The first step is to penetrate the clouds of deceit and distortion and learn the truth about the world,
then to organize and act to change it. That's never been impossible and never been easy. ~Noam Chomsky

Monday, January 20, 2014


I found myself yearning throughout 2013 for forgiveness for stupid decisions, wrong choices and bad vision. My prayers were the stuff of groaning and apologizing and pleading with God. Pleading that He would make things right where we were constantly going wrong.

When I could think clearly I always included in my prayers one specific request. That request was for champions. Please God send us champions. Life is hard and unfair and we are stupid and powerless. And we, even in our stupidity and powerlessness and being every bit human and not divine or all knowing, are still called to do hard...impossible....things.

We needed champions to stand in the gap when we were weak. When we were powerless. When we we wanted to give up we needed people to drag us over finish lines, hand us water bottles, and still be ready to hug our sweaty selves.

So we stopped asking for timelines and praying for instant success. We started to ask God to send physical people for us and for AJ. I asked for people to come into our lives to carry us, to advocate for us, to care for us physically, to strengthen us, to pray with and for us and to help us do and say hard things very publicly. We prayed that God would do the discerning, weeding out the champions from the manipulators, for us this year because we had been so bad at discernment the year prior.

I will never know why God did not grant us perfect timelines and easy processes as we were trying to readopt AJ. Those prayers have been prayed so faithfully by so many without ever feeling "answered." I may never know why at every step there were so many human errors and long delays.

But I will always be thankful that God answered our champion prayer so fully, with such beauty, and so completely that we could not possibly have asked for more.

I want AJ to be able to remember his champions specifically. The people who held our lives together in so many ways for the past 12 months - on AJ's behalf.

The Livesay household - Troy, Tara, Paige, Isaac, Hope, Noah, Phoebe, Lydia, Geronne and Jenny
The Livesay home is where AJ has been living for 11 months now.  In his crib, with his toys, and his dogs and his people-both American and Haitian. He could not have been moved out of his creche and into a family without the Livesays along with Geronne and Jenny. They came into our lives as the first set of God-provided champions and have become without a doubt some of our dearest friends.

In this home AJ has learned to walk, laugh, have family meals, splash in the tub, enjoy dogs, play basketball, climb stairs, dance, jump off the couch and appreciate music. He has learned to play with cell phones and Skype with us. He has also learned how to be a 2 year old and do naughty things like fill the dogs' water bowls with food and hide cell phones in random drawers.

When we found out that AJ did not enjoy hearing the word "no" from us I checked in with Tara and Geronne who are AJ's caregivers. Both laughed and said he rarely hears the word no.

He is the baby of a large family with a lot of experience fostering boys his age. God no doubt knew what he was doing when he tugged on these champions' hearts and they said yes to caring for AJ.

When Tara, Troy and kids went back to the U.S. for 5 months during the 2nd half of 2013 AJ stayed with Geronne and Jenny who have lived with the family for the past 4 years. We came and went, each time believing we were arriving to take him home with us and each time leaving in pain and with huge amounts of guilt. But Geronne and Jenny were there to hug us, cry with us, laugh with us, and reassure us that AJ was their family too and would be well loved.

AJ "helping" wash clothes

Malachi and family - AJ's first best friend

During the Livesay family sabbatical to the U.S. another set of champions for AJ arrived in Haiti. While the parents played a big part in giving ongoing continuity of an extended family experience to AJ in his home, their son, Malachi became AJ's first best friend.

Both age 2. Both with loving temperaments and strong personalities, the two boys hit it off on day one. Malachi called "where's AJ" any time he woke up from a nap and AJ happily obliged by running to him. Malachi taught AJ the wonders of playing games on an ipad while AJ taught Malachi about handling large dogs. These boys mean a lot to one another. I didn't know, but God did, that AJ would need this kind of peer relationship so badly.

Thanksgiving in Haiti with extended community 

My heart is full of thankfulness that this family bridged a gap we hadn't realized ahead of time was going to exist in the fall.

This is what God said when he answered our prayer for champions - "You are not alone."

While we have not always been together, none of us has been alone. Thank you God. Thank you friends.

More on the other champions later.


PS. The Livesays have been in Haiti for a long time and have written extensively about adoption ethics. Please take a moment to read some of their blog. We have learned a lot together this year and I hope that others will avoid our mistakes. Tara is much more eloquent as she writes for, about and with other adoptive families. Click here. 


  1. Awesome champions! Answers to your prayers indeed.... I'm loving that you guys are so loved by so many. Also? Those pictures of AJ? ALL those pictures of AJ? SWOON.

  2. We are honored to have been a part of your family's journey and we love your little man to pieces! Thankful for the sweet bond between our two crazy boys. Malachi misses his dancing buddy!

  3. champions. yes. I love hearing about communities that cross cultures and countries. Love to you.


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