Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Blessings Upon Blessings!!!

People have been so generous in sending blessings for Hannah's Book and I wanted to share the latest additions with you. (Unfortunately my scanner was out of order for over 8 months so some of these are l-o-n-g overdue. Sorry friends!) Without further adieu I want to share with you the scrapbook pages that people have made for Hannah's Blessings Book.

Blessing #46 from the Dakters Family of Ohio
I met this precious family the week they received their referral! Even though we haven't seen one another for almost 2 years we still keep touch via email and it's fun to watch their family growing up.


Blessing #47 from M's Family


Blessing #48 from the Stephens Family of Arizona


Blessing #49 from the Brown Family of Utah
The Brown family recently returned from China with their wonderful son Kai! It was quite the journey home but God has blessed them over and over again and Kai is doing really well and I'm sure his 4 big sisters are enjoying having a little brother to love.


Blessing #50 from my coworker MaryAnne
MaryAnne and I have worked together for many years and she's a great friend! As you can see she knows my love for Disney and incorporated that in her fun layout. She cross-stitched the picture of Minnie and it will be fun to add pictures of Hannah in the spots she left. Thanks MaryAnne!!



Blessing #51 from Wela, Pat of California
Wela is Mary-Mia's Mom and she quickly became a special friend during my visit in January! Looking forward to seeing you again soon Wela! Is it July yet? Love ya!


So many wonderful people have already sent blessings for Hannah's Book. If you would like to see all the pages that have already been made for Hannah, you can do so by clicking here.

It's always a treat to add more pages of love for Hannah so if you would like to make a page for her book that would be great!! Here's some information about how you can contribute to Hannah's Blessings Book.

Monday, April 28, 2008

April Updates

Tricia, Nate and Gwyneth Rose
I wanted to wait until I heard back from Nate to see if he would mind if I posted a couple of pics and he gave the 'go ahead' so here are a few pics to share with you:

Family pic, April 26, 2008


In my last post I mentioned how Gwyneth Rose had grown since her mommy's surgery. Here's the pics to show you how God has strengthend this precious little girl! (You can use the little Pug as a guide) Wow...what a difference 3 weeks can make!!!


April 1, 2008 (the day before mommy's surgery)


April 23, 2008 (just 3 weeks and 1 day later! WOW!!!)

God is SO good! Please continue to pray for this precious family. Their story is reaching around the world and with it, the truth of God's handiwork in their lives and His love is reaching around the world with it!!

25 Month LIDiversary Tulips
Here they are!

This weekend I was treated to seeing Hannah's beautiful tulips burst forth in all of their glory! I'm going to save the bulbs once their finished blooming (and whatever else needs to happen. Better read up on that) and then plant them in the garden in the fall. I get goose bumps thinking that next time these bulbs are in bloom I should be very close to seeing Hannah's picture for the very first time! Now if that's not encouragement I don't know what is!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tricia and Gwyneth are Doing Great!!

So many of you prayed and God has answered in a wonderful way!!!

Just 3 short weeks after Tricia's double lung transplant she has been relased from the hospital and now she and Nate continue her recovery from a nearby hotel. She is in a physical therapy day program for post transplant patients and at the same time they are spending as much time with Gwyneth Rose as they can. Their little peanut is now a whopping 4 lbs. which is 1 lb. 9oz more than when I first shared Tricia's transplant with you just 3 weeks ago!! Good growing Gwyneth Rose!! April 10th she was moved out of the NICU and has been moved into a 'big girl bed.' (They teased that they had to put both sides of the crib up since her new freedom from the NICU allowed her to climb out of bed! LOL!!)

Lord willing, both of Nate's girls will be ready to head home (real home as opposed to hotel home) in about a month or so!!

Here are a couple of video's of Tricia, Nate and Gwyneth's story:

Beautiful news video of their family and the miracle double lung transplant

Video of Tricia leaving hospital

God is SO good and has blessed this family in amazing ways!! Thank you for praying!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Celebrating 25 Months Closer to Hannah!!

Oops! I've known since last month that I wanted to buy tulips to celebrate Hannah's 25 month LIDiversary. Guess I should have been a little more organized and purchased them a few days ago so that we had flowers instead of just leaves! Oh well. This way I'll get to watch them grow and blossom over the next little while...just like one day my little girl will grow and blossom right before my very eyes!

25 months closer and celebrating!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

One More Step Forward

Over the past couple of months I have been working on updating the paperwork to keep my provincial approval current. Initially an extension of provincial approval was requested in February which made it valid until April 30, 2008. Due to the fact that I will not receive my referral by the end of this month (I wish!!), I was required to do a full update of my homestudy which allows me to apply for a 2 year provincial approval extension. It's all part of the process and I'm happy to do whatever it takes to bring Hannah home. It does involve extra expenses to have medical forms completed, a new police check done and a homestudy update but all things that are required so I'll do them. Each of my references were also contacted and I'm thankful to each of them for taking the time to respond to his questions and show your support once again of Hannah's adoption. Each of you is very, very special to me and I love you so much! I look forward to the day when I can introduce you to Hannah and you will know that God used you in a very special way to help bring she and I together!! Thank you!

Last week my social worker, Sal Garofalo, came over to my place and we updated my home study. Not a lot has changed so it was pretty painless. He and I laughed together and chatted about what had happened over he past couple of years. I was able to share with him about you, the amazing people I've met in 'blog land!' I was excited to write an addendum to my home study that talks about all the wonderful people I've met during this adoption journey. Each of you is so very important and I'm thankful that we're sharing this journey together. I really don't know how people endured the wait before the wonderful world of blogs. I know that at that time the wait was shorter but, I also know that the friends I've made during this wait will play a very important part in Hannah's life! I am so blessed to have found this online community that have become real life friends!

Yesterday Sal was able to hand deliver my updated home study to my agency rep Deborah so that she could hand deliver it to the government office. Talk about amazing service!! I am so very thankful for my social worker Sal and also Deborah who does amazing work for my agency Open Arms To International Adoption.

If you are in Ontario and looking at starting an adoption from China I would highly recommend Open Arms. If you live east of Toronto and are considering either an International or Domestic adoption or are looking for a great facilitator of the Pride course, then Sal Garofalo is your man!As he was leaving Friday he asked if I had any questions and I said, 'Um yah. A weird one.' He laughed and said, 'Ask away!' 'Ummm...can I take your picture and, can I put it on my blog?' You can see above that his answer was yes!

Thank you Sal and Deborah!! I appreciate you and all that you are doing to help me bring my sweet baby girl home!

I must admit that my favourite part of the entire time Sal and I spent together was when he walked me through step-by-step each of the things I'll need to do when I receive Hannah's referral!!! Oh yah! Now that's the kind of stuff I like to chat about!

Monday, April 21, 2008

On Newsstands Now!!

Run, don't walk to your nearest store to pick up one (or two) of these beautiful tributes to China! From cover to cover you will be treated to beautiful pictures, facts, statistics, maps and much, much more! In the centre is a large 20" x 31" pullout with a map of China on one side and a pictoral and factual section about the Forbidden City on the other.

I've only had a few moments to glance at this treasure but I look forward to enjoying more and more of it in the days to come.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thank you, Thank you!!!


Those words seem so small when it comes to the amazing outpouring of love you sent to me yesterday and today!!! It was a rough couple of days for sure but by the time I layed my head on the pillow last night the tears were gone and a smile was once again in place. You are the best and I am so thankful for each and every one of you who left a note of encouragement, sent an email or called. Your kindness was amazing and I'm so thankful to God for each of you! Many of us have never met in person or spoken on the phone yet the friendship we share is real and true. I love this bloggy world and the hundreds of great new people I have been priviledged to meet because of it!

Today is a much better day and once again I have my 'game face' on and am ready to wait as long as it takes for God to bring sweet Hannah home! His timing is perfect and even on the tough days when the tears are many, I never, ever doubt that God is in control and will bring all things about in His time.

Love you friends and....THANK YOU!!!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Having a tough day...

Hey friends. I know this blog is normally an 'up' and encouraging place and I love that but I also have rough, tough days and this week seems to be filled with those. You know the kind of days when everywhere you look you see bellies full of babies? I'm so happy for these ladies yet at the same time I need to allow myself to be open, honest, vulnerable and say that my arms are aching today to hold my daughter. I love celebrating with those receiving their referrals too (and there seem to be so many right now, Praise God!) but oh how I long for the day when God says, 'Meet your daughter. I've created her especially for you.' I know that she will be worth the wait but I'll be honest that these 3+ years of waiting can be really, really tough at times. Holding tight to Jesus and asking Him to wipe my tears, of which there are many right now. Someday it will be my turn!

O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.

Isaiah 25:1


I would appreciate your prayers friends. I know I'm not alone in this wait and please be assured that I'm praying for you too. If you're stuggling with the wait and would like me to pray for you specifically about this, please feel free to leave a comment or email me. It is a pleasure to bring others before the Throne of Grace.

Monday, April 14, 2008

That's All Folks! Final Tim's Stats for 2008

We'll just have to say that 'even' years are just not my years with it comes to Rolling Up the Rim. 2006 was sad, 2007 better and 2008...back to sad.


Winners slightly overcame the Whiners category as a final donut was rolled up last Friday. It took me all of about 30 seconds to hop back into line and decide that 10am was a totally appropriate time to eat breakfast #2 as I tucked away a Boston Cream Donut. Mmmm.....

The final stats look like I was holding my own but if they took into account the number of coffee's purchased my little tower would be much smaller. Tucked nicely away in the middle of the pack and I'm happy for that.


You know what else is happy? My wallet! I fully admit to upping my coffee purchases by an additional 1 and often 2 per day during roll-up time. Oops! It's lots of fun though and worth all the trips in the rain and snow to be taught a lesson in humility and, the doc says the caffeine shakes should stop in a week or two! :o) Until next year.......

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fun with Friends

Karen and I met first via our blogs and then in person last spring at one of our Waiting Mommies Dinners. It was an instant connection when we met in person and we knew that it would be fun to get together for a day. At last month's dinner we finally pulled out our calendars and found a day that would work for both of us. Yesterday morning I headed across the city and couldn't wait to see my dear friend again and meet more of her family! The oh so precious Samara had joined us at a couple of the dinners but this was the first time I'd have the privilege of meeting her hubby Mike and her older 2 children Victoria and Austin.

What a great day! We played, chatted, ate, relaxed, did puzzles, went for a walk, got wet in the rain, watched the fish at a local garden centre and laughed as I got totally lost on my way to their home and had to call a few times to finally get me there.

Mike and Karen are in the process or adopting again - this time from Ethiopia. Who knows, we may both end up travelling about the same time next year and then there will be 5 little ones to play with!! That will be so neat!!

Unfortunately Victoria was camera shy and the only pic I snapped of Austin he was hidden by a ball but here's a little snipit of the fun that we had yesterday!

It was great to meet you Mike! Sorry about the supper snafu (oven went on the blink) but you order up a mean pizza and wings! :o) Looking forward to our next get-together Karen!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Pretty quiet here so trying out a bullet post...

Yes, I have to admit it. I'm almost ashamed to but here it goes....I'm bullet challenged! I've tried to create bullet posts a few times and every single time they end up messy and out of line but today I decided to try again. We'll see how it goes.

Not a lot happening around here so going to mix up a bunch of assorted, unrelated stuff here.

OK *gulp* here we go...on to the bullets.....

Christmas Tree down - April 10, 2008: Yes sadly, due to all the snow we've had this year, it took me until yesterday to take my outdoor Christmas tree down. In my defence I turned off the lights on January 2nd but just had no way to take it down as the base was buried in anything up to 3 feet of snow until last week when the snow finally disappeared. I think that the tree being up was beginning to give my wonderful neighbour a coronary though! Thankfully he'd been in Florida until last week but once home he started having palpatations. I realized (and snickered to myself) just how much it was bothering him when I came home earlier this week and he kindly said to me that he'd loosened the pegs holding the tree so that it would be easier for me to take down! LOL!! They are the nicest couple and do a TON for me (eg. my garden has also been tidied and the dirt turned ready for planting in a couple of months) and I knew that he was only helping out so I promised that now that the snow was gone the tree would be put away by tonight. I gave him an early Christmas present and took it down last night, one night early! :o)


Men's Dessert Night
I was reading Robin's blog today about a dessert her hubby was 'making' for work today and it reminded me of a fun pic I hadn't posted last month. Our Sunday School class has an annual 'Men's Dessert Night' each year and it's always a lot of fun. The guys bake and the women get to taste them first and judge in a variety of categories. Works for me! The guys are really, really creative and we've seem some amazing desserts over the years. This is the cake that won for 'Most Creative' Pretty cool, eh?!!


Slippers for Hannah
Doris and I decided to purchase some adorable little slippers for our girls. They're made from leather and cost only $10 a pair (including shipping) which is much less expensive then Rob*eeze and they're totally adorable! I ordered mainly 12 month+ sizes but now wish I'd ordered a couple of smaller sizes too since the babies seem to be coming home so much younger right now. (YIPPEE!!!!!!!) If you're interested in buying some adorable shoes you can find them here at The Ruji's Store


* Did you pick up on something? Yes, not a bullet to be found in this post! I tried...really I did but they ended up all over the place!! Oh how I wish I had my 'SnagIt' program (GREAT program!!) from work at home because I'm thinking you would laugh at where my one and only bullet is located. Can you believe I somehow managed to put a bullet beside the 'compose' tab in the box where this post is created? Yes, that box in the top right corner where I can choose to either 'Edit Html' or 'Compose' is now sporting a beautiful bullet...and it's the only bullet on this post! *ugh!!!* I am bullet challenged for sure!!! Help!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Happy Birthday Doris!!

It's a busy time for Birthday's. Today we celebrate YOU Doris!! Hope 33 is a great year!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Kingston Fun!

Much of the fun has already been posted on K1, Doris and Michelle's blogs so I'll just post a few new pics.

Taboo fun with Doris, Mark and K2!


Doris getting K1 all dolled up for supper. I was next.


Michelle, Mark and Doris waiting for our supper at the Lone Star.


K1, K2, myself, Tanya, Craig (aka: Fred, Igor, Eric, Juan, Francois, Jeremiah...) and Dan waiting too.


Dan working his magic with the ice cream ball that was a gift from Alyson and Ford. Mmmm was it good!!


Doris setting up....


...to take a group pic


K1's birthday surprise. Her BFF ;o) Tanya! Great surprise Doris! Ya done good!


How many boys can you fit into a telephone booth?


Group hug goodbye. Don't worry boys, you'll be together again soon!


Precious friends. Sweet memories!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Kingston Bloggy Bash!

Realizing it had been far too long since we'd all been together, the Montreal Bloggy Crew decided a quick one night get-away was in order! We headed out from various locations today...destination Kingston!!


Just like in our teenage years, I borrowed mom and dad's van and we were off after packing practically everything we own into the back of it. Can you believe this stuff is just for 5 people staying for 1 night? And, you're not seeing the 2 feet of stuff stored below the door level. Oops! We need our stuff...and laptops for all!


We met Doris and Dan for lunch and then checked in to our hotel. It's a weekend of enjoying being together with lots of fun, laughter and oh yes, munchies, munchies, munchies! Off to join in the fun...catch ya later!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday Night Fun

Tonight was a night of fun hanging out with Norma and her family. (Missed you Bonnie!) Little M doesn't know it but I'll be watching she and her big sister A next Friday night when the family goes out to celebrate her mommy's birthday. It's 35 right Kristy? ;o) Since M hadn't seen me since last fall we thought it was best she and I spend some time together tonight. To say she was not impressed with the idea is an understatement!! I took her into the den to play while mommy slipped away to get the dog and oh how she howled. Big crocodile tears, sobs and such sadness! (Made me think of what my precious Hannah will go through when she's handed over to me without ever having seen me before. Such sadness! Praying for her little heart already.) Anyway, Grandma came and rescued M from the mean lady trying to amuse her with futile games of peek-a-boo and toys and all was right in her little world again. Within minutes she was smiling and cooing at me so I was ok for her to be around...from a distance. I'm sure next week we'll be fine (I know I'll be ok, I just hate to see little ones upset) but somehow it's totally different when mom and dad are gone and they realize we're there to play. It'll all be good. A is older and she and I are buds. Tonight she wanted us to hang out in her tent so that's what we did. Well...I kinda hung out in the tent...and out of the tent. :o) Getting all of me into a child's tent just wasn't happening if I hoped to walk for the next couple of days. Thanks for another fun night with your family Norma and John! Always a great time! I'll leave you with M who has decided that walking and crawling are highly overrated as she perfers to hop on her butt. Very cute but it's not going to cut it in high school. Papa's trying to help her out here and we were all laughing at what he had rigged up. She quite enjoyed herself and I'm sure it won't be long before mommy is longing for the days when she didn't have to run to keep up with her baby M.
video

Happy Birthday K1!!

(Wrote a post earlier today and then my system crashed. Here's to a successful 2nd attempt!)

Happy Birthday K1!!! Hope this year is extra, extra special for you!!

Wednesday night K1 and I were going to get together for coffee and dessert at a local coffee place. Just after I arrived K2 swooped in and whisked me off to a surprise birthday party that K1's family was having for her. What fun to celebrate an amazing gal who is a blessing to have as a friend!!

It was so neat to meet K1's mom and dad and I knew we'd get along just fine when I walked in the door and it was hugs all round! Oh yes, these are my kinda people!! It was also great to meet K1's brother too! He had his adorable son G-Man with him and it was fun to see G-Man and how he had grown. Last summer K1, K2, G-Man, my niece Rebecca and I enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon around mom and dad's pool. Hope for a repeat performance this summer! What a sweet surprise it was to be included in their family celebration! Thank you for having me.

Speaking of sweet K1....

Happy Birthday!! Looking forward to celebrating with you (again)! A birthday can never be celebrated too many times!

PS - Since K1's dad teased that he reads all our blogs as he's turning in for the night....Sweet Dreams K1's Pop!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Brother!

Today my brother Dave celebrated his 39th birthday!! Happy Birthday Dave!

These pics were taken last month when he and Trish were married on February 15th. Congratulations Dave and Trish!!!

Please Pray...Tricia Got Another Call! **Update: 5:00am**

Please pray!! Tricia's transplant have flown out of state again as another pair of lungs may be a match for her. Please pray for Tricia, Nate, Gwyneth, the transplant team and as always, another dear family who is dealing with the loss of a loved one.

I will keep you posted.

PS - Today is Nate's birthday. What an amazing gift it would be for his wife to receive new lungs so that they can begin the next chapter of their lives together!

**UPDATE**
6:10pm Wednesday
Praise God!! Tricia and Nate have been told that the lungs are good and the surgery is a go! They are prepping her for surgery to begin soon. Please continue to pray for all involved and also the donor's family.

GOD IS GOOD!!! Happy Birthday Nate!

5:00am Thursday
Tricia has been in surgery for almost 8 hours and Nate is waiting to hear from the OR. Hopefully soon. A double lung transplant normally takes 7-9 hours so he should be hearing more soon. Continuing to pray and thank you to so many who have been praying!
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