Tag Archives: Adoption

New Opportunities

1 Apr

I live for days where I slip out of my world in dreams and the first thing I am aware of is the light outside my window. There is a new warmth. There are birds chirping and calling to one another, letting their presence be known. The trees bursting forth with new leaves and the air is full with the scent of cherry blossoms.

Spring!

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 NIV

I live for Spring.

I absolutely, 100% love our West Coast rain and mild Winters, but enough is enough after months of grey. I need sun on my skin and the reminder of new life.

The beginning of 2014 has been difficult for me and there has been little news regarding our adoption. What we have heard has been positive, but there is still no babe in my arms. So I will soldier on and do what I always do….

Find something new to throw all of my energy into!!

This time that we have to wait is for a reason and I know that I must take full advantage of it while I can. My first priority is my beautiful girls and giving them all of my attention while it is just the two of them. So we keep our days full and create our own magic.

Cousins

Craft Time

Painting

My next priority is to keep us in good financial standing as we continue through this adoption journey. I don’t know if you have heard, but international adoption is not cheap….. Ha ha. So I work.

I have many jobs, all of which I have been blessed with so that I can keep my kids as my first priority. I am so thankful for this time that I have with them and I know it will soon be over; they will off to school in the blink of an eye and I will eventually need to find a “real” job. But until then, I teach piano, I do part time bookkeeping, and I have recently taken on the job of cleaning our apartment building. While these jobs are fulfilling and allow me to be at home with the girls while adding to our monthly income, things still fall short with the bigger picture looming ahead of us.

J-Sauce and I have tried to be as conservative as possible with our financial decisions especially with regards to the adoption. We still enjoy a night out here and there and carry a small amount of consumer debt (we can all sit around and compare numbers at a later time ­čśë ). However, we do have all of the administrative costs related to our adoption covered. What we still lack are the funds to eventually return to Africa and bring our precious baby home.

So I have prayed and reflected and sought wise counsel (and whined and complained) and researched and have made another decision regarding my employment…….. I am going to start a home based business!!!

I have had experience with this in the past as a consultant with Mary Kay. I learned a lot about how to succeed in such an endeavor. But more importantly, I learned a lot about how to fail at such an endeavor. So I have made my recent decision with much consideration and support with the hope that I will be able to succeed and to continue to provide towards our next trip to Africa.

I am so excited and proud to announce that I have decided to join the growing number of women (and men!) connected with Stella & Dot accessories as a Personal Stylist.

I have chosen Stella & Dot for a few reasons. I have been acquainted with the company for sometime now through a super fabulous and loving friend. ┬áShe has always been open about her love of building her business and supporting her family through Stella & Dot. I have attended a few Trunk Shows in the last few years and love the atmosphere of hanging out with a few friends while trying out some fun and beautiful jewelry. So relaxing and comfortable, unlike many other home based business parties I’ve attended.

Also, I love their products!! I haven’t taken much time over the last few years (save for a few evenings out or Sunday mornings) to put a lot of effort into feeling put together and pretty. Being a busy mom is wonderful and rewarding but I spend far too much time in my Lulu’s and sweatshirts. It amazes me how something as simple as a necklace or bracelet can motivate me to put in a few extra minutes of planning and allow me to tackle the day with a little more grace and confidence. This doesn’t mean that I don’t still love my sweats, I do, but I’m excited to be apart of something that will push me towards being a little more polished on a weekly basis.

My goal with this adventure is simple: connect with new people, help them feel beautiful and save towards our next adoption trip.

I know that there are those of you out there who have already been blessed by helping us out financially with our last trip, and for that we are eternally grateful. You are still more than welcome to press that little Donate button at the top of the page (every dollar helps!) but why not get something back in return?

With as much time as I have available to make this business work, I know that we may fall short of our goal of $7500. So please stay tuned for other opportunities and events to help us meet that goal!

In the mean time, I’m looking to fill up my calendar over the next few months with as many Trunk Shows as possible. If you live in the Greater Vancouver/Fraser Valley area and would like to host (and earn some free jewelry!!) all while supporting J-Sauce and I, drop me a line! I could not have made it this far in this journey without you and may need a little more support yet. Every day brings us that much closer to returning to Africa and our child.

Bracelets

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The Wait

31 Oct

I feel like my life is on hold.

I feel like time is moving too fast and standing still, all at the same time.

I feel like I have never been busier in my life and yet it seems like I am doing nothing of value in that busyness.

We drive to preschool, to dance, to work, to the grocery store and home again. The feeling is always there. It never leaves my mind, my heart, my soul.

Beach Bums

I have thrown myself into projects connected to my friends and the beautiful country so far away and still so close to my heart. These things bring me great joy and we are excited for the opportunities ahead, but this does not silence the aching.

I exercise. I eat. I have a glass of wine. I play with my girls. I pray. I talk to others about my feelings. I go out and live my life.

Color Me Rad 2013

Nothing helps.

I continue to research, preparing myself for what might be.

A Little Light Reading

I set new goals and work towards them, but honestly, only halfheartedly a this point.

I did it.....

My heart longs to return to Africa. I long to meet this precious child. To hold her in my arms. To tell her how much I love her. To call her my own.

I could barely type that sentence because it is painful and terrifying to admit to these feelings and to have them live outside of my body.

When we set out on this adoption journey Cupcake was only 5 months old. We knew that we wanted more children and The Lord had spoken to us very clearly about adoption. We also knew that this process was not going to lead us to a child over night. We had heard stories of people waiting for years to see an adoption completed. We were aware of what might lay ahead of us.

But I lied to myself. “We will be different. Ours won’t take as long. We are special”. I may not have voiced those feelings, but I am an eternal optimist and desperately wanted to believe that God would work this miracle according to my schedule. I honestly believed at the beginning of this year that 2013 would be the year of the baby! I was sure that by now we would be home with our three girls, planning for a holiday season full of new joy and love. But this no longer seems possible. Of course God does not bend to the will of humanity and I know this, but the waiting…..

It is hard. It feels like it will never end.

But, the sun comes up everyday and sets every night. I get up and make it through each day. I find joy in the little things and rejoice in the miracles found in other people’s lives. And I wait.

I wait for a breakthrough. I wait for a phone call, an email, anything. I wait for a miracle.

At this point, I covet your prayers. Please pray with us for this miracle. I don’t know what else to do except to pray.

Many well meaning people ask us if there is any news and this question breaks my heart. I wish that there were news. I wish that we could shout it from the rooftops. I wish that we were boarding a plane tomorrow to meet our precious babe. But there is not and we are not. We continue to wait.

As much as this post was necessary for me to write to update you on our story and to vent my emotions, it is a bit of a downer, yes? I know that there is hope. I know that there is a promise for our family. I know that there is an end to the waiting. This will happen and The Lord knows when. Until then, I wait.

Life has a way....

Day Four

27 May

Today was a good day.

We had more meetings regarding our adoption this morning, all of which went much better than we had expected. This is a good and positive sign…..

BUT….

We’re not finished yet. It is difficult because I am not at liberty to discuss a good portion of the process we are currently going through or as to why it seems to be so tricky to navigate. But things are looking up and for this we are thankful.

We are so appreciative of all your kind words and prayers. I truly felt as though an army of angels walked with me through every hallway and office we entered today. And I know that was because of you. So please join with us as we thank God for His faithfulness and His willingness to hear our prayers.

There are a few more things that we need prayer for. There are some very important letters that most of the rest of our process relies on. Please pray that these letters are sent and received quickly so that we can move to the next step in our process. After that, the last step relies on the consent of one person. Please pray for God’s hand upon this individual and that their heart will be softened towards our situation. There is a very good possibility that we will have to return home without knowing whether or not these steps have taken place. We once again will have to walk in faith, believing that the Lord is working out everything according to His perfect plan.

In all that we have been through in the last few days with regards to paperwork and meetings and unknowns, I have felt it tough to remain focused on why we are really here. But in a meeting today I was grateful to be reminded…. It is all because of these beautiful children. The needs of these kids must always be the most important thing we consider as we move through our adoption process. That should always be our main concern in everything we do as parents, as guardians, as teachers, as adults trying to create a better world for the next generation. It is all about the children. Its kind of ridiculous as to how quickly I am able to forget this when faced with difficult situations, but I am glad that I have refocused my mindset and that I am ready to keep moving forward.

Plant a Garden

On a more specific note, throughout this entire journey we have met some incredible people who are working tirelessly, not only on our behalf, but on behalf of all the children here. Some people who have now become wonderful friends. Thank you, thank you for all that you do, even in uncertain circumstances. I know for a fact that the Lord is blessing the work of your hands.

For the rest of the week we will continue to help Dad with all of his work here and then we get to just be tourists. That’s pretty exciting!

Thanks again for following our journey. Until tomorrow, its time for some tea and then bed ­čśë

 

Day Three

26 May

Today is Sunday! So we went to church. It was everything that I had always imagined that church in Africa would be.

Except for the Sunday school teacher. That was unexpected. Because it was me…..

Sharing one of my favourite Bible Stories; Noah's Ark. They told it better than I did.

Sharing one of my favourite Bible Stories; Noah’s Ark. They told it better than I did.

They were better listeners than any Sunday School class I have ever taught before!

They were better listeners than any Sunday School class I have ever taught before!

Beautiful, beautiful rainbows!

Beautiful, beautiful rainbows!

I wanted to share about Noah’s Ark for one specific reason, and for those of you who know me even a little bit should not be surprised by that reason. Rainbows. I love rainbows! Not only are they rare (at least in our part of the world) and magical and awe inspiring, they represent something so much bigger. They are a symbol of God’s promises in our lives. I tried to get the kids excited about God’s promises for their lives such as love, friendship, His faithfulness and so on, but not much seemed to spark their interest. Clearly I am no Terry B. or Katy L. While a part of that is definitely the language barrier, only the older kids speak any English, the other factor is the reality of the situation that these kids face everyday. They definitely understand the concepts of God’s word (their memory verse work is incredible!) but it is difficult for them to comprehend the actuality of peace and prosperity and many other of God’s promises to us. This is a sobering realization.

So I shared with them one of God’s promises in my life. I shared with them that God had promised me the opportunity to one day come and meet them and play with them and love on them. And that today, they were witnessing a promise fulfilled. This seemed to please them, or at least to be enough for them to grasp. I also shared with them the hope that rainbows represent. Hope, no matter your circumstance, is universal. There is always hope.

That is the sole reason as to why J-Sauce and I are here.

Everyone love candy! Everyone loves J-Sauce, the candy man.

Everyone loves candy! Everyone loves J-Sauce, the candy man.

The rest of the morning was the church service, singing, dancing, praising the Lord, sharing God’s word. Our hearts are full. Then came more chances to serve the people and the children of the church. Not all of the children here are orphans, but a good percentage of them are.

Playing Hot Potato

Playing Hot Potato

Getting ready for Lunch.

Getting ready for Lunch.

Dad passing out new jackets.

Dad passing out new jackets.

They posed me for this. They did all the work. But what a good workout!

They posed me for this. They did all the work. But what a good workout!

Maybe one of my favourite ways to serve: washing hands.

Maybe one of my favourite ways to serve: washing hands.

Serving up some sedza.

Serving up some sedza.

Lunch in the shade.

Lunch in the shade.

Just chillin'.

Just chillin’.

Comfy spot to sit.

Comfy spot to sit.

So excited about her new jacket from Canada.... which the kids think is entirely covered in sow, 100% of the time.

So excited about her new jacket from Canada…. which the kids think is entirely covered in snow, 100% of the time.

Girls here are the same as girls in Canada. Nothing makes you smile more than a pair of new jeans that fir perfectly!

Girls here are the same as girls in Canada. Nothing makes you smile more than a pair of new jeans that fit perfectly!

Sorting out new baby clothes.

Sorting out new baby clothes.

Never too young to start soccer.

Never too young to start soccer.

This evening we are resting up as we have more meetings with the government in the morning. Fingers crossed and prayers said, we hope that these meetings will move things forward and at least get the process started here before we head home on Saturday.

We are missing our beautiful Princess and Cupcake so much, but they gave us their permission to love and hug and kiss all the children who needed it before we came home to them. I truly hope that one day they understand the reason why we had to be apart for some time and what this time ultimately means for our family.

And hope is what its all about.

Day One

24 May

We made it! We are on the ground in Africa.

Before another 19 hours of air travel.... I refuse to post an after picture.

Before another 19 hours of air travel…. I refuse to post an after picture.

We arrived last night and had a fabulous sleep. So today was our first full day to truly experience a new culture. And experience it we did.

The smells in the air.

The chaos in the city streets.

The red dirt on the side of the road.

The hue of pink and orange in the sunset.

The chorus of birds and their beautiful songs; simply mesmerizing.

We took the time to drink it all in.

Also, we had our first meeting regarding the process of our adoption. It did not go as well as we had hoped. We walked away slightly disheartened…. But quickly decided to focus on the positives we could take away. It definitely feels like there is a lot of red tape for us to still endure through. But on the other side, there are open doors! There are so many people here that support the idea of international adoption, but we have yet to have a meeting with them where they are able to truly help us.

We have many other meetings to take part in next week and hopefully some of those will begin to get things moving. Our greatest prayer is that we are able to accomplish everything necessary before we leave at the end of next week.

So while today was a great mix of emotions, there is much that we have to look forward to in the coming days. Many more people to meet, orphan care projects to visit, church to attend. We will continue to keep you updated and greatly appreciate your continued prayers and support.

An Oasis in the City

 

With much love from Africa! xoxoxox