Friday, April 29, 2011

This Week...

This week we are going to Mexico!! We decided a few months ago that we needed to go on a vacation. I am so glad we decided that as I feel this is one of the most needed vacations I have ever been on. We are spent, burnt out, tired and in need of some alone time.
Riu Jalisco, our destination of choice!!! In one day we will be a speck on the beach!
This week on Apr. 30, Winter Emergency Response will come to an end. Arnie and I have spent the last six months co-managing WER at the Mosaic Centre. I must admit that Arnie was there most of the time since I have been working so much lately. I'm not sure how to wrap up the last six months quickly, it was amazing, exhausting, worth every minute and draining. We made so many friends, built numerous relationships and now, tomorrow, it is all over. I am sad, but I knew it was time. We rarely had days off so we are tired, exhausted, but somehow there is a feeling of satisfaction. We spent ourselves on the outcast of society, the  marginalized people who need love. Arnie will be continuing at Mosaic, but he will be working part time in the day program...and we will be opening on Sunday nights cause we just couldn't bare to let it go!!

This week on May 5, we will celebrate our five year anniversary. Five years ago Arnie and I eloped. We gathered the family, headed down to the park and got married! Best decision I have ever made, other than to follow Jesus. Our entire dating period was spent with me living in Costa Rica working in an orphanage. We dated for 10 months before Arnie proposed. He came to pick me up in BC, after I got home from Costa Rica and proposed at the Harrison Hot Springs. We moved back to Edmonton where we were to live at his parents until we got married. On the monday after I moved in, I asked if we could just get married. Arnie was in complete agreement so arrangements were made and we got married on the Friday. Some may say we are crazy and a lot did say we were crazy...but when you know, you know. I've never regretted marrying Arnie, he is perfect for me and I am perfect for him!!

A picture from our reception in Sept.
This week two years ago on May 7, our dossier (file) landed in Ethiopia. It had taken us a year to find an agency, get our homestudy done and prepare all our docments. May 7 2009, our official wait began. We are praying that the wait will soon be over.

This coming week on May 8, Mother's Day will be celebrated. This has always been the hardest day for me. Since my Mother passed away when I was 6, I have not celebrated this day. I would sometimes turn it into Happy Aunt's Day, but it was never Mother's Day for me. I enjoyed making cards and gifts for my Aunt Lois but in my little head it truly was Aunt's Day. It has gotten harder recently as every year goes by and my longing to be a Mother gets stronger and stronger. Sometimes it feels like the world is mocking me on this day. My husband tries every year to make sure this day is not a heart wrenching experience, but try as he may, it just is. This year we will be flying home from Mexico on May 8...maybe things will be different.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Curse vs. Blessing

I have been listening to this song a lot lately (the one playing on my blog). The artist, Jason Upton, was adopted; this song is about his adoption. I was really listening to the lyrics today, I am so amazed at his view of his life and his adoption. I began hoping and praying for our child, praying that one day they will view their life in a similar way. I could only imagine that there will be times that my child could view their life in a negative way. Asking, "Why did this happen to me?"or "Why didn't my birth parents want me?" I can only pray that eventually one day, they can see their life as a blessing, that they will see God's plan in it all, and that they will marvel at God's grace and love. 

I have written briefly on this before, but I feel that I can relate to the idea of this situation with our infertility. I have, at times, viewed it as a curse from God, wondering why he did this to us. But as I grow and begin to unfold and see the plan that he had and has for us, I begin to view this as a blessing. I was telling a lady a little of our situation the other day and actually began to well up with tears when I started to talk about how lucky we are that we get to adopt. I spoke of how happy I am that God chose and allowed us to go down this route and how much I already love our little black son or daughter with all my heart. It has occurred to me that I need to start opening my eyes in every situation to try and find the blessing in the "curse". 

We continue to pray for our child and will till the day we die. I am praying today, that one day they will see their adoption as a blessing rather than a curse. That they will see God's love and compassion in their story and find healing in that.

Great River Road

I was born where the rivers run
Native blood runs through my veins
I was born where the eagles come
Waiting till the winter fades 

I was born an endangered son
I was spared by a mother?s dream
I was saved by the power of love
I was snatched from the fire of greed 

Great river road where justice rolled
Let it roll, let it roll down
Great river road where healing flowed
Let it flow, let it flow now 

I was born to an orphaned son
I was seed from a broken life
I was just like the other ones
Waiting on the other side 

I was born because freedom won
Mother sent me down the stream
I was saved by the power of love
I was snatched from the fire of greed

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Everything is lining up

It occurred to me yesterday, that somehow everything is lining up for us to go to Ethiopia. No, we did not receive our phone call we are waiting for, but God is bringing everything together in preparation of us leaving. Just when I start to loose hope, I realize that God just might be up to something still.

This week we gained two new roommates, my brother and sister in law! We had asked them to watch our house while we are in Ethiopia for six months, but they have decided to come early and to stay indefinitely. They love community, as do we, so they are sticking around for a while. I'm excited to have them!

Over a year ago when we decided to stay in Ethiopia while we wait for our child's Visa, we set a goal for the amount of money we would need in order to be able to stay six months. We included 3-4 round trip flights, emergency flights, house rental money, travelling around money, food, and fun money. We recently filed our taxes and thanks to a great government adoption allowance, me being in school and just starting to work and Arnie's surgery, we got a nice return! We thank God for this provision. We put it straight in the bank, and guess what, we reached our exact goal!! We originally thought we would need to sell our car, we actually tried to sell our car but for some reason it did not sell. Well, God has provided all that we need and we still have our car!

On a smaller note, I have a casual position at work, that has turned into a casual full time position. I am the only casual, so I cover for all the nurses when they take time off, which has resulted in an almost full time position. I am thankful for the experience, but I knew that I would not be around forever, so I asked if they would consider hiring another casual. They actually listened to my request and she starts next week. I will still get the first pick of shifts, but at least I can turn some down and know that someone else will pick them up. Also when I leave, she will have my position, so I am covered!

So, as you can see, we are ready to go! We aren't being hasty and planning on leaving anytime, it has just happened that all these things have fallen into place. I don't want to read into it too far or place expectation on when we will leave, I am just happy that all the stress is taken care of if the day ever comes that we get to go. It seems like that day is just a fairy tale, but I know my God is good. He is not cruel and although things may not turn out as we have planned, He has a better plan for us. He is orchestrating the whole thing. It's going to be great, just watch as my God begins to reveal his plan!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

To lighten the mood I'm in...

We got a couple new throw cushions. They are in the shape of dogs. They go great with the couch!

And to replace the dogs who are now stuffed cushions, we got a human dog. He was born with human appearance, but is all dog on the inside. You may mistake him for a two year old, but rest assured, he is a dog trapped inside a human body!

He plays dog...

Speaks dog...

and, simply, just is dog.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Sitting, waiting, lingering in limbo. We have been here for many months. It's as if we are almost on the top of a mountain, but we are still stuck on the trial in the trees, with no view from the top. This place is a hard place to be, it is a frustrating place to be. Often we look back on the trial and wonder why we climbed so high only to make it almost to the top. Other times we keep our heads up and keep trekking forward. We often trip and fall, landing on our faces. Sometimes we will get up immediately and keep fighting, other times we will stay down to tired and weak to get back up. We are still fighting, we are pursuing forward with our lives, following God where he is leading us...but sometimes we wonder why we started to climb in the first place. We know that this is a place God wants us for now, but we can't help but hope for the day we can reach the top, look out and see the view; see what we have been climbing for this whole time. We have been searching for something to sell ourselves for. Yes, we have sold ourselves for Jesus, but we are longing for the day we can see what it is he is directing us to for the long term. Will we be here, will we be in Africa, will we have a family or will we go back to school...? I know that when the time is right, God will answer the's just not an easy place to be for the mean time. We won't ever give up pursuing God's heart, but I think it is ok to be 'real' on the journey.

Shane and Shane
Psalm 13 :

How long oh Lord will You forget me
how long oh Lord will You hide
hide Your face from me
how long must I wrestle with me
and everyday have sorrow in my heart
sorrow in my heart

I will wait on You
I will wait on You
I will wait on You

look on me Lord and answer me
give my eyes light or i will sleep in death
I will sleep in death
my enemies say "i will overcome him"
and my foes rejoice even when I fall
I dont want to fall

for I will trust in Your unfailing love
my heart rejoices in Your salvation
I will sing to the Lord

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Expectations in a box

Over the last month, God has taught me many lessons, one of them being about my expectations. He showed me, how over the past years, I have unknowingly been placing huge expectations on him. We are reading a book called Emotional Purity with the youth girls. I went into this study thinking I would teach the youth all about being emotionally pure...I got a few weeks into it, when I realized that God had quite a few things to teach me. In one chapter it talks about our expectations, we expect to get married, we expect for things to take a certain amount of time, we expect to get what we want, and in my case, we expect to have children. What God showed me through this is that I had placed many expectations on him to make me a mother. Don't get me wrong, it is not wrong that I desire these things, but it is wrong that I would seek to take them under my control and get angry when things don't go as I feel they should. God has shown me that he has a gift for me, if I place expectations of what I think this gift should be, I will only be disappointed if it ends up anything different then I had thought. I am also, in a way, saying that I know what is best and that I am right.

When we met for youth Bible study, we all decided we needed to start getting our expectations under control (mainly I needed to haha). When I was alone, God brought to my attention the closet full of expectations I had upstairs. By saying a closet full of expectations, I mean, a closet full of baby, toddler and children's clothes. Every time I expected a certain child, I would buy things for them. So in my closet I have newborn clothes, baby clothes, toddler clothes and 4 year old clothes. I have now packed these items up and put them in my basement. I am not sure what I will do with them, but I know that I need to lay aside the expectations that they represent.

You may think I am all sad and sorrowful at this time, but honestly, I am so full of joy and anticipation. I can't wait to receive God's gift for us rather than our own idea of what our gift should be. I am so excited to see what he has in store. I know it will be great, it will not be what I expected but it will be what he expected. He reminded me that when I sit and try to figure everything out, dates and timelines, that it is like opening the wrapping of my Christmas present a week early then putting it back under the tree. When it comes to Christmas morning, the excitement is gone because I sneaked. So, for now, I am waiting for Christmas morning to come in all it's glory, full of surprise and untainted by false expectations!

Having fun with my niece, Dakary, who came to visit me last week from BC!!

Seaweed masks!

Beautiful Dak and Oli!