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We have lived in Romania for 16 years now. We have 6 kids.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adoption Papers.

I will try to explain all this so it makes sense. We went to put our papers in yesterday...everyone kept asking us which child we want...I guess most of the time when Americans put in adoption paperwork it is because there is already a child they want. There are several in placement that we know about but we decided not to give any names because we thought we wanted to take one in who didn't have any options and were in a bad environment. Well, the social worker that we spoke with yesterday said as of right now in our county there are no adoptable children on the list...I'll explain why later. We didn't have all the papers we needed but the ones we need will be easy to get so she let us go ahead and register for the class which starts next Monday and we can just bring our paper work with us then. We will go every Monday in November from 9 until 12. It should be very intresting.
The reason that there are no "adoptable" children right now is this: although there are many many children in foster homes and in "baby hospitals" there is no one in the child protective services that is going out and doing what is necessary to declare children adoptable. The new law states that even if a mom has signed off at birth that she doesn't want to raise her child, if later on in life there is someone that wants to adopt the child, they have to once again track down the parents and bring them to court (even if they are far away) and get them to tell the judge in person that they want their child to be up for adoption. Then they also have to go to the 4th degree family members and see if anyone wants the child...uncles aunts grandparents cousins etc. It is quite a process and most people are content if a child is in a good foster home so they are not going to pursue this course of action b/c it is quite a process. This is b/c of the new law that is supposed to protect children against child trafficking but in many cases it puts a child back in an unwanted home environment. Also, alot of these kids are gypsies and a lot of gypsy kids don't go to school anyway so the government doesn't consider it abuse for a child to be left to roam the streets all day if they have food and a roof over their head they are considered well cared for. We are praying and contemplating what to do. We will take the class in November and then we do have a social worker acquaintance here in our town that says she can tell us of adoptable kids. We do know of several children through an American children's home who are "up for grabs" but we would probably still have to try and track down the parents AGAIN...even though that has already been done once. One of the little boys who is 4 actually doesn't even have parents on his birth certificate, he was given a name by the mayor where he was born. It is really messed up system that doesn't really seem to look out for the best interest of the child. Sometimes a mom leaves her baby at the hospital and the baby is put in an ambulance and driven back to the mom's home...so they are being put in an unwanted situation which could lead to abuse. The baby is returned by an ambulance driver, not a social worker or someone who looks at the environment and is trained just a guy who drives the ambulance.
We really need to pray b/c they are doing a good job of another orphan cover up...it is not nearly as bad as what it was 15 years ago under communism as far as how the orphans are treated but there are still a lot of kids who need loving homes.
We are going to "Trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding and in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths."
Pray that through the whole process we will not be anxious and not worry and will be a bright light for Christ.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Before and After



I am so thankful for my house! This is Baron and my bathroom before and after. I don't know what happened to all my before pictures but it was pre digital and so they are lost. This is the only one I have found.
The people we bought our house from were a lawyer and a teacher...yet their house was run down. This bathroom didn't even have running water in it. I am so thankful for the money that God supplied so we could get the bathrooms and kitchen done within 2 months after moving in!

The hat!

That hat...I acutally used this hat :) We were visiting a very cold part of Romania when we had just 2 boys and it was sooo cold and windy and this hat looked soo warm and so I bought it and was so glad I did! The boys located the hat this year and have had fun taking turns playing with it...everytime I see it sitting in the kitchen I first think it is our cat Sally and wonder how she got in the house and then I realize, it is just my fuzzy hat :).







Funny Nate!

I love this little game that Nate likes to play. He sits in his high chair with his cheerios and pacifier and instead of eating the cheerios he likes to stick them in his pacifier. So, they sit there squooshed between his mouth and his paci. Sometimes he eventually eats them, other times he forgets they are there and the cheerio remains there until it falls out on the floor and then is attacked by a herd of ants (do ants travel in herds...they seem to). He is so cute. I tried to get on video this morning Nate trying to get his big bottom and feet into a very small box. He tried for quite sometime before he realized it just wasn't going to happen...then he threw himself onto the floor and pitched a fit (my first fit pitcher...he takes after his aunt...my sister :) ). He was so distraught that he couldn't fit into the tiny box...I caught it on video but due to my techicnal failures...it was erased...sorry grandmas...I"ll try to do better next time.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The aging process.

I decided that it would be interesting to see the "aging process" in Baron and myself. So, here we start with our very first picture together in the summer of 92 in Colorado.




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Next, we have 5 months before our wedding in Kansas City, MO






Then there is the wedding, May 11, 1996







Here is pre kids...I looked at this picture and realized I was eating a bit too much of my baking goods and went on a diet before I would get pregnant and gain more weight!








This was taken the evening of December 23, Zach was born at 5 am December 24th.






Waiting for son #2 to come.







The Howerton family in the year 2000 in Chicago.







On our way to the airport...moving to Romania, July 2001






Then there were 3!








I am a bit outnumbered! It's great to be queen!







11 years of marriage!








Then there were 4! God has blessed us with 4 sons...my how the years have flown...will there ever be a little Howerton girl...only God knows!

Monday, October 15, 2007

update on our ministry to orphans!

We found out that there is one big orphanage (I don't know the proper terms, they no longer call them orphanages) in our town with teens ages 14 to 18. We are guessing though that there are probably some younger than 14. Then there is also an orphanage in a smaller village about 10 minutes from us. So, today we went to Timisoara as we were told to do, to talk with the Doamna Directoara of Timis county. We went with another American couple. They have a church in Timisoara and are also interested in ministering to orphans. We did not talk to the head lady but someone helped us. We found out we have to type out a "cerere" or a request form and it has to be very specific, where we want to go, what we want to do, who will be helping, how often, etc. It has to be official and have an association stamp. Fortunately God moved Baron to form an association and we are in the process of doing that now and it should be done in 3 more weeks. We have been told there simply aren't many orphans left and there aren't many children's homes run by the state. They have called them other things besides orphanages in hopes to hide the problem. We are determined to minister to these kids though and the best way to find out about other kids is to get into the places we know about and then you find out by word of mouth about the other places. She did mention the "baby hospital" for the children under 5 which we have been interested in but until now have not found anyone willing to talk about it. So, please pray that when we put in our request that we will be granted access. We will put in our request in 3 more weeks. We are also working on our paperwork for adoption this week (I hope) and hope to get it turned in next week.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

This is what the word sweetness looks like!







Oh if only they were always this sweet! I don't think anything is sweeter then pictures of babies asleep, snuggling with their blanket and teddy bear!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Toothless at last!



Spencer is 7. We wondered if he would ever loose any teeth...he did!

Even Super Heros have to do their homework!

"Spider Man, it's time to do your homework!"

Dog Food

Mom Please Feed Me!!


Well, This morning I am noticing that there are pieces of dog food under the table and on the kitchen floor. Maybe if you have an inside dog you might think this is not so weird (and our dog is a messy eater) but our dog is outside only. Our big bag of dog food sits on the floor next to the refrigerator...within reach of some little hands...Then I started to notice that the dog food on the kitchen floor was wet...like someone had been tasting it. Yes, I believe that little Nate has been trying out the dog food but, I don't think he liked it so that is a good thing. I have also noticed that he finds the boys little toys laying around and pops them in his mouth so I have told the boys if I find a little toy on the floor it is going in the trash so watch out! Oh the joys of raising children! I always look forward to seeing what they will come up with next!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Adoption

I should be getting the kids up an ready for school but...that can wait a few more minutes! I just wanted to let people know that we have started the adoption process. We will put in our paperwork this month and then every Monday in November we will take a class in Timisoara. Then we will wait for approval after a home visit and psych evaluation (hopefully Baron and I won't be labeled psychos). Then we wait. We are not sure if we will try to get involved in finding our children yet or not. Supposedly the list of kids is short and list of parents is long but that is just b/c no one in governement plays an active role in finding out kids situations. There are many abandoned kids but usually by the time they get around to declaring them adoptable they are like 10 or older! It is very sad...they want children to stay with blood relatives at all cost even at the cost of the children living a better life and getting an education. Pray that we will be assigned a social worker who actually cares about the children and is compassionate. We will keep you posted on our progress...we wait expectantly on God!