A many thanks and happy new year

As we begin 2014, my heart is filled with anticipation of what this year holds.

We are thrilled to be in the last stages of our home study. Once this is completed, our social worker, will write up our huge file that includes everything there is to know about us and it can be sent to Haiti to be translated.

As Brad and I celebrated Christmas this year our hearts were heavy with a longing to be with our Haitian children. We wondered what they were doing and did they receive a present or a special Christmas meal? I want to bypass all the legal steps in this adoption and just be with my children. As my patience grows thin and I long to be with them God is reminds me that His hand is on this process. He is with my children when I cannot be. He is working out the details as we continue this process step by step.

We want to say a huge thank you to those that have been praying for us, encouraging us, giving your time to help us fundraise, and donating money to help bring these children home. We are so thankful to be surrounded by people who are investing their time and resources into our lives. Bless you!

 

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Changing who I am

The beginning of the adoption journey has been interesting for our family. We have been prepared (as much as can be, by friends, family and adoption agency) for the roller coaster ride of it, but have so far only lived with the ups. Anticipating what is ahead.

We know there will be frustrating times. Times of dreading what is ahead. In reality these times can never be fully prepared for.

One thing that I was not prepared for (neither anticipating nor dreading) and am constantly reminded of is that of humility.

I have been humbled on numerous occasions in the last couple of months by many different people when they hear that our family is adopting.

To be humble or humbled is to be: meek, deferential, respectful, submissive, self-effacing, unassertive, unpresuming, or concerned with other people. To those of you that know me will attest to the fact that this is not me. I can be a pompous, in-your-face, disrespectful, assertive, presumptive, concerned-with-self individual. Not that I am this all the time but it comes out way too often. Most often when not needed.

Here are a few times that I have recently been humbled:

~Many people that hear we are adopting are quick tell ‘their’ adoption story – about a family member who adopted, or when they were adopted, or about the child they adopted. I am humbled that people would share their experiences, some of which are very challenging.

~Due to the cost of adoption, we have done a couple of different fundraisers (and continue to do so). There have been many times that someone buys something from one of our fundraisers and tells us to “Keep the change. What you guys are doing this for is really amazing.” As an aside, we don’t feel it is amazing. We just feel that it is something that we as a family are supposed and want to do. (It is not for everyone) This “change” that people talk of is often an extra 5, 10, or 20 dollar bill. I am humbled by this generosity. When we come home in the future with addition(s) to our current family I am going to be excited to tell them that people around our city and beyond are part of their story of coming to Canada to our family.

~Friends and family are excited for our future family addition(s) and so it comes up in their conversations with others. The result has been overwhelming to us. To the people that give $100 to a family member and say “give this to Brad and Leah for their adoption.” To those who donate vast amounts of quality things to the last garage sale. To those who help organize fundraisers. Many of these people are close friends and then there are those who live many hours away who we have never met. All of these people’s actions humble me.

~And then there are the children. They have brought me down more than a few notches. The one who gives some of his birthday money (Leah already wrote about) for our adoption. Another who created her own fundraiser in another city (Leah also already wrote about), knowing a little about our journey. The others who ask when our adopted child(ren) are coming home – just so they can laugh and play together. These kids loving attitudes, willingness and generosity humble me.

I have (and will continue) to be humbled. This journey is changing who I am.

A big heart

My mother in law has this incredible talent with scrapbook paper. I suppose this is why she was so successful in her business of a scrapbook store! She can take any photo, match it with patterned paper and then create a page or card that is beautiful.

From the time we announced that we were adopting she has been helping us develop fundraiser ideas. The most recent idea is putting her scrapbooking skills to work! She has opened her home (or more specifically, her scrapbook room) to host and teach card classes. The profits of these card classes go towards her bringing her Haitian grandchildren home.

Here is a peek at a few of them:

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If you are looking for a girls night out, a date with your daughter or simply an evening to use your craft skills, this card class would be a great idea!

There are a few simple steps to the card class:
1.) Bring your own adhesives from home.
2.) Choose which card design you would like to make.
3.) Using the pre cut paper, supplied tools, follow the instructions on given sheet and make your card!

If this might interest you please email me for more info on available nights and prices!

a gift

Brad and I received a gift last week. A gift that made the world stop around me. A gift that made my heart melt and tears welled up in my eyes. This gift was from a young boy that had a birthday party. Instead of gifts people brought two toonies for him. One toonie is for him to keep and one toonie is for him to give away.

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This young man shared his cup full of toonies to help bring our children home from Haiti. It was a gift that we will always remember. Thank you Mr. J. We love you!

the notebook

I wanted to share with you where we are at in the next step in this huge process!

We are in the midst of being matched with a social worker (hopefully in our own town).  Due to shortage of social workers and demand of their work we may have to travel to Victoria.  Once this match is made we can begin our relationship with him/her.  As we begin our journey with a social worker I have to admit there are butterflies in the stomach.  Someone whom I don’t know will be asking  questions about who we are, what we believe, what our background looks like, what our strengths and weaknesses are and hopefully in the end will tell us we are capable, sane people!!!  After that with fingers crossed we will  be approved and able to proceed to the next step!

Until then we proceed with “The Notebook”.

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This is a notebook that contains our education portion that we have to complete.  Pages and pages of what we might have to deal with when our adoptive children become part of our family.  Trauma, abuse, alcohol/drug exposure, sickness etc.  It can be overwhelming reading all of the issues that surround this but we have to face it/deal with it/ and learn how to handle it.  There are fleeting seconds that this notebook is overwhelming but then I close my eyes and dream of those little hands that I will one day hold and then I know its so worth it.

A Child’s Faith

There are moments in day to day life that I am touched by someone’s kindness. A hug when I am feeling sad, a meal when I have no energy to cook, a card of encouragement or a phone call to see how I am doing. Recently, I have been deeply touched by a family member’s kindness.

This little person is so excited about our adoption and is working very hard to raise money to help with the cost. Her name is Katie and she is my 7 year old niece. Katie has been working very hard at making bookmarks to sell to raise money to bring her cousins home.

Her child like faith has touched my heart deeply.

She heard of a need to raise money and her heart had compassion.

She created something to make and sell.

Her little heart has touched many around her and I am so grateful to call her my niece. Thank you Katie. I love you.

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adoption

The beginning of the adoption journey can seem so daunting. The “what-ifs” play in and out of your mind like a broken record. What if we mess this up? What if God is asking us to parent a child with special needs? What if we are looked at as strange by family and friends? What if our biological child resents us for what we feel called to do? What if we really can’t afford this?

As these thoughts and questions cloud my judgement I am reminded to be still before Him.

To seek His face and remember that He has placed this desire on our hearts.

To seek His will not my own.

To seek what He wants not what I want.

To seek those that are lost and orphaned.

With open hands we send our application away. Filled with a peace only from Him knowing that He has fought the fight for us.

The journey has officially started …
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