Raegan Elizabeth Diehl

Posted by on 28 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Adoption

It is our distinct pleasure and honor to introduce you to our new daughter, Raegan Elizabeth.
Raegan Elizabeth
Raegan was born on Saturday, December 26 at 2:42 p.m. in Florida. We drove down, leaving early on Christmas morning.
Raegan was born weighing in a very petite 5 lbs. even, 16 inches long.
Emily was able to be in the operating room with the birthmother as she was delivered by C-section. Emily was able to snap some photos of Raegan getting cleaned up just moments after her birth.

We have spent much of the past two days at the hospital with Raegan, the birthmother and birthfather. It was really a great experience to get to know the birthparents. I think we got the best birthparents of all time!
Here are some more photos of her. When we have some more down time, we’ll post some more about the whole experience.

Raegan on the scale

Brief Update

Posted by on 13 Nov 2009 | Tagged as: Adoption

It is with sadness that we must say the birthmother has decided against placing the baby for adoption, after much pressure from her family to keep the baby. We had always known this was a possibility, so we were somewhat prepared, but it’s still tough to report.
So at this point, we are back to waiting for a birthmother to choose us as adoptive parents. We appreciate your prayers for us as we go through this process.

We’ll keep you posted.

Less Than Three Weeks

Posted by on 24 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Adoption

Emily and I are getting more excited every day for the baby.
We have been busy preparing the nursery and have almost everything in place and in order. Emily had a surprise baby shower at work yesterday. She came home and showed me all the wonderful things her coworkers had given her and she was so incredibly happy. I really enjoyed seeing her so happy.

We’ve also been reading some books to help us prepare for the transition as adoptive parents. I’m about halfway through the book Black Baby, White Hands, which is a memoir of an African-American baby who was adopted by a white family in 1968 (the year Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated). The author is very candid about how he viewed race as he was growing up and has given me a lot of insight into how my African-American son is going to view race as he grows up, too.

Emily and I had the opportunity to talk with the birth mother over the phone about a week ago. It was a really great conversation. The birth mother gave us some insight into why she is giving her baby up for adoption and also as to why she chose us as adoptive parents. We also talked about the snow up here in Indiana–she’s in Florida, so she’s never seen snow before. She was excited the baby would get to experience playing in the snow and making snowmen.
This phone conversation did take the place of us actually flying down and meeting the birth mother before the baby is born. The reality of meeting us in person before the birth was just too overwhelming for her, which is common in an adoption.

The due date is less than three weeks away at this point. Exciting!

Adoption: Lots to do…

Posted by on 07 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Adoption

So Emily and I just got back from our vacation in Brown County and we’ve spent a lot of time talking about our upcoming adoption. We have a lot to get accomplished in just four short weeks!

We are making plans to visit the birthmother, who is out of state, in about a week or two. A weekend flight to and from, and meeting the birthmother is both exciting and nerve-racking. We’ve researched flights and hotel, and it just heightens the expectation we have.

The baby is a boy, which makes me excited to eventually get to teach him to throw a football, kick a soccer ball and catch a baseball–you know, all the father-son activities. Makes me smile. I’m smiling right now just thinking about my boy.

The birthmother has three children she is currently caring for, and has had a pretty hard life. We would appreciate your prayers for her as she goes through this difficult time.

Through all this excitement, the reality is the birthmother can always back out, even after the baby has been born (but before she relinquishes parental rights). Our prayer has been for God to give her peace in her decision to allow her baby to be adopted. Above all, we pray that God’s will prevails in our lives, the birthmother’s and the baby’s life.

REALLY, REALLY BIG NEWS!

Posted by on 05 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

This week, Emily and I are on vacation in Brown County. We just got a phone call this is going to change our lives.

About a month ago, Emily and I finished all the paperwork required for a domestic adoption.
We were given a general time estimate of 6-9 months, meaning we were expecting to get the call around March to June of 2010.

We just got this call tonight!

We are very excited! The birthmother is due in about four weeks.

At this point, that’s about all we know. More info soon to come.

Dominican Republic: Friday

Posted by on 21 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: my life.

This morning we all went to work on the new El Calvario Ministerios office in downtown. This was my first trip to the offices, as I’ve been working on computers several mornings this week. So today I finally got to meet Jennifer, a Dominican who speaks very good English and will teach some classes out of the new offices. We worked until about 3 p.m. this afternoon.
After lunch (at 3 p.m.), I met with Dr Allyn about their web site, and I made a list of things for me to work on the site tomorrow morning.

I also had a few moments to jump into the pool. The locals all thought we were nuts for wanting to swim in the middle of winter, but when your winter consists of 75 degrees and sunny, the swim was awesome. Keith and I sat by the pool basking in the sunlight for a little while, too.

Tonight we went to the Missions conference held at an AG church downtown. This was hands down the largest church I’d been in, and it could seat probably 500 if it was packed out.
We heard from a Dominican missionary who will be leaving soon for India.
It was a great meeting.
After the conference, Keith and I had a few moments to say goodbye and pray with our new friends Miranda, Serria and Jennifer. Miranda and Serria are from Africa, and both speak English with a strong South African accent.

I am very encouraged by the quality of young leaders in the Domican churches. My friend Javier is such a joyous Christian. These people are so genuine in their faith. They have all garnered such a special place in my heart.

After the conference we went to a corner chicken barbeque place, and that was some very tasty chicken!

Tomorrow we will depart, and get into Chicago in the late night, and we will have a 12-hour layover before wecan catch a connecting flight back to Fort Wayne.

Dominican Republic: Thursday

Posted by on 19 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: my life.

This morning we went to a local AG school and taught the 135 elementary kids in a small chapel room.
Before the program began, we had a few moments so I pulled out my yo-yo and boy did these kids like it. I had used it before on this trip, but these kids’ reaction was really unexpected. I did a couple of tricks, and then they all started motioning for me to do the Rock the Cradle trick, so I did it a couple times, and the kids started chanting with the rhythm of the rocking. That was a pretty cool experience.

This afternoon we went downtown into a marketlookong for souvenirs. I faced a dilema: what to get my wonderful, beautiful wife.
Anyone have any suggestions here?

I have been speaking a little bit of the Spanish I can recall from my freshman-sophomore years. I am able to say little phrases like ‘I don’t speak Spanish’ and have enjoyed some time trying to communicate with the wonderful Dominicans here.
I also have recalled some of the German I learned in my Junior-Senior years in high school. It’s been amazing to me the amount of language stores in my brain that have come back to me after all these years.

I miss my wife a lot. This is the longest we’ve ever been apart since we got hitched almost four years ago. It’s been tough to be away from my wonderful, but I’m very excited to get to spend time with her when I return on Sunday afternoon!

Dominican Republic: Wednesday

Posted by on 19 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: my life.

I spent this morning working on some more computers. I clened out a desktop (very dirty!), and also got it fully functional again. I also looked at another laptop, and decided it was okay, and I believe the behavior was just a fluke.

For lunch today we had plantanes, which is the first time I have ever eaten a platanos (en espanol). We had what looked kinds like a breakfast quish (spelling?), but tasted completely diffenent.
I have seen some platanos in walmart back some, and am planning on getting dome to fry up at some point in the future.

This evening we went to a church across town pastored by an awesome brother, Pastor Donny. We arrived a little early and went door-to-door inviting people to come to the church service.
This church gave the first domican offering toward reaching the J. people. I have a photo of Pastor Donny presenting the offering to C.
The church building is very small for this congregation, and they are looking for a new building. We had 34 young kids squeezed into a 4′x15′ hallway. That was crazy!
I really enjoyed the people at this church, and know I will always remember them.

Dominican Republic: Tuesday

Posted by on 17 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: my life.

We had a breakfast of eggs and bacon (I only had one small piece of bacon–I’m trying not to put on too much weight on this trip). We also had this type of fruit juice, which is a mix of 5 different types of fruit. Oh yeah, we also were served papaya, which I have never eaten before. Now, papaya is my favorite melon fruit.
Today we went to a local Christian school about a mile from where we are staying. I got to ride in the back of a pickup truck with our supplies, that made for a bumpy ride on the pothole filled side streets.
At the school, we did two presentations of our Jambi program. The one the morning was in English–most of these students had lived in New York for a time before being sent back here to get out of the harsh environment in NY.
This evening I got to go shopping around town. We went to a Supermarket which is actually probably the largest store I’ve ever been in. It is much larger than our walmart stores–that surprised me a lot. It had a first floor grocery store about 2/3 the size of an entire walmart, and then a second story department store above that. This entire store was packed with people (like walmart is on a Friday night).

Tomorrow we are getting up early for a 6 am prayer meeting! I gotta go to bed now!

Dominican Republic: Monday

Posted by on 16 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: my life.

This morning we had ham sandwich for breakfast. I also had some canalope, orange juice and coffee. Coffee is always plentiful here, and for that I am very happy.
I spent the morning workin on a couple of laptop computers. One of the computers I replaced the hard disk drive, CD/DVD drive and upgraded the ram. It took some time to get it back upgraded with service packs and ready to go, but that one should be much better at this point.
The other computer I upgraded ram and then defragged, but it still has some issues I haven’t looked in depth at this point. The modem does not work, and the CD/DVD drive just doesn’t read any disc.

Today for lunch, we ate about 2:30, and by that time I was pretty hungry! We had the traditional Dominican meal, rice, beans and chicken. I am really digging the food here, it is all very tasty. For dessert I had a very tasty piece of brownie. This was no ordinary brownie, mind you.
After lunch we did some final prep for C to teach at the Bible Institute this evening.
I accompanied C and Dr Allyn to the Bible Institute tonight, while Keith and Darlene went to the new office building and did some work there. The Bible Institute proved to be very beneficial and the students asked a lot of really good questions.
There was talk of some taking a short-term missions trip to the Province in Indonesia.

We all arrived back home about 10 pm and had a small meal with tuna, cresent roles, chips and pineapple. The pineapple here is delicious and is much better than what I’m used to back in the states.
At dinner Eileen entertained us with some hilarious stories about her battles with rats and also the story of when she accidentially baked a very old dog. I’m still chuckeling about that one even as I type this.

Dominican Republic: Sunday

Posted by on 16 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: my life.

Sunday morning we had cornflakes and a banana for breakfast. Coffee is plentiful and good here.
We went to church at Christo para toda de nationales, which translated is Christ for all the nations. It was a wonderful church and the people were very friendly. In the children’s program, I led the kids in a Spanish verse, Marcos 16:15, and also led them in a Spanish song, with the help of a CD!
After church we had lunch at the home of one of the church members who has a takeout restaurant. It was really great rice, beans and beef.
In the afternoon I took a two hour nap. I didn’t realize I was that tired!
In the evening, we had supper in the city at an empanadas stand, and we ate on the side of the street. It was a really neat environment to experience.

In our evening devotion, C talked to us about suffering. We had some good discussion about suffering.

I went to sleep about 11 pm, but not before I finished up another chapter in Treasure Island.

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