Tag Archives: Travel

Day Five

28 May

Forgive me for not posting last night. We had the wonderful fortune of spending the evening with some lovely friends and did not make it back to our lodging until late. I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. We had a fantastic evening!

Because most of our intense adoption meetings are behind us, J-Sauce and I get to just be tourists and extra pairs of hands where ever we are needed. So Tuesday was Safari Day!! Yay animals in Africa. We went to The Lion and Cheetah Park…. where they have no Cheetahs.

Taking a look.

Taking a look.

Om nom nom, cow butt.

Om nom nom, cow butt.

Going for a little walk.

Going for a little walk.

Really big birds with attitude.....

Really big birds with attitude…..

Hello, I'm an Eland.

Hello, I’m an Eland.

Big kitties, big turtles.

Big kitties, big turtles.

Friends and Turtles, that's pretty cool.

Friends and Turtles, that’s pretty cool.

Ya know, just petting a lion, no big deal.

Ya know, just petting a lion, no big deal.

Nice kitty, kitty.....

Nice kitty, kitty…..

Someone is waaaay more brave than I.

Someone is waaaay more brave than I.

Just taking a little snooze.

Just taking a little snooze.

Literally only five feet away!!

Literally only five feet away!!

After our adventure in the wild, we went for coffee at the least African place possible, just to change things up 😉

Its like we were meant to be here.

Its like we were meant to be here.

Then was dinner and a lot of laughs. It was so nice to have a day to relax and truly enjoy our surroundings and new friends. And tomorrow is another day with more adventure waiting for us! Thanks again for checking in 🙂

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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 😉

 

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

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.

Jumping off a Cliff

10 May

This has been a crazy week….

Not that all weeks are not crazy. But this has been especially nuts.

I may have been a little high on myself for all that goal setting and achieving greatness I was spouting last week (which I still totally stand by.) However, reality came knocking at my door as I tried to cross some more things off my list. I had every intention of writing an RCM theory exam this Friday. I was going to study and fill my brain with music history wonderfulness and rock that exam like nobody’s business. And then I remembered that I needed to do some actual studying. Well between work and children and cleaning and cooking and THE AMAZING WEATHER…. that studying was not taking place. I did put in a solid 10 hours or so, but this would not be enough to get me the mark I know I could achieve. So the smart thing to do was to postpone writing my exam until I am fully prepared to destroy it with my vast and impressive knowledge of the Romantic period in music. Disappointing to say the least. For someone who loves to check things off, having to wait to do so is extremely frustrating.

But now I understand why I needed to make this decision and free up some mental space in my life.

Enter Adoption Road Block Number One.

We were fully aware that being trailblazers in a country without an international adoption protocol could be challenging and full of speed bumps. But given how smoothly things had been proceeding up until this moment, it did seem like we might be able to just sail right on through to bringing our sweet baby home. Too optimistic for our own good.

Without divulging all of the details, it has come to our attention that extra steps will be required on our part before things can even beginning to get rolling in Zimbabwe. Extra steps that will require extra trips to Zimbabwe. Trips that we had not planned for or anticipated. To make things even more exciting, these extra steps require that both J-Sauce and I make the trip.

FREAK OUT!!

Logistical nightmare. Logistical nightmare that turns out to not be such a nightmare? Only The Lord in all His wisdom and infinite provision could make it so.

So we are going to Zimbabwe. Ahhh! Just typing that makes my heart skip a beat. And it makes me a little sad. The purpose of this trip will result in us returning to Canada empty handed, but it necessary to move things along. However, this will be out first opportunity to meet the people whom we rely on to make all of this happen. It will be our first opportunity to see the country of our child’s ancestry and heritage. It will be our first opportunity to fall even deeper in love with Zimbabwe and to truly understand a bigger part of God’s plan for our family. Exciting to say the least.

We have been standing on the edge of this cliff for some time and now it is time to jump….

Leap

Because these trips are completely unexpected and will be commencing very quickly, we have not had the opportunity to save for the full amount of our travel. That is a terrifying reality. And while accumulating a massive amount of debt has never EVER been a part of our adoption plan, we are willing to do whatever we have to to make our adoption dream a reality.

Now I hate asking people for anything. I would always much rather be on the giving end of things. However, God is probably trying to teach me a little humility and graciousness throughout this entire process….. So here we go.

We absolutely, 150% without a doubt know that this is God’s plan for our family. A piece of our heart and soul lives in Zimbabwe and we long to have it with us. And we know that God has a master plan for how all of this will play out and we trust in that plan. But at this point in time, we do not have all of the finances we need to complete this entire journey.

If you are at all able, we would truly appreciate your help. First of all with prayer. Please pray endlessly for open doors. Please pray for God’s favour with the people we meet. Please pray for our safety. Secondly in finances. We need some dollars people! Travel costs to Africa are not cheap. Lastly, share our story with everyone you know. You never know who may have deep pockets and a giving heart 😉

At the top of this page, there is a little button that says donate. Feel free to click away!! If you would like to support us with a cheque, please send me an email to cupcakegardenshop@gmail.com. We are still trying to figure out the logistics of which organization will be able to best funnel our funds and I can provide you with more information in response to your email.

We thank you so much in advance for all your love and support and hopefully monies. I will never be able to fully express how grateful and thankful and blessed we feel to have such amazing people in our lives. Without you, there is no way possible that we would feel prepared to pursue the plans that God has for us. You make everything possible!

I believe in Miracles!