Sunday, December 4, 2016

A day in the life.....

Well Hello there, its been a few years! Lol A lot has happen and i am not even going to begin to fill you in. Its too much and alot i don't remember, so i will just tell you the highlights and move on. Honestly i don't even remember what i last wrote i guess i should've looked before starting this... We are now a mostly happy family of 6 (i get bitchy some time) 1 princess and 3 little princes or devils depending on the hour of the day. We have 8 chickens, 1 rooster, and 3 guienas.  I am now a stay at home homeschooling mom, surving each day. And what will come as a shocker to most is i do not do social media of any kind. Well twice a year i get on Facebook to upload a few pics. If you want to know how we are doing send me a letter, text, call me or stop by. Our doors are always open. If you decide to stop by depending on what door you choose i promise almost always you will have to jump laundry, push away toys or see a sink full of dishes. I don't care i know your house has the same thing. 
   Why aren't you on social media?! Because i choose not to be. 😬 Social media is another form of addiction. It takes away countless hours that you could be spending with your kid or spouse. Chances are several times a day your child or spouse talk to you and your too busy scrolling to actually listen to them. Your response is probably lame one word answer;  ok, wow, thats great, or really. Put your phones down people and pay attention they will only try to talk to you for a few more years. They will eventually see your lame answers from not paying attention and stop talking to you all together. It can wait til they go to bed, I promise! There is way more to that rant but ill stop there for now. 
    Why are you doing a blog if you wont do social media? Ive been told people miss me on FB and want to see the kids. By doing a blog its your choice to click and read what's happening with me. With social media its shoved in your face and you have no choice other to see whats going on while you scroll. Another reason is I'm using this blog as a diary for my kids. I have so many thoughts and dreams one day i want them to look back and read whats been running through my head. 
     With this blog i promise i will offend you, make you laugh, cry, probably make you mad, you wont always agree with me and thats ok. This is my story if you dont like it dont read 😊 Im just a Jesus loven, hard working, stressed out mom and wife trying to use more grace, find more patience, and keeping it real! 

Life moves fast!

Saturday, October 11, 2014


5am"ish" on April 25, 2014 my phone dings indicating I have an email. I was tired, I was comfortable, and the phone was not in my reach. I sarcastically say to myself "That's my I-600 approval, it can wait on me today!" Don't judge me, I have been jumping at my phone for a little over 2 years every time my email notification went off. every time, any hour.. I was tired and odds are my sarcastic predictions would be false.

7:30ish my sweet baby boy wakes up for the day. I stretch roll over and grab my phone. As I'm reaching I remember that "ding" and my heart starts to race as it has a million times before. This time it was a little faster, something was a little different. I look at my preview and it shows USCIS ACCRA, my heart stopped. This was it, either after all of these months of review and fighting would either prove fruitful and my sweet boy would come home or this was the end of our journey. I opened the email and it read:

Dear Irwin Family:
Thank you for sending these documents.
We have completed our review of the case. This is to inform you that the I-600 petition filed for I***** K******* I**** has been reviewed and approved.  This office has hand-delivered your approved petitions to our Consular Section at post.
This concludes all action by USCIS, Accra on this petition.
Thank you,
USCIS, Accra.

Let the worker works begin!! I began ugly crying and could not stop. So I tried to get it together and call everyone who was eagerly awaiting this email with me. First call my momma. I believed I scared her to death, she just knew that the petition was denied. When I could finally get it out that it was approved, she asked "Why are you crying?" Truth was I didn't know. I was happy, I couldn't believe that this email was finally here. I sat there and reread it at least 30 times. It still said approved, it never changed. I was forever thankful. It was finally time to prepare his room, buy clothes, and toys. IT WAS TIME TO GET READY FOR MY BOY TO COME HOME!! The best way to describe what I was feeling: Remember the last time you jumped into the deep end of the pool or a lake. At your deepest point if you open your eyes its dark and there is lots of pressure. As you come up, the pressure is less and the closer you get to the top the clearer it is. That's where I was: almost to the top ready to breath again for the first time in 2 years.  It felt soo good!!

Here he is...

As you can imagine we woke up early. We both were emotionally and physically exhausted from the day before. We went down stairs and we waited at the couch for our POA. We waited and waited and he never showed up. So we answer. We called answer.

My husband would go out to the balcony of our room and smoke. While he was out there the children walking by and waved at him. They melted him. So we grabbed the bags of candy we had brought and we went down to the hotel gate. There stood two little boys that eagerly took our candy, giggling as they ran away. Then 2 more came, next thing you know we were surrounded by at least 25 kids. So of course everyone got candy, even the mommas walking by. We immediately noticed that these kids were walking this nasty road to school and they didn't have any shoes on. If they did have shoes they were flip flops and most were broken. My heart broke, my daughter had enough shes in her closet to put on each child's feet that we gave candy to and they didn't have any. It was a horrible realization into how much excess we have as Americans.

Finally our POA called us back, he was on his way with our sweet boy. He said would be there within one hour. I'll remind you this is already about 4 hours after the time he told us the night before that he would be there. An hour came and went, still not there. I think God for that time of waiting. In the hours that we waited for him to bring our sweet boy we became very close with the hotel staff. They took care of us. Actually, they went above and beyond and took us up to the market behind the hotel so we could get our sweet boy a soccer ball and some candies. The staff at he Treasureland Hotel was nothing less than Amazing! When we got back from the market he still was not there with our son. I was beyond angry at this point. We sat on the couch and posted picture and the kids and candy and waited. Tony went upstairs to get something and i tried to call our POA again..still no answer. At that very moment Our POA walked in the door of the hotel. Ohh, if looks could kill!! :) Then walked in this small little boy with a frown on his face. He was being instructed in their language (Twi) to sit on the couch. He sat across from me, wouldn't even look up at me. Tony come out of the room and smiled from ear to ear. He was finally there. Next walked in our POA, a lady and a man. Our POA came up to us and said "This is the boys mother as you requested to meet" Lets go somewhere in private to talk.

We were told our sons birth mom didn't know English so our POA did all of the translations for us. I wanted to meet his birth mom, that's true but i did not know she was coming at that time. I was not in any way prepared on what to ask her or talk to her about. I was very angry at the situation, i should've been notified so i could have been prepared. So I just covered the basics. Why can you not provide for him anymore, when did he go to the orphanage, do you want to keep in contact with us, what can you tell me about him as a child. It was heart breaking! Here our sweet boy sat by the only mom he has ever known and hasn't seen in a while had to listen to his mother say she couldn't provide for him and even at one point she pushed her arms out as if she was shooing away an animal. I looked at Isaiah and his little heart was beating out his shirt, he had tears in his eyes, he was scared to death. Instantly i reversed the situation and imagined me sitting on the other side of the table having to give my daughter up for adoption and her having to hear all those things. I started crying and couldn't stop. My heart was breaking for everyone. Here was this lady, (his birth mom) that loves her son enough to realize that she can not provide for him. That loves him enough to send him to an orphanage where he will be provided for and have a chance to be adopted. Its a situation that most people just can not comprehend. I know I struggle with it myself.

So we take him into our room to show him all of the things we have brought him as our POA, the birth mom, oh and the man is who runs the foster home he lives at left. He didn't have much to say and i didn't know what to ask him. He looked through his things and started pointed downstairs and kept saying "Annet". We couldn't figure out what he was saying. I was soooo angry. We were told he knew English very well. We couldn't understand  a word he was saying. He started jumping up and down screaming and crying yelling "Annet". So i tried to hug him, i just wanted him to know he was ok. He screamed even louder, jumping harder, he kept pointing down the stairs and tried running out the door. I assumed he was speaking of his mother. I thought he was upset because after seeing her he got upset. The screaming got louder, he wouldn't let me touch him. So i told Tony to go downstairs and get help. Have I mentioned how angry i was? When Tony opened the door he tried to run out it. So picked him up and tried hugging on him, i didn't want him running through the lobby screaming with the only 2 white people in the area. That would look real great! So I stood in front of the door, when he sees the balcony door. He runs to it and slings it open. Oh my God, he was going to try and jump out the window. SO i grab him and bear hug him. We (try) sit on the bed, in a bear hug. He pinched me, kicked, did everything he could to try and get away from me. about that time the door open. It was tony and the desk boy from down stairs. He asked him what was wrong. He again said "annet" I said he keeps saying that but we don't know what that means. So he spoke to him in Twi. Derrik (the desk boy) giggled and said its ok go, and he started to walk out the room. I was like uhh.. where's he going? Derrik said " he has to "urinate." I was such an emotional mess I said what's that mean? He said me must go to the wash room, he needs to pee. I felt like such an idiot!! Here is this child that's going to be our son and i can't even tell when he has to pee!!

I was angry at God. I was angry at our POA. I was angry at myself for falling in to the fiction of a perfect Hollywood adoption story, where the child is happy to see you. Adoption means pain. Hearts are broken, situations stink, and parents can't provide. If it was all good then he wouldn't be up for adoption. He knew he was going to adopted. He had seen our pictures but he had no idea that i had been working on paperwork, praying, and loving on him for over a year. His life went on with his normal and every few months he got some really cool gifts. My world come to a slow down and in some cases a complete stop to get paperwork done so we can get him here. He will never know, or fully understand what i have gone through emotionally, mentally and physically to get him here. To him I am just some white lady taking him from everything he knows. Taking him from his home (foster home, country friends, family). We learned that he had never seen white people or a man with a beard before and he was scared of us. EXAMPLE: Picture it we have all seen green aliens on TV and pictures, but if a green alien comes up to you, tells you that it loves you and you are going home with it. You would be terrified too. It's the exact same thing. With the help of the hotel staff by the end of our trip he was calling us mommy and daddy. It was a long 3 days. We had to teach him to touch us. Just by giving him a high five when he did something good, or when he got a point on the game on Tony's phone. The first few hours were tough. After that it wasn't bad at all, It took the rest of the time we were there to start trust. We played soccer...lots and lots of soccer, went to the zoo and market. We took baby steps.
So most of you are probably thinking why would you share this? Well, its important to me that i share all of our adoption story the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Our adoption story is beautiful. It HAS NOT been easy. My son is not what i expected. I am telling you all of this so when you think your ready give in or give up don't. If we were placed in the situations as these children i promise we would behave worse. Adoption is not easy, and it's not for the quitter. There have been several times i have question God, praised him, been confused and/ or angry at him. It's ok, Christ loves me anyways, even when I'm deserve it the least. When the going gets tough i get to praying, never quiting, or giving up because my story isn't the way i had planned. When you start thinking like this you make the story about you and its not. It's about Jesus and the way he uses us in each and every part of our lives. We adopt because he has adopted us as his children. All of the good and bad of adoption is a beautiful story written by God. For he knew my story first.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


I don't know if any of you have ever been to a third world country but if it's your first time like it was ours it started off rough and terrifying! We had been traveling for 20+ hours we were exhausted. When we left our KY home the temperature was in the low 30's so we had on our light winter clothes because we knew it would be warm when we landed in Ghana. Warm was an under statement. The plane landed and they let down the stairs so we could walk from the parking spot into the airport. We got close to the plane door the heat and humidity took our breath away and we were instantly sticky. We were the some of the first ones off the plane so we followed the crowd of people into the airport. Thank God they had air conditioners. When walking up the first thing you see is a couple a men in uniforms with Ak47 on their shoulders. We definitely aren't in the US any more Toto! I expected it I had 8+ months to read and research what to expect, my husband however did not was taken off guard. As you walk up to customs to have your Visas checked more men with guns. I was on my best behavior, still not bothered. When we walked out of the airport thousands of people were standing waiting for their families and friends. Totally different than a US airport, very overwhelming. When the workers saw we were white everyone wanted to help us. They assumed we had money, and tried taking our bags. VERY SCARY! Our POA not to be found.

So we finally found our POA and made it to our room, we discussed the plan for the next day. 
1.) Go to embassy file i600
2.) Get up early go to Royal Seed meet our friends kids and give them the gifts from their gifts
3.) Get lunch
4.) Go to Kumasi 6+ hours away get room sleep call family
5.) Wake up early meet our son for the first time

So after our POA left Tony had a panic attack and tried to convince me we didn't belong there for us to get back on the plane and go home. He was in total culture shock. One thing we consistently agreed on was that we felt like we were going on this trip for more than our son. I am more aware of my conscience than Tony is and I felt very heavy from the time we left our home. I was certain we were going for more than our sweet boy. 

NEXT DAY: We got up early and went to the embassy and filed our i-600. It was a huge mess. No wonder things take so long to get things done. No one seemed to know what they where doing. After we finally got to where we were supposed to be, we waited for about an hour. As soon as it was our turn, we went in the little room the power went out. AWESOME! Thank God it came back on quickly and we handed the lady our documents and we went on our way. Hours of waiting for 5 mins....

2) On our way to Royal Seed. Lets just get this out there Ghana traffic is nuts! People walking in and out of cars up to your window. No stoplights no, lines on the road, you beep the horn and go. The driving was an experience in it's self. So we arrived at the Orphanage. Instantly you swallow your heart. As we walked in all these little brown faces chanted and us and waved. They were so happy to see us, Oh my heart! They all appeared to be very well taken care of. They had there school clothes on and all had their hair fixed i was impressed. So we went and set in this little room (the office) and waited for us to bring their sons to us. We were not allowed out of that room, and we were watched closely. 

They brought the oldest boy in first Judah. He was tall, very dark and handsome. Soft spoken. I gave him a shirt, some pictures of his new family and we talked. This boy melted my heart. You can tell he was very well trained. He stood at attention and looked straight forward. Anytime we told him to relax he looked at the lady who was in charge. I finally got him to ease up. I told him all about his mommy how much she talked about him all the time and how much she already loved him. So we asked him do you have any questions? He said yes and turned and look at tony and said are you my daddy? Tony's eyes filled with tears and he found his voice under the gigantic lump in his throat and said no buddy, but i wish i was your daddy is very lucky. He gave us butterflies and we cried all the way to meet our sweet boy over him. He definitely stole our heart.

While we were talking to Judah and gathering as much information as we could to bring back to his parents they bring out Kojo. Little, quiet, tiny Kojo. When he walked in that room and saw he us, I believe he thought he was looking at a ghost. I'm pretty sure he hadn't seen white people before. The poor little guy wouldn't say a word and just stared at us. It's safe to say he had a deer in the headlights look. We couldn't stop laughing at his facial expressions. He was so darn cute! He wasn't interested in getting near us until he saw we had toys and clothes for him. Then he sat in my lap. Of course i had to get a smile, so i tickled him :-) He didn't say a word but i got pictures and an estimated size, and that's what his momma wanted. Our meeting was extremely short, because we were clearly not welcome to stay there very long. I was very frustrated with that, but overall we were satisfied and excited. If we got butterflies and a unimaginable bond with a child that's not ours (Judah) what was it going to feel like when we meet Isaiah. Oh I couldn't wait and i was going to get to see him in a few short hours.

So after we left the orphanage we wanted to eat. We had never been in this country before wasn't exactly sure about our guide, who happen to be our POA. We were at his mercy. After all we didn't to make the only person we knew in this country mad less than 24 hours into our trip. We waited patiently as we drove in circles as he tried to decide if he wanted to take VIP bus or a taxi to Kumasi. So we asked to stop and eat, and we asked, and we asked, so after 4 hours wasted we finally we demanded stop and get us food and get us to where are son is. We had wasted enough time driving in circles. At this point our trust was lowering and we were getting nervous. We hadn't been able to talk to our family yet, it was a nightmare. Finally we got food and headed to the bus station, that was CRAZY & TERRIFYING!

Well, after fighting through the ridiculous chaotic traffic to get to the VIP bus our POA had changed his mind again! He didn't want to take the bus he wanted to take a taxi. Are you following me?!!!? We have now wasted an entire day driving in a circle that i could be with my sweet boy that I traveled 22 hours to meet. It's now dark, i was hungry, and i wanted to talk to our family. Finally after all day we got on the road actually to Kumasi. We traveled 6 hours on a dirt road in a Geo metro with speed bumps as tall as me, in pitch black darkness, the only light around was our head lights, with the radio extremely loud in Ghanaian music and about every 30-45 secs a DJ on the radio and said 89.5. Oh yeah and we got stopped at a road block. In the middle of no where. Men in uniforms surround our car, our driver and POA get out of the car and start yelling at the men who are around our car who all are holding AK47. Then everything gets quiet and we see our POA run into the trees. Are you serious?!?! Where is he going?!?! The diver gets back in the car, no POA.. finally after what seemed to be 20 mins he came out out the woods. Oh, don't worry, everything was ok. Just friendly conversation at a routine roadblock and our POA just had to pee...It was a LONG..LONG..LONG six hours. 

Everything was ok, everything was ok, everything was ok, i had to keep telling myself that. We still felt like we were there for more than our son. We just couldn't explain it but we both agreed. After our LONG day I was assured that i would get to meet my sweet boy first thing in the morning. For 6 hours i prayed Jesus i don't know what you are doing but i trust you. If  I'm honest i was trying to convince myself of this as I was praying. At that point i realized God was the only person who was going to keep me safe and get me to my sweet boy. Finally close to midnight we got to our hotel and got to speak with our family. We didn't waste any time we went to bed, we just knew our sweet boy would be there first thing in the morning.

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Adoption is....

It's been a few weeks since my last post on catching you up. I stay so busy I don't have time to sit down and type. Most of the time I'm not feeling it and if my heart doesn't tell the story you wouldn't be interested. So i wait until the time is right to tell our story. So here i am wanting to tell you about our meeting with Isaiah but I must write this short blog to prepare you......

Adoption is hard and is Gods test of patients, endurance and Faith. You must believe in and trust the lord with all of your heart. It's just not possible without him by your side, holding your hand in times of fear, wiping tears during the heartbreak, and standing back smiling when things are good. I can say i have felt Gods presence in everyone of these situations. I have no doubt that he's been by my side through it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Yes, all three. 

Adoption will be the hardest thing you ever go through. Adoption will change your life and everyone involved. You will work hard. You will spend endless hours on the computer researching, reading, and filling out documents about your life history, every childish mistake, any and everything that you thought was a secret or forgotten will be remembered. Very few people go into adoption fully funded, you will work hard to earn the money needed. When it comes down to your child biological or adoptive you will beg or borrow do whatever it takes to protect them or get them home. Adoption is emotionally hard. I promise you will laugh, cry, be angry, happy and sad. Maybe all at the same time. Every adoption is different, NO ONE has a perfect adoption

Adoption is not a plan B or a second best!! Adoption is traumatic, intense, and painful! When you decide to adopt you either choose a child from a photolisting or are given a referral. At best you are given a brief history of the child. For example: this year old boy was found in a local market alone. or this child is relinquished because his family can not provide for him or this child was sent to find work or monies for the family and lost their way, now the family can't be found. It will take many years, if ever, if your adopting an older child (like us) to know your childs story, because i promise there is a WHOLE LOT more to the story than you can even imagine. A mother is a mother we may value our children differently but most mothers faced with having to give their children for adoption love them enough to give them up for adoption so they can have a better life than they have ever dreamed for them. It's heartbreaking!! I can not even begin to imagine having my daughter and not being able to provide for her. As the adoptive parent you will go through all these things too. Its incredibly difficult to go weeks or months with no movement on your case. It's traumatic to fly across the world to see your child and love on them then have to leave them until the process is finished. It's painful when the first meeting doesn't go as your expect, and your Faith will be tested.  Adoption is hard for everyone involved.

Adoption is not written in Hollywood! The perfect stories of the child running into adoptive parents arms or the ones where the child is a murderer and burns the new home down while they sleep are rare. Sure both have happen, but it's rare. If you want Hollywood rent a movie, if you want real emotion, love, joy, heartache and beauty adopt. Adoption is not easy and it is not for everyone but for those who see it through it will be rewarded.

Adoption is beautiful! Adoption is a blessing! Adoption is Grace and Mercy. Adoption is a miracle just like child birth. Adoption is Gods calling to care for the orphans and widows. Adoption is the gospel. Adoption is love. Adoption is my beautiful family and even though i know the tough times will come our faith will continue to be tested i know God will still be by my side to wipe the tears, hold my hand, and stand back and smile. Through the good, bad and ugly adoption is forever. Adoption is love.

1 John 4:19 We love because he loved us first

Monday, March 31, 2014


We were beyond excited! The trip was taken care of now for the important things here stateside, MY BABIES here. I believe Logan was 3 weeks old and Bri had to be a school every day. The search was on. I trust VERY few people with my babies. Of those few people the one that were physical able to meet the demands of a newborn and transport needs of Bri limited to even fewer. Again, family a few trusted friends came together. HONESTLY, the people that have stepped up and walked with us in this process have become more than friends they are now my family and I COULDN'T imagine my life without them. Our missional community group is amazing and now a part of our family. HA YOUR STUCK WITH US WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!! LOL!! Everything was working out so perfect and i knew we were going to file paperwork so we could proceed with the adoption and get our sweet boy home, but it felt like there was something missing! I felt like we were going for more just didn't have a clue what it was.

FINALLY my babies are taken care of the trip cost is taken care of we are ready to go!! We made lists checked it twice nothing was missing we left in 5 days!! Nothing was missing expect the 2 THINGS WE NEEDED TO ENTER THE COUNTRY!! Our Visas and yellow fever card!! The problem was you can't get Visa until you get the yellow card!! AHHHH!! WHAT THE CRAP! ARE YOU SERIOUS!! On top of that our POA had sent me a text saying we needed to come up with money so we could fly to the town our son was it if we wanted to see him. You have got to be kidding me! Does he think we  have a money tree?!? We weren't going all the way to Ghana and not meeting our son. At this point i was so done with asking people for help financially, i was embarrassed that i had forgotten the two most important things. SO again i get on Facebook this time i sent a private email. I only told a select few that have followed our adoption from the start and again asked for help. Of course God provided, we were going on this trip he was making it clear! (Friday before we left) I called the Passport health office told them the situation. They told us come in as soon as tony got off of work they would stay open and wait for us. If we missed this appointment we would have to reschedule our flights. So Tony got home at 3:45, we made it to his moms in Rockport to drop the kids off at 4ish then drove as fast as we could to the Passport health office. We made just a few mins after 5. WHEW PRAISE GOD FOR NO SPEEDING TICKETS OR WRECKS! They were so nice gave us our shots and yellow fever card. Now the only thing we needed to do was get our Visa application in the mail.

Saturday 3 days until we left: We got up early went to Wal-Greens and took our passport photos and headed to the post office. Thank goodness my father in law was working! I knew everything would done right as long as he was there. Guess what...THE POST OFFICE WAS ALREADY CLOSED!!! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! The devil had his game face on and was doing everything he could to stop this trip! Remember i just said my father in law was working. What a blessing that was! I just stood there in front of the locked post office doors, tears in my eyes. I was done. I was giving up everything from the time I received that letter had been a struggle. When I got back to the car Tony saw the hurt and disappointment on my face. Then his phone rang. It was his dad! He said he was still there to come on in and he would go one and take care of us and get it sent off. I couldn't believe this was happening so i got up took all of our papers and ran in. We got our Visa over nighted they were guaranteed back Tuesday at 12.

Tuesday noon the mail ran no passports. I freaked out! I got online the tracking number we had wasn't correct. I called the Houston office. They did not have our passports there. THEY WERE LOST!!  We were leaving the next morning and they were lost!! I got on the phone and called the travel agent who booked our tickets. I told him we were going to need to rebook on his voicemail but to please call me before he cancelled anything. As soon as i hung up the phone Tony's dad called his phone, HE HAD OUR PASSPORTS!! They came i after our carrier had left!! All of the chaos was exhausting and kept waiting for something to go wrong!

Wednesday October 30 We got up took Bri to school as normal kisses her goodbye and cried like fools as we drove away. I already missed her like crazy! We went home finished packing our things for the trip double checked and made sure we had everything and waited for mom to come pick us up!

11:30 am we were off to the airport! We were really on our way to Ghana for the first time to see me sweet boy! I couldn't wait i was nervous. I wondered what he would think about me? Will it be that perfect picture of instant love you see on the movies where he would come running at me with his arms open? Did he know we were coming? Oh, I hoped he was as excited to see us as we were him!

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”


Two days isn't nearly enough time in the hospital once you have a baby! With Bri we left the hospital right at 24 hours later, and i was happy we only had a few days before Tony went overseas. However, i must say having your meals brought to you not having dishes to clean up and sending the baby down the hall when you want to sleep or take a bath it was kinda nice! However, all great things come to an end and before i knew it was time for us to go home. Honestly, i was ready to get used to our new addition and new routine as a family of four in our home.  Actually going home wasn't so bad at all our church set up for dinner to be delivered the first 2 weeks we were home. That was such a blessing! 

I don't remember the exact time from being home from the hospital until I received the "email" from the Ghana embassy. Remember my friend had assured me we had nothing to worry about, that the next email we would get should be our i-600 approval if we had all supporting evidence. Well, that is not the email i received. The email i received said.....(piece from actual email)

Thank you for your e-mail.
Physical presence at some point is essential to the jurisdiction of the overseas post. The adoptive parents must actually be “physically present” in country for their Form I-600 to be considered properly “filed.” However, if the adoptive parents wish to file through their Power of Attorney (POA), they may send the completed form and evidence to their POA who must submit them in person on their behalf. They need to make sure that in support of the petition, evidence is attached showing that they have already been to Ghana at some point during the adoption process or state that they will be in Ghana before a determination is made by USCIS Accra.
As previously stated, physical presence at some point is essential to the jurisdiction of the overseas post. USCIS Accra WILL NOT make a determination on the petition if the adoptive parents have not been physically present at some point during the adoption process.


So what do you do in the time of crisis? You cry, you pray, you cry, you pray, you throw up, because you realize that your adoption has come to an abrupt stop until you get to his country and meet him. You realize that you just had a baby your husband just went back to work, you have no money in savings, can barely afford to pay your bills. You realize only God himself will make it possible for you to go. So what do you do? You get on Priceline and you look at booking plane tickets. PANIC!!! Not only have you just been told your adoption has come to an abrupt stop until you get to Ghana, but now Priceline is telling you that if you don't book the next week tickets will double in price! WHAT THE CRAP!!! I am very good with going with the flow, keeping God at the center and trusting his timing in everything. So to me it seemed like God was being direct and demanding "GO, GO NOW"! So you cry, you pray and you get on Facebook, you tell what has just happen and you beg, for anyone who can help to help. The response was amazing and nothing short of God's work. 
PSALM 34:17 The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! Our friends, family and church heard the desperate cries that i plastered all over the social media site. Our church made a special exception and paid for our plane tickets. They heard my crys and !!BOOM!! Just like that the biggest expense was taking care of. UNBELIEVABLE and UNEXPECTED!! Next I sat down I sent a text message to a family member that I knew would be able to help us with the rest, if she wanted. I didn't hear back, so I panicked and started ugly crying. I got on my knees and begged "God, Why are you demanding us to go know when we are not prepared. This is so unexpected! WHY!? Please make it clear if this is what we are supposed to be doing. Please God provide a way" I know with all of my heart if God brings you to it, he will see you through it. Why was I questioning him? Well, that's simple because I am human. I am full of sin because of this instead of standing firm in my faith and trusting the Lord with all my heart, i doubt and question. Sin is the reason we doubt and question God, we have such little faith when times get tough. So many of us are too busy to hear when the lord calls us to do something. God had this trip planned and funded long before i knew. Why do i I always forget this..oh yeah I'm human!

Matthew 17:20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Jesus Speaking)

 The next day my aunt called back she was working had saw my Facebook post and had picked up the phone to see what we needed when she read my text. Gods timing perhaps? She sent us enough money to take care of the rest of the trip. ARE YOU SERIOUS? HOW ABOUT THAT FOR AN ANSWERED PRAYER?! The entire trip taken care of with 2 people showing the love of Jesus, to help us see that we finish out his plan for us! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

This verse is easy to me, because in our adoption walk, so many things have happen to us; Funds have been provided, people have been met, things have happened that is beyond my own understanding. Things that i now know was hands hand putting us on the path he has chosen.

Part 2 coming soon!

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Now where did I leave off?!? Oh, yeah I received a NOID (NOTICE OF INTENT TO DENY)  on our I-600 stateside filing and the Dr. told me my baby was breach and scheduled me a c-section. My next Dr apt was the last one I would have before the surgery. As I walked in the office I remember praying over and over again this is your story God, I trust you. This is your story i trust you, OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. Anytime, those prayers stopped, that tiny voice in the back of my head was screaming at God, I was terrified, and wanted to know WHY he was doing this. I just didn't understand and was losing faith fast. 

There i was at the last doctors appointment before c-section and I was dreading it. As i sat in the waiting room I again kept saying to myself "god is in control, i trust him. Of course i waited longer that appointment than all the others combine. My nerves were a mess and i was ready to get back there and get it over with. 

Finally after what seemed to be a couple years of waiting they called me back. Again, i sat waiting for what seemed like another 5 years for the Dr to come in and check me. The only thing good about all that waiting was it gave me more time to beg God to flip the baby so we could have a natural delivery. When the doctor finally came into the room we talked about the c-section he tried to calm my fears but all he did was make them worse and upset me more. However, the only good thing i remember about all of it was he said he would allow my mom and Tony to be in there but only b/c i was so upset and he knew he much it meant to me.  I really think he felt bad because of the way things worked out when Bri was born in California. Believe me he knew all about it and how i wanted my momma there!

So there I was falling off the table and my legs in the air. It felt as if he were going to pull the baby right out of me!! He kept making funny faces and mumbling stuff. Then he demanded the nurse to go get an ultra sound machine. Over and over again i kept saying "whats wrong?" "Is everything OK?" He never answered me. When they nurse came back in he smiled really big and said your not going to believe this but i think the baby flipped. I'm almost 99% sure hes head down. The ultrasound proved it, he was head down! God had answered our prayer and the baby was head down! Praise god to the highest! I got dressed and we went on and scheduled an appointment to be induced the next Tuesday. I didn't care to be induced at that point as long as I wasn't being cut on. I did not want to chance the baby flipping again.

Fast Forward to Monday Sept. 23 the day before my due date and date to be induced. Since my last appointment i had cramped quit a bit but it was nothing to be concerned over. I knew my baby was head down and working his way to delivery. On Monday I remember when i was getting Bri ready for school we were almost late because i was cramping so much. They were consistent and hard cramps/ contractions. After i dropped her off i called my aunt, Tony and my mom and let them know that i was cramping heavy, and we might be going to the hospital sooner than expected. We were supposed to go in at 4:30 that night (Tuesday morning)  if at all possible we were going to wait. I timed them they would always be strong and steady for about an hour then they would stop for while. This happened all day, so we never went to the hospital. That night we took Bri to my aunts so that she could take her to school Tuesday morning. We got back home i did last min picking up and went to bed i was a nervous wreck and exhausted. 

4:30 came quick. The alarm was going off we got up and headed to the hospital. I actually remembering waking up a little before 4:30 because i
started cramping again. From that moment on everything went extremely fast. 
 4:30 checked into hospital started paperwork and "prepping"
5:30 cramping gets more intense so they hooked me to monitor "looks like you would've been here anyways huh" stated one nurse
6:30 IV/ fluids

8:00 Dr T came in and checked me
8:30 requested epidural
9:00 they checked me again
9:30 got epidural

10:00 Dr T came in checked me again. told me do not push that he was going next door to deliver and he would be right back. He walked out of the room and i felt pressure and knew he was coming!

10:28 3 pushes later they put this tiny, slimy, gross, baby boy on me that was screaming his little lungs out. 

Of course everything was so exciting everyone wanted in to see him. Once everyone at the hospital saw him Tony's mom and day went and got Bri from school. She was so excited from the first moment we told her she was going to be a sister. I couldn't wait for her to meet her baby brother. She glowed when she saw him, she was proud! "I wonder what Isaiah will think of him?" she innocently asked. Little did she know she crumbled me into pieces, i just knew he would be home by this point, and i was heart broken. I knew what i had to do, i couldn't waste another minute i had to get my sweet boy home!

All the excitement calmed and everyone left so I could rest some and I did BUT first i remember, I got on my cell phone and I emailed our USCIS officer. I requested to withdraw our I-600 filing from stateside. I then emailed the Ghana embassy. I explained our situation and told them i knew it wasn't common but we wanted our POA to file the i-600 for us IMMEDIATELY without us being there. Everything was so perfect in that moment in time except the fact that Isaiah wasn't there. All of my emotions caught up with me. I was sad because my baby girl wanted to share such a special moment with her brother that was across the world. I was angry that he wasn't home and i felt a huge amount of guilt for not trusting that God would provide the funds and delaying our process. I was angry at myself. I was angry that i was angry and couldn't even enjoy the birth of my new baby boy. I just didn't understand any of Gods timing. Looking back NOW I DO, NOW I UNDERSTAND!
                                                         Romans 12:12
                   Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Like i was saying in the  last post July 31, 2013 was a big step in our adoption process. I mailed our I-600 off stateside. *I-600 is an application for the Ghana government approving our adoption. LAST STEP! This is the last big step in international adoption world. It will either be your light at the end of the tunnel or where you get hit by the train. I just knew with all my heart we had the all the information we needed this would be easy. Other families were passing without any trouble very quickly, and we would too.
On August 15, our USCIS officer contacted me. She told me she received our paperwork and she was happy to have our case. She was so nice, she seemed to know what she was doing. This was so reassuring, I felt good about our conversation. My sweet boy was coming home before baby Logan was going to make his grand debut. That little voice of doubt in the back of my head had finally left. You see, it doesn't matter if it's your first adoption or your fifth, through every step of your process there is a little voice in the back of your head that's always asking "Will we pass this part?" "Is this REALLY what God has chosen for me?" "How long will this take?" "Is this really happening!?" 

August 21, ONE MONTH UNTIL BABY LOGAN IS DUE, BRI WAS JUST STARTING KINDERGARTEN AT A PUBLIC SCHOOL, our lives at this point is totally hectic! We were trying to adjust to the new school routine, finish the babies room, basiclly trying to stay as busy as possible to pass time waiting on that email saying we are approved! Our USCIS officer called me and told me she was sending me a RFE (request for evidence). This was not a big deal, it was expected. They have to ask for evidence in cases where the child has family living. I didn't mind, I wanted them to double check everything and make sure this is something the birth mother wanted. I wanted to make sure she couldn't provide for him and that we were the only hope for her son. What I specificlly remember her asking for was a birth certificate, she kept insisting us  to"get" a birth certificate. Isaiah was not born in a hospital, he does not have a birth certificate, if we "got" one we would of had to do it illegally and that's something we were not willing to do. We sent emailes back and forworth, and i emailed her the additional evidence we thought would satisfy her. I was getting frustrated, I know we weren't her first international adoption. I CALLED AND ASKED, just to make sure!! Why is this experienced lady demanding a birth certificate?!? She should know that this is very uncommon in African countries, WHAT THE CRAP IS HER PROBLEM!!!

September 9ish, 3 WEEKS UNTIL BABYS DUE DATE, I was huge, miserable i couldn't bend, sit, walk, or even stand in one position for longer than a few miniuets. My Dr. appointments at this point are every week to see how we are progressing to delivery. Sept. 9ish our officer called me and told me the evidence that we had sent in is not what she wanted that she was sending us a NOID (notice of intent to deny) our I-600. WHAT?!?! MY HEART STOPPED BEATING!! However, we had 30 days to get the specific things she needed or i-600 would be denied and we would be starting over. 30 DAYS ARE SERIOUS?!?! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!  DID SHE NOT FREAKN LISTEN IN OUR LAST CONVERSATION..I'M FIXING TO HAVE A BABY!!! You know that feeling you get in your tummy when you drive over a hill entirely to fast. That's what I felt, I was nauseous, I felt like I was going to throw up. It was not possible for me to "get" what she wanted IN 3 WEEKS!!  

Just so happens I had made a very good friend that is very respected and wise in the adoption world. She worked closely with the embassy and previously for an agency that is in Ghana (a very good, trusted source). She told us to withdraw our filing of I-600 stateside and to file in Ghana. WHAT IN GODS PERFECT NAME DOES THAT CONSIST OF?!? OVVVEERR IITTT!! I thought we had to travel to file in Ghana?!? We could have done this in August OR MARCH!! MY SWEET BOY COULD BE HOME! She assured me to calm down that, we could file in Ghana without being there. She has recommended people to do it, it worked out perfectly for them. The government don't like it but they do make exceptions in special cases. She was sure with the baby coming we would have no problem, it was a special case. To be honest I was irritated I just wanted to relax and be pregnant. I was still watching 4 kids during the day working a few hours at Khols during the night. Taking and picking Bri up from school, packing her lunch everyday, on top of the normal stay at home mom responsibilities; cooking (3 meals a day) cleaning (nonstop from watching the kids), laundry, garden, plus all the yard work, dealing with my dad (another day) and being very pregnant now with another stress on my shoulders of the adoption. FYI: Yes, my husband helps when I let him, I just try and have stuff done before he gets home. I was over everything, discouraged, I just wanted to relax and be pregnant without all the other worries.

The following Tuesday was my next Dr. appointment. I prayed like a mad women that I had progressed along enough that we would have a better idea of when the baby was coming. "WHY DON'T YOU JUST GET INDUCED?" "SCHEDULE IT, IT WILL BE SO MUCH EASIER!" "WHY ARE YOU MAKING THINGS SO DIFFICULT ON EVERYONE" Yep, these are just some of the many things I heard before every Dr. appointment. I was over hearing about what I should do with my baby and my body. I am not one to change Gods plans. I fully believe a baby will be born when he says so. I fully trust the lords timing. I do not do c-sections and I do not get induced. I made that clear with my Dr. from the start. He didn't like it but he accepted.

That Dr. visit was the first "bad" Dr. apt I have ever had. At that moment in time he was about to tell me the worst thing ever! The baby had flipped and was breach. He double checked and even did an ultrasound to make sure. I put my clothes back on and he came back in the room and we talked about what would happen next...we needed to schedule a c-section. He said at 37 weeks pregnant the baby was to big to flip. I cried, and cried, and cried, and cried and UGLY CRIED. I was angry! I REFUSED! Of course he told me i couldn't refuse and gave me a "due date" and reasured me if he re-flipped we could cancel the c-section and go natural. 

That was it. That was the straw that broke the camels back, my tipping point i was over it, i was done!! I was exhausted mentally, physically,and emotionally. I was crabby and ugly to my husband, daughter and anyone who crossed my path none of which deserved it but they may have understood a little more if they realized the weight of the baggage I was carrying every day. I contacted the children's parents that I watched and told them I wouldn't be able to watch them anymore and I put my notice in at kohls and I sat, nothing more nothing less. I didn't care about the dishes, laundry, dinners, anything. I was tired and needed rest i only had 2 weeks left and that's EXACTLY what I was going to do..REST. During my resting days, I got advice from mommas in our community group and researched ways to flip a breach baby. I focused my time from the last Dr appointment to the next weeks appointment on prayer and doing every "home remedy" trick i could find and praying did i mention that? I talked to God morning, noon and night and every min in between. I did not want a c-section!! I refused to believe that this was Gods plan for me. Looking back I can say he gave me that scare because he knew I needed to rest.

In my time of rest and prayer I prayed a lot (not nearly as much as flipping that baby) about our I-600. Is this what we were supposed to do (file in Ghana)? If God wanted us to file in Ghana why didn't he lay that on our hearts and make it clear 6 months earlier?!? How would withdrawing from the stateside filing effect us? Would we look like we were trying to hide something? Would Ghana think badly of us? It was all so overwhelming and confusing. At this point, we never acted, just prayed and thought about what was the right thing to do. After all, the wrong decision could jeopordize our entire adoption! At one point I felt calm, at ease if you will. God, made it clear to me to focus on one thing at a time and the things that were right in front of me, SO i did. I focused on resting and my stubborn baby boy!