Monday, February 25, 2013

Oh Happy Day!

Today makes one year for us as a little family! Oh happy day!!! I'm not sure why but it feels like such an accomplishment to have made it through our first year together :)

Here are some pictures from our "gotcha day" last year.

Phoebe Kate with her first dad before heading to PauP.
Our friend, Chrisnet, took Phoebe Kate to his sisters in PauP where they fed her, bathed her, and got her ready to meet me. Those sweet pink ribbons and that dress.... Oh my. She looked so precious! 
Flying into PauP last year was one of the most exciting but nerve wrecking moments of my life. I was so thrilled to be walking the path that the Lord had set before me but I was scared. I was nervous for us.  I was nervous about the transition that we would both experience... knowing that Phoebe Kate's transition would be full of loss, confusion, and fear. 

Adoption is beautiful. Redemptive. God's idea. But it is SO. VERY. HARD. Phoebe Kate had no idea what was going on. She was scared. I mean wouldn't you if someone had just taken you away from your home(orphanage), friends, nannies... and everything that was familiar to you? 

She walked up to me at the airport and held her arms up almost as if she were relieved to see me. She held on so tight. When we got into the car she began to cry and whispered "can you take me back to the orphanage?". My heart sank. I tried to console her the only way I knew how... sing to her. So much was going through my mind as I sang and watched her little eyes close as she drifted off to sleep. Phoebe Kate had indeed been rescued, but she didn't see it as a rescue. To her it was loss of everything she had known. And while I knew that this was ultimately what was best for her that still did not change the element of loss and grief that she was walking through. -- During that long 2 hour commute to our final destination I began to understand our Father's heart for me as his daughter in a way I had never before. How many times in my life have I been so overwhelmed with the loss and grief that I couldn't see that God was leading me into His best for me? I don't think He discredits our loss and grief... but very much like the mother of a scared little girl... wants to comfort us and reassure us that we are loved and in His hands. 

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out-
plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."
Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)

This picture was taken February 26, 2012.
 My how we have come so far in just one year my sweet girl!
 I cannot wait to see what 2013 will hold for us :) 

Happy One Year, my Phoebe Kate! You are with your forever family and we love you so! I am hopeful for what the Lord will continue to do in our lives in 2013 and as we embark on our 2nd year as a family. Even though we are not seen as a family legally at this time, I love you more than I ever thought I could love another person and I am committed to be your mommy in Haiti, in the US, or wherever else the Lord takes us :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Break Every Chain

I can hardly believe that it has been a year. It seems like yesterday that we were waiting to hear..waiting to rejoice...waiting to explode with praise...waiting to see the power that breaks every chain in the name of Jesus.

You see... until this day one year ago... Phoebe Kate was a prisoner. She was not allowed beyond the walls of the orphanage and the orphanage was no longer processing adoptions. This meant that if a biological relative did not intervene then she would grow up in an institution. Exilien (Phoebe's first father) had previously attempted to remove her but the pastor refused to relinquish her back into her father's care.  We knew that Exilien would go to the orphanage and fight yet again to remove his daughter from the prison she was in and this time we would be joining him in this fight. We believed that we were not battling flesh and blood but rulers and powers of this dark world... so we fought with him in prayer. For it would be His will and by His hands that she be released but by our faith and praise to Him that He would be glorified! We pleaded with the Lord to break the chains that bound sweet Phoebe up so tightly. My family, friends, co workers, and many others prayed for her release and stood in battle with Exilien on February 24, 2012.

Chains were indeed broken! He is so faithful, friends! Phoebe's release was a direct result of the grace and faithfulness of our Father.

Phoebe Kate & Chiwelle after their release. 
I received a phone call that afternoon from my dear friend, Chrisnet Fertilus. The first words out of his mouth, "We have the victory! God is faithful, my friend!"

God's faithfulness in Phoebe Kate's life is absolutely beautiful. From the very beginning of her days His faithfulness has been made known to everyone around her and this time was no exception. The King of the Universe whispered the vastness of His love for her through a valiant rescue!

She was no longer bound by the confines of an institution but in the care of people who the Lord would use to put her into her forever family. Every child deserves a chance at a family. After a lot of continued dialogue about what was possible for Exilien to take on and what would be best for Phoebe, a decision was made to place her into my care. I booked my ticket for the next morning and waited eagerly for my zone to board the airplane.

Phoebe was indeed free from the institution... but I knew she would be a very broken, scared, confused, and mad little girl. As much as I knew that this was what was best... for her to be in a family and to know the unconditional love of a mother... the orphanage was all she ever knew and it wasn't all that bad of a place to her. The other children were her friends, the nannies her motherly figures, the four walls her home, and the pack and play her bed. She had indeed been rescued by the King of the Universe but she did not understand that it was done out of His great love and provision for her. Instead all she experienced was intense grief and loss.

The chains broken on this day started the cascade that lead to many other chain breaking moments in our first year together as a family. Phoebe Kate's grief and loss has been turned into laughing and dancing! And although we still have many more chains to break, today... I stop... and remember... and I don't doubt for even a second that Jesus will indeed continue to prove Himself faithful in Phoebe Kate's life. I pray that today will always be a reminder to us that there is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.... break every chain... break every chain. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Looking Back

As this last week has been so full of unfortunate news, unknowns, and only seems to be getting darker I am finding peace in looking back.

One year ago today, a sequence of events started that brought Phoebe Kate into my life forever. I remember the intense emotions from this day (unknowns and many fears). February 20, 2012's emotions do not differ much from the emotions of February 20, 2013. Though our situation is different the call to trust the Lord in the difficult times, in the unknowns, and in the dark days is still the same.

On February 20, 2012 my good friend Chrisnet Fertilus went with his father to Petit Careanage to speak with Phoebe Kate's birth father (Exilien) regarding her current situation. Many options were discussed but sadly enough he felt like it was not possible to bring her back into his care. This was the first time Exilien and his family learned of my heart for her and resolved to take her out of the orphanage and into my care. Another factor that was very much out of my control was that Exilien's family would be present and participate in this decision. How thankful I am that this was a decision the entire family made and is supportive of me caring for this precious girl!  I had no idea how this little meeting was going to turn out at this time last year... and still had no idea what the days to come would hold.

Chrisnet captured this beautiful sunrise on his way to meet Exilien. 

Exilien Loranvil (Phoebe's first father) & Chrisnet Fertilus

Idolecs (Exilien's brother) & Exilien. 

Had I known what was coming around the corner in just 4 short days this time last year I would have run the other way! Had I known what this day one year ago today would have produced... what the rest of 2012 would hold... I would have rejoiced but I would have wanted to run! I could not have handled what was coming...but looking back... I see the Lord's hand in each and every detail. I see how He has used circumstances and situations to mold me and make me more like His son. This is His promise from His Word: "For all things work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son so that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." Romans 8:28. 

Looking back today gives me peace. It reminds me to trust Him with the details and to place Phoebe Kate and our family in His hands. He is good and He is faithful. I choose to trust Him... no matter what the outcome. Not my will but His. This is the way to really live...