Friday, November 28, 2008


Here is a message that was on our O's website this morning. Our dossier was one of the ones given back to GLA. (Read this post for the history)

Our Haiti adoption Dossier...

27 November 2008

Today is American Thanksgiving and we celebrated in many ways here in Haiti. One big way was when we received the news that IBESR and Parquet had their meeting today and decided that they would honor a moratorium on all dossiers that go into IBESR by January 7, 2009. IBESR has agreed to ask for dispensation for all dossiers not fitting the law of 1974 if in IBESR before this date. With them doing this, it should go quicker than if each orphanage asked for dispensation dossier by dossier. IBESR will ask for dispensation in batches.

So tomorrow morning, we will send all dossiers that were returned by Parquet to IBESR and they will apply for the dispensation. This is wonderful news and makes today a GREAT Thanksgiving Day for us and all adoptive parents!


Finally, some good news for adoptions in Haiti. God, keep it coming!!!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving...

I hope that everyone had a fabulous time with family today, and I am sure that there was not any shortage of food. As you read this, most everyone is feeling like they ate WAY TOO MUCH today... There are so many people in the world that could not even fathom the idea of having a stomach ache from eating too much!!!

I wanted to share an e-mail that we got from the director of Jonas's Orphanage yesterday. Please read it, and really search your heart to see if there is something that you could do. It is definitely a hard read, but a must!!!

As a lot of people go out tomorrow to shop on black friday; some at crazy hours of the morning, remember these children's faces.

Maybe one of those great deals could be put back and that money could feed a child for a week or two...

Off my soapbox now... And no, I am not being a hypocrite... I do not do black friday...


Since the hurricaines in August and September of this year, Haiti's already fragile economy got even worse. Malnutrition in the mountain areas have always been severe. People who have garden plots have only been able to grown enough food for part of the year. These children do not get enough protein in their diets. They become swollen and look fat, but are really dying inside from lack of nutrition!

Here is a good article describing just how bad conditions are for the children in the remote areas. This is a situation that is critical right now! Today!

Please read this article:

I want to raise your awareness of how fragile our Haitian children are and just how difficult their lives can be. Countries are turning a blind eye to the conditions in Haiti and the plight of these children. When I read reports against adoption and for "preservation of families", in principle I agree 100%. But I think that people doing these studies do not always realize that when a mother brings her child to GLA's doors with severe malnutrition, we are her last chance to save her child. She does not want her child listed in the 26 that died.

Please pray for the children and pray for food to arrive in time to save all of them.

And Life in Haiti goes on...

Dixie Bickel, RN
Orphanage Director
God's Littlest Angels, Inc.
Haitian Baby Ministry

*** I did not take the above 2 photographs for this post.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Free hours of FUN...

All you need is a clean sink, some measuring cups, a couple bottles, 2 whisks, and a little bit of running water.

Luca has been really into doing this lately, and it has kept him occupied for up to an hour one time. I obviously have to be in close proximity so he does not flood the house!!! :-) He and Micah had so much fun doing this after Micah got home from school today.

Micah told me that he was 'milking a cow'... HILARIOUS!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

No More Changes...

I think that I am sticking with this. Once I got the other one up, it looked too froofy... I did not like the hearts. I am not 100% thrilled with this, but it is better. I might just need to make my own... I think I got this one from chic blog layouts. It was free...

I have a lot of short videos to post, but I need to find the cable that hooks the camera up to the computer. :-)

Micah gets his stitches out tomorrow. I will post pics of the before and after...

Have a great night!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A New Look...

So, what do you think? It is a little busy for me, but I think I like it??? I am in the process of updating some of our pics too. The whole look may change over the next couple of days, but for now... Here it is...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Update from GLA...

Our file is one of the ones that Dixie refers to about Presidential dispensation.
God is in control, and that it SO GOOD!!!

Posted yesterday on GLA's website:

"As far as we have heard, the director of IBESR still has not had a meeting with Mr. Mazar in Parquet. So...I have no news for you yet about the Presdiential dispensation. We have given some dossiers to our lawyer to ask for a dispensation. We cannot wait for IBESR and Parquet to come to an agreement and for them to tell us that they will allow the adoptions that are stalled to be approved! So we have asked our lawyer to go ahead and apply for a Presidential dispensation. The Association of Creches has proposed to IBESR that a committee be set up to review dossiers in IBESR and pull the ones that need a dispensation and get them sent quickly for the dispense. We do not know if IBESR will accept this yet.
An American group is here today and was to have a meeting with IBESR. Mrs. Bernard Pierre did not show up for their meeting. It is very difficult to get anything done when you cannot meet with officials.
We have received several dossiers out of IBESR and MOI this week. It is nice to see some dossiers continue to move through the system, but it is sad to watch others get stuck in the system. My heart goes out to the children who have to wait so much longer for the government to decide if they can be together with their forever family!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Absolutely nothing to do with our blog...But this is HILARIOUS!!!

Okay, so maybe Hannah does get her sense of humor from me, because this video below is THE BEST!!! I can't stop watching it...It is sooooo funny! I saw it for the first time on another blog today and HAD to post it.

So, if you are having a bad day today, I hope this makes you laugh!!! I know it was probably not funny at the time, but I hope they can look back and laugh now... I am...

I am always laughing at people when things like this happen, as long as they are not hurt!

(I don't know if this if for real...but it sure looks real!!!)

Monday, November 17, 2008


Most of you all know the problems that Jonas had with 'regular' milk. He is VERY lactose intolerant, and gets cramps, gas, and major runs from it. So, we switched him from regular to lactose free milk, and it did WONDERS for his digestive system and for his personality!!! It is amazing how happy a kid can be when they are not having GI issues!!! :-)

So, I love the milk, but the cost is crazy!!! The cheapest I can get 1/2 gallon of the lactose free milk is $3.15 at Walmart. I have had to pay close to $4.00 for 1/2 gallon when I have not had the convenience of a Walmart. So, all the money I saved on formula by breast feeding my other 3 kids for the first year of their lives, has all gone to this 'crazy' milk.

So, why am I posting about milk today??? My friend Mia, who went down to Haiti with me to get Jonas, called me from Hill's Meat Market and told me that their 1/2 gallons of Lactose free milk were on sale for $.99, and she asked me if I wanted any. Uh, Yah... So, she told me there were 13 left. When she got to my house, she said the manager had found 9 more 1/2 gallons. 22 1/2 gallons at .99...Do you know how much money she saved me today??? I do: $47.52 to be exact!!! THANKS MIA!!!!!!

And, this milk happens to be organic too... So, since I am not ingesting pesticides into Jonas anymore, I am expecting him to be walking and talking in complete sentences by next week!!! lol... (that was to all of my organic buying friends...) I have nothing against organic, and I think it is great, but my "Dave Ramsey" budget does not allow for much, if any, organic food. Especially not here in the midwest, where produce doubles in cost over the winter months!!!

You might be wondering where I am going to keep all of this milk??? Did you know that you can freeze milk and it stays perfectly fine!!! So, our freezer out in the garage is currently stocked with enough milk to at least get Jonas through the New Year!

Can you believe I just did a whole post on milk? Sorry... :-)

(I will do anything for this boy and his smoochin' lips!) BTW: He is giving kisses now, and I am loving them! He not only kisses me, but throws in a little "baby frenchie", and sticks his tongue right between his lips... :-) What can I say, he is Haitian to the core!!! lol... :-)

Brothers and Legs...

Micah and Jonas have so much fun together! Jonas LOVES his brothers, and loves to play rough with them. The other night Micah was up with us, and Jonas was still up and Micah wanted him to sit by him. It was too cute and I had to get some pics...

The other pics are of Micah's legs tonight. We were able to unwrap Micah's legs and he got a shower. We see Dr. Didelot in next Tuesday to get the stitches out. He has some swelling and he is reacting to something that they used during surgery. He had hives on his legs tonight, especially on the left. That leg is more swollen too. I gave him some Benadryl before going to bed, so we will see how he is doing in the morning. He is sooooooo sensitive to tape adhesive: he had hives on his wrist where his IV was taped for less than 2 hours. but, the hives did not show up for 2 days after surgery. When he was a baby, and would get tegaderms for different surgeries: wherever the tegaderm was, one week later, he would shed that layer of skin completely. The doc knew that he was very sensitive to these things so that is why he used the traditional stitches and did not use any steri strips. He is still reacting to something though. He is walking AMAZINGLY good for having his legs cut open, and the plates and screws removed!!! He has to wear his walking boots from last years' surgery, for another week. Dr. Didelot will let us know next week if he needs to use them longer. I will keep you posted! (sorry if the pics gross you out! :-) )




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Saturday, November 15, 2008

We got the BOOT...

We have now entered the group of families that have gotten the 'boot' out of Parquet. What does that mean... It means that our dossier has been rejected from Parquet, and given back to the orphanage to receive Presidential Dispensation (Pardon), so we can adopt Jonas.

Here is the e-mail we got from Bethany earlier this week:
Good morning Rebekah,

I received your email yesterday, and unfortunately, I did not have good news waiting for me this morning. Here is Dixie's email to you. I will keep you updated after I hear more from Dixie.


Dear Ryan and Rebekah,

The Parquet section of the Haitian government has started rejecting dossiers of all families who already have biological children. Unfortunately, your dossier was one of the ones they gave back to us.

They are asking us to get a Presidential dispensation, which in English means a pardon. Our lawyer has a meeting with the Commissioner on Thursday to discuss this issue. It is not the Commissioner who is rejecting the dossiers, it is his secretary. All of the orphanage directors also have a meeting with IBESR director tomorrow, Wednesday, to ask her to intervene for us with Parquet. It is the responsibility of IBESR to ask for the dispensation. If we can not get Parquet to reverse their decision, then we will have to add another step to the process and petition IBESR to ask for a dispensation for your dossier. I will let you know after Thursday the results of all of our meetings.


Dixie Bickel, RN
Orphanage Director
God's Littlest Angels, Inc.
Haitian Baby Ministry

We got another e-mail from Bethany yesterday:

Hi Rebekah,

I spoke to Dixie today, and we talked about your dossier. Dixie said that the letter has been written and in the hands of GLA's attorney, and as soon as the "verdict" is reached after today's meeting between IBESR and Parquet with regards to the moratorium, the attorney will move forward. The presidential dispensation is requested to the Minister of Justice. GLA is ready to do whatever is needed to complete your adoption.


LaDawn Penner
International Services
Bethany Christian Services


So, does this stink....yes...But I truly have a peace about the whole thing! But, we have it totally different than 99% of the other adoptive families... Jonas is here. It really sucks for the families that are losing precious months with their children. So, what is Haiti being so fussy about??? They are trying to reinstate the laws of 1974.

Here it is:

1974 adoption law

I found these requirements at
based on the 1974 law.

· No religious requirements
· Married couples - must be married 10 years, one parent must be at
least 30 years of age, only 1 or no biological children (do not count
adopted children). No parent over the age of 55.
· Couple not married - same requirements but must be able to show
proof of cohabitation for 5 years.
· Single woman - 35 years of age, no more than one biological child
in the home when you begin the adoption, not over 55 years of age
· Single man - 35 years, must be widowed or recently divorced, no
biological children, not over 55 years of age.
· No more than 2-3 divorces allowed but that Haiti needs to approve
this on a case-by-case basis.

Note: If you have more than one biological child, you may adopt a
special needs child or a child over age 5.
As of October 1, 2007, the director of Haiti adoptions (IBSER) will
likely not accept or approve families/singles to adopt if they do not
meet all of these requirements. The director is strictly enforcing
these requirements that date back to the Haiti Adoption Law of 1974.


Kind of confusing, right... We actually meet the requirements of the law, but were given the 'boot' anyway!!!???

I know this will all work out, and I am not at all scared that the adoption will not go through. These are the times that I am SOOOOOOOOOO THANKFUL that we are using Bethany Christian Services to represent our adoption!!! I would be more worried without an agency backing us up!

Adoption is a CRAZY THING, but soooooooooo worth it!!!

Looking at this beautiful face makes me know that it is all worth it!!!!
These were taken at GLA last December...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jonas's Dedication/Anointing





***Much more to come on this! It is way too late and I am off to bed...
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Daddy Kisses...




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We ALL miss you Anna!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Anna was one of 3 girls that worked with Jonas one on one at GLA. Kristin had Jonas for 2 months, Jess had Jonas for 6 weeks, and Anna had Jonas for 8 months. I met Anna at GLA when I went to pick up Jonas. She was able to come out this past weekend for his dedication/anointing, and for the Michigan/Haiti gathering. It was so much fun to have her here, and we all miss her dearly! Luca was pretending to talk to Anna today on my cell phone. It was too cute!
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Sorry, I just can't resist...





He would not let us take the pigtails out before going to bed! He is just so stinkin' cute!!! :-)
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Jonas in the 80's



Here are a couple pics of Jonas doing his Theraputic listening. I crack up everytime I see him do this! We use the headband so the headphones stay on. I always think Richard Simmons when I see him like this! :-)
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Too slow...

I wanted to update everything tonight, but it has gotten late and my sister's computer is slower than mine, and it would take a long time to upload photos...

I did get my legs shaved though, so all is not invain... :-)

Posts to come:

-Trick or Treating

-Fall photos

-Michigan Haiti gathering

-Fun with Anna

-Jonas's Dedication and Anointing

So, I have a lot to catch up on!!! Thanks for praying for Micah tomorrow. I will try to update from the hospital.


Experimental Surgery that Micah is a candidate for...

October 31st Micah saw his urologist, and he told us that Micah would be the perfect candidate for a new procedure that gives children with Spina Bifida control over their bladder again. Micah caths himself 4 times a day, and this would be amazing. The procedure is called the Xiao procedure, named after the Chinese Urologist that pioneered it.

My friend, Beka, sent me a link to an article about this very procedure. From what Dr. Cain told us at Micah's appointment, the kids who qualify are ones that are higher functioning, and have some sensation already. He does not want us to check into this for him right now, but wants to give the research a couple years to be more exact. This is so exciting for Micah and the freedom and normalcy that it could give him.

Rerouting urinary nerves may help spina bifida

By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard, Ap Medical Writer – Mon Nov 10, 6:00 pm ET
Janice Kraser sits next to her nine-year-old son Billy Kraser at their Scranton, AP – Janice Kraser sits next to her nine-year-old son Billy Kraser at their Scranton, Pa., home Sunday, Nov. …

WASHINGTON – It's a delicate and daring experiment: Could doctors switch a leg nerve to make it operate the bladder instead? Families of a few U.S. children whose spina bifida robs them of the bladder control that most people take for granted dared to try the procedure — and early results suggest the surgery indeed may help, in at least some patients.

With the technique, pioneered in China, the kids are supposed to scratch or pinch their thigh to signal the bladder to empty every few hours. But surprisingly, some youngsters instead are starting to feel those need-to-go sensations that their birth defect had always prevented.

"It feels like this little chill kind of thing in me," marvels 9-year-old Billy Kraser of Scranton, Pa.

"When he goes in there and he's dry and he's clean, it's such a triumph," adds his mother, Janice Kraser. "I'll hear him going, 'Yesss!'"

The U.S. pilot study consists of just nine spina bifida patients and still is tracking how they fare — no one is finished healing yet. But already desperate families are lining up for a chance at this nerve rerouting, even as William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., is trying to raise money to expand the study and provide better evidence.

"If it works, it'll be a huge improvement in the management of patients with spina bifida," says Dr. Kenneth Peters, Beaumont's urology chairman, who has a waiting list of nearly 100 would-be patients.

But, "it's imperative that we prove whether this works or not" before accepting all-comers, he stresses. "I have many patients who would pay cash and have it done. I refuse to do that."

Spina bifida occurs when the spinal column fails to close properly. It's a birth defect that affects about 1,300 babies a year, with varying degrees of leg paralysis and other problems.

Because bladder and bowel function depend on nerve messages zipping to and from the brain via the spinal cord, most spina bifida patients have trouble. Some are totally incontinent, some partially. Others have the opposite problem and must empty the bladder with catheters every few hours, leaving them vulnerable to urinary tract infections and life-threatening kidney damage. There are few good treatments.

Enter Dr. Chuan-Gao Xiao of China's Hauzhong University of Science and Technology. The U.S.-trained surgeon developed a way to bypass the brain: Cut open a spot on the lower spine and sew two normally unrelated nerves together — a lumbar nerve that acts in the thigh to a sacral nerve that would normally squeeze the bladder.

If they fuse well, then scratching the thigh can send a signal directly to the bladder side of the new nerve bridge, Xiao's early research found. More than 1,000 patients in China are thought to have undergone the procedure; Xiao has reported results on only a fraction in respected urology journals.

Beaumont's Peters traveled to China to learn Xiao's technique and began the pilot study thanks to a private donor who financed the $40,000-a-patient surgery.

His nine spina bifida patients — plus an additional three adults with spinal cord injuries — emerged from surgery to anxiety: It can take months for the nerves to heal, even longer in the adults who are still waiting.

But a year later, seven spina bifida patients had their bladders contract as they scratched a leg. All those who'd needed medication for overactive bladders have quit the drugs. Some who had always needed catheters, like Billy Kraser, are starting to urinate on their own. Fecal continence is improving, too.

One patient so far is what Peters calls a home run, a 14-year-old girl who no longer suffers embarrassing leaks or needs catheters.

The main side effect: Some leg weakness after surgery, enough to put Billy in a wheelchair for a month until he could navigate his usual lower-leg braces again. Another patient developed what appears to be a permanent dragging foot.

A standing-room-only crowd packed a recent meeting of the American Urological Association to hear Beaumont's early results.

"The promise is great," says Dr. Kenneth Glassberg, a pediatric urologist at New York's Columbia University Medical Center who has long known Xiao and operated with him in China.

Glassberg, too, is getting surgery requests from U.S. families but stresses that it's not yet clear how many patients would even be candidates, depending at the very least on where the spinal column is damaged.

The Spina Bifida Association is bringing Xiao to Florida in March to address an international meeting of about 500 doctors involved in spina bifida care — but also cautions families to await the research, particularly on the procedure's safety.

Back in Pennsylvania, Janice Kraser laments the lack of research funding, saying finding a good treatment would more than pay for itself if patients avoid expensive kidney damage. She's a nurse who home-schools Billy — he can't be catheterized at schools his siblings attend — while working nights and weekends in part to raise the thousands of dollars the family has spent traveling to Beaumont for follow-up testing.

Billy can't yet completely empty his bladder, but has far fewer urinary tract infections and enough control that his mother anticipates him trying underwear soon.

"It's very cool," Billy says of the study. "I did good and was a trouper."

I am heading down to Indy in about an hour. Micah and I are spending the night at my sister's apartment, and then heading to St. Vincents hospital around 6 am tomorrow. Micah had major leg surgery last november (bi-lateral tibial osteotomies), and tomorrow he will be having the 2 plates and 8 screws taken out of his lower legs, and having his scars revised. This is an outpatient surgery, and we will be home tomorrow afternoon. Please pray that everything goes well, and that the pain in minimal!!!

I am going to be updating both this blog and the Hands that Heal blog tonight. A lot of people have been wondering what has been going on, and tonight I will fill you in on all the details!!! Thanks for still checking in, even though I have been a neglectful blogger lately!!! :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Make a Wish continued...

Make a Wish granters are coming tonight to talk with Micah. I will let you know what happens... Micah is so excited!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

still alive...

Yes, I am still alive...just in a blogger lull! Not short of material or pics, just not motivated.

A good friend e-mailed me tonight to check in, and here was my response to her. (thanks Laurie for checking in... :-) )
You are soooooo sweet! I have taken photos to blog, and I am not short on blog material, I just felt like the computer was controlling my life! Yesterday, I actually unplugged the computer so I did not go and check e-mail "real fast" and get caught up in something for too long. I feel like I have wasted my time lately. I have so many things to get done for this weekend when Anna is here, and for Jonas's dedication/anointing on Sunday. some of the people from the reunion this coming weekend are coming and I want my painting projects to be done. (not sure if they will be or not???) :-)

Also, the adult, Witlene Thermidor, coming with Hands that Heal, for her tumor on her pituitary gland got came up to Indiana yesterday. the host family did not get back from vacation until today, so they stayed at our house last night and today. (mom, witlene, and brother) It was great to have them here today with our family. I was such a proud momma tonight: Luca, around bed time, went over to Walter, witlene's brother, and took his blankies and snuggled up on his lap, for a LONG TIME. For my 2 yr. old to not see color and choose to sit with him, a stranger until this morning, made me such a happy momma!!! I took a pic---maybe that will make the blog... ;-)

Witlene needs prayer: her tumor is the size of a baseball. she will be getting lots of blood tests, and have a MRI on the 19th.

My thumb still hurts, like when Luca hits it accidentally, but it is sealing good!

We have had lots of doc appointments for all of the boys. More to come, and Micah has his surgery November 12th, to remove the plates and screws from last years' surgery. By the middle of November it will calm down.

I will try really hard to get some pics up. If not before this weekend, I will have tons to blog after the GLA reunion this weekend, our time with Anna, and Jonas's dedication/anointing.