Tag Archives: Hope

The One You’ve Been Waiting For…

22 Aug

If you’ve been following our adoption journey, whether intimately through weekly phone calls and text message or from afar through this page, this is it. The post you’ve all been waiting for…

Our adoption is official!!!

Everything has gone through!!!

This is a reality!!!

Sparkles! Rainbows! Confetti! Music! Hugs! Laughter!

Celebrate!

At least that’s how I should feel, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic. I’m elated. I’m so grateful to God for His faithfulness to ridiculous little me. I’m thankful and my heart is so full… But…

This journey isn’t over yet.

So what comes next? Death by paperwork.

In the coming weeks our contacts in the country will work with authorities to find us a child (eeek!!!!) but from there all of the paperwork needed to send our agency the official match proposal must be in place. Medical records, police reports, any and all documentation that the Canadian government would need for us to be able to accept a proposal. Sigh. Even here in Canada such paperwork could be slow moving. Just typing out these words is slowly killing my joy.

We are done with waiting!!!

But that’s the reality. More waiting.

So here’s what we need from you. Yes, please celebrate with us! We are so thrilled and want to share this excitement with you. Then please join with us in this prayer:

  1. That The Lord would lead our contact to the child that He has for us. We know that there is a perfect fit for our family and we know that she will be lead by His spirit to find this child. We also pray that The Lord would give her strength in these days as this is a delicate process. Please pray that she would meet angels in every government office that she walks into.
  2. That months would turn into weeks and weeks would turn into days for us. Obviously we have no choice but to wait for as long as this process will take….. but I’m so ready to be on a plane already!!!
  3. That we will be able to continue to raise the money needed to go back to Africa. We do not know at this point how long we would need to be there for or how many countries we may need to visit to obtain the necessary passports and visas to bring our baby home. There are a lot of unknowns still, but we would like to be as financially prepared as possible. (Anyone ready to host a Trunk Show?!?! Free jewels! Bring baby home!!)
  4. For emotional and mental strength. I am quickly becoming unbearable to be around because I so badly want to be with this baby. Poor J-Sauce. Please pray for him.

We are so thankful that you continue to support us throughout this process. Thank you for letting us vent and cry on your shoulders and share our joys and our longing. We love each and everyone of you and couldn’t do this without you.

We hope to be able to share much more good news with you in the coming weeks and months.

 

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When Mother’s Day is Difficult

11 May

Coffee, breakfast in bed, cards, flowers, brunch with Grandmothers, extra cuddles and “I Love You’s”. Everything that a day designed to celebrate being a Mother or having a Mother should be. But why does it hurt so much this year?

I have a few theories.

Over the last few years, we have had many families close to us experience the unimaginable loss of a child. Whether through an accident or illness, we seem to be unable to go very long without hearing of another Mother having to say goodbye to her beautiful child. I do not and will not ever understand how someone is able to withstand such a heartbreaking situation.

Thankfully, many of the women (and men) that I have watched walk through this devastation have done so with a tremendous amount of love, inspiration and hope. This is not to say that the emotions they feel are not overwhelming, heavy and very real; however they have graciously shared their journey and daily realities with those around them and they have leaned on the ever present shoulder of a loving God. I am continually amazed by the strength with which these parents draw from to face a world that is forever missing an important piece. I do not share these things to be heavy and depressing, but rather to honour these wonderful people in my life who have shown me what true love and pure hope looks like. My life is forever changed as a daughter and as a Mother because of these people and their journeys. I love a little harder, laugh a little longer and cry a little more openly just for them. Mother’s Day is different for me now in the light of their stories.

Likewise, it was a year ago that I stood in front of our church congregation and joyfully exclaimed that J-Sauce and I would be travelling to Africa for the first time. Because of the newly developing protocol in the country we are involved with, it was necessary for us to make that trip with the hope of being able to see things move along with our adoption. And while it was a gift in our adoption story and we were both forever changed by it…… It was a year ago. Another year has come and gone. We still have no news on our child. How is this possible?

Mama and Babe

I could take the time to speak of hope and trust and belief in The Lord’s timing (which I still firmly hold on to) but my heart just isn’t in it today. It physically hurts my heart to hope at this time.

But that’s okay because I know that this journey is not finished yet and there is work yet to be done in my own life before this child will join us and will call me Mommy.

As I ponder that day, sometimes hourly or even minute by minute, I am reminded of another very important reality involved in this story. And I feel horrifically selfish.

I am not the only Mother in this story. There is another. She will carry this child within her womb. She will hope and dream and worry about the hows and the whys and the whos for her child as it grows and moves within her belly. She might pray and beg The Lord for guidance. She is likely alone, scared, angry or disgusted by her situation. She maybe my age or she may only be child herself. Whatever the details of her life may be, there is one thing for certain: she will make a very difficult decision and her precious baby will one day become mine.

We will probably never know this Mother, but even now I am eternally tied to her. I may never be able to thank her for the beautiful gift that I will be given, but I will love her all the same.

Today is Mother’s Day and I am unable to put into actual English words the love that I have for my precious, sparkling and unique girls. This is a daily existence for me. I am forever thankful that I have been chosen to be their Mother for as long as God will allow me. But my heart and soul is torn. It is torn for Mother’s who will not be able to hold their children today. It is torn for the women who make the selfless decision to allow someone else to raise their treasures. It is torn for the women who long to become Mother’s and yet continue to be unable to do so. I have no answers for these feelings and that is alright. I think they are important feelings to have and to explore, however uncomfortable they are.

All I can do today, as my heart has moments of sadness, is to hang onto the promises of God and to trust in His good and perfect will. If I did not have that hope, I don’t know how else I could face this very difficult Mother’s Day.

A Waiting Bunny

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.

Leaving on a Jet Plane…. And other cliches.

19 May

So this is actually happening. On Wednesday morning, J-Sauce and I will be boarding a plane to begin our first journey to Africa.

As crazy and complicated as this entire situation could have been, this absolutely feels like the right time for us to go. While both of us will be heartbroken as we say good-bye to our precious Princess and Cupcake, we know that there is another life that is depending on us to leave the comfort of our everyday existence and travel to a country so unlike that which we know.

There are so many unknowns as we move forward. We are nervous and anxious and scared and….. EXCITED!! What an amazing opportunity to experience. I cannot wait to meet all of the wonderful people and beautiful children that I have spent years hearing about. I am so ready to experience Africa. I cannot speak for J-Sauce, but I’m sure that there is a small part of him that is excited as well.

This trip is a culmination of many years of dreaming and praying and trusting in the Lord. Almost a decade ago, without ever having set foot on the continent, God broke my heart for Africa. I sat, with tears streaming down my face, watching an episode of ER (of all things…. God is weird sometimes) and I knew that I had to make a difference. It became painfully clear to me that money and good intentions and Western ways of doing things could never and will never change the reality of poverty and disease in third world countries. But love can.

That is all I have to give. I have a heart full of love to pour into people who have no idea that their faces have filled my dreams for many years now. God is so awesome….

When people ask me, “Why Africa?” I don’t always feel properly equipped to answer that question. I honestly want to tell them, “Why not Africa?” but that would not get to the heart of our desire to adopt internationally. The best that I feel I can offer is that, without a doubt, without hesitation and with unwavering certainty, I know that my child, whom the Lord has chosen for us, lives in Africa. That is all I know and that is enough for me. So I have to do everything in my power to be able to meet that child and to know that I can call them my own.

Growing in my Heart

Last Sunday, our pastor, who is a very important person in our lives and one of my personal heroes, shared some thoughts about mothers and mothering for Mother’s Day. He referenced the heart and devotion of Hannah in the book of 1 Samuel. This picture of a mother who knew that she was destined to love a child she had never met, no matter the reason or the outcome, struck a chord deep within my soul. I have experienced a small glimpse into what it is like to desire a child so strongly without knowing whether or not that desire would ever transform from dream to reality. But now I will cling to the promise that Hannah was given and I will continue to take each step that the Lord place in front of me with the hope of my child and our family propelling me forward.

So as J-Sauce and I pack our bags and gather our malaria medication, please begin to pray for us. While we could still use some financial support (feel free to keep clicking that donate button!) right now we truly crave your prayers. If you’re not sure what to say here are a few things to ask the Lord for on our behalf.

1. For our travel. I am a horrible flyer and do not envy poor J-Sauce for having to spend that time with me.

2. For our safety. We are aware of some of the concerns regarding travel in this part of the world and are trusting in the Lord to keep us safe.

3. For open doors. We need every green light and positive interaction and helping hand we can get.

4. For soft hearts in the people we meet. There are people who could make things difficult for us and we are praying that the Lord would touch their hearts and that we would see the Lord’s favour during our interactions with them.

People, we need your Prayers!!

People, we need your Prayers!!

If you have other things to pray over us, fantastic! We have been exceedingly blessed throughout this entire process by the willingness of our friends and family and new readers to support us in our dream. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your faithfulness.

I intend to write daily updates each night while we are away, so please check back to see how things are going! Until then, I have some laundry to do.

Bono and TED ~ Becoming a Factivist

14 Mar

I wanted to present this without comment, because clearly we all already know how I feel about Bono and his efforts to change the world…. But it is just so hard not to say something!

8 million more people receiving anti retrovirals.

7256 less child deaths a day…. A DAY!!

The Pride of Lions, 10 countries in Sub Saharan Africa who have halved their rates of extreme poverty.

Political transparency? How novel an idea.

Elimination of extreme poverty? Optimistic, romantic and grandiose for sure. Possible? Probably not. But travelling closer towards this reality, absolutely!

He may be a BS rock star, but he is a BS rock star who gets sh*t done. Advocacy at its best. It is ideas like this that keep me pumped to strive to be better everyday. If just one of us cares what can be accomplished? If a whole group of us care, nothing can stop us!

So seek out the facts and make sure that they are heard. That’s how we start the momentum.

Mmmmm Bono, still so sexy. Making the world a better place; being the change.