Friday, July 29, 2011


photo by Nicole Bricato

there is much to say...
And I am going to try to be concise.

No promises.

Noah came home a couple of weeks ago from his most recent trip to Haiti and we all breathed a sigh of relief that he'd be home for a while this time around.
The next HaitiLove trip isn't till late October so we figured we'd spend some time "resting" and getting family time in, along with doing some "getting our buts in gear" as far as home life goes.
Don't you ever feel as though, as a family, you only have time to identify a problem and get frustrated by it on a daily basis, but rarely the time to come up with a solution?
Enter:Amazing sisters,momma, and a great leader of a husband.
Amazing sister's job?
Take care of our boys for 2 days and one night, loving on them well enough that they will cry when I pick them up in hopes that I will simply leave them there forever.
Amazing husbands job?
Make sure we have 2 full days of no cell phone and no leisure internet and pure focus.
And so we set out on our staycation focused on getting focused.
We stayed at my mom and dads beautiful home while they were out of town and went to cool coffee shops,etc.
We spent day 1 identifying things that don't "work" well in our lives and how we could fix them together as a team.
Then day 2 was devoted to implementing ways to accomplish our ideals.
We wrote our family's mission statement,came up with a schedule for everyone that will help us actually DO what we hope to DO with our lives.
Bought Auggie an underground fence.
You know stuff like that, so I can stop chasing my dog through the neighborhood when I simply let her out to go pee.
I do NOT have time for that.
Or patience.
It's the simple things.
But we took the time to DO something about it so that we can be more freed up to do what we believe God really wants us to DO.
SO that was that.
And it was AMAZING.

But even as we tried to rest and relax post Haiti.
Haiti has come a callin'.
photo of Noah with his girl by Meagan Meekin

As some of you may know, we have been trying for over a year to pursue the adoption of a brother and sister who live in the orphanage in which we work.
The boy, M, is blind with congenital cataracts and we have been attempting to get them both here on medical visas, but have continued to hit closed doors.
We also recently hit a closed door with the adoption.
The lawyer we are working with in Haiti has become concerned that Noah's age is going to be a problem.
You are supposed to be 35 and he is only 32 1/2.
That's a 2 1/2 year difference folks.

We feel hopeful that God will make a way around this but until he makes that "way" clear, we are on pause as far as the adoption goes.
We have plenty of money to continue to raise during this waiting season.
We will continue to work on that and continue to love these precious children in ANY way we can.
They have not been left as orphans, just like Jesus has not left us as orphans.
They have a father and mother to advocate for them and care for them, even when we are limited in our ways to do that.
And we are willing to do this for as many years as it takes.

This week, we were given a major opportunity to do just that.
A dear friend found a team of US surgeons going to the Northwestern part of Haiti to do cataract surgery.
They want to perform surgery for "M" in hopes that he will recover some of his sight!
This is a relatively simple procedure, though made riskier by being done in Haiti.
His post op will be a week of keeping everything really clean (not conducive to Haiti) and staying calm, along with a months worth of eye drops 4x a day.
At first, it was clear for a number of reason, which I will share in a moment, that I could not accompany "M" for his surgery.
This broke my heart.
As a mom who has already walked through multiple medical procedures with her son and having a great heart for children facing this type of life, I was devastated to realize what this really meant.
I tried to be realistic.
But when I would think of not being there with him as he walked this road. When I would think of not being there when he gets to see more than he ever has his entire life...
more tears.
Lord, am I being dramatic?
Or high maintenance?
Should I just accept this as your plan?
I went running.
And prayed.
(For some reason running and praying go hand in hand for me.When I really need to hear from God, this is the best way to go about it.)
So I ran.
And tried to problem solve.
Which for me is, no joke, an impossibility.
I just kept hitting walls in my mind.
And there are many walls.
But as I ran and prayed, all I could think is that no matter when or if they ever come home, their heavenly father loves them SO intensely.
I wasn't getting any major revelations here about "the plan."
Just the constant, intense compassion.
We had spoken with them earlier in the day on skype and, as we often do, when they ask for the impossible (like when are we taking them home with us, or when are we bringing Aslan to Haiti)
we asked them to pray.
We told them that God must do these things.
And we must wait.

And as I ran, I begged God to be faithful to them.
To make his nearness to them evident and not let them be put to shame in their asking big things form Him.
And I cried some more.

The next day, on our staycation date, I shared this with Noah, my realist.
And my problem solver.
I love this man.

Not only because I literally couldn't solve the problem of how to walk and chew gum at the same time without his methodical mind.
With me being a dreamer, the details boggle me,
And he totally gets the details.

And the reason I love him is that he helped me think through what the real problems were, keeping me from "M"s bedside in Haiti.
And there were plenty.
And I teared up, telling him how I would feel to miss out on this big moment in this very special boys life.
How it would grieve me to see a video and not be there,touching him, hugging him,holding him.
And then he said,
"Well, if that's how you feel, and you know what you should do...then get to doing it."
In a firm,decisive, non emotional way.
All the ways I don't know how to do.
well, um, ok...
but what about how much money it would cost for you and I to go...
what about the timing....
what about...
all the problems I don't know how to solve?
photo of "M" by Meagan Meekin

You see there was also the MAJOR problem of our sweet Shepherd.
No, he's not a problem.
Get this.
We've been trying to help "M" for about a year.
And when help comes, it came for Aug 8th,2012.
In Haiti.

Meanwhile on Aug 8,2012.
In Chapel Hill,NC.
Another Joyner boy is scheduled for his first bronchoscopy in over a year.
This is the procedure where they sedate Shep and examine his airway and decide wether or not they should try to take his trach out.
The gears in my mind were seriously jammed.

So here's where we are.
UNC was willing to squeeze Shep in for a week earlier, which is THIS monday, August 1st.
And some other details were able to come together to make this possible.
SO, I will wait until Monday afternoon to see wether or not I go to Haiti to be with "M."
If Shep gets his trach out...
well, wow. That would be something else entirely.
And I would not go to Haiti.
But Noah will.
He buys his ticket today.
A one way ticket.
We aren't sure how it will all go down, but we want to love this precious boy in Haiti well.
The only way we feel we can be sure that he is getting the post op care he needs is to be the ones to give it to him.
Remember the month of eye drops?
Well, at this point, it's possible that Noah will be staying in Haiti for a month to administer eye drops.
Alongside that, he can do lots of work for HaitiLove and maybe even make some adoption connections.
If Shep does not get his trach out, then I will immediately purchase a ticket Monday afternoon and fly out Aug 6th with Noah.
I will only stay a week,though.
We're only 1/2 crazy, folks.
And then I'll head home to my other babies,
without hubby.
I know I feel it,too.
On Soooo many levels.

I hardly know if this makes any sense to you all.
It hardly makes sense to me.

It's a lot.

Please pray with us.PLEASE.
1.For "M"'s surgery. That it will go smoothly and his sight will be restored in ways no one could hope.
2. For the trip to Haiti. That Noah will get much done for HaitiLove and that God will enfold him in grace and provision for this time.
3. That God would use this trip to give us favor with the government and build advantageous relationships for the adoption and the future.
4. For Shep's bronch. That God would protect him during the procedure and do His perfect will in this remarkable boy's life.
5. Finances. God has provided money for our adoption and I will use some of it for going to be with "M." But both Noah and I going is a huge expense and I hope to not use it all for this trip. But if I do have to use a lot of it, pray that I will trust God to continue to provide as he has in the past as needed to move forward in the adoption.
Also, if anyone happens to have airline miles they've acquired in their travels that they would like to donate for this trip, that would be a huge blessing.
6. Everything I am forgetting or is too much to say!!!!
Our boys.
My mom, as she watches them, IF I go.
Let the Holy Spirit lead you.
There's so much.
I'm scares.

This is all so God sized.
May I trust you, Father.
Regardless of the outcome.

Psalm 112:6-8

English Standard Version (ESV)

6For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
7He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm,trusting in the LORD.
8His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.


This is bigger than me and I need God to do his thing and get me out of the way.

Because he doesn't make mistakes.

Thank you guys for always praying my family through the impossible.

I'll let you know how Monday goes, but regardless Noah bought a one way ticket to Haiti today, so,
please pray.

And sorry, I lied.
About being concise.
I did try.


Stephanie said...

wow, steph. sat her in tears, with chill bumps, and sp excited to know so many ways to PRAY with yall.

praying, friend. and SO excited for yall!

Leah Wall said...

I understand. I love you. I'm praying for you.

I wish we had airline miles to share - but we've got too few to make it worth it, after you pay the transfer fee and buy the full price ticket with miles, it's cheaper (on every flight we've looked at) to just buy the cheaper-class ticket. :( Maybe next time you need to go we'll have some miles for you.

Arica said...

You don't know who I am, but I found your blog. Your blog touched me. I look foward to reading it when you write... I just wanted to tell you that I admire your faith, your love, your compassion.. I will be in pray for you and your family... I will be in prayer for your children in waiting.. NOTHING could seem longer than waiting on your children...

Anonymous said...

I love you Stephanie and I will pray for you and all these request..I wish I flew and had miles to give you.. But i can give you prayers for both children and prays for you and Noah...