Saturday, March 31, 2007

Brea is in Surgery...She's Getting a NEW HEART!!! ** Updated Sunday @ 6:15pm **

Praise God! He has provided a new heart for sweet baby Brea...and at the perfect time! (As He always does!!) She'd been having troubles with bleeding yesterday and while she was being prepped to go back into the OR to stop the bleeding the transplant doctor called to say they have a heart for Brea and it's a PERFECT match!!!

Brea was taken into surgery within the past hour and they've begun to prepare her to receive the new little heart which should arrive at the hospital (from out of state) around 8am Central time which is 9am here. Surgery is expected to take until about 1pm CMT.

I think one of the reasons the family has grabbed onto my heart (sorry, couldn't think of another way the phrase it) is their faith and testimony that is shining through this entire time.

Today while her little girl is in surgery, her mom is not only asking for us to pray for Brea, the doctors, nurses and all involved, she's also thinking of, praying for and asking us to pray for the family who has just lost a young child in order for Brea to have life. So at this time I ask you to please do the same. Please remember Brea and her family but also the family of the child who died in order for Brea to have life.

I will keep you posted as I hear more.

**Update #1 @ 10:30am **
The heart arrived safely (after a little delay because the flight ran into bad weather) but the heart was not compromised. PTL! One of the OR nurses has seen the heart and said it's 'pretty.' Ahhh...

Brea's old heart has been removed and she is currently hooked to a heart/lung bypass machine. The doctors have started to put her new little heart in.

A few days ago Mary (Brea's mommy) mentioned that the helicopter landing pad was above Brea's room so they often heard the helicopters coming and going and prayed. Today the arrival of that helicopter indicated that Brea's heart had arrived! I can't imagine how that must have felt.

Thank you to all for your continued prayers for all. God is in control!

**Update #1 @ 10:30am **
The heart arrived safely (after a little delay because the flight ran into bad weather) but the heart was not compromised. PTL! One of the OR nurses has seen the heart and said it's 'pretty.' Ahhh...

Brea's old heart has been removed and she is currently hooked to a heart/lung bypass machine. The doctors have started to put her new little heart in.

A few days ago Mary (Brea's mommy) mentioned that the helicopter landing pad was above Brea's room so they often heard the helicopters coming and going and prayed. Today the arrival of that helicopter indicated that Brea's heart had arrived! I can't imagine how that must have felt.

Thank you to all for your continued prayers for all. God is in control!

** Update #2 @ 1:30pm **
Brea's new heart is in and beating! Praise God!!!

While doing the transplant surgery the doctors found a blood clot the size of an adult fist. They are still trying to determine the source of the bleeding so that they can fix it. Because of this, Brea is still currently on the heart/lung bypass machine.

Please pray for the doctors as the search for the source of bleeding. Also, for wisdom as to whether to close up her chest wall or leave it open for 48 hours. This is a common practice due to the swelling that can occur during the surgery.

Thank you for the prayers you have already offered up for sweet Brea and also for those that are yet to be offered up to God. She's doing great but the next 48 hours are crucial.

** Update #3 @ 3:50pm **
Brea is out of surgery and her new heart is beating like a champ! Mommy and Daddy have seen her and say her toes are pink and she has better colour than she has had in a while! Praise God!

Thank you for continuing your prayers for this precious baby girl and also for the dear family that lost a child in order for Brea to have life. I pray that God will hold them extra close today and give them the comfort only He can provide.

** Update #4 Sunday @ 6:15pm **
Thank you for praying!! God is answering prayers! Brea is doing AMAZING and is already off the ventilator and was blowing kisses this morning! As can be expected she's uncomfortable when she coughs but overall is bright eyed and happy!

Another answer to prayer has come in the availability of a room for Mary across the street at Ronald McDonald House. Can you believe she's been sleeping in a lounge chair in the waiting room for the past 6 weeks? I'm sure we'd all so it given her situation but she is thankful for the room at RMH.

It is anticipated that Brea will be in the hospital for another 10-14 days and then will be released to live at RMH for 30 additional days. After that she and mommy will need to remain in the Little Rock area for 3-6 more months. Please pray for all the logistics involved in this.

Also, they are having difficulties with insurance covering their medical costs. Please pray that minds will be changed and that existing and new costs will be covered.

Also, please pray for Brea's big sister and brother who are currently living with family in another state (their home state) while mommy and daddy are with Brea.

Thank you for praying! God is hearing our prayers and answering them! Praise God!!

Waiting Mommies...Take 2!

Last night was another fun night out with some new friends. This is a group of single gals in the area that are adopting and we met for dinner for the first time. It was fun getting to know 'Mystery Mom #2' (who chooses to remain anonymous as her referral is still a year or two away and she hasn't told many people) and in the front row l to r are Liz and Cari! We had a great visit at the Mandarin and couldn't believe when 4 hours flew by with us barely moving...well...other than our jaws chatting and laughing!

It was a real treat meeting more new mommies who are also waiting. But, speaking of waiting, it won't be long now for Liz! She found out yesterday that she will be leaving in 2 short weeks to meet her precious Ava!!! What an exciting time that will be! Looking forward to following her journey to Ava online. As we chatted Liz talked about one of my do we pack all the stuff we need to take and still somehow pack all we'll need for 1 week in 1 suitcase that weighs 44lbs. or less?? YIKES!!! When Sharon and I went to Vancouver in January I 'downsized' and my 1 week suitcase for lil' ole me weighed 55lbs! Oh man...I'm in so much trouble! :o) The flights to China aren't the problem as I can take 2 suitcases with a bigger weight limit but once in Beijing I'll board a domestic flight within China to spend a week in Hannah's home province and that's where the suitcase, carrying all I'll need, all Hannah will need (including clothing, diapers, food, medications, etc.) can weigh only 44 lbs. Hmmm...don't tell them yet but I'm sure I'll be begging space in Mom, Dad and Norma's suitcases! ;o)

Congratulations Liz! So excited for you! Also, thank you so much for the adorable ladybug bodysuit, squeezably soft panda and cute little piggy door handle cover!

It was great meeting you Liz, Cari and Mystery Mom 'R'! See you on May 12th at the next Waiting Mommies Dinner!

Note: If you're a waiting mommy in the area and want to join us on May 12th please know that the invitation to attend is open to you! Please email me and I'll put you in my email group to send you more details. So far we have over 20 people on the invite list and acceptances from people in both Canada and our US friends! Too cool! This little group is growing...growing!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

RRRoll Up Ramblings

I'm happy to report that this year's roll up stats are a great improvement on last year's dismal 4/91 winnings. Yeah!

For those new to my blog and living outside the Canadian borders you may not know what 'Roll Up the Rim' is all about. Basically, many Canadians are Tim Horton's coffee drinkers. We're hooked on our Tim's just as many of my US friends enjoy their Starbucks. you can relate! Anyway, once a year in the late winter/early spring they have a contest called 'Roll Up the Rim' to win. You can win cars, iPod's, $$$, TV's and the all important coffee and donuts.

Most people would think, 'oh that's nice' and that would be it. Not in my office! The competition is on!!! We create spreadsheets, flow charts (we are IT people after all) as well as graphs and emails....lots and lots of emails! :o) We brag about our winnings, gloating all the way back to Timmy's. We treat ourselves to cafe mocha with our winning roll ups when normally we wouldn't put out the extra cash. What fun! Honestly, it really is a lot of fun and great for group morale.

This year someone finally did it. Last week Norma's husband John bought her an official 'Rim Roller!' Well look at that! It was only a matter of time before someone came up with a gadget to help us roll up the rim! (My teeth are thankful for the reprieve.) Norma brought hers in Tuesday and by Wednesday night Russ was heading into the city and purchasing stock large enough for our entire group. What one has the others all must have in order to compete on a level playing field! Besides, who doesn't love a new gadget?

Here's a demo of the first time I tried Norma's Rim Roller:

You can see I needed practice. So I've practiced 11 (yes e-l-e-v-e-n) times with my new Rim Roller and have not won anything since!! I have a defective Rim Roller! It only rolls up 'Please Play Again' or, as we prefer to refer to it 'Please Pay Again'.

So there you have it folks. The latest and greatest in this year's Roll Up the Rim contest. I'm happy to say that I've won 4 coffees and 2 donuts from the umm...*cough* *cough* 51 coffees (yes...I keep track!) I've bought! If you're wondering how this might be affecting me I'd say, 'Not at all!' and here's a picture to prove it! :o)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Brief Brea Update

Thank you for continuing to pray for sweet Brea. She came through the surgery very well and her little body is comping well with the Berlin Heart. An exciting thing is that the doctor's are very pleased with how well she is doing and have said that if a heart became available for her today she would be strong enough to receive it! Please continue to pray for Brea, her family as well as the doctors and nurses who are caring for her.

Another special prayer request today is for insurance to cover the Berlin Heart. The insurance company has given them 2 (impossible) options to cover the cost of the Berlin heart. God is bigger than any insurance company so we're praying that He will intervene and that the cost will be covered.

For more details on how Brea is doing, please click here.

Thank you for praying!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

1 Year LID Celebration Gifts for Hannah and Mommy!!

Oh what happy times!!! 1 year behind me.... ?? months before me? Praising God for the excitement, peace and love He is providing as I travel this amazing journey to meet the daughter He has waiting for me in China!

Yesterday and today have been wonderful days of celebration! Little things like sharing a coffee with good friends. Norma and I do this almost every day yet I still cherish the time this wonderful friend and I share together each day. After work yesterday afternoon it was coffee and cookies with a dear friend that I sang with for a number of years. I left her home with a song in my heart after sharing wonderful conversation together, and a car full of clothes for Hannah! (I'll post ore about that later.) This morning Joy and I went for coffee and enjoyed starting our day together. (Hmmm...can you tell it's Roll up time? But that is for another post as I have many fun things to share about that!)

Today for lunch my mom, dad, my brother Dave, Uncle Tim and Aunt Chris went to The Mandarin and enjoyed an amazing Chinese buffet lunch together. Still stuffed and it's 5 hours later!

After lunch I picked up these beautiful long stemmed pink roses! Oh, aren't they beautiful?!!! Normally my LIDiversary celebration flowers are small bouquets of flowers but I wanted to do something special to celebrate 1 year of waiting. Wanting to be wise with my finances I prepared myself that roses would probably be out of the question. Can you believe this beautiful bouquet of 1 dozen baby pink, long stemmed roses was $14.99? read it right! Norma had mentioned that the A&P near her had a beautiful floral section and I am so she did. I'll be going there again for sure! It won't be roses each month but I'll let you in on a little secret...the next time I treat myself to a dozen baby pink, long stemmed roses there will be a sweet little face peeking through the petals!!!

Today I celebrated with a treat for Hannah's room too. Sharon and I found this adorable, fun rug a few weeks back but I decided I wanted to wait for a special occasion to buy it. was the day! I took it home and put it beside the picture Mom and Dad had bought Hannah last month and the colours complimented each other wonderfully! (Just a side note - If you look at the wall behind the picture, that's the old colour and the wall behind the flowers is the new colour. Still am not finished but have 3 walls done and am very happy with how it's coming.)

Thank you so much for all the good wishes and congrats that were sent my way this past couple of days. I am so thankful for this place where I can celebrate with friends old and new!

Celebrating 1 year logged in, 1 year closer to Hannah....and friendships!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Celebrating!!! 1 YEAR LIDiversary Today!! *** Video Added ***

Yeah!!! Celebrating being 1 year closer to my precious Hannah!

Praising God for His faithfulness and the patience He is granting during this longer than anticipated wait.

As promised....a perfect video to celebrate this wonderful day! A blast from my past and possibly yours too. Found this a few months back and was saving it for today. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Please Pray for Brea's Heart Surgery Today ** Updates At End **

Sweet Brea needs your prayers today. Her little heart is fighting hard right now but unable to fight as hard as it needs to. A miracle has been worked by God! Today Brea will have major surgery which will attach her to a 'Berlin heart' until a donor heart is received. (For a similar story about the Berlin Heart machine please click here.)

Today's surgery is orchestrated by God above as the Berlin heart machine has not received FDA approval for normal use but the FDA did approve it for her! He also opened the doors for the machine to be brought from Germany and also the surgeon to come from Germany too! God is so good.

This is a precious family who is trusting God with the care of their beautiful baby girl. Brea came home from China last fall and has an older brother and sister. Please pray for all those involved with her surgery today and also that in His time, God would provide a new heart. The parents have mentioned how hard it is to pray for a new heart for their little girl knowing that another family will have to lose a child in order for a heart to be available. How difficult that must be!

Today, we're lifting Brea and all those involved in her surgery before the throne of grace. Our God is an Awesome God!!!

** Update #1 from Brea's blog 11:47am **
The OR nurse has updated us several times and her chest was opened around 9:30 am. Her VSD (her special need) was repaired first and her heart began to beat again as soon as the heart bypass machine was unclamped. The VSD repair was needed so the Berlin heart could work properly. We were told that they would use a patch to repair the VSD but when the surgeon got to it the repair only required stitching! The OR nurse said the Berlin heart was being primed when he left the OR to update us and they hope to have at least one of the canulas (sp?) installed by noon.
This is only a portion of the update. Further information available here.

** Update #2 @ 2:15pm **
The Berlin Heart is in and working great! The surgeons are just now closing her chest and we will be able to see her around 3:00 PM central time. I will update again as soon as I have more information and have seen her.

Thank you for your many prayers. Please continue to pray for healing, recovery and for little Judah.


Praise God!!! Thank you for praying and your continued prayers!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

This afternoon I received a short, beautiful note from my cousin Bridget. It made me cry. Then I called her and cried again!

Her note said, 'Hey Cath,

Just to let you know that our tradition carried on again this St. Patrick's Day. The kids and I picked out some flowers (including green carnations, of course!) and delivered them to Grandma and Grandpa's grave this afternoon. It was the first time the kids really understood why we did it and it was interesting to realize that this is the 10th anniersary of our tradition. Can you believe it? Where does the time go? Hopefully, time will seem to move just as quickly in your wait for Hannah. Can't wait until the day you and Hannah can join us in delivering the flowers. Have a great day!
Bridge :)'

OK, Is there any question why I cried? I love Bridget and her kids so much. She and I are the only girl cousins in a sea of boys and are amazingly close considering there is almost 10 years between us in age and we have never lived closer than 400kms from one another. We're just close because we're family and we make the time for one another when we are together.

Found out today that Bridget, her hubby and 5 great kids may be coming to stay with me Easter weekend. Yeah! It will be sleeping bags from one end of my house to the other...and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Love ya Bridge!! Hope to see you in a few weeks!

Waiting Mommies Dinner #3

What fun! Last evening we enjoyed out bi-monthly Waiting Mommies Dinner. This time we went to the Lone Star. Yumm!

(It's tough finding places for larger groups that take reservations. Does anyone have suggestions for a place close to the 401 in west-end TO? Next time we're trying to head west but I'm not as familiar with places out there. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.)

Last night our fun group was our photographer 'D', and (back row l to r) Andrea, Michelle, Paula, myself, (front row):Jill, Kathy, and Laurie.

When we go out for these dinners we look (but don't always sound) like a quiet group of ladies enjoying a night out. Then the gift giving begins and oh what fun it is! Last night our waitress came to us and said, 'My manager just came to me and said, "Your group of ladies have a table full of gifts...all baby gifts!"' (Which I'm thinking must be a funny look as none of us 'look' pregnant!) She told us what her manager had said and we shared that we're all adopting from China. She was a young gal and thrilled! She came back after that and said we were the talk of the restaurant staff and they were excited to hear our news! Some even came up and congratulated us. I love the way so many people are excited about what we're doing. We sure are so it's fun when others are too!

I often think when making reservations for these dinners how fun it will be to say, 'A table for 16 please...8 adults and 8 highchairs!' Hmmm...wonder if the wait staff will be as excited to see us then when leave enough food to feed a small country on the floor around our table? ;o)

Once again Miss Hannah was spoiled by some precious friends last night. She has a cute little 'The princess sleeps here' hanger for her door (already hanging on her door) and princess picture frame from 'D'. Thanks also for the fabric 'd'! Andrea's treats were a receiving blanket, headband and adorable pink socks. Jill and I found these cute little ladybug chocolates...mmmm and Kathy baked up a storm during her March Break.

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful gifts but even more for your friendship! I look forward to these evenings and am so happy to be getting to know each and every one of you...even when I can't remember your names! LOL!!

Mark your calendars ladies - Saturday, May 12th is our next dinner!! Time and location to be announced later. Invite your friends...the more the merrier! Another fun thing is that by the next dinner our camera-shy friend 'D' can be revealed as she will have her referral! She'll be a MOMMY! We're all so excited for you 'D'!!! Praying for you as you receive your referral in the next few weeks. Wahoo!!!

Until next time friends....

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Meeting Baby

Norma and I headed over to her daughter's place yesterday and I had the priviledge of hanging out with my little friend Alyssa and meeting her new baby sister Madelyn! She's adorable and oh so tiny!

Look at that hair! I don't know that I've ever met a baby with quite so much hair and it's oh so soft! Mmmmm...babies!

As I held this precious new baby I was also praying for Hannah and her birth mother. Lifting them before our Lord. Praying He'll be with each of them today.

Alyssa was only too pleased to pose for some pics and then to also show me her spinning abilities in the jolly jumper. Hey...there are some advantages to being a petit 3yo. Jolly jumpers are great for babies to jump in and 3 year olds to spin in! Phew...I was getting dizzy just watching her.

Congrats again Kristy and Darin. You have a beautiful family!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Please Pray for Baby Brea

Breann is a precious 21 month old baby girl who joined her forever family in October of 2006. Brea was born with a small hole in her heart so was a waiting child. Sadly she has now contracted a totally unrelated virus that has attacked her heart. She is on a ventilator and sedated much of the time.

She was diagnosed last month with Dialated Cardiomyopathy. One third of all children with this condition will recover with medication, one third will not respond to medication and will need a heart transplant or will not survive and one third will regain some function and will live on medications for the rest of their life. Her family, friends and church family are praying that Brea is in the 1st one third of the equation.

Brea is currently on a ventilator and many medications and has also been added to a heart transplant waiting list. She and her mommy are at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, AR while her daddy, sister and brother are in Louisiana. Please pray for this family as they are separated at such a difficult time in their lives.

Our God is a God of miracles! Please pray for little Brea as we wait to see what God has planned for her.

I have also added a link to Brea's website to the top of my sidebar. Her mommy updates her situation daily and provides specific things we can pray about.

Thank you to all of you who lift this little one up in prayer to our Lord!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March 'Break'??? **update: video added**'s March Break week! Many of my friends had the right idea and headed south to enjoy Disney, swimming, relaxing and shopping. (Not necessarily in that order.)

I in turn decided it was time to finally tackle the main floor redecorating I've wanted to do for the past 3 years. I liked the wallpaper when I first put it up but tired of it a few years ago. Just hadn't been brave enough to take on this job. You need to know how much I dislike painting. Not sure why. Just don't enjoy it at all.

I live in a small town- house that has an open concept main floor. With the exception of the front hall I'm going to repaint the rest of the walls. This small room serves a number of purposes, one of which is that it's my teaching room. My piano students are off this week because of the break but they'll be back next Tuesday so I need to be finished. *gulp* My first challenge was in starting to move things about to get to the walls. I've come to realize that this will have to be a painting project done in stages. If I hope to reach my kitchen sink, fridge or sofa at all during this time, I'll need to do one or 2 walls at a time and then put the stuff back against them and move forward from there.

Saturday morning I woke with great anticipation of beginning my March break project.'re reading that right. It was 7:19am and I had my Tim's coffee (with a losing roll-up) in hand. I was ready to begin! Where was I at this early hour on a Saturday?

Home Depot! Drove up, parked, went into the store, reviewed the sale flyer...and then went back to the car as I'd forgotten to take in the 2 gift cards I had on hand to help me out with my project. (Thanks again Dave and Joy. Wanna come paint?)

My friend Norma had stopped by one night last week and helped me decide on a colour. 'Calming Retreat.' Sounds perfect and I like the colour on the small chip. Hmmm...sure hope I like the walls as well. Time will tell. I'm fairly confident that I will though as one of the biggest hang-ups I'd had about this project was selecting a colour I'd be happy with. Once she showed me this one I was excited to begin!

I took about an hour picking up all the materials I thought I'd need: Paint, primer, rollers, brush, painter's tape, wallpaper remover, stuff to fix the gouges I'll take out of the wall when I remove the wallpaper, sandpaper to sand the filler stuff and a couple of nifty pouring spouts for the paint cans. All set and it was only 8am! The day was young and I was off to a good start.

Now, if you know me you'll know I'm the Queen of Procrastination! Oh baby am I ever! I procrastinate when I have to do things I like so working up to something I'm not looking forward to is so much worse!

Case in point: Knowing I was going to start this project on Saturday I still called Sharon Friday afternoon to see if she might want to hang out on Saturday. She called me around 9 and before you could say 'wallpaper' I was out the door for a day of shopping fun! :o) See...p-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n! (I didn't confess my Home Depot shopping to her until we were on our way to the mall. :o)

We had a great day shopping and visiting together and I arrived home around 6pm. Did I start then? Nah! It was the night of daylight savings time so instead I told myself it was kinda like 7pm and really too late to start. (Read: Procrastinating.)

Sunday afternoon I finally started prepping by cleaning out some cupboards and bookshelves that would need to be moved. It felt so good to be starting!

Tonight was the night to continue with the project. Little did I know when I woke up this morning the great little helper that would come my way! Mom and Dad had a meeting to attend so Mom asked me if I could watch Rebecca. Sure! We had supper, played a few games and then I 'let her' strip the wallpaper. I tell you...I was the best Auntie ever! She had a blast... honestly! She kept saying she was having so much fun and was considering a job of ripping paper as a profession when she's an adult. (Gotta love kids!) Hmmm...I'm sure she'll change her mind but in the meantime she was a big help!

So here's where we're at: Cabinet and bookcase have been cleaned out and moved. Majority of the wallpaper's outer layer is gone. Next steps: Prime and paint the first wall, move the furniture back and then begin to make my way around the room stripping the walls of the paper backing of the wallpaper then priming and painting.

Ugh...lots to do! Anybody wanna go for coffee or shopping? I'm available! LOL!!!

PS - Thanks for the help Boo!! You're the best helper ever!!

Here's my Little Helper in action!

Happy Birthday Sharon!

I am so thankful for the friendship God has blessed us with!

Happy Birthday friend!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Thank You to my SP and the 'Mystery Gifter!'

I received another wonderful gift from my secret pal last week! With all the excitement of making it through the review room I decided to hold off posting about the great gifts she sent until this week. I don't know who you are SP, but if you also received the great news that you're through the review room...CONGRATULATIONS!!! That would mean our LID's are close together and there is a small chance we could be in China together. That would be great!

February's gift theme was 'Cuddle Me Close To Your Heart - Bedtime and Snuggling Items.' My SP sent a wonderful selection of bedtime items. Firstly, a Dora CD called 'World Adventures.' (Can you believe I've never watched an entire Dora episode? Bet I won't be saying that 2 years from now!!!)

After we watch the CD it will be bath time and pajama time. She sent an absolutely adorable penguin pj set with a cute hooded robe. I've wanted to pick up a robe for her and now she has one. Thanks SP! (My friend Krista is penguin crazy!! I'll think of her as well as my SP when Hannah wears these adorable pj's)

After she's all cleaned up, snuggly and almost ready for bed it will be time to read her a story, prayer time and then off to bed....I hope! :o) This fun, colourful book about Disney Princesses will be just perfect!

Thanks SP! Once again your gifts are perfect!! Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and kindness!

I also received another treat in the mail last week. I went to the mailbox and this fun surprise was waiting. I love ladybugs and this cute magnet now holds a prime spot on the fridge where I can see it daily. Thank you Mystery Gifter!! I won't blow your cover...just wanted to say thanks!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Just a quick reminder for those affected that Daylight Savings Time begins over night tonight. Yeah! It's time to spring ahead. Longer evenings are coming our way! Does this mean spring is just around the corner? I sure hope so!

Happy Birthday Dad!!

Today is my Dad's birthday. Always a reason to celebrate although like many of us he's thinking he's had enough birthdays and is just willing to help others celebrate theirs.

I'll have none of that! Happy Birthday Dad!!

Last Saturday my sweet niece Rebecca turned 8! did that happen? She celebrated on Saturday by having a kids party then Sunday we had a family party for she and dad together.

It was fun to surprise her at lunch and bring her friend Victoria with us.

Happy Birthday Boo!!

Love you both tons!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

CELEBRATING!!! My Dossier is in the MATCHING ROOM!!!

What an exciting moment it was yesterday to wake up and see with my very own eyes that CCAA's website had been updated to read, 'The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before March 31, 2006.' Yipeee!!! That's me!

The Review Room was (so nice to type that in past tense!) where CCAA went through each piece of my dossier with a fine-toothed comb, looking at every piece of paper and bit of information and ensuring themselves that I met all their requirements. Although I didn't anticipate any problems in the review room it was still a HUGE relief when I realized that this big step was behind my and my file had been moved into the Matching Room! Wow....My dossier is in the MATCHING ROOM!!!

The Matching Room (pic on the left) is where God will bring my dossier and Miss Hannah's file together. He will use a CCAA staff member to do this but I know that the match was created by God long ago and now is His perfect time He will merge our lives together. It will begin as 2 pictures being matched. Then 2 files being matched and a short time later 2 people will meet; forever to be Mother and Daughter! ( goosebumps typing that!)

I anticipate the wait in the Matching Room to be about as long as the (almost) year I've been in the Review Room but surprises could happen and it could be sooner. As things are playing out now, I anticipate receiving Hannah's referral in January or February of 2008 and holding her in my arms for the very first time in March or April of 2008! My adoption journey is more than 26 months old now so 12 more doesn't seem too bad.

All in God's time. His perfect time! I'm willing to wait however long it is as He continues to lead each and every step of the way.

I want to say THANK YOU to all reading this who are supporting my adoption journey through your love, prayers, caring, questions and support. Each of you are very important and I am so thankful for each of you. Some family have known me since, well....before I was born. Other people have become friends with over years and still others are new friends who I've met through this amazing journey of International adoption. It's a long process but I wouldn't change one moment of it! I'm learning, growing, being stretched and more than anything, being reminded daily to trust God as He leads and directs each step.

'Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. '
Proverbs 3: 5, 6

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Welcome Sweet Baby!

What a difference a few hours can make!
My friend's daughter had a beautiful baby girl last night. Her 3yo daughter and I played, sang songs and watched Blues Clues at home while Mommy and Daddy went to the hospital. Here's Mommy at 5:15 last evening and just a 'short' 5 1/2 hours later (says the babysitter who was hanging out at the house, not giving birth) their beautiful baby girl entered the world.

Isn't she precious? She's a tiny little munchkin although Daddy said this morning that her lungs work just fine!
Here's a proud big sister holding her new baby sister. Aren't they adorable?!!

Congratulations Mommy and Daddy, Grandma and Papa! Can't wait to meet your beautiful daughter/granddaughter!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

It's an Odd Kind of Feeling

In the past week I've come to realize there is much in my daily life that I take for granted. One morning last week there was a power outage in the area for 3 hours, from 3:30am to 6:30am. It was the little things like getting the car out of the garage after having to manually release the electric garage door opener and also drying my hair after a candlelight shower (not nearly as romantic as it sounds as hey...I was alone and was getting cold in the house!) that caused me to realize how much I take electricity for granted. Flip a switch and the room lights up...or not. The 'not' was hard to get used to as was evidenced by the numerous rooms that filled with light when the power came back on as room after room I'd flipped the switch out of habit even though I knew the power was off.

Case #2: A few weeks back there was a refinery fire. I've heard of it happening before but don't remember being directly impacted as we have been this time.

Last Saturday the tv and radio stations were mentioning that there could be some sort of gas shortage coming up due to the refinery fire but they didn't seem to be saying enough to cause panic...or in my case, cause me to fill up my tank. Yes I put in $25.00 which took me to about 3/4 of a tank and figured I'd wait for the prices to come down before completely filling up.

Fast forward 24 hours and this was what I drove by after leaving church. Station after station displaying nothing but zeros in their price field. Yup...they were completely out of gas. Hmmm...weird. It just felt...weird...and a little sureal. Here in Canada I don't ever remember a time that we completely ran out of gas at stations. I remember during the blackout of 2003 we couldn't get gas for a day or so due to most of the province being without power but never stations running out of gas.

As I drove to meet my parent's for lunch that Sunday I decided to err on the side of caution, pay a hugely inflated price for gas of 99.9 cents/litre (when it had been 77 cents just a few days prior) and fill my tank. Just wanted peace of mind. Thankfully my car is amazing on gas and that lone tank has taken me over 450km this past week and I still have over a quarter of a tank left.

About the gas shortage, it's still happening. One day a station has gas (with inflated prices and long lines snaking around the block) and the very next day it's closed because it has run out. It's hard to be loyal to one particular company right now as basically people are just going to whatever station they can find that's open.

They say it's getting better and I hope they're right. Time will will my pocket book as I'm sure they'll use this excuse to keep gas prices high for a very long time.

I'm not sure how far spread this shortage is. I think it's limited to Canada but might be wrong about that. Have you been affected?

Friday, March 02, 2007

What a Treat!

Living on my own I quickly realized when I moved in that I was capable of doing more fix-it stuff around the house than I originally gave myself credit for. Within the first week of moving into the house my VCR went on the fritz so I purchased a new one. Rather than wait for Dad or one of my brothers to hook it up I gave it a whirl and voila...Tool Girl was born!

Don't be too skills are very limited and I still need to call on my dad or brothers to help me out (although lately I've decided to add CJ) to my list of fix-it (aka...hellllp) buddies! Man...that girl can do 'bout anything! Too bad she lives 8 hours away! :o(

Anyway, back to the original reason for this post. One skill I haven't attempted yet is to learn how to do anything electrical. To be honest, it scares me to death! In order for me to install a new light fixture it would involve shutting off the power supply to the entire city if not half my provice just for me to feel comfortable that I'm not going to electricute myself! Oh yah....they call me Tool Girl! LOL!

One night this week when a piano student arrived her dad came with her. Pretty normal occurrance. Some read; some sleep; some work, but not this guy. He arrived and asked me to put him to work! We've been friends for years and I knew he was serious so I quickly ran to the basement and pulled out these 4 light fixtures that I'd purchased over 2 years ago but just hadn't had anyone to install them yet.

Voila! 45 mins. later 4 new light fixtures and one very happy piano teacher! And the best thing...he told me to keep track of any other little repairs I need done and he'll take care of them next time. Wahoo! Gotta love it when you can create a 'Honey Do' list for someone else's honey!

Thanks Mystery Man! I asked if I could take his pic but he said he was blog shy. :o)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Praying This Will Be Me This Time Next Year!

Holt International has created this beautiful video! If you haven't had the opportunity to see any 'gotcha day/family day' videos...or even if you'll want to watch this movie. It's a beautiful snippit of what happens in the lives of babies and families the day they meet. You may want to grab a tissue before watching.

Praying for Hannah already and they day that we will meet one another face to face for the very first time!

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