Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bubbles and Little Miss Diva

A few weeks ago, Cupcake learned to blow bubbles. Once she sets her mind to conquer something, look out. She will not be stopped.

Notice the concentration...

The anticipation builds...
One day, when it was freezing out, Cupcake decided it was time to try on last year's swimsuit.

Then she found a microphone.

(Please ignore the toys and junk on the floor, as well as my dirty mirror.)

Enjoy the fun.

Blessings to you,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Blog Makeover

I need a blog makeover. The picture in the header is over 2 years old. I'd like to have individual pictures of my kids across the top. How do I even begin? Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Blessings to you,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yeah Me!

I've had absolutely NO SIGN of shingles this week! Yeah me!! :-D

I have decided that my day in the ER was really just a unique spa day. I had a private, quiet room. As long as I wasn't moving, I wasn't in pain. Nobody called. Nobody needed my attention. They were so busy, they left me alone for hours at a time. So, I laid around for eight hours reading my book, praying, and watching Jeopardy. Sure, I was starving (I hadn't eaten for 2 days.) and a stretcher is not the most comfortable bed. But, really, all in all, it was somewhat restful.

When I told this to Cupcake's therapist, she looked at me and said, "Julie, do you know how crazy, busy, stressful your life must be if a day in the ER is refreshing?"


I wouldn't trade my crazy, busy, stressful life for anything, but I wouldn't mind a week in Tahiti with my Honey.

Blessings to you,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

We Have a New Record, Folks

Last year, about this time, I reported our unusual February/March consisted of two Emergency Room visits, one broken ankle, and two emergency surgeries...all in 6 weeks time.

Well, we new have a new record!!!

This year, in two weeks time, we have had three Emergency Room visits, and two emergency surgeries.

The good news...everyone is going to live. :-)

Two weeks ago today, I took Daddy to the ER for a kidney stone. After an all-nighter, he had surgery (a procedure, really, but under general anesthesia) to blast the stone and put in a stent. The surgeon reported that it was a lot more difficult than he had expected, and that he had to be rougher with Daddy than is usual. He had lots of complications, so they kept him an extra night. Two days later, he was again in dire pain. Back to the ER we went. After another all-nighter, he had another surgery to check out the healing from the first procedure and to replace the stent. It worked. Hallelujah! He is left with some mild discomfort which will go away once they remove the stent.

Yesterday, I began having abdominal pain. It grew more intense as the day wore on, so I called my doctor. He did not think it was appendicitis, and the pain was not intense enough to warrant a bunch of tests, so he asked me to wait and see until today - unless the pain increased. So, today, the pain was still there, and had increased a little. So, off we went the the same ER. It was crazy busy, and it took hours just to get a room. After 8 hours of running tests and waiting around, they have determined that I have Undiagnosed Abdominal Pain. Hmmm... The Dr. actually thinks it may be shingles, but it hasn't come on in force yet. Shingles! I have not heard anything good about shingles. :-(

All this to say, I have found myself very thankful lately that we are having all these problems in America, and not in Haiti. Our hospitals are actually in buildings. Everything is sterile. They have full staffing. Our waits are nothing. Our insurance covers most everything. We have our arms and legs and family. We have a house to come home to after a long and difficult day. We have it good, even when things are not easy or fun. Thank You, Jesus, for all these things.

Blessings to you,

Monday, February 1, 2010



Everywhere I turn, people are pleading for donations to UNICEF on behalf of the children of Haiti. The pictures tug on your heartstrings.


Now, please hear me out. I have reasons. Lots of them.

Don't misunderstand me. By all means, give money to Haiti relief. I believe in supporting large organizations that can come in and do disaster relief in a big way. I believe in supporting small
NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) that lived through the earthquake and have an established relationship with the people of Haiti. But I do not believe in supporting UNICEF at any level.

"Why?" you ask.

For starters, UNICEF begins with UN.

The United Nations is a bloated organization of self-important elitists who think they know best how to run the lives of the “little people”.

Don’t even get me started about the widespread corruption.

This is the organization that pouts and shakes its finger at cruel, murderous dictators. And if the dictator doesn’t comply with their demands…they….they…they ………pass a resolution. They are largely irrelevant when dealing with the truly awful atrocities of this world.

This is the organization that purports to stand for the rights of women all over the world. That is, as long as the “right” is to have an abortion. As long as a woman wants to kill her offspring, they will stand up and fight for her right to do that. If the woman lives in China, though, and she wants to have the right to bring her child to term, that’s a different story. They wouldn’t dare step on China’s one child, forced abortion, forced sterilization policy. It would be so wrong of them to interfere with a nation’s sovereignty.

And speaking of China, this is the same organization that thinks it’s a good idea to put China on the Human Rights Committee. Really? You know, I think the presidents of Iran and North Korea would have a wealth of information on human rights…like how to trample on them. Maybe the three of them could get together and sing Kum-ba-ya.

Sorry for dripping with sarcasm. I can’t help it. You see, it’s not just political. It’s personal.

UNICEF is the arm of the UN that speaks “on behalf” of children. I believe that many of them are kind-hearted people who really do care about the best interests of the children. They just have bad ideas. And ideas have consequences. In this case, deadly consequences.

UNICEF was responsible for shutting down adoptions in Guatemala. There are many, many of my friends' kids still waiting to come home two years after new adoptions were stopped. And many, many left behind.

In fact, UNICEF is responsible for shutting down adoptions wherever they go. And everywhere they go, orphans are dying because they have no family to take them in and care for them. Everywhere. Orphanages are filled to capacity and they have lost their funding (because adoption funds orphanages.) They are turning away children because they just don’t have the resources. Everywhere. Children are dying because UNICEF stepped in to “protect” them.

Oh, they promise that they just want adoptions to be legal, ethical, and transparent. I want adoptions to be legal, ethical and transparent. Who doesn’t? They promise that once safeguards are in place, they will give their blessing. Therein lies the rub. There will never be enough safeguards. No developing nation has the resources to implement the lofty ideas of UNICEF. A national computerized database sounds like a terrific idea, until you realize that something like 8% of Guatemalans have refrigerators and even fewer have laptops. Internet access is sketchy at best. Entire villages lose power for months at a time. Villagers whose kids go missing are not likely to know about a computerized database and they are very unlikely to have a recent digital photograph of their missing child, even if the government could implement such a system.

And then there is the bigger problem of corruption. UNICEF steps in because of corruption. So they work with the government to put an end to the corruption. The problem: The government is corrupt. In our two year adoption journey, in four visits to the country, the ONLY corruption we ran into was with a government official. So, corrupt UNICEF wants to work with corrupt governments to stop corruption in the private sector. Hmmmm? Does anyone see a problem with that?

And then there is the biggest problem with UNICEF. In the deepest core, there is an underlying worldview that truly believes that inter-country adoption is equivalent to child-trafficking. They especially feel it is wrong for Americans to take children out of their native culture. I have so much more to say on this, but I will save it for another post. Let me just say, “There is a BIG DIFFERENCE!”

So why the outrage at UNICEF now?

Because they are at it again.

Remember the 25 kids from For His Glory Orphanage in Haiti? The ones that had a little more paperwork to be completed before they could come home to their waiting parents? Those kids who had hoped to be cleared the next day were never approved.

UNICEF stepped in. They are throwing their money and power around to make Haiti comply with their unreasonable demands. There are kids in Haiti who were in process to be adopted by loving parents. I know I’m long-winded, but…

Go read this heartbreaking story.

And then resolve to NEVER give to UNICEF again.

Bless you for reading this far.