Friday, January 22, 2010

Oh, Those Beautiful Stars

Several people have contacted us with questions about adoption, especially pertaining to orphans in Haiti. I have pondered for several days how to handle these inquiries. And alas in my hesitance, I have found a scapegoat. In the link below, you will find well-written, clearly laid out, no punches pulled, essential information regarding adoption from Haiti (or any other country for that matter).

This article will help you understand the reality of the process of adoption. Thank you Mark Miller (whoever you are)! But in addition to the paperwork, waiting, red-tape, and so on; there are also many emotional issues that must be truthfully addressed. Let me begin...with a story.

Once upon a time there was a young man who'd left his father's home in the country to embark on his own fortune in the big city. After years of toiling and working his way up the proverbial ladder, he longed for simpler days and returned to his father's farm for a time of reflection.

Late one evening the two went for a stroll through the open pasture. The young man looked up into the wide expanse of the night's sky and was mesmerized by the brilliance of the moon and the abundance of stars that seemed close enough to touch.

He spoke in near breathless excitement, "Oh, Dad! Despite all of my accomplishments and all of my wealth, I have never felt so complete as I do right now while realizing my own insignificance beneath the beauty and magnificence of the heavens. Thank you for sharing this moment of wisdom with me!"

Sensitive to the emotion of his boy, the father sighed deeply and said, "I guess there's just one more thing for me to tell you, son...

You're standing in cow mess."

Adoption isn't all peaches and cream. And sometimes you have to get the stars out of your eyes to realize your knee-deep in ... you know what.

Adoption - international adoption - international adoption of a severely traumatized orphan could be the most difficult journey you will ever experience. We brought our Haitian daughter home at 4 1/2 years of age and the first three years of her life with us nearly destroyed us. She wasn't the lone survivor of a major earthquake. You could've considered her a "normal orphan" if there were such labels. But it was hard. And while we have no regrets and that difficult journey taught us so much about ourselves and about God and His unwavering love for us --we do not want to see anyone walk blindly into the adoption process. It is dangerous for the adoptive parents and for the children.

All this to say --if you have fallen in love with these precious Haitian children, praise God! Start the process and be ready for if/when the need for homes arises. But please, let's debunk the notion that the government will (or ever should) start lining these babies up at the airport and handing them out like a PetSmart adopt-a-thon.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Help Haiti

If you've already donated to the Red Cross or some other major relief organization...okay. But YOU SHOULD ALL KNOW that the supplies, money, and resources being sent to Haiti via the "big" companies are NOT, NOT, NOT being shared with the smaller faith-based organizations that are already on the ground in Haiti.

Those supplies are only going to government operated hospitals and the like. Meanwhile, many Christian service organizations such as Heartline Ministries are having to drive 8 hours into the Dominican Republic in order to restock their fuel, food, and medical supplies. The US government does not care that NGO's like Heartline have been serving in Haiti for 25 years or that they have transformed their offices, classrooms, etc. into emergency clinics providing transportation and care for those in the poorest areas.

The bottom line is this: I cannot tell you what the $10 you texted to 90..whatever is accomplishing in Haiti. I'm sure it's good but still. If you give to any of the following ministries ALREADY sitting in the middle of the chaos and serving their butts off (without the support of the big relief agencies)...I can not only tell you but can show you the difference your money is making.

Please, please, give!

Help Haiti T-shirt

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Interlude of Humor

I was lamenting to Tim how badly I need to exercise.

"I gotta do something. I'm having to fight just to get into my jeans."

He responded, "yeah, and that's after throwing up for a whole day. How many viruses does it take to get you into your jeans?"

Sneaky smile from him. Evil glare and shaking of the head from me.

The boy likes to live dangerously and well, he's just lucky that I like him so stinkin' much. Now, to stop lamenting and actually start moving. ugh.


Monday, January 18, 2010

The Play by Play

Because I'm sure you want to know:

11:00 pm -Tim throws up. Justus coughs in the background.

12:00 am -Amie throws up. Justus continues coughing and screams out for "dada."

12:30 am -Tim throws up. Amie drags herself to check on Justus. He is burning up with fever and can't breathe through his nose. I take him to the living room where Tim is still hovering over the trashcan. I try to syringe Justus' nose and give him medicine. He is crying and clingy so I take slow deep breaths hoping not to toss my cookies while soothing him back to sleep.

1:00 am -Justus goes back down.

1:30 am -Cookies tossed. Plus the added joy of workings below.

2:15 am -Tag. Tim is it.

2:45 am -Back to Amie. Tim calls from the living room sofa, "I'm sorry I can't help you."

3:15 am -Tim.

4:30 am -I agonize over the garbage can for what I hope will be the last time.

I didn't really think you wanted to know this. But it serves a purpose toward my point.

Most of you know that Haiti is dear to us. Our blog name "ourcrewinhaiti" gives a hint. And while God closed the door on our physical presence there...our hearts could not be anymore intertwined from this distance. The earthquake and the aftermath have become a gauge by which we measure almost every moment of life.

At somewhere around 11:53 pm as my heart rate was increasing and I was breaking with a pre-vomitous sweat, about the time I would normally be giving God the what-for --seriously, do we both have to throw up at the same time? Can't you cut us some slack? What kind of raw deal is this? --all I could think was "One of my best friends on the planet is stepping over dead bodies. This is nothing."

I dread the day that we turn on the evening news and Haiti is no longer the top story, if even in the top three. And yet I know there are those who have already said to themselves "man, I wish they'd put something else on for a change." Even this week, as I turn off the TV or walk away from the computer I think how unfair that I get to tune it out for a time and process what I've seen; unlike those who are in the middle of it with little to no reprieve.

I dread the day that churches stop caring, collecting, or donating. I'm already frustrated by how few churches seemed to interrupt business as usual to spend a significant time in corporate prayer for their brothers and sisters in Haiti.

I am fully aware that life must continue. My mission field was not destroyed by an earthquake and in fact, 26 of them showed up in my yard today. I couldn't be so annoyed by their cluelessness about the world beyond their square mile block that I stopped loving and teaching and ministering to them.

Life goes on. But it is my sincere hope that I be willing to endure a thousand stomach bugs and a thousand sleepless nights if it keeps my heart and prayers centered on those (in Haiti, in the persecuted church, in war-torn Iraq & Afghanistan, etc) who are encountering far worse.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Things Taken for Granted

Last night Justus fell off of our dining room bench and his bottom teeth puncture through his lower lip. While wonderful friends, Melissa and Rhonda, soothed him and iced his mouth, I ran through the house grabbing shoes, jackets, insurance cards, etc. Melissa and I hopped in the van and drove SIX minutes down the street to a walk-in emergency clinic. I filled out three sheets of paper, he was called back, checked out, glued up, and we were back home in less than 45 minutes.

Heavy sigh.

In Haiti today, untold numbers will take in their last breath from beneath the rubble of their homes and business places. Others will endure another day of excruciating pain from open wounds which remain untreated. Infection will set in. And some precious mama will walk the streets with her injured child in her arms for hours desperately seeking someone...ANYONE who can help her.

This is a painful contrast.

"To whom much is given, from him much will be required." Luke 12.48

There are many places receiving donations for the destruction in Haiti. These are two that we know and trust who are right in the midst of the work and need help.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Prayer Meeting Tonight

We are inviting anyone in the Wake Forest area who is interested to join us for prayer for the country of Haiti at our house tonight at 8:30 pm. Like so many of you, we have connections to Haiti through friends, family, and mission teams, and we are devastated and hurting for the country of Haiti in the wake of yesterday's earthquake. Our friends in Haiti have asked us to pray fervently, as conditions in Port-au-Prince are indescribably difficult.

If you'd like to join us tonight but don't know where we live, please comment on this blog with contact information or call us at 919-815-6601.

If you would like to track with our friends in Haiti who are searching for survivors and blogging/Twittering as often as possible, go to

Also, please become the answer to your prayers by giving to a reputable organization that is serving in Haiti. We personally support and recommend the Livesay family in Haiti (see blog address above) and Heartline Ministries (, but there are many great ministries in Haiti that will all need help right now.

We look forward to praying with some of you tonight.