Monday, August 31, 2009
A couple of weeks ago I loaded up some more recent pictures of Daisha. If she keeps getting cuter at this rate, we may be in big trouble. She continues to do well other than her sleeping habits. Either the 3rd child is much harder, or she has all the makings of a brat. In reality, I think with Daisha it is a combination of both. The third child does seem harder, we can no longer divide and conquer with one taking one and one taking the other. Now, it seems that the kids win every time. Also, Daisha is a fussy baby and she it is taking her awhile to get in a rhythm. The past few weeks have been going better, but then she decides she wants to stay up late and eat frequently. If this sounds like complaining, it is not. We rejoice and give thanks!
Friday, August 28, 2009
The other day, as we got in the van with our bags all packed for another trip across the river to the other Grandparents, we laughed about our lives. We said, "ahhh, home sweet home," as we pulled out of the drive. Our van remains our only possession and most consistent "home" in our lives. It was one of those things that makes you want to laugh, cry, and go crazy all at the same time. But, as usual, our hearts were quickly challenged as we realized that our "mobile" home was still nicer than the dwellings of a majority of people in the world. We have heat, A/C, plenty of storage, and "location, location, location." We do feel some kinship to our green jalopy and thank the Lord for His consistent, undeserved provision in our lives.
Kids Bedroom and Playroom
Kids Bedroom and Playroom
Friday, August 21, 2009
The US doctor and nurses were cursing the inadequacies of the Jamaican ambulance as I was telling my wife goodbye outside the hospital. Fragile to the bone, we were thankful to profoundly feel providence and to finally have a plan for our daughter. It was unnerving to say goodbye, having her leave the island without us, but we were growing in confidence that this was the best plan. But what put us in this situation, why were we at this point? Our teammates, Chad and Pam, were with me and we watched the ambulance lights disappear down Caledonia road as we stood out in front of Mandeville Regional Hospital. I made a comment to Chad about the curses of privatized health care. We had just experienced the worst of privatized health care as we were denied care for our critical daughter from at least 5 US hospitals based on the fact that we had "inadequate insurance," and not enough money to pay up front. It was an unconscionable predicament as we were forced to choose between the health of our daughter and our willingness to try to instantly raise ridiculous sums of money. As I vented there in front of the hospital, Chad pointed back to the hospital and quickly reminded me, "but this is the other side of the story." I was so scarred by the situation of being denied care by a private system in the US that I had forgot that the reason I needed to go to the states was the socialized health care in Jamaica. In that moment, I realized that I was stuck in the middle of the worst of both sides of the health care debate. We had experienced fully subsidized care at Mandeville Regional Hospital and it was inadequate. And, I had been denied care for financial reasons by several US hospitals, which is inadequate. I have been watching the health care reform debate for the past few weeks maybe a little closer than I would have in the past as we remain stuck in the middle of the debate. Just this week, we were denied insurance coverage for Daisha until after a few tests she needs next week. So, part of me screams seeing that health care is driven by money while the other part of me cries because I know this is the only way that we humans can make it work. Health care should not be driven by money. But, humans need a motivator to do good things and that motivator is money. What a ridiculous debate and difficult situation! I am not pushing an agenda, I am only stating that I understand the issue a little better than I did before Daisha. I am from the demographic that "poo-poos" the debate because we are typically employed and insured with better than average coverage. But, I do see the other side of the debate a little clearer and understand the pain of a system controlled by socio-economic reasons. And, I understand a little better the tragedy of denying the reality our sinful natures by pretending that we do not need money as a motivator to continue to provide great health care. That is what this is, it is a indictment on our condition as humans. We are sinful by nature and when we create systems, they always turn our messy. What do we expect? But, it was in the name of Christ that we did receive our help. It was the Sisters in the Order of Saint Francis who eventually facilitated care for our daughter. They live by the creed that "God has called us to a close union with Him. Yes, it was He who has drawn us deep into the pure and loving heart of our Crucified Savior so that we may be inflamed by His love and become one with Him if we cultivate an intimate relationship with Him through a deep and sincere life of prayer and the practice of sacrifice." As we listen to the debate rage on, may we remember all the talk is an indictment of our sinful natures and may we also be called to do our part of the sacrifice in being the body of Christ as a part of the solution in someones life. Lord, Grant us Grace to reform our hearts!
Monday, August 17, 2009
No, not pathetic parents, but we are pathetic and because we have nothing to write about, we will write about our parents. I am sitting at my moms computer and clicked on her bookmark of our webpage. It is the middle of August and our last post says June update. While the title was a typo, it still reminded me how pathetic we have been in keeping everyone up to date. The reason we have not been writing is because we feel like we have made no progress towards Jamaica. Because we dont feel like we have anything to write for an update and because I am at my mom's computer, allow me to introduce you to my parents.
Jim and Marlene Plattner
Jim and Marlene Plattner
If I had to introduce my parents in 3 sentences or less, I would say the following. My parents are deeply committed to the word of God in word and in deed. In living out the gospel, they taught "the way they should go" to both their biological children and to many other children that the Lord entrusted to their care. By a living example, they modeled Christ-like behavior through selfless service, hospitality, holy living, and loving "the least of these."
The further along I get through life, the more and more I realize the blessing of Godly parents. Lord, grant us grace to live Christ-like lives and to raise up our children in "the way they should go."
Monday, August 10, 2009
June Plattner Family Update
Growing up, I loved to water ski. Due to the realities of life, I have not been out on the water to ski for maybe 5 years. The other week, I determined that it is probably time to see if I am too old or if I still have it in me. We loaded the family up in the boat and I found out that I do still have it in me, and then the next day I found out that I might be too old. Anyways, later on in the day we were debriefing with Drew about his first exposure to water skiing. He kept referencing something in regards to chasing. It took us a few moments to put his thought process together, but he was asking why I could never catch him in the boat. As is commonly done behind the boat, you go back and forth across the wake. In his little mind, he had envisioned the goal of skiing as being a chase in which my goal was to catch the boat and in the end I was not successful and he was trying to figure out why I failed. We had a good chuckle and thought “out of the mouths of babes.” It was just the next day that I walked out to the mailbox to get the mail and opened a letter explaining that our passport application for Daisha was stalled and that our mid-August plan for returning to Jamaica was derailed. Keri and I were both frustrated and began to ask the “whys.” As we were standing in the living room discussing the ramifications, it hit me that I am confident we were making “out of the mouths of babes” comments as we wrestled with an incomplete understanding of God’s plan. It was humbling to think that in all of our “planning and wisdom,” I am sure we were making laughable guesses as to why our plan was being thwarted while our Father was chuckling at how we could not grasp His construction of our plans that were being pieced together for His glory. We know in our heads and are trying to convince our hearts that through life experiences the question is not “why,” but “how.” We know that God takes care of the “whys” and we are supposed to ask “how” can this be used for His glory. So, while we still find ourselves daily complaining, our complaints are commonly followed quickly by a reminder that this situation is not “to us” but “for Him.”
We remain in the midst of trying to get Daisha’s passport. We have made application for a Jamaican passport, but the process was stalled because her pictures were not good enough. We have since been encouraged to call the US passport offices and explain the situation to them. After making the call, they explained to us that we do have enough documentation to prove that she is our daughter and that we are both US citizens. This means that we should be able to get a US passport. We are hoping that this means that our timetable for a return will soon be more defined and we would like to be back to Jamaica around the beginning of September. But, we are trying to remind ourselves of Paul’s encouragement to say, “If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”
Our family continues to experience blessing upon blessing. Daisha is growing, gaining weight, and hopefully will soon be learning how to sleep through the night. Drew continues to be incredibly flexible as he is almost daily asking, “So where are we going today?” We pray that our little nomad will not have permanent damage from these homeless years of his life. Truitt continues to put his parents into to laughter daily with some new invention of a phrase or passion. We spent July with our parents. While moving so much has not been ideal, we would not trade the time we have had with our parents for a little bit more comfort. We have been blessed by these times and thank the Lord for our relationships and their assistance. We can try to count our blessings but we must realize that our final numbers will always end up woefully underestimated.
We pray that our hearts are ready to receive the lessons of the past few months. By grace, it is our prayer that hindsight will bring clarity and fruit unto His glory in His time. Thanks again for your love, support, and prayers. We hope to be writing our August update from Jamaica, but pray that our hearts will contain the same joy regardless of our circumstance. To God be the Glory!
Kirk, Keri, Drew, Truitt, and Daisha
Kirk and Keri Plattner
511 East Woertz Rd.
Princeville, IL 61559
US - 260-627-7778
Mobile - 309-361-8705
JA - 876-588-8092
Saturday, August 8, 2009
After church last Wednesday night, a friend approached me and explained to me his experiences with getting government documents for his adopted daughter. He encouraged me to call the US passport people and give them a full explanation of our situation. So, Friday I talked with someone at the "passport agency" and they understood our situation. They explained to me that I could get a US passport if I showed her birth certificate, our passports, our marriage certificate, and the application. This does change our plans and we may apply for a US passport early next week. It is exciting to have a new plan. I feel a little silly for not having made this phone call sooner but I was convinced that this was not an option. Through Daisha's situation, I have come to have a new appreciation for the prayer that "His word be a lamp unto our feet and a light to our path." We sense His grace and praise the Lord.
HERE ARE SOME NEW PICTURES!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Remember this picture that we fought to get and reasoned that everyone in the world would understand the difficulty inherent in getting a picture like this of a newborn. Well, the picture was not good enough. I went out to the mailbox yesterday to get the mail. As I was walking back to the house, I noticed a letter from the Embassy of Jamaica. My heart jumped for a quick second as I hoped Daisha's passport had arrived. I felt the envelope, but didnt feel a passport. I opened the letter only to learn that they had rejected the picture we sent and we needed to get new pictures taken. My heart sunk as this means that our process is stalled and we will still have 4-6 weeks to wait for the passport after we get the new pictures. The problem with the pictures were as follows.
1. Her shirt was supposed to be a darker color, too much white.
2. There is the slightest of shadow on the background on the left side of her face.
3. Her face was too shiny. In the letter they recommended that we wipe her face before taking the picture.
4. Both ears need to be visible
Ridiculous. She will not look like that picture within one month. But, we must trust that there is a good reason for this and that it is part of a plan we do not understand. We did run out and get more pictures taken, but her cheeks keep getting bigger and her ears are even harder to see in the picture. We did get another picture and maybe we will post it so that you can let us know if you think it will be accepted. We had the new picture taken at a portrait studio and we had the hardest time convincing the person helping us that the picture needed to be perfect. The problem is that it is impossible to get a perfect picture of a newborn. So, we found ourselves needing to settle on a picture that we will again be hoping that it is good enough. Urgh! After all the complaining, we quickly remind ourselves that we have nothing to complain about and we should just be thankful for the new opportunities that this delay will provide. So, we will probably be around the states for a little longer and working through the challenges that brings. Praise the Lord!