Category Archives: Request

Longings for Kate

So you know when you’re an overly-emotional, fairly-moody teenager who comes home after school, throwing a bag in the floor, grumbling about how there’s no food in the house only to hear your mother tell a story about one of her co-workers (a gal not that much older than you) who is *so funny* and *just a delight* and *did I tell you about when she [enter witty story you’ve already heard]*, and you begin to get this nagging suspicion . . .

  • That your mom might like her more than you?
  • That she might be a better daughter than you?
  • That you’d better make sure you have records that your parents are indeed your parents and they can’t just slough you off to a state institution like that?

“No, officer, she’s not their daughter:  I AM!  See, look how I can bend my fingers back into an unnatural position, just like my dad can.  Come on, Dad, bend them!”

But then, against your will, as you come to know this gal, you realize:  you like her.  And if she were adopted into your family, that would be okay.  As long as she didn’t take the title of “Sarah Burnhart” away from you:  there’s only room for one overly emotional female in this family.

So anyway, my friend has sent out a request.  She and her beautiful family have begun the process of adopting a precious child named Kate.  Kate lives in Haiti where my friend’s family worked for some time.  My friend is not one to share prayer requests all that often, and it is so evident that she and her family are longing to bring this darling little girl into their arms.

And if the role of overly-emotional female has not already been taken in their family, I’m willing to offer lessons for Kate upon her arrival.  😀

So we got some bad news today.  The person in charge of the department of Haitian Social Welfare has decided to enforce an unknown Haitian law that states that families that have ANY children (biological or adopted) will not be allowed to adopt a Haitian child without special dispensation/permission from the president of Haiti, Rene Preval.

Our file/Kate’s file has been in this man’s office for over 5 months andwill not move forward until/unless we are given special permission by President Preval to adopt her.  There are thousands of other families in the same position we are.  We are being asked to write a letter to the president explaining our reasons for wanting to adopt, our financial capability to adopt, and anything else special about us that would convince him to let us adopt.  Then we are to supply all of our financial documentation again (tax forms, employer letter, etc.), have all of it translated, notarized, state certified, Haitian consulate certified and mailed to the president of Haiti, who I’m sure has all the time in the world to read these letters.

Writing the letteris intimidating, but I can do that.  It’s the other steps–translation,notarization, state certification, consulate certification, etc. that take so much time, more money and slow things down.  Then, remembering that getting the file through this one office IBESR (Social Welfare) is only the first step in the Haitian adoption process is making me feel pretty discouraged.

So would you please pray for us?  We got videos of Kate the other day and it was so wonderful to see her in person, yet so hard to watch her at such a vulnerable age and know she’s waiting in an orphanage for us to hold her and be her family. And if you know me at all, you know I’m ready to hop on a plane.

But God has plans for us and for her.  I trust Him to work in us and through us in this process.  And I ask for your prayer that this letter would be expedited through all of the certifications quickly and then be well received in Haiti.

Blessings on you,

I Love to Get Emails Like This

Kelly Bean is an amazing woman I connected with through a F/friend, and then we actually met in Connecticut for the first time, even though we only live 30 minutes from each other.  She is a contributer to Off the Map and a codreamer for Northwest Emerging Women Leaders and an amazing woman who brings creativity, care, and beautiful atmosphere wherever she goes.  Kelly and her family are part of a faith community that looks nothing like traditional church, and despite (or potentially because of ) the lack of “hierarchical organizational structure”, they have organized an amazing trip to bring supplies and help meet needs in East Africa.  Please send prayers out for her and her group as they are Light bearers in their journey.

Dear Friends

It is with great excitement that I update you…  Our East Africa adventure is 5 days away! {note from Aj:  Okay, so I’m late in posting this  :)}

Depart Portland for Seattle Monday Nov 5

Arrive Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday 6th (via Amsterdam and London, Ken travels through London and we are flying through Amsterdam)

Visit projects in Nairobi area 7th, 8th

Friday to Rwanda for one week

Friday 16th fly to Burundi through Monday 19th

19th return to Nairobi for flight home

20th pm home

The 7 of us traveling from Portland, Vancover and Seattle have been happily overwhelmed with the generosity of our communities, friends, families and networks…

Because of you we will carry with us all this and more:

  • Specially printed team shirts for the Gasogi Village “football” team of 35 in Rwanda, 15 Excellent quality soccer balls, ball pumps and ball needles, new soccer socks for the whole team, some soccer shoes and shorts
  • Two laptops and women’s clothing for HIV treatment ministry in Kenya
  • Clothing and shoes enough for three orphanages
  • Toys, books, treats, stickers, toothbrushes
  • Books, notes from kids in our communities and school supplies for a school
  • Money to help support the school lunch program at the Mathare Mennonite school (.03 a day for lunch, only 1/2 the kids can afford to eat lunch)
  • 15 soccer balls to distribute to kids in various locations
  • Courier service to Americans living in Kenya and Rwanda bringing their Christmas gifts from their families
  • Gifts of encouragement for the African leaders who will be hosting us
  • Elliot raised 340.00 at his school to help with school for the Batwa/pygmy children in Burundi! (good job Elliot!)
  • Funds to purchase food for Africans in need
  • Funds to help with ARV’s for a group of HIV positive kids
  • Donations to cover the excess baggage charges.
  • Donations toward microfinance projects

THANKS TO EACH OF YOU FOR YOUR CARE FOR THE CHILDREN OF AFRICA and for these amazing projects we will visit

We would be grateful for your prayers for our good health, safe travel. We will be joined by 19 friends from South Africa in Rwanda and are looking forward to this aspect of our cross cultural experience as we team build all together.

We would be very grateful for your prayers for our girls at home.

If you have not had the chance to give yet and would like to, these are the needs that remain . . .

1.  Contributions to help cover trip expenses are welcome

2.  Donations to deliver directly to the ministries and projects. More on that also when we return!

{Sidenote from Aj:  contact me if you can contribute in any way}

With Full hearts and Full bags!

Kelly, Ken and Elliot Bean

My Own Online Lending Library

This week I got busted: the library found out that I live out of district (that’s the last time I strike up casual conversation with the librarians about walking to the new bakery that’s in the other town). Today I anted up the out-of-district fee, which I had been planning to do when my library card was up for renewal, so now I can resume filling up my own personal hold shelf.

The wonderful world wide web contains a bunch of really cool online lending library options out there as well – some free, some costing a little bit. But many of the books I’m looking for aren’t listed (shocking: I know).

So, I thought I’d call upon those folks who might still check this blog from time to time (if anyone’s out there – is this thing on?).

Does anyone have:

Colossians Remixed

Contemplative Youth Ministry
Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church
Presence-Centered Youth Ministry

I’d be ever so grateful if you’d contribute to my lending library: keep the non-mama-parts of my brain alive and well.

And, in return, I can bake you something: cookies are good payment, yes? 😀