Tuesday, December 25, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!




We wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Celebrating the day of Jesus birth and rejoicing in Him, the best gift of all!!

We pray you are enjoying time with friends or family and being
soaked in God's goodness and love!

We love you all !!!

We are still amazed at God's perfect handiwork in forming our family. Osobie and Fatu being home is our Christmas gift and w
e couldn't be happier. We are cuddled up in our cozies as the snow falls so beautifully on the ground outside.
We are blessed!!!




Thursday, December 6, 2007

WE HAVE INTERNET!!
















YIPEE!!! We finally have Internet again!!! We feel like w
e have been so disconnected from the rest of the world without being able to email, read friends blogs and keep up with our own. We are back in business now!!

So much to update on the kids...but most importantly wanted to let ya all know Jeff made it home safe from Uganda. It was a glorious day at the Denver Airport!! Osobie and Fatu could barely stand to wait the 15 minutes for Jeff to come up the escalator. They ran into his arms, yelling "PAPA"!! Thank you for your prayers for him and his travel and for our family!!

It was such a sweet sight to see my husband finally become a father after such a long, agonizing, painful and frustrating journey. The kids are doing really great bonding with Papa. Osobie follows him all around the house and sits on the couch every day, staring out the window waiting for Papa to come home from work. Fatu is a little more shy with Jeff. She is somewhat of a mommas girl, but everyday she is getting more and more comfortable with her new Papa. Overall they are doing awesome!! They are a joy to be with and loads of fun!! I am blessed, truly blessed and so grateful for our family. Just the other day the kids and I were driving home from the store and as I turned back to check on the kids, Osobie blurts out, "Momma, you are beautiful". My heart just melted!
We have also gotten several "I Love You too's". Th
ey are extremely sweet children and of course super spunky!! I am going to have to download some videos we have taken of them dancing!!! They LOVE the Liberian Jesus music we play for them. I bought some Liberian CD's while I was there and as soon as I load them up, the kids are dancing and singing right along.

Now for some more pictures...because pictures a
re always better than my ramblings!! Love to you all and once again....well, I just can't seem to say it enough, THANK YOU ALL!! Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your hearts on fire for God and for dedicating time in all your busy lives to pray for us over the last several months. Thank you for being such a huge part of this God story!! We are praising Him everyday!!
first Thanksgiving

Just foolin' around with Momma's hat

First Snow!!
Osobie , Fatu and cousin MackennaOsobie, Kojo and Fatu...who needs toys when you have boxes??

PLEASE BE PRAYING FOR THE LORENZENS (KOJO'S MOMMIE AND DAD)...YOU CAN READ WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THEIR BLOG. htp://lorenzenlife.blogspot.com

THEY HAVE BEEN SUCH A HUGE SOURCE OF SUPPORT AND ARE OUR DEAR FRIENDS AND COULD REALLY USE SOME PRAYER AS THEY CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE TO BRING HOME THEIR TWO CHILDREN,NYENNA & TITUS. Kojo has been apart from them for 6 months now & they have been in the orphanage the longest of all the children. It is time for them to be home!! Please Pray with us for the Lorenzens!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

MIM!!!!



WOW..... here I am.....I'm alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SO very sorry for being MIA....I have been MIM (Missing in Motherhood :)

It's been absolutely amazing, beautiful, fun, crazy, energy and joy filled, and hard to believe it's really happening!! It's also been challenging, tiring, scary, and hard. My first week home I was a zombie. I was so tired and out of it and fighting off a cold. My friend was praying for me and felt like she had a picture for me. She said she got a picture of me running a marathon and coming to the finish line only to find out that the finish line was the start of another marathon. This couldn't have been more true. After 3 weeks in Liberia fighting for our kids, riding this emotional roller coaster for 2 months and then picking up our kids...well, as you can imagine...I came home totally exhausted. I don't know what I would have done if my sister had not met me in Brussels to help me bring home the kids! Once we got home my cell phone died, our Internet was gone, and my husband was and is still at work in Uganda. BUT I have been SO blessed and supported here in Fort Collins!! Jeff and I have an unbelievable community of friends and family that have carried us through this whole journey and especially the last 2 weeks since Jeff has been gone. Our house was stocked with groceries, my friends and sis decorated the kids room with Welcome Home signs, and we have received cooked meals every night we have been home!!! WE ARE BLESSED!!!! I am so humbled by all the love, all the care, all the open arms of welcome for our kids! They are 2 kids who have been prayed for and loved by many people...YOU ALL!!

SO..... to all of you who have been with us through this whole thing....
THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU
I feel like words do not do justice for all that Jeff and I feel for you...
you have done so much for us and have been such a huge support for us...
we pray GOD would pour out His Love and blessing on all of you!!!!

Osobie and Fatu are doing great!! I have a million things to write and I don't know where to start....They are eating most everything I put in front of them, everything is "talking"...the microwave, the water, the stove, the coffee pot, etc.. They are characters for sure! They sing, dance, play the drums, and are always happy (well at least most of the time). They are very affectionate, extremely social, and of course very stubborn at times :)
It's quite amazing how God has knit our family together. Osobie and Fatu are our children! God has chosen them for us and it is as if they have been in our family from the beginning! We are so full of thanks!! I'll update more later...after Jeff comes home and we finally unite as a family!!

Now for some more pics!!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

WE ARE GOING HOME!!!

Praise Jesus we are leaving today!!!! I cannot believe it's finally here!! It's been 3 weeks and it has been great to experience Liberia!! We finally got our second visa yesterday!!

Thanks for all the prayers!!

I have one more prayer request...and that is for safe journeys for us and the Krantz family that is flying AND prayer for my sister, Mekay. Mekay is flying to Brussels to meet me and help me take care of the kids on the flights home. What a trooper!! I am so relieved to have some help!! Please pray that our flights are not late, because we have a 5 hour window to connect with each other. I'm trusting GOD that He will make a way as He has done with everything so far.

Sorry I haven't blogged...I am a new mom to twins practically..that's all I have to say and I am sure you all understand. WOW!!! What would I do without coffee??? I have to admit it's been pretty hard, definitely harder than I thought, but I know as we adjust to each other and they understand what boundaries are we will have much fun together as a family. Jeff will be home in 3 weeks and I cannot wait for him to show up. They need their papa for sure, especially Osobie. He is itching to come home and quite lonely in Uganda by himself, but he has plenty of work to keep him busy. He continues to need prayer as he works hard these next 3 weeks!!

I will post some photos when I get home and recover from jet lag.
LOVE YOU ALL!!! THANKS FOR EVERYTHING!!!!

Big ole' heaps of God's love to you all!!
Katie, Osobie and Fatu





Wednesday, October 31, 2007

HE IS VICTORIOUS!!!

PRAISE GOD WITH US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE ARE REJOICING BECAUSE GOD HAS DONE IT!!!!

GOD HAS OPENED THE DOOR FOR OUR KIDS!!!!

We met with Alma yesterday morning...and by a miracle of GOD..Alma did not ask to interview the birth mothers!!!!!!!! Just so you all know, this is seriously a miracle of GOD!! I prayed and prayed that GOD could move in mighty ways and grant us visa's!! But NEVER did I think she would grant us visa's without interviewing the birth moms!!!!!!!!! She said she would have the visa's ready by Friday for us!!!! I was in so much shock...I just drove home blown away by all that was happening. Then I came home to the guest house and tears started flowing!!! This time TEARS OF JOY!!!! The guest house workers were concerned when they saw me crying...so I had to explain to them "they are tears of joy!!!" and they were all excited with me!!! I called my sister and the celebrations began!!!! I still feel like it is surreal. I cannot believe after this long, hard and trying journey....we WILL have our kids!!! God is Faithful!!! He is victorious!!
I am going to wait until we have the visas on Friday before I go pick up the kids and bring them to the guest house. I'm probably being a little over cautious, but I'd rather do it this way and be certain there are no other random glitches. If all goes well, (still praying for Friday)...We hope to fly home next Wed.!!

THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!
for all your prayers!! We are blessed to have such prayer warriors like you all fighting with us!!
God has moved, He has done the impossible, He is faithful!!
For the rest of our days we will share our (and your story too) story of God's faithfulness!!! Thank you for being such a huge part of this all!! He has heard our prayers!!

We love you all!!! We'll update soon!!!
Katie and Jeff

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One Week in Liberia!

TUESDAY OCT 23

Today is the day we start rolling on our paperwork. First we need to get back all the old info and then we can begin to re-do the necessary documents. So... this week will be the week to get that accomplished. As you can imagine...it is always hard to get things done in Africa so please pray for favor for the office staff at AOH. And of course, THANK YOU for your continued prayers and comments on the blog!! I read them over and over. WOW!!!! I am being lifted up by them! It is such a blessing to be surrounded with friends who are in LOVE with Jesus and seek our Father for His will!! He has been with me, strengthening me, sustaining me, and helping me gain His character through the trials. It is quite difficult to be in the unknown and at the same time trying to prepare and anticipate the kids actually being ours and coming home! I will probably not meet the kids until next week because I want to make sure the paperwork is turning out successful and we feel confident Alma will approve us. It is amazing how God gives you what you need for where you are at. He truly does meet all our needs. He is meeting needs I did not even know I had...since I have never been in this situation before. Please continue to pray, because we still do not know if we will receive visas after we submit the new paperwork. God truly is going to have to move mountains!! We release it to Him because he knows what the future holds for us and for Fatu and Osobie. What a time of complete surrender and learning a whole new level of trust in our Father. I continue to speak out loud to myself..YOUR WILL LORD. That is it. We have to rest in Him and in his character. He is all I have. He is my everything.

I love it here!! I love AFRICA, what can I say. I have been trying to see what the differences are between East and West, since we've only spent time in East Africa. I guess there are a few that I have seen so far..the people are shorter and smaller, the hand shakes end with a "Snap", food a little different in flavor..they like it spicy!!! We went to the beach...what a beautiful sight! Immediate peace fell over me as we sat in the sand and swam in the ocean. I could have sat for hours listening to the roar of the waves. I am beginning to understand Liberian English a little, but it is hard to catch. I'm sure as the days roll on, I will catch it more and more. I hope to learn to "plait" today. The nannies rock at braiding hair and hopefully they can teach me!! (I don't think they know what a challenge that will be :))

Also, if you guys could continue to pray for Jeff while he is in Uganda. He has been going non-stop since he landed in Entebbe and has caught a cold. He is not feeling well so he could use your prayers as he has 4 days of village/field work ahead. He will be home in the states by Nov. 29th!! I miss my hubby so much!! We chat a little but it is quite difficult because he is in the bush so much of the time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

News from Liberia!!!

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile...I have not had much news to share. Thank you for praying for me!!! I have felt all your prayers!!!
Just a quick update...I met with Alma and she has allowed us to redo our paperwork!!
YEAH!!
This is good news but we still have much work to do and continue to need prayer so that there are no other glitches in our process. I am happy but still reserved.
Liberia is great!! I miss Africa and love being back, even though this is the West side instead of the East. Jeff is in Uganda and sounds like he is doing a lot of work and enjoying it.
Please continue to pray for me, Jeff, and Osobie and Fatu!!! Until they are home...I continue to cry out to God to move!!
Love ya all!!!
Katie

Saturday, October 13, 2007

THE SCOOP!!


Well, today was the day we were waiting for, well in one way at least. I had to take Jeff to the airport for his 6 week work trip to Uganda. Ugh… I miss him already! This will be the longest I have ever been away from him in 5 years. So, a sad day for us in saying goodbye to each other…but, also the day we’ve been waiting for, for some good news!!

I’ll spare all the details, but it started when Jeff met our children’s family in Liberia 3 weeks ago. We have been waiting to work on our case for the last 2 weeks because we were waiting to find out the truth. It turns out our kids have birth moms. We just received the DNA results that confirm both Sobie and Fatu’s birth mothers. Originally the grandfather of our children had stated that Fatu and Sobies’ parents were deceased. We believe he held to this story because he thought the kids would not be able to be adopted unless they were “true orphans”. Regardless of all that has gone wrong in our case, we feel like we have a glimmer of hope with this news!! Now that we know the truth about our case, we can move forward. I will be flying out to Liberia on Tuesday to help AOH figure out our case. We need to pray that Alma’s heart is softened so we can bring our kids home!!! We have received so many emails and phone calls asking if there is anything people can do to help us fight for our kids! There is one thing!!!

PRAYER!!
We need God to move in HUGE ways on behalf of Sobie and Fatu!
We have had continued confirmation from the Lord that these are and will be our kids, we just need to continue to seek him and believe & trust that only He can do this!!
Thank you for fighting with us! Thank you for praying for us and with us!!

(The other day my bible reading plan included two wonderful stories that encouraged me. The first was Esther, and the second, the parable of the persistent widow. ‘Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and never give up’. Luke 18:1)

It’s been such a long, painful, hard and frustrating journey but God has used every minute, every detail, and every situation to teach us more about Him. The last 3 weeks have been some of the worst… and some of the best. I spent days in tears, days crying out to God, days sitting outside talking…yeah right, more like yelling to God trying to understand and accept what was going on. I’ve had to let go of all my wants, all my anger, all my desires, all my “rights’, all my bitterness, all my fears, all my ideas and plans. And the most wonderful thing happened; God gave me (us) more of His heart, more of His desires, His perspective, His kingdom, His truth, and His promises. It’s crazy because my heart has been hurting for weeks and we never would have wanted this emotional roller coaster, but God has used this time to transform us inside and out. It has changed us forever.

THANK YOU…thank you…we cannot say it enough!! We covet your prayers!!

Until Fatu and Osobie are home, we will be on our knees!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Seasons Change


The leaves are turning and falling to the ground. The air is brisk, the evenings getting chillier and summer is long gone. Fall is a beautiful season and a pleasant change but saying good by to summer is also a reminder that we have gone through another season without our children home with us.

There are good days and then there are the bad ones. The change of season has brought with it grief. No, we have not lost our kids...yes; we are still fighting for them. But, I find myself grieving their absence. They should have been home by now. I was supposed to be a full time mom right now, making play dates, learning Liberian English, going to the doctors to see what fun things they brought home with them. But instead, I am putting away the unused summer toys. I had dreams and visions of Fatu, Osobie, my niece Mackenna and Kojo Lorenzen running amuck in our backyard playing in the toy kitchen, driving the kid cars and making memories. It’s so hard to put away all the summer clothes we’ve bought and collected. Even harder to walk past their bedroom staring in, hoping and praying for the day they will rest their heads on their beds. I miss my kids! I want them home! I want to be their mom! These are the aches of my heart.

Especially after seeing pictures like these!!!


In the midst of this God has brought his comfort and continues to give us His hope. We would not be where we are if He were not our strength, our hope and our future. I have to lean on Him during these hard days of waiting in the unknown. We have met with our lawyer and we are still waiting on more information about our case which we will share once it’s all figured out. So, we continue to pray, to seek God’s heart, to pray for Fatu and Osobie, for the U.S. consulate, for the other adoptive families, for Liberia, and for strength to get through each day.

Thank you to all of you who are waiting and praying with us and blessing us financially as we face more expenses than were expected! We love ya all and are blessed by your friendships!! We want to keep you all updated as much as we can but for now we need to wait for more info. Thank you for continuing to pray for us during this time! We are still in this, holding onto God’s promises and hope! We continue to need God’s wisdom, power, direction, favor, protection, comfort, strength and presence!

Until Osobie and Fatu are home, we will be on our knees!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thoughts from the mountains...

As I write this, Jeff and I are staying at our friends’ condo in the mountains!! What a blessing they have given us! Jeff found out on Monday that he would not start his new job until next week Monday, so he had a surprise week off! Our dear friends own this condo and offered us to stay as long as we wanted!! Thank you Jack and Lisa!! It’s gorgeous. The colors are in their peak! Reds, yellows, greens, browns…a beautiful display of fall. We needed to get away. Spend some uninterrupted, un-stressfull time with each other and God.

As far as our adoption, even though we were verbally denied our visas, we still have options. We have researched the appeal process, we have looked into other visa options, and we have looked into the option of moving overseas for 2 years with the kids. We are currently still investigating our case as we have received some new information we need to process. So, we will take the next week or so discussing our options with our immigration lawyer and deciding how to move forward. Our prayer is and always has been “Lord bring your truth” and “Lord, your will not ours”. We believe Fatu and Osobie are our kids. The Lord has made that very clear to us and we continue to stand firm in His promises and truth. THANK YOU for continuing with us! Thank you for your encouragement, your prayers, your reminders of God's truth...they are all going straight into my journal project..."BOOK OF HOPE" that I am compiling with God's promises and truths he's spoken to me over the last 10 years. We are blessed by your continued prayers for Fatu and Osobie!! Until they are home, we will be on our knees!

Okay…so, this next writing is a little long but I feel like I want to share what the Lord has been doing behind the scenes over the last 2 months. Looking back on the last 2 months, the Lord has been preparing us for what we would face here and now with our kids. As we wait for more news, I will continue to blog about what the Lord has been doing and saying, maybe to encourage us all. He knows the plans he has for us!!

I wrote this in mid-August 2007 :

Last night I couldn't sleep. I felt like I was supposed to share this so bear with me. Maybe this is just for one person…I don’t know….but here goes….
11:30 pm It seems like all of us, who have embarked on this journey of adoption and listening to God’s call on our lives, have found ourselves on a very rugged and tough road. (I know someone else blogged about this?) Well, I just wanted to share our story & God’s goodness in the pain, struggles and trials we have faced since we started our adoption process.

In November, we lost my brother-in-law tragically. He died of a pulmonary embolism. He was 33yrs. old, husband to my sister, and dad to a 1 1/2 yr. old daughter. I had just chatted with him 2 hours before he died. This was a complete tragedy that rocked our world b/c we were very close to my sis and Matt. Two weeks later, we received our referral for Osobie and Fatu!! Talk about a rough time. Amidst deep pain and sorrow- God brought life and joy. God’s true joy stepped into a very uneasy situation. As we continued this process- cars broke down, dog almost died, Jeff’s Dad had serious health issues, bills, house, problems, and much more met us on this path of adoption. Just this week another whammy!!! My husband was starting a new job. He was to start his new job on Monday, and today was to be his last day at his old job. On Tues of this week, we get a phone call from his new job stating he could not start work for another month! Total Freak out!!!!!!!! We cannot afford to miss 1 paycheck, let alone 2!! I only work part time and that is ending in 2 weeks! Just hours after the bad news we had planned to hang with our friends. As we walked out the door the wind blew on my face. It was dark out; a storm was rolling over head. And there in the sky was a brilliant rainbow, every color shining! I just stared at the rainbow and thought “God, now what?” “Here we are, and now what??” “How are we ever going to do this one?” and He said to me, “I promised you, I would never leave you nor forsake you”. I felt like God was telling me, “This is it Katie. This is what it is all about…..ME, your Heavenly Father, your good Dad, your God and Savior. Everything can and will pass away, but I remain. Jobs, house, friends, cars, stuff….that does not matter as much as this, our relationship. It may all be gone in a flash, but....I AM HERE, I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU”.

All night I was still in shock, scared, confused, and uneasy and wondering what would happen. The next day, a miracle took place, Jeff’s old boss said Jeff could stay and work a couple more weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Total answer to prayer!!!!!!!!! Thank you GOD!!! What a relief this time!!!
Unfortunately, many of the trials and hardships we have run into along this adoption path have not ended with such joy and relief!! Matt’s death still shakes us everyday, the bills still pile up, cars are still broken, house is still not fixed up…weird odd problems still arise, heart aches continue to happen…

BUT…

“NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU; NEVER WILL I FORSAKE YOU. “-GOD

THE LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?” Hebrews 13

“NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD” Romans 8

Okay, so I was suppose to blog this a month ago but I did not. It’s funny, a month ago, my biggest trials of faith were jobs, bills, and life stuff. Never did I think we would be in a place like this a month later. All the worries and cares I had are all put into perspective when faced with the possibility of losing our kids whom we have grown to love tremendously. Without us ever knowing it, God prepares us for what is to come in our lives. God was giving us opportunities to trust him and showing us again that He is faithful. Thanks God, for being our good Father. As we walk through this current hard situation of the unknown of adoption and the painful waiting, we will choose to remember He is good and He is faithful.

Monday, September 24, 2007

WE HAVE HOPE IN HIM

“I met them. I met our kids”. These were the first words Jeff spoke to me after we hugged and cried. Tears streamed so I asked him to hold off on telling me anymore because my eyes were blurred, it was dark, and I didn’t want to run us off the road. So it wasn’t until the next day, after he got some rest that we had our conversation.

I asked him…”Jeff, be totally honest with me. Tell me…Did you know they were our kids…you know, like in marriage, when you just KNOW that this person standing before you is your husband. (at least, this is what happened to me). Like when I just knew, or at least I really believed that you were to be my husband. ??? Jeff looks me in the eyes and says. “They are ours, Katie” “They are our kids”. He said, “It’s funny you used the marriage analogy, because as I was thinking about how I would tell people about our kids, I would tell them that I know like I knew Katie was my wife”.

Originally we both agreed it would best not to meet our kids, as to not confuse them. It turned out that Jeff went to the little kid orphanage at nap time and so they were groggy, confused and probably thought it was all a dream. Patty introduced Jeff as her medical friend, not as their father.

Then I proceeded to see the pictures he took. Wow…..They are sooo little in his arms. They are our kids. Jeff told me that as much as we thought they were ours before he went to Liberia; he said it is confirmed 100 times more now. He also said he needed to see for himself if our kids were as amazing as all of our friends, who have met them have told us.Jeff said they were even more amazing, sweet,and beautiful!!!! I am happy he met them. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

*Here is some of Jeff’s random journal notes just thought I’d share a little, of course with his consent
Thursday

The embassy said no. I am desperate for options. Don’t even know what I can do for options. As far as I can tell they are orphans. They are definitely completely impoverished. They don’t want the kids. I can’t send them back to where they came from. Could I get a visitor visa? Keep them for 2 years? Live abroad for 2 years? Did I do everything I could have? I asked God to make a way. Is this the way?

I’m sitting here in a cafĂ©. Need some hope now. I leave tomorrow; I can’t bear flying home with no hope. I will not give up this fight. What are our options? A guy just walked by holding a sign that said “Nothing can take God’s place”. Kids outside are washing the UN vehicle on their own without being asked, just to make some money. I can’t allow the picture in my mind to be Sobie and Fatu doing that. They wouldn’t even get this chance because the UN is not in their Toe Community. Whose car would they wash? The poor don’t have cars. The UN land rover looks good. My kids would have done a better job. But they’ll never get this chance if I can help it.
Final day in Liberia:
Exhausted, definitely numb. Feel like I failed, I know I did all that I could. Why????
I met our kids today. Patty introduced me as her medical friend Jeff. It was nap time at the orphanage so they were groggy and confused. I don’t know what they thought, they seemed tired and confused. Fatu was shy and Osobie was responsive to whatever I asked him. They smelled so sweet. They were so soft and they were very small—tiny actually. Fatu was almost as tall as Sobie. They were beautiful. They showed me where they slept. I didn’t want to let them go. They both sat on my lap and fit perfectly. They were beautiful. I am flying home as we speak. I miss them already. I feel depressed and miss my wife. I wish I was there, when I heard the news. I wish I was with Katie. She is taking it very hard. I have mixed feelings. I wanted to see the kids to assure myself that they were as beautiful as I thought. They are more beautiful. They were stunning and sweet and tender. I thought maybe I’d be on this flight with them, trying to figure out how to be a parent and loving it. I would have given anything to fly 30 hours with 2 crying kids with me. I am tired, I miss my wife, I want my kids. Of the 4 trips I’ve had to
Africa, this is by far the worst. My days were full, late nights. The trip was a blur and what do I have to show for it? Couple stamps on my passport. That’s it. No kids!!!

We feel His presence. We feel His peace. He is our peace. We are surrounded by such a blanket of His love. We feel your prayers. We know you are praying because the Lord is here among us. You have faithfully lifted our family for many weeks now, when I know your lives are just as busy and just as hard. We never thought we’d be on this journey this long, nor did we think it would be his hard. We said it before and we continue to say that we want to be in His will, no matter what it looks like. The Lord has been speaking in so many ways to our hearts through this all. I hope to capture it all in the days and weeks to come. It’s all still in process and marked on tear stained journal pages. Even now…we have received phone calls and emails from people all over the U.S. There is a common theme.

Do not give up hope
This is not the end
Do not give up
This is not it
God can do the impossible!
God raised Lazarus from the dead!!
Galatians 6:9- And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart
.
Hope, Hope, Hope,
GOD IS NOT DONE!!
This will bring GLORY to God!!

We are still sifting through paperwork and getting our bearings. We are planning on meeting with an immigration lawyer, writing letters to as many folks as we can, and are discussing our other options. For now we have to sit tight for a little bit while we figure out our case and how we will present it to the Senators and Congressmen. Once we have a plan, we would be so blessed, so grateful, so stoked if you all would join us in our fight! We will need each and every one of you to help us fight for our kids! You have journeyed with us, you have held us up, and you have fought for Osobie and Fatu already with us in prayer! We Thank You!!! We love you all! Your emails, your words, your love is a huge blessing...just huge…words cannot express.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Denied

The visa consulate denied our kids visas!! The new information didn’t change her mind at all. We have no idea what to do or even if there is anything left to do. I am utterly sick, soaked in tears. I am at a complete loss of everything. Our hearts are just broken, an absolute mess. This pain feels unbearable!

I don’t have words…

I just wanted to post because I know there are soo many of you out there that are walking with us in prayer, waiting to hear the outcome.

Thank you for your hearts, your friendship, your prayers.

We are soo in need of God’s comfort right now…so in need of HIM!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

3 days in...

Jeff has had two productive days of going over paperwork, meeting with family members, and working with AOH to try to figure out the best steps to take in our case. Jeff and AOH have an appointment on Thursday at 9 am with the visa consulate. I guess at this point the prayer request is that Alma would look at all the new information and change her mind on our visas and give us an approval. This is still obviously going to take a miracle of God, but He can do it if he wills! This appointment is pretty important- so please pray for HUGE amounts of favor with Alma. Of course, the mama heart in me is on my knees praying that the .01% chance that we could get our visas would become reality, and Jeff would fly home with Fatu and Osobie in his arms!!! But, I also trust that my Heavenly Father has a plan that is and always will be the best, whatever the outcome may be. (Jeremiah 29:11) Jeff flies out Friday and lands in Denver on Saturday.

Thanks to all of you who have emailed and posted to encourage us and pray! We know we are being prayed for and feel the blanket of love surrounding us! Thank you. We wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for all the people who have held us up so that we could stand in this. We love you and pray for God’s love to shower over each of you!!

PRAYER POINTS:
PRAY FOR THURSDAYS APPT. (9 amLiberia time) WITH ALMA

(They are 6 hours ahead, if anyone wants to rise early& join me for an hour of prayer)
PRAY FOR ALONSO'S THURS. APPT. AS WELL!

PRAY THAT ALMA WILL ACCEPT NEW INFO ON OUR CASE

PRAY THAT SHE WILL CHANGE HER MIND

PRAY FOR WISDOM FOR JEFF & AOH

PRAY FOR HEALTH & SAFETY FOR JEFF & CHARITY

PRAY FOR THE ALONSO’S!

Thank you!!

Katie

Monday, September 17, 2007

First Day in Liberia!!

I just talked to Jeff on the phone!!! He met with AOH this morning and with Fatu and Osobie's grandpa and Uncle. AOH has talked with aunts, uncles, in hopes to confirm Grandpa's story of our kids parents death, and to get affidavit's to submit to the Embassy. Jeff believes that the grandpa is telling the truth and even asked him point blank several times. He told him it was okay if they were alive, but that we just needed to know the truth. The grandpa shared the same story that their parents were in fact dead.

SO... what next??? Well, Jeff is going to go over all our paperwork tomorrow with AOH. They are also supposed to pick up the parents death certificates from the Ministry of Health tomorrow. (hopefully) Jeff and AOH have an appointment with Alma, the visa consulate on Thursday. They plan on bringing our whole case with all the new supporting documents and info with them to submit to her.

WE CONTINUE TO NEED YOUR PRAYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!
PLEASE PRAY THAT THE VISA CONSULATE WILL ACCEPT
& LOOK AT THE NEW INFORMATION!!
If she denies us again, we could have a long road ahead of us
WE NEED WISDOM, DISCERNMENT, SENSITIVE EARS TO THE LORD'S WHISPERS
WE NEED GOD TO DO WHAT ONLY HE CAN DO!!!!
Please pray for the death cert's to be issued and for the Thursday appt!!!
*Please continue to pray for Alonso's as well...I am not sure how their case is going.

Okay, so now for some amazing news!!! Jeff received another confirmation that Fatu and Osobie are ours!! The Grandpa told Jeff the meaning of Fatu's name. It means "SMALL SOMETHING" or "LITTLE ONE" in their tribe. When I was born, my dad wrote a poem about me and he called me "Klienen" which means "LITTLE ONE" or "SMALL ONE".!!!!!!!! Can you believe it??? I am in tears!! Here we have been praying for months on end for the Lord to give us a new name for Fatu because we found out it means something like "daughter of Mohammad"...but it doesn't!!!!! This is why God NEVER gave us a new name for her!!!! Her name is FATU!!!! I have been really struggling with this for sometime now and little did I know the Lord had an even more wonderful plan ahead for her name!! I am overwhelmed with joy over God's amazing answer to prayer! We absolutely LOVE the name Fatu and now we get to keep it!!!
Also, we found out Fatu and Osobies moms name is Katherine!!! Wow!!!!
ALL our love and thank yous for continuing to pray!!!
We are praising God for all his confirmations that we are exactly where He wants us to be!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

LIBERIA!!!

Jeff called me this afternoon and has landed in Monrovia, Liberia safely!!! He started his trip with a delayed flight and came close to missing the Brussels flight, but he made it!! Praise God!!
He sounded good, but tired of course. It sounds like tomorrow afternoon he will be meeting with AOH folks and begin to work on our case. Please pray that together they can come up with God given ideas and strategies to bring our kids home! He has already heard from a nanny that our little Sobie is quite a smart little guy and Fatu is sweet! As we prepared for Jeff to leave we had many talks about what to do about meeting the kids. We had decided it would be best for them if he did not, in the event the worst case scenario happens. The night he left we decided he would just wait and see how the Lord leads him in that area. I'm sure now that he is just miles from the kids, he's probably feeling very torn. Please pray for him as he makes the decision to meet our children!! Please continue to pray for the Alonso's as well. Charity is a brave momma! I am blessed to have been able to get to know her through this process. Please continue praying with us for God to move in mighty ways!!
When I was driving home from the airport yesterday I heard a song on the radio. The chorus is as follows and it was such a great reminder of the fact that God is with us in all of this!! He is holding us safe in his arms!

"knowing clouds will raise up
storms will race in
but you will be safe in my arms
rains will pour down
waves will crash all around
but you will be safe in my arms "
-Plumb
Thanks everyone for holding us all up in prayer! You are such a blessing to us!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Update

No news yet on the advisory boards decision. After much prayer and discussion, we decided Jeff would be flying out to Liberia tomorrow. He will land in Liberia on Sunday and stay for one week. He is going to work with AOH in trying to resolve our current situation in our adoption. The constant theme we have gotten through prayer, scripture, and friends is to not give up on Fatu and Osobie. Our hearts are abounding with love for them and we believe the Lord has blessed us with these children. It will be a bitter sweet trip for Jeff since he will not be seeing the kids. Jeff is an amazing dad already!! He knows it would best for Fatu and Osobie to not see him, in case things do not get resolved. I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband with such a huge heart for our kids!!

Thank you for praying and fasting!! We just simply love you all, some of you we don’t even know very well, but we have been absolutely humbled by your praying hearts! We have seriously felt all of your prayers this week. God has been speaking to my heart about his promises and I am trying to stand in those. (Eph: 6:10-18) We know you and your families also have your own struggles and prayer needs so thank you for remembering us in the midst of your lives. We continue to pray for all the families in the process! We can testify that God uses this time to purge out the junk in our hearts that gets in the way of us receiving more of HIM, to reveal His deep LOVE for us, to help us learn to trust him fully, to bring His word to LIFE in our lives, to change us, heal us, and to set us free to love him with all our hearts, all our minds, all of our strength, regardless of our circumstances!! I pray that the Lord speaks to each of you today exactly where you are; if in need of encouragement, I pray for His assurance to come, if in need of clarity, that He would give you wisdom, if in need of comfort, that he would wrap his arms around you, if in need of faith for the impossible, that He would remind you of His mighty power to do the impossible, if you are celebrating, I pray God would give you a song to sing and of course, a sweet new dance move to go with it!! Thank you for your prayers…we sure could still use em’!!!!

SOME PRAYER POINTS

Pray for safety in travel for Jeff and Charity Alonso
Pray for news from the U.S. Embassy board
Pray for strength, wisdom, and discernment for Patty, Charles, Eric, Jeff, Charity
Pray for the visa consulate that her heart would be softened
Pray for creative problem solving for Jeff, Charity, and AOH
Pray for truth to be revealed in our kids cases & Alonso's
Pray for God’s comfort and peace for Fatu, Osobie, Malaya, and Aries!
Oh,…and if you could pray I don’t go crazy at home alone wondering what is happening in Liberia!!!!

God has given me an assignment a long time ago and now might be the time to do it. I have a ton of journals I have kept since I met Jesus. God has told me to go through them & write down all his words, promises, pictures and scriptures he has given me (us) regarding Africa and our future. So…here goes!!

If you feel led, please join us in fasting.
We have a community of friends who will be fasting one day for each day of next week

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

No word yet

As I sit down to update the blog, my 2 yr old niece Mackenna is sitting on my lap watching. I opened our blog and she yells "There's Sobie"..."There's Fatu...Sobie and Fatu" "they're my cousins"!!!
Wow...talk about a heart breaking moment!! Mackenna has seen every picture, shopped for toys with us, heard us talk daily about Sobie and Fatu coming home. Lord, hear her cry for her cousins! Hear our cry for our kids! Make a way Lord where there is none. Do what only you can do Lord! We trust you completely!

The advisory board has not yet come back with a verdict. So...we will continue to pray and hope for news tomorrow! In the meantime, Jeff, myself, and the Alonso's are looking into what actions we can take to figure things out and get our kids home.
THANKS again to you all for fasting and praying with us!! We love you all!! Your encouragement and prayers are holding us up! Below is our last blog to keep folks up to speed on what's happening.
__________________________________________________________________

At the moment the U.S. visa consulate is not issuing visas due to discrepancies in our case. The consular is presenting our case to the state department advisory board to be reviewed. They will decide by Tuesday if the whole case will be re investigated or not. If they decide against reinvestigation....we would be at risk of losing Fatu and Osobie, which we cannot even imagine. Only God knows what will happen at that point. If they do decide on reinvestigation, we are hoping and praying this will give AOH a second chance at presenting our case. It would delay us probably a month or so, but at least in the end we would be able to bring home our dear children.
We really-really need your prayers!!I know we just keep asking for them...and I know you are all praying, This is all we have left. God's mercy. God's hand over and in all of this.
THANK YOU!
All of you who have walked this LONG journey with us.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fasting and prayer

THANK YOU ALL FOR STANDING WITH US IN PRAYER!

no new news...Just wanted to update and let you know we have a whole community of friends & family fasting until this gets resolved! People are picking a day of the week to fast, so every week gets covered until Fatu & Osobie comes home! So, if you can, we'd love you to join us in prayer and fasting! We are not giving up,..we will continue to fight for our kids!
We love you all and our hearts are overflowing with gratefulness for your willingness to cry out to God on our kids and Alonso's kids behalf.

I continue to meditate on Jeremiah 29: 11 "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future".
______________________________________________________________
Thank you for all your prayers! Well, an update...boy, this is tough. At the moment the U.S. visa consulate is not issuing visas due to discrepancies in our case. The consular is presenting our case to the state department advisory board to be reviewed. They will decide by Tuesday if the whole case will be re investigated or not. If they decide against reinvestigation....we would be at risk of losing Fatu and Osobie, which we cannot even imagine. Only God knows what will happen at that point. If they do decide on reinvestigation, we are hoping and praying this will give AOH a second chance at presenting our case. It would delay us probably a month or so, but at least in the end we would be able to bring home our dear children.
We really-really need your prayers!!
I know we just keep asking for them...and I know you are all praying, This is all we have left. God's mercy. God's hand over and in all of this.
THANK YOU!
All of you who have walked this LONG journey with us.

With heavy hearts,
Jeff and Katie

Friday, September 7, 2007

Update: Please PRAY


Thank you for all your prayers! Well, an update...boy, this is tough. At the moment the U.S. visa consulate is not issuing visas due to discrepancies in our case. The consular is presenting our case to the state department advisory board to be reviewed. They will decide by Tuesday if the whole case will be re investigated or not. If they decide against reinvestigation....we would be at risk of losing Fatu and Osobie, which we cannot even imagine. Only God knows what will happen at that point. If they do decide on reinvestigation, we are hoping and praying this will give AOH a second chance at presenting our case. It would delay us probably a month or so, but at least in the end we would be able to bring home our dear children.
We really-really need your prayers!!
I know we just keep asking for them...and I know you are all praying, This is all we have left. God's mercy. God's hand over and in all of this.
THANK YOU!
All of you who have walked this LONG journey with us.

With heavy hearts,
Jeff and Katie

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

SOS! PLEASE PRAY!!

So below is the blog I was about to post an hour ago..…Then I got a phone call from the Alonso’s who spoke with the director of AOH. It turns out there was no meeting today. They scheduled it for Friday. Well, I don’t know what to write other than we really need a miracle to happen. If the visa woman does not issue the visa…we will have serious problems. This is it! This is on the floor, crying out to God time!! There is nothing else we can do but CRY OUT on behalf of our kids and the Alonso girls! LORD HELP US!! LORD we ask for your spirit to go before Patty and Eric and the visa woman, Alma. Lord we ask for you to move in mighty & miraculous ways for Fatu and Osobie and Malaya and Aries!!

COULD YOU ALL PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS FRIDAY’S MEETING!!!

Please pray for Alma’s heart to be softened and for resolution!

We cannot even begin to fathom our lives without
Fatu and Osobie. It's hard to believe our bags have been packed for 2 weeks and we were planning to travel
in 2 days and now we're faced with this!

We ask for your hand God, your truth, your way, your will Lord!

Wow…now I need to go read my previous blog

and ask God to help me really hang on to this truth!

________________________________________________________________________

God is good ALL the time….ALL the time God is good!

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this proclaimed from the lips of African men and women in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and the DRC (Congo). Let me say it again.

God is good ALL the time….ALL the time God is good!

In the midst of heartache; heartache that comes from saying good bye to your child, husband, wife, brothers and sisters from war, AIDS, disease…in the midst of poverty; poverty that shows itself in the swollen bellies of village children and young women selling themselves to support their family… in the midst of suffering, desperation, loneliness, hopelessness….In the midst of all of this… We hear…

God is good ALL the time….ALL the time God is good!

How is this possible? One word -Jesus. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, to die on the cross for all of our sin, so we could be united with him in relationship forever. So we could be set free in the love of Christ, in the truth of God’s love, in the hope of resurrection, in the floods of God’s healing. This is how. This is how we get through the storms. This is how we stand when our knees are weak. This is how we do it. This is the only way I know how to get through times like these. TRUST, HOPE, BELIEVE in the ONE and ONLY, GOD the Father, who is loving, caring, kind, generous, comforting, peace-giving, trust worthy, faithful, and GOOD!!!!

THANK YOU AFRICA! Thank you for your hearts full of trust and confidence in our good God. Thank you Ruth, Vivian, Charles, Arthur, Mike, Mudekerezza….and all the other beautiful lovers of Jesus across Africa, who we have met and who have impacted our lives forever. Thank you for the reminder of truth, for the song I can sing even in the midst of all my stinkin’ doubt, anxiety, and fear!

Yes, I agree, I agree… I will sing with you all...

God is good ALL the time…ALL the time God is good!!!

No news. Not a word from Liberia. So….we wait. We wait and pray. We pray for God’s will to be done. We pray for Liberia, the consulate, Patty, Eric and for the other families (Alonso’s) who are also walking this hard journey. Thank you friends, family, strangers for all your prayer support and sweet encouragement! Thank you…we are feeling all the love!! You’re all just awesome!!! We are blessed to have you in our lives!! Thank you!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Even more PRAYER!!!!

Hi friends!

Well,....the saga continues with the Borchert's!
We sure could use some prayers TODAY!!!.

We are waiting to receive our kids visas in order to travel. The visa woman requested our children's parents death certificates and then requested to interview the grandpa. Well, they found grandpa (answer to prayer) and he went in for his interview today. It did not go well. The grandpa was nervous and he was inconsistent with his answers. The visa woman did not issue Fatu and Osobies visas. I am unclear of all the details but basically she does did not believe the grandpa. She is cracking down on the visa process because of child trafficking issues (which is a good thing), and because there have been other orphanages in Liberia that have been deceitful. AOH has never had any problems or grievances. Tomorrow Patty (founder of AOH) and Eric (director of AOH) will have another meeting with the visa consulate to try to resolve our adoption issues and the Alonso's adoption. Our friend, Charity and her family are also in a bind similar to ours. They are waiting to bring home their girls too! You can check out her blog below.
Could you please pray for us &
For the Alonso family!!! (www.internationlmommy.blogspot.com)

-pray for the right words for Patty & Eric
-pray that the visa consulate's heart would be softened
-pray they can solve any problems in paperwork
-pray that the truth is spoken and that there is understanding of Liberian culture
Could you also pray for Jeff and I... we're a bit distraught over all of this, as you can imagine. We are also learning how to trust our Father at a whole new level!

We love you all! Thank you for seeking God with us. It feels so much better to know we are a part of a God seeking, Jesus loving, prayer warrior community!!