Sunday, October 19, 2014


While in Haiti, Wilson, Sally and I attended the church service at COTP. Dan Willis, one of the house parents there, preached a sermon from James 1:2-4 about the things we learn from trials during our lives. 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.    James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Sheila, Carla and Christina sang "Blessed Be Your Name"--a song that had brought me to tears many times during the wait. A song that speaks about praising God even during...especially during...the times that are difficult.

It was powerful given the two years of working, crying and waiting we had just been through to get to that place. It was a service that I will probably never forget. 

This morning, one year later, the pastor at our church (also named Dan) preached almost the exact same service but used a different passage. 

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 (NIV)

At the end of the service this morning, the band played a song they have never played before--a song that the boys and I sang often in our car while we waited and prayed for Wilson to join our family.

It has been an emotional few days remembering back to the week that Wilson Manno and I finally became a family. It has been a difficult year in many ways but we are all stronger for the things we have been through so far. We have grown in many ways and when things become difficult in the day-to-day of our lives, it is good to remember the lessons I learned during the wait and to hang on to the promises that we are not alone in any of this. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014


One year ago, this sweet boy and I stopped waiting for each other and started being a family. 

Sally and I boarded a very tiny plane on October 17th and then hung out with Jenn and Amy at Second Mile Haiti for the night. 

The next morning, we were picked up and driven to the care center where this happened. Finally.

After that, it was several fun-filled days of hanging out and spending as much time together as we could (minus the 18 hours that I had the flu).