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

Friday, May 29, 2009

Twins Update

So, as you know we had our court date on April 21 and were awarded custody of our twins (this is only custody we still have to go through the adoption process). This did not mean we could just take the twins home, end of story. We did take them home that day for two weeks but had to take them back. By law the court has 30 days to send out the official paper of the order given to give us custody...it has now been 38 days and we still have not received our paper. After 30 days there is a 15 day waiting period where anyone can come contest the decision...what we don't know is if the 15 days begins right after it has been 30 days since the court decision or if starts when the official court paper is sent. We called someone today to check on things for us. He called the court house and basically couldn't get any information over the phone. He said if we haven't gotten the paper by Monday he will drive from Oradea to the Marghita court house and check on it. They said they only gave out information to people who came in person.
The other development (maybe this really isn't a development...we hope not anyway) is a couple came to Casa Alba last week inquiring about the twins. No one knows who they were. They only know it wasn't the aunt who came last year expressing interest in them. I don't understand why no one there questioned them and tried to find out who they were...just another factor I have to throw out to God and trust Him and not mull over and worry about.
So, that is where we are at. We are picking the twins up this Thursday for two weeks but are hoping that the only reason we have to go back to Marghita is for a going away party. Keep Praying.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Zachary.


Ok, all you mothers, every now and then we just can't keep silent and we have to mention our kids :-).My oldest, Zachary, who is 10 is in the states with grandma and grandpa right now and I have gotten a few emails and things about his trip.
My mom wrote this:
"last evening Pastor Peter had all the people stand whose jobs were in jepardy or who were out of work. Wow! I was surprised at how many people stood So then Peter had people go and suround the different people and pray for them. Dad went and Zack follow him and went and put his hand on their shoulder as they prayed. I thought it was so sweet. "
That one brought tears to my eyes.

Next is a list of funny things that my sister, Aunt Gigi, sent me.
1. On Zach's first trip to Red Robin I was showing him all the cool drinks he could order. He asks the waitress, "Do you have pear juice?"
1a. During trip to Red Robin, asked Zach what he thought of having a sister.
Response: "It is okay. She is a little bossy."
Aunt Gigi told him he should give in to her every once in a while.
Response: "No. We tried that, and it just made it worse."
2. When meeting Fluffy for the first time, "She is so cute. You should get a male dog and mate them and they could have puppies."
3. When running through my house for the first time, "Why do you have three toilets when there are only two of you?"
4. When he saw Al's car collection, "Who plays with all the cars?"
5. When Uncle Al took him to McDonald's this morning for breakfast and Al asks him what he wants, Zach says, "What can I have?" Al says, "Anything." Zach: "Anything?" Al says yes. Zach: "I'd like two sausages and a medium milkshake. I love sausage." Yes, that's plain sausage.
6. When I took him to Old Navy to get needed items and Nana calls and says that he needs two pairs of shorts as well Zach says, "Does that mean we have to go back to the fitting room?" Aunt Gigi: "Yes." Zach: "Oh, I'm getting bored with the fitting room. Do we get charged every time we go into the fitting room?"
7. Still at Old Navy Zach says, "I don't like these jeans, they stink. I want the jeans I have in Romania." I told him they just smell new and that smell will go away once we wash them.

Kids make us laugh, keep our hearts light, and sometimes they even show us what it truly means to follow Christ!

Monday, May 18, 2009

When things seem impossible!

I am not sure where to start on this story. I'll do my best to make it concise but not leave out any details because God needs to be praised for all the details that were accomplished today! We needed to leave for the airport at 11:30 a.m. My parents and Zach's plane was to leave at 1:55. Around 10:30 a.m. my mom said, "oh, don't forget to give me Zach's passport." So, I stopped to go and get it right away. I looked in Baron's desk drawer and found 3 boys' passports...but not Zach's, I looked in our other hiding place for passports, no passport for Zach. I went and asked Baron if he knew where Zach's passport was...he asked me if it wasn't in his desk with all the kids passports. No one was panicking at this point...we had an hour before we needed to leave and we have never lost a passport before so we were sure we would find it before 11:30. We thought back to the last time we used his passport, it was to make a copy of his and Spencer's passport for fighting class. We took Baron's office apart. He knew he had made the copies on his printer and we had Spencer's passport. He was sure it was in his office but after tearing his office apart (and realizing we need to invest in filing cabinets which we will do right away) and it wasn't there our fear was that he had accidentally picked it up and put it in his pocket and lost it. We called the embassy, our only option they said was to bring Zach to Bucharest (a very long trip on the train all night) and get him a new passport, that is the only way he can get out of the country. So, we start looking at train tickets and thinking we could change the plane tickets until Wednesday. Baron also called the boys fighting teacher to see if we accidentally gave him the passport instead of the copy...he came right over and took Baron over to the gym to hunt for it and he felt so bad but there was nothing he could do....of course in the midst of all this we are all praying for a miracle. It is 11:30 now and we should be leaving. Zach is calm through it all, he says: "mom, maybe this is God's way of showing us that I am not supposed to go to America this summer." I wanted to cry at his level of thinking. We really started taking the house apart at this time...no passport. I get on the phone to see about changing plane tickets...just for my parents to change it is going to be $250 per ticket then she says but there are no seats in business class on Wed. or Thurs and the only way to switch is to do an upgrade and she put me on hold to figure out the price. While I am on hold I told my dad to go put their luggage in the car that I think they are going to have to go without Zach because it is going to be too expensive to change their tickets. I am sitting at Baron's desk and realize at this point that Zach is not going to America and we are going to loose all this money on his ticket and I started to cry. We were at the end of our rope and exasperated. It is around 12:15 or so and I told Baron you just need to get my parents to the airport (I kept telling myself during all this that I would praise God even if my plans didn't work out, that God has a reason and this is His plan). I was still on hold with the airline and Baron sees me crying and in his exasperation starts pulling out boxes from behind his desk, behind where the printer is and he yells: "I FOUND IT!!" We all go tearing out of the house, grabbing boys and shoes, and suitcases and praising God...shouting and crying. My dad couldn't believe it...when he was loading up the luggage he thought for sure that was it, there was no way Zach was coming with them. It was 12:30 when we left. There are two ways to Timisoara, the road directly to the airport is full of construction and stop lights b/c of the construction so we dared not go that way. We went the other way and had to drive all the way through Timisoara to get to the airport. We were praying and my dad was holding on to the dashboard the whole way and Baron was literally flying! It usually takes about an hour to get to Timisoara and depending on traffic through Timisoara can take quite a while...we made it to the airport in 50 minutes...record time! After several scary passes on the road and everyones heart rate really high, we get them checked in, hug them, breath a sigh of relief. We put them in the passport line, their flight is boarding. The passport man then asks my parents who Zach is and they say he's our grandson, Baron goes over and the man asks when Zach was out of the country last and we say in December and then Baron shows him his permanent residency card and says he is my son and I live in Romania. The man proceeds to tell him that if Zach leaves the country without one of these cards he will not be allowed back in the country! When we went and got our cards for permanent residency we asked at the police station about our kids and they told us for now not to worry about our kids they were fine under us. We explained this to him but he said, no he must have a card. Baron pleaded with them and explained to them we will get him a card but we can't get one now. By this time someone from the plane came looking for the last three passengers for the plane. Baron and the passport control man are speaking Romanian so my poor parents have no idea what is going on...FINALLY the Lord had mercy and about 5 minutes before the plane was supposed to take off, they got on the plane!!
We went straight to the police station to see what we needed to do to get him a card and the man there rolled his eyes and told Baron they had no right to do what they did. He said, yes you should have a card for your kids but it is not a big deal and that they should not have given us a hastle...oh the inconsistancies, that is what drives me nuts! This man at the police station gave Baron his name and number and told him if they give us any problems getting back in the country to call him. He told us to come get the cards for the kids when Zach comes back in the country!
We felt emotionally drained by the time we walked away from the airport. We were so happy and tired and flabbergasted (is that a word??)...we have never lost a passport before, why now. God has a reason...we may never now that reason but we praise Him that he chose to allow Zach to go to America!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Updates




It has been 3 1/2 weeks since we were granted custody of the twins and we still haven't gotten our official declaration in the mail. They supposedly have 30 days from the court date to send it so Lord willing maybe we will receive it sometime next week. After that there is the 15 day waiting period and as as far as I know after that they are free to come home with us. Please continue to pray for them and us as we wait to bring them home then all the fun of the adoption process begins!


It is almost time for summer camp again. We are excited to be taking about 40 kids to camp this summer and 16 of them or orphans from a private children's home near by. We pray that once again we will receive gifts to sponser these 40 kids to go to camp. The cost is about $40 per camper for one week of camp. If you are interested in helping send a child to camp you can send a check to Tri City Ministries, 4500 Little Blue Parkway, Independence, MO 64057 and mark it specifically for Howerton campers in Romania.

My parents have been here for almost 3 weeks now. The time always goes by so fast! They leave on Monday and take our oldest son with them. I am glad he gets to go but am kind of regretting sending him now :). It will be a good time for him. He is going to the Wilds for a week. He will also get to spend a week in Kansas City with Grandma and Grandpa Howie and his cousins.

I am so grateful to have a space problem in Sunday School. My little class has grown from 9 kids to well over 16 kids. Many of these kids are needy, several of them are foster kids, and some are learning disabled. Please pray for us as we love these kids and minister to them. We hope to have them come two days a week this summer to our home to play games and do crafts with them. They enoy the stimulation. Many of these kids just sit in front of the television for fun.

We have finished up our year of school. It was a challenging year as it was my first year in two years to have to teach the boys. I learned a lot this year. We are switching to a new curriculum, Sonlight. It is a literature based curriculum and I think it will be a good switch for us. Zach will be in 5th grade next year, Spencer in 3rd grade, and Drew in 1st grade. The twins will be learning English and doing K5 work.