Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Feliz Navidad Kai!!

 Christmas surprise! Photos of our little man on Christmas Eve AND Christmas day!!!!! whoa!! 

Christmas Eve in Kinshasa!!

We saw the break was his right arm. Another mama that was there said it didn't seem to bother him but he would sit down to rest when he got tired.
Merry Christmas Kai! Looking all handsome and in an outfit and shoes that we sent!! They dressed all the kids up in their Christmas outfits for the party.

The transition home all decorated for a Christmas celebration.
It was so wonderful to see that the children at the TH had a Christmas party! It looks like they all had a lot of fun! There was also a photo of the food table and it looks like there were some plantains and yucca. We call plantains "amarillos" or another kind "tostones" in Puerto Rico and that was what we made on Christmas Eve with a traditional PR meal...rice, pink beans, pollo..yum! A lot of the PR receipies have African roots so it was neat to see some of the same foods that they were eating at their Christmas party. 

We are really counting down the days now!!!  

Friday, December 21, 2012

To the hospital and back

A day after the last post I wrote (on December 15th) we thought that Kai would have been well enough after the one night hospital stay to go home the next morning. Turns out he had to stay a second night and he received a blood transfusion.  There were two amazing women who stayed with him all day and donated blood for him, C & J. For them I will forever be grateful they did this for my son. There is no blood bank in DRC so in order for Kai to receive the blood transfusion, blood had to come from somewhere.  They are also ran some blood tests on Kai. As of an update yesterday we are still waiting to receive those results from the hospital in Kinshasa. Kai was feeling great after the blood transfusion and he was able to go back to the transition home that night. So thankful. We cried, prayed, and worried so much over this little boy. So many people were praying for him. We were so glad to hear that he was doing well and out of the hospital!

We received another email last night from our caseworker. First line, "well....I don't know why this always happens with your family."......that worried me to read....then it went on to say that Kai is feeling SO GOOD that for the past 36 hours he has been running around like crazy at the transition home with all of the other kids laughing and having a good time. He decided to climb up on a chair and jump off. In doing so he landed on his arm on the hard tile floor and fractured it. Our poor little guy! Back to the hospital for Kai. They were waiting for the swelling to go down so they could cast it. Our case worker said, "I want you to be prepared for two things..he's coming home in a cast, and he's all boy!" She also wrote that the nannies said ever since his blood transfusion he is like a completely different child! Scott and I can't help but find this situation slightly comical. Only slightly because I do feel so bad that he broke his arm, but he just got out of the hospital, was having a good time, and found himself back at the same place again! He's also the first out of all four boys to break a bone, and he's two yrs. old. I think when he gets home him and Keane are going to be good buddies. 
We can't wait to get him home and we will be flying very soon. His embassy appointment was Tuesday this past week. We sent off our visas last week. We should be getting ready to fly about a week or so after Christmas. We wish he was already home and our family was all together on Christmas day, but we are leaving the tree up and all of his presents will be waiting for him to open when he gets home!! I can't tell you how much I LOVE this little guy already!!! Can't wait to watch him jumping around and wrestling with his three older brothers. We love you Kai, and we wish you a Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Nets For Christmas

Yesterday we got news that I dreaded. Our caseworker called us around 3:00pm telling us it was nothing to worry about but they had to take Kai to the hospital because he had a fever and flu like symptoms. No wonder the nanny said he was feeling so weak in his update a couple days ago. She told us that he most likely had a relapse of malaria. I had that devastating sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wanted to go be with my son. To have a child an ocean away in a hospital and not be there with him. I did what I could only do. Something much more powerful then any medicine. We prayed. Our family stood in the kitchen held hands and we prayed for Kai. The sweetest most faithful words came out of my 3, 5, and 7 yr. old. They know what malaria is. They walked this road before with baby Kembe Marc. They prayed for the bad mosquitos to go away from Kai and that God would make him feel better. The simplicity of a child's prayer. We also had a lot of other families from our agency praying for Kai yesterday. God heard our prayers and he answered them. At 7:00pm we got a phone call that he was doing better. They wanted to keep him overnight, but he should be feeling much better by the morning!! Right now at this time, he should be out of the hospital and back at the transition home. I'm so thankful he had access to a good hospital in Kinshasa. 

Malaria....this is also how baby Kembe Marc left us to go be with Jesus. Sadly I've known too many kids that have died from malaria this year alone. We've decided to donate to Nets for Life Africa every year to help fight malaria in memory of our son, Kembe Marc. This Christmas would you be interested in purchasing a net for a child in Africa as well? For just $10.00 you can give one net through Nets For Life Africa
  • Over half a million (655, 000) people die from malaria each year, mostly children younger than five years old.
  • There are an estimated 216 million cases of malaria each year.
  • Although the vast majority of malaria cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa, the disease is a public-health problem in more than 109 countries in the world, 45 of which are in Africa.
  • Approximately 3.3 billion people live in areas where malaria is a constant threat.
  • 90% of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Malaria costs an estimated $12 billion in lost productivity in Africa.
  • When insecticide-treated nets are used properly by three-quarters of the people in a community, malaria transmission is cut by 50%, child deaths are cut by 20%, and the mosquito population drops by as much as 90%.
  • It is estimated that less than 5% of children in sub-Saharan Africa currently sleep under any type of insecticide-treated net.  
              This Christmas give a net!!!!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

1600 approved!!

           We received a small update and a couple of photos yesterday of Kai. He is beautiful and the boys thought it was great he was in a blue clues shirt. In the small update we received the nanny said that he is very very weak. He came in to the TH with a protein malnourishment. I was told the doctor said he is getting stronger and happy with his development though. The nanny said that he is a crier at the transition home. He will be fine laughing and playing with his friends but as soon as she walks by him she said he starts crying for no reason. Well there is a reason. He wants to feel loved, he wants to be held, he needs that kind of love in his life. He's so small, two years old....he's still a mere babe. I can't imagine being two and not having an adult source where you could find love, comfort, security. He needs his mommy and daddy. And we are coming for you Kai! We will be there soooooo soon. I know the days left from today until we travel next month is not soon enough. I wish it could be today.  We had all of that paperwork to do which takes so ridiculously long. Thankfully we received our i600 approval last Friday. Our caseworker is setting our Embassy appointment, a couple weeks after that we get our visas, and then we can fly off this island, back to the states, then to Africa...I hate that we have to backtrack...we are closer to you in Puerto Rico!!! :) 
We are coming for you little love!!
We along with a big group of other parents are expecting to travel in January. So I can't can't wait, and can't believe that is only next month!! Now I'm going into extreme clean everything in sight and start packing the right way mode. Scott's sister will be flying out here all the way from Oregon to stay with the boys. They are super excited about spending a week with their Aunt Jenny. Especially because she loves to do art and craft and that is right up the boys alley.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

One Night

Two years ago we started our adoption journey to bring home a child from Africa. 

Two years ago we lived in a small coastal town in New Jersey. 

Two years ago on one special night we gathered with our church family, our family family who drove all the way from Michigan to be with us, many faces we've never seen before, and our good friends who are like family who also were on this journey with us to bring home their child from Africa. 
Two families, Two less orphans....

We worshiped and gave thanks to God.

We prayed for our sons and daughters.

We shared our adoption story. God's adoption story.

We fought for orphans that night.

We sang some more.

My father in law made us laugh with his comedy routine. Thank you Mike, I love your humor:)

I made these "Africa bags" to raise funds for fees. We had a silent auction..many items were donated from business throughout Cape May County. Feeling much support from everywhere.

My mother in law and sister in law made these really stinkin cute sock monkeys. Complete with names and personalities. There were none left at the end of the night. They all went to good homes with tiny little owners carrying them around all night. Made me smile:)

People came from everywhere throughout the night. So blessed for the support, the prayers, the encouragement, the questions asked, the stories exchanged, we were all there fighting for these these two precious little ones who were far far away in Africa. We were all praying you home that night.


cousin Liam all the way from Michigan came to show his support.

                    One Night...To make a difference