Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas at Mosaic

Arnie and Stacy

Over the past two months, Arnie and I have taken up the role of Managers of the Winter Warming Centre at Mosaic. This is a program funded by the government and runs from November to April, just for the winter months. The goal is to keep people off the streets in the winter, give them a place to be while it's cold out and a ride to a shelter for the night. This has been the most challenging thing we have ever done, but it is worth it. This was a Christmas party put on by the Mosaic centre last week. These are a few of the people we have grown to know and love.

Keith, Rollie and Arnie


Rollie with his friend Vern

Christmas hampers made by a church for all the people at the party

Backpacks handed out to the people who don't have a home

Brad, Vicky and baby Oren

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The 12 papers of Christmas

Well it seems I have spoken too soon once again. I received an email yesterday saying that Imagine did get my update in the mail BUT I have to update all my paper work!! I was only told to update my police checks, child interventions checks, employment letters and medicals. Well someone failed to mention the 12 other papers that need to be updated as well. Arnie and I were so frustrated I exclaimed, "It's like the 12 days of Christmas hahaha (in a very sad laugh) " to which Arnie sang, "and one test for H--I--V." We laughed in a tired, your kidding me right??, kind of laugh. The kicker is, we can't get a referral until all 12 (times 2 people) papers are completed. So I have been on the phone for 2 days booking appointments to get all our papers done. We need HIV tests, a list of papers notarized, Interpol police checks (fingerprints), two new reference letters, notice of assessments and some power of attorney  and such papers signed. I have an appointment booked for almost everyday next week! What a holiday! Plus my arm hurts from my Yellowfever shot today... I will stop whining now and look on the bright side, once these papers are done, we can get a referral any day!! I know the timing will be perfect so I will try to remember that when I am completing all this annoying paper work. I have a feeling I will get that referral, look at our child, and forget about all the pain it took to get me to them.

Today we went to the Mosaic Christmas party, we brought Rollie along. Arnie and I were grouching out from all the stress of our lives, when Rollie came in the car and turned it all upside down.
                                                        This is Rollie praising Jesus

                                                            This is Rollie praying.

Jesus reminded me of the verse in Matthew: And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." I thank Rollie for reminding me what the kingdom of heaven is all about: joy and love, simplicity and purity of a child. Thanks Rollie!

Monday, December 13, 2010

I spoke too soon (or cried too soon)

On my way to work today I looked over down town, I saw the building where my update was and I prayed. I asked that if there was any way, be it the paper falls on the ground and gets noticed or Anne has a thought she has to sign our update, could we get our update signed today. I wasn't praying in a desperate way but just asking if it fits with His will for us. A few hours later Arnie called me at work and suer enough the update was in our mailbox!!!!!!!!! I had tears in my eyes while I tried to compose myself infront of the patients. I am so happy, I can't believe God answered my prayers with a Yes!!!! My Christmas present came early, I am so amazed. Although this is not a referral, it puts us next on the list for a 4 year old. I am at peace once again that God is in control, that He has a good plan and that nothing can stand in His way. I spoke too soon last night, if I only knew it was just about to land on my doorstep!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Update for Christmas

This year the only present I would like is our homestudy update signed by Anne Scully. You may think this is a simple request, but it feels like an impossible request. In July we started to think about changing our age request, we called our agency to find out what was all involved in this. Since our paper work was about to expire in November, we decided we would upgrade everything early. By the time we could actually get the social worker in to do our update it was October 1. We then waited until Nov. 1 to receive the signed and approved update from Christian Adoption. Since that date, the update has been in the hands of Anne Scully waiting for provincial approval. Everything waits for this approval, our age request will not chnge in the agency until they receive this update. It feels hopeless to write about this now. It is completely and utterly out of my control. I know that God has a plan and he has a perfect child waiting for us, but it is just so hard to wait for this update approval. I want to cry. I am praying it comes in time for Christmas, but I am not holding my breath. I guess I need to learn patience again for the 1000th time. I am trying to be victorious in this waiting game, but today I feel defeated.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

18 referrals this month!!!

The good news is in, there were 18 referrals in the month of November. This is incredible, we have not seen this many referrals in one month ever! As for us, we are still waiting for our provincial approval. I emailed Anne Scully this morning to check on the status of our update. I'm not sure if this will help or annoy her, but I thought it couldn't hurt. After all it is our update and it is taking FOREVER!! It is amazing how much patience is needed when you feel so close. I am reminded everyday to finish this race strong, to keep trusting God and to have faith. It seems it gets harder as it feels closer. We continue to pray for court dates and visas for all the referred families as well as more referrals...maybe with our name on it this time :)

Yesterday was our 19th month waiting since our dossier arrived in Ethiopia. I'm going to start a show...I think I'll call it 19 months and counting.... only it will be super boring and no one will watch it!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Learning to Love

This is my buddy Shawn, he is staying with us for the week so people in his life can make decisions about his future. He is a sweet little guy, full of energy, a love for trucks and a will to fight sleep like I've never seen! He is teaching us to love. He is teaching us patience. We are learning about God's unconditional love,  a love that takes you as you are, picks you off your feet and begins to rebuild you. Shawn is a wonderful little boy and I am so thankful I get to love him for a week. This is a week of preparation for our life to come. I've learned that I may not have an instant bond with our child but that through choosing love, the feelings are sure to follow. We will be perfect strangers brought together by God's love, we will learn to love each other, reclaiming lost ground and building a future. I am also learning how selfish I am, especially at 4 in the morning! This morning he cuddled me and gave me a huge smile as if to say thanks for waking up with me last night. I am thankful for these little reminders that this lack of sleep is actually meaningful, now to remember this at 4am...that's the trick! 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cleaning with my nephew, Rollie!

First Rollie helped me do the laundry...

Then we took out the trash...

and last we cleaned out the cupboards! What a good help!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

2 referrals made!!!

After almost three months of no referrals, 2 families were matched with their children. One family a 4 month old boy and the other a 22 month old boy! YEY for movement!!! I am still waiting on Christian Adoption Services to approve our homestudy update, then for the Alberta government to approve it, then we will officially be waiting for a boy or girl 48 months old. We are coming up fast on the list....unfortunately we will have to wait for these updates to be approved.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Some think love is a feeling, I believe true love begins when the feelings are gone and a choice has to be made. True love is when you are mad at your spouse, would like to call them all kinds of evil things, but instead choose to listen, to accept when you are wrong and apologize when you are right. Too many people hunt for a feeling, I am sure you can always find a feeling, but it is rare to find commitment. They wonder what went wrong when the feelings fade, but they missed the point…to love through the good AND the bad. Today I am grateful for a husband who loves me all the time. He loves me when I’m a sweetheart and he loves me when I’m not. He never rejects me, no matter how ugly I can get. His heart, eyes and mind are only for me, he doesn’t share them with anyone else. And although I am embarrassed to say this, he often apologizes even when he is right. He longs for peace between us, choosing to love me when I am unlovable. Although neither of us are perfect, we take each other for who we are, not longing to add or take away. Don’t get me wrong, we have many feelings for each other…some would say we still act like we are newlyweds, but it is not these times that define our love…it’s the times in between.  

Monday, October 18, 2010

The craziest week ever!

Nursing Graduation! On wednesday night we had our Practical Nurse Graduation. My Aunt Lois flew down for the week to celebrate my graduation with me. She had talked me into it about three summers ago, so she had no choice but to fly out and see me graduate! We had a great and very busy week, it was wonderful to have her around!

Welcome baby Oliver. He was born Thursday, October 14 @ 9:40 pm, weighing 8lbs 15 oz. He is a chunky little monkey. He is wearing the hat I got him in the summer while I was in Stratford. It is made from fair-trade organic cotton! He is such a sweetheart, he is the quiet brother who loves to snuggle!

Happy Birthday to my sweetheart!! Today, October 18th, Arnie turned 29!! I had to work from 12-8 so I threw him a little surprise party at the Mosaic Centre. He is with his friend Jacque in the picture. We had a good morning hanging out with everyone, then we went to work for the day!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Little update

I joined a yahoo group a few weeks ago for families with Imagine Adoption. It has been really amazing to meet people in the same place as me, it was beginning to feel like I was alone in all this! It has been awesome to read all the messages and get everyones updates. Although I have not heard of any october referrals yet, there have been lots of court dates and visas issued. Quite a few people are going to Ethiopia this month to pick up their children! Praying for some october referrals and our homestudy update to be completed. We are still waiting for our social worker to type up the update, then the head lady at Christian Adoption Services will ok it, then it will get sent to Anne Scully (head of Alberta adoptions) to ok our age change and then it will be sent to our agency to officially change our file. Hopefully this all happens soon as I would hate to wait any longer because of this update! The good news is, on the yahoo group database, there are only 3 people ahead of us asking for the same age...not to get too excited though cause it could still be a year. We are trying to stay patient because the more excited you get, the harder the wait becomes! So bring on the October referrals!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Our new adopted dog, Louie!!

Welcome to the family Louie!
About three weeks ago Arnie was working out near Lemont, which is where our dog breeder, who we got Lily from, lives. He decided he would stop by to say hi and check out the puppies, little did he know he was about to run into Louie! Louie and another dog were abandoned two days prior to this. Our dog breeder was at her vet when a lady came in with two dogs stating she just found them. Our dog breeder said they looked like they had come from her batch of dogs so she took them home. They got in touch with the owner, who lives in Fort Mac, he said he gave a friend money to buy them, so they gave him a week or so to come and get them. He didn't show up so instead of going to the pound, we came and rescued Louie! He is very malnourished and extremely anxious. He has big sad eyes that break your heart. Arnie said he was going golfing yesterday and instead went to pick up Louie, I had no idea that he was doing this as I wasn't even sure we could have him. He came home with him and completely surprised me!
Louie on the right, Lily on the left
Louie with his lip stuck on his tooth and cute Lily
Two days ago, Arnie and I were praying for our future child. We prayed that God would make us into the parents our child would need. It is no accident that Louie has now come to be our dog. We think he was abused and obviously neglected. When we tried to go to bed last night, he howled at the top of his lungs for 1.5 hours. I felt so sad for him and could not take it anymore, so I brought him into the bed. He walked around the bed for another half hour, then he finally calmed down and fell asleep. He is so unsure of himself, he is scared of Lily (we were told the other dog would beat him up, we also found bites on his ears), he hides behind us when she tries to play. He also has the worst anxiety I have seen in a dog. Whenever anyone leaves the house, he whines and cries and when Arnie and I leave the house together, he bawls!!! This is no ordinary cry, but a cry that sounds like we are killing him! We left the house a while ago and had to go back in and close the windows so the neighbours wouldn't think we were killing him. Other than that, he is a big sweetheart. He loves to cuddle and follows me all over the house. He will take a lot of work and patience to bring him to the confident level that Lily is at. We have already seen a change in him in just a day of love, food, cuddles and a sister to play with. Although he tests my patience with his "marking territory" pees, he is too sweet to be mad at. I'm so happy to have him!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

By Faith

Lily's favorite spot, thrown over the couch, suntanning and dog-watching with  her favorite toy close at hand.

My faith is being tested. Sometimes it feels easier if I were to just throw in the towel, give up, walk away and forget we ever wanted to adopt. I would never actually do this, my hope for a child is too strong to walk away from, but sometimes I feel like this would be easier. When I am weak and sick of waiting, when my faith has grown weary, the thought of walking away crosses my mind. I don’t know what I would do after that, like I said I would never actually go through with it. I was reading today in Hebrews about Abraham and Isaac. I can’t imagine Abraham’s thoughts when God asked for his only son. Although, it seems, Abraham had a sense of peace about what he was asked to do. It says, “Abraham figured that if God wanted to, he could raise the dead.” Imagine that kind of faith. I pray to have this faith, the kind that doesn’t question, waits patiently, trusts that everything will work out for His glory. Today Abraham is my hero, I’ve never known anyone to have this kind of faith, I can learn a lot from him!

I have learned many difficult lessons thru this ordeal… none more profound than a much needed lesson on patience. I thought I knew what patience was until we wanted to be parents. Everything else in our world is fast paced. If you have money, you go out and buy it. Even in ecclesiastes Solomon speaks of how he denied himself nothing, he refused his heart no pleasure. That resonates with how spoiled I’ve become. When nothing is out of grasp, I’ve lost the necessity of utter dependence on God. But when money and stuff gets old, mundane and repetitive, then I find myself desperate…. and if there is one thing that God loves its desperation. Especially since He knows that the only thing to fill the void is his presence in me, nothing more. Not far off is the longing within us to love and be loved. Hmmm sounds familiar... love God and love others in THAT order. In acts 8 Peter is confronted with Simon, a man who figures he can purchase the Holy Spirit along with power to heal. Peter’s response is sharp and to the point, you can’t buy God’s love, his Spirit, his power… any of him. In fact, my lesson in patience goes hand in hand with this passage. God has laid something profound on my heart lately; anything worthwhile is going to involve some element of sacrifice, some patience, and some faith (in fact, more often than not, it involves a ton of all these!). And so our character development continues, as God refines us in His purifying fire.  Needless to say, I thought we could just pay the money, hop on a plane and become parents in a couple months. Guess God’s timing is slightly different than mine. Thankfully he’s got this whole mess under control, in fact, to Him it’s not a mess at all. . . It’s a plan!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Month 17

Today makes the start of our 17th month of waiting since our dossier made it to Ethiopia. This is our 27th month since we started the whole process. Today is also the day of our 2 year homestudy update. It is amazing how these numbers slowly climb, (and the numbers in our bank slowly dwindle). Arnie and I talk about if we had known all this before we started, we would have never gone through with it. If only we could have a date, life would be so much easier...I guess it wouldn't require much faith either. It is hard to make plans though, not knowing when we will have to leave. One more number for today: 1 referral given in September. Slightly depressing, but the agency has just signed on with a new orphanage and we are the only agency signed with them. So we are all hoping that it starts to pick up. Pray for quick paper work for our update and the orphanage preparing papers so they can start referrals.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

If only I could tell you...

My child how I long for you. Every morning when I wake up, you are on my mind. I wonder what you are up to, what you are going to eat for breakfast, who will feed you, who will play with you. It is almost too much some days. I dream of you all night then think of you all day. My heart longs to be with you. I can’t imagine a better day then the day I get to meet you. Forgive me if I overwhelm you at first, I just don’t think I’ll be able to separate myself from you. I hope one day you will understand how badly you are wanted, how desperately you are loved although I haven’t even met you. I pray often that Jesus will be your mom and your dad while we aren’t able to be there. I know he will take care of you. I hope you can see his face. I hope you never feel alone. We are coming soon, as soon as God permits us we will be there. Until that day, look for Jesus, he will be with you. With more love then you can imagine, Your Mom.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fair Trade Organic Coffee

I decided to sign up to be the coffee-maker at church. I must confess that I had a few hidden motives...for a while now I have been promoting fair trade and organic products, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to stand up for something I believe in. So I wrote these little blurbs and posted them beside the coffee stand.


We have chosen to serve fair trade coffee because we believe it is an issue of social justice that is close to God’s heart. We can not blindly consume without considering the consequences our consumption plays on others. Coffee beans come from all over the world, most coming from third world countries. When coffee has not been labeled fair trade, one can assume that it’s production was produced in unethical manners. Unfair prices paid, unrealistic working hours, child labor, abuse, etc. When we truly think of the origin of our consumption, we can see that everything we buy has an effect on the whole of mankind. If we support fair trade companies and workers, we are supporting fair, just and loving ways of employing and empowering people to make a living. We make a statement that we care about the realities of the people who made our coffee. Although it is easy to detach ourselves from the results and reality of our consumption and our indirect support of unfair practices, I boldly suggest that we are enslaving people, including children, when we make unethical purchases. Although fair trade products are often higher in price, I’d like to draw attention to the true cost of a cheaper product. Jesus speaks loudly throughout the Bible on the way we ought to treat others, “love your neighbor as yourself”, are we loving our neighbor if we are blindly supporting their enslavement? But we have options, we don’t have to make unreflective decisions, there are companies that offer fair trade alternatives. We can mindfully purchase without causing harm to workers. This is why, as a church, we feel it essential we serve fair trade coffee.
Proverbs 31:8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the
rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the
rights of the poor and needy
Isaiah 58:1-8 You wonder why God is not listening to you? Share your food with everyone who is hungry, your home with the poor and homeless, clothes to those in need. Remove the chains of prisoners who are chained unjustly, free those who are abused. You think only of yourselves and abuse your workers.


We believe that God created the earth and everything in it. We also believe that God left us with a responsibility to care for this earth in a way that would sustain it and not harm it. Organic means grown without pesticides or harmful products, not only is this responsible to the earth but it is responsible to our bodies. When it is available, we can make a statement of choosing organic and thus owning responsibility to care for our earth. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Homestudy Update

Note the chewed spindles 

It’s almost been two years since we completed our first homestudy, which means the time has come for a homestudy update. I was convinced that it would never come to this, it couldn’t possibly take longer than 2 years for an adoption to be completed (sarcasm noted).  But yet I am proven wrong, it actually can possibly take longer than two years, maybe even three years or four, you get the point. So on October 1st our social worker is coming to update us. Not sure what there is to update, we still have no children, still live in the same house, still have a dog, are still married… but yet I am freaking out a little. One wrong move and this lady has the capability to shut down our entire adoption. The past few days I have found myself wondering around the house looking at everything as if I were evaluating whether or not it silently communicates something about our parenting skills or the type of people we are. For example, I have been worrying about the spindles that Lily chewed when she was a puppy, this could show that we are negligent with our dog and therefore will be negligent with a child, or that our dog is vicious and will attack a child. Or the fact that we have no door on our bedroom bathroom, she may think we are disgusting or too care free. I packed up any baby clothes I had stored in the closet for fear she would think we just want a baby and not an older child…as you can see I could drive myself crazy with this. I still have a good week though to go through the house thoroughly, a spring cleaning of sorts or a crazy woman who wants a child so badly she would do anything like scrub the baseboards with a toothbrush, to make sure she didn’t screw this up-cleaning. Either one my house is about to be spotless! I’ll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New blog design coming soon!!

Stay tuned for a new blog design by Nikki Cochrane!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

While we are waiting

I found this scripture the other day,

Isaiah 58: 9-12 (The Message)
A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places
 9-12"If you get rid of unfair practices,
   quit blaming victims,
   quit gossiping about other people's sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
   and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
   your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
   I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
   firm muscles, strong bones.
You'll be like a well-watered garden,
   a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
   rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You'll be known as those who can fix anything,
   restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
   make the community livable again.

I needed to hear it today. I’ve been struggling since school has ended and now that my license exam is over, with finding meaning in life. Not like, what is the purpose of my life, but how can my days be meaningful. I always assumed that when I was finished school that we would get our children or at least be well on the way with it. I did not expect, or maybe I feared to expect, that I would be at the place I am right now; no future prospects of children arriving at my house any time soon. I thought if I obeyed God with going to school for two years, my reward would be a family in the end. And this is what happens with expectation: disappointment when it doesn’t go your way. I am lucky, however, to have a husband who is not only patient with my impatient outbursts, but who is also wise in his counsel. While I sat here panicking that my life was adding up to nothing, he reminded me to find purpose wherever I can; to spend my time with the down and out, to pour into lives while I wait. Little did he know that I had just read Isaiah 58, which he was basically, unknowingly, quoting to me. It’s a good thing we both don’t fall at the same time; it’s nice to have a hand up the mountain when you need it. So I am now looking for meaningful ways to spend my days, including making my work days as meaningful as my non-work days. I have a feeling I will know where to find it.
I especially like the first line about getting rid of unfair practices, I equate this to being ethical consumers, I have been heading this way but I feel I need to continue to pursue this further. And of course when it comes straight out and tells us to give ourselves to the down and out, there is no question of where to find meaning in life. Jesus calls us to take care of the orphans but it’s our definition of orphan that may be making us hold back. An orphan is one without mother or father, but what about the abandoned, the outcast, the minorities, the lonely. I’ve been upset because my heart is to be a mother to orphans, but I am stuck here. I have felt that I can’t fully live out my calling until I can leave Canada, but I’m learning that isn’t completely true. God must have a reason for my waiting, for my being in Edmonton. Although I thought it was just to finish my nursing, I am now realizing there must be more.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The bankruptcy

About a year and three months ago, we got a call telling us that our adoption agency (Imagine Adoption) had gone bankrupt. A month previous to this we had just paid our final instalment, our bills were finished. We rejoiced as we thought that we were getting close as we had now paid off our entire adoption! But when we received this phone call last July, we were crushed. I can't explain to you how we felt, only to say it may have felt something like a miscarriage. We thought we had lost our chance of becoming parents to our Ethiopian baby. That weekend we were scheduled to go camping in Jasper, while we were there, a friend gave me a song to listen to; When the time comes by Jason Upton. I couldn't help the tears from flowing as I listened to the words, "when the time comes I will see forever, when the time comes it'll be alright, when the time comes I will be the one asking why, why did I ever doubt you." I knew then that God would work something out, that he was on our side, going to bat for us. It turned out I was right a few months later our agency was pulled out of bankruptcy, with a few more costs and a six month lag time, we were up and running again. Although it looks as though it will be a few more years till our child comes, the list is still moving. It is painfully slow at this time, almost unbearable. These are the days I must trust that above all, I've got the God of the universe on our side.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just waiting

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 895

We have been waiting for many many days for a child. We have been through many ups and downs in this process, but when looking back, I have to confess we have learned a lot. Many days have proven to be miserable and desperate, but many days have shown to be full of hope and joy.

Hebrews 4:2-3 We received the promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises with faith. If we believe, we’ll experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith.

I equate the miserable and desperate days to a lack of faith. Never have I been tried as hard as I have these past 895 days. I am learning though, that without faith, I will not rest. I have had days were I start to panic or I become bitter because things are not working at my pace or on my schedule. Then I have days were I am reminded that the God of the universe is on my side and he desires to fulfill my dreams, in his timing. These are the days I am at rest, filled with peace that I am on the right track, knowing that the day our baby comes, will be the day God planned for them to finally be in our arms.