Saturday, August 27, 2011

More Haiti

I got a new update from Kevin last night:

Today was more of the same, although, we did have the pleasure of having Ernst as our volunteer coordinator today. We sifted more river sand for the masons, took down the wood frames around the house, disasembled them, removed all the nails and stacked the wood at the volunteer house to be used on the next house. We were allowed to use Owen's favorite three wheel motorcycle/truck thing today so we buzzed around town moving the wood, bags of cement, bringing water from the pump back to the drum at the work site and of course moving the team back and forth to the work site. People on the side of the road really stare and turn their heads when a "blan" (white foreigner) is riding a Haitian vehicle around the streets. The looks I was getting were actually quite comical. Niecie had prepared some VBS materials for the trip so her, Owen, Lloyd and Isaiah headed over to Siloe School and had about 30 kids show up for the program. One of the things the kids received was a whistle and while we were eating dinner, we could hear whistles being blown in the distance from several different directions. The neighborhood kids are great and are always eager to participate in almost anything even if it's just throwing a ball around in the street. I can't believe tomorrow is our last day to work and it's only a half work day at that. Tomorrow afternoon may be another beach day but that has yet to be determined.

removing nails from lumber that was used for the wall frames
Marcelle and Niecie with some of the neighborhood girls 

sifting more sand for the masons

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Updates

This is Kevin's new update:

This is a day late because our internet/wi-fi was out yesterday. Not much of a story to tell as it rained, rained and rained some more. We started work on the masonry part of the house and not long after found ourselves seeking shelter from the down pour in a nearby house that was under construction. We waited out the worst of it and made a dash back to the house. After lunch it stopped raining so we decided to try and work some more, however, the clouds did not comply and we were back at the house for the rest of the day. The power was off and on all evening and night. It rained throughout the night but we woke up to clear skies today. This morning we returned to the work site and made some good progress on finishing the walls. It is quite hot and very humid today so we are currently enjoying a needed lunch break. Since the internet is up, I decided to do a mid-day post in case it goes out tonight.


Lloyd and I mixing up some mortar

Owen, Niecie, Isaiah sifting sand

Marcelle, Isaiah and Niecie sifting more sand

making some progress on the house

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Haiti Update!

I'm sorry I am one day behind in posting but here are the pictures and emails from Kevin.


Today was a little slower paced than we were expecting. We made some more wall baskets and then went to the site of a rubble home that we will be completing. It was put up and filled by the team before us. We sifted the sand for the crepisage (stucco) wall coating that is suppose to go on tomorrow. One thing you realize and have to come to terms with real quick while you are here is that you are now on "Haiti time" and things don't always happen on schedule and in fact may not happen at all. We also got rained out for most of the afternoon. We have heard about a tropical storm that may be headed our way but have not had any changes in the weather yet. We are rolling with the punches and in fact, the slower work pace and the extra down time gave us a chance to spend some time with friends and we made some new ones. Owen and I went out in the street in front of our place to throw the football around and before you know it, there were about six kids who joined in. Then more showed up on bikes and they let Owen ride too. Then the riding turned into racing up and down the street to see if anyone could beat Owen. (Owen was undefeated). It was a great time hanging out, talking and playing.


Today started with the team loading rubble from a pile in the street into a small dump truck. The rubble was then transported and dumped at the site of a rubble house to be used in filing the walls. It was tough work in itself (the rubble has been sitting for a while and is quite compacted) and today was hot so we made what seemed like slow progress. We broke for lunch and the rain started again. It rained off and on all afternoon/evening, in fact it is raining as I am typing this. We didn't do anymore work today but we did use breaks in the weather to visit the school site again, passed the football around, Niecie and Lloyd played jump rope with some of the neighboring kids. One of the boys that Owen had ridden bikes with yesterday showed up again. He was yelling "Owen" from way down the street as he was riding toward us. His bicycle was in desperate need of some repairs so I scrounged up whatever wrenches I could find at the house and gave his bike a quick tune-up. He was so grateful and excited that he didn't have to stop every few feet to put his chain back on anymore. He attends a Catholic school in Port au Prince and is in Grand Goave visiting his grand parents. He spoke proper French only and was so desperate to communicate with Owen. Daniel showed up and was able to translate for them. They were playing like they were old friends. He wanted his grand parents to meet Owen so we walked a few blocks to their house and introduced Owen. The two boys rode there bikes around for a while and Owen showed him how to jump over the piles of rubble in the street. All in all today was another good day, even if work is being somewhat delayed.

the team after breakfast in our outdoor dining room

-Owen sitting on the motorcycle/cart thing he is facinated  with. Alex let him ride it around and last night he actually drove some of us

-Me and Owen loading up some rubble to be transported to a home site.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Wonderful Sunday in Haiti!!!

Kevin wrote this evening and you would not belive it but Owen figured out how to make his I-touch text from Haiti for free!!! It was so much fun texting him tonight. Below is the email from Kevin and it sounds like they are loving it and all is well. I will let you read and look at the pictures but I, again, am thrilled they are doing so well!!!

Kevin's email:

Wow today went by fast, I thought I would have time this afternoon to get on here but we stayed late at the beach. We went to church and saw lots of old friends and hung out with them after for a while. Went back to the house, ate lunch and then loaded in the tap-tap for the ride to the beach. We went to a different area of the beach that was real nice with palapas to sit under and chairs. Everyone swam some and then Maxie and Dave (a guy from conscience) showed up with snorkeling stuff and a football. Owen, Maxie and Ernst were gone the rest of the day.... I had to walk way down the beach to get them out of the water when it was time to leave. They had a blast and I guess there is some decent snorkeling here too. The tap-tap driver was real cool and spoke decent english...he was asking Owen if he wanted to stay in Haiti and teasing him about being a fish. We rode back to the house, ate dinner, played some cards, did our devotional time, showered and thats a day. While we were playing cards, Ernst, Niecie and Owen were sitting on the roof of the house. Then Dave showed up on the little motorcycle/taxi thing they have here and took them all for a ride around the town. Owen thought that was so cool. He figured out how to text on his i-touch and I think he is texting you right now.

Tomorrow begins our six day week of hard work so I'm going to get in bed because our day starts at 5:30!!!

owen trying to balance a basket on his head

getting on the tap-tap for our trip to the beach

marcelle so happy to be on the beach in haiti

Lloyd enjoying the warm water

Marcell, Owen and Ernst enjoying themselves

Saturday, August 20, 2011

They made it to Haiti!!!!!

YAAAAA!!!! They made it safely and the best part is the WIFI in the house they are staying in works!!! I am going to cut and past what Kevin said in his email but I am sitting here with the biggest smile on my face right now knowing they are doing so well, especially Owen. I am just thrilled to say the least!!! Here is the email from Kevin:

We made it here just fine, traffic out of port was insane and took a long time.....however, we were picked up in an AIR CONDITIONED van!!! no riding in the back of the truck!!! Owen was super tired but wide-eyed for most of the drive. He is loving it here, the food, the people, the sleeping arrangements, the house, the work, all of it. He took a bunch of pictures on the drive but they were all pretty bad except for a few (lots of blurry ones and lots of van door post pics).

We did a little work on wall baskets today in the vacant lot next to the CI house but Saturday is traditionally a half work day so we are relaxing now. We walked around a little yesterday and caught up with most everyone. Maxie was so excited to see me. He has been going to an English class taught by Nixon and he is excelling (of course). He is quite conversational now and we have very much enjoyed being able to talk to each other. He passed with straight A's last year and was very excited and thankful when I told him I brought money to pay for next year. He is going into 8th grade and has 5 more years to finish. He wants to be an engineer if he can get to college. The children and adults are so interested in Owen, everywhere we go they stare at him and some children come up, grab his hand and ask him to come play with them (Ernst translated that part). Owen doesn't seem to mind and no one has been aggressive or anything.

There is a girl named Sarah that is doing a 9 month internship here with CI. She is from Surrey, BC. She lives about a mile from where my house was in Delta!! too funny.

I will try and send some of the pictures now too,

 A wonderful church from Louisiana has partnered with our church a few times and this time there are 3 people from their church- 2 of them have been there before with Kevin. Great group!!!!

 Working hard

 Cutting the baskets that make the walls of the rubble house. They basically make walls with that wire on the ground and then line it with chicken wire and then fill the baskets with rubble from the house that fell down. Totally cool homes-- you can read about them here-

 Owen is my worker man!!!  He is the hardest working kid around!!

 Building the walls. They use to build the homes and had a difficult time attaching some pieces or something like that. Last trip down there Kevin was able to develop a way to bend the wire that GREATLY improved the way the homes were build. They named the wire the KEVWIRE and if you go onto he site I gave you the link for before, under terms, they have that wire listed as KEVWIRE and a brief explanation about Kevin-- too funny!!!

 This is the bunk house where they are staying. It is in the back yard of the main home where they relax and eat meals.

 The bunk house

 Owen sitting in front of the rubble house that Kevin completed last October when they were there.

 Taking a break-- It's crazy hot so you have to rest and drink a ton of water or you will have problems.

 I love this picture. It is all the kids we grew to love when we were there. The first kid in the burgundy is Maxi who was the kid we just fell in love with. We sponsor him with my friend Laura through the church school there which is a way better school than what is available to him. Then there is Owen then little Kevin who my Kevin had a great relationship with (remember slap hands-- that's little Kevin) and then Jean Paul who we also fell in love with. I cant believe Owen is sitting and working with all of them-- too cool!!!!

Lining the walls with chicken wire.
I am so thankful they are doing so well. More updates to come soon. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Kevin and Owen have taken off and are currently on their way from LAX to Miami and then to Port au Prince tomorrow morning. I belive they arrive in Haiti around 1pm and they then have the 4 hour drive in the back of an open pick up truck to Grand Goave where they will start building Rubble Houses the next day. I am so excited Owen is going to get to experience this and my prayer is that this will forever impact him. You can not be changed by a missions trip to Haiti. The devastation, poverty and destruction is so overwhelming it is hard to even comprehend. But, the Haitian people make you realize how resilient people are. That God gave these people the ability to praise Him even when their lives have been torn apart. These people are the reason Kevin has been to Haiti 3 times and will be returning again in 3 months. The people draw you in and the comradely and love we have with these wonderful Haitians is unbelievable.

Luckily, Kev will have WIFI so he will email me pictures and an update every night so I will be able to update anyone who is interested in their adventure.

This is the truck that Kev and Owen will ride in from the airport to Grand Goave. It takes about 4 hours but if the roads were good and you just drove 60 miles per hour it would only take about 40 minutes-- long drive-- uggg!!! Owen will get a lot of breaking in as he drives through the streets of Port au Prince. That was very hard to see-- especially at the beginning of the trip. The devastation was hard to deal with.

Kevin with some of the amazing kids

And this is my baby boy who is going to get the education of his life. It is going to be so fun to take an entitled American kid and drop him into the middle of devastation Haiti. I cant wait to see how he responds. Owen is our worker kid and loves to work and is wonderful with other kids and adults so it is going to be so fun to see what this does to him.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Is Adoption Second Best???

I wanted to add a little to this post and thank you all for your responses. I have really struggled with this and I am so thankful I was able to discuss it all with you. It has really helped me get perspective on this subject. I also want to thank the anonymous poster who was adopted from Korea who shared her opinions on this subject. That was an amazing addition to the discussion and I thank the anonymous poster for sharing her heart. Also I wanted to thank Kim for her addition. I know you were not even going to comment but what you shared and the perspective you added was very helpful for me personally. Thanks again for all the input!!!

Sorry to write a post with no pictures but this has been bugging me for a while. Our adoption story is like many. We had two boys and then decided to try for a third. We tried for about a year and then decided to be happy with our two healthy boys. A little after we decided to stop trying we were bit by the adoption bug and then decided to pursue adoption which lead us to Mia. A nice happy and very common story about our journey. The problem with this story is the trying for a third child part. For some reason, in many peoples minds, the fact that we attempted a third - or had two biological kids-- okayed us adopting. Like somehow choosing adoption is a good second choice but by no means should be a first choice unless you can not have your own bio kids. I am obviously generalizing but I find in the many questions I get about the girls, it seems the sentiment of many that ask is that adoption was a nice choice after having our own kids. Of course most would not say they think this way, but I would venture a guess that most non-adoptive people believe that adoption is second best.

This leads me to a conversation I had a few days ago. I went down to my friends house with the girls to hang out for the day and into the evening. Another mom came by to drop off her son to spend the night and we struck up a nice conversation. She was a lovely mom who was as sweet as can be. She was taken by the girls and asked about what lead us to adoption. I told her the story and included the part about trying for a third. She was taken with how perfect the girls were for our family and said she had always thought about adopting after she had her bio kids. She went on to tell me that she has a niece who was 24, married and has always wanted to adopt. She said she saw her at a birthday recently and she told her that they had decided to pursue special needs adoption for their first child. This wonderfully nice lady went on to tell her niece that she should not adopt now and that she should first have her "OWN" kids and then adopt after that if she still wanted to. Please don't get me wrong. This lady was very sweet and was very taken and respectful of adoption but I was just shocked by her comment. I started to hold my tongue but then I had to let it out. I explained to her that adoption was not second best and it is not something to be tried AFTER you have your OWN kids. It is a perfectly amazing way to grow your family and that adopted children are as equal in a family as bio children. She was kind of taken back by my response and I tried to be very nice and explain things, but the whole conversation got me thinking. Do people really- on a conscious level- think adopting is second best or is it a subconscious ingrained belief that many subscribe to without even knowing.

I'm not sure the answer to my questing, but I do know that I have had soooooo many people express similar sentiment without even knowing they are downplaying adoption. They just make statements that shock me and totally degrades adoption without even knowing they are doing so. Have many of you had similar experiences? Do you guys notice this? I don't know if I am overly sensitive but I am sick of people making adoption out to be less than having biological children. That is you have gone to great lengths to have "YOUR OWN" child then it is ok to adopt. I'm just kind of sick of it and I wanted to vent. Anyone have similar experiences or feeling??

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rincon Beach!!!

OK--side note-- Not sure why the new blogger editor is putting pictures backwards but all the pictures in this post are backwards-- sorry!

We went to Rincon Beach last week with Kevin's brother and his family and Kevin's parents came out for one of the days. It was a great time and we had a blast. You truly are beach front and a stone throw from the water. It is an amazingly relaxing trip and the kids love it!!!! We had a wonderful trip!

Again, the pictures are backwards but Owen took this campfire picture of me and wanted me to post it-- too funny!

Mia climbing down the rocks. Our trailer sits at the top of the rocks and the beach is directly below. Very short distance to the water.

The girls with her cousin Kylie

Mia, Kaitlyn, Kylie and Finley

The girls found an umbrella and posed for some pictures for me.


Mia loves taking pictures and will pose for anyone!


Too cute!!!

Of course each child was buryed at some point during the trip. Mia helped bury Owen this time.

Watching the activities

Burying Kaitlyn

Kylie and Lynsee (auntie Lynsee to the kids)

Greg and Lynsee (Kevin's brother)

Kevin's parents joined the party!

Cool birds in formation

The birds were a trip-- they even dodged the kite lines

Ethan showing off his well sculpted physique--lol!!

I just cant believe he is growing up so much. He is only about a half inch from my height and is almost 13 and going into the 8th grade-- I am blown away by how old and big he is getting-- wow!!!

Some of Greg and Lynsee's friends came out for a couple nights and they brought their little girls. They were so cute and the girls enjoyed playing with them!

Grandma and Mia

Owen flying a kite

Getting all the kites in the air

Finley flying a kite--wearing Kevin's sun glasses

Pretty girl!

Older kids boogie boarding

Older kids climbing down the rocks

Our little pro-boogie boarders-- not sure what was up with Owen but cute picture other than that.

Practicing her gymnastics moves

Owen and Kylie-- cute pic!

Finley loves the sand

Greg and Lynsee had their dogs there so the girls enjoyed walking them all over.  Finley had Molsen.

Mia had Keeta

Rincon was awesome! We hope to go again sometime during the school year or even Easter vacation.