Sunday, March 20, 2016

Waiting for a Court Date

Post #82
This is an update I posted on my private FB group about our adoptions.

It's been awhile since I posted but that is the adoption world- a bustle and then.... nothing. 
LOL! A little bit over a week ago we sent some missing documents from our Dossier to Uganda and I got word this morning that the attorney received them and he is planning on filing them tomorrow to apply for a court date. Keep us in your prayers. 

I have been filling out Adoption Grant Applications tonight and am a little weary. 

Perseverance. That is what you do for love and what you really want. If you want to be a big part of our adoptions then you can donate or pass along our profile on ADOPT TOGETHER. Here is the website.

I long to go to Africa Soon

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Love is Stronger than Death

Some days I sit and wonder how I got to where I am today. Mom to 13 kids. It still throws me off sometimes to even realize that that is my reality. Honestly, there are some days that I think I've bitten off more than I can chew. I don't want to hear the word " Mom " another time. I don't want to solve anyone's problems and I most certainly don't want to chase a runaway teen who has deep wounds in his heart. But Love leaps in and is enough. It's enough to give you grace to go through the hard days. When Duane and I said yes again, to taking in two kids with emotional wounds, we knew what we were getting into. Our flesh screamed NO!!! Don't do it! You Can't do it! but we did it any way because we wanted to choose God's heart. I heard the words, of Misty Edward's song, "I knew what I Was Getting Into and I still loved you. Truth be known, It is not always easy. Over the years, God has held us, taught us, healed us and brought us through hellish days. Yes, the H word. Because that is the only way to describe it. There are days we have made our bed in hell, dealing with the demons that have been thrust upon our kids by other people choices in their lives but Jesus was there. It's comforting and empowering when we know this truth- "He is there." Tonight was one of those nights. Anger, my most hated demon- because it demonstrates and showcases all the fears and lies it wants its victim to believe and It steals joy and connection while being completely irrational - displayed itself coming against my son tonight. Without sharing every detail, my child's fight and flight kicked in tonight over nothing really but nonetheless he was triggered. My heart ached so bad when I couldn't find him. With no coat and no shoes on and a cold, rainy night forecasted, my heart ached for him to be alone. When I finally did find him, he ran again. Then I caught him and with only heavenly strength that came from Jesus was I able to hold him in an embrace while all his rage spewed out on me on the sidewalk of an elementary school. I was exhausted but Jesus wasn't. " I love you" kept coming from my lips hoping that somehow though his ears couldn't hear it, his spirit would. After what seemed a very long time, he broke away, but his brothers were able to catch him again. I was able to hold him again. Still fighting, still believing lies the enemy was feeding him. Praying, God gave me words he needed to hear that surprised even me. Almost immediately, his body started regulating. His anger dissipating. By this time, someone had called police and Duane showed up. He could finally hear our voices. The officer was kind and helpful. I brought him home, telling him we were celebrating that he was home safely. If he wanted it, we saved a cupcake for him. He went to his room and fell asleep almost immediately. I prayed over him, not angry at him but at a force that only wants to destroy him, that wants him to believe he's an orphan with no place to belong. A friend shared a verse with me yesterday, I've not been able to get if off of my mind. "Don’t stealthily move back the boundary lines or cheat orphans out of their property, For they have a powerful Advocate who will take up their cause.”
Proverbs 23:10-11 MSG/NIV
I will not allow the enemy to take away from my son what belongs to him- happiness,love, joy, peace and a family to belong to. He deserves to live life abundantly. I will not tolerate an enemy that wants him to believe he can never be a son again to anyone. Why am I sharing such a moment publicly on FB and my blog? Because there may be someone who needs to hear: in the midst of pain, you can know healing, in the midst of anger, you can know joy. In the midst of fear, you can know Love. Grace and strength from Heaven are there. He is There. Love is stronger than death. Love wins. Keep making deposits into that person. One day, Love will bloom.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Our Heavenly Petition

I’m full of lots of lots of thoughts these past few days. This post may be long so you just might want to grab your cup of tea and nice chair to sit in while you read. I’ve a favor to ask but first I must tell you what is on my heart. 

 The journey through adoption can be one of the most emotional journeys one will ever take. We definitely have been through the process numerous times and every time I hope that this time “it just might be easier and straight forward with no glitches, and no stress.” LOL!  Not so! It is such a roller coaster of everything; your emotions, your finances, and your physical being experiences stress. Most of the time, there is no “definite” in the process. There are horrific moments and there are ecstatic moments all along the way. There are busy moments of movement with news reports, appointments and deadlines then comes the silence, the waiting. It can be exhausting mentally, physically, emotionally and even spiritually.  

Adoption certainly grows you, if you let it. On the other hand it can also kill you, if you let it. 

There are many times, when we have felt like we have been thrown at the enemies feet. The one who doesn't want good to happen in the world. The one who is out to destroy hope in others. 
Sometimes it’s as if we can literally feel him laugh and mock us for attempting to save the life of a child. Road blocks get thrown in our way that utterly tempt us to quit. I am often reminded of the travails of Pilgrim in Pilgrim’s Progress as we experience this journey. We run into trouble after trouble but God is always there to help in the most unexpected ways when needed. 

Through this process during and after, we have learned a highly valuable truth. That is nothing ever exhaust Jesus. 
We choose to be the tree planted by the River. He is the River. He calms the storms, he brings the lonely to rest in our haven.  He gives the strength. We cannot do this in and of ourselves. His name is Hope inside of us. His love always finds us. 

I never have doubted that God would provide for us in every capacity when he called us to pursue one of our children.  I always kept Hope like it was a treasure. As a child, I memorized both Hebrews 11 and Romans 8. They came to be my promises when hard moments arose in the adoption process. I love the quote by William Wilberforce - a great man who led the fight  to abolish slavery- “We are too young to realize that certain things are impossible... So we will do them anyway.”  This is our heart and brings us to the favor we need of you. 

As you know, we are in process of adopting a little boy, J.from _______ and our daughter M______ also from ______, who has lived with us for over 2 years now.  We have been pursuing both of their adoptions for over 2 years now.   It has been complicated due to many special and unexpected circumstances. (You can read most of the details on our private FB group- (Just let me know you want to Join)
After a long time when it seemed nothing was happening, we suddenly had pathways opened to go forward in these adoptions. (Some literal miracles have taken place) 

A few weeks ago, we completed our home study and it was taken to our attorney in the country we are adopting from. We have been waiting for a few weeks to hear what is going on with our cases.  We felt confident that guardianships would continue for our adoptions as usual.  We stepped into this totally unprepared financially.  It definitely was a huge step of faith to keep going towards these adoptions even after we committed to being caretakers to two other international teens from a disrupted adoption this past December but we trusted God as we have seen him continuously use various means to provide for each of our past adoptions. He’s always been faithful. 
We found out a couple of days ago that the  government that we are adopting from wants to halt adoptions and we have so many days to get a court date and obtain it.  This seems like an impossibility. But we are believing that with God, Nothing is Impossible. 

Our attorney is working on getting us a court date and hopefully we will know this next week if we got one. 
Suddenly, we have a lot to be done to be prepared for this- plane tickets, lawyer fees, travel expenses, adoption fees.  

I’m getting to the favor need from you but first I need to explain something that has transpired over the last few days, then you will understand the favor. 

Duane has been reading this book and he was so moved by a certain part of it yesterday that he had to share with me. In summary, the author shared about a hard time she had been experiencing and she was just at the end of her strength through the situation that had been happening. Her friend asked her if she had talked to God about it.  She had in a sense been asking God to give her strength to go through the situation but had not asked him to resolve the situation.  Her friend, told her it was ok to write a petition to God about resolving the situation.  Her reasoning was because we are a part of the Kingdom of God, we most certainly can petition God about those things that need resolution.  He is concerned with peace and love existing. It is already his will that these things be done. So she did what her friend told her.  She wrote a letter to God,  signed it and then had her friend sign and for over an hour, they named friends  who they knew would agree and align as allies with them and imagined them signing it as well.   God heard her and Heaven was moved about her situation. Amazingly, it was resolved immediately that same day because it aligned with His purposes.

In the meantime, without knowing he had been reading this, I went on a FB group that I haven’t been to in a while called Creating with God in Life and Business and the admin on there had posted about how she loves to write letters to God as a form of prayer and she posted a prayer and asked others to pray as well and to agree together on it.  This struck me as maybe, I need to just write a letter to God about our kids and share it with others to agree with us on it. 

Duane couldn’t get the story off of his mind and finally shared it with me, I knew immediately  that it was no coincidence that we both had been shown a piece of God’s direction. We were to write a letter of request to Heaven and put it out there for our family and friends and their family and friends & anyone else who agrees with our hearts to sign, like or agree.   We believe Heaven is moved when the collective goodwill of so many is moved. 

Our Petition:

Dear Creator God, 
You have created us in your image, You have covered us in the shadow of your wings, we have invited Christ to live in us and we have chosen to live in Him. As a family, we the Carters, come before you in your Presence.  You have always been where we are whether it has been a high place or a low place. Just like David we have felt the days of Heaven where we have clear vision and have felt you around us, supporting us, aiding us, comforting us. We thank you for that.  We have experienced the days where we have felt as if we had made our bed in hell, wavering in our faith, almost losing hope but you would be there keeping us, holding us,  hiding us, loving us. We thank you for that. 

 You have put our family together in the most amazing ways. We still stand amazed at the ways you worked in our lives, at the ways you brought each of our children to us. We fill with emotion at the ways you provided for us and the ways that you healed our hearts and our kids’ hearts and are continuing to do so.  We stand speechless in worship at the ways you returned hope back to our children and ourselves. We lift our highest praise to you. 

Because we know that these problems we are experiencing concerning the completion of your heart’s desire to set the lonely in families, to call our sons and daughters from afar and to not leave the children as orphans, are not your will, we ask you to mightily intervene on our behalf.  Our family longs to bring J. home and be his family. Our family longs for M. to have finalization in her place in our family. 
It appears that certain govt. officials in this beautiful  country are being influenced by those who do not have your interest at heart.  These are people interrupting a beautiful thing you  created- family. They are to stopping adoptions.  They think they have won by denying children a permanent family.  We ask you to intervene on our kids’ and others behalf in this adoption process.  

We long for our kids to be home with us. We know you care about the outcome. We know you will not accept our “yes” to you and deny its fulfillment.  You have always been faithful. We remember and have seen you intervene in the past when we were told that our daughters could never leave Romania, that adoptions were indefinitely halted. We have watched you move mountains. We are deeply grateful. Our faith is strong because you have proven faithful to us.  

We ask that you release everything we need to complete these adoptions. Whether it be yeses, signatures, paperwork, finances or favor. Just as the Egyptians threw their wealth at the Hebrews,  and freed them with favor, we ask that you once again cause extravagance given to our cause. 

 We know you also want our kids to live in a safe place, in a place we call home. We ask that our house be given to us in a simplistic way. We ask for favor and for provision, for creativity to flow through our home.  

We thank you for these amazing miracles we are about to see. We are excited that we will be officially able to call J. a son and that never again will he be called an orphan.  We are excited that M. will get to add the last name Carter to her name and officially be our daughter.  
God, because Heaven’s heart is moved when there is a “cloud of witnesses, we are inviting others to join and partner with us in agreement that our son will come home, and our daughter will officially be ours with no worries as to how it will be paid for or how it will happen. Thank you. We love you. You are worthy of our praise. 

Lovingly we sign with our hearts, 
Melissa, Duane, Graham, Andrew, Stephen, Derick, Allenni, Eli, Isaiah and Maria 

THE FAVOR we ask of you:
This may seem a little outside the box. A different way of doing things. We have friends all over  the world and we have been calling out people’s names who we know will stand with us. Our kids all stood with us for their sister and new brother, calling our people who they thought would also agree to having a child be released into our family.  

If you agree with what we are going after for our family and you want to be our “cloud of witnesses” will you sign your name in the comments or agree verbally as a prayer for us? Will you share with people who you know would agree with us in this? It is a spiritual petition. There is no commitment of anything but to feel in your heart and say with your lips that you agree that our children should be freed. Spoken words are very powerful.  We know Heaven will be delighted when it hears the voices of all of those who all gathered in unity to over the one and in our case the two.  It inadvertently will affect many more. We so appreciate you and your partnership with us. We are excited about what God is doing! Much love, Melissa and Duane and kids

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Our New Grounding Solution

We hardly have to ground our kids but there are times that it needs to be done.  Sometimes teens want to push through and find their own way more than we would like. I needed a constructive way to ground a kid while at the same time make them feel good for accomplishing something as well as it needing to be constructive for the family.  I did a little research and found some ideas online and then made my own list up. Since our kids have their regular daily chores anyway, I put extra projects on my list as well as those things that need doing only sometimes. If you would like a copy that you can change to suit you, then email me and I can get a changeable copy to you.  There is a MAJOR grounding as well that they have to work off 1000 points.

UPDATE: So I had three boys who got grounded recently at the same time for different things. One had a MAJOR grounding and the other two had MINOR GROUNDINGS.
Well, the two younger ones at first were bummed but got to work on getting ungrounded right way when they realized that they had it in their control as to how long they were grounded.  They chose happy attitudes and were quiet proud of their accomplishments.  The third child, well, he had a MAJOR grounding and actually got grounded before the others. He choose a bad attitude (which deducts points) and decided that he didn't have time to do anything. He also lost out on a privilege of going to a party. :(   So when he decided to finally do a chore to earn, he found out that all the things on the list had already been done within the last few days and so he was stuck with mom projects.  He finally chose to change his attitude so it is looking up that he might be ungrounded soon.

Here is the Link to access a file of it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Letter I Wrote to some Delta Executives

 Post #72
I just wrote a gracious letter to the President of Delta and attached all my documents only to have the email kicked back to me. frown emoticon 
But I will not give up and so I posted to Delta on FB and did a little more digging and found some other executive emails and so far they have not been kicked back to me. We wait.

Here is the letter I wrote to Delta Executives:

Hello Delta Executive,

 My name is Melissa Carter and I am writing you about some never refunded plane tickets.  

 I have contacted your customer service already and they told me that I needed to refer to validity of tickets. Which actually does not apply to this case as it is not a ticket I want to use but a refund I was approved for but not issued. 

Back in 2008, My husband and I was adopting 3 children form Uganda. 
Of course, with the adoption process in Africa, nothing ever goes as planned and I ended up changing our flights back to America several times via the DELTA/KLM/NW office in Kampala, Uganda. 

You guys were always great to help me out. The children’s adoptions were long and drawn out with things either constantly changing daily or no movement at all. It was really stressful. Through it all your staff at the DELTA/KLM office in Kampala was always helpful and welcoming.

If you would like to refer to our blog to verify any of our story, you can at 

Long story short I ended up coming home without my 3 kids after 2 trips and 4 months of living away from my other children in Alabama.  It was over a year that I was able to go back and get them and then again I was in Uganda for another 3 months. 

For my flights, I flew NW/KLM to and from Kampala. After my first trip home, I applied for a refund for 4 of the tickets of myself, and my three kids and the refunds were approved by NW. I am attaching the approval letters and documentation of this. I am assuming that because of the big merger going on between the companies of DELTA/NW and KLM at the time, that my refunds, though approved never got issued despite me contacting them on several occasions.  

So why am I writing now? I’m in the middle of two more adoptions and in going through the massive amounts of files required for an adoption, I found the approval letters of the refunds and realized I had never gotten them. I had put the letters with my adoption papers and then we moved to California and they got “filed” away.  

 One of the approval letters said refunds had been sent to Singapore which I tried to contact several times with no avail. I am assuming the refunds got lost in the merger. 
As I am preparing for another flight to adopt another little boy and girl from Uganda, and planning our flights, I knew it wouldn’t hurt to ask Delta to honor those refunds.
I know it has been 7 years but my approval letters from NW have no expire date. 
I also want you to know that I contacted KLM first and they were very nice and helpful saying that was Delta that actually merged with NW and you guys would probably have the records archived and could help with the refunds. 

The reference numbers for these refunds are : 08023065003, 0122166708256, 0122166721469 and 0122166721470. It would be wonderful to receive these refunds as NW became part of your company and never followed through to reimburse.

Thanks so much for your consideration. We hope to fly to Africa in March or April for our court date for the two kids and we are planning on taking our other adopted kids back with us as heritage trip for them. This would greatly help our expense budget. If your company could find it in your heart to aid us in this matter with such a good deed as honoring the refunds from the company you merged with, and giving them to us we would be forever grateful. 

I am attaching all the documentation we have of the flights. These are what I found with the approval letters. 

Sincerely, Melissa Carter 


Post #71
I got an email from Delta last night as I contacted them from their website and was only able to upload 1 document there. They stated that they were not responsible for the refunds, the records no longer exist and I should refer to their page about the validity of expired tickets.
I kindly wrote back and attached all of my documents and asked for the situation to be forwarded to the President's office. I told her, in fact we were never issued tickets so her link did not apply to me. My refunds were already approved by NW and in the merger, they were never issued to me though they were approved and since Delta took on NW accounts, it would be an awesome thing for the company to honor the refunds.
With everything going on in my life right now, the thing I really don't have time or energy for is to fight a company for plane tickets. BUT.... after having experienced what I did last week with all the courage and strength encouragement. I am going to go after it. I am seriously considering about going back to KLM and telling them what Delta said to see if their arm of the company can influence the other. KLM definitely seems to be more of the heart.

Friday, February 5, 2016


Post #68
I am writing Delta WHO TOOK OVER Northwest right now to see if I can get my refunds on the airline tickets that I never received an approved refund on. I would appreciate prayers that these would land on the right person's desk and we would get a response in a timely manner as well as the refunds on the tickets. Delta merged and absorbed Northwest all at the same time that my tickets were to be refunded. Please pray for favor. I've had so much lately, I am sure, God has this one too!

Thursday, January 21, 2016


 From my FB Adoption Journey Group
POST #42
I heard back from KLM this morning and I am disappointed. But that doesn't mean I give up. I wrote DELTA on their FB page and privately and will also send one to their customer care.
Here is the response from KLM
Hi Melissa,
Thank you for providing us with the details. We must say that we are quite impressed by your administration and the fact that you still have all these documents. Although our administration is quite impressive as well, we cannot retrieve your refund request as it was handled by North West airlines at the time. Your customer care file and the refund request weren’t handled by our customer care and are therefore not retraceable. You could try and contact Delta airlines as they merged with North West in 2008 and may also have taken over their customer care files and administration. If you have any other questions we can help you with, please let us know!
Kind regards,
KLM Facebook Team

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Response from KLM

Post #40
A couple of days ago, I posted about writing KLM to ask them to honor a refund that I never received. I haven't heard from them in my email yet. Then today, I decided to hashtag the post and then I popped over to their FB site. There, I actually saw a posting of them asking "Where are you wanting to go" So, after seeing a few other people comment about some issues and how they responded, I decided to comment on that post stating that I wanted to go to Uganda and asked if they would consider a refund, explaining in a few sentences about what was going on. To my surprise they responded with the comment below:
That is quite a story, Melissa! We can imagine that it must have been very disappointing to discover that the refunds where never received, even though they were granted. We would like to investigate the matter to see what we can do for you in this matter. Would you be so kind to send us a private message with following information:
- name of passengers
- flight dates
- ticket numbers
- booking code
- Refund reference
- any other details/photo copies of important details.
As these details are privacy sensitive, we advise you to be careful not to post these here. We await your reply.
So I private messaged them, with as much info as I could after digging through my tub of old adoption papers,in which I found some helpful info!‪#‎journeytomariaandjohnny‬ ‪#‎itshardbutworthit‬

I Found Supporting Documents

Post #41 There times like these I'm thankful that "I didn't throw it away". I found the KLM itineraries of the flights from 2008 that three of my Ugandan kids were supposed to be on and of course I had the approval letters from them to refund. Here's hoping! 


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