Serena Turns 4!

Serena turned 4 this month. Here are the pics of the party....

Swimming Rocks

Here are some pics of the kids at their swim meet. All 3 of them did so well, we are so proud of them.

Emmert got his yellow belt!!

Emmert got his Yellow belt in Karate and Grampie Emert came to see him perform his kata. It was such an emotional night. Emmert and Grampie both had tears in their eyes.
Congrats Emmert!!! Well DONE kiddo!

Our Olympic Hopeful!!

Jewel age 7 just made the Marlins swim team...on my birthday she had her 1st practice. W eare so EXCITED!
She will have her 1st swim meet on Jan. 24th in Grand Jct.
Her coach Miss Suzi says she has great natural talent and she's gonna be really fast!! Chicago Olympics 2016??? Maybe... We'll see!

Finally Internet...High speed too!!!

Well everyone, it has been nearly a year since my last post. It has been a great time since then, except of the fact I've had no internet to really speak of to get on and do this. But now I do. Yeah!! I will put up some new pics and say for now Merry Christmas!!

Everyone is Doing Well

Emmert and Serena are doing well and everyone else is adjusting to the new way of life. Emmert is doing so well on his school work and is writing letters A,B,C, and D and numbers 1-13. He is also staring to learn letter sounds and his English improves daily. Serena is totally toilet trained now and is such a big girl. She has grown over 1" already and gained over 3 lbs since we arrived home on Christmas Eve. She never stops eating, really. But she did bonk her head as you can see in the photo above. Mama said "NO RUNNING IN THE HOUSE!!, More news to come.

DAD I got a bird!! Mama cook my bird!!

YES we did get home!!!

Sorry this took so long to get on the blog but we are home and everyone is doing great! I will try to get a family photo on here for you all. Life is very busy but we are loving our new life with ALL our precious little ones. God is so amazing and we are so BLESSED!!


Dear Friends,
The roller coaster is at least still on the track. It has been a crazy last couple of days. I will try to explain:
We were told on Friday that Emmert's Birth certificate is not signed and we cannot get his Visa and leave with him until that is done. Problem is that the 2 men that are commissioned to sign the birth certificates are in Egypt till the 19th. We were scheduled to leave Liberia today, but we were torn as to what we should do. We tried to call our travel agent to change tickets but the 1st flight she could get us was the 28th. Well...I wasn't about to miss being with my kiddos at home on Christmas, so it looked like we had no choice but to go, and leave Emmert here till the middle of January. We were praying and praying ,hoping that God would give us a sign.

Then as a last resort I called another agent, he informed me that Serena's ticket home for today wasn't even a valid ticket, becuase with a Liberian passport you can only travel through 1 European connection. We would have got to Brussels and been stranded there.... God began revealing his plan. I asked the travel agent if he had any tickets to get us home on the 21st and he said yes, but only 3 tickets. This meant that Jason was going to have to leave today and leave us here. Jason didn't feel comfortable doing this because these new tickets are a different route through Ghana, and we have a 22 hr. layover there, then fly to Germany then to Denver. So I called the agent back and asked if he could put a wait on a ticket for Jason. He said yes, but he was not sure that it would be available before Jason flew out tonight. AAHHH!! We began to pray and ask God that if He wanted Jason to stay here with us that God would free up a ticket for him. About 2 hours later the agent called and said he had a confirmed seat for Jason, all 4 of us could come home together. PRAISE THE LORD!!! God is so good to us.

Now is the time to pray for these men to return from Egypt (earlier than expected would be nice) so we can get a signed birth certificate, meet with Alma the Consulate, get Emmert's Visa, and get everyone home. PLEASE PRAY!!!

God has answered so many prayers for these children and we know he will not desert us now! Just like yesterday with the plane tickets and today we were told about and shown Emmert's Passport, PTL it came in 2 days!! I saw it with my own eyes!!

God is moving... He is in control... All he does is good...All of the TIME!!!
More updates soon.---Jessica


PRAISE GOD, Acres of Hope staff has located Emmert's bio-mom and they are bringing her in today!!! This was a very trying situiation because without the US Embassy Consular interviewing her in person, with Emmert present as well, there would be no adoption of Emmert, and no way to bring him home this trip. We are so thankful and we are praising God for his mercy to us and to our little son. Please pray that bio-mom is very honest with Alma (consular), and Alma's heart is soft and understanding. If any questions arrise in the interview things can take much longer, as Alma is (for good reasons) very cautious in granting her approval. If there are concerns things such as requesting DNA test to prove bio-relation are needed. The DNA process can take weeks... So we are hoping and trusting it will not be needed.
We fully trust God and his will and timing in all this. We are standing in Him through this whole thing, and we know HIS PLAN is the PERFECT PLAN....not our's but HIS will is holy. We pray specific requests to Him, but ultimately he is in control, perfectly.

It is very hot and sticky here, but the staff has been so wonderful and helpful to us and all who are here. The food has been good and non-scary. tee hee. We are lacking a bit in protein,but thankfully I brought some Atkins Advantage protein shakes to drink. Rich and Lynda are so sweet and we have been so blessed not only by their care, but also their encouragement and information about all things "Liberian".

We are looking forward to meeting Emmert's birth mother and also to this long awaited interview. We will update you all soon on the outcome of the bio-mom interview and Emmert's adoption. ---Jessica and Jason

Embassy Today

Today is our appointment with Alma. I am getting a little bit of butterflies, and yet I am so confident that it will go well. Serena is sitting on my lap right now and she is so sweet. We are bonding so well. She is putting her hand on my face now as I type this, and saying "Mama?" Please pray with us today that all will go well and we will be coming home soon!!--Jessica


Just got on my friend Katy's blog ( and their process in Liberia getting 3 kids though the Visa interview went along in 3.5 days from the day they got there. GOD IS SOOOOO good!! Please pray for us that All of Emmert's paperwork will go through smoothly and that his mother will be easily found when his interview is scheduled at the Embassy. We know that God has had his hand in this whole thing and we are trusting in the Lord's mercy and faithfulness to us and our Liberian Angels. I look forward to the day when you all will read "WE ARE BRINGING THEM HOME!!!" as the title of my post. I hope that will be soon. -Jess

Getting Ready....

I have started packing our bags and I'm feeling anxious to go. I am having that nesting instinct, like I did when I was due with our 3 bio babies. I hope I have everything I need when we get there. I have not found out Emmert's updated clothing or shoe size yet, but I am trying everything on Ivy and using her as my guide. She was 5 in Sept. and he will be 5 next month. We'll see how close they end up being in size when we get there. PLEASE continue to pray for us and our endevors to bring both of our children home together. There is still much to orchestrate on Emmert's adoption process and we do not have the means to return to Africa in 3-4 months to get him. We feel confident that God will make all our paths in this trip straight and that he will be faithful to us in this, HIS calling, in our lives.

Our Little Girl


I recieved an e-mail today from Alma, the Liberian Embassy Consulate, and we have an appointment with her on Monday December 3. She sounds very sweet and very accomodating.
We also have decided to call Tina "Serena Elyse". I will try to post more photos of her cuteness soon.
Bye for now!!!

A twister named Adoption

It has been a while since my last post and so much has happened, so much I don't think a blog could hold it all. To make life simple for us all I'll give everyone the abridged edition of this saga.
We found out that Emmert and Mariah were removed from the orphanage in late July for unknown reasons. Recently we found out that we lost Mariah's referral but we are still fighting to adopt Emmert despite this set-back.
We accepted a referral last week for a litle girl that was all ready to go home with her adoptive family in October, but when the family's situation changed abruptly, she was left at AOH. We have been in contact with this family and have a complete peace that we lost Mariah to gain little Tina. Because Tina has all her paperwork done we will be going to Liberia in 2 weeks to bring her home. This is a whirlwind time for us as all this happened so quickly, but we have a peace that passes all understanding that this is God's will and he will take care of everything.
Hope to have more updates soon.

Actually, TOMORROW...

Seems as though there was a bit of a problem with planes in Belgium, so Emmert and Mariah will receive their quilts and clothes and photo albums tomorrow Aug.28. I am so excited... it feels like I'm 4 yrs. old again and it's Christmas Eve!!!
If you would like to get an update on how things are in Liberia today go to Jocelyn is my friend that took our stuff to the kids and this is her blog. It's worth the time she's really a great blogger. Please pray that we'll get more pics of E & M soon!!

Emmert and Mariah will know Thursday...

This is a big week for us all. This week Emmert and Mariah will see photos of us for the first time. This will also be the first that they know they are being adopted into a forever family. I'm sure emotions will be high and also their curiosity too, will be up. Please pray that this will be encouraging to their little hearts and minds, and that they will become excited to come live here with us. We also sent some special gifts too. Hope they fit!
This is also a big week here at the Kastendieck home. Yesterday we had our first day of school. Homeschool, that is. It went very well as did today's lessons. Jewel (1st grade) and Ivy (K-5) are doing some of the same work and some is seperate. I knew God had us have them close together for a reason! When Emmert(41/2 yrs) and Mariah(31/2 yrs) come home we will have a bigger class, YEAAAH! Gunner ( almost 3 yrs) loves school too! He does the morning color sheet and loves to yell out the letters as the girls do when we do daily ABC flashcards. I'm sure he will be ahead of the game, due to this osmosis-type learning experience. I know also that our African children are doing school 5 days a week at Acres of Hope, so they'll be used to the daily learning experience too.
We are hoping to receive new photos of Emmert and Mariah soon from the orphanage. Maybe Mariah will show us a smile for the first time! Please pray this will happen...This Mama is needing to see more of her babies!!!!!!
Please also pray that the adoption will be finalized soon! It should be Sept. sometime or early Oct. at the latest...Lord willing! Thanks for your support and prayers!

The Siblings are getting ready!

Jewel, Ivy and Gunner waiting for their new brother and sister.
They are so excited about the adoption and tell everyone all about Emmert and Mariah.

The Blessings come down as the Prayers go up

YEAH!! Our I-600a approval arrived on Friday, July 6th! This is a huge part of our process as I mentioned earlier. This form was supposed to take several months to get approved and ours only took three weeks to the day to get it! PTL. Also we have been so blessed by the Lord with the sturdy bunk beds for the boys room and the table and chairs we needed are being finished as I type! God is so GOOD!
All we are waiting on now, as far as the adoption goes, is the finalization of Emmert and Mariah's adoption in Liberia(1-2 mo. wait approx.) and then 6-8 weeks for passports and visas. Then we'll travel about 3 weeks after that to get them. It all has gone by quickly so far and we pray that God will continue to speed things along as his will forgoes. The plane tickets to get to Liberia are very costly and we are praying now that God will allow us to fly when the rates are at their least expensive. Please pray that God will also provide the funds for us to purchase these as well.
All of your prayers have been so apparent, and we thank you all so much for your love and support. Emmert and Mariah are so blessed to be coming into such a wonderful community and we are so blessed to be able to love and care for them as our very own.

USCIS steps it UP a notch

For awhile now, adoptive parents were waiting months and months for the paperwork to clear the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Colorado...well no more. The new Director of the USCIS -Denver is a go getter. Now adoptive parents will get these papers done through their placement agency(after homestudy is complete), and it will take only one week to receive approval for the parents to start their process in the country chosen(upon accepted referral of child/children). What a move forward. Now those wanting to adopt will get things done more quickly and get their kids home 10 x's faster. This new method will be effective Aug. 19,2007. Praise the Lord.
If anyone is feeling led to adopt from Liberia (or anywhere else) please refer to the links here on our blog.
A big thank you to Sandy at Littlest Angels for all her hard work and dedication to adoption and to the adoptive families in this area. We couldn't have had a better experience being "scrutinized" tee hee... We love you Sandy.

A few needs...

We are in need of a couple things due to our increasing size. Please pray that we will find sturdy bunk beds for the boys room and a set of eight to ten dining room chairs, and a few dressers. We have a table that can be made-over for a few $100. If anyone has any furniture that they are willing to part with, please let us know. May God bless you all.

Family Photo
Nov. 2006

Kastendiecks are adding on

The Kastendiecks are excited to share that we are increasing our family through adoption.

We are in the mid-stage of our adoption of Emmert 4.5 years old and Mariah 3 years old. They are from Liberia, West Africa and are currently at Acres of Hope orphanage in Paynesville, Liberia.
Emmert and Mariah will be coming home to Colorado this fall.

We will keep you posted as things progress.

Prayer Request- Please pray with us that our form I-600A will be approved and we will be able to start the adoption process in Liberia. More to come.....