Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Playtime Fun!

Here are a few pics of Micah playing at home! He is really doing very well adjusting to WI life! We heard back from his doctor today that all his tests came back good...he is a healthy little guy. He is a little small weight wise, but that was to be expected! I am sure with all he has been eating, he will catch up in no time! Grandma and Grandpa Meyer came over to visit last night and he got some more clothes ( since he is needing 9 months and we were planning on 12 !) and some toys! Tonight he got to meet the neighbors (Matt, Sarah and Evan), he was waving and gave a few high fives. They brought a home made Chicken Pot-pie along..can not wait to eat that tomorrow! Thank you to everyone for the well wishes and gifts that have been pouring in. We are truly blessed!! Merry Christmas to all!!! ~Melissa

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Journey of a Lifetime

There were so many life changing events on our journey to Africa, it is hard to put everything into words. We were able to spend 1 week getting to know the people and culture of Ethiopia and it was all very inspiring. While there, we were able to do some shopping, go for a cultural dinner show, visit 2 historical museums, went on a day trip to Sodore and enjoyed the beautiful country along the way. We also were able to bring Micah to church with us on Sunday...talk about breath taking. It is amazing how even songs that we sing all the time at our church here in the US can take on a whole new meaning when sung among the people of such a struggling but strong and proud people. I was brought to tears thinking of the gift that we had been given and reminded of the pain his mother must have went through when she chose to give him a better life, to give us a son. We are loving being Micah's parents and know that this journey and everything that has been involved has been a true gift from God!
We tried to capture a lot of our journey through photos, so that we can share Micah's country with him. Here is a link to those pictures, enjoy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/troeds14
God Bless ~Melissa

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sorry to have kept you all waiting....

We have arrived back safe and sound and are trying to get settled in! Micah is doing wonderful..he is a very happy baby. He had his first doctor appointment today and we think everything looks good. He did manage to give Scott and I his cold, so we were all started on antibiotics today and should be good to go soon. Here are a few pics for now. I will post more about our journey soon! God Bless!!! ~Melissa

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Journey to Micah

I can not believe that we are leaving for Ethiopia in 26 hours!!! We are flying from Appleton to Chicago, then to Frankfurt and finally ending in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We will arrive in Ethiopia at 8:30 PM their time on Monday, which would be 11:30 AM here. I am not sure if we will be able to update from Addis, but we will try!!! We are returning to Oshkosh on Tuesday the 16th of December and will for sure post updates then!Thank you all for the prayers and well wishes.~Melissa

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


We just got an email copy of Micah's passport and finally found out his birthday. Well, we had been told that his birthday was sometime in February 2008 and that court would issue him a date when we passed. They issued him the birth date of November 25th, 2007. So it looks like we missed his first birthday, but there will be many more to come!!! We also got to see an updated picture on his passport and he has TONS of hair...So cute! Can't wait to share pics with everyone soon. ~Melissa

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas gift

This year when you are trying to think of what to buy that person who has everything...think Toms!

I am getting a pair from my Favorite Mother In Law (even if she was not my only MIL, she would still be my fave!). ~Melissa

Monday, December 1, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane!

We just got confirmation that our embassy appointment will be December 11th! That means that we will be leaving this Sunday!!! I can not believe all Agitu and the staff at BFAS have done to make sure that our family would be home together for Christmas! We are so blessed to have them in our lives and completing this journey with us. Now I better get packing! ~Melissa

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Big Brother John

As many of you know, we have a seasonal camper in Elkhart Lake, WI that we go to every weekend during the summer. Throughout the past 3 years, we have grown to become really good friends with our neighbors, the Greene's. Scott has learned a lot from John, about cars and racing and Mr. fix-it things, as well as a lot about life. John has become known as Big Brother John to us. We also get to spend a lot of time with Jenny(John and Linda's daughter) going to Bingo and hanging out at the campground. Today we had a visit with the Greene's who were on their way home to IL and stopped in to say hi. They brought with them many gifts, THANK YOU SO MUCH. Included in these items were the most thoughtful gifts for Micah. John's mom hand-made Micah several winter hats, even in Green Bay Packer colors! She also made him 2 blankets, that are so warm and cozy. One was especially touching (pictured above), the blanket has words that truly describe what a gift he is and how blessed we are. It could not have been any more perfect! The Greene's then treated us to a buffet dinner...YUMMY! Thank you so much John, Linda, Jenny and Grandma Greene. We are truly blessed to have you in our lives. See you soon!!~Melissa

Next week at this time...

On Friday we had a very unexpected call from Agitu, our agency director. She said that she feels we should not have to wait until January 8th to bring Micah home and there is no reason that we can not have him home for Christmas. She left for Ethiopia on Saturday and will be contacting us as soon as she can verify the exact date, but she is thinking that she can get us into the Embassy for our appointment on the 11th of December! That would mean that next week at this time, we could be on a plane to Ethiopia on the way to meet our son and bring him home! So this weekend we have been running around trying to tie up loose ends and arrange transportation to the airport for next weekend (thanks Andy and Amy!), call the doggy sitters and make sure the new dates would work for them, get together our travel supplies (thanks Josh and Kara!) and make sure we are ready to go and to bring Micah home! Busy...busy. I will post again when we know for sure our dates! Have a blessed day! ~Melissa

Monday, November 24, 2008

We have a Travel Date!

We found out today that Micah's Embassy appointment will be on January 8, 2009! It is a little later than we had hoped, but one thing we have learned is this is not about what we planned. Scott said something funny today that really fit "if you ever want to make God laugh you should make a plan yourself!" Anyhow, one cool thing is that we will be in Ethiopia when they celebrate their Christmas on January 7th. We are hoping to attend church while we are there, so it will be a perfect time of year. We will leave from Appleton, WI on January 4th and will return home on the 13th. Lots to do before we leave, but since I am retiring as of December 5th I guess I will have some time! ~Melissa

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Big Plan

This has been such a wonderful week. As I sit here today, still not able to totally take in the fact that we are parents, I think of all this year has brought us. We had the heartache of a failed adoption, the scariness of starting on another international adoption journey and now the joy of becoming parents to a beautiful, incredible baby boy. I was thinking of all the blessings God has given us and how when we are willing to give everything over to Him and accept His plan, the things that He makes happen are incredible. I feel strongly that everything that we have gone through in the past 2.5 years has not been in vain, but instead part of a bigger plan, God's plan. And when I started to realize and accept that I needed to let God be in control, everything started to come together. I have come to realize that when we first began this journey, I may have been being selfish about it and trying to make it MY plan, but when doors kept closing it was then that I started to go to God in prayer and look for the answer that he was giving me. I began to realize I was not the one in control and I needed to realize that God would place the right child in our life at the right time and now he has. I know that Micah was meant to be a part of our family and we make a promise to God to bring Micah up in a way that is pleasing to God!~Melissa

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I was at work and got the best call ever from Angela at BFAS and she informed me that we were approved in court today. Apparently we had thought it was the 20th, but it was actually the 19th. We are on cloud nine!! We do not have his adoption decree yet, so she said not to post his picture, but we can tell you that our son's name is Micah Abreham and he is the most beautiful baby in the world! We will travel in December to bring him home. We will get our official travel date sometime next week. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support throughout this entire journey! We are so blessed!!! Praise God for this gift! ~Melissa

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


2 days till court!!!
I can not believe there are only 2 days left until court. Whenever I think about it I nearly cry. I can not believe that our dream could come true in 2 short days...that we could become parents to an amazing baby boy. Thank you to everyone for all you have done to support us through this entire process. Please pray that the courts find in our favor on Thursday! ~Melissa

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Shower (and I don't mean snow!)

Yesterday I was blessed to be able to spend the afternoon with my mom and some Great friends. They had thrown a baby shower for us and we all had a wonderful time. My neighbor (and FRIEND) Sarah planned some games and we had tons of food. We also got a lot of very thoughtful gifts that I know will come in very handy. We are so very blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. My mother in law was not able to make it, but did buy the cake. It was the most wonderful cake ever(see picture above) and brought a tear to some peoples eyes. It had the American Flag and an Ethiopian flag and then had a banner that read: However one becomes a Mother is a miracle of God! The cake was made my Tamara's in Oshkosh and I HIGHLY recommend contacting her if you ever have a cake need. She is amazing!! Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated with us...4 more days till court! Below are some more pictures from my wonderful day! ~Melissa

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Caring Co-workers

I work with some wonderful people, sneaky but wonderful. This afternoon I was in a meeting when my boss came and said that she needed me in the other pod right away. She said it with kind of an stern tone and a million thoughts rushed through my mind...had I taught one of the new guys something I shouldn't have, was I caught browsing the Internet, did I forget to punch out for lunch...all these thoughts and keep in mind this is only about a 20 foot walk! I got into the other pod and there stood about 7 of my co-workers with a pile of presents for "M". Needless to say I was a crying mess when I left the pod. I can not imagine what I will be like when I get to hold my son in my arms for the first time. I am already head over heels in love with him and we have never even met. Well, thank you to everyone for the thoughtful gifts. I will really miss working with such wonderful people when I retire in a few short weeks!~Melissa

7 Days...let the countdown begin!

Well, 7 days from now is when an Ethiopian court will be presented with our case and God willing we will become parents to an incredible baby boy. We have been getting things all set up for him and think we are finally ready. Please pray that everything goes well and that the court finds in our favor! 7 days...WOW! ~Melissa

Friday, November 7, 2008

Please Pray

There was a school that collapsed in Haiti today and there are up to 700 children and teachers trapped inside. Please pray for these children and their families. ~Melissa

Thursday, November 6, 2008


"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.
It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.
It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America. " -Barack Obama

This election was not about being black or white, it was about being American. I look forward to raising our son in a country that has progressed to a nation where he can be judged on his character, and not on the color of his skin. God Bless America!!! ~Melissa

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Finally I have been Tagged!!! I have been waiting forever :-) Thanks Josh and Kara : http://pattersonsofethiopia.blogspot.com/
So here are 7 random things you may or may not know:
1. In high school I played Bruce the Spruce the talking Christmas tree at Younkers. It was always fun to have to come up with a creative reason as to why Bruce talked like a girl...
2. In 2006 I won a Jo to Go contest to come up with a slogan. And the winning billboard read: The Quicker Perker Upper!! Pretty cool huh? I got to have billboards all around WI with my name and slogan for a full month. I also got a pretty cool gift basket.
3. My first time on a plane was when Scott and I flew to San Francisco in October 2003. I was also surprised by an engagement ring on that trip! (Love ya Luvey)
4. I have only had flowers delivered to me at work 1 time. It was my birthday a few years back and I thought they were going to be from my husband, so I proclaimed that if they were not I would marry whoever they were from...sorry Danette, but I am going to have to stick with Scott!
5. Soon I will get to retire from the corporate life and be a stay at home mom. I can not wait to play all day!!! I don't want to grow up....
6. In my senior year of high school I had some art work at the John Micheal Kohler Art Center. They would showcase 2 seniors from each school and I was one of them!
7. I have never had a real Christmas tree... I am not sure if I ever want one, just never had one.
Now I need to Tag some others, so here it goes:
Ok, so I know that is not 7, but I am not sure if there are any other bloggers that read this :-). Enjoy the night ~ Melissa

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shoot Outs!

We have been blessed with so many friends and family members who have been helping us out as we prepare for Baby "M" to come home. Because Jean Delson was over 2 years older than Baby "M" will be, we had a lot of things that we needed. It is totally different to bring home an infant rather than a toddler. This week we were blessed again with Many needed items. Grandma and Grandpa Troedel were able to find some warm outfits and also a much needed Winter jacket, Andy and Amy W were able to hook us up with a TON of awesome little outfits for when he comes home ( I can not wait to dress him up!!! We are talking CUTE), and our stroller finally came so a HUGE thanks also goes to Grandma and Grandpa Meyer!!

Scott and I spent the day today organizing all his new clothes and also putting the stroller together. As you can see from the picture, even Pepe is excited to get Baby "M" home!! ~Melissa

Thursday, October 9, 2008


NOVEMBER 20th!!!! That is the date we will be in court and God willing the date that we will become parents to an incredible baby boy!!! We were very lucky to have gotten a date so quickly because due to the courts having just re-opened they are back logged. We thank God to have gotten a date so quickly and continue to pray that everything will go well on November 20th. What a Great Christmas this will be!!!!!! ~Melissa

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another Leap Forward

We found out today that our dossier has already been translated and authenticated at the Ethiopian level. We are now filed with the court and waiting to be issued a court date!!! Because the courts just re-opened there is a bit of a back log. Our agency said that it is taking about a week to be issued a court date and so far the dates have been for early November. This is all GREAT news and we are over joyed at the progress we have been making. GOD IS GOOD!!! ~Melissa

Thursday, September 25, 2008

On the Way!!!

We got an email today from Agitu, the director of BFAS. She said:
...your dossier was forwarded from Washington, D,C, to Addis Ababa on Monday. BFAS in Addis Ababa will inform us when they receive it...The court will open on Monday, but BFAS has to have your dossier authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then have it translated into Amharic and have it authenticated by the Ministry of Justice for court filing....
So, good things are happening and we hope to get our court date soon and bring our little one home!! ~Melissa

Monday, September 22, 2008

OUCH...times 10

Today we had the pleasure of getting the necessary vaccines needed for our upcoming journey to Ethiopia. We went to the travel doctor with the thought that we would probably only need the REQUIRED yellow fever vaccine...boy were we wrong! After the consultation with the doctor it was determined we would each need 5 shots! YIKES. Scott was a trooper and went first. I had a hard time telling if it was hurting because he kept a very serious face throughout the entire ordeal. I asked if they could maybe just mix them all together into one shot, but was told that was not how it is done :-(. So, as soon as Scott was done it was my turn...in went the Hep.A, not bad just a little sting. Next was Typhoid, which we both decided was the worst and continues to make our arms sore even 12 hours later. The 3rd shot was for Yellow Fever, this one is required in order to get our Visa for Ethiopia. Then for FUN she decided to switch arms and finish off in my left arm with Polio and Meningococcal, I don't know if I was just getting used to them or if those just didn't hurt, but I was glad to be done. So $1200 and 10 shots later we are ready to travel...now we just need those courts to open back up on the 28th!!! ~Melissa

Saturday, September 13, 2008


We have a kind of Tradition of going on a New Years Eve casino bus trip with Scott's parents every year, but this year we should have a little one to take care of by then (God Willing). So, we decided to do one last get away with the 'rents and went on a bus trip to Iowa over the past 3 days. It happened to fall on Scott's birthday as well. We both had TONS of fun...didn't come home rich, but didn't come home broke either. It was nice to have a little time away and relax a little. Now it is back to getting this house in order for a baby! ~Melissa

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's a Boy!!!

Today we officially accepted our referral for a seven month old baby boy! We could not be more excited to welcome "baby M" into our family. We are not able to share any pictures until after our court date, when he will officially become our son, but trust us he is the most handsome boy ever! The courts will re-open at the beginning of October and we hope to get in soon after they open. God willing we will have our little one in our arms before Christmas!!~Melissa

Thursday, September 4, 2008


After months of paper gathering (again), finger prints, police records, doctor visits, social worker interviews, and other paper filing...we were finally able to send out our completed dossier today!! This is a huge accomplishment and we are very excited. Above is a picture of all the documents that were included in our dossier. We are hoping to have a referral soon and will let everyone know when we hear from BFAS!!! We are getting everything ready for our sweet baby to arrive! ~Melissa

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tiny Tasks

As many of you know, we are requesting the referral of an infant between 0-12 months, this means we now need to prepare for an infant arrival, rather than a toddler. This weekend we got busy painting the crib that we had gotten from my brother and sister-in-law. We got it painted white, it had been a dark cherry wood color and also got the baby room all set up so that we were able to take pictures, which need to be included in our dossier paperwork. We have been so blessed by family and friends that are coming through with baby supplies...this little one is going to be spoiled! A special thanx to :Jim and Stacy for all the baby furniture, Patty for the Great baby finds, Ann for the car-seat and clothes she is sending over, and Mom and Dad Meyer for the stroller (can not wait for that to arrive!). Above are some pictures of us completing our task...you can tell Pepe' was being a big helper too! Below is the finished product~Melissa

Monday, August 11, 2008

Baby Steps

We heard from Wumi at BFAS that our application was approved today, so we are officially accepted into their Ethiopian program!!! YIPPEE!! We are just completing gathering all of our information for the dossier and then the real wait time will begin. We are so excited! ~Melissa

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Well, after a lot of thinking, praying and information gathering Scott and I have began a new journey. We have been talking with our social worker out of Milwaukee about our options and we have decided to pursue another international adoption program. Yesterday we sent in our application to a WONDERFUL agency, Better Future Adoption Services. BFAS is an agency that does Ethiopian adoptions. They are great to work with and are experts in Ethiopian adoptions, because that is all they do. We have started gathering our dossier paperwork...again and hope to send it all to them by the end of August. Then the wait will begin! We are requesting an infant between the age of 0-12 months, but are open to gender. Needless to say there will be many surprises! We will keep you all posted along the way. The estimated timeline is 4-6 months from when we turned in our application until we will travel to bring our baby home. We are both very excited and a little scared, but we know our future is in God's hands and we have a sense of relief in knowing that.
We continue to pray for Jean Delson, all the ANA families that are waiting to bring their children home and all the people of Haiti! ~Melissa

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Great Loss

This week Scott and I had to make the biggest decision thus far and chose to terminate our contract with ANA and therefore end our adoption process of Jean Delson. This was definitely not an easy decision to make and there is not one particular person that is to blame. We got involved with a very unstable country(Haiti) and no one could/can predict what will come of the process. After a lot of praying and asking God what His will was, we finally were able to come to peace with our decision. We are still exploring options of what our future holds for us and our desire for a family. We appreciate all of the prayers and support we have received and will keep everyone informed of our future journeys. Please keep Haiti, the children, the waiting families and especially Jean Delson in your prayers. I will update this blog when we make a decision about how to proceed from here. God Bless ~Melissa

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No news

There has been no "good" news from the adoption front recently. We are looking into a few things right now and I hope to post more soon. Sorry to be so vague, but for now we could really use some prayers of encouragement. We have come to a time when we need to make some very big decisions and could use all the prayers we can get. I know that prayers seem to be the thing I ask for a lot, but they are very important and I thank everyone who is sending them our way! ~Melissa

Friday, June 27, 2008

Road Blocks**

Well, where do I start. We went to the meeting on the WI special needs adoption program last night. It was very informative and we thought it would be the perfect fit for our family. After class, we went to talk with the social worker who ran the session to try to explain the process we are currently in with our Haiti adoption. She said that they would prefer that we not start the special needs program until Jean Delson is home and settled in...UGH. That was certainly not the answer we wanted to hear. Seeing that we have absolutely NO timeline for when Jean will be home, we were hoping to be able to start (and most likely complete) an adoption with the state before Jean is even home! We are both so frustrated we do not know what to do. We are getting NOWHERE with Haiti and now can not start with WI until Haiti is done. All we want to do is share our love with a child who needs a forever family...is that so wrong?!?!? In a time that is supposed to be so happy and exciting, having a child and starting your family, who would have thought we would have so much grief. I am not sure what the answers are anymore.....~Melissa

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Watching from afar

We got this picture sent to us from Julie and Paige...they are in Haiti right now and were nice enough to bring Jean Delson some birthday presents from us. We got him those new shoes..nice huh? They are a size 10!!! UNREAL. He is getting so big, but those skinny little legs. We also sent him a few new outfits, which it appears he needs! Still NO news from ANA.Enjoy the picture, I hope to have more to share soon. ~Melissa

Friday, June 20, 2008

Adoption Updates

Well this week brings yet another week of NO updates from Haiti. We are told we should hear something soon, but we have been told that since October of 2007....
Anyhow, in other adoption news, Scott and I will be going to our very first meeting on the Wisconsin Special Needs Adoption next week. We are looking into adding one more little one to our family through this service. Just the fact that a child is a minority would classify them as "special needs". We don't know too many details yet, but I should be able to post more regarding this adoption soon. Please pray for all the journeys we are taking to make our family complete! ~Melissa

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quick Update

I don't have any major news, but Rock did send us an update on Jean Delson's height and weight. He is now 30 pounds which is a huge step up for him. When we had updates in October he was only 27 pounds, so he is moving in the right direction. Also he grew taller again as well, he now comes in at almost 36 inches! Wow...he is growing up so fast, later this month he will celebrate his 3rd birthday. I can not wait to have him home. Pray for some REAL updates soon!!! Melissa

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What if I were Angelina?????

The question listed in the title of this post has come up several times throughout our adoption process. Usually posed in ways like: "well I bet if you were Angelina Jolie you would have Jean Delson home." or "Don't you wish you had $$ like Angelina Jolie, then you could just go down to Haiti and pick him up.". I have to admit that these things did cross my mind at times, but the more I get into the international adoption scene, the more I realize celebrities like Angelina and Madonna are just people like you and me. They do not get "special" treatment just because they are famous.
Actually, when celebrities adopt an orphaned child the facts are....
Another child is getting a home vs. living in an orphanage.
They make headlines...making adoption a 'feel-good' story in the
They encourage others to adopt from those countries. (Ethiopia &
Vietnam are suddenly gaining popularity in adoption by Americans.)
So...What are the facts of Angelina's Adoption? Read them HERE:

Keep Praying more people will consider Adoption as another way to
create a family!~Melissa

Monday, May 19, 2008

If our adoption were....

Something fun I did was decide what our adoption would be if it were for example a candy bar instead of an adoption. Here are a few I came up with that you may enjoy:
If our adoption were a candy bar it would be a Turtle (I hope that changes to an Almond Joy!)
If our adoption were a color it would be Blue (because we are having a boy and because this is the feeling I have had for awhile now)
If our adoption were an undergarment it would be Depends (thanks for that one Renee!)
If our adoption were a song it would be Hold On for One More Day, I am hoping this changes to Mama I'm Coming Home!
If our adoption were a game it would be Twister
If our adoption were a drink it would be a SLOW Gin
If our adoption were a type of ice cream it would be Rocky Road
If our adoption were a type of movie it would be an Adventure
Hope you enjoyed this list, I think I have too much time on my hands. Happy Monday!~Melissa

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tragedy...can you help?

I got a very disturbing email from Granny Bin today. As many of you may recall, she is the one who put together Jean's TIYL report and is truly a God send. She gave me permission to share what happened to her last week and I am hoping there may be some people who may want to help. Even through this horrific event(which took place in Haiti), she remains strong and keeps her faith in God. If you can not help by donating money, please help by offering prayers. If you would like to give a donation to help with her loss, leave me a comment and I will get you details. ~Melissa
.INCIDENCE: ..I went to the bank Thursday past to withdraw $3,000 to pay for the new place and the moving expenses. Here's what happened.
I was the victim of three armed gunmen who robbed me at gun point as I had has just left the bank with a withdrawal of $3,000 US to pay rent for new place. They grabbed my purse out of my hand and they mounted a red motorcycle. It seems obvious that someone inside the bank was observing and it is thought that when they saw me withdraw a large amount of money that they, by cell phone, alerted bandits outside who watched me and followed. I stopped in a gas station not far from the bank and it was there they they approached my driver and me with guns. Everything I had was in my handbag including credit cards, driver's licenses, Haiti identification, passport, camera, keys, bank blank checks, etc. I felt completely stripped of my identity. This was Thursday past. Since then, I have been running around trying to get blocks on everything and at the same time renew cards, apply for new passport, etc. It was a traumatic experience but I am glad that I am alive and my driver also. There is nothing worst than a gun being pointed in your face..
granny bin
THE GOOD: I still moving forward with more courage than ever.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy (Almost) Mother's Day

Today is kind of a bitter sweet Mother's day. Last year at this time I had no doubt in my mind that Jean would be home and we would be celebrating. I never would have thought that he would not only not be home, but that we would be in the exact same place as last year with the adoption process. I thank everyone who has had words of wisdom and support over the past 23 months since we started the journey to bringing Jean home. It is that support and the prayers that really keep us going, even when we feel like giving up. Today was a constant reminder that I am not yet a mother, but rather than have a pity party, I would like to focus on a VERY important mother who will play a huge part in our lives for years to come. That person is Viergemene Chery and she is Jean Delson's Haitian Mama. She is a true inspriation and I thank her for the great gift she is giving me. The opportunity to become a mother to Jean and raise him in a way that would make her proud. So today and for every Mother's Day to come I honor you Viergemene. Thank you. ~Melissa

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mommy's little helper (in training)!

Here are some new pictures that we got from the Clay's who had been in Haiti last week. Enjoy ~Melissa

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Anniversary - good and bad!

We have several anniversary's that have happened this week. First on the 20th of April my parents celebrated 34 years together. That is a Huge accomplishment these days. My parents have always been great role models and I wish them many more happy years together. Scott and I also had an anniversary. We celebrated 4 years of wedded bliss! We had a great night together going out for dinner and doing a little shopping. We have grwon so much this last year and I feel that all we are going through with Jean Delson's adoption is making us a stronger couple. That brings me to the final anniversary....as of today we have been in IBESR for 1 year and counting. Brenda at our agency is very hopeful that she will have news for all the families "stuck" in IBESR sometime this week or next. We hope to get a call from them soon. Any step forward is HUGE in this process. This week has also brought good news to many more ANA families that have been stuck in Parquet and we are very happy for them as well. Let's hope us, the Beckers, the Urbanskis, the Marbles and all the other families that are waiting hear news soon! ~Melissa

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Some cases moving forward

We have seen a lot of positive movement in Haiti this week, including in the cases of some fellow ANA families. There were 4 cases that got passed through Parquet. This is very good news as some of these cases have been waiting there for almost a year. We are only hoping that things start to move in IBESR as well, so we can get closer to bringing Jean Delson home! ~Melissa

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Power of Prayer

Here is an update on the riots in Haiti. Things appear to be getting back to normal for now. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for a quick resolution to the problems in Haiti. Keep praying that everything continues to move in a positive direction. ~Melissa
"Sorry you didn't hear from me. The reason was that I was not been able to connect to my server for the past several days. Just wanted you to know, that the country is pretty much back to normal. There are no blocked streets and the people are resuming their normal daily activities.
The Prime Minister Jacquet Alexis is no longer the Prime Minister and now the President will select another person to fill the position. The people are satisfied with this action and are no longer demonstrating; HOWEVER, they are waiting to see if things will be better. The president has asked the reduction of certain foods (spaghetti, ketchup, meat, etc); however, the people would like to see the price of primary foods like rice, oil, beans reduced. There is talk (haven't verified) that Brazil has given Haitian ??? tons of food and that they are talking about having canteens.
About travel to Haiti: I see no reason to cancel any trips that any of you may have already arranged.
While there was lots of stores with windows broken and there was lots of looting, especially on the Delmas streets, it is fair to say, on behalf of the demonstrators, that this was not done by them but was an offshoot of those that always profit the occasion to steal and loot. It is something that happens throughout the world when there is chaos..... Always those that will capitalize on the movements of others who want to have peaceful problems solved."
Granny Bin (a.k.a.Bin) and Maggie

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Moving in the right direction

Here is a post from Granny Bin, who is a friend who resides in Haiti:
Thursday, April 10, 2008: The situation is still fragile; however,things are, in general, relatively calm.This morning 6:00 AM, the situation of Haiti, principally inPort-au-Prince (PAP) is as follows:
1. It is still early; however, there are a few merchants (streetsellers) taking a chance to set up their small businesses but it seemsthat the majority of people are staying home.
2. Plenty of people on the streets attempting to go about their dailyactivities but there are is no public transportation available. PAPcontinues to be paralyzed. At the intersection of Delmas 33, there are agroup of aggressive young people that have rocks and continue to blockthis area so there is no traffic circulation.
3. At this moment there are no groups of people participating indemonstrations.
Important points from President Preval's Speech Yesterday. He asked…..
1. senators to take a 10% salary reduction to help the people.
2. deputies to stop wasting money on things they don't need.
3. people to pay their taxes
4. people to stop the disorder and destruction of businesses, etc.
A Positive Action Taken Yesterday Afternoon:After the President spoke, the assembly of ministers had a meeting andcame to the decision that the Prime Minister Jacquet Edouard Alexisshould step down. The majority of the assembly, i.e. 16 of the 27members agreed and wrote a letter to Alexis asking him to voluntarilyresign his post in 24 hours (which would be at 4pm April 10, 2008) orthey would submit a letter to the President for further action for hisdismission. The assembly came to this decision because the country has aserious economic problem that needs immediate resolution. It is notedthat the Haitian people have been asking for Alexis to step down formany months. If Prime Minister Alexis steps down, this would be seen asa positive action in the eyes of the people and an action that wouldcalm them and cause them to listen attentively to the suggestionsrecommended for stabilizing the country.Blessings..........Granny Bin and Maggie

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Here is a email that we just received from Lori Jones, Our agency director:
We have good and bad news. So, I will start with the good. Mr. Gassant is losing his footing in Haiti. Mr. Conan is well connected to the Governmental officials and flew down to Haiti last Monday when he heard this.
He told Rock on Monday, at his law office in P-au-P, that he isn't leaving the country until ALL ANA cases are out of IBESR and Parquet's office. Those with large families in Parquets office are now getting approved at the Assistant DA's office in Parquet's that have been waiting a long time. The Assistant DA is a good friend of Mr. Conan's and Mr. Conan has argued the cases effectively indicating they were Grandfathered in during the time that the laws changed without notice. Parquet's Office also has the July list with the large families that will be entering soon so they will be signed out quickly too once out of IBESR.
Mr. Conan is also getting cases that have been at IBESR for a long time out effectively as well. He has requested additional documents for a few families but just from the agency and we will International Priority First out of the office today and prepare them quickly. These are for three of our young families with length of marriage issues. But we have a solution soon which is good news.
Now, for the bad news. All trips to Haiti need to be cancelled until further notice. Anything scheduled for the next two weeks must be rescheduled for May. Call me before re booking any tickets to Haiti. There are terrific riots going on in the streets and the UN does not have matters under control. We have one family held help at The Hotel Montana (Goracke's) and we barely got them in to safety in time. They will stay at the Hotel Montana until the streets re open and the UN says it safe to get to the airport. Rock is checking on them today.
I wouldn't be surprised to see another Presidential coup. As this is usually how they begin.
Our files are safe at Parquet's and Civil Court but everything is closed. All offices including banks and stores. We have enough food for one week at the orphanage and if need be I will use a private jet (Amerijet in Miami) to get supplies to Haiti like I've had to do in the past if Haiti runs out of supplies in the store. Rock had no forewarning of this riot. I have to pay for the supplies and .71 cents for each pound of food, additional.
Gas is up to 6.00 a gallon and rice is US$80.00 for a 100 pound bag. The people of Haiti are tired of being hungry and having nothing to show for their hard work. They just can't take it anymore. If the UN can't get matters under control the US will have to step in again.
Our children are safe and currently there is no need to have guards at the gate but I told Rock do not hesitate to call me if guards are needed to protect our precious children. There are guards at the end of the street because the rioters know we have an orphanage on the street and the neighbors all love Rock and the children and are looking out for our kids.
It is the orphanages located right in P-au-P that we need to all pray for so that there will be no kidnappings.
As soon as offices re open we will have good news on all cases as Mr. Conan can perform miracles and we need you to pray to your god or spiritual leader right now and hopefully we will see our children home for the holidays.

Please keep all the people of Haiti in your prayers. ~Melissa

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Stinky feet

We just got this new picture of Jean Delson. His buddy, Lovely, appears to be sticking her foot right in his face... Carrie, Lovely's mom, assures me that she did not actually try to kick Jean just had put her leg out in front of him. Anyhow, this picture made me laugh so I wanted to share it!~Melissa

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Here we go again...

We had a call from Lori, the director of the agency we work with, and she informed us that we were NOT one of the cases signed out of IBESR last week. She would like us to write another letter to IBESR to argue our case and encourage them to sign us out. She is confident this will be the letter that gets us out of IBESR. Rock will take our letter over to the IBESR office and try to plead our case. So again...we can not ask enough for extra prayers! ~Melissa

Thursday, March 20, 2008

100 cases signed out...

Could ours be one of them??? We just found out from an adoptive mom's blog that there were 100 cases signed out of IBESR this week, including some that do not match the guidelines from 1974. We have not yet heard if any of them were from ANA families, but you can bet your butt that I have the phone next to me every minute of the day waiting for it to ring. Keep your fingers crossed! ~Melissa

Saturday, March 15, 2008

2 steps forward...1 step back

This week we did have some updates from ANA. Be them very small updates...at least we got some. First we found out that Rock has been able to successfully get some families out of IBESR this week, even though they did not meet the guidelines from 1974. This is great news and we were told by Lori, the president on our agency, that Rock was going back to IBESR this week to argue our case. He is pretty confident that he can get us out. We are excited, but on the same hand we have heard these things before and do not want to get our hopes up too much. As you may recall, they told us in December that they were going to try for a Presidential Disposition for our case to get it moving. It appears that NOTHING has been done since December, because now they say they do not think we should need the presidents signature. I am trusting they are doing all they can, but it does get hard. Anyhow, extra prayers this week would be GREATLY appreciated!

The other update we got was a new picture and some height and weight updates. You can see in his picture that he is still not a fan of the camera, but my mom always tells me that serious kids are smarter and I am going with that :-). On a positive note, Jean Delson did gain 3 pounds since October. He is now coming in at a hefty 27 pounds. Also he grew a few inches and is about 35 inches now. Enjoy the picture...hope to have some additional updates soon. ~Melissa

Monday, February 25, 2008


We just received the first picture of Jean Delson's Mom and I thought this poem fit our feelings today. Enjoy ~Melissa
Legacy of an Adopted Child
Once there were two women...Who never knew each other...
One you do not remember...The other you call Mother...
Two different lives...Shaped to make you one...
One became your guiding star...The other became your sun...
The first one gave you life...The second taught you to live it...
The first gave you a need for love...The second was there to give it...
One gave you a nationality...The other gave you a name...
One gave you talent...The other gave you aim...
One gave you emotion...The other calmed your fears...
One saw your first sweet smile...The other dried your tears...
One sought for you a home...That she could not provide...
The other prayed for a child...And her hope was not denied...
And now you ask me through your tears...The age-old question unanswered through the years...
Heredity or environment...Which are you a product of?...
Neither my darling, neither...Just two different kinds of Love...
... Author Unknown ...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Big OOPS in Jean's Family Report

You know when you get that feeling that something is just not right? Well, after we got Jean's TIYL report, I had one of those feelings. There were several things that did not make sense. Here are a few examples:
1.The part that Jean had a different name at birth and that his name was changed when he entered the orphanage. I had checked with Rock to see if he knew anything about this and he said that it could not be true because his birth certificate states Jean Delson Chery.
2.The number of siblings listed and their ages did not match the ones that Rock had given us. UMM...something is weird here.
3.Also the picture that was on the front page, that was supposed to be Jean, was certainly NOT my boy...I would know him anywhere :-)

So to make a long story short I did ask about these items, thinking that there may be a few changes that need to be made. Turns out that Granny Bin notified me today that the ENTIRE report is WRONG. She said that her contacts in Bonga led her to this family,claiming to be that of Jean Delson and were convincing enough to FOOL her. She said that this has never happened before. Anyhow, by the Grace of God, Jean's mom made contact with the Orphanage and is going to go and visit with him on Monday. Granny Bin is going to pick her up(get us pictures of them together) and then take her and the team back to Bonga to get an updated, accurate report. Please pray for Jean's mom, Granny Bin and the entire staff that this works out and that we are able to have a report with FACTS for Jean as he grows up. Thank God also for my great detective skills! Peace to all. ~Melissa

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Zabel Bock

When Scott and I were in Haiti last year we had the pleasure of meeting one of the Sweetest men in the world, Patrick. He volunteers his time at the orphanage, because often there is no money left to pay him for all he does. He was SOOOO helpful with answering all of questions regarding Jean Delson and filled us in on his likes and dislikes :-). He also came to the hotel with Rock on several occasions to check in and make sure we were not having any troubles. He has a nickname for Jean - Zabel Bock. He explained to us that Zabel Bock was a comedian in Haiti and that it means Funny Man. We had received an email from Patrick today letting us know that Jean Delson (a.k.a. Zabel Bock) is doing very well. He also said that Jean Delson could use a new toy car (because he LOVES to drive them) and also a Teddy Bear. Oh to be 2 again...when all that matters is having a car and bear of your own. You can BET that we will be bringing him plenty of cars and a new Teddy Bear down when we go to visit soon. Please continue to pray for us on this long ever changing journey. ~Melissa

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Jean Delson's expression can sum up our feelings for how long this adoption is taking! Can't wait to see him smile again...~Melissa

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Great Video

This video is a little long(about 20 mins), but has great video and commentary of life in the mountains of Haiti. ~Enjoy ~Melissa

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Family Ties

We got Jean's TIYL report from Granny Bin yesterday and it is filled with new information. Here are a few highlights along with some pictures of his father, his big brother and his fathers house. AMAZING!!
-Jean's birth name: He was given the name Shelo Rainvilus by his mother at birth. She changed his name to Jean Delson Chery when he was given for adoption.
-He was born at home by a mid-husband named Pira, who is now deceased.
-Mothers info: Djelicia Vertilus was born in 1977. She did have some schooling and can read and write a little. She has 4 children with Jean's father.
-Father's info: Caristil Rainvilus was born in 1953(pictured below in orange). He is paralyzed on his left side which hinders his ability to work and that is why they had no money to raise little Jean Delson. He still resides in a very small "house"(see pictures below) in Bonga where Jean was born. He has 5 children(one is Jean's half brother pictured below -he is wearing a green shirt).
-Jean comes from good genes. In Haiti the average age to live is around 47 years old. His paternal Grandma lived to be 102 and had 13 children!AMAZING.
-Siblings - Half-brother (22 years) Rony, brothers Fransnel (14) and Bendi(unknown age- is adopted out), Sister Judith (10 years).

As you can see we learned A LOT. Granny Bin reminds us in her closing that the end is just the beginning...here is to new beginnings! ~Melissa

Saturday, January 12, 2008

This Is Your Life Update

As most of you know, we have been working with a wonderful Haitian woman, named Granny Bin, on a report on Jean Delson's Haitian family. We got word tonight that she will be sending us the report on Wednesday. She has not had any luck locating Jean's mom, but was able to meet with his father and some other family members. She is hoping to make contact with his mom at some point and will send us her picture and information at a later date and we can add it into the report. We are so excited to see the report and get to know more about Jean's history and birth family. I will post a picture of his father later this week.

This will be a priceless gift for him as he grows up and has questions about his Haitian family who gave him the gift of life and loved him enough to also give him the gift of hope. We can not thank them enough for giving us the greatest gift of all...a son.

Here is a Mark Schultz song about his adoption story that really captures the emotions of adoption. Everything To Me

Enjoy ~Melissa

Monday, January 7, 2008

No News is Good News?!?!?!?!

There is not really anything much to report. Christmas was good, but at the same time very hard since Jean Delson is still not home. I find holidays to be very difficult without him here, since we had thought he would have been home a long time ago. All we can pray is that this was the last Christmas without him home.
The last we heard our letter had made it to IBESR and it is waiting there for approval. So we wait....and wait....and wait....and wait....(you get the picture). There are several families headed to Haiti to visit with their kiddos in the next few weeks, so we should have some new pics soon. And thanks to the Clay's in WA, Jean Delson will be getting a few small gifts from home. All of your prayers have been much appreciated. Please add some extra prayers for safe travels for everyone headed to Haiti in the coming weeks. I hope to have more to update you all on VERY soon! ~Melissa