Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm flyin' Southwest from now on...

Man, if only they had done this on our way to Liberia!:)

And so...

So, now what?

Now you are all caught up on our Liberian adventure and you're probably bored stiff by all my random thoughts and musings (just be grateful it wasn't a month long trip)!

Now what?

I have no idea.

And so, this is where we sit for a while...

Major prayer...major decisions and still taking malaria pills for the next 3 weeks.

This is life after Liberia!

Please continue to pray for our dear friends and loved ones whom we left behind. You each now know how much my heart misses little Prince and you have also met all of those whom we became so close to. Please uphold them in your prayers as God leads.

Thank you SO MUCH for all you've done to make this trip possible. Whether you supported it financially or prayerfully, you are the reason that God allowed us to go!

We can never thank you enough for the blessing that you've brought to our lives.

And now I'll leave you the verse that the Lord brought to me yesterday:
1 Samuel 2:8
"He lifts the poor from the dust - yes from a pile of ashes! He treats them like princes, placing them in seats of honor."

Oh Lord, I thank you that this is true. Amen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Liberia Journal Day Eight

March 13, 2009 - Leaving Liberia

Another hard day.

We spent the morning at the Deaf Home (which is the sister home to the main orphanage where we spent most of the week). Although I loved seeing the kids and meeting them, I must admit that my heart just longed to be down the road with Prince.

I often wondered what kind of day he was having and what he was doing. I miss him so much already.

Although we don't know with certainty all that God is doing, I do know that I can picture Prince in our family. I can see him playing in the backyard with the boys and spending birthdays and Christmases with us. In my heart I just can't shake the feeling that he is my son.

Quite honestly, I never expected him to capture my heart. I came here with an open heart, but in all those times when I prayed for God to show us; I always thought that it would be a sister for Elle. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect Prince to be the one I couldn't stop thinking about. I fell asleep last night crying. This is so hard.

We got back to the guest house and the guys played futbol. It was so great to see the friendships that had formed in just a few days. Watching them laugh and run lifted my spirits.

We then had an amazing time of communion together with all of the local ACFI pastors.

Then the time came to say our goodbyes.

I can't describe to you the feelings we had as we hugged our brothers and sisters. I didn't want to let go.

Timothy (the taxi driver whom we had become very close to) was working for the Governor today (he also drove for the Governor!). He stopped by at one point to say his goodbyes. What a precious friend Timothy has become. He cried as we told him how much we love him.

Later in the day, Timothy called Johnson (another one of our cab drivers) and asked Johnson if he could swing by to pick up something that he had bought for Donn. Johnson showed up at the guesthouse with an entire African outfit that probably cost Timothy a half-months wages to purchase. God, thank you for blessing us with such amazing friends.

The goodbyes to Friday and Jordan were also incredibly difficult. We love these two men very deeply. God, please protect and provide for them. Let us see them again soon (addendum: Friday contracted malaria shortly after our visit...he is healing but please pray for his complete recovery).
I now sit on the plane home and my mind is a mess of jumbled many things to much praying to do. I am thrilled to run into the arms of my children whom I have missed so much, but leaving this country has been much harder than I ever imagined.

Lord, thank you for this "honeymoon" to remember. It's so much different than what we thought our "honeymoon" would look like but much more amazing than we could have ever known.

God, make the answers definite and clear. Make the path walkable and bring us back to our Liberian family soon. Amen.
Donn and Pastor Kofi (the man who began ACFI)

The "International Match" (Liberians vs. Americans) (yes, the Liberians won)!

Donn in his African Outfit from TimothyWelcome home Mom, Dad and Eden!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Liberia Journal - Day Seven

March 12, 2009
This has been one of the hardest days of my life.

Today was our last day at Daniel Hoover (the orphanage). We worked on the remaining medicals all morning. It was an extremly hectic day as we all felt the pressure to get finished with what we set out to accomplish while here.

The men finished up the building projects and worked tirelessly to leave the orphanage with no loose ends.

Within about 10 minutes of our arrival, little Prince showed up. His little dimpled smile just melts my heart. Throughout the rest of the day he was never far away. I would see him peeking in through the open doors, looking for either Donn or I while we were working.

We had a brief time with the older girls and we sang together. Their favorite song is "Who Am I" by Casting Crowns....I don't think I will ever make it through that song again without crying.

The girls gave us many letters - simply asking us to remember them. We all prayed together and then we said our goodbyes. Many tears were shed.

As the day drew to a close it became harder and harder emotionally.

I went and found little T-girl in her dorm and Prince, Donn, T-girl and I walked around campus holding the two little ones who had stolen our hearts.

As I walked I prayed for the Lord to make the moments last.
"Just a little longer Lord...just a little longer."

As word began spreading that we were about to leave, I looked at Prince and saw his face get very serious and his eyes tear up.

I leaned over and told him that I loved him and that we were praying for him. I told him not to be scared to talk loud because people want to hear what he has to say. I kissed him and held him as he and I cried.

We said goodbye to T-girl who was uncharacteristically clingy and serious also. I told her that we loved her and would be praying always for her. She looked at me one last time and then scampered off.

Donn and I got in the taxi and shut the doors. We looked over at the sea of kids surrounding the least 50 kids were just peering through the windows waving (some with tears in their eyes).
Peace stood there crying...Winnie-girl began to cry and walked back to her room.

And then I saw him.

Little Prince...pushing his way through the mass of kids. He walked right up to the car window and just stood there sobbing. There were too many tears to hold it together. Donn flung open the car door and swooped up our little boy...our little Prince.

I don't know what Donn said to Prince during that moment...I imagine they were the words that only a father can say to his son. I sat in the car and sobbed into my hands.

Oh dear little Prince; if only you could know how much we sobbed as our car drove away today. If only you had any idea how loved you are and how much we long to be with you.

If only you knew...

Thank you Lord for good friends. Thank you for the Liberian family you have given to us.

We ended the night with an amazing church service in which the older kids from the orphanage surprised us to sing some songs. Donn and I were blessed to have one more night to spend with Peace and Winnie-girl.

As the kids walked in from the back of the church I just kept praying that I'd see Prince's little face come smiling in, even though I knew he was too young to be out so late.

The goodbyes were incredibly hard again. One friend in particular, Elijah, was very hard to say goodbye to. Elijah had become a true brother to Donn and I over the past week. Elijah is the Dean of Students at the orphanage and he loves the Lord and those kids deeply. We had spent every moment together as he worked on medicals with us and saying goodbye to him left a very big sadness in our hearts. Lord, be with our brother.

After the church service we finally went back to the guest house and Donn and I immediately went out back to share our last evening with our dear friends. We sang praises under the stars until the early hours of the morning with Friday, Lorpa, Jordan and Opelo.

Thank you Lord for the people you've put in our lives. You have blown our minds with all you've done in one short week!

Our little Prince
Our Dear Brother, Elijah

Monday, March 23, 2009

Liberia Journal - Day Six

March 11, 2009
Today is "Decoration Day" in Liberia. Decoration Day is much like Memorial Day in America except that it is basically a day to remember anyone who has died and was special in your life. Unlike America, where people can go visit a gravesite any day; in Liberia, visiting the graves any day other than Decoration Day is illegal. Therefore, on Decoration Day, the town shuts down and the people all go to fix up their loved one's graves and remember their lives.

Despite the holiday, we obviously had a lot of work to do so we continued on doing medicals for the children.

Surprisingly, Julia's mom (Julia is the girl I met yesterday on the front porch of our guest home) showed up at the orphanage just so that Julia could hang out with me. It caught me a bit off guard because in order to get to the orphanage they would have had to spend money on cab fare for each one hour drive. I was shocked to see her walk up to me with her beautiful little smile.

Julia stayed with me for the remainder of the day. She is a precious little girl who is very outgoing and loving.

Little Prince also found us within minutes of arriving at the orphanage and he stayed with either Donn or myself the entire day. What a little Prince he is - he is truly capturing my heart!

After working at the orphanage, we decided to walk to the ocean. The ocean is only about 2 blocks away from the guest home, but we hadn't had the time yet to go see it.

While we were walking there a little boy saw us from a distance and began sprinting toward Donn. I would guess that the boy was about 2 years old. He was running full force (with only a shirt on - no underwear) and he just ran into Donn and wrapped his arms around Donn's legs. It was the sweetest little thing I've ever seen. The boy was just happy to see a white person. The high regard that Liberian's have for Americans is truly astounding. They are such a sweet culture.
Later this evening, Donn and I went out back and sat with Jordan, Friday, Keema, Lorpa and Orita (our friends who work at the guest house). Donn and Friday played the djembe and we all sat around and sang worship songs under the stars. It was truly an amazing night of brothers and sisters fellowshipping as one. It solidified the love I have in my heart for these people.

Cyndie and the guesthouse girls
Donn and the sweet little boy on the street

Donn, Cyndie and Eden

Decoration Day (the graves in Liberia are raised tombs)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Liberia Journal - Day Five

March 10, 2009
I worked doing medicals all day again today. It was a long day but a very good one.

The day started very interestingly as I went out to the front porch of the guesthome and found a woman, man and little girl standing there.

I introduced myself and began talking with the little girl who told me that she was 3 and her name is Julia (not actual name).

We laughed and spoke for a bit and then I said that I would have to excuse myself to leave for the orphanage.

The mother then leaned over and hugged me and asked me if I loved her daughter. I replied by saying that her daughter seems very sweet and she is an adorable little girl.

The mother then said, "If you love her, maybe you could give her a better life in America."

I truly didn't know if I had heard her correctly so I said, "excuse me?"

The mother then repeated herself.

In my American mentality my heart just dropped as I thought about how this mother could just say those words to someone she had just met; but then I thought more about the situation.

In all reality, it is clear that this mother loves her daughter very deeply (in conversations later in the week, the mother often had tears in her eyes as she talked about another child whom they had already had to give up for adoption).
The bottom line is that in Liberia, a good day is a day with food....a bad day...well, a bad day is beyond anything we can fathom in America. What mother wouldn't want the best for her child? Isn't that what Mothers are supposed to do...protect their children?

It broke my heart as it was real insight into the devestation of this war-torn country.

On top of all of that, I also met Prince today. Prince is a little 6 year old boy whom Donn met yesterday. Last night Donn told me that he'd really like me to meet Prince.

Today as I was doing medicals, I looked over to the line of waiting children and I saw a little boy there holding a sign that said "Prince" on it. Now; in Liberia, Prince is actually a very common name and I had already met at least 2 that day. However, somehow when I looked at this boy, I just knew in my heart that this was the Prince whom Donn had told me about.

I went to find Donn and asked him to come back with me to confirm that this was the Prince he had also met. When Donn came into the room, Prince's eyes lit was very obvious to me that Donn and Prince already had a special connection. Something in my heart tells me that I will be getting to know little Prince quite well.

He is a quiet and shy little guy who literally weighs the same as my 3 year old, Brekyn (despite the fact that he's 6). He has a smile that makes my heart pound and his eyes are filled with love.

I can honestly say that I am SO confused about what God has for us. We came on this trip primarily because we felt called to the mission. However, we also came with hearts that are very open to the Lord's direction as far as our family is concerned.

Lord, we open our arms and hearts to you. We are uncertain of your will right now but we trust that you will lead, guide and answer.
Donn with Prince and another little girl from the orphanage

Cyndie and Donn with Peace, T-Girl, Prince and Winnie-Girl (this was basically our little posse...for the remainder of the week if we went anywhere...these kids were with us)!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Liberia Journal - Day Four

March 9, 2009

We spent the entire day today doing medical check-ups on the orphans. It was an amazing day, but a very exhausting day also.

As part of the medical check-up we filter the kids through a few "stations". Because I am the coordinator for the African Children Sponsorship Program through Christian Adoption Services, my role is the do the initial interviews on each child. Basically, I sit with each child and ask them questions about their interests and hobbies. I then try to document a bit about their personality (shy, social, communication level etc.).

This information will be extremly useful for both the sponsorship program (which is set up like the Compassion sponsorship program) and also for the adoptive parents.

Whereas, prior to our trip we often didn't have much information on each child; we are now going to be able to refer children to adoptive families and actually have a little background info on each child as well as the medical assessment that our team physician has put together. This information is so critical!

We got through 78 medicals today which means that we still have hundreds to get through and only 3 days left to get through them. We will pray....God can do it!

(The "Medical Center")

Donn spent the day adding a wall into an existing building. The wall will separate one large room into two separate rooms. One of the rooms will be their medical center while another will be a much needed office.

He and the other construction team members have also been working on replacing broken screens in the dormitories which is critical because the screens keep out the mosquitos (which cuts back on the malaria outbreaks). After just a few hours of working, the charger for the power tools got fried by the the generator so from this point on the work will need to be done entirely by hand. Last I saw, the men were sawing wall boards by hand and chiseling out hinges on the doors....true Liberian style!

After the medicals we did an hour of VBS with the kids. I was with the girls of dorm 7. These girls are between the ages of 13 and 17. At first I was a little bummed because I had hoped to work with the younger kids (I figure that I get to work with the teens my entire life and I thought it would be nice to cuddle with the little kids) but, once again, God knew what was best!

We spent the VBS time singing songs and praying. The girls knew every single word to the song "Who Am I" by Casting Crowns. It was breathtaking to hear their Liberian voices lifting this song to the Lord!

The girls crowded around us on the porch of the dormitory and immediately began braiding our hair as we all talked. It is so apparent to me that the older girls seem to have it rough. There's not too many families who feel called to adopt an older child and these girls know it. They are so precious and I can't explain how much I love being with them.

Sherry was one of the girls in our group. Sherry is 15 and helped me during the morning by "translating" for the younger kids. (Like I said yesterday; in Liberia the people speak English but it is with such a strong dialect that sometimes it's hard to understand). When I got to VBS and realized that Sherry was in my group, she immediately took me to see her bedroom. It was a basic room with 2 bunkbeds in it. Sherry then pulled a note from under her pillow that she had evidently written for me during lunch.

The note read:

"Dear Mom,

Special greetings come to you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My reason for me writing you this letter is to tell you that I am very happy. I want you to be my friend and also my mom in Christ. This is my first time writing to you and this is my first time seeing you in Liberia. May God bless you and give you very long life all the days of your life. I just want to say thank you so much for helping the children today. May God bless you and guide you. God loves you.


(Cyndie and Sherry)

Like all the other kids here, Sherry just wants to be remembered.

Oh Lord, help me know how I can love on these kids!

There are so many and there's so little it seems I can do to help! Use me Lord!

(The kids writing letters to their "sponsors" in America.)

For more info on the sponsorship program, please go to

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Liberia Journal - Day Three

*Personal Note - Today (Wednesday the 18th) has been a hard day for me...the reality of how much I miss my little Liberian kiddos has been really hard to deal with today. I find myself thinking often about what they might be doing right now and where they are (a few of them in particular). Oh, with my little Liberian know how much I love them and I'm grateful that You love them even more! (see journal below)*

March 8, 2009

Today is the Lord's day. We split up into groups of 4 today and each took a cab to various churches around town.

What an interesting experience.

The church we went to was called Westside Evangelical. It was a small church of about 35 people. The people were all very welcoming and seem to truly love the Lord passionately.

The building was a small cinderblock structure with a metal roof and three walls. There was just one little window cut out of the cinderblocks and it was about 100 degrees outside today. It was truly the hottest place I have ever been. The floor was sand and there were chairs inside and a small stage up front.

At one point I really worried that I may pass out from the heat. We stood for what seemed like an hour singing songs (honestly, I think it may have been longer than an hour). My legs were literally shaking. It is so different from churches in the states. Never again will I complain about standing for 3 songs at the beginning of a service!:)

Donn gave the message to the congregation and he did a fabulous job. I am also so proud of him when he speaks!

We arrived at the church around 9:30am and we finally had to excuse ourselves at 1:30pm because we had a prior commitment at the orphanage. I have no idea what time they usually get out of their service but it was a very interesting experience.

We then came back to the guesthouse to grab some lunch and head out to the orphanage where the kids had a big service planned for us. I was so excited to see the kids again and I couldn't wait to see what they had planned for us.

Unfortunately, as life has a way of doing, the afternoon didn't go as I had planned. When I got back for lunch I found out that Eden was not feeling well (Eden is the senior in High School that lives with us and also went on this trip with us). Eden decided to stay back and rest at the guest home and that meant that one of us had to stay back also. Donn offered to, but I know that he was really looking forward to seeing the kids and I didn't want him to miss them. I decided that it would be best if I stayed back. So, here I the guesthouse living room catching up on some journaling.

Just got interrupted as the guesthouse staff came into the living room to take a break after cleaning up from lunch.

What a God ordained moment!

The staff all sat down and we began talking. We ended up talking for hours! I learned so much about each of them personally as well as the Liberian culture! I met some amazing new friends today and God reminded me that He can redeem anything...even a day that I thought was going poorly! :)
Our new friends from the Guesthome:
(L to R) Johnson, Donn, Timothy and Friday (Front)

(L to R) Keema, Emily, Cyndie, Lovette, Lorpa, Abigail (front)

(L to R) Johnson, Donn, Timothy, Cyndie, Friday (front), Eden (front)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Liberia Journal - Day Two

3/7/09 (I didn't journal on 3/6 because we spent the entire day on the plane)

I'm on the brink of tears as I try to process all that I saw today.

I spent the first part of the day going to the office of the ministry that runs the orphanage (the office is in a different part of town than the orphanage). I was then able to get to the internet cafe for a few minutes where I got out a live update to all of the people who read my blog.

From here I headed off to a meeting with our trip leader who was meeting with other adoption agency leaders regarding the recent ban that has been placed on Liberian adoptions by the Liberian government.

I'll admit; at first I was a little bummed when I realized that this was what I would be doing for the day. More than anything I was just dying to get to the orphanage like the other team members, but then I reminded myself that God had orchestrated this day and there must be some reason why He wanted me to be a part of this meeting.

I sat through this meeting as Angel (the woman who lead our tour and is also the Director of Liberian adoptions through Christian Adoption Services) discussed with other Liberian leaders how they could be proactive in getting this adoption ban lifted. The meeting proved to be incredibly insightful as to the need of the orphans as well as the role that the government plays in adoptions. I left feeling very blessed to have been there and having a much better understanding of all that is happening in the Liberian government right now.

Surprisingly, after the meeting was over, we decided that we had enough time to drive out to the orphanage (about a 45 minute drive). I will never forget what I saw when I arrived.

As our little yellow taxi (which typically are old Toyota corollas from about 1990) pulled into the orphanage, children began flocking to the car. At one point at least 50 kids surrounded the car and we finally had to have people pull them away so that we could open the doors.

As I stepped out of the taxi, kids jumped in my arms. They grabbed my hands, they hugged my legs. They began screaming with joy, "Mama...Mama" (It is customary for a Liberian child to call a white woman Mama). It just broke my heart.

A few of the kids wrote me notes on pieces of old cardboard or scrap notebook paper. The notes simply said their names. When I asked why they gave me the notes they said, "Because we don't want you to forget us." Uggh.

I highly doubt I could ever forget them.

I met three girls in particular today that just captured my heart.

Winnie-girl is 14 years old and has a smile like an angel. She is soft spoken and a little shy. When I saw her face I recognized her immediately. I assume I saw her on the children's sponsorship website ( She literally takes my breath away with her smile. I have a feeling I will be getting to know her better.

Peace is 13 years old and met me the very moment I got out of the car. She spent the entire day hugging me and helping me understand the little kids (whose English has such as strong dialect that it can be hard to understand at times). Peace seems to just want to be loved. Donn has particularly fallen in love with her. She is incredibly active and seems to just bounce from place to place. I know I'll be getting to know her better.

Finally, there was T-girl. T-girl is 3 and captured my heart just because she walked up to me and asked me to hold her. From that moment on she was always with me. She has a smile that lights up a room and her hugs are just precious. Like my little Elle, T-girl has an umbilical hernia...although, unlike Elle's (which is just a mild protrusion) little T-girl's is literally about 4 inches long. It is so sad. In America this is something that would be treated with no Liberia treatment is not an option because of expenses. Oh how my heart is falling in love with the end of the day she had fallen asleep in my arms as the orphanage children were doing their daily devotions.

Today I also met Timothy. Timothy is not an orphan but is actually our Taxi driver. He is an amazing young man (21) who lost his father and grandfather during the war. He talked to us about his church, his family and his dreams of being the first in his family to go to college. He would like to be an Electrical Engineer. Timothy is quickly etching a place in my heart.

And so, I fall asleep tonight with a heavy heart. So many much many thoughts swirling through my mind. I am anxious for tomorrow to see what God has in store.

The Orphanage Campus Donn and I with the kids (T-girl is on my lap)
A Liberian home (this one is actually quite a nice one because it has walls and a roof)Cyndie and T-girl
Winnie-girl is on the left
Peace is in the middle

Monday, March 16, 2009

Liberia Journal - Day One

March 5, 2009

Just got on our flight from Washington to Brussels. I cried a bit as the plane took off. It's so hard to comprehend that I'm leaving the country where my children are.

I realized today that a Mother's heart never stops loving. I cried as I left behind my precious angels and then I got to the airport where I spoke with Mom while she and I both cried. It hit me that it doesn't matter how much time passes (or even how many miles)...saying goodbye as a Mom is always hard.

I'm so excited to see why God wants us on this trip. Maybe it's just to remind us what the "real" world is like. Maybe it's to introduce us to children...maybe it's more. Maybe it's just because we said we would go. Certainly it's because He wants us to know Him more.

Lord, let me know you more. Use me however you desire. Help me to have a soft heart and an open mind toward what you want from me.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

We're Home!!!!!!!!

It's been a week filled with more emotion and lessons than I can begin to describe in one simple post.

We arrived back in the states at dinner time last night and we were in bed by 9pm (30+ hours of travelling will do that to you).

We are both well and we were thrilled to see our precious angels at the airport (complete with balloons and a welcome home sign)!

I have spent the last hour dreading the laundry I need to do today and trying to brace myself to check my email.

Obviously, since that first day, I was unable to get to a computer to do any posting but I want you all to be able to walk through the experience with us. So, what I'm planning on doing is starting tomorrow by posting the entry from my journal for each day of the trip.

My prayer is that you will be able to catch at least a glimpse for all that transpired over the last 10 days of our lives....put on your seatbelts....let's travel to Africa together! :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 9...

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Dear Loves of our life,

What an amazing adventure we have all had this past week! We can’t wait to hear about all the fun things you did with Nana and Papa and about all the new things you have learned! We have many stories to tell you and many pictures to show you!

God has taught us more than we could ever imagine and we can’t wait to be together with you again and see all that He has taught you. We love you FOREVER and will be home soon!


We Love you FOREVER!!!

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 8...

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Dear Loves of our life,

Good morning!! Wow!! This is our last day here at the orphanage! It’s a weird day because much of us wants to get home to see our three angels but it’s also sad to leave our new friends here in Liberia. We have met many amazing people this past week and we will never forget our time in Africa.

We will leave on the airplane right about the time that you sit down for dinner. We can’t wait to have bear hugs so tight when we see you!!

We couldn’t be more proud of our three silly kiddos and we love you…please pray for a safe plane ride and for everything to go well.

We love you FOREVER...Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 7...

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Dear Loves of our life,

Good morning little angels!! We hope you slept well and dreamed happy dreams! We can’t believe that Thursday is already here! This is our last full day to spend with the kids of the orphanage. There are many amazing kids here and when we see them smile and play it reminds us of our three most special kids in all the world.

Please pray that we get all the work done that needs to get done before we leave. Please pray that we work hard and stay healthy and that the kids we’ve met this week see Jesus shining through us!

We can’t wait to hold you in our arms again and we are so proud of our three little angels!
We love you FOREVER...Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day 6...

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Dear Loves of our life,

Good morning Sunshines!!! Mommy and Daddy are sending kisses through the air to you today! We hope you are having a fantastic day and that you’re smiling and laughing lots!

We are looking forward to our day because we are taking a little break from all the work today and we’re travelling to the market where people sell things. It’s a little like the mall except it’s not as big and it’s all outside. Maybe we’ll find something neat to buy for our favorite three kiddos in the world! We are praying for you today and we miss you tons! Love you so much it’s crazy!

We love you FOREVER...Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 5...

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Dear Loves of our life,

We hope you’re having a great morning! We are missing our little crazies so much right now and Mommy and Daddy look at your pictures all the time. Sometimes when we think about how much we are missing you, we look up at the sky and remember that even though we’re very far apart; we are all under the same big sky.

Please pray for all the boys and girls here who don’t have a Mommy and Daddy today. Please pray that the kids we meet will know that Jesus loves them very much.

We are so proud of you and we pray for you all the time.

We love you FOREVER...Mommy and Daddy

Monday, March 9, 2009

Day 4...

Monday, March 9th, 2009
Dear Loves of our life,

“Good morning, good morning, good morning – it’s time to rise and shine!”

We miss our little angels SO much today but we are having a great time! Today Daddy is spending some time helping fix some things around the orphanage and Mommy is working on trying to get to know some of the kids who are looking for Mommies and Daddies to adopt them.

Please pray that Mommy and Daddy stay healthy and can get a lot of work done to help our new Liberian friends.

Later today Daddy will be teaching all 400 kids a few new games!! It will be so much fun!

We love you all and are so proud of the big helpers that you’re being for Nana and Papa!

We love you FOREVER...Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day 3...

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Dear Loves of our life,

This is the day that the Lord has made!!! Good morning!! Today is an exciting day because we get to go to church with our new Liberian friends! We can’t wait to see what church in Liberia is like. I imagine it will be amazing to worship and learn about Jesus together! Please pray for Daddy today because he will be doing some speaking at church today. I love to listen to your Daddy talk about how much he loves Jesus and I am so proud of him! Have a great time at church with Nana and Papa and be sure to tell everyone we love them and miss them! Don’t eat too many cookies in the dining hall Ayden! :)

We love you FOREVER...Mommy and Daddy

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Welcome To Liberia!!

We're here and doing well!

We got here on Friday night at 11pm (Liberian time). It was an uneventful flight though definitely long. We're all doing well and feeling good today after a good night's sleep. We went 31 hours without sleep! This country is SO welcoming to Americans and we have been showered with love from our hosts!

Today I am part of a group that will be going around with Angel (our leader) who is having meetings regarding the adoption freeze etc. It's not at all what I thought I'd be doing when I woke up this morning but I know that every moment of my time here is planned out by God so I am excited to see why he has me doing this today.

Eden (the senior who lives with us) is spending the day mostly meeting kids from the orphanage. I got some great pics of her this morning with some kids. She's in all her glory as she holds these children!

Donn went to the orphanage this morning to assess some projects and then he is heading to the hardware store to purchase materials. They will start work on those things on Monday.

Tomorrow we are going to a church service and then the kids of the orphanage are having a welcome performance for us.. I can't wait. I have not been to the orphanage yet and I am so excited to finally get there.

We just purchased an hour of internet time for $2 so I'm trying to email and blog as much as I can during this time. I don't know how often I'll be able to email. Certainly not every day...the internet cafe is not that close to where we are staying so it won't be much.

Our guest house is very nice compared to the surroundings. We take showers using water from a bucket so it's not what we're used to but of course it's fine. They made us an amazing dinner and breakfast and are taking such good care of us.

I have also had some neat conversations with our cab driver (Timothy). He lost both his grandfather and father during the "war" and he's 21. Pray for him. He is quickly etching a place into my heart.

The war is so evident here. Destruction is everywhere you look although we also see signs of improvement as new buidings are going up and roads are being repaired. The UN monitors heavily still and you pass huge Tank like machines sitting on the side of the road with UN soldiers in them. It's a different site for me to see.

One of the neatest parts of Liberia so far has been hearing the people talk about the Lord. Despite how little they have, they truly seem to love the Lord. We met a 19 year old guy this morning that sings for the Lord (as he said). I told him that he might be the next great thing and he said that would be fine but only if it was done for God. :)

The homes are mostly dirt floor huts with no electricity. I have taken many pictures already but I'm not sure if I'll be able to upload them...I'll try in a bit though.

I miss the kids terribly and just hug every kid I see. I know our kids are in great hands and I don't worry about them but I certainly do miss them. I am so blessed. I have shown many people pictures of my little angels back home. Every time I see a child I think of how blessed I am to be a mom of 3 amazing kids.

Donn and I were actually given a room together at the guest home (which we weren't expecting) so that was a pleasant surprise:)! Seeing as though this is our "honeymoon" they figured they'd put us in the same room they said:)!

We miss you all but are feeling overwhelmed with God's goodness. What a blessing that He's brought us here! I have a feeling we will be back again someday...who knows.

Love you all!

Day 2...

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Dear Loves of our life,

Good morning!! We are pretty tired today because we’ve had a long journey getting to Liberia. We are finally all settled into our hotel and we are so excited to go meet the kids at the orphanage later today! We can’t wait to hug them and play with them and tell them all about our three amazing kids back home. We love you all and hope you have a great day! Have fun watching cartoons and be big helpers!

We love you FOREVER...Mommy and Daddy

Friday, March 6, 2009

Day 1...

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Dear Loves of our life,

Mommy and Daddy are really missing your smiling faces and our breakfast together today but we are excited for this adventure that God is taking us on. Have fun with Nana and Papa today and do your best on your spelling test Ayden. Think of us at dinner time because that is when we will finally be getting to Africa!!

We love you FOREVER...Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, March 5, 2009

See you on the flipside!!!

We're off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Check back for updates. I've "scheduled" little notes to the kids for each day we're away (feel free to read those also).

If I can do "live" updates I will:)!

Love you all!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Trying to hold it together...

Pretty much I'm trying to hold it together right now.

...Talked to my mom earlier today and just about cried during that conversation...

My Aunt called me to say that she was praying because she knows how hard it can be to leave kids behind... GULP.

Tucked Ayden into bed where he began sobbing that he was going to miss me so much.

Holding back the tears at every turn today.

I know this is what we're supposed to be doing but it was much easier to make trips like this back in the days when I was single and naive.

God is so good and I'm praying for His peace as tomorrow morning approaches.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and encouragement. I truly think I am blessed with some of the most amazing prayer warriors a girl's ever had.

Love you all!!


I can't believe Wednesday is already here!

Donn's parents fly in today so I am finishing up some last minute things before they arrive. I can't tell you how grateful I am for in-laws who are willing to stay with three kids for 10 days!

They truly deserve a medal...I guess I'll have to find a nice souvenir for them from Liberia:) At the least I should get them t-shirts that say, "I survived my grandkids."

Our plane is scheduled to fly out tomorrow (Thursday) around noon.

We will be flying all day Thursday and Friday and finally arriving in Liberia late Friday afternoon (your time). Liberia is 5 hours ahead of us.

Saturday we expect to get unpacked and organize all the suitcases that we are delivering to the orphanage. We then hope to go to meet the kids Saturday afternoon and spend the day getting to know them. I am so excited for this day!!!

Sunday we will spend the entire day attending church with our new Liberian friends. Please pray for Donn on this day because he is speaking at this church service. I love hearing my husband speak and am always so proud of him!

Monday begins the week of a mix of orphanage repairs, adoptive children profiles and play time!

I will mainly be handling gathering information on the almost 500 children in the orphanage so that we can come back to the states and have more accurate profiles on the children (which will help tremendously when trying to find adoptive parents).

Donn will be working on repairs to the orphanage in the mornings and then he is in charge of the activities for the afternoons (basically sports ministry).

We also expect to spend some time on Wednesday seeing the city of Monrovia and visiting the local marketplace.

I am going to make every attempt to give live updates from the internet cafe as much as possible.

I have already pre-written a post for every day for our kids so that they know what we're doing that day and how much we miss them. Please feel free to check in on those posts also. If I can get to the internet cafe it just means that I may actually be able to give details for that day (and hopefully some pictures)!

Again, thank you so much for all your prayers. Please pray for safety, protection and God to move tremendously!!

This is truly the trip of a lifetime (a honeymoon to remember indeed)!:)

We love you all.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Current Conditions:)

First of all, let me say THANK YOU for your prayers!!! I can't tell you how much they have meant to us. We still see Satan's arrows around but we have felt such peace since I shared the need for prayer with my bloggy warriors!:)


Okay; this post is highly boring and uninteresting to anyone but my mom, but oh well.

I thought I would go ahead and post a little link to the current weather conditions and time in Monrovia, Liberia (where we will be in just a few days)!

Anyone who knows my dear mom knows that she is slightly obsessed with the weather channel. It has proven to be a very useful obsession on occasion as I've called her from the midst of random blizzards we've hit along our travels, but it is an unusual obsession nonetheless.

Well; to quench her thirst for the most up to date weather knoweledge (and mostly because I was trying to figure out what time it is in Monrovia right now) I have found this nice little linky thing!!

HAVE AT IT MOM!!! It's sunny in Monrovia right now!! Better check back in an hour though, you wouldn't want to miss the latest forecast!!:) (just kidding Mom - I love you!!)

Monday, March 2, 2009


Someone got a hold of our credit card number and made unauthorized credit card company is refusing to dispute them...$250 out of our pockets.

The dog peed on the carpet...twice...

The entire shelf filled with photo albums came crashing down in our guest room closet this afternoon...

I am stressed.

Stupid little things...annoying for certain - but hardly worth the effort of stressing over them.

And yet...I've been ticked off all day as one thing after another has seemed to go wrong.

There's no doubt about it - it's 100% satan.

Every time we have a major spiritual event occuring in our life (like a trip to an African orphanage) Satan comes in with guns blazing.

In fact, the last time my husband left the country for a missions trip, our house ended up flooded and we had to move into a hotel.

We were expecting this; but it's true that it's not fun.

Lord, I pray your protection over my family and this home. I pray your peace in my heart and that my eyes will stay fixed on you. Amen.

Liberia - 3 days and counting!