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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Settling In....

Well....3 weeks ago a new way of life began....a new normal for the Kyle Family. So many have asked how things are going and in short conversations there is no way to communicate all the details that you might want to know, so I will continue to blog as often as I can to keep you all updated on the girls and their adjustment to this BIG NEW WORLD:) Thank you all for your concern, care and love for us and for wanting to be a part of our lives! It is such a blessing to us!!

The girls overall have done exceptional!! The first week we just tried to lay low- give the girls time to adjust to their new home & rooms. They love their room and they love being at home. We were blessed with some wonderful meals that week from friends-Huge blessing! Right now one of the biggest challenges for me is feeding them all- figuring out what everyone likes...the girls were able to try Taco Bell, Chickfila & Zaxby's the first week. It is really funny to watch them try "new things"....their reactions are priceless!  They liked soft and hard tacos, Jada ate 14 chick-fil-a nuggets & Izzy ate 10 (yes they you could say they loved them!lol) and they ate quite a few chicken fingers from Zaxby's:) Izzy starts cheering when we pass Zaxby's now! So as of now- chicken is the winner for everyone!

The biggest adjustment for the first couple of weeks has been unfamiliar surroundings when we are out and meeting a lot of new faces. They were quite overwhelmed by the amount of precious people who knew them and loved on them verbally. Jada was most skiddish with this but is doing much better. They are both very quiet & shy when you first meet them...BUT do not be confused...they are not QUIET!!!LOL! Jada for sure is the life of the party! She is quite the little comedian between her funny expressions and when she is trying to communicate but not real sure of what she needs to say. She keeps us laughing often! Izzy is coming out of her little quiet, reserved shell day by day. She is smart and keeps me on my toes....Tommy calls her "La Hefa" which means "boss or teacher"....she keeps Jada and all of us in line!

The first weekend we were home we went to the lake. That was one of the 1st things my kiddos here wanted the girls to experience. On the way, Izzy asked "mama, what is a lake?". She is used to seeing the ocean but not a lake:) We are blessed to have wonderful friends who so graciously share their lake home with us! The lake is the "One" thing we ALL love....I love the memories it creates for us as a family! The girls loved it all...they had a blast on the inner tube and boat and it was so fun to watch them all play together! I am still amazed at how God can knit a family together so sweetly when only in each other's presence for such a short time.

The second week.... the girls were able to start shadowing at school. This is where they just walk through the schedules of the classes they will most likely be in and just acclamate to the environment, people & schedule. As of now...Izzy will be in the 8th grade and Jada will be in the 4th. Hope, my niece is in the 8th and Jada & Brayden will be together. The girls have absolutely LOVED school- Praise the Lord!! They are so eager to learn and have loved all of the sweet kids at DHCA. As of now they will attend Decatur Heritage....there are so many unknowns that we will have to figure out along the way- but we have come up with a tentative schedule for both of the girls to, Lord willing, get them on track and caught up to where they need to be. It will be a process but I am very encouraged with their progress so far! The teachers and administration have been so helpful.

 We are in process of trying to get the girl's birth certificates amended.... Their birth certificates state that Izzy is 15 ( turning 16 in February)...Jada 13 (turning 14 in December)....we have known that these were not correct but we could not fight this in the DR or it would have taken even longer to complete the adoption. We have had bone scans of their hands done, dental x-rays and physicals to get professional opinions of their ages and all concurred that Jada is most likely 10 (turning 11 in Dec.) and Izzy is 14 (turning 15 in Feb.). We are in process now of finding a court to submit our documents so that a judge can rule on this matter. We covet your prayers on this matter! This will be a great blessing for the girl's ages to concur with the grades they will be in & to have accurate documents for the future.

Izzy is for the most part fluent in speaking English and reading. She is so smart. She is so diligent in her work. Jada's english is coming along...a little better each week. She is working really hard to learn her letters, sounds and to read. We have a precious friend who is coming 2 days a week to tutor them after school as a support and We are truly BLESSED by this !!! The girls love her and are doing great!

This last week has been good...Work is kicking up a notch for Tommy so I am trying to prepare for his absence coming up. I can truly say...I cannot do this....(parent 6 children) apart from the Lord's help and without Tommy Kyle. I am shown daily just how inadequate I am and how much I need the Lord's help and Tommy by my side. Tommy is amazing to me in so many ways....He is so unselfish and almost kills himself trying to take care of all of us....especially me! I have had a bit of a hard adjustment over these last 3 weeks...its been a "good hard" but hard, but I know the Lord is with us and I have to focus in on one day at a time....when I start to think forward anxiety rears it's ugly head and then I have to take my thoughts captive to what I KNOW....God is faithful, He is sovereign and if He calls you to it He will empower you to do it!! Praise God for this!

 I do now see "Fully" the benefit of spending the 6 weeks in the DR with the whole family. The family bonding that took place has made this transition much easier than it would have been if we had not spent that time together. It truly would have been overwhelming for the girls to adjust to the family AND the culture. At least they knew we were crazy BEFORE they got here- LOL!! We also knew their little quirks as well:)) So again I say...God knows what He is doing and has walked us through each step. There are so many more things I could say and I will but this is way to much information already!! Thank you all for your texts, prayers, gifts and love to and for us. We are sustained by the Lord and the people He has placed in our lives that we get to call our friends!

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he WILL flee from you. Draw near to God, and He WILL draw near to you."             -James 4:7-8

Much Love
Heather







Friday, September 6, 2013

ADOPTION COMPLETE....We are headed home!!

I'm almost too excited to type right now. It is with GREAT JOY that I can report to all of you that our Adoption is officially complete as of today and we will be flying home with our girls Tomorrow!!!

Tommy left to come to the DR, Sunday August 25. Our 30 day appeal wait was over on August 26, so he hit the ground running with girls, our lawyer and Giovanny Valdez that day. It has not been an easy 2 weeks...They have sat in offices day after day....waited as long as 3 hours at times to receive letters, new birth certificates, passports, medical exams and FINALLY Visa's today. They have gotten up almost every morning around 6 am and headed out to return in the late afternoon. The girls have been troopers through all of this! I stayed home with our 4 other kids during these 2 weeks so that we would not have to leave them for long without both of us. This has been an emotional journey for all of us with lots of changes and so we wanted to keep them as settled as possible until we reached the end. I flew out yesterday and got here at 1:00....the girls had just finished their medical exams and we were told to come back to the US Embassy at 7 am this morning to finish Visa's. So we were in line at 6:30 am this morning...it took about 40 min to get inside....all was finally complete around 9:30am. Words just cannot describe the JOY we felt when they handed us those papers. It was a wonderful as a birth delivery...(especially from a no-pain perspective-LOL).

The girls are so excited and I think in a little bit of shock that this is actually happening. It has been a long 3 years of waiting in expectation for them and us. They have proven to be such strong girls and I am so proud of them for how they have handled every single trial they have faced during this time. I am honored that the Lord has chosen Tommy and I to be their parents! I know God has great things for them and has given them a testimony that will proclaim His glory and faithfulness for the rest of their lives to all those they come in contact with. I pray they will be vessels used by the Lord for all of their days on this earth.

We are due to arrive Saturday night At Huntsville Airport at 7:12pm. We would love for anyone who would like to come and greet them into the USA to come! We would also love it for everyone who has one of our adoption "Simply Love" shirts to wear them!! I cannot wait for the girls to just see all of those who have so faithfully prayed for them over the last 3 years. It is still overwhelming to me!!! Our family has been so blessed and encouraged by the support, prayers, love and financial support that we have received. It is far beyond my comprehension!

To God be the Glory....Great things HE HATH DONE!!

This Jesus calling sums up our journey for the last 3 years...

Leave outcomes up to ME. Follow Me wherever I lead, without worrying about how it will all turn out. Think of your life as an adventure, with Me as your Guide and Companion. Live in the now, concentrating on staying in step with Me. When our path leads to a cliff, be willing to climb it with My help. When we come to a resting place, take time to be refreshed in My Presence. Enjoy the rhythm of life lived close to Me.

You already know the ultimate destination of your journey: your entrance into heaven. So keep your focus on the path just before you, leaving outcomes up to ME.

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
-Psalm 27:13-14

"In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling."
-Exodaus 15:13

Much Love sent to all of you....
Tommy and Heather

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Closer to the Finish Line...

Hello to all! I wanted to update everyone on our adoption status...It has been a whirlwind since we have returned home...the kids have enjoyed the last half of summer at home:) Jackson, Brayden and Kennedy started school this week so summer is now officially over but we are excited about the new school year.

We received our official ruling from the Dominican Court on July 26. This was about 2 weeks later than we originally hoped. The 30 day appeal started that day so it is up on August 26. The separation from the girls has been very difficult for all of us. Although they have been loved and well taken care of, it has been very emotional for them and us. So, with the 2 week delay we decided that I would go visit the girls for a week last week. My sister in law Heather (Tommy's sister) went with me. We left August 5 and returned August 10. We had a great week together!! Of course the goodbye at the end is ALWAYS so painful but we continue to know God is bringing us closer to the finish line so we are all trying to focus on that!!

So the next steps are...Tommy will return to the DR on August 25, so that as soon as the 30 day appeal is up he and our lawyer will go to work on getting papers to file for new birth certificates, passports and finally VISA's. So we covet your prayers that the Lord will move these processes on speedily!! Tommy set his return date for September 13...we are praying all will be complete by this date. I am planning to fly back to the DR around September 7 to be there for the final steps and then Lord willing we will all fly home together on September 13!!

So, our specific prayer requests would be:

*That all documents would move as quickly as possible in the DR for the final stage and that we may depart from the DR on September 13:))
*That the Lord will sustain me and my kiddos here in Tommy's absence for the 3 weeks he will be gone...
*That God would allow the girls to feel good about all that is taking place and prepare their sweet hearts for all that is before them in coming to the US!
*Lastly, that God will continue to sustain us financially with final costs!

Once again...THANK YOU for praying for our family and all of our children through this process...I can't wait for you all to meet the 2 that will complete the Kyle family!!

"For nothing is impossible with God."
-Luke 1:37

Much Love!!
Heather

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Heading Home.....

Thank you all for your prayers for our family over the last 3 years and especially the last 42 days. We survived life in the Dominican with 6 kids for 42 days straight.... living in a very different culture and it was very good:) The kids did better than me in a lot of moments-LOL!! This was a blessing of time to bond as a family and it will forever be a wonderful memory for all of us. I do think my kids are going to miss it here. I am going to miss drinking the fresh fruit punches that we are all now addicted to:)) If I could only figure out how to bring it home with us:)) I will also miss the extraordinary view of the amazing ocean as we ride down the road and the beautiful palm trees:) There is such natural God made beauty in this country:) And last but not least I am going to miss our friends that are soo special to us here....what a blessing God has given us in the friendships we have here:))

Tonight was very difficult as we had to say goodbye to our sweet daughters for a short time. Prayers were answered tonight because, although we all cried and my heart hurt deeply....I feel like we all handled it pretty well. It is comforting for us to know that our babies are in good hands with Giovanny and Carolina:) They will be well taken care of and loved much in our absence. We will now be counting down the days until Tommy and I come back so that we can bring them home FOR GOOD!! OH what a feeling of JOY that will be!!!

We are in the midst of packing up, what feels like a house, once again to return to our home in the USA!! I have missed my family, friends and yes MY HOME!! Oh to sleep in my bed:))) I look forward to seeing my baby, Brayden, play some baseball when we return....off to the baseball field Monday night we will go! Back to the real world-HA!

I will continue to update as we begin to prepare to return to the DR and get closer to the date of bringing the girls home. So blessings to all of you and your precious God-given families!!

I wanted to share just another gift of God's faithfulness with you...below are the very 1st pictures of our girls when we first met them and a current one...It is still so hard to believe we have been able to watch them grow over the years and love them more and more each time we were able to be with them....soon they will forever be a part of our family:) Thank you Lord for answering our prayers:)

Praising God for His Plan for these 2 precious souls.....Goodnight:)     Heather

The first time we met Izzy... She is with George Lemonakis (one of Tommy's former players)
She is on the right:)


                                           The first time we met Jada...she is with my dad:)


                                                           Our Family....Complete:))

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 39 and counting.....

Well, it is hard to believe we are on Day 39 in the Dominican Republic. Yes time has flown in some ways but it has stood still in others-HA! I do love this country and the wonderful people the Lord has brought into our lives here. We have made forever friends with SCORE missionaries (friends we already had before this trip....we so enjoyed spending more time with them here) and "NEW" forever friends that have been brought into our lives on this journey:)

 Life here for the last 39 days has taught me to relax in the Presence of God...I read the Jesus Calling devotion everyday and most of each of the days we have been here have spoken to this. I have learned that we are a "BLESSED" People no matter where we live on this earth because God is with us each moment of each day....longing for us to rest in His Presence, His Provision and His Purpose for each and every one of us. I am grateful for this time that has grown mine and Tommy's faith and I pray the faith of my children.

 God has certainly continued to provide for us with a mountain of expenses and has certainly blown our minds by the amazing people that have so generously given to help us through this process. We still have a few hills yet to go but we are approaching the final destination very soon...ahhh that feels so good to know!! I just want to say "THANK YOU" once again to those of you who have helped us in this way AND in the gifts of prayer and encouragement!! Words just cannot begin to express our gratitude!

So here is the update for the last week:

We got my dad and Brayden off to the USA last Saturday.  We have been able to watch all of Brayden's games through Face Time on the Computer!! This has been great!! It has killed us to miss watching him play so this has been a BLESSING!! Many thanks to my sweet daddy who holds the i Pad up to the fence and commentates for us! Brayden's team went undefeated in their sub-district tournament and so they will host the District Tournament at our fields that starts this Friday!! The team as a whole has played Awesome and we are praying they have another GREAT Tournament!! We are excited to hopefully see the last half of their games played next week:))

We were able to get Izzy's hair done for her last Saturday. Carolina's mom is a hairdresser and she straightened and fixed Izzy's hair and I trimmed it. She was beautiful before but is even more breathtaking:)) She is a precious girl of very few words but we are starting to get her loosened up-LOL!

BIGGEST NEWS:
We went to CONANI and signed our last official adoption papers!! They are being processed and notarized then Lord Willing we hope to have them submitted to the court by Friday....NEED YOUR PRAYERS SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS!!!

We were able to meet with the Judge who will make final adoption ruling on our case on Tuesday afternoon. This was somewhat of a miracle that she would agree to meet with us since our case hasn't been submitted yet. We went to ask if she would allow us to turn power of attorney over to our lawyer so that Tommy and I would not have to be present when she gave the final ruling which will come 10 working days after the case is received by the courts. She granted us both permission to leave as planned this Sunday June 30:) I am thankful for this but Tommy and I are still both very torn over leaving the girls. We know the end is NEAR so this helps some!! So... we are starting to prepare today for the hard transitions were going to make in 4 days...

So I will leave you with My Jesus calling Devotion yesterday....May I continue to be thankful for ALL of the blessings God gives even if that only means just being able to walk and rest in His Presence Each Day!! Blessings and much love to all of you!!

Jesus Calling:

Open your hands and your heart to receive this day a precious gift from Me. I begin each day with a sunrise, announcing my radiant Presence. By the time you rise from your bed, I have already prepared the way before you. I eagerly await your FIRST concious thought. I rejoice when you glance my way!

Bring me the gift of thanksgiving, which opens your heart to rich communion with ME. Because I am God, from whom ALL blessings flow, thankfulness is the best way to draw near to Me. Sing praise songs to Me; tell of My wondrous works. Remember that I take great delight in you; I rejoice over you with singing.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
-Psalm 118:24

Heather

                                       The kids and their new sunglasses...missing Bray Bray:)

                                             Funny moments at a mall in Santo Domingo...
                                    We were able to take the girls to a movie:)) They loved it!

                                                   Our last dinner with our precious friends
                                              the Soto's! We are going to miss them!!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 33...

Hello to everyone this Thursday:) We were blessed to have my dad (aka...Paw Paw) come to see us this week! He arrived on Sunday and oh how excited we all were to see him! As soon as we picked him up from the airport we were off to watch Jackson and Brayden play in a basketball tournament game. They have been fortunate to play each weekend we have been here and have loved it. The little team they have played with are a bunch of precious boys! It has been a lot of fun to watch them! After the game we went to the mall...it's so funny....you would think my kids had never been to a mall before because of the excitement they have when we go! Paw Paw bought them all a goody and smiles were on everyone's faces!! Paw Paw was so tired by the end of the mall experience...I told him he was walking and talking in his sleep! He only had an hour and a half of sleep the night before. My mom was in Texas when he left so he of course he waited to the last minute to pack his stuff...lol! I do take this trait after him:) He made it though....He passed out as soon as we got home and so did we!

We had a great few days together....Tuesday we were able to go a SCORE orphanage in Boca Chica. It is a girl's orphanage that has 37 PRECIOUS girls:) The youngest little girl was 1 year old and her name was Achante. My kids were so taken with her:) Jackson says...."Mom I think we might need to adopt her too..." OH MY! Brayden says "she is so cute, I can't stand it!". It does melt my heart that they have a heart for children:)) I will have to say though....that as far as the Lord has let me know....the next adoption to take place will rest with them when they get married and have a family-LOL! It was also very sweet to watch Izzy and Jada interact with all of the girls. I'm sure it was emotional for them to experience.  The orphanage is fairly new and they are in the process of finishing a beautiful kitchen and getting the grounds in good shape. They orphanage is looking for sponsors for each of the girls to help with school and living expenses. For 30.00/month you can meet their needs for this. If any of you are interested please visit SCORE's website and inquire or let me know and I will connect you:) They beauty is you can make a trip here and meet your sponsored child and build a beautiful relationship with them! It is a wonderful thing!!

The best part of the day was listening to these precious souls sing to us:) They sang "How Great is our God" in Spanish and English and "Mighty to Save" in spanish. SO PRECIOUS!!!  I cannot begin to express how awesome this was!!! It was a wonderful day for all of us!

After the orphanage we went to "The Highlands", which a Sports Complex in Boca Chica. The USA Major League Giants have a practice field facility there and we were able to go and give Brayden some batting practice. The girls shagged the balls for him and then Miss Izzy decided she wanted to try and hit some balls. Well, let me say all but about 2 went into the outfield!! She is really GOOD!!! Tommy got very excited:))

Yesterday we were able to go to a brand new water-park that just opened last week that is about 10 min from where we are staying. It was so much fun!! The girls have never gone anywhere like this before and it was priceless to see their faces as they came down the slides!! It was a great day!

Lastly...today has been quite emotional on many different levels. My dad and Brayden left this morning to head home. We all took them to the airport. We have prayed for Brayden until now that God would give him peace of mind and calm his anxieties of leaving. He was quite emotional but did ok. What we haven't prayed enough about was the emotion and anxiety of my other children. It was almost more than I could bear. When we got out of the van...Aubree says "Bubba, I give you a kiss and she did and just hugged him so sweetly:)) Bad enough for one to cry but to have 5 crying hysterically along with me, Tommy and my dad....it was BAD!! I have no idea what the people around us were thinking:)  I will admit on one hand seeing the love that has been established between all of my kids over the last 5 weeks was a most precious sight, but the pain in their cries was so hard to endure. I do praise the Lord for giving us a glimpse from time to time that He is in our children's hearts and that they have Love for each other and for others. God has been so faithful and He continues to grow our faith and trust in Him each and every day. The hardest part of today was realizing how difficult our departure on June 30 is going to be. How difficult to say "goodbye" and leave my girls here once more. We know it will only be for a month but oh how sad we are all going to be. The most difficult departure yet! I know God will go before us and prepare all of hearts for this but I do ask for your specific prayers on our behalf concerning this! Thank you:)

Here are a few pictures below of the orphanage and the water park we went to yesterday! Love you all and look forward to seeing many of you soon:))

Heather








Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 26....

Hello to everyone....Well, I have great intentions of blogging everyday but it hasn't been as easy as I thought. By the time I get food ready for everyone and feed them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and all the snacks & drinks in between and clean up....the day is almost gone! Then trying to find a moment where the kids are somewhat quiet enough for me to think and write my thoughts is the other obstacle-lol :) So here we go in giving a quick recap of the last week....

We were so blessed to take a trip last Friday to a BEAUTIFUL Resort in Samana, Dominican Republic,  with the owners of the house we are renting and their precious family! We were able to use one of SCORE's older vans to take the trip, praising the Lord for this, because it was going to cost around 500.00 to rent a van for the 4 days we were gone...Yikes!!  The van is great and seats up to 12 people....only problem is the van is a stick shift and the roads were very curvy and we went up and down mountains for about 2 1/2 hours...praise God I gave all of the kids dramamine except Aubree. She was asleep when we left and woke up about and hour into the trip. Well, about 30 min before we arrived to the resort out comes the vomit from Aubree Mae...oh my....Jackson screamed like a girl (he was sitting next to her), she was strapped in the car seat and I couldn't get to her to get her out, so we were all screaming for Tommy to pull over....Yes it was a bit of a funny nightmare-LOL!  Tommy was finally able to pull over and we cleaned all we could up with a beach towel....stripped her down and then she enjoyed the rest of the ride in the front with me:) She kept saying "I throw up, I throw up"...she never cried just kept right on as if she was fine all along. Always an adventure with the Kyle's. 
      
We reached the resort and what a beautiful sight it was! The pools were wonderful, the beach was beautiful and the company was awesome. The Soto's treated us like royalty and met our every need. The kids had such a wonderful time and the girls enjoyed it so much! My wish was for the girls to have an unforgettable experience on their island and this they did along with my other kids:) We made friends for a lifetime! I couldn't have prayed for a more wonderful time for our family...It was simply a gift from God! 

We returned home late Sunday night...yes we ALL took dramamine this time except for Tommy (our driver)....we slept very well that night:))

Monday we just hung out at the house...it stormed almost all day....made a trip to the store to restock our food and drinks (this is very important-lol!)

Yesterday Brayden was able to play in a baseball game. There is a 10 year old baseball team here on a mission trip with SCORE and they were playing in a game nearby- so we went and Bray played on the Dominican Team. He had a good time:) This was good....he needed some practice....Brayden made All-Stars back home and decided that he wanted to come home early and play. So, we decided to let him do this. My dad is flying over here this Sunday June 16, and he is taking Brayden home on Thursday June 20. This was a bit of a difficult decision for Brayden because he desperately wants to play but has struggled with anxiety of separation of me and Tommy alot this year. We have been getting some help for him with this issue. He has been doing better over the last couple of months and I am praying really hard for him that he will have a breakthrough going through with this decision to come home early. So, I covet your prayers for him as he comes home, that God would give him peace of mind and that he will continue to have faith that God is in control and with him ALL of the time. Thank you for this:)

So to wrap it up....Today has been a chilling kind of day as well....it has been quite rainy and overcast this week. I am still struggling with some homesickness but as my Jesus Calling devotion keeps reminding me....God is my strength, my trust must be in Him and Him alone and He is the provider of all that I need...moment by moment. 

One of my precious friends, Christine Pendley, mother of 4 and precious wife, fell asleep with Jesus this morning. She has battled with cancer for about 7 years and has fought a good fight of faith and courage! I am so sad that I am not there to love on her precious husband and family but I know Jesus will meet them in every moment, sustaining them for the journey He has them on. I will continue to pray for them daily! 

I continue to ask you to pray for my other dear friend and mentor, Bonnie Moore, who is struggling with recent news of re-occuring cancer. What a difficult season of life for so many families going through these situations. For this reason, I am grateful for the hope we have in Christ that this life on earth is a journey that takes us to the our REAL Home...sometimes I have to admit this is really difficult for me to wrap my brain around because of the sadness I feel of thoughts of losing those I love so much but I keep praying for God to deal with my mind and give me His perspective. This devotion I am sharing speaks to me greatly. I pray it will speak to you as well.

A Jesus calling devotion states this...
"TRUST ME,  and don't be afraid, for I am your Strength and Song. The battle for control of your mind is fierce, and years of worry have made you vulnerable to the enemy. Therefore, you need to be viligant in guarding your thoughts. Do not despise this weakness in yourself, since I am using it to draw you closer to Me. Your constant need for Me creates intimacy that is worth the effort. You are NOT ALONE in this struggle for your mind. My Spirit living within you is ever ready to help you in this striving. Ask Him to control your mind; He WILL Bless you with Life and Peace.

"Surely God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."
Isaiah 12:2

Much Love to all of you...have a blessed day!
Heather




He

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day 19....

Well hello again from the Dominican!! Hope this note finds all of you well and off to a great start of Summer:) I am enjoying seeing all of the beach and pool photos of everyone on Facebook! Well...we have had a good week so far!

Monday....A friend of mine named Allison Hale, who is a missionary here, took me out for the day!! Whoo hoo....this was day 2 of some girl time for me. I loved it! She showed me, she and her husband's ministry sites in San Pedro which is a big city about 15 minutes from where we are staying. She and her husband have planted a church in San Pedro, they have also started a Christian School there and they have a Safe-House where they take in women and children off the streets and out of prostitution situations. They teach these women skills such as making jewelry and doing hair and nails, so they can earn money the right way for their families! They also teach them how to handle the money they make so that they learn to tithe, save and live efficiently. It's AWESOME!! I loved it!

Tuesday....We went to Santo Domingo to Giovanny's house and had our 1st visit with a social worker from CONANI. It went really well, she asked the girls and Tommy and I several questions about how things have been going since they have been with us. I think the girls answered favorably...hopefully not any horror stories in Spanish about how crazy we are!! LOL!!

After we finished our meeting we went to a new mall that has been built in Santo Domingo...Inside the mall they have a place called Screamland! Well..it is like a mini-six flags in the mall....the kids had a BLAST!! Of course this was the first time the girls have ever seen anything like this and they LOVED it!! It was so fun to watch them act like little kids and enjoy all of the rides and each other! We got there at 2:00 yesterday and did not leave until 10:00 last night! Needless to say we were ALL exhausted at the end of the night!! They are all begging to go back!

Today has been a chill day...we have spend a little time at the pool and I have been cleaning some!

We have been blessed by Mr. Soto (the owner of the home we are renting)! He and his family have asked our family to join them at an all inclusive resort this weekend and he is going to help cover our cost! GOD is so awesome...One of the things I really wanted to do while we are here is to visit a part of the island the girls and us have never been to. I was hoping we could go to a resort since it might be a long time before all of us could ever fly over again. I looked into it but the cost was more than we could do with 8 of us....So the Lord is definately giving me a desire of my heart through Mr. Soto and his precious family!!!

I love this insert from Jesus Calling...
"Relax in the knowledge that the One who controls your life is totally trustworthy. Come to me with confident expectation. There is nothing you need or want that I cannot Provide."
"Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song." Psalm 95:2

I am thankful that the Lord sees fit to meet our needs AND our wants to continue to show us just How BIG of a GOD HE IS!! May I praise Him each day for WHO He is and not WHAT He does for me!!

Miss and love you all!! Have a great day!!!
Heather

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 15....

Hello to everyone! Well today is day 15 that we have been here:) It has gone by quickly in some ways and slowly in others-lol! Overall, it has been really good!! I have had a little harder week this week with homesickness but today I have felt a lot better!

*Monday we spent most of the day at the pool. It was very nice!

*Tuesday we went to Santo Domingo and met with our lawyer so she could map out the timeline of all that is ahead to finish the adoption. Here is what we learned:

Our 30 day co-habitation is over on June 21, papers will be prepared by CONANI (this will take 3-4 days) and then filed with the court in Santo Domingo to give final approval our adoption. This ruling will take up to 2 weeks to get.  Once we get the ruling, the 30 day appeal period will start. They have to allow for this by law. (Hoping this will start by July 10 or earlier.) Once the 30 day appeal period is over (Tommy will probably fly back to the DR then)  and we will then file with La Junta (Dominican Registrar)  to obtain their new birth certificate approval (this can take 4 days up to a month to receive- yes we are praying for 4 days!!! This could be around August 15), once we have this (I will probably fly back to the DR here) then our lawyer and Tommy will go La Romana (the girls' place of birth) and file for their new birth certificates and passports, then we will take these to the US Embassy to file for their VISA's and THEN WE ARE READY TO COME HOME!!!!!!! Soo...it is looking like mid to end of August before we can bring them home. I was not happy about this when I initially heard this but the Lord is continually teaching me that it is HIS WILL NOT MINE! I am just so overwhelmed with gratefulness that the end of this is truly in sight!! It is hard to believe!

The kids and I will for sure be flying home on June 30, Tommy may have to stay if the court requires one of us to be present for the final ruling. The girls will then go to stay with Giovanny and Carolina Valdez until we return in August to get them. I discussed this with Izzy today and she seems to be good with this. We are planning to enroll the girls in an English speaking class for the month of July to continue to help them with their English. They are both doing very very good so far!!

*Wednesday we chilled again at the pool:)

*Thursday was a Dominican Holiday here so Giovanny scheduled a game for my boys and his son's team to play basketball:) The boys have practiced with Giovanny's team the last 2 Saturdays and have had a lot of fun. This has been a good outlet for them while we are here!! We went to papa John's and had pizza afterwards....they had a playground inside so the kids were very happy!

*Friday I spent most of the day with Margaret Morris and a friend of hers which is now a friend of mine too named Mercy. It was a lot of fun!!! Thanks to Tommy who so sweetly kept all of the kids so I could get out for a little while!!

*Today the boys got up and went to play basketball early and we girls slept in and went to the pool. The weather has been very nice today!

Thank you all for continuing to pray for us while we are away. A very close friend and mentor of mine was diagnosed with cancer yesterday and I had a very difficult time last night not being where I could go see her, hug her and tell her I love her in person... BUT in all things God is Sovereign and I know He has her in the palm of His Hand and will continue to carry her through whatever lies ahead. I am praying for healing and strength for the days to come for her and her precious family!! I ask that you might lift her up and continue to pray that God will do a mighty work in all of our family's lives while we are here and continue to grow our faith in all the ways we need it!! I love you all! Have a blessed and wonderful day!

Heather

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Getting the Girls....

I realized today that I did not write a post about getting the girls. Lol! I put a post on Facebook and realize, not everyone reading my blog is on Facebook:) So I just wanted to write a little about how that day went.

Sarah, from CONANI, called Wednesday afternoon and told us we needed to be at CONANI at 9 am on Thursday morning. We loaded up SCORE's van and took off! It was like Christmas morning, we were all so excited! We picked up Giovanny Valdez on the way and he went with us. When we got there Tommy and I had to do an interview with the social worker. Then they brought the girls in to us a little after 10am. I think they were in shock a little. They did not know they were coming to see us until the moment they laid eyes on us! It was a very sweet moment just knowing we were picking them up NEVER to have to return them to the orphanage again!!! Oh...how we have waited for this day!! Words just can't explain. We made our 1st family photo with all of us, which is below! After we greeted them, we met with CONANI'S pediatrician and the social worker interviewed the girls one by one. The girls checked out great, they are very healthy!! Once this was complete we were off!! We loaded the van and headed to the store. We needed some groceries and the girls needed a few clothes and some shoes. They did have some bags of their clothes and all of their keep sakes with them:)

We went to Domino's Pizza for lunch and then we made a stop at one the basketball gyms (of course-lol) to watch a college girls basketball team play. This group of girls stayed next door to us for the last week and were a really sweet group!! The kids got to shoot around a little before the game started so that made them happy! Afterwards, we headed to our Dominican Home:) The girls like where we are staying and have been very content:) My kids are on cloud nine with them here...it has been really precious to watch them play together and interact! Aubree hasn't missed a beat....you would think she has known "Jada & Izzy" her whole life!

 Tommy and I are just soaking all of this in....loving every minute of how God has ordained and worked all of this out...we just continue to be humbled at how the Lord has provided for us at every turn to get us here and keep us here in the DR for 43 days! It is HIS PLAN IN HIS TIME!  We could not have known at the very first time we laid eyes on Jada in 2004 and then Izzy in 2006 that God would have had all of this in mind...but we are so incredibly THANKFUL for the children He has seen fit to give us through birth and through His provision! Six children...I would never have imagined I could be a mom to this many children (only through Christ am I able) ....I am amazed and thankful.... thankful that God chose and adopted me into HIS family. God is truly SOVEREIGN in ALL THINGS And ALL CIRCUMSTANCES!!

May you all be blessed in whatever journey the Lord has you on....May you know He is Faithful to see you through whatever He asks of you...Just trust Him one day at a time to accomplish His Will for your life!

"But now, this is what the Lord says- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Isreal; Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; You are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God , the Holy One of Isreal, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will BRING YOUR CHILDREN FROM THE EAST AND GATHER YOU FROM THE WEST. (love this:))  I will say to the north, Give them up! and to the South, ' Do not hold them back'. Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-
EVERYONE WHO IS CALLED BY MY NAME, WHOM I CREATED FOR MY GLORY, WHOM I FORMED AND MADE."
                                                                                                        ISAIAH 43:1-7

Much Love,
Heather








   

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 8 in the DR...

Well... we have been here for 1 week.  It has been very good for the most part! The kids have done better than I would have ever dreamed...I hope it will last for another 36 days~lol! Aubree has finally settled in and is sleeping much better! The house we are in has been really good and everything is working great now! Mr. Soto, the owner, has been more than gracious and has met our every need. I love how the Lord continues to cross our paths with such amazing people that live in what seems like a world away! Mr. Soto has BLESSED our family!!

We do not have a car all of the time which has been a little challenging....of course we don't have that many places to go but it does give you a feeling of being trapped some. I am adjusting to this...as you all know we are on the go all of the time and this is Way out of our normal routine~ ha! Mr. Soto is working on getting us a golf cart and this will be most helpful!! We can use the golf cart to go down to the hotel where the kids can swim! It is about a mile 1/2 one way. We have enjoyed walking and the kids have enjoyed bike riding to the hotel so far~except for the HEAT:)) SCORE has so graciously loaned us a car or van when we have needed to go into the capital. We are SO BLESSED by the ministry of SCORE here. The missionaries here are most Wonderful and loving and really feel the gap of missing my family & friends at home:)) After all...SCORE is the reason we came to the DR in the beginning and had the opportunity to meet our baby girls here!

Izzy & Jada have been great! They are settling in really well:) It has been fun to watch my kids be so happy to have them with us! We have played lots of dominos! All the kids LOVE to play Dominos! We were able to get both girls an I-pod to bring them and they LOVE them! They love listening to music, and Izzy is enjoying Facebook and connecting with her best buds at the orphanage. Jada has every shirt and gift we have given them, she showed us her photo book that I made for her 5 years ago. Izzy got out her bible I gave her about 3 years ago. I am so humbled by the way they have held on and loved us from afar as much as we have loved them. It's such an indescribable feeling:))  I am praying for 5 more weeks of awesome bonding time as a family and am so incredibly thankful to the Lord for providing for us and blessing us beyond our wildest dreams!

I will have to admit, I am a little homesick at the moment. I am thankful to be able to use our magic jack phone to call my parents and am thankful for Face-time!! I missing all of my family and precious friends!!  If you are a verizon I-phone user I can text & we can face-time with you so text or face-time  me anyone~ please:)) Love you all!!

Heather:)

                             

Monday, May 20, 2013

Arrival in The DR Update....

Hello to everyone! We arrived safely in the Dominican Friday around 1:30. We left Huntsville at 6:40am~ Yes... we had to get up at 4am which made for a LONG day for all of us:) Thanks to my dad and Leonard Morris for carrying us to the airport in the wee hours of the morning....We had 9 check in bags and all of us had at least one carry-on. Needless to say we needed 2 cars to get us all to the airport~LOL! All flights went smooth. We were picked up by SCORE missionaries who carried us to the house we are renting during our stay.

We are staying in Juan Dolio, which is about 30 minutes from Santo Domingo. SCORE International has it's own hotel in Juan Dolio and we are about 1 mile down the road from it. There is a Country Club Golf course and Hotel and around it is a neighborhood of homes. SCORE also owns a home in this neighborhood and we were able to rent the house next door to it. This is SCORE's busiest season for groups coming on mission trips so we were not able to stay in their home because it is being occupied by groups during our length of stay. The man who rented the house to us is super nice and has been very accommodating. We have been given access the hotel nearby and their pool and exercise equipment. The kids are happy about using the pool:) The house we are renting is nice. It has 3 bedrooms, den kitchen and 2 1/2 baths. I'm still not quite settled in to the realization we are here for 40 days~ I'm sure it will hit soon enough. Brayden has started the countdown everyday....40 days to go:)

We went to Jumbo's which is like Walmart here on Saturday morning and loaded up with household cleaners, pots, pans, towels, and Food of course. The oven isn't working at the moment but the microwave has been put to good use for macaroni and cheese and ramen noodles:) All of the kiddos have adjusted well so far...Aubree has had a little bit of a harder adjustment. I think her ears were bothering her from the flight and she was up most of the night the first night and cried quite a bit. This is unusual for her. She also had a rough night last night. We are praying for a good night's sleep tonight!!

Today we went to Santo Domingo~it was Tommy's first experience driving in Santo Domingo. WE SURVIVED... Praise the Lord!! It is like driving bumper cars...you just see who sticks out their bumper the farthest and honks the loudest to see who gets the right a way...NO KIDDING!! You dodge motorcycles with sometimes a family of 5 on ONE and pray you don't tattoo them-LOL!!  We went to meet with our sweet friend, Sarah at CONANI. Unfortunately, the I-800 Immigration approval for the girls has not yet arrived to the US Embassy here, so were not able to get the girls today. The electronic file is now at the US Visa Center in New Hampshire waiting to be sent off to the US Embassy here. Once it gets here they will call us immediately and we will be able to go pick up the girls. We are very anxious to get them and our kids are having a hard time understanding why we cannot. We were able to get in touch with Senator Shelby today, to ask him if he could call the VISA center on our behalf to see if he can expedite the process... but as we all know it is in God's hands.


I guess that is all I have to report at the moment. Thank you all for your prayers....We couldn't make it without them! I will update you as soon as we know when we will get the girls! Love you all!!

Heather


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dominican Here We Come...

I am excited to let all of you know... that our Tickets have been booked and we are headed to the Dominican May 17th to start our 30 day co-habitation period!! We will return, Lord Willing, June 30.  I still cannot believe this has FINALLY COME!!!

God has proven He knows the perfect time...this will workout to be a very good time for our family as a whole to travel. Thankfully no school to accomplish, except some reading while we are there and this is a good time for Tommy to travel, ministry wise, as well. We are all experiencing a wide range of emotions. We are SO EXCITED about getting to see the girls' faces when we get there to pick them up! I can't wait for this moment!! But as any trip requires....Preparation to be gone this amount of time for a family of 8 has been quite overwhelming !! I am just praying to have enough sanity to just get on the plane in one week. My kids have been remarkable about all of this and I think they are very excited. I on the other hand have been quite the emotional wreck over the last few weeks, BUT God has been so good to me and given me a precious mother who has done more laundry for me in the last few weeks than she has probably done in 10 years-LOL! Friends who have come to help me move beds, paint and just encourage me that God is in control and He will walk us through all of this! We have been so incredibly blessed throughout this entire process... I cannot even put it into words.

So here are the details about what is to come as far as we know right now. The girls will stay with us for the 30 day co-habitation. Throughout these weeks, we have a few meetings with social workers so they can make sure we are all adjusting well together, at the end of the 30 days we will have a final court hearing which will finalize the adoption. Then Unfortunately, the girls will have to stay in the DR for another 45-60 days because they have to allow for a 30 day appeal period and all of their final documents have to be processed. (New birth certificates with their new names, and VISAS so they can enter the US.) FORTUNATELY, Giovanni and Carolina Valdez have offered to allow the girls to live with their precious family until all papers complete. We will all travel home on June 30, there is a possibility Tommy will have to stay a little longer to make sure they are getting their papers pushed through as quickly as possible!! When all is complete then Tommy and I will fly back over to the DR and BRING THE GIRLS HOME!!!!

Soo, we covet your prayers over our family as we embark on a very different way of life for 45 days- please pray that God will use this precious time to bond our family unit and grow our faith in a big way! Our specific prayer requests would be:
*That we would all stay healthy during our stay
*For a smooth transition for the girls and their emotional state
*For the emotional state of all the kiddos-that they will adjust to the culture well during this period
*That God would provide for all our financial needs while we are there-we know He will!
*Wisdom for Tommy and I as we lead our children in this process of Change

I will blog frequently while we are in the Dominican-keeping you all updated on the "Reality Show" that is taking place with the Crazy Kyle's!! There are sure to be some Big Laughs along the way!

Thank you all for your love and care for our family! I look forward to my girls getting to meet all the ones who have prayed so fervently on their behalf! You have all made an eternal investment in their lives! We are forever grateful!! God Bless all of you and your precious families! We love you!

Heather

Monday, March 18, 2013

Birth Certificates!

I am HAPPY to blog that Birth Certificates are in hand as of Thursday. We have been waiting on them since November and Hallelujah we have them! We also received our official approval from CONANI,  of matching us with the girls on Wednesday.

What this means....

We have 1 more approval from USCIS (United States Immigration) that has to be given, then we have a green light to go for our 30 day co-habitation. They are compiling our papers and having them translated (this could take up to a couple of weeks), the papers will then be sent to the US to get approval, then papers will be returned to the DR, THEN we will get our 2 week notice to go! So if all goes smoothly we could be looking to travel the end of April or first of May. Of course we have learned through all of this... it is God's timing-not ours! I do see that it will be an easier stay going at this time for all of us- Final Four behind us and kids will not have to make up as much work if any. So, we are grateful to be approaching this time, when it looks like it will come.

We were able to Face-Time the girls and tell them we are close and the Smiles on their faces were worth it all!! They are so excited!! I cannot wait to hug them!! Thank you again to all who have so faithfully prayed for us and them! I continue to say... words cannot begin to express our thankfulness!!

I just wanted to post on here as well that we have a tax-deductible account set up through LifeSong for Orphans if you would like to donate towards our adoption. This is not a comfortable ask for us but if the Lord leads you to this, we would be eternally grateful for your investment in the lives of our children. Thank you for prayerfully considering!

Lifesong for Orphans
Kyle Account :1951- (denote Ck)
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

Thank you all so much!
Heather

Sunday, February 10, 2013

One Step at a Time

Well...I am realizing I haven't done a very good job with posting on here...I intend to do a better job! 
   To catch you all up on here... In September, Tommy and I were called to court in the Dominican to testify on behalf of our relationship to the girls and give a plea for our adoption of them. The Orphanage, where they have lived all of their lives, decided to fight us on the issue of declaring the girls abandoned. The girls had to be declared abandoned so that CONANI could petition the courts to obtain births certificates for them, because they have none.  The girls had to have birth certificates for us to complete the adoption. We had to go to court  2 weeks in a row and finally at the end the trial, the director of the orphanage conceded to the abandonment ruling and stated that they felt it was in the girls best interest to be adopted by us. YES...GOD IS STILL IN THE BUSINESS OF DOING MIRACLES!!  
      The official ruling came out from the courts at the end of October and we have been in a waiting room since then or "aka" ..."The Middle Space". In a book called The Land Between, it talks about the Isrealites journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. God rescued them from slavery out of Egypt and guided them to the Promised Land, BUT there were 40 years in the desert until they reached their final destination and all God had for them. The 40 years was their  "Middle Space"..."A Necessary Middle Space". "The desert was where they received the Ten Commandments (the core of their covenant with God), it was also where a portable worship tent, the tabernacle was built. The desert was not intended to be their final destination but rather a necessary middle space where they would be formed as a people and established in their connection to God." Nevertheless , the desert was and IS a Hard Place! 
   The desert of our adoption has been the endless waiting on legalities, paperwork, rulings, not being able to see my girls' faces, feel their touch, hug them tight and comfort them when they needed it most. Grieving over time lost with them, them growing without us getting to be a part of the changes that they are experiencing while WE WAIT! I know God has a plan and it is PERFECT and I know He loves them more than we ever could, but It has been HARD to sit and wait on this "Process" to complete so that we can bring them home, love them, hold them, teach them and guide them with the little time we have left before they will become young adults. We have been able to watch them grow from afar and I am truly thankful for that. We have been able to enter their lives in little blips along the way, which I pray God will use for good in their lives. I Know God has great plans for them both because of all the obstacles we have faced in this journey and how it could never have been possible unless HE WILLED IT!  We have known all along that if this adoption completes we will KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt they were meant to be a part of our family!  In every season of this journey God has provided!! 
    So here is where we are Today! We got a phone call Friday saying that they had just removed the girls from the orphanage. They told us a few months ago this would be part of the process but we were not sure at what point they would do this. They have been waiting on the birth certificates to get in hand before they took them out. As it stands, they are planning to receive the birth certificates this week. They have moved the girls to a government orphanage in the Capital and they will remain their until we get there for our 30 day stay. They were very emotional over this as you can imagine, they were leaving the only home they have ever known, and were taken to a unfamiliar place with unfamiliar faces. We were able to talk to them Friday after they were removed. This was the first time since September and I'm praying they were comforted. Please pray for their emotions and that God Would give them a peace that passes all understanding until we can get there! 
   We have been told once they have birth certificates in hand they will send one last set of paper work to be approved by the US. It is the girls' immigration approval from USCIS. The US will approve, then mail back to CONANI, once CONANI gets this approval in hand, they will notify us that we need to be there within 2 weeks. We will then book plane tickets and head out asap! They have told us we could plan that we would travel within 4 weeks from the time we receive the birth certificates. So...Yes looks like we could travel in March!! 
   There is a part of me that is so excited I feel like exploding and a part of me that is so overwhelmed with all that must take place in the next few weeks,  to make all of this happen! We are also asking God to provide for us financially. We have some steep bills ahead of us in the next few months and are in need of a financial miracle! God has provided each step of the way and I know He isn't going to stop now! Thank you for praying with us concerning this step in the journey. Well, that is all for now. I will continue to update as we receive news and will definantly be posting each day during our 30 day journey in the Dominican Republic! We are so grateful for the family and friends God has given us and couldn't have made it without all of you supporting us along the way! Love you all!