Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Denver is Home!!!

Isn't he adorable?!!

You may remember this post from a couple of weeks ago when I was asking you to pray for families in the process of adopting from Ethiopia as their Canadian agency had filed for bankruptcy leaving all of their families in limbo. What I didn't share at the time was that my precious friend Karen had already dropped everything and left for Ethiopia to meet her beautiful son Denver. She and her hubby were matched with Denver in January, had successfully gone through court in May and were now just awaiting travel approval. Karen couldn't get there fast enough and was willing to be in Addis Ababa as long as necessary in order to bring their sweet son home.

God worked miracles for this family as Karen first met Denver on Thursday July 16th and was able to have him with her for the rest of their time. The Canadian government granted all the documents required in a speedy manner and they flew home this past Saturday! God is SO GOOD!!! What a beautiful, beautiful family!

There are still many others who are waiting to find out the status of their adoptions and my heart (as do those of the Carmody family) still goes out to them. Please know that you are in our prayers and we are still fighting right alongside you to have your adoptions completed too.

Congratulations Karen and Mike!!! You have a beautiful family and I am blessed beyond measure to call you friends. Love you! xo

On a side note, I've just found out that a friend has started a website for families with children from Ethiopia or those who are adopting from Ethiopia. If this is you, you can check it out at EhtiopiaKids.com

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Celebrating 40 months Closer to Hannah!!

Wheee!!! This month's LID (log in date) celebration is either my last celebration or 2nd last depending on when the referrals come out next month. Regardless, August is Hannah month and I'm jumping for joy!!

40 precious months that have allowed me to grow more and more in love with my daughter!

40 months to build friendships with people I've met through this blog. Many in person and others through cyber space. You are precious people and I'm so thankful this wait has allowed us to get to know one another.

40 months that have allowed me to prepare my home for my daughter. Yah, right!! If you could see her room right now you'd wonder what in the world I've done with my time? It's stacked tall with things for her but honestly, walking from one side of it to the other requires the skill of a tightrope walker; grace of a gazelle to climb over storage boxes and breadcrumbs like Hansel and Gretel just to make it back to the door!It's a huge room you're thinking? Nope. A small 9' x 9' space that houses much of what people have generously given me for Hannah as well as years worth of scrapbooking materials. That alone is enough to open a small store! So, it's easy to see what some of my current priorities are and slowly I am beginning to face the challenge one box/drawer/cupboard at a time. It will get there, and when it does then I'll be brave enough to share the 'before' pics with you.

I'm also loving hanging out with friends as much as I possibly can this summer. I understand that life will be different with a baby and that many things I enjoy now may need to take a break for a while. Being an 'older mom' means that most of my friend's children are in high school and we will not be in the same place in life. It would be silly of me to think that life will not change. It will...and for the better!! Our friendships will be as precious as always as they're cherished, treasured friends who have been praying for Hannah and I for a very long time. You know who you are and how much I love and cherish each and every one of you. xoxo

Thankfully during this wait I've also had to opportunity to make a whole bunch of new friends who are also going to have babies home and our time of hanging out together will continue. I laugh when I think of how our quiet tables of dinner for 3, 4, 5, 7 will change as we add a plethora of high chairs to the mix!!

So today I celebrate being 40 months closer to Hannah!! My heart is bursting with love for her already! I think the very best line about celebrating 40 months of 'paper pregnancy' came from my cousin Bridget last night. Most people are pregnant for 40 weeks. I've been pregnant long enough to carry 4 children!! No wonder the pants are a little tighter and I'm craving chocolate!!

40 months closer and cherishing all that God has allowed me to experience during this time!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

NEXT!!! Can You Believe It??!!!

Wow!!! It's truly happening! It IS real!! CCAA matched families with log in dates of March 21st and 22nd/06 so this time next month will be Hannah time!!! I can hardly believe after all this time that my sweet baby girl's referral is right around the corner!

Check it out!! Have you ever seen such a beautiful little stone? One stone.... ONE teeny, tiny stone!! Wheee!!!

Monday had it's rough moments for sure but EVERYONE was unbelievably supportive. It was a weird day as it was disappointing to miss the cutoff by 1 day yet at the same time I felt guilty for being disappointed. So many friends are going through so much with their adoptions right now that I felt I had no right to feel bad. My emotions were like a bouncing ball. Crying when I shared the news with special people like my Mom, Dad, Sharon and Norma but then the next moment excited beyond belief to know that the waiting would soon be over! The comments, emails, calls and encouragement that flooded my in box and answering machine allowed me to realize that it was ok to be disappointed. My friend Carol, knowing the very best cure for a tough day is Baskin Robbins Peanut Butter 'n Chocolate ice cream, even put a container of it in my freezer. Now that's a good friend!! Thanks Carol!

Now....the disappointment is long gone and excitement has taken over! Thoughts of Hannah are flooding my thoughts day and night! Steps to begin preparing the house have begun and a paint colour for her nursery has been chosen! Chiffon Pink...perfect! Slowly I'm working away at my 'to do' list and purchasing things that will go to China with me: Diapers, wipes, bottles, medications and so much more are fun, fun, fun to purchase!

Thank you everyone for all your love and support! I've once again been overwhelmed by your kindness and humbled by your encouraging words. You are appreciated and I am so thankful to be sharing this jouney with you!

August is HANNAH month!!

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west."
Isaiah 43:5

Monday, July 20, 2009

*sniff* Missed By One Day

From all reports it appears that CCAA matched files this month for families with log in dates of March 21st and March 22nd/06 which means I missed the cutoff by one day. It's a tough day for sure but I'm going to be just fine. This really doesn't come as a surprise but it is disappointing and it's ok to let myself feel that.

M3 and I talked a lot about it last month when I was with her as that happened to she and TubaDad back in 2006. (Kinda neat that they also missed the July batch by 1 day and waited until August to receive Ro and Ree's referral!) As hard as it is to be missed by only one day, there is a lot to be said for knowing I'm NEXT!! There is no wondering, 'What if they only do an x day batch'. Our files are at the front of the line and a month from now I will see Hannah's precious face!!

Through it all God is my comfort, strength and soft place to fall. He's holding me close and drying the tears of disappointment that are falling today. Next month they will be tears of joy and I can't wait!!! God's timing continues to be perfect and I continue to trust Him!!

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:14

My sweet baby girl,
Mommy cannot wait to meet you!! I love you so much already and my heart is overwhelmed with the thoughts of meeting you and holding you in my arms. You are the daughter of my heart, placed there by God long ago and in a short time we will meet in person, forever to be mother and daughter!

I love you Hannah!! Mommy xo

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Initial Rumors

According to Rumor Queen,

'An agency is letting their families with a LID of March 22 know that they have been matched. This agency is not giving a possible cut-off date. Their next LID is a good ways off.'

Although with a LID of March 23rd this is not the news I'd like to hear, I'm not giving up hope yet! I'm holding onto the words, 'This agency is not giving a possible cut-off date.' Yes....clinging to this!!! This info is only from one agency and so far no other agencies are advising their people if they may/may not be in. I'm pretty confidant that families with a LID of March 21st and 22nd, 2006 will be receiving their referrals next week but still hoping and praying that they'll get beyond the 22nd and that I'll see Hannah's sweet face next week!!

Trusting Him.....

Now that the weekend is here I don't anticipate that we will hear anything more until Monday. Lots of fun things planned for the weekend to keep me busy but Hannah will still be close to my heart and in my prayers all weekend! I'll be sure to keep you posted as I hear more....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Canadian Friends...Asking for Your Help Once Again

We interrupt this time of excitement for an important request. I would ask once again that you plese take time to contact your MP on behalf of the International Adoption community in Canada. We have done this in the past with great success and once again our fellow adoptive families require your help.

Monday, an announcement was made the Imagine Adoption/Kid's Link had filed for bankruptcy. I have 3 friends who are involved at varying stages with this agency and all are hurting greatly. The agency has closed it's doors and locked them tight leaving many families with many unanswered questions and broken hearts.

PLEASE contact your local MP and anyone else you think would be of help…but ESPECIALLY your MP. The pressure has to come from here to get emergency visa’s issued, as well as have the waiting files transferred to another agency so those waiting for court dates or referrals have an agency working for them in Ethiopia. Please contact them and tell them you are aware of the Imagine Adoption bankruptcy and that there are legal children of Canadian citizens who need their government to intervene and get emergency visa’s issued. The more pressure and awareness the quicker things will move along. Please also mention that the government should stand in the gap for the children who were waiting for referrals from Imagine and the Canadian families who are also waiting…we owe it to them.

Here is a sample of a letter you can send....

Hello, my name is xxxxxx and I am writing to you for your help as my elected official.

As I hope you are aware, recently an adoption agency called Imagine Adoption / Kids Link International suddenly and without notice closed it’s door and declared bankruptcy. While the circumstances around that are suspect, we know that a bankrupt trustee is investigating.

The more concerning issue, and the one which I am asking for your involvement is the state of the current files in process for adoption. These are Canadian citizens who need their government to take action. Here are the areas of concern that need attention;

1. There are families who have been through the court system in Ethiopia and the children who are in the Transition homes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia are legally their children. Children of Canadian citizens. The homes they are in were funded by the now defunct agency so time is of the essence. These Canadians need the Canadian government to order emergency visa’s so that these families can bring their children home. It is our understanding that the Foreign Affairs office needs encouragement to make this happen as quickly as possible for our fellow Canadians.

2. There are families (Canadian) who were given a referral (a child in the care of the agency has been matched with the family) and they were awaiting court. The agency would normally have someone to represent the family and ensure that all the necessary paperwork is completed. These families need our government to ensure that someone is there to continue that work. We are aware of other Canadian agencies who have offered to help facilitate this, however the proper Canadian and Ontario government branches need to work together quickly to make this happen.

3. There are families (Canadian) who were waiting for a referral. Loving homes waiting to welcome in a child. These families have paid a lot of hard earned money in trust that the agency here in Canada would facilitate their process. Again, other agencies can take on this load, but we need the Canadian government to push this forward.

As you can see this is a huge crisis and we would ask you to help. There are families in your/our constituency that are effected in this way, and more importantly … fellow Canadians from coast to coast effected by this.

Please use all your available resources to make this right and pursue the means to right this wrong.

Thank you in advance for your support in this.

As many of us rally together we can cause changes. We saw this both in the Canadian Citizenship process and more recently in receiving immediate health care coverage for our children.

I humbly ask once again that you please help families whose heart's desire it is to have children but more importantly, to fight for those innocent children in Ethiopia who may otherwise not know what it is to have the love of a mother and father.


Thursday, July 16, 2009


The word on the street...ok, the word at RQ is that matching is ready to begin!! The family files are ready. The baby files are ready. Now.... ready, set, match!

I often wonder what it will be like for the 'matcher' when she/he opens up my file and Hannah's file. You see, God prepared this match long, long ago and this person is being used on earth to complete what God began. Will they open our files and go....this one is easy!!

'For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' Jeremiah 29:11

I don't know all the details about 'how' it will happen I just know that it will!

The next question is, when will referrals arrive? How long after matching does 'the stork' (aka: the courier :o) pick them up? That varies month to month but I still believe it will be sometime next week when they arrive. I hope we hear cutoff rumours before the weekend and I'll have a better idea if Hannah's referral is inculded in this month's referrals or, if I'll need to wait another month. So close and yet as you can see, still many unanswered questions. Oh well, still content (excited, giddy, crazy in love....but content) to wait for God's perfect time. How cool would it be if God's perfect time was NEXT WEEK?????

I'm enjoying all the guesses coming in for Hannah's birthday and province. There's still time to enter your guess! What fun to learn of so many readers coming out of lurkdom who are new to me. Welcome!!!

Now....off to check RQ for the third time today and it's only 6:47am. Ohhhh, it's gonna be a loooong day!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Where is Hannah and, how old is she??

Disclaimer: I am shaking just typing this so who knows what will become of it! :o)

For years I have watched with anticipation as friends excitedly awaited the referral of their child(ren). I can hardly believe that my time is almost here!!!

There are yet to be any cutoff rumours for July so I still have no idea if Hannah's referral is coming next week or not but, I am hopeful...very, VERY hopeful that next week I will be gazing into the eyes of my daughter for the very first time!!! *gasp!* *sniff!* The baby girl who has filled my heart and prayers for over 4 1/2 years, next week (or in 5 weeks) will have a name, date of birth, province of birth, personality and....I will see pictures of her for the very first time!!! It seems sureal to know that she is so very, very close!! (Reminding myself to breathe!!)

(click on map to enlarge)

With the excitment building I wanted an opportunity for you to share in the fun! Here's how it goes. Please leave a comment below listing your guess for:
1. Her province
2. Her date of birth

The person who guesses her province correctly and is closest to her date of birth will win a small prize....still to be determined. I would say it could be chocolate but I have a feeling there might not be any chocolate to be found within a 3km radius of my home this week with the excitement and anticipation of receiving her referral!!

For those who are not used to commenting, you can do so by clicking the word 'comment' below, writing your guess in the empty box, signing your name so I know who you are, clicking the box 'anonymous' and then submit. Also, emailed votes will also be accepted if you're not too sure about the whole commenting thing.

I will keep an eye on 'Rumor Queen' this week and keep you posted as to where things stand with this months cutoff rumours. (For those who may not eat, sleep and breathe China adoption, the cutoff date is the date that the China Center of Adoption Affairs will send referrals for. The next date they will match for sure is March 21, 2006. What we need to see for me to receive Hannah's referral this month is that they send out referrals for March 21st, 22nd and 23rd!! Only 3 days but we just don't know. A 2 day batch is not all that uncommon these days so it could happen.)

So....let the fun begin! Where do you believe Hannah is living and when was my daughter...DAUGHTER born??

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Finished Product

Sharon picked up our fired ceramic pasta bowls last week and we're thrilled with the results!! A little treat for Hannah to use in the future! I still get goosebumps seeing her name in print...even when I've printed it! :o)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tracking Referral Stats

For the past few years I have enjoyed tracking referral stats and recording them in a spreadsheet to help guesstimate when Hannah's referral might arrive. There is a link to this spreadsheet in the right sidebar.

With Hannah's referral right around the corner it had me wondering if anyone else pops in here to use the spreadsheet? I'm happy to try and keep it updated after Hannah's referral if people use it but, if nobody is using it then I'll probably let it slide.

If you use the chart and would like me to continue to update it, please leave a comment.


Monday, July 06, 2009

The Power of the Pouch!

As I have been preparing for Hannah to come home I have been researching the importance of Attachment and some of the things that I can do to help Hannah learn to trust me. By the time we meet she will have lost her birth mother, her nannies/foster mother and now I'm on the scene and her heart will require a lot of healing to learn to trust again. How does she know that I'm not going to leave her too? I know this, but she doesn't.

This article is SO well written and helps adults understand a little of what Hannah will be feeling and experiencing. Please take the time to read it if you are adopting or, if you are family or friend of someone adopting. It will help you understand why parents MUST parent their adopted child differently than a birth child. There will be times I'm sure that people won't agree with my choices but all I ask is that you please respect my choices. I'm doing what I feel will be best for my baby girl and myself. I know I'll make tons of mistakes but want to do what I can to meet her special emotional needs.

One of the things I will do is carry Hannah as much as my body will allow me to. My cousin bought a Baby Hawk as a gift for Hannah and I and I know that it will get a ton of use. I've been convinced of the benefits of carrying her for quite a while now but my time in CA visiting M3 and the girls reaffirmed this more than any book or CD possibly could.

M3 was showing me the Ergo that she and Tuba Dad used in China when they met the girls. It's now almost 3 years later and the girls are busy, fun, active and love to move, move, move! When M3 brought the Ergo out and I started to put in on, Ro immediately asked if she could go in it? That was fun and she was quite content to be in it. What surprised me, gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes was when not once or twice but THREE TIMES (over the course of wearing it on two different occasions, 2 different days) little Ro reached up and calmly placed her hand on the side of my face and gazed into my eyes!!! If I had any questions about how much good wearing Hannah would be, those questions were washed away with the tears that filled my eyes as Ro and I shared these precious moments together.

Another great attachment resource that comes highly recommended from many, many friends who are home with their children is Nancy Thomas' 'Taming the Tile While It's a Kitten' CD series. I've listened to it once and will listen to it a few more times before travelling to China. Nancy recommends wearing our children a minimum of 6 hours a day for the first 6 weeks that we're home. Yes - the Baby Hawk will get a lot of use as will the sling I'm also hoping to have for Hannah. I'm pretty sure Grandma has this one taken care of. ;o) Thanks Mom and Bridget! Your gifts to Hannah will be precious parts of our initial bonding time and they are gifts that will produce a lifetime investment!!

Wow! After years of reading and learning it's so neat to think of how close my sweet baby girl is! I was at the doctor today and he asked when I thought I'd be in China and my answer was 10 weeks from now. TEN WEEKS!!!! Wheee!!!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Rejuvenating Mini Vacay!

After missing our trip to BC earlier in the month, Sharon and I were able to head north for a few days of rest, relaxation, spiritual replenishment, fun and laughter! Ahhhh....just what the doctor ordered! Her hubby Larry was volunteering in the kitchen at nearby Camp Mini-Yo-We that made it's mark on the map when it was used to film the 1995 movie, 'It Takes Two' starring Mary K*te and Ashley 0lsen. I'm guessing Larry's glad he wasn't there during the taping of the food fight scene although I'm thinking it would have been a blast!!

We left home Sunday afternoon on a high as Grandpa had been able to come home last weekend for his very first overnight! He did SO well and we're looking forward to bringing him home again tomorrow. He is doing really well and we're taking things one day at a time, seeking God's guidance and leadership as to what His plans are for Grandpa's care.

The weather was forecasted to rain all 4 days that we were at the trailer but that didn't matter to us. In the end it was a wonderful combination of sun, rain and everything in between! Our Pastor was one of the guest pastors this week and we were blessed to learn much from him. He was teaching from the book of Ruth and one of the messages that spoke to my heart was seeking God during the waiting times of our lives and not sitting idle during the waiting. Yes...that one I have covered!

It was a wonderful reminder that God has plans for our lives right now, and we are to seek Him now even as we wait for our little ones. We are to be 'Traffickers of Hope' to those around us. I thought that was a neat term. I pray that during this time of waiting God is using me as a 'Trafficker of Hope' to other families whose hearts also long, and arms ache, for their little ones to be home. Hannah is so close and she is never far from my heart and I dare say an hour goes by without my heart and mind wandering to thoughts of her. Thank you Lord for being with me during this waiting time and for all that You are teaching me.

Tuesday afternoon started off rainy so after chapel we headed to Bracebridge and went to a little ceramics store. We'd wanted to do this last summer but had not been able to so it was on this years wish list of things to do. What a wonderful, relaxing afternoon we shared together! We both chose the same piece but the end product (at least the mid products as they're still away being fired) were oh so different and unique. It will be exciting to see what they look like after being fired! We're already planning our next pieces and hoping that we have another opportunity either there or at a place close to home to paint another piece. It would also be a fun afternoon to share with Rebecca and Victoria.

Wednesday was Canada Day and we took advantage of the times that the sun shone to be out of the deck reading and sharing time together.

Thanks for a wonderful mini vacay Sharon! Love you friend. So thankful for the friendship that God has blessed us with!
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