I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams
You are here each day with me, at least that is how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are.....what' s taking us so long,
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind .

May God hold you in his hand until I can be with you,
I promise you, my darling , I 'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

-Author unknown

Monday, August 21, 2006

Entertainment books are in!

The Norfolk/Hampton Roads Entertainment books are in! You can save alot of money on places you already may visit (ie - Bruster's, Fazoli's, McDonald's, Burger King, IHOP, Bennigan's, Kyoto Japanese, Children's Museum of VA, The VA Zoo, etc). Email or call us for your copy! They are only $25 through us (if you order online - you may be charged a $5 S&H fee - so get one directly from us to save you some money). You can order online through the link in the sidebar or click on this title. You can even order a book for someone in other cities - so pass this info on! Thanks.
We really appreciate it!
Lori :)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Home study license update

Praise God! :) Not only did I receive the new copy of the HS license with a date by the notary's signiture, but it is a different license all together. Why is that good? Because I didn't even notice that the last one was a Maryland license and the new one is a Virginia license. We, obviously, live in Virginia and used the Virginia office - so that is the one I needed to begin with. Also, the MD license expired in Jan 07 (which could still be when our adoption is in process) and the VA one doesn't expire till March 09! PTL for His divine providence in allowing us to get the right form before we sent if off through all the authentications, etc. God is good!
Just wanted to let you know! The license is on it's way to Richmond for state authentication. Yeah!
Lori :)

Esther was adopted!

Hello all! Ok - before I explain the title, let me catch you up. Sorry I haven't updated sooner - but as usual, it's been another busy week!

Jacob surgery went beautifully! Thank you all for praying! I could tell he was bathed in prayer. He was not scared (he was actually excited to go smell the grape flavored mask in the OR) and recovered 4 times quicker than my other boys ever did from surgery! I barely had time to sit down in the recovery area before they told us we could go home! No nausea or vomiting, no excessive sleepiness, etc. For those that didn't know - Jake has had several styes in his lower eyelids this last year, and ended up with several Chalazions on the inside and outside of both lids. They were never going to go away (and people always asked what was wrong with his eyes because of the red spots, etc) - so they had to surgically remove them. It was a short surgery, but it did require general anesthesia. Anyways - his eyelids are looking much better! A little redness still, but on the mend, and definitely better than before! Oh yah - and today is his 4th b-day! Happy Birthday Jacob!!

As for the adoption - I got a call from KAS that our dossier looked great and was all done . . . . except for . . . . . . (????Hunh??? Something else?) . . . we were missing the notarized, authenticated (x2) copy of our home study agency's license. ???? We were never even told we needed it! Oh well. One of these days we will actually be DONE with this paperwork (I hope). So I called and left a message at our HS agency and didn't hear back from them. Left another message this past monday - and they finally called me back. They had mailed out the copy on friday, so I should recieve it soon. It actually did come in the mail on monday, and I was all ready to send it off to be authenticated when I realized that the notary didn't date her signiture. I wasn't sure if she had to or not - but I thought that was pretty standard. I called my agency, and they said it may be fine how it is, but they would rather just get it done right ("since you don't have a referral yet and we are not in a need to rush things" . . . why do they keep saying that to me? I would LOVE to have a referral and be in a rush! :) Oh well). So - I called the HS agency back and requested to get one with a date on it. She said she would do it that day and get it in the mail. I expeceted to receive it Wed or Thursday - but didn't. Hopefully today. So . . .. when that is all authenticated . . . THEN we will be PAPER READY! yeah!

Lucy, the director of KAS, is still in Guatemala and should be returning tomorrow. Please pray for her safe return. I, of course, am hoping that she has found our daughter with the help of her lawyer, but I'm not gonna hold my breath. I do have a sense of peace these past 2 months that it's all in God's timing and His big, capable hands. In my devotions today (reading from Cynthia Heald's book "A Woman's Journey to the Heart of God"), I read a wonderful statement about waiting. This definition, of the value of waiting, was written by A.B. Davidson - "To wait is not merely to remain impassive. It is to expect - to look for with patience, and also with submission. It is to long for, but not impatiently; to look for, but no to fret at the delay; to watch for, but not restlessly." That described how I feel exactly!! With each delay, I don't have that feeling of fret or panic, but peace. I long for, expect, look for and watch for the arrival of my daughter - but it has been filled with a strong peace! I can't explain it any other way. PTL that I know the author of that peace and can lean on Him during this process! There are so many adoptive parents who live in fear during the whole process. Anyways . . . . I'll keep you updated on whether we get a referral soon (or not).

As for Esther . . . . . .
I was praying this morning for my daughter. Because we are looking for a 2-5 year old, we have not decided on what to name her, as she may end up keeping her name (especially if she is older). I have liked the name Kathryn Grace (meaning "Pure, virginal" and "Grace of God"). My oldest son picked out Kaitlyn or Kathryn when I was pregnant with Jacob (and wanted to still call him that even after we found out it was a boy! I don't think so!). Anyways - I was asking God what name he would want for our daughter. Would we just keep her name, or is there another name for her? What will she be like? Etc. God brought Esther to my mind - not necessarily the name, but the person and the story. I've always liked the story of Esther (a beautiful young lady who gets chosen to be queen and helps to save her people!! What little girl wouldn't fantasize about being her?!) I flipped open the Bible to Esther and started reading. Besides the fact that Esther was a "virgin" (see Kathryn's meaning above), what jumped out immediately to me (that I had never noticed before at all!!!) was that Esther was adopted!!! (So - Tait's, you have the "Tarzan effect", but I have the "Esther effect"! :) hee, hee.)
Esther 2:7 - "Mordecai had a cousin named Hadasah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father or mother. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died." vs. 15 - "When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had ADOPTED . . . )". She also left her "people" to go live with the King (who was a totally different nationality), and God used that to help her save "her people"! What a beautiful story of God's Divine Grace! I feel like God was saying that our daughter would have an Esther spirit - beautiful, pure, good heart, smart, (of course all the things we all desire for our kids!!), and that the reason God is allowing her to join our family is not to leave her "people" behind, but to be able to have an impact on them in the future! She HAS to leave them to save them (spiritually, physically, etc - I don't know. all of the above?)! God's plans are perfect! Aren't they?! So . . . .as is God's usual style - my question wasn't really answered directly (Jesus always spoke in parables too!) - but what a picture and reassurance of God's love and plans He has for our daughter! It just tickles me pick and lifts my spirits!

The great news is - that God has awesome plans for each and every one of us! It may not be to save a whole nation, or to find the cure for cancer, but the impact your life has on even just one little child (or adult) - can have an everlasting consequence and can potentially touch millions of lives thereafter!! Just think if Billy Graham had never accepted the Lord as Savior! Even though he was raised in church, he had a time of wrestling with the issue of whether the Bible was the infallible word of God while he was at college. What if Henrietta Mears had not helped him with that issue? What if Forest Hope Christian camp had never been started (where Graham made the decision that the Bible was in fact God's infallible words and decided to follow God wholeheartedly)? Just one decision we make, one life we touch, can potentially reach into the millions because of our commitment to follow Christ and His will for our lives (even if it SEEMS that we are not doing anything"big" for God). So - keep on following God's calling on your life - whether it's to adopt, support adoption, be a stay at home mom, a working mom, etc. Just make sure you are doing what God wants you to do and you can't go wrong!!! :)

God bless you all today! Sorry this ended up being so long - but I had to share what was on my heart! Hope it didn't put you to sleep. :)
Thanks for your support and prayers!
Lori :)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Paper ready? & Entertainment books

The Guatemalan Consulate in DC got our paperwork last thursday afternoon, authenticated it all, and sent it out on Friday evening! Faster than I expected! :) It arrived in KY at our agency on Monday morning. Yeah!(though my agency didn't tell me it had arrived when I spoke with them monday afternoon - maybe they hadn't opened their mail yet)! The director and assistant for the Guatemala program are reviewing all our documents again today to make sure they are all correct. I am soooooo glad they are sooooo picky! Like I said before, out of thousands of documents they have sent to Guatemala over the years, only 4 documents have been kicked out of PGN to be fixed!!! Only 4!!! That's a fantastic record!
We did get a big dossier packet in the mail from KAS on Monday and when reviewing it, I noticed that we didn't do a form (that AHH never required), and I also noticed that a few forms that we had authenticated at the state and consulate level - they didn't require them to be authenticated (for KAS). Oh well. Each agency does things differently. I wish they had told me that though before I sent them off to the consulate. That would have saved some money. Oh well. I typed up the Child's Rights Affidavit that we hadn't done and sent it off to KAS along with new G28 and I600 forms, etc. KAS will take care of the authentication of the Child Rights form for us. Thank goodness. :)
I also found out that our agency had quite a few baby girls become available this last month - which explained why the director told me to "let her know" if we changed our mind from a 2-5 year old and wanted a baby. :) It's unusual to have to "find" parents for these baby girls! Usually they go quickly (and hav e probably already been placed). It did make me stop and think for awhile. I'm so anxious to know who my daughter is - that I wonder sometimes . . . should we just take a baby? Are we really supposed to get a toddler? . . . you know - all sorts of things run through my mind. I just keep praying and following the "Peace". Right now - J and I still have peace about a toddler. Some of those babies are darn cute . . . . but I have been really enjoying being out of the "baby stage". No diapers, nap schedules, strollers, bottles, etc. I can actually sit and relax at the pool, while my kids play, for the first time in over 10 years! :)
Anyways - our daughter is out there somewhere, and I know the Lord will show us clearly who she is.

Pray for Lucy, the director of KAS as she goes down to Guatemala the middle of this month.
Pray for the lawyer that is looking for our daughter.
Pray for our daughter to be safe and to be found soon.
Pray for us - for paitence, peace, health, and for our finances (adoption and otherwise). (oh yeah - Jake's surgery is at 9:15 am tomorrow, Thursday. Pray it goes well)

Thanks for all your prayers! We appreciate it wholeheartedly!
-Lori :)

ps - Most of you have received an email from us (thru Entertainment), but for those that we don't have your email address . . .

We are selling the Entertainment discount books (for all areas of the country) to help raise funds for our adoption. The Norfolk area book is $25 and we recieve a percentage (based upon the number of books we sell - so obviously, the more we sell, the better). You can save a TON of money by using the coupons in the book (which includes many places you probably already spend money at)! We saved over $2000 on a hotel near Disney through our book 3 years ago. It was a 5 star place at 1 star price! The coupons are good till November 2007!
If you live near us and want to purchase them - let us know. We will be getting books in around the 21-15th of August. You can also order online (I think there is a $5 S&H charge??). Let your friends know too! Thanks so much! You'll love this book! We've been using them for over 10 years!

*If ordering online -
You can click on the title of this post or the link on the sidebar. Make sure it says you are supporting "The Best of the Wests" in the green section near the top of the Entertainment site.
Go to and type in our group number (or seller number) to give us credit for your order. Thanks.
Group # 883993
Seller # 321301

Sunday, August 06, 2006

To the Consulate

Hello all! Here's this week in review:

1. We were able to notarize our slightly revised forms on Wednesday (Thank you Cheryl, Todd, Marsha, Jeremy and Dr. Riles)! God bless you all!

2. Our authenticated (or is it certified?) forms have arrived at the Guatemalan Consulate in Washington DC to be authenticated there this coming week! Then they will go on to our new agency - Kentucky Adoption Services. Hopefully the Consulate won't lose our forms or mess them up like the Secretary of the Commonwealth did. Please pray! :)

3. On Thursday - one of the hottest days this week- I came home in the afternoon to a hot house . . . our AC broke! :( . . . . . PTL though - we were able to get a wonderful man (W.P. Hogge, Jr) to come out right away (that evening) and fix it (for a heafty price though)! He had been working since 4 am that day and was still at our house around 6:30pm. I'm so thankful for AC!!

4. No news on the referral front this week. That's ok. We are still finalizing our dossier stuff. Though, it would be nice to already have the referral for when our dossier is finished. God knows. :) I just wish He'd clue me in on the time frame of it all. :) Hey - I did go to the Prophetic Presbytery meeting on Wed to be activated in the prophetic . . . . so . . . let me tell you when we will get a referral! . . . . . . . In God's timing! :) Hee, hee.

5. We have applied for a grant and are starting to work on our fundraising efforts (now that our paperwork is done). Please pray for wisdom in raising/getting the money we need. I know that God will provide - I just don't want to overstep my boundaries so that His will can prevail.

6. I've been having some balance problems this week. Please pray. It seems to have gotten worse the last couple days. I have been on a healthier diet - a hypoglycemic diet - as I was having problems after eating carbs/sugar, etc. I had been feeling soo much better (untill I got a grande Caramel Frappucino at Starbucks! I'm not doing that again for awhile!). I don't know if I just have some fluid in my ears; my neck is out of alignment; my hormones out of alignment???; or something else. I have had bad vertigo in the past - and it ended up being related to my vertebrae, and going to a chiropractor helped. I don't really want to spend the money (or time - his office is 25 minutes away) on a chiropractor. I'd rather be healed! :) Anyways - please pray for me! I don't like feeling incapacitated. For those that really know me . . . . I like to go, go, go and be in control. When your head is spinning and you can hardly walk - there's nothing you can do but lay down. I think God uses it sometimes to slow me down! :) great. . . . . .Thanks for your prayers!!!

Coming up this week - please pray for:

1. My balance/health issues

2. Jacob's surgery on his lower eyelids (on Thursday) - he has had several styes this year that wouldn't heal and the doc says they are Chalazions. "A Chalazion is a non-bacterial lump on the eyelid caused by a blocked mucous gland under the eye." The puss core hardens and won't come out - so they have to surgically remove it. Quick procedure - but has to go to the hospital and be put under general anesthesia for it. :( Pray for the procedure to go well and for quick healing. (Or even better - pray that they Chalazions go away before the surgery!!!)

3. Adoption financial wisdom - how and where to get the money for the remaining $20,000 that we need.

4. My oldest boys are at camp near Lynchburg this week! Pray for their safety and that God will touch their hearts in a profound way.

Thanks so much you guys! What would I do without you all?! I appreciate your encouragement and support so much!
God bless you today! May your rest in His peace that passes ALL our understanding!!!
Lori :)