Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Skype snapshot

It was so good to see the girls smiling and laughing on Skype today. Grace is now able to walk holding on to fingers. Praise the Lord! We did not know if that would ever be possible when we first met her.

Friday, November 6, 2009


October 31 was the one year annivesary of our dossier's arrival in Haiti. It feels like a huge victory to have completed a full year of waiting. On our imaginary timeline (though in truth it means absolutely nothing), we are halfway through the wait. Thoughts start coming like: this may be our last Thanksgiving without the girls here... the last Christmas... Geoff finished the girls bedroom. We are ready and eager for their arrival.

At the same time we found out a close family member has stage 4 cancer. Quite a surprise. Once again we find ourselves surrounded with new senarios and terminology. Not nearly so fun as trying out Kreyol. Thoughts start coming like: this may be our last Thanksgiving... the last Christmas...

How is it possible to want to miraculously speed up and miraculously slow down time all at once.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I must learn that the purpose of my life belongs to God, not me. God is using me from His great personal perspective, and all He asks of me is that I trust Him. I should never say, "Lord, this causes me such heartache." To talk that way makes me a stumbling block. When I stop telling God what I want, He can freely work His will in me without any hinderance. He can crush me, exalt me, or do anything else He chooses. He simply asks me to have absolute faith in Him and His goodness. Self-pity is of the devil, and if I wallow in it I cannot be used by God for His purpose in the world. Oswald Chambers

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Daphna! Our princess is now 2.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009


We arrived in Rockford Sunday night. Everyone is healthy and happy to be home. Time to adjust back to normal life. Better go check for unwanted stow aways in our dirty laundry. If you hear any screaming....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A smidge closer to home

After a tearful goodbye, a flight delay, a delay to exit the plane and now another flight delay, we find oursleves people watching in Miami Florida. Our flight now doesn't leave until 9:30pm arriving in Detroit 12:30am. Then comes a two hour drive complete with a US/Canada border crossing. Thanks for your prayers today. God is good all the time. We're inching our way home. Can't wait to see you all and share the pictures.

Friday, August 21, 2009

One more night...

We get to keep the girls tonight. The original plan was for all the kids to return to the O this afternoon. We are excited to have this extra time!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday - to the Mountains

Today we went to the Haiti Bapitist Mission in the town of Fairmont up in the mountains. In Haiti, the higher you go, the more wealthy the people. The views were beautiful, the air was fresh and cooler. It did mean another bone crunching truck ride for over an hour, but the views were worth it. The girls had their first taste of ice cream for this trip. We had some time to wander though a gift shop and past street merchants. The girls are feeling well now, so we are getting to discover more about their personalities. Gracie is how we figured her- happy and content and looking for fun. Daphna much more reserved with a very quiet smile and giggle- along with a very cute and insistent terrible twos thing happening. We are feeling the ache for our kids and home- yet not ready to leave the girls- I guess that is the paradigm we live in for this season. Your prayers are welcome as Saturday (fly home day) is around the corner. Geoff will head to the boys home tommorrow and finish up the sponsorship project, Jude gets a quiet morning with the girls- then one last afternoon in the pool.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wild Wednesday

Today- we went to the beach. A two hour ride in the back of the caged truck. We saw alot of Haiti out of the back of the truck. First time out of Port au Prince- so we got to see rural life. Some corn farms, alot of skinny farm animals and garbage all over. Roads are filled with taptaps, buses, trucks and motorcycles- all seemingly using their horns all the time. The beach was a nice change of pace- lunch on a cabana overlooking the ocean, playing in the water with the girls (and crabs, octopi, jellyfish and fish)- all the while dodging garbage drifting in from the ocean- okay, not club med, but something to see anyway. The girls are feeling alot better- Gracie giggling and laughing and grabbing all the time, Daphna a little quieter by the cutest little shy smile you have ever seen coming more and more often.
Tommorrow off to the Haiti Baptist Mission I think- another couple hours of bumpy roads and hard wooden benches.....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Important Lessons Learned Today

1. Daphna likes animal crackers
2. Grace has dimples

Easy Day

Today is turning out to be a real vacation type day. We are staying at the hotel all day as far as we know- still waiting to hear from the lawyers how far our paperwork has progressed. We had a great time in the pool today- Both Gracie and Daphna were giggling and playing- the most smiles we have seen yet.


Good morning
No good internet access yesterday, and pics are really slow to upload- things seem quicker today so I hope it works. We spent most of the afternoon and evening at HIS Home yesterday working on the sponsorship project. We fingerprinted and took pics. of 66 of the kids- about half. Hopefully we will finish up today or tommorrow. The girls are feeling better- fighting their colds off and eating a little better. They are definitely getting more comfortable with us. One of the families here had to travel to the immigration offices yesterday with the mother of the two girls they are adopting, and we rode in the car with her on the way to drop her back off. The reality of life sinks in when a mother is willingly giving up her daughters because there is no food or hope here for them- our hearts broke at the hardship- we can't even imagine....
Also met a couple yesterday who signed final papers and took their kids home- which was an encouragement to us that there will be an end to this journey at some point.
We are soaking up the time with Daphna and Grace- playing, swimming, and travelling. They are pretty much worn out at the end of everyday.- I am watching Daphna's huge eyes roll back in her head right now as she fights to stay awake- and yes- her eyes really are that big. Gracie is feeling better and is certainly becoming more affectionate and active (grabby little thing)_ have to watch her every second.
Thanks for you prayers- specifically that we can finish up the sponsorship project, and for babies Joey, Gaelle and Lydia as they are all pretty sick right now.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Had a great day on Sunday! Good American b-fast at the hotel, then a rough, dusty ride in the back of Hals truck to HIS Home, then on to Quisqueda Chapel (River of Life in native Indian). Hals truck is a Ford 450 box truck with a welded locking gate on the back- we felt like monkeys in the zoo. On the way to church there was possibly 40 or so people crammed in the back- so tight that it was impossible to fall. The roads are awful- so it is hanging on for dear life the whole time. The church is a block building with a metal roof- maybe 300 people- every color and type of people imaginable. Made a "small world connection with two people, one from St.Thomas and one from Grand Rapids. Church was similar to an American Evangelical- praise songs and an American Pastor.
After church it was off to His Home for lunch-got to spend alot of time visiting and playing with the kids. We were all pretty hot and tired by about 3 pm when we got home so the pool at the hotel was full of white parents with Haitian kids- kind of a spectacle. Gracie LOVES the pool- splashing and giggling the whole time- Daphna was not impressed at first but warmed up quickly to it- even splashing a little.
We are finding out Gracie is a VERY strong willed young lady- I think that is the only reason she could have made it through her first month of life. She lets us know exactly how she would like things to be. Look out Megan- you will have your hands full with this sister! Daphna is very quiet, shy and compliant- she just looks at you with those huge eyes and is very delicate about everything she does.
Some good storms came through last night- couldnt get internet- it is better today. Haven't seen the weather yet to see what else is on the way. We are off to His Home this afternoon to start the ornament project- we are going to need some help with names!
Pray for Grace and Daphna- both are fighting colds and they arent' feeling all that great. Jude and I are good so far. We love you guys- we feel your prayers. God is good all the time.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We are here

After sitting in the plane for almost 1 hour before take-off and filling out our visa forms in green ink and having to re do them on the floor of the immigration office at the airport- we are here. Hal picked us up, Jackson and BigBoy were happy to help us haul our baggage for a good tip (hands are always out around here). We got to the hotel and Chris came walking around the corner with Grace- she looks great! And she got big in the last 11 months! Daphna followed shortly thereafter- she looks like we remembered, just a wee little bit bigger. We have been napping, feeding and playing ever since, what a blessing to be here.
Thanks for praying us through customs, although you were all praying a little early.....We were asked about the large bags- showed him the top one- strategically filled with formula and no vitamins, and were waved through. We pray we can be a blessing to Chris and Hal and all the kids with the things that you sent with us.
Try to get pics tommorrow- God bless.


We arrived in Miami safe and sound with all of our baggage. One of our checked bags was 1 pound overweight, but since the other 3 were 1/2 lb. under the max. weight, we were not charged the extra $50. We have cleared 3 out of the 4 border/baggage check points. Only Haitian customs if left. Please pray for us at 2:15 (3:15 Michigan time). That is when we land. Feels like a balmy 104 degrees in Port au Prince today. We can't wait.

The Journey Begins

Good morning. We are in the van on the way to Detroit Metro Airport. We have successfully crossed the border into Canada, dropped off the kids + dog with Oma & Opa, and recrossed the border into the states. Despite oversleeping half an hour and fog, we seem to be on track to make our 7:20 flight. Sounds like the tropical depression in the Atlantic may be headinng towards Haiti - Geoff may get to see his hurrican yet! Don't worry kids, we'll take pictures of that one! Thanks for your prayers.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Grace!

Happy Birthday Grace! Today our baby girl turns 1. 6 more days till we can spoil her rotten.

We have officially collected enough donations to fill all our luggage to the max!
74 cans of formula, 123 bottles of vitamins, a pack-n-play, sheets, rubber pants, bottles, underwear + $780! Thank you.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Donation Update

10 days until we fly!! We are excited to say we now have 59 cans of formula, 123 bottles of childrens vitamins, a pack-n-play, several sheets, and a bunch of baby bottles to bring with us. We hope to weigh it all and pack our own supplies this weekend. Stay tuned to hear if we made it to 360 lbs. Thank you for your generosity.

Monday, June 29, 2009

HIS Home Donations

Thank you, thank you to everyone who has donated items for us to bring with us to Haiti. We have a growing formula mountain in our living room. Thank you for your generosity. We currently have 116 lbs. of supplies to bring. We just realized we can also carry on one "personal item" each. That means the total weight we can bring is 360 lbs! Some of that will be taken up with our own clothes/etc., lunch food, and everything our girls will need for a week, but we definately have room for more.
This weekend we were able to attend the HIS Home 10th anniversary picnic in Ohio. It was so good to see Chris and Hal again. Chris said they are in need of socks and underwear for the older kids heading back to school and for medicines. She told us Grace is getting physical therapy on her hands everyday and is using her fingers well to play with toys. She may need surgery when she is 12 or 13 years old as her fingers sit crooked on her hands, but she is able to use them. Grace also is wearing her braces on her legs and in about 2 months time her feet have now turned to the correct position. Even when the braces are removed, her feet stay in place. For now the braces are on 24 hours a day, but when she begins walking she will only have to wear them at night. Yes, I just wrote... WHEN she begins walking. It looks like this will really happen. Daphna is doing great too. As far as the orphanage goes, the rock throwing has stopped and the drainage problem is getting fixed. Since hurricane season has now arrived, this is a very good thing. Thanks to everyone who made donations to financially make these repairs possible.
Please continue to pray for the 123 kids at HIS Home. On July 2 Ronald, a 16 year old, will have heart surgery. He is frightened as he has had a similar surgery before and knows the struggle he has ahead.
This ministry has captured our hearts. We feel blessed to be on this amazing journey. Thanks for joining us on it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Orphanage Needs:

Right now is a critical time for HIS Home financially, as we are realizing the impact of the economic recession in the U.S. This year donations have dropped drastically in our ministry as well as others, while our expenses have soared. We know that God is the Father and provider of these children, and we know He works through the hands of His people. Please pray about how you might help financially to care for HIS kids. Immediate needs are the food budget ($2000 / week), $150 for a CAT scan for Baby Joey, rent due for the boys house ($8500), generator repair for the boy’s house ($5000), staff wages, batteries for the invertors ($5000), and plumbing to install drainage for the torrential rains at the girls home. Neighbors downhill have began attacking the orphanage when the rains come and rain passes across our property onto their land. On 4 occasions in the past month we have been under attack of hired thugs throwing rocks at our girl’s and baby’s home. We have involved the US Embassy and the Haitian National Police in trying to stop the violence, and the mayor’s office is also involved in trying to find a solution. We have been asked to install a drainage system for the rainwater to prevent our waste water mixing with the rain and overflowing onto other properties. We do not have a final estimate for this project yet, but right now our daily operating funds are depleted. Our reserve funds have been used to feed the children and provide for the basic needs of running the homes. Our most immediate need is funding to feed the children. Please feel free to share these needs with others who might also be blessed by helping! We have received donated airline tickets for Hal and I to travel to Ohio to help with the His Home 300, to visit churches, and to raise funds to continue this ministry to the orphaned and abandoned children of Haiti. Our ministry is supported entirely through charitable giving, and donations can be made by checks to HIS Home For Children (mail to address in Ohio), or through PayPal donations made online at our website. We recognize that anytime someone is serving God and bringing souls into the Kingdom, satan will make every attempt to undermine that effort. Scripture tells us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, so we ask you to stand with us in prayer as we keep on keeping’ on caring for HIS children.
Hal and Chris

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Pictures!

We have new pictures of the girls thanks to Amanda, another parent adopting from HIS Home. Daphna is growing out of the baby phase and into a toddler. Grace is wearing her braces and her feet are being turned to the correct position with the metal bar between them. Tonight we reserve the hotel... the dreams of being in Haiti have started already...76 more days!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Here is a snapshot from our Mothers Day skype visit with Daphna and Grace. Grace has new braces for her feet. At night the braces are connected with a metal bar between them. As you can imagine, she is not so happy about this. She is still going to get braces for her hands, but this was delayed with all the riots around election time.

We have finished school for the year and are starting to get excited about our summer trips. In June we are travelling to Ohio to meet up with Chris and Hal and other HIS Home supporters to celebrate HIS Home's 10th anniversary as an organization. Then on August 15, Geoff and I are flying to Haiti to celebrate Grace's first birthday and Daphna's 2nd birthday. Start praying now for a quiet hurricane season! We hope to bring down 200 lbs. of supplies for the orphanage. If you would like to help, we are collecting cans of Walmart brand baby formula. There is also always a need for cloth diapers, plastic pants, vitamins, and pack-n-play sheets. Thanks!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Long awaited Haitian senate elections were yesterday. Here's the news link. Please pray for this country. Change is greatly needed.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Grace enjoyed a recent visit from Vanessa, director of Angel Mission Haiti. Angel Mission Haiti helped Grace get the care she desperately needed after she was found last August. Read more about our baby girl...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

El Roi

Our God continues to be a God who sees. We were told that Grace should ideally begin treatment for her feet before 9 months old. She is now 7 months old. Doors closed as far as getting a medical visa and bringing her to the states for treatment, but Chris has found Canadian doctors willing to provide braces and therapy in Haiti. The Xrays mentioned in a previous post showed that the bones in Grace's legs are straight! She will begin wearing braces to turn her feet around and have physical therapy on her hands. Surgery may still be needed on her Achille's tendon, but that can wait until after the braces. Please pray for our little peanut, as this process is sure to be uncomfortable. This "parent-in-waiting" phase where we see and talk to the girls via Skype every two weeks, but only hold and hug them once a year is certainly a challenge for our hearts. It is so good to know that we have a God who sees their needs and loves them.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009



After months of struggling with our adoption agency, we received word that we are free to pursue our adoption independently. The agency has decided to end their contract with the Nungesters and to close their Haiti program. This news brings a bit of sadness as we would have liked to see more children find homes near us, but it is mainly a huge relief. The fear of our adoption being terminated is over. Our orphanage donation money is being delivered to Haiti after a long delay. We were given back some of the fees we had paid. A weight has been lifted. We are so thankful.
We received this from Haiti a few days ago.....

Just wanted to update you that we are having Grace evaluated at Healing Hands ofHaiti, a Canadian ministry that provides physical therapy services. I was therewith another child on Fri., and when I inquired about getting her into therapythey suggested that we bring her in immediately as they had an ortho specialistthere. Dr. Anderson did see her and ordered x-rays of her feet which were donetoday. Should have them back in a couple of days, then he will see her againFri. to give some advice about treatment options. He agreed that she hasvertical talus, as opposed to club feet, but wants to see the x-rays beforegoing any further... She is doing great with her hands, moving her fingers,grasping things, and while riding around town today going from doctor todoctor's appts with several kids, she spent a lot of time styling my hair. Sheloves playing in my hair! So, will keep you posted about what we find out Fri. Blessings! Chris

We got to Skype again with the girls last week- first time we saw Grace smile!

Please pray for HIS HOME- there are pre-election riots and violence going on in the city. Chris and Hal have "insider" gang members who they can call to find out the areas to avoid while running kids around.

We are looking forward to our new hairstyles.....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hey Everyone
Sorry there has been no posts for awhile. We have run into some pretty serious roadblocks that seem to be heading towards some possible legal actions and are in some serious need of prayer. The last few months have been full of ups and downs. I can't really get into details because of the possible pending legal actions.
We have started "Skyping" with the girls- twice a month we do an internet video phone call. We talked to them last night- they are looking great. Daphna is learning to walk (we have pictures) and Grace has started using her hands in a somewhat functional way, which rules out some really bad stuff. The doctors are guessing a possible syndrome that has some serious long term effects, but we won't know for sure until we get her here and do some genetic testing. Pray for us as we continue to pursue a medical visa for her.
Thanks so much for following along with us on this journey- it has been one of the hardest things we have ever done, and we often know we are being lifted up by our prayer warriors.
Please keep Judy's folks in your prayers as well. Dad has Alzheimers that seems to be progressing quickly- Judy is in Chicago this weekend to begin looking into Dementia care for him. Mom's heart is damaged and she is having lots of difficulty breathing (she had congestive heart failure 11 years ago).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Our girls are healthy and doing well. A recent stomach flu passed through the baby nursery. 15 out of 18 babies were sick. Daphna and Grace were two that remained healthy!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!
2008 was quite an adventure, we can hardly wait for what 2009 has in store for our family. Some rather discouraging news on medical visas. Apparently the American Embassy in Haiti is getting reluctant to issue visas for children who are in the process of being adopted. There has been some problems with children not returning when the visas expire and the adoption is not completed yet. As of last week getting Grace to our home for treatment has began to look doubtful. It is possible that she can go somewhere else in the country with a family willing to host if suitable people and medical care can be found.
We are definitely looking to God to do His will here, so please be praying that His perfect plan for Grace would be done. Who knows, maybe He has plans for her in His kingdom in another family for awhile before she come to us? Our responsibility is to wait patiently and watch and listen as His will is unveiled at the proper time. Oswald Chambers spends some time in his book "My Utmost for His Highest" exploring what it means to wait quietly and patiently for God to move and then always be ready to go when He asks. That is our prayer right now, that God would give us peace and calm as we wait.
Our dossier is moving through the appropriate offices in Haiti. All seems well and on track as far as the adoption goes. Word is that Daphna is moving around great and is happy as anything with all the kids in the orphanage. Apparently Grace is beginning to use her hands a little bit, and is interacting (smiling, cooing etc.) with others. These activities are great indicators of proper developmental progress for a 5 month old- so we continue to pray for her health and body as she grows.
Thanks so much to all who have been praying for us in the last year, and God's blessing on you all in this new year.
What an awesome and surprising God we serve!