Saturday, July 30, 2011

"I'm ready to get this over with"!

We were exchanging texts with our little birth mother today - asking how she is feeling, etc. Her reply was "Just completely miserable, and ready to have this baby."

We told her "we're praying for you" and her reply was "I'm just ready all this to be over."

Her next baby doctor appointment is Monday, August 8th. So if she goes that long she'll be in week 37.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

We Celebrate the life of Aunt Shirley-

As the morning sun hits the dew on the grass, and the sparkling diadems dance before our eyes, one special prism of light that shone ever so brightly and dazzled us with her radiant beauty transitioned today from her earthly home and stepped into the glorious presence of our Heavenly Father. We knew this prism of light as Shirley Graham Ramsey! So unique, so brilliant - there could only be one!

When light touches us, we are warmed by its glow, our life is illuminated so we can see clearly the path we are to follow. Light is never really extinguished, it is always with us, hidden within our hearts and souls, always drawing upon the love emitted from its source. God the Father knew we need light and He knew we needed the light that only Shirley could emit.

I suppose I would be remiss if I didn't share one special memory I have with my Aunt Shirley. John and I were out in the front yard of Grandma Graham's house doing something. Well John did or said something that I didn't like and I called him a name. If you knew Aunt Shirley, you knew she didn't allow name calling! Don't ask me to repeat the name I said, because it has been washed away from my vocabulary. Some of you already know what I'm talking about - yes, Aunt Shirley marched me into Grandma's bathroom, handed me a toothbrush and a bar of soap and told me to wash that name out of my mouth. After a moment of scrubbing and a mouthful of soapy bubbles she asked if I thought I'd washed it all out and I nodded my head yes. I spit it out and rinsed my mouth out with water - lesson learned, experience over. That was better than 40 years ago!To this day, I don't use a bar of soap! At times I want to run past the bar soap in the grocery store but I maintain my composure and self restraint.

Aunt Shirley was always the closest thing I had to a second mama. We shared a special connection. Many years ago I broke my own parents heart during a phone conversation. I had no more hung up with them when I immediately called Aunt Shirley and reached out to her because when you're in crisis - you need a prayer warrior! As I cried my heart out to her, she said "Kevin, it's gonna be alright!" No one can say my name like Aunt Shirley.

I've been in many a worship service with her and I know how she loved her Lord and Savior. She would call upon the name of the Lord and you knew that heaven and earth can be moved by a intercessor such as she has been.

Today, she stepped into heaven and into the welcoming arms of Jesus! Today heaven has a new diadem. I am confident that Grandma & Grandpa Graham were right there to welcome her home as well.

Albeit it is hard to say goodbye to the vessel we've been so accustomed to loving. I draw comfort and strength from knowing that deep down within the confines of my soul, Aunt Shirley is inextricably housed and filling a space only reserved for her.

I honor her legacy today of love, passion, joy and light! Shine on, Aunt Shirley, continue to be the radiant, dazzeling prism of light the Father created you to be, always warming our hearts with love as only you can.

The Word of God instructs us in the book of Psalms to Selah, as we read. Selah means to "pause, dwell upon and reflect upon what you just read and experienced".

Shine on, Aunt Shirley, shine on - because your light will never fade.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Adoption assistance

Dear Family and Friends,

It is with hat in hand that we come humbly to you asking that you might consider assisting us with our adoption expenses. Allow me to quickly bring you up to speed.

It was the first Sunday of February this year that Tamala and I got a call from a family we went to church with when we married back in 2005. We ministered to this family the best way we knew how at the time. For reasons unknown to us, they vanished out of our lives just a about the time Hurrican Katrina struck New Orleans . Then they re-entered our lives that fateful Sunday.

The mother informed us that her youngest daughter is pregnant and unmarried. She knew Tamala & I talked about adopting children when we got married. So she asked us if we had already adopted and if not, would we consider adopting this baby. We scheduled a meeting that same day with the mother and daughter and had many questions to ask. After our meeting, while mother & daughter were enroute home, daughter told her mother that she didn't want to interview any other families. She wanted Tamala and me to adopt her baby. She called us the next day and "officially" asked us if we'd adopt her baby and we told her yes. She said her Dr. anticipated her due date around Sept. 1.

Shortly after our meeting, daughter simply "vanished" and no one knew where she was or how to contact her.

Fast forward to Friday, July 15th at 10:30 pm: The Mother called us and said her daughter has re-appeared and wanted to talk with us. We called the daughter at 11pm that same evening and she brought us up to speed on her whereabouts and what had happened these last several months. She had attempted to work things out with the baby's father but had finally come to the conclusion that wasn't going to happen. She asked us if we were still interested in adopting her baby. We asked her many straightforward questions and she assured us she had not put the baby in any kind of danger due to lifestyle choices. We told her yes we'd still adopt her baby. She also told us that her belly had already "dropped" and so had the baby AND she was already dialated to a 3 on her last Dr. visit the week prior! The Dr. said this baby would probably be here in 2 to 3 weeks!

The next day, everything shifted into "hyper warp" drive. The next day we had an emergency meeting with our adoption agency who agreed to conduct our homestudy. They gave us a notebook that normally takes an adoptive couple 3 to 6 months to complete and hand in. We had one week to complete it. This became my full time job the next several days and we had it completed and handed in on Thursday July 21st. When I handed in the notebook I also handed them a check for $1600.00. We had our first meeting with our adoption attorney the next day and handed him a check for $1000.00. We have an outstanding balance of $2500.00 with the attorney.

Monday, July 25th, the birth mother texted me saying she’d had contractions all night long the previous night, and, they were continuing on into the next day. She said, “We may be having a baby today”! She had a Dr.s appointment at 4pm that same day and would let us know how it turned out.

What I haven’t shared thus far is that I lost me full time job in mid-April. I only received unemployment compensation for about three weeks. We’ve completely exhausted our savings account (emergency fund). I sold my pickup truck for cash on June 21st so we’re down to one vehicle. God has proven Himself to be Jehovah Jireh this entire time because we’re never been late on one bill and haven’t missed a meal. God has already moved upon individual’s hearts who have given (sacrificially) and seeded gifts of money into our family’s life. It has truly been miraculous!

Yesterday, I sought wise counsel from our Pastors. The Spirit moved them to seed into our family for the purposes of adoption expenses. They shared that another family they knew sent out an email to select people in their lives and asked for assistance in paying adoption expenses. Our Pastors seeded into the lives of this family and suggested we consider doing something similar.

So, with all of that said, Tamala and I come humbly asking if you would prayerfully consider sharing out of your abundance by helping us with the costs of our adoption? Up until now, Tamala and I have experienced the joy of giving to those with a financial need in their life. We’ve understood what the Word of God says “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” We also understand that someone has to be the “receiver” of the gift from the giver, and now we find ourselves in need to be on the receiving end. We’ve not had to do this before so the act of “asking” is a new and humbling experience! Even gift cards to places like Wal-Mart, etc. will enable us to buy items for the baby.

Our prayer for you is that God will bless you and your family in ways you never thought, dreamed or imagined. As you “plant seed” into our family we ask you to believe God for special things in your own family. The blessing(s) God has for you may come in many different ways; so it may not just be financial blessing. It could take the form of restored relationships, supernatural health, emotional healing or any way the Father chooses to bless.

May the Peace of God manifest itself in your lives and the Joy of the Lord be your eternal strength. We love you and want you to know how much we appreciate your participating the in the creation process of our family.

Kevin & Tamala Palmer
8506 Maurer Road, #311Lenexa, KS 66219

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Miracle - yet again!

It was yesterday, I had finished learning about a position that Greg Orscheln wanted me to help him with in Tonganoxie and had driven back to the house to eat a quick lunch before going to pick up Tamala for her doctor's appointmentl. So I ate lunch, piled back into the car and was just about to drive out onto Maurer when I remembered about the mail. I knew the mail carrier had already been here and "something" just told me to go pickup the mail. So I did a u-turn and went back to the postal center and sure enough there was mail. I noticed there was an envelope from Cheryl, Tamala's sister.

I went to pick up Tamala at work so we could get her to her doctor's appointment. I pointed out to her there was an envelope from Chery so she opened it. There was a nice card inside and when she opened it, out dropped a check for $700.00. Auntie Cheryl had been saving her baby sitting money so that is what she sent to us to help with the cost of the adoption! One more miracle in less than seven days.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Janurary to July - for Posterity's sake

It has definitely been an interesting 7 months without a doubt. I believe it was the first Sunday in February, Tamala and I had just "planted a special seed" in what our church calls Seed Faith Sunday. We left church, went home and ate lunch and decided to go drive around and look at properties in the country and dream that afternoon. We were driving south of the KC metro area when Tamala checked her Facebook page on my "smart phone". She said there was a message from someone we used to attend church with asking if we could call her, she had something very important and urgent to ask us. Now it had been approximately 4 years since she'd just walked out of our lives without any explanation or anything. She just disappeared! So I called the phone number she gave us and had her on speaker phone so Tamala could hear.

Our friend informed us that her 19 year old daughter had just told her she was pregnant. Mother asked her if she wanted to keep the baby or give it up for adoption. She wanted to give it up for adoption. So she proceeded to ask Tamala and I at this point of the conversation if we hadn't already adopted, would we be interested in talking to her and Sarah about adopting this baby. I pulled the car over at this moment!

We talked some more with her and asked her many questions. We decided that we would meet that same evening at our apartment in Lenexa. Both Mother and daughter showed up around 7pm I think and we begin talking. The daughter asked us many questions and we asked her a few "hard and straight to the point" questions ourselves. They left our home after we prayed with them. On the way home, daughter told her mother that she didn't want to interview any more families because she believed that she wanted Tamala & I to adopt the baby. The next evening the daughter called us & finally asked us if we'd adopt her baby. We told her yes. She told us her due date was around September 1st.

Long story short - we recommended to the expectant mother that she enroll in The Lighthouse program which is a ministry for unwed, pregnant girls. She agreed and finally enrolled sometime in early March I think. By the beginning of April she left the program at The Lighthouse and vanished!

April 13th, a Wednesday, I was terminated from by employment at Scout Logistics. This had been building within me for about a year because I didn't agree with the manner in which the owners of the company were conducting business. The proverbial straw the broke the camel's back was that I'd taken a day off and scheduled numerous doctor visits, etc. When I went to the Pharmacy to get my new scripts filled and some old one re-filled, my Pharmacist told me he wouldn't be able to fill them because our insurance had been cancelled. CANCELLED?! So left without my meds. I found out the next morning at the office that the insurance had been cancelled for lack of payment! I was FURIOUS! They hold money out of my paychecks to pay insurance premiums and they were so inept at paying their bills, they'd allowed our health insurance to be cancelled. I told the owners on a Friday morning meeting just what I thought about all that. They asked me if I wanted to work there any more and I told them "No, not if you cannot pay bills on time". They let me go the next Wednesday.

So, now I'm updating my resume and hitting the internet with everything I've got. I accepted a Logistics Broker position with RWI TRansportation LLC who had a small office in downtown KC, MO. I started on Monday, May 16th and was terminated at the end of my 2nd week, May 27th. I told Tamala that it was "crystal clear" to me that this was completely a spiritual battle. I told her it was the light I took with me to the office that made the co-workers so uncomfortable with their sin they simply couldn't take it. So the manager cut me loose. God had other things in mind.

I began to ponder opening up my own business in the next couple of days and the decided to go ahead and started the processes. June 1st was listed as our beginning date. I finally partnered with a Virtual Services Company- Arise. I began a training program with AT&T (one of their customers) on Monday July 11th. The program would last about 7 weeks.

It was around the 1st part of June that we tried contacting Gail because no one had been in touch with us. Sarah was still gone! We didn't know what to think!

Fast forward to this last Friday July 15th. Our friend called us about 10:30 pm and said her daughter has re-surfaced. She's staying with a friend in Topeka, KS and she's wanting to talk with us. She gave us her daughter's number and said she was waiting on us to call. So we call her and it's about 11pm at this point. She told us that she'd left The Lighthouse and went back to the baby's Daddy and wanted to work things out with him and see if they couldn't raise this baby. She told us she finally came to the conclusion a couple weeks ago that this daddy didn't want any part of raising this baby. She asked if we were still interested in adopting the baby and we assured her that we were. We told her that since we hadn't heard from anyone for so long we hadn't done anything regarding getting ready to adopt. About her is when she dropped the bomb. She said that the baby had already "dropped" and so had her belly. Her baby doctor said during her last recent visit that she was already dialated to a 3 and that this baby would probably be here in two to three weeks!

The next morning, Saturday, we get up and begin our day. I had a seminar to conduct at the church for people that were interested in starting their own business. We left around 11:30 or so; came home and ate lunch. It was around 2:30 I finally got around to sending Adoption and Beyond an email asking for a meeting in order to get started with the home study. To my surprise, they called me with 10 minutes. She asked if we were free that afternoon and I told her yes, so we scheduled a meeting for 3:30pm. I had to call Tamala who had gone grocery shopping to wrap up what she was doing and come on home because we had a meeting to go to.

The meeting went well. The agency worker sent a notebook full of assignments home with us and we left. We watched three required videos that evening and began the paperwork.

One of Tamala's long time friends was in town with her baby daughter and she needed a place to stay. They came to stay with us afte they'd visited her Dad in the hospital who was in Stage 4 lung cancer. So we were getting caught up with all one another's families. Her husband was currently deployed on military exercises and had been gone about two months already and still had two months to go. Well of course we told her all about the whole baby adopting story and how quickly everything has to move at this point. We finished visiting and all went to bed.

Early Sunday morning before church, I was back in the office tending to some details when Tamala told me that her friend wanted to talk with us. So we went into the living room and she said that she'd shared our story with her husband the night before on the phone and he said "Well let's just help them." So she hands us a check for $1200.00!!! Tamala and I are at a complete loss for words. She tell that "thank you" just doesn't seem quite enough. She assures us that she and her husband are happy to be a part of our family process.

We headed off to church in a daze. We shared what had just happened with many other workers/volunteers in our church during a morning meeting and they rejoiced with us!

Now I'd been in a training program with Arise all last week and Monday and Tuesday of this week. It was during the training, which was going agonizingly slow, that I began thinking that this was going to go on for another six weeks or better. It could be another two weeks after that before the revenue stream begins back to us. I determined that wasn't going to work because we have an immediate need for cash. So during our first break from training, I called the McDonalds store right up the street and asked if they were hiring. They are hiring for all shift and starting pay is $7.25/hour. About an hour and a half later, Greg Orscheln, my former employer called me. We'd had a couple of previous conversations within the last month and had caught up on all the information between us. Greg told me that he and his wife, Susan, were back in KC for the summer and they'd be leaving again in the fall in their motorhome. They've become "snow birds". He also told me that he has been helping his brother in law start up a internet business in Tonganoxie. That is when Greg said "Kevin, I've got an opportunity up here and I could sure use your help!" I told him this was a divine providential call because I had an immediate need for cash due to the adoption. His response was "Well I have some of that right over here on 77th Street!" They only live a few blocks from where we live.

One of the main reasons I decided to blog again was that I want this baby to know whe God was working on his behalf and getting him setup before he was even born!

Auntie Cheryl and Uncle Bo (Tamala's sister & her husband) talked with Tamala a coule of night ago and said their sending us some money. It should arrive by Saturday I figured.

It is now Thursday afternoon and the paperwork is completed. I made a trip to the adoption agency and turned it all in along with a check for $1400.00! I had already paid them $200.00 online yesterday as an application fee.

So there you go, six months and three weeks worth of life! More to come.....