenex box to pass to me. Now let me say that while I was contemplating why she thought I needed that right then (little slow on the uptake that I may be) as soon as I looked at her as she made her way to the front I remember thinking what is she up to - why are Tim and Sydney with her - what is she up to -ok now she's crying - why didn't she keep the kleenex box - what is she saying? What she shared was the generosity of spirit and love that her sister has for our boys and in turn for us. Janee had called Northwest Airlines to see if it was possible to donate her frequent flier miles to us for our travel. She explained to the Northwest customer service agent what she wanted to do, the agent then told her that she has 5 internationally adopted siblings and that she would be thrilled to help. When the dust and tears settled Janee was able to donate almost all of our 3 round trip airfares. Hallelujah! I know that I couldn't see the stage anymore and I had to keep thinking did I just really understand that? Oh by the way Rachel had the unfortunate experience to sit next to me and at some point I grabbed her hand and we have hopes that feeling will return soon - Ha!

After the ending of service I told Lynn that I felt like a huge stone was lifted from my chest and I can breath again. To Janee and her family who were willing to donate those tickets we can never express the depth of our gratitude. We can only say that the gift has made a life long change for Lucas and Eli and your example of Christian faith, prayer and commitment is a true testimony for Christ.

Eventful Week - Still No Gotcha Day In Sight

Well this past week has been a joyous lesson in faith, friendship and family. Last Sunday was very busy. Lynn (who I've talked about before) hosted a shower for the boys. We had around 40 family, friends and church family attend. I did make it through the shower without crying (unlike the church service earlier). Just before the shower the fellowship committee with the help of our youth held a "Pancakes with a Purpose" benefit for us to help in raising funds for our travel costs. It is so greatly appreciated and when we do finally get the travel call they have made it possible to have the funds available. There is another benefit pancake feed next Sunday, September 27 after 2nd service. Stress is a constant and ever building thing in our lives right now that to have such generosity to ease the stress is beyond description!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Eli & Lucas Hanging Out in Manila

I emailed Kristine at Holt in Oregon to see if we could possibly have an update on how the boys are doing in their foster home. She was just getting ready to email us an update that the Philippine's program director had received at the August conference. He actually met Lucas and Eli and was able to give us an update as well as some additional pictures from their meeting. Their foster home must agree as they look like they've both grown over the past 2 months.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Nope No Word.....

That's right we continue to wait. No word when ICAB will release the funds to pay for the visa/physicals. Guess this is the part where we have to wait. Others wait and are stuck at different spots in the process. We were lucky we came this far without major hold-ups. So we wait. There are two wonderful things happening this week. Lynn (a wonderful and honorary aunt to our boys - she brought them to our attention and is a constant support) is hosting a shower for the boys. She is more than aware that our girly household needs some boy items. Then our church family is hosting on two Sundays this month a pancake dinner to help raise funds for our travel expenses. More info is available on the right. This is truly a blessing as we are struggling to meet this expense. So those are my two positives for this week and who knows maybe we'll hear something this week. Everybody say a prayer.