Hansen family of six!

Hansen family of six!
Home with Emmi

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back in Washington,It is cold outside and warm in my heart.

We made it home safely. The traveling home is a killer. It is so long. I woke up at 4:45 Haiti time so I could get all packed and have time with Emmi. I really didn't need to be up until 6:00, but I couldn't sleep.
We had a great time the night before with the 3, 20 something, girly girls who came on the trip and are staying on to help out with the school and Creche Christmas parties, as well as helping out in the nursery or anywhere else needed. Lots of laughs with them. As we were hanging out in the room and chatting the last night, I went to the bathroom and came back to a broken bed, it was too funny. Then we did a temporary fix and I went to the bathroom later and guess what?, it broke again. I think they were jumping on it when I was gone, although that would be hard being they were wood with a thin matress and no box spring. Willy ended up on the matress on the floor.
As we were hanging out in front of the Creche getting ready to leave, I was holding Emmi and all of a sudden she was saying "Momma, momma, momma", did I hear her? She called me Momma. Then she proceded to point at the truck and van that was taking us to town and said something in Creole. She knew I was leaving........but the cool part was she called me Momma! Emmi doesn't talk much so any words are good, but what a gift right before I left. I needed that.
Another cool story.....when Willy was helping do some painting he noticed one of the workers had some girl sandals on that were too small. So he asked if he could give him his tennis shoes, of course I said yes! He went back to our room, got the shoes, a shirt, some socks and a nice baseball cap and gave them to the guy. The next day he was spotted wearing the hat, not too sure what happened to the shoes. Sometimes they save them for going to town, sell them, or he may have gave them to his family. Often they only have one or two pair of clothes and save the nice pair for when they go to town. It is important to them to dress nice when in town. I think they feel it represents how rich they are by how nice they dress, so they want to look good. Everytime we go down there, I bring some clothes I don't care about bringing back, then the Aunties can have some new/used clothes. Once again we have so much here.
Looking back on the trip I feel a deep sense of sadness. Emmi was so sad, or sick, but just not herself. The realities of where she lives and the culture she lives in came very clear. Even though she is in a great Creche, she still has many hard things to deal with and see. It is very sad to me, and this trip was an eye opener to the deep hurt these children have inside. We are so blessed to have our children with us and in our homes, that we are able to feed them, give them clothes, a bed and love on them. It is a privilage and I will cherish that forever. As well as I will always be reaching out to the orphans of the world. I will never be able to just sit by and not love them. It is ingrained in me. I would challenge you to seek out what God has for you and your life and who he wants you to reach out to and love.
Pray Emmi's paperwork goes through quick and she will be home soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A sad day with a happy ending

Today was a hard day. Emmi is either not feeling well, having a hard time with all the changes here, or just mad at me. Everyone seems to think she isn't feeling well. Her stomach is very bloated. She only wanted to be in my arms, while standing or laying on the floor. It really made me feel sad listening to her whine, she didn't even cry. She has had alot of change lately-moving to the big girls room, potty training(by the way she went on the potty for me a couple of times), starting school and I found out today that Jasmine, her favorite Auntie, who does physical therapy, is on vacation. So there is alot going on in this little girls life. I was emotionally drained from the whinning, clinging and just seeing her so not herself. I really just want to bring her home now. We did have a few moments of play time, maybe for a total of 1 hour. It also has been hard for me because she hasn't wanted much to do with Willy. Although all the other little boys love him. By the way JJ, Mackenly is just too cute, he has just loved on me and me on him like crazy.
But as the night came to a close during dinner, Willy went to go and get Emmi after she got ready for bed, so we could say goodnight. She just sat on Willy's lap and cuddled with him and then played with him on the floor. It was so good for my heart to see her happy and interacting with Willy. He was soaking it up. Then she fell asleep in my arms and I put her to bed in a crib she shares with another girl. Our kids are so spoiled to get their owns beds. Actually there is a new rule from the government for the Creche that says every kid has to have a bed, so Willy got to work on beds, paint a playpen for the school kids siblings who are in the nursery at the school, and paint a box for the presents for the kids. I think he enjoyed helping out. We also went for a walk outside the Creche to the school, up to the soccer field and through the local village. There was a cow in the middle of the soccer field. We also went up on the roof. It was a challenge going up 2 ladders, well only for me, but I did it!, and was very happy I did. It was beautiful.
One thing I am really happy I worked on my Creole before I came and wish I knew more. I was able to tell Emmi I missed her, I love her and I will see you in the morning. I am constantly talking to her in English and she has no clue. By the way did I tell you she gave me my first kiss from her on the day we came here. Too precious.
We leave early in the morning tomorrow so we will get a few minutes with Emmi. I hope she is feeling better. For the family at home, I hope Crookshank comes home. JJ, how is wrestling. Thanks Weege for all your help, you are a blessing. Billy I love you and miss you.

the III's turn

sup you all this is strait from the third william in the fam. today was not so good to start out, Emmi was telling me to get my own orphan. and with her throwing her silent tantrumes all the time i desided i would. so i did and by the end of the day i had two little boys following me around. they are the coolest and laugh pretty much every thirty secounds. and that is no lie. but ya then after everyone went to bed, or right before it, i went to see if she was doing alright and she was waiting for me. earlier during the day she had seen me with the other kids and was not so happy. and she was very happy to see me come get her. after that for like 45 mins she played blocks with me and it was pretty sweet. she even gave me a high five and a bump. so ya it is a good ending and we even go a few small smiles out of her. so ya the llast couple days for me have really been nothing important. i slept most of the first full day here, and the day before i was just not really here either so ya. so ya you all should post on mine because i am just that cool. see you all in a couple days. oh and you all better see my on my birthday or i am not going to be very happy. i will pull a Emmi and floop all over the floor and kick off my shoes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Okay first of all..... Sierra, thanks so much for your post, I loved it!, it was soooooo you.
So, lets see I got scolded today for giving Emmi food. She isn't acting like she is feeling well, felt like she had a fever, and there are others who are sick, so I asked if she could have some mediciine and I got a talking to about feeding her other food than what she is given. I felt bad. On the last too trips I have fed her our food as well as her own and she has been fine.......oh well. Maybe too much fruit loops.......she has really enjoyed them, uh oh. We missed outside time today because Emmi fell asleep in my lap. But we did get to have sugar cane for a snack. It was good. My prayer is she will be feeling better tomorrow, as it is our last full day with her.

Tonight at dinner we heard some really sad news about a village that was completely wiped out from the hurricanes(actually it is the story I posted a while ago) Kids are dying from starvation and the Creche(orphanage) needs permission to even go and get kids to help them. Gina, one of the ladies in charge, said it is very sad and hard to take. I can't believe kids are dying from hunger. It is so hard to comprehend coming from where we live. Pray they can send a team of nurses and social workers on friday to help.

On another sad note, the driving in Haiti is crazy. On our way out to the Creche we saw a man get hit by a car and no one did anything. He had a huge bump on his head. I couldn't believe it! He barely made his way to the side walk. We weren't aloud to help, it would have made things worse.

On to a happier note. The food here is amazing again. I love the beans and rice, and the fried plantains. The weather was nice again today. I can't believe how comfortable the temperature is.
I spent alot of time in the toddler room and they are just too cute. I love that age and the kids just love the attention. Also being a part of school was just too fun. The do school in English and the kids do alot of repeating. Their axcents are so cute. Today they worked on their colors and shapes. I am so happy Emmi gets to be a part of school now and is with the older girls. That is so good for her. She is catching up so quick. Also her legs are looking great and she is walking good too.
Until tomorrow, we miss and love you all.

We made it!

We made it safe to Haiti yesturday, but the internet was down so I didn't get to post. The weather is great, not as hot as June or even last January. It is cool at night. So, very nice. Willy and Emmi are sleeping a lot. I think Willy has taken 5 naps equaling 1/2 of our time. Two of them with Emmi, at least that is his excuse. Last night Willy played soccer with the boys and loved it, they gave him a serious workout. Emmi is not quite as smilie as last time. She is definitely guarded in showing her emotions which is really sad to me. Every once in a while we see a smile, but then she tries to hide it. It is cute. I don't know if she is feeling well today, she is really mellow and laying around. Hopefully she will perk up in the afternoon. She loves to play outside in the afternoon when it is cool. I am hoping to be able to post later and put pics. I haven't taken much pics because the Creche has many displaced children because of the hurricanes. The have an agreement with UNICEF that no pics will be taken of the displaced children. So we are only allowed to take pics of our own kids. There is a ton of babies, alot of them displaced. It is sad. Some good news Emmi is now in school, I went with her today. Teacher John says she doesn't talk though, not surprised. She did do some talking to Willy earlier, how did he get so lucky. She does repeat the names the people in the pics. Gracie, she even said your name. JJ, I think she remembers you. Her face lights up when she sees your pic. Sierra, she is trying so hard to say your name. She is also in the big girl room and wearing underwear. Which could mean potty trained by the time she is home. How cool is that! Well, I need to share the internet, so I will try to post a pic and more later. Lots of love to all, we miss you!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

We are off! Tomorrow morning, if you call 4:30 morning, I call it evening, we are heading to Seattle to leave for Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We will stay a night there and then head for Haiti with our group on Tues morning. If all goes well, we should be at the orphanage by 9:00 in the morning Bellingham time. I am finally all packed, after re-packing and re-packing to get all the wonderful donations everyone gave. I feel so blessed. We filled 4 - 50lbs suitcases with donations and Willy and I are carrying on all our stuff and some of Emmi's. We bring clothes and toys to play with her and the other kids while there. So thanks to all who gave! You are awesome!

I will try to post every night if I can, it all depends on if there is power, acess to a computer and the internet working.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A bittersweet Thanksgiving

On Saturday, our usual Thanksgiving since Billy usually has to work, was wonderful. I love to have everyone over and enjoy food and fellowship. Everyone has to do my corny tradition, which by the way we have done for 8 years now. We talk about how at one point the pilgrims had only 5 kernels of corn and no one died of starvation. So we all have 5 kernels of corn on our plate and share 5 things we are thankful for in the last year. It is so good to reflect on the year and hear all God is doing in everyones lives and all the blessings we have. It is a blessing to be able to do it every year.

This year was the hardest for me. I really thought Emmi would be home and when it came my time to share I was overwhelmed with emotion. So another holiday goes by without our sweetie. But how grateful am I for the people in my life right now and I am always reminding myself that God is in control, I have no control and life is good now. But we do miss Emmi. The good news is in one week I will be on the way to Haiti with my oldest son, Willy. I am so looking forward to time with him and with Emmi. See life is good!

I hope you all had a wonderful time of feasting and love. After being to Haiti twice and sitting at our table full of food, I was extremely blessed to be in this country, even with all the junk going on. Those of us born in America are very blessed and need to find out why we were born here and how we can reach out to the less fortunate.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our family and friends. Sending love from the Hansen's!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hunger in Haiti

This is a sad story, but true. It is so hard for us to believe there are people dying from hunger. In our country you can probably find a meal every day. It is a good reminder of the big picture and that we need to reach out and give because we have been so blessed, and there are so many in need.


Monday, November 17, 2008

One step closer!

I am excited to say that our paperwork has moved to second legalization. What does that mean? More court stuff, but the most important is that we are one step closer! I know it sounds crazy, but every little thing matters in this crazy, roller coaster world of adoption. So today is a good day and in 3 weeks I will get to go and see her. God is good!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

October update!

We finally got an update on Emmi. Last month due to the hurricanes we didn't get an update, so here it is. There has been absolutly no movement in our paperwork and we can't seem to figure out why, so start praying that we can get some answers and if there is anything we can do here. At the orphanage she is doing well; "sleeping is perfect", she is happy and plays with others well. She is sick right now with a cough and cold. But fortunately due to the donations of everyone, she is able to take some vitamin c and other medications. Thanks to all the people who have given in so many different ways.

On the homefront we continue navigate our way through life. Billy is enjoying his new job, but has to work a lot so he is missing us and we are very much missing him. Willy is working at Target part-time, taking a class at Whatcom Community College and 4 classes at Meridian High School. he is such a good student and is doing very well. He is currently on brake from baseball but it buffing up for the upcoming season. JJ is at Meridian High School full time and is doing awesome, he has adjusted from homeschool well. Wrestling is just around the corner and he is anticipating a tough season after winning first last year. Sierra is homeschooling and attending MP3 where I teach while she is in class. She loves it and has made some great friends. She is also loving dance, and is very good at it. Sierra and I joined a homeschool co-op this year, I love it! I wish I would have found it when the boys were little.

All of the kids were involved in a government class of some sort so we all learned a lot and became very knowledgeable about the government and politics. The elections became a family thing, and we all felt it helped us make educated decisions about he elections.

As for me, I continue to be the mom, wife and friend God has called me to be while continuing to seek Him daily through prayer and reading. One thing I have learned from the adoption so far is prayer, and the peace that can come from prayer. I am in so many different situations where really all I can do is pray. Also taking a dance class can be really fun and exercise!

So in less than a month Willy and I will head to Haiti and see Emmi, hopefully she will be better then. My prayer is that we will learn more about her case and have some great bonding time for us with Emmi and Willy and I. Of course safe travels. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another Trip to visit Emmi in Haiti!

Due to the fact that our paperwork is taking forever, Willy and I are off to visit Emmi December 8-12. I am so excited! We got really cheap tickets, a gift from God. Speaking of gifts.......when we travel to Haiti we fill our suitcases to the max with donations and that is how the orphanage survives. Sending stuff there is not reliable at all. It costs a ton and you don't know if it will make it. So we have a list of stuff that is needed that our specific trip is trying to bring. If you are interested donating, you can pick up any of the things on the list and I would love to come and pick it up from you. It is amazing how each trip our bags are full because of the generous people in Whatcom County, you are amazing!

You can find the list of items needed at


We are on the December trip! Thanks so much for all your support to us and the children of Haiti. Children won't go hungry because of your love.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday Emmi!

Yesterday was Emmi's 3rd Birthday. It was a sad and happy day. We are so thankful she made it to celebrate her 3rd birthday, but are sad we didn't get to celebrate with her. Let's hope for next year. The last few trips have been canceled because of the hurricanes so we haven't been able to send her a little gift. I hoping for next month.I made a picture book of our family and pics with her to send along with some stickers(pronounced stickars by the kids at the Creche), and a pair of sun glasses. Pretty much everything you send is hers for a few minutes but then becomes community property. I wonder if she will be good at sharing or worse because of that?

We love you Emmi and can't wait for you to come home!


Haiti under water

Due to all the hurricanes Haiti is underwater. Here is an update as of September 12th.

Here is some of what Gina(one of the people who run Chances for Children, the organization who owns the Creche) wrote: “The white river since Tuesday night has flood the village. Access is impossible via vehicle only can get through with donkey. Lucien has been able to get some food and supplies to the crèche via donkey. The children are safe but stuck inside the compound. The village people are without food and drinking water.”

This is the latest update, September 18th.

Hi everyone! According to Gina, the river is still pretty flooded as it is raining quite a bit at night, so there hasn’t been much receding. The road to Lamardelle is still pretty inaccessible and travel has taken place by donkey when needed. They are hoping to get an electrician to the creche the survey the damage, but the roads have to improve before then. We will let you know if there’s anything that can be done, but for now, prayers and thoughts is all that we can do.

How crazy is this! We have no clue. When was the last time you saw someone travel by donkey?
Just to give you alittle perspective, the Creche is about a 40 minute drive from Port-au-Prince, the closest main city.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Life at the Hansens

This summer has gone by way too fast and has been pretty crazy around here. Billy started his new job at BP and pretty much was going to school for 10 weeks. He spent his time at work, studying or sleeping out of pure mental and physical exhaustion. So we didn't get to see much of him and he was missed, especially by his boys. They can relate as teenagers way better to their daddy than their momma, as hard as that is for me to accept. Both the boys were looking for jobs and just enjoying the non-schedule of school. They both played summer baseball and were on good teams this year, it was really fun. I wish the weather would have been better, wait did we even have summer yet?! I thought baseball was supposed to be played in the sun, with shorts on, not long underwear.

Sierra pretty much just hung out with me, went to ball games, and swam in Grandma's pool set up at our house. She did get the opportunity to go away for two night to dance camp and loved it, she is quite the dancer. The girl can move.

We did have 2 cars out of 3 drivers break down in one week, crazy. So we are still on the lookout for a new car for me. I have come to the conclusion that I just need a van, Billy hates vans. I just really need 7 seats, I love to be able to bring people with us. When our van broke down we had every seat filled, it is just my way. So we continue to find the perfect vehicle for the best price, know any good deals?

So now school has started and I have 2, yes 2, teenagers in High School. How crazy is that?! Maybe I just think I am still 27, no wait I am. So this year it is just Sierra and I at home doing the school thing. We do start MP3 in a few weeks and I am teaching 2 classes. Willy is doing Running Start at the Community College and Meridian High School and JJ is full time at the High School.

So it is fall and we are off and running, how about you?

Bad news and Good news.

Sorry I haven't posted for a while, we have been battling Internet and e-mail issues, but all is well now.

Okay for the bad news: Haiti was hit bad by hurricane Hanna and is pretty much under water. The Creche where Emmi lives is in northern Haiti and they are safe. They were able to get some supplies to prepare. It saddens my heart to see a country so in need and then to be devastated by this. I can't imagine how they will pull out of this. And on a selfish note, I'm pretty sure it will be hard for paperwork to be moving right now. Sometimes I feel so useless, and then I remember I am called to pray. God knows and He cares.

Here is a link to some video of Haiti

So now for the good news! It was really hard not having e-mail or internet because that is my lifeline to Emmi. That is how they pretty much communicate to us, so it was killing me especially with the hurricanes. Then I got this amazing e-mail. One of the moms who visited the Creche last month got some great video of her son and Emmi giggling. It made my month! Enjoy!

Here at home we are back to school, lots of new schedules and changes. I will update on everything soon.

Thanks so much for all your prayers and support.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

June update

I know we were just at the Creche, but we just got her update and there are always new things. First of all her paperwork was submitted to Parquet, so another step closer, YEA! They say she now acknowleges her pictures as her adoptive parents, I don't know if this was written before or after we were there. My guess is before. Pretty much all the other info we knew because we were with her, what a blessing that was.

At the homestead, we continue to attend baseball games. JJ's team is going to state next week, which is in Mt. Vernon, that is nice. Willy got picked to be on the All Whatcom County team, which is really cool. We are done with school and lovin' the sunshine. Grandma let us use her pool this year, so Sierra is lovin' life. She loves to play in the water. Unfortunately our yard got out of control while I was on our June adventures so we have been weeding almost every day. Due to the high gas prices we have been spending a ton of time at home, it is nice. Billy is still at school with BP, lots of homework and tests.

Happy summer to all!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Going Home

Our last morning in Haiti was a hard one. JJ was not feeling well at all, I think he even had a fever and his stomach was really sick. He was very pale, I was worried. But I needed him to help at the airport so we could get out of Haiti safely. Everything went smoothly and by friday evening JJ was finally eating and feeling better. Thank you for your prayers. It was good to see him back to normal. After traveling for 26 hours we arrived safely at home and slept in our beds. It was nice to be home.

The last morning we got to play with Emmi and eat breakfast with her. She is just too cute. Someone brought out the sidewalk chalk and all the kids loved it! The older kids drew a picture of JJ, it was funny. When it came time to say good-bye, Madame Coindy told Emmi we have to leave but will come back when we have her papers ready. Emmi put her head down on my chest and gave me the biggest hug. She definitely knew what was happening. I felt like she knew all morning. The older kids know the routine for the trips, so they know the order of events and knew we were heading home. It is sad for all. When they took her away she threw a fit and I walked away. It wasn't as hard as I thought. I think I had prepared myself better, knowing it was just a visit, and she is well cared for. She had changed and improved so much that I know that can only happen in a good, loving environment. While we were hanging out waiting to go and I saw her eating a sucker, I guess they try to comfort the kids whose parents are leaving with a dum dum sucker. She was just sitting at the table eating her breakfast and happy, back to what she knows as normal. This whole process is so interesting to me. Sometimes I wonder if visiting is good or bad. I do notice that the kids whose parents visit really come out of their shell, that one on one time helps them feel loved, they feel connected to someone, they have a momma.

So once again we are called to pray for our Emmi and all 70 children in the Creche and Haiti. We still have more steps in the process and need to pray they go smoothly. There are so many factors. I just received info that our fingerprints are expiring, and so will other documents, so the sooner she comes home the better. I know it is God's plan and He is in control and His timing is perfect. I will rest in that.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Playing, heat, and dancing

Lunch at Mommie duncans was nice. Emmi was really tired and cranky so she stayed back to eat lunch and take a nap, it ended up a good choice. She woke up so happy. Mommie Duncan is out of town, but we got to see the new High School and Vo-tec, it is so big. What a cool thing to be able to offer the village. We also got to see power poles that have been put up so hopefully power soon. They also are hoping to build a medical center next to the Creche, which would be great for the kids as well as the villagers.

Today was really hot again, I have never sweated so much in my life. I went through 3 shirts that all were soaked, not looking forward to the stinky laundry when I get home. JJ has had an upset stomach off and on this week and isn't feeling well at all tonight. He skipped dinner and I gave him a perscription we brought just in case tonight. I am hoping he will be better tomorrow, I can't imagine traveling all day when you are sick. That would be a great prayer request.

JJ played a ton today with Emmi, she loves her older brother. He is so great with her. She was talking up a storm to us in Creole, even though we didn't know what she was saying. It sounded cool. She also would copy us and repeat what we said. She can say Momma, Daddy, JJ, Willy and Sierra, Sierra is a hard one for her, but she tried. We may need to come up with a nick name. JJ is great with all the kids, everyone is so impressed with him.

Tonight the kids surprised us with a performance of dancing. Sierra would have loved it! It was so cool and the kids were so cute. Emmi didn't dance, she was sleeping, all that playing with big brother wore her out. I got it all on video.

In the morning we will get a short time with Emmi and then we will have to say good-bye until we can come back. It will be sad to leave. I really love it here. The atmosphere is so calming and peaceful, even though there are 70 kids 6 and uunder. I will miss her, the Creche and the people.

Ox cart ride

Hey, they turned on the generator for a short time in the morning so I may get to do two posts today. We got to go on an ox cart ride this morning, it is really hot and muggy. I wonder what the temperature it? Definitely not Washington weather. The sun felt so good. JJ had a great time on the ride up to the river. The river is way down from January, I was amazed! Wednesday is market day, so there were just people hanging out, it looked alot different. There was some thyme in the river where they keep it fresh until market day, you could smell it. Very cool. Madame Coindy, the head mommy to the kids, came and it was great talking with her and just learning more. She is an amazing woman and loves the kids so much. Her personality is so fun.

Emmi loves her Momma and JJ, and she loves to be in charge. I am so weak here. I was up early and they had her ready in the dress we brought for her. She is just too cute! I love her smiles. Can't get enough. Off to Mommie Duncan's for lunch.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A long, hot day filled with lots of fun!

Today was filled with so much, including sweat. It was really hot and humid, almost too much for even me. I slept really good and late, even though the rooster was crowing at 4:00, ear plugs are your friend. When I went to go pick her up she ran, as much as she runs, down the hall to me, it was so precious. Life is good when a cute toddler gives you a sweet hug in the morning. She definitely knows who JJ and I are. Today she spent some quality time with JJ reading books and playing with playdough. Playing in the toddler JJ became a big hit with the boys, she has two buddies who seek him out where ever he is. He is so good with the kids.

Emmi has figured out that she is in charge. She walks around and wants us to follow her and do what she wants, I am weak. When it was time to put her down for her nap, I had decided to bring her back to her room so she could get a really good nap and she started to cry, so I ended up rocking her to sleep and laying her down in our room. JJ said I was "weak sauce".
She is really starting to interact with us and say things that I don't know what mean. I do understand "no" she uses it as a game.

This afternoon one of the moms and her friend organized a soccer clinic outside the Creche in the local village. We all went out to hang out and watch. Emmi wanted to be held the whole time, my arms are not used to it. JJ helped out and was so good with the kids. The little girls loved him and were trying to hold his hand, they thought he was cute. It was a great experience.

Emmi really opens up in the afternoon when we are outside, she was laughing and playing with all her friends, I got some great video. She also took off her shoes, which is a favorite thing to do, and hit one of JJ's buddies on the head. She is a normal 2 year old. She loves her babies, she likes to take off their clothes and put them back on. She has grown up so much in 6 months, from baby to toddler. I forgot how much I love the toddler age. I can't wait to get her home.

The doctor came today and looked at Emmi's eye and it does look better. When we went to say goodnight to her I sent JJ in to see if she was asleep, and she spotted JJ. When we came back in to say goodnight she was very upset he left. She loves her big brother. So I rocked her some. She loves to be held. What a privilage.

Billy, Willy and Sierra, I love you and miss you and I wish sooooooo much you could be here. Thanks for the post Sierra and Billy, Willy you are busted!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Our first day in Haiti

After traveling all day monday and not getting much sleep we finally arrived at the Creche today around noon. All the kids were eating lunch and they brought Emmi to us, she walked over. I can´t belive how much she has changed! She is walking, talking and playing. There has been such a huge change in her since January. I even got smiles today, it did take some warming up. Also she called me momma along with many other children, but to hear her talk and say momma was really cool. She does speak some Creole and can say no. Today she discovered the camera and has decided that maybe she likes it, we even got a posed smile. She does have an owie on her eye which is as described to me an epidemic that comes from the dust in the air, it is really dry here, not quite the rainy season. They are anxiously awaiting the rain. They are putting medication on it and there are others who have the same thing, it should be better in a week or so. When we first saw her she wasn´t too sure of me, but now doesn´t want to leave me. I love it! JJ and Emmi took a nap today, Emmi on the bed american style and JJ on the floor haitian style. I also snuck in a nap, it felt good. While Emmi was sleeping I painted her fingernails, they are soooo cute. JJ had a great time playing soccer and frisbee with the boys outside, they loved him! He is so fun and he looks so big next to them. I think JJ is liking it here, he said the Creche was bigger than he thought, and the kids are soooo cute. We put together the walker and they were very happy, thank you Gracie. It is hot here, overcast and muggy. We love you and miss you, but are loving seeing Emmi.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

May Update

Emmi is doing good. She is now walking around everywhere, what a huge blessing. She had the flu and a cough but is doing better now. She is now weighing 28lbs, the girl likes to eat, I'm glad, she didn't used to. Since being moved to the toddler room, she hasn't been sleeping well, waking up crying. That breaks my heart. She is a shy girl(I'm sure that will change around us, we are anything but shy) and doesn't like change. It takes her a while to warm up and get used to someone. They said when we were there in January, she wasn't herself, which is actually good news. She was so non-responsive until the last day. I am hoping this trip she will remember me and be more open and comfortable with me.

For the paperwork update, we are still in the same place, no movement. There is a hold up due to an old law that states you can't adopt from Haiti if you have biological children. They just started to reinforce it, to our disadvantage. I know they are working on it though. A family with 3 children who is about a month ahead of us moved out of IBESR so that is encouraging news. Please continue praying.

JJ and I will be heading down to Haiti June 23-27, so please pray for our safety and a great connection with Emmi. I am excited for JJ to share this with me and to experience Haiti. You may be asking "why JJ?". Well, he was the one who wanted to go, except for Sierra of course, that I felt comfortable bringing by myself. I wasn't quite comfortable bringing Sierra without Billy. Willy wants to go only when he can bring his sister home. So it is JJ and I, and I can't wait.

We will be packing our bags full of donations for the orphanage so if your interested in donating please check out the blog for the second June trip donation list and I will be happy to pick up anything. Formula is the main need, but there is other specific stuff they need.

On the homefront, we are baseball and dance crazy. Willy is playing legion baseball through the summer. He hit a homerun the other night, whoo-hooo! JJ had a tournament at Bender and his team got first-ooh yea! Sierra and I continue to refine our dances for the performance this month. Billy is starting his new job at BP tomorrow, lots of changes going on around here. I do have to say, I am sooooooooooooo happy for the sunshine we have had, I love it! And only 2 more weeks of school. I love summer and hanging out with the kids. School is great and all, but I love the no pressure, sunny, no schedule summer. Although I am always ready for the structure when fall comes.

I will try to blog while in Haiti so tune in June 23-27.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Donations for the Orphanage

JJ and I will be traveling to the Creche in Haiti to see our Emiline and help out at the Orphanage. We will be bringing a lot of donations. If you are interested in helping us fill our bags there is a blog you can go to for a list of needs. Just let me know what you get, so we can keep it updated.
Thanks so much for all your support.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Chances for Children Newsletter

Here is the recent newsletter we got from the organization who runs the Creche in Haiti.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

April Update

Unfortunately in Haiti there has been lots of rioting and unsettlement. Many are starving and the food prices have gone up 50% in the last year. Some have died from the rioting. The government offices were closed for a while, but I think they are up and running again. Which meant no paperwork being done. I think the rioting has settled down, but the situation in Haiti is grave, and there isn't much hope there. Everyone who works for Chances for Children and the children at the Creche are safe, a huge blessing. So because of all this and the law concerning having biological children it seems we will have to wait a while longer to get our girl home. We are now looking into fall. I just have to know God is in control and she will be here in His timing. Once again all I can really do is pray.

Amidst all this, there are children going home. Just last Friday a child made it home, God is good!

We have some great news about our Emmi. She has moved into the toddler room, a prayer request we had after visiting in January. She is also taking steps and starting to walk, praise God! I wish I could be there to see it. JJ and I are hoping to be able to go and see her this summer, maybe late June. I can't wait.

On the homefront-So when is it going to warm up? I can't believe we had snow again yesturday. We are still doing the baseball/teenage thing. I do love to watch my boys play baseball, I just really prefer it in the sun. Sierra and I are dancing away. She is taking 3 classes at Dancing for Joy and I am taking one. I have missed a few and look like quite the dork in class. I really need to practice or you can come watch the funny show in June. We love dance, it is so fun and a great way to express yourself, whether you are good or bad. You don't even have to sign up for a class to dance, your livingroom works good. Billy's job is in limbo and we have some decisions to make and would love all your prayers for God direction.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Monthy Update - March

I know I am late, but we got a good update on Emmi this month. She is weighing in at 25 lbs, not a skinny one anymore, a definite answer to prayer. She is becoming more active with the other children. They say she is very smilie and playful now. She can walk with the walker independently, which is awesome. One step closer to walking on her own. She did have the flu last month (but who didn't?) and is better now.

Unfortunately our paperwork has not moved at all. We have been in IBESR for 6 months now. There is an old law stating that if you have biological children you can't adopt from Haiti and they are thinking/trying to bring it back, so that may be the hold up? I am ready to move on to the next step, but I need to trust that God is in control and continue to pray. There has been some good news of children going home, so that is encouraging. Also I think JJ and I will be traveling to see our Emmi in early summer, I am excited to bring him to see Haiti and her.I am planning on posting at least once a month to keep everyone updated.

On the homefront in Bellingham, we are doing the baseball/teenage thing. As of Monday all my children at home with be double-digits, can you believe it? I am old, but I feel young. I can't believe we have snow now. Baseball is not supposed to be watched or played in the snow. Something is wrong. I can't wait for the sun. I'm tired of 5 layers and still being cold. I am ready for short sleeves and capri's. We are all busy with school, practices, games and dance. Oh by the way I am an Auntie times 3 now, with a nephew and 2 nieces. Life is good, God is good. Keep smiling!

Friday, February 8, 2008

When is our Emmi coming home?

That is the question of the year and many are asking. Unfortunately we are at the mercy of the Haitian government. There really is nothing we can do here but pray. There are many steps the paperwork has to go through in order to bring her home. My educated guess may be by the end of the summer, but so many things can happen, and we really have no control. They can close down Haiti to adoption today if they want and open it back up tomorrow. We will continue to pray and practice patience, I guess more character building, we never get too old for God to work in us. It is a good thing I can have some peace and can rest in God's timing, knowing He is in control.

Seattle Times Article

Haiti's poor feed on cookies baked with dirt
By Jonathan M. Katz
The Associated Press
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — It was lunchtime in one of Haiti's worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud.
With food prices rising, Haiti's poorest can't afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies.
Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country's central plateau.
The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cité Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.
"When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day," Charlene said. Her baby, named Woodson, lay still across her lap, looking even thinner than the slim 6 pounds 3 ounces he weighed at birth.
Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies give her stomach pains. "When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky too," she said.
Food prices around the world have spiked because of higher prices for oil, needed for fertilizer, irrigation and transportation. Prices for basic ingredients such as corn and wheat are also up sharply, and the increasing global demand for biofuels is pressuring food markets as well.
The problem is particularly dire in the Caribbean, where island nations depend on imports, and food prices are up 40 percent in places.
The global price increases, together with floods and crop damage from the 2007 hurricane season, prompted the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency to declare states of emergency in Haiti and several other Caribbean countries. Caribbean leaders held an emergency summit in December to discuss cutting food taxes and creating large regional farms to reduce dependence on imports.
At the market in the La Saline slum, two cups of rice now sell for 60 cents, up 10 cents from December and 50 percent from a year ago. Beans, condensed milk and fruit have gone up at a similar rate, and even the price of the edible clay has risen over the past year by almost $1.50. Dirt to make 100 cookies now costs $5, the cookie makers say.
Still, at about 5 cents apiece, the cookies are a bargain compared with food staples. About 80 percent of people in Haiti live on less than $2 a day and a tiny elite controls the economy.
Merchants truck the dirt from the central town of Hinche to the La Saline market, a maze of tables of vegetables and meat swarming with flies. Women buy the dirt, then process it into mud cookies in places such as Fort Dimanche, a nearby shantytown.
Carrying buckets of dirt and water up ladders to the roof of the former prison for which the slum is named, they strain out rocks and clumps on a sheet, and stir in shortening and salt. Then they pat the mixture into mud cookies and leave them to dry under the scorching sun.
The finished cookies are carried in buckets to markets or sold on the streets.
A reporter sampling a cookie found that it had a smooth consistency and sucked all the moisture out of the mouth as soon as it touched the tongue. For hours, an unpleasant taste of dirt lingered.
Assessments of the health effects are mixed. Dirt can contain deadly parasites or toxins, but can also strengthen the immunity of fetuses in the womb to certain diseases, said Gerald N. Callahan, an immunology professor at Colorado State University who has studied geophagy, the scientific name for dirt-eating.
Haitian doctors say depending on the cookies for sustenance risks malnutrition.
"Trust me, if I see someone eating those cookies, I will discourage it," said Dr. Gabriel Thimothée, executive director of Haiti's health ministry.
Marie Noël, 40, sells the cookies in a market to provide for her seven children. Her family also eats them.
"I'm hoping one day I'll have enough food to eat, so I can stop eating these," she said. "I know it's not good

How to helpThese agencies accept contributions for the poor in Haiti:
World Concern
19303 Fremont Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98133
World Vision
P.O. Box 9716
Federal Way, WA 98063
(888) 56-CHILD
InterAction, a coalition of aid agencies, lists other agencies that take contributions to help Haiti's poor. Call 202-667-8227 or go to www.interaction.org.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Since I really didn't know much about Haiti, actually nothing before we started this adventure I thought I would share what I have learned. First of all Haiti is really close to us. It is located below Florida, across from Jamaica, and shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic(the place all the good baseball players come from). The Haitians are originally from Africa brought over to be slaves. Haiti is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. This was evident in what we saw driving through the villages and city. 50% of all Haitian households live in extreme poverty using 1.00(US) per day. How much do we live on a day, not 1.00. About 4 in every 10 adults cannot read or write. I saw this on the plane when the flight attendent was helping all the Haitians fill out their immigration cards. I did see alot of children going to schools all around Haiti, so it looks like they are trying to solve this, that is encouraging. More than 80% that live in Haiti don't have clean drinking water. What a basic need, one we take for granite. Dirty water means contaminated water that leads to sickness. 1 in 20 Haitians have AIDS. There is 1 doctor to 10,000 Haitians, and many have to walk miles to get there. So I guess the clean water is even more important. Out of 8 million people in Haiti, 1 million of them are orphaned or abandoned. Okay I'm not trying to make you feel bad, just to realized how blessed we are here. What a privilage to live in the United States. I just want to give you a glimps of what is going on outside our little worlds. There are so many ways we can help. One way is adoption, but it doesn't have to be that. There are many organiztions to support with prayer and financially. The organiztion we work with is Chances4children.org. They not only adopt children, they help provide schools, clean water and jobs for local women and men as well as well as much more. There are many more. Maybe God has placed another country on your heart, just be sensitive to what He is telling you and respond. If anything I felt a piece of God's heart just by taking the trip and seeing Him at work. Haiti is such a beautiful place and the Haitians are beautiful people. I loved the palm trees, the brightness(unlike our gloomy weather), and the mountains. But the living situations are anything but beautiful. So, in conclusion Haiti was an eye opening experience and has changed my view on life forever. And now that Haiti is a part of our family history we will continue to learn and reach out however God calls us.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saying good-bye and hello

Yesturday we had to say good-bye to Emmi. I hadn't thougt too much about what it would be like until later in the trip and decided it wouldn't be too bad because of her age, and maybe she really won't know what is going on. Was I wrong. Madame Coindy told all the kids, with parents visiting, at breakfast that their mommies and daddies need to go back and get their papers before they can take them home. When they get the papers they will take you home. She told us how to say in Creole come back, so I told Emmi over and over "Momma come back". Now for some reason Emmi had decided half way threw the last day she didn't want anything to do with Billy, no smooches or holding. I think she didn't want to share her mommie with anyone, not even the other kids. When it was time to leave they came and got her and she threw a fit, the girl likes things her way. It broke my heart. It was way harder than I thought. I am so glad I have the comfort to know she is loved and cared for. I can't wait to go back. I loved Haiti and the people. Driving back into Port-au-Prince I was reminded of the living conditions outside the Creche. It added to the sadness of leaving.. I will continue to pray for Haiti and the people. There life is so simple and relaxed, unlike our stressed, hurried lives. On the way home we had to make a stop in the Bahammas for 1 1/2 hours. I have always wanted to go there and Billy does joke that the only reason I picked Haiti is for the sun, I do love the sun! So after being up 25 hours and traveling 22 we finally made it home to our kids sleeping in the livingroom waiting for us. I am so excited to be home, yet already miss by baby. I truely believe God brings us through things to bring us closer to Him as well as bless others and be blessed. Emmi has touched my heart in a way only a child can, and daily I will humbly seek God and continue to pray for her, the children, the Aunties and the paperwork! It gives me peace to know in a situation where I have no control, God does! And for now I am called to pray.

Thanks for all the posts, I love to hear from you all. I am going to be printing it out for Emmi's albums, so if you havn't yet, please post. I will update from time to time if you want to continue with us on our journey.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Our last day in Haiti

Today was a wonderful day. Emiline greeted me with a smile this morning. She really knows I am momma. So many smiles and giggles today, I hate to leave. All the children are so beautiful and smart. By the way if your interested, there are 3 amazing beautiful boys that are available and I have pictures of them. It is so much fun, they just swarm to you and love you. I'm pretty sure it makes it harder for the aunties, so many distractions. This morning we got to watch Emmi do her physical therapy with Jasmine. She is so amazing with her. We are so blessed. We need to be praying that she wants to walk so she can move up to the toddler room, she loves the older kids. For lunch we(our group and our kids) walked to Mommies Duncan's house, down the road from the Creche. She is a beautiful woman inside and out. She owns the property the Creche, the church and the schools are on. The food here is so good, way better than I thought.We have rice and beans every night, with goat, tilapia fish, pork and something like steak, no cereal, except the fruit loops someone brought to share with the kids. Billy handed out Smarties to all the kids today during outside time, they loved it! Tomorrow morning we will say good-bye to Emmi for a short time until we can come back to visit again(I am already planning another trip) or better bring her home. Oh, she loves the pics of Willy, JJ and Sierra. I show her every day and she smiles. She already loves you. Pray for safe travels back home.
We are having problems with computer so maybe no pics. I will post more when we get home.
We love all of you and thanks for being apart of our family adventure.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ox cart trip and lots of Emi time

The day started with an ox cart ride through the local villages to the haitian market place along a river. It was beautiful. There was alot of fun in the sun including sun burns. We got to see schools, families, homes, goats, a big pig, kids playing soccer, a tap-tap(a truck when the bed has benches that transports more people than you can imagine, they are everywhere, like a taxi), and someone climb a coconut tree with his hands and feet 20 feet up. The market place was filled with many Haitian food, toiletries, ginger root, garlic, mackreal, homemade charcoal and much more.
I was welcomed home with a smile from Emiline that made my day. I really love her aunties, even though I can't communicate with them. They all know her well and love on her. Everyday they dress her up and make sure she is ready for us. I got to feed her lunch today, it looked yummy!, rice and beans. After a short nap, for me and Emiline, we spent most of the afternoon outside. She loves it out there and seems to come more alive. I think she likes to be around the bigger kids. We brought out the bubbles and she loved them as did the other kids. She is walking around while holding our hands, when she wants. Gracie, we saw her use her walker just like yours.
We love you all and miss you.
(I will add pics later)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Paperwork and giggles

Well today has been an extra long day filled with so much. After a pancake breakfast Haitian style-yummm! We spent the morning in Port-au-Prince to get some of our paperwork done, everything went so smoothly. Driving through the city is so different. When we are all packed in the car, hot and sweaty, it is silent. We are taking it all in. So different from our world. In the afternoon we came back to a late lunch of yummy sandwiches with the crust cut off. Emi(pronounced Emee)finally opened up to us this afternoon and we had lots of giggles and smiles. She actually is responding to us and playing, I was worried. We spent the afternoon in the playground with all the older kids. They are all so precious and so accepting. I am known as momma to all of them. Today I showed Emi the pics of the kids and she smiled. She recognizes them from the pics by her bed. I am teaching her all about you and saying your name over and over. We are so amazed at the Creche. It is like an oasis in the middle of a sad land.
We love and miss you all!

Monday, January 21, 2008

We made it safely to Haiti and Emiline is precious

What an amazing place! I can't believe how beautiful the children are and so much love. We got to meet our sweet Emiline(pronounced Emileen or Emi for short) When we were introduced to Emi she put her cheek next to mine and within minutes was fast asleep on my shoulder. After waking we ate lunch together, Billy's Cheerios were a big hit! One of the babies we brought she likes. She loves the stacking cups (Angel) as do all the kids. They are content with just one. After some play time alone we went to the baby room, where Emiline stays. There were around 15 babies all just playing on the floor looking for love with only 2 toys. They are very content to just be around you and hang on you(and yes I was peed on, I couldn't say no to those beautiful faces) The facility here is amazing, I can't believe how nice. We haven't got much of a smile out of Emiline but I saw her interact with one of her aunties and she was giggling like crazy. She is crawling and very mellow(just wait until she gets home to our crazy family) The drive out here was very humbling, we have so much. Continue to pray for us and what God will have for us to do here, for a great connection and sleep.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Our adoption adventure

We are the Hansen family of 5 and soon to be 6. God has touched our hearts and led us to expand our family and reach out to the fatherless. We are currently in the process of adopting a little girl from Haiti, our sweet Emiline. What a roller coaster ride. A friend warned me, but I couldn't have imagine the emotional ride. We have been matched with her since June and hope to be able to bring her home by next fall, all dependent on paperwork. She currently lives in an orphanage with 70 other children. Although we haven't met her in person, she is very much a part of our family and hearts. We continue to pray for her and Haiti and God's speed with the paperwork.

This is just a quick overview of where we are in the process. We have been blessed in so many ways I can hardly keep up. God is so good! We continue to be encouraged at His faithfullness to us as we step out in faith toward His will for our family.

We are off to Haiti for our first visit to meet our little girl, so the inspiration for the blog. I hope to be able to post and show pictures of us at the orphanage with her. Please pray for our safety, a connection with our little girl, and the family at home.