Friday, December 26, 2008

President Bush Provides One Million Books to Liberia

Monrovia — United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi E. Frazer has formally handed over 10,500 pieces of school furniture and one million books to the government and people of Liberia at the Montserrado County Learning Resource Center, behind the City Hall in Monrovia.

The donation of the books and furniture was in fulfillment of US President George Bush's commitment to providing Liberian schools with desks and one million books during his historic February 2008 visit to Liberia.

To read the entire story go to .....


Friday, December 19, 2008

Another Surprise

Yesterday I picked up the mail while heading into town. While opening Christmas cards a very dear family to us sent a wonderful Christmas card and a check for $2000. My oldest daughter and I began to cry. This family is amazing. They truly have a heart for adoption. In the card it said that each member of their family (8 total) dug deep into their piggy banks to help bring home our little girls from Liberia. What a blessing!

I was able to sell ten goats and one sheep this week. I am a bit sad to see them go but so excited to see the money coming together to bring the girls home.

I spoke with our agency as well as our social worker on Friday. Our agency is very excited and expects, Lord willing to have us ready to travel within two months. Our social worker has sent our homestudy to our agency for approval. We are making a couple of small changes to our homestudy. It is a beautifully written twenty page document expressing our desire to adopt children into our family and show them the love of God. The changes will allow us flexibility as to the number, age and sex of the children we adopt.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thank You

Yesterday I went to the mailbox and found an envelope containing cash and a gift card. It came from California with only a note saying "Merry Christmas!"

I want to say thank you so very much to whomever sent the gift. Each and every bit helps to bring our little ones home from Africa.


Liberian Dinner

Last night we had a wonderful Liberian meal. We tried three new recipes. One we are going to have to change a bit (think one cup molasses, one cup oil, three cups sweet potato shredded) but the other two were new favorites in our home .

Stewed Mangoes with Cloves

A simple fruit might be added to the dinner or served later in the evening. You can make this with fresh or canned peaches or apricots if mangoes are not available. Use two 24-oz. cans of peaches or apricots for eight servings.

In a 1-quart saucepan:

Place 4 large MANGOES peeled and cut in large pieces.

Add: 1 cup SYRUP from a can of peaches and

Simmer for 15 minutes or until mangoes are tender.

Cool and serve.

Eggplant stew with ham and fish

2 pounds eggplant, thinly sliced*
4 to 6 tablespoons oil
1 pound white fish fillets, cut into pieces
½ pound cooked ham or bacon, chopped
2 ½ cups water
1 onion, chopped finely
salt and pepper to taste

* In a flat pan with a lid, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and gently cook the fish fillets until they are golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
* Adding more oil if necessary, cook the onion a few minutes and then add the bacon or ham.
* After this, replace the fish and add the water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then toss in the eggplant slices.
* Cover the pan and turn the heat to low, simmering for 20 to 30 minutes until the eggplant is tender and the flavors have blended.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Liberia Movie

Last night I watched a movie called Liberia: An Uncivil War. Two filmmakers from the US went to Liberia in 2003 to get a first-hand account of the war between Liberian President Charles Taylor and the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy. The movie was excellent. I was especially struck by how young the boys were that took up arms to fight for the freedom of their country. When asked why they were fighting many replied their only choice was to join sides or sit by and starve. As a mother of six young men I can't begin to imagine the pain these mothers endured. In the end the war was over and the young men on both sides shook hands and went on to help rebuild their country. The people of Liberia take great pride in their country.

Because of a war that some say went on for over 13 years, the country of Liberia is in shambles. Many children lost parents to stray bullets and mortars, others lost their job and home and can no longer care for their children. This has led to a huge number of orphans.

As we enjoy our warm homes, food and gifts this Christmas season, please remember that their are children around the world that don't family, food or a home.


African Gospel

Men's African Group singing a native African song "KUO"(The Devil is a Liar). These Christian singers have struggled as a group throughout Liberia, Africa during the civil war, and are now trying to come to the U.S. and share their song and stories.

"Kuo" means - The devil is a liar Chorus - The devil can fool you the devil is a liar and he will take you to hell if you are not careful

1st verse - During the time of the war nothing happen to us because the Lord protected us with His hands

2nd verse - I want you to know that the devil is defeated forever he can not save you


Saturday, December 13, 2008


Yesterday was a little disappointing. We were scheduled to sell a good number of goats, with the funds going to our adoption. The lady that was purchasing them backed out last minute. We still have 14 goats to sell. As much as I enjoy the goats, we are happy to sell them to raise money for our adoption.

I have been doing some mystery shopping on the side to help raise funds. Thankfully the Lord has provided many shops available close to home. This last month I raised $700 by mystery shopping various companies around town. As soon as my check comes I will add it to the donation thermometer!

My children are so very sweet. They all desire to bring home their new sisters from Liberia. One of my sons came to me this morning and asked me to take money from his bank account to add to our adoption account. I am so greatful that my children know what many adults have yet to learn....children are a blessing from the Lord.

Well I trust you will have a wonderful weekend. Our family is spending time together both on our farm and off!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Neighbors From Around the World

Today while in Atlanta, I met a man named Mamadou. I asked where he was from and he said, "West Africa." When questioned further he shared that his home was the Ivory Coast. In excitement I shared about our girls in Liberia. He said, "then we are neighbors!" The Ivory Coast is adjacent to Liberia.

Andrew spoke with a lady at Starbucks this afternoon. She knows a large community of Liberians in Atlanta.

Andrew and I have had many wonderful opportunities to share our story with people, but more importantly we have shared about God's heart for adoption. I am ever so thankful that God chose to adopt me into His family!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Our appointment with Kelly went well this morning. Andrew and I shared our family history, a little about our biological children and why we feel God is moving us to adopt from Liberia.

Thursday morning Kelly will come to our home and visit. We will show her the sleeping arrangements and verify that our home is safe for children. We will have four childrens' bedrooms, two for the girls and two for the boys. This will mark the end of the homestudy phase of our adoption.

Next our paperwork will be heading to Atlanta to be processed for immigration. I will keep you up to date as we progress.

Please continue to pray that the funds will be available in God's timing. We are beginning to plan a fundraiser in January. If anyone is interested in helping me organize please let me know. We would be honored to have you as a helper!


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Finishing our Homestudy

On Tuesday we will be meeting with Kelly to complete the paperwork side of our "homestudy". We have acquired birth certificates, a marriage license, dog vaccinations, proper security for our firearms, letters of reference, letter stating our septic is adequate, physicals for all eleven of us, employment verification, etc.

On Thursday we will meet with Kelly for a final appointment and a chance for her to walk through our home. She will take notes on beds, sleeping arrangements, and checking to see that our home is safe for little ones.

Once our report is written it will be returned to us. We will then send it on to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. From there the report will be approved and sent onto the Embassy in Liberia. At the same time we will be working on several steps here in the United States.

Together with our agency in Florida we will be collecting documents to send in our dossier to Liberia. These documents must all be notarized and apostilled (an official stamp from the state that the notary is registered).

At the same time Pastor Flomo in Liberia will begin to find children for us. The children will be staying with members of Pastor Flomo’s church until we have clearance and funds to travel.

Speaking of funds…each of these government agencies require money to do their job. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Office requires $1340 for investigation and clearance for us to adopt and $160 for our fingerprinting. The government in Liberia requires $6000 for all the work done on behalf of the girls in their country. Our agency here in Florida requires $2500 for the work here in the states. This is just to give you an idea of what we are in need of raising in the next month or two.

As soon as our funds are raised, clearance is given for us to adopt internationally and the girls are formally declared orphans, we will be ready to travel.

This week will put us one step closer to bringing the girl’s home. Please pray that all goes smoothly. Also pray that we will be able to raise the funds needed. We have seen the Lord provide each step of the way. May He be praised!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thank You

Over the past two weeks we have been greatly blessed by so many people. We met a dear lady from Liberia, received encouraging notes from several countries around the world and accepted generous donations from family and friends. It seems everywhere we turn God is confirming Liberia, West Africa in our hearts and minds. We cannot begin to thank each of you enough for partnering with us to bring home our little girls.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Journey Continues…

This past Thursday Andrew and I met with our homestudy agency. Kelly reviewed the paperwork that we completed for the meeting, informed us of the next steps, and educated us on medical conditions, bonding issues and other helpful information as we get one step closer to bringing our little ones home. We will meet with Kelly again the week after Thanksgiving to finish up our homestudy.

Today we were embraced by our church family. It is so wonderful to know that our children will be wanted and loved by so many in our church family.

Please pray with us as we continue to raise funds. We are also looking for frequent flyer miles or buddy passes to help lower the cost of travel.


Monday, November 17, 2008

A Little Bit of Background

I think it will be helpful to understand a few facts about the country of Liberia and some of its history, so I've put together a few details that I've gathered from numerous sources. Hopefully the following will give you a glimpse of the great many challenges that the country has experienced, and is experiencing even today.

The country...Liberia

After 14 years of civil war, Liberia is the second poorest country in the world. The war being the most deadly and devastating ever fought in Africa, has left nearly ¼ million orphans in a country of 3.4 million people.

There is no electricity, running water or mail service. Generators, wells and cell phones are a luxury. Unemployment is approximately 90% and illiteracy is 85%, yet there is still great hope for this nation.

Some history

Liberia was founded, as a colony, by the United States in 1822. In 1847, freed slaves (who were brought to Liberia) from the United States declared independence and founded the Republic of Liberia. In 1980, the government was overturned in a military coup, and from 1989 to 2003 Liberia was in a state of unrest, enduring the First Liberian Civil War (1989-1996) and the Second Liberian Civil War (1999-2003).

Over the years the United States has played an important role in the continued economy of Liberia. In 1926 Firestone opened the world’s largest rubber plantation in the country. This plant employs around seven thousand workers that tap native trees to drain latex for the production of tires in the United States.

Another important role the US has played in Liberia was during World War II. The United States began giving technical and economic assistance by providing personnel to assist in building the Roberts International Airport and the Freeport of Monrovia.

In the early 1980’s, the United States paid Liberia $500 million for pushing the Soviet Union out of their country and allowing the United States exclusive rights to the Liberian ports for use in spying on Libya.

14 Years of War

The 1989-1996 Liberian civil war, which was one of Africa's bloodiest, claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Liberians and further displaced a million others into refugee camps in neighboring countries. Entire villages were emptied as people fled. Soldiers stole children, committed atrocities, raping and murdering people of all ages, in what became one of the world's worst episodes of ethnic cleansing.

Liberia's civil war claimed the lives of one out of every 17 people in the country, uprooted most of the rest, and destroyed a once-viable economic infrastructure. The strife also spread to Liberia's neighbors, contributing to a slowing of the democratization that was progressing steadily through West Africa at the beginning of the 1990s and destabilizing a region that already was one of the world's most marginal.

The Second Liberian Civil War began in 2002 and ended in October 2003, when United Nations and United States military intervened to stop the rebel siege on Monrovia and exile Charles Taylor to Nigeria. By the conclusion of the final war, more than 250,000 people had been killed and nearly 1 million displaced.

Facts about Liberia

  1. Area: 43,000 square miles
  2. Population: 3,489,072
  3. Language: English
  4. Capital City: Monrovia
  5. Life Expectancy: 40 years
  6. Infant Mortality: 156 deaths/1,000 live births
  7. Unemployment: 90%
  8. Illiteracy: 85%
  9. Health Care virtually non-existent
Hopefully this has given you a brief glimpse into the challenges that are faced in Liberia. Our hearts truly go out to the people. When we reflect on how much we have, we're blessed beyond measure in comparison.



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our Quest to Adopt...

If you've read the brief introduction about me and my family, you'll potentially be wondering why on earth our family would be interested in adopting. I can surely understand this thinking...I mean, the Lord has already blessed us with nine of our own children, and there is a strong possibility that He will bless us with more through natural child birth.

So why adopt?

Let's examine what God's word, the Bible says about orphans:

James 1:27

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."

It's true, the Lord has blessed us with so many of our own children already. But you see, there are so many children that don't have what our children do. It's for this reason and many others that we are seeking to adopt children from Liberia.

With that said, we hope that you'll join with us in our endeavor to adopt two beautiful children from Liberia. How can you join us? Well here are a few practical things that you can do:

  1. Most importantly, become a "prayer partner" with us and ask that the Lord will bless our efforts to adopt these children.
  2. Pray that the Lord will provide the financing necessary to enable the adoption.
  3. Ask the Lord to bless you financially, and then pray about how you can help us with the resources that will be required to make this goal a reality.
We want to thank you in advance for your willingness to join us in prayer and, as the Lord leads, in other practical ways to help make our desire to be obedient to the Lord in this area of adoption a reality.

In Christ,