Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Long Overdue Update

A lot has happened since our last post, so we thought it was about time to update everyone on the progress of our adoptions.  By the end of summer 2011, we had been able to send $21,000 of the $30,000 needed to Haiti.  We had also completed all needed paperwork, and were waiting on the government of Haiti to complete the adoptions.

Last fall, one of our dear friends here in Gilbert held a garage sale to raise funds for our adoptions.  Many people donated items for the sale, and one of the 6th grade girls in our son Matt's youth group held a bake sale during the garage sale.  To everyone's amazement, $1,300 was raised (nearly $100 came from the bake sale alone)!   This money, along with $3,700 more which came from T-shirt sales and several generous donations, enabled us to send a $5,000 check down to Haiti this week.  If you are good at math, you've already deduced that we are now only $4,000 short of the $30,000 goal.  God has been so good!!  We haven't even known where most of this money was going to come from, it just arrived!!!  If anyone is still interested in helping, we have a lot of t-shirts left.  Please consider purchasing one.

On December 26th, we were able to fly to Haiti and spend a wonderful Joyuex Noel with our three children, and all of the kids at Good Neighbor Orphanage.  The orphanage now has a guest house, which we stayed in, and it enabled us to spend some glorious "private time" with Michelove, Moise and Sophonie.  Four days with them only strengthened our resolve to get the adoptions competed!  While we were there, the children of Good Neighbor put on a Christmas Pagent, which included a wonderful feast.  It was very special to celebrate our Savior's birth with these wonderful people, and is a Christmas we will never forget!  The Kidder family, from Tennessee was also visiting for the holidays, and the two families made sure that "Papa Noel" made an appearance.  Each of the 37 children received a momogrammed backpack filled with games, activities and candy.  As much as the children appreciated the gifts, I think we visitors from the states were the most blessed by the experience.

We are starting to see progress within the Haitian government, in regards to adoptions.  One of the couples who had started their adoption process before the earthquake, became the first to bring their adopted child home, only 2 weeks ago!  She is a beautiful little girl, who is best friends with our little girl, Sophonie.  This gives all of the other waiting families hope that our adoptions will be completed soon.  Our paperwork is waiting in the office of the President of Haiti, for his signature on the presidential wavier that will complete the adoptions.  We are praying that the red tape will soon be parted, and our's as well as the other adoptions that our waiting (including the Kidder's and many other families we have met) will reach their conclusions very soon.

Thank you so much to all of our friends, relatives and a lot of people we haven't even met, who have kept us in their prayers, purchased t-shirts, and donated to the cause.  We thank God for each of you!! 

We are almost there!!  Rich and Nanci

Saturday, May 21, 2011

God Continues to be Faithful

It's been a little while since we've added to our blog, so we just wanted to update everyone on where we are in the adoption process.  To put it mildly, this whole ordeal is not for the faint of heart, but will be so worth it in the end!

The dossier has now been authenticated by the State of Arizona and translated into Creole (and by the way, we have a great certified translator to recommend if anyone needs the information).  It will be sent to Washington DC this week, where it will be "hand delivered" (at a cost of $120) to the US State Dept. for Federal Authentication (another $500).  From there, it will be sent to the Haitian Embassy for final International Authentication (at a cost still to be determined, but heard to be expensive!), and then will FINALLY be sent to the Nation of Haiti, for completion of the adoption process! 

As we have gone along this process, God has been faithful to us at every turn.  Each step has come with a sizable price tag, but each time He has provided the funds as we have needed them.  Now, as we finally get everything sent off to Haiti, we are facing the two largest financial hurdles of all.  Before our petition for adoption can go any further, we'll have to give another $9,000 to the Haitian government, and then we'll need to pay an additional $15,000 when the three adoptions are finalized.  These seem like insurmountable numbers to us, but we have faith that God will continue to be bless the journey.  The lives of these three beautiful children are in the balance, and we have known from the beginning, that He is calling us to do this!

Our T-shirt sales have been good, and we want to thank everyone who has purchased them.  Many of you have donated even more than we're asking for the shirts, or have just sent a donation outright.  This has truly been a Godsend, and we thank Him for each of you.  We have added one new T-shirt design, which also features an original drawing by our son, Nick.  Please check it out, as it would be a great Father's Day present.  Also, please continue to tell your friends, family and acquaintances.  We have been amazed at where some of the shirt orders have come from!

In addition, we are applying for grants from non-profit organizations that are specifically designed to help with international adoptions, and are planning a garage sale in a couple of weeks.  We will let everyone know the results of these efforts, as they happen. 

Finally, we appreciate your prayers more than you will ever know.  As we said, this is not for the faint of heart, and we would never have gotten this far without the support and prayers of so many.  To all of our family and friends, we want to say "Thank You", and please continue to keep us in your prayers.  Someday, when our three new children are finally here with us, you will ALL be named honorary God Parents.  We patiently wait and pray for that day.  God continues to be faithful...

Rich and Nanci

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Planes, Buses, and Tap-taps

     My recent trip to Haiti was not without incident. Wouldn't you know that on March 24th, the only airport closed in the entire US was Miami, my destination!?! Due to an airport fire, planes were being re-routed through Orlando, with seats quickly being filled. Our ten am departure turned into a ride on the red-eye, arriving in Orlando at 4:15 am, Friday. After a freezing, four hour bus trip (the AC was set on cryogenics) and another hour delay, we finally climbed aboard American Airlines flight 803, bound for Port-Au-Prince.

     The group traveling were members of The Grove Bible Church, commissioned to complete the rebuilding of Pastor Felix's home in Lespinasse, Haiti. Some of us were not new to the mission field, nor were we all  new to Haiti, but none of us were expecting the primitive accommodations in which we would live. I must say, though, that after several days of sleeping in an army tent, and peeing in a hole in the ground, without electricity or running water, I would do it again in a heartbeat! The people were incredibly hospitable and kind. But this was not the highlight of my trip. That finally came on the last day in Haiti.

     I had been promised that we would visit Good Neighbor Orphanage in Bon Repo where my children were waiting in anticipation of my visit. I was determined to not be denied. Let's face it, mission trips are often subject to changes on the fly and the word "flexible" is the mindset you must have in order to survive. But in this case, I would have taken a Tap-tap, hitchhiked, or walked to make my way to the kids. Thank the Good Lord, I rode in luxury in an air-conditioned van because those who promised were faithful.

     I spent five wonderful hours playing, holding, laughing and crying with my kids. Each child received one of the T-shirts and I explained how we were working hard on raising the money we needed. (The picture on the left side of your screen is their picture.) When the time came and I heard those dreaded words, "It's time to go," I took the children to a quiet area and said goodbye. You have no idea how hard that is to do! Can you imagine ripping out a piece of your heart? Well, I can. I did. I sincerely don't know how I'll stand another moment without them in my home, but the process is not done and the time to celebrate is still a while off. Please think about donating to our cause, or buying a T-shirt to support the adoption. We need your help. They need your help. God Bless!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Three Kites

Three small, humble kites…soaring above the dust of the Haiti dirt; lifting above the rubble and into the sky.  These kites were not extravagant, they didn’t have long flowing tails, they weren’t made of expensive fabric and they didn’t contain brilliant colors that drew attention.  They were simple.  Most people wouldn’t even think they were kites if it wasn’t for the fact that they were flying; flying high above the problems and pain that Haiti was now known for.  You see, these kites were literally made of trash:  a piece of black garbage bag stretched over a frame of sticks bound together by twine.  Somehow these trash kites were flying, and not just five or ten feet off the ground.  They were flying high, soaring above the powerless-powerlines and broken infrastructure of the Haitian surface.  This was one of the images of Haiti that is branded in my mind; an image that stirs my heart to love and action.  This image was a statement, these kites had a desire to escape the fear, the pain and the brokenness that was “normal” for the Haitian people, especially its children that were given no hope.

These three kites, for me, represent three children:  three children with bright smiles, hope, and love.  All of this while they wait to be adopted, taken from their humble orphanage and given a chance to fly!  That is what “adoption of three” is all about: giving hope and giving flight to three lives that are desperate for a chance to love and live.

My family, but specifically my parents are yearning for these kids, they deeply desire to put their kites in the air, but money is the major obstacle right now.  I see how they want so desperately to have these kids home.  Some days it seems so close you can almost touch it, and other days it feels like they will never get here.  They need a miracle.  And I know it will happen, its been ordered already by our Creator who puts all of us kites in the air.  But we need the participants of this miracle to rise to the surface.

We need support…be it financial or prayer, support is a must!  Will you join us?

Coming very soon is a tangible way to support this cause beyond just coldly cutting a check.  We have designed three t-shirts with “Nick Shively original artwork.”  The t-shirts are $18 a piece and when you wear one of these shirts you are helping put a little kite in the air, and soon (very soon God willing) you will see the kites soaring home where they belong.

The specific designs and ways to order will be up soon.  Thank you for your support.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I had an experience today that really touched my heart and it caused me to ask myself if any of you (friends or friendy aquaintainces) are like Pablo.  Since I didn't get permission to use his name, I can't give much detail.  But suffice it to say that I only know Pablo on a professional basis.  He and I can only recall each other's names because we both wear name tags during work and this is where we interact.  We are cordial to each other and have shared breakfast and lunch together a few times, and this occurs in the presence of 20 or so people.  So what makes Pablo different or interesting?  Pablo moves to make a difference in this world.  He understands that we are all in this together and he doesn't just speak with words, he speaks with action.(1John 3:18) 

Let me tell you how he touched my heart today.  Get ready, because it is earth shattering, mind blowing, and phenomenal.  He gave me $10.  You see, I explained my desire to adopt these three children from Haiti.  I showed the picture.  I said that I needed $30,000 to make it happen.  I told him that we didn't have that kind of money, but if 3,000 people would join with us and donate $10, we could make this a reality and we could, together, give three children the chance to hope and dream again.  He reached in his pocket and gave me $10.  Then he hugged me and he said, "We're all in this together."  Amen, Pablo.  We are.  And you, my friend, are an amazing man. Are you like Pablo? 


Monday, July 19, 2010

Think Big... Sounds About Right!

Think big. It seems easier for some of the people I am around everyday. They are dreamers; they shoot for the stars; they can barely shut their minds off at night because they are thinking so much about what they can do next. I am just not wired the same way. Although I do dream. And I think there is a point where you have to stop dreaming and start living. I feel that I am often caught in between the two worlds of dreaming and doing but the deep desire of my heart is to become a do-er. Can you even become a do-er or do you have to be born that way?

I don't know if I would categorize my parents as dreamers, and I think that is why I know that this dream is one worth living out.

My mom called me one afternoon with a tone of disbelief in her voice; as if to say she didn't fully believe what she was about to ask me. "Matt," she said. "I think I am supposed to adopt a kid from Haiti!" I don't really remember my reply, but as she said those words, I thought to myself...."yep, sounds about right!" It was exactly what they were supposed to do. My mom and I were on a team of people that went to Haiti on a mission trip with our church...and on the way back home we talked again. "Matt," she said. "I am supposed to adopt three kids from Haiti!" "Yep, sounds about right," I thought again.

God is funny that way. I can't always explain how I hear Him...I just know when I hear Him and when I am supposed to do something. When you are living inside of His will, it just clicks! I can't really explain it past that. It's the sweet spot of living out your faith; being exactly where you need to be and doing what you need to do in your journey for Christ. So support my parents and my family as they look to put their dream into action.
-Matt Shively

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Meeting the Kids for the First Time

As many of you already know, Nanci, Nick, Maddie and I just returned from Haiti. Nanci had met the kids when she and Matt traveled there in March to help build a dorm for the orphanage, but it was the first trip to Haiti for the rest of us. To say I fell in love with these three kids would be an understatement. Now that we're back in Arizona, I think and worry about them every day. I also pray for them daily, and know that God is in control of everything. He is keeping them safe, and is with us every step of the adoption process.

The entire week we were in Port au Prince, the church next to the orphanage was having an old fashioned Revival. We spent at least three hours each night in church singing, praying, and especially praising. They had a different preacher every night, complete with fire and brimstone preaching and alter calls (all in Creole of course). I got the honor of praying over two new believers on the second night (even though they didn't speak English, I know God does), and Nick played drums in the worship band on the last two nights. When we arrived the first night, the kids were already in church. Michelove and Moise spotted us right away, and waved. I saw Michelove telling Sophonie who we were, and she didn't take her eyes off of us for the rest of the service. When it was over, she was in my arms immediately, and I was "hooked". I would like to briefly share my thoughts on each of the three, so you can get to know them a little, and see why I fell in love so quickly.

Michelove....turned 11 in May. She is tall and thin, and has the biggest eyes. She has started learning English, and was very proud to write and recite her ABC's to me. She also had written a short letter to us before we arrived, and we will cherish it forever. She loves to sing and sang me a song from her Creole hymnal. I didn't understand much, but it was beautiful. She is very protective of her younger brother and sister, and very much understands and is eager about the adoption process.

Moise....turned 9 in June. He also is fairly tall for his age, and has a sweet spirit. One day, I watched him play with two of the younger boys for over an hour. They were trying to ride a tricycle on the rocky driveway, and he pushed each of them over and over, making them take turns and share. He was smiling and enjoying it as much as they were. When we were preparing to leave, he was very quiet and had tears in his eyes, so he too understands what is going on. I can't wait for him to experience the opportunities that await him in America.

Sophonie....will be 3 in September. She has been suffering from Typhoid, so we are understandably the most worried about her. Nanci is sending more medicine down to her this week, but prayers for her health would be greatly appreciated. She is very sweet, and we bonded immediately. The third night we were a little late arriving at church, and were sitting about 4 pews behind the orphans. A few moments later, Nanci and I were startled to feel Sophonie tugging at our legs. She had crawled under the seats and made her way back to us. I held her the rest of the service as she slept on my shoulder.

So those are the highlights of our first visit with our future children. We now are more devoted that ever to getting the adoption process rolling. It can take as long as 2 years to complete international adoptions such as these, and the cost is astronomical. We know that God is in control, and will provide the needed funds and the exact timing He determines.