Sunday, December 30, 2012

Prayer request...

I have been such a horrible blogger lately (if about a year is still considered 'lately'!), I don't have any right to ask anything of you but I could really use your prayers... I have my first homestudy appointment tomorrow. I know, I know, where did that come from?! I want to share the whole story but for now, I only have time to ask you to pray. As a single, 28-year-old Christian looking to adopt a child with special needs I know I have an uphill battle to climb. I would so appreciate it if you could pray that God would give me favour with my homestudy worker, that He would help me to share my heart, my intentions and my motivations well and that He would move every mountain that stands between me and the child He has for me. So glad that this is all in His hands!

I do hope to be able to share more soon. In the meantime, to show you how much I appreciate your prayers, here's a little hint:

My fridge... look closely

Monday, October 8, 2012

Step One - PERMANENT!


When I announced that Maxim and Andriy had been ‘found’, I also told you that I had a post in progress with some very exciting news of my own… Over two months later, that half finished post still sits in my drafts folder. I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to leave you hanging! Life has been crazy busy and as you’ve all figured out by now, I’ve kind of lost my will to blog. But I’ve decided that today is the day – God has been so good to me and it’s time for me to share what He’s been doing with whoever’s still reading…

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

A year and a half ago I was in Ukraine praying about what God would have me do next. I had made a six month commitment to love on as many orphans as I could get my hands on but right from the beginning I was open to however long God would have me stay, be that 6 months, a year or even a lifetime. So, as my time in Ukraine began drawing to a close I was praying about whether God would have me stay on, go somewhere else or return home. Eventually I heard that still, small voice whisper to my heart - "Go home and prepare to adopt. I am going to give you children of your own." Leaving ‘my’ kids behind was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do but with a promise like that, there was another part of me that couldn’t wait to board that plane.

I arrived home in February, 2011 and after a couple months of rest I began looking for a job which would allow me to provide for the children God had for me. I had this epiphany in Ukraine that I thought was so brilliantly obvious that it must have been from God. Given that my educational background was in social work and that my passion was for adoption, what better job could there be for me than an adoption social worker? I knew that jobs in adoption are difficult to come by but I also knew that if it was where God wanted me, He would make a way. I researched, I prayed and I applied to every adoption-related organization in Quebec and Ontario. As the months passed and doors stayed closed, I began to apply to other not-adoption-related jobs that interested me. Finally, out of sheer desperation eight months after returning home, I applied to every child protection agency in Eastern Ontario. On my list of job possibilities, if working in adoption was ‘Plan A’, working in child protection in Quebec (where I actually live) would have been ‘Plan Z’ – working in child protection in Ontario was not even on the list! Ten months after arriving home I was offered a job in child protection approximately one hour from where I live. There were a lot of things about it that didn’t seem like a good fit but God gave me complete peace that I was to take the job. After so many months of searching I was extremely grateful to have a job but I was not excited.

To be honest, for the first several months I hated it. I did not like the work and I just could not see how I could do this job and adopt as a single parent – the commute was long, the hours were crazy and unpredictable and most of all, it was unstable. I was hired on a one year contract and was told that, most likely, after completing my first year I would be offered a second contract and then hopefully become permanent after that. All I heard was that it would be two whole years before I could even begin to think about adopting! Looking back now I just shake my head… Will I ever learn to trust God’s good plans for me? Thankfully, God gave me an attitude adjustment last spring and since then, I have actually come to love my job! I have come to love the work I do and walk away many days feeling like I have been able to help families make real, positive changes for their children. As for the commute, it is 100% stress-free highway driving (no traffic!) and a great way to unwind, process and spend time talking to God after a long day. Finally, in a completely unexpected turn of events, a new position was created in the agency this past summer and as of July 9th I am now a permanent employee! I could go on all day with all the little (and big!) God stories that have me in awe of God’s wisdom and goodness for placing me in this job. The job I once thought was a mistake has actually turned out to be a perfect fit for me and I can’t wait to see how He’s going to work the rest out.

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

On this day of Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for the truth of that verse. That and the fact that God never gives up on me and always works out His plans for me, even if He has to drag me along kicking and screaming…

So… Let the fun begin!!! Precious child of mine, hold on just a while longer, your Mommy is on her way!

Stay tuned for Step Two – My Own Place!  


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Two!

I have another post in progress right now with some exciting news of my own but that'll have to wait because today's exciting news simply cannot be matched. Those of you have not already heard may be wondering what kind of news could cause such unmatched excitement... Well, as of this morning, not one but TWO of our "Find My Family Friday" boys have appeared on the 'My Family Found Me' page!!!

Andriy
Maxim


These two little guys are the ones I have been most baffled about not finding families sooner and I am so happy to finally see their sweet faces up on that celebratory page! I've known for some time now that God must have very special families in store for these two treasures. I don't know who those families are yet but when I do I will try to introduce you to them.

It's been over six months since I've been able to write a post like this. Six months of praying and advocating (and lack of advocating...) and now we have two in 24 hours! Maybe this will be enough to break me out of my blogging funk, although upcoming busyness may hold me back a while longer... Either way, I want to say thank you to all of you who have carried the torch in my absence, tirelessly continuing to yell for these kids even when my voice grew too weak. To everyone who prayed, to everyone who donated - thank you.


To my beautiful baby boy:
From the first time I cradled you in my arms, I could not stop thinking that you were the happiest baby I had ever met! At only three months old you just could not stop smiling and would often fall asleep with a grin still on your face. There is something so precious about holding a sleeping infant in your arms and I so cherished each moment spent feeding you, rocking you and singing you to sleep. I remember fantasizing about slipping you under my lap coat, bringing you home and making you mine. But you had a family coming and I could not have been happier for you. Oh how heartbroken I was when your birth family changed their minds! Yet God has had every detail under control, nothing can stand in the way of His good and perfect plans for you. He hand-picked your forever family and always knew the very day you would go home with them, just as He has always known the very number of hairs on your head. God is writing a beautiful story for you baby and I just can't wait to read how the next chapter unfolds.



Sweet, silly Maxim:
I only got to meet you twice but that's all it took for your sweet smile to forever etch itself onto my heart. Just one of your adorable little giggles and you had me. You have waited so long for a family to call your own but I know that the wait will be worth it. I can't wait to see pictures and video of you running around chasing a soccer ball, wrestling with your papa and doing all the things that little boys should be doing.What a blessing you will be to your family and I pray that you will just continue to grow and to thrive under their love.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Find My Family Friday - Maxim

I know, it's been forever since I've written a blog post... I'm finding myself lacking in time, words and motivation and the combination of it all has been rather detrimental to my poor neglected blog. I know better than to  promise I'll do better but I thought I'd start with something simple and at least let you all know that I am still alive.

As was suggested to me a couple months ago, allow me to remind you of Maxim and his adorable giggle...

video

Precious beyond words. You can read more about Maxim here, here, here, here, herehere and here. Please, someone, say yes to the blessing of making Maxim a part of your family. Now that would be something worth breaking my blogging silence for!

You can help Maxim’s family find him by sharing his story, donating to his grant fund and remembering him in your prayers.
For more information or to donate, click here.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Find My Family Friday - Andriy



Baby boy is still waiting for his forever family to find him…
(you can read more about Andriy here, here and here)


 Part of me is baffled that this adorable little angel hasn’t been snatched up
and I have come to believe that God must have a very special family for this beautiful boy.


 I know of at least three different families who would commit to bringing Andriy home tomorrow yet God has given them all a very clear answer – NO. That is why I have come to believe that God must have a very special family for Andriy. A family He wants to bless with this precious child; a family whom He has and will equip with everything Andriy needs to become all that God created him to be; a family who, whether they know it yet or not, needs Andriy in order for God to transform them into the people He made them to be.


How could anyone resist this face???
Could it be that they haven’t even seen it yet? Would you help me to spread Andriy’s picture far and wide so that one day soon the forever family that God has set aside for Andriy since before he was even born would see his face and know that they are looking at the face of their son?
You can also help Andriy’s family find him by donating to his grant fund and continuing to remember him in your prayers.
For more information or to donate, click here.


 Andriy is listed as “John Mark” on Reece’s Rainbow; 
in order to protect his identity, when sharing about him on your own blogs, facebook pages, etc. please use his Reece’s Rainbow name

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A long awaited celebration...

For those of you who are still reading this blog, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve become a horrible blogger… There is no greater proof of that than the fact that it has taken me over a month to write this post! But don’t let my lack of blogging enthusiasm make you think that I was not over-the-moon excited about the events behind this long overdue post… I guess I should start at the beginning.

When I first met all of “my” babies in Ukraine, two of them already had families coming for them while the rest were waiting in one capacity or another. Waiting for a family to choose them, waiting to be listed, waiting to become available… Since meeting my babies and holding them in my arms for the first time, six of them have had families commit to them. Over the past year or so however, one of those babies went to be with Jesus, one became unavailable at the request of his biological parents (although he is now once again available for adoption!) and two more lost their families when they were taken to an orphanage that does not allow international adoption. One other little one’s family is still working hard to bring him home. Nineteen months since they first captured my heart, nineteen months of hoping and praying and advocating for these precious little ones and, aside from the two who already had families committed to them when I met them, I still hadn’t seen any of my kids go home to their forever families. Honestly, it’s one of the reasons I’ve become such a horrible blogger… I’ve grown weary… oh, how I needed this:


On January 18th Andrey met his parents for the first time. It was so exciting but, after all that has happened, I refused to allow myself to get all the way excited until he was officially home. On March 2 Andrey finally arrived “home” on American soil and I couldn’t have been happier for my teddy bear and his new family!

At the orphanage while visiting with his new parents


After gotcha day... hanging out in Kiev waiting to go HOME

Home... almost

Andrey was taken straight to the hospital where he was admitted with severe malnutrition with possible refeeding syndrome, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, acute renal failure, bowel obstruction, h. pylori, and giardia. I am happy to report that poor little guy was feeling much better fairly quickly and aside from that, he has been doing very well and surprising everyone just like I knew he would! Just a few days after his mama busted him out of the orphanage, Andrey was scooting across the room, pulling himself up on the couch and holding his hands out to be picked up. Just a week after his gotcha day, before he even made it home, Andrey had already learned to sign "more" when eating and to say "Momma" and "hi" to whoever they were talking to on Skype! Smart cookie indeed :) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… you, little man, are going to CHANGE THE WORLD!

Andrey and his Pappa at the orphanage...

Andrey in Kiev with his Mommy!

Andrey (far right) going for a ride with his new brothers :)

 
Andrey, now Cooper, 2.5 weeks home!!!

You can read more about how Cooper is doing in his new, forever family by following their blog here.



Until they’re ALL home…

Friday, April 13, 2012

Find My Family Friday - Diana



Look who re-appeared on Reece’s Rainbow last week!

Diana (a.k.a. "Natalee")

Not long after I first posted about Diana, the laws in her country changed which caused her to become temporarily unavailable for international adoption. Since then, I have not been able to advocate for her but I have not stopped thinking about her and praying for her and looking forward to when she would once again become available… and now that day is here!


I have shared before that for many of “my” kids, I had a special song just for them, a song with lyrics that captured the unique messages I so desperately wanted them to know… their song. Diana was my beautiful princess and I sang to her constantly. Such an uneasy little girl, she startled so easily and it seemed as though her poor little spirit was on high alert. I would take her down to the visiting room, away from the noise and chaos of her groupa, rock her gently in my arms and sing softly to her. Gradually, Diana would become more relaxed in my arms until she finally reached at point where she seemed to be at peace. There are many songs that I would sing to Diana but I never seemed to find just the right one, her song. During these last few months, as I’ve been praying and waiting for Diana to become available again, I found it – Diana’s song.



The song is called Someone Worth Dying For by Mikeschair and it’s about all of us realizing that Jesus has proven just how valuable we are to Him… we are worth dying for. I don’t want to take away from the beauty of that message… yet when I heard this song for the first time and Diana’s face came to mind, I heard a different message. I already know what Jesus thinks about Diana; she is worth dying for and He proved that when He died for her on the cross. When I heard the first chorus however I felt like God was whispering to me that this is the unspoken cry of Diana’s heart – is she someone worth fighting for?

Am I more than flesh and bone?
Am I really something beautiful?
Yeah, I want to believe, I want to believe that
I'm not just some wandering soul
That you don't see and you don't know
Yeah, I want to believe, would you help me believe
That I am someone worth fighting for

The bridge of the song is God’s response to Diana…

You're worth it, you can't earn it
Yeah, the cross has proven,
That you're sacred and blameless.
Your life has purpose!

But what will our response be? Is she just another hidden away child that don’t won’t see and don’t won’t know? Do we see her as something beautiful? Do we believe that her life has purpose? Are we ready to echo this final chorus back to her?

You are more than flesh and bone
Can't you see your something beautiful
Yeah, you gotta believe, you gotta believe
He wants you to see, We want you to see that
You're not just some wandering soul
That can't be seen and can't be known
You gotta believe, you gotta believe
That you are someone worth fighting for

Diana may not have much worth in the eyes of the world but she is precious in the eyes of her Heavenly Father.
Can you see what He sees when He looks at her? Adoption is never an easy road but Diana is someone worth fighting for.

Would you help show Diana that she is worth it?

Share her story, donate to her grant fund, pray for a family to cross the oceans to prove to this beautiful girl just how precious she is… consider whether that family might be yours. For more information or to donate, click here.


Diana is listed as “Natalee” on Reece’s Rainbow;
in order to protect her identity, when sharing about him on your own blogs, facebook pages, etc. please use his Reece’s Rainbow name

Monday, April 9, 2012

Still Clinging to HOPE...

I am reposting this from last year. Since I originally wrote this post, Andrey has come home to his forever family (more on that soon!)
and “my” kids have finally been listed for adoption. Still, for every exillerating victory there has been an equally devestating defeat and I find myself desperate for the hope that is only found in Jesus and in his death and resurection.

So, I deceided to repost these words because, well, I need to hear them today as much as I did last year... and maybe you do too.

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I hope you all had a blessed Easter weekend. Over the course of the past week or so I have been asking God to help me to see the story of Christ’s death and resurrection with fresh eyes, to reveal something new to me and He did. One of the revelations, so to speak, that God gave me over the past few days had to do with the idea of hope

Hope. It’s something I’ve been struggling with lately. I’ve been home nearly three months now and despite all my best efforts, despite all my prayers, nothing has changed for my kids. It’s getting harder and harder to see the hope in their circumstances… I look at Andrey, my big teddy bear. His grant keeps growing, it’s at nearly $5000 now, yet no family has stepped forward for him. Still overlooked, still waiting, still yearning for hope… I think about the rest of “my” kids, the ones not yet listed for adoption, the ones waiting to officially be waiting. I have tried everything I can to find out if they are available for adoption yet still I’ve heard no the news. It’s beginning to feel like a hopeless cause… I struggle to see hope for these kids but I will not give up. Their time may be running out but it’s not up yet and as long as there is a just glimmer of hope, I will choose to keep believing that their day will come.

Then I remember Tanya and Marina and the countless others like them; older children whose time has run out, children hidden behind closed doors, confined to their beds, no chance for anything more. Where is their hope? To that I have no answer...

In the lead up to Easter, God began to speak to me. In the Bible, specifically in the New Testament, hope isn’t described as the promise of a problem-free life, it is not the promise of a life no longer filled with suffering. As a matter of fact, if you look closely, hope is not a promise for this life at all. The New Testament makes it very clear that hope, our hope which lies in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for us on the cross, that hope is for eternity. We live in a world full of evil and unspeakable suffering that I will never understand. The reality is, that will not change until that day that Jesus returns. As long as Satan remains the “prince of this world” (John 14:30), evil and suffering in this life will remain. Yet I feel as though God has given me a whole new understanding of what Jesus did for us on the cross. We can ask, “Where is God in all of this?”, “If God is good, why does He allow innocent children to suffer without hope?”. The answer is, He is hanging on a cross, ensuring that all this suffering will one day come to an end. His ultimate sacrifice was also the ultimate proof of His goodness, the ultimate display of hope.

So, where does all this leave me? I am still heartbroken by the suffering of innocent children around the world. We are not off the hook. We are still called to pray, to give, to advocate… to fight for the least of these who have no voice of their own. Yet I find myself face-to-face with the reality that we cannot save them all and it is in those instances that God has given me a new understanding of hope. For those who will never experience relief in this life, their relief will come in eternity. And somehow, though my human mind will never comprehend it, deep in my spirit I know that when that day comes, all their suffering on this earth will seem light and momentary in light of the glory of eternity. As I sit and meditate on this truth the clouds part and I see it once again… HOPE. Because of what Christ has done for us, there is a bright ray of pure, everlasting hope for all who believe…


“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”
(1 Peter 1:3-4)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter 2010

Two years ago I was spending Easter with 28 beautiful kids who I had grown to love dearly
as I spent every day caring for them and mothering them as if they were my own.



I have been thinking about "my Congo babies" a lot lately and missing them like crazy.
This weekend especially I find myself reminiscing about our time together and as I do I can't help wondering, as they celebrate this Easter weekend on the other side of the world, if they're thinking about me too...

My Congolese "sons"... oh, what I wouldn't give to have them in my arms again!
I know that many of you were not following my blog back then so I thought I would take the opportunity today to introduce you, through a video I made capturing our Easter together, to these kids who will forever hold a piece of my heart.




...to read more about my Easter in the Congo, click here

Friday, April 6, 2012

Find My Family Friday - Andrey



I get to be lazy today because Natalie put together this video which says pretty much everthing I want to say...




Please help my little munchkin find his family!
Share his story, donate to his grant fund, remember him in your prayers.

You can read more about Andrey here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. For more information or to donate, click here.


Andrey is listed as “Aiden” on Reece’s Rainbow;
in order to protect his identity, when sharing about him on your own blogs, facebook pages, etc. please use his Reece’s Rainbow name

Friday, March 23, 2012

Find My Family Friday - Igor



As some of you may have noticed, last weekend, for the first time ever since I started Find My Family Fridays, I did not post about any of my kids. I’m not sure exactly what happened. I think part of it had to do with the fact that, after sitting in front of a computer all day at work, the last thing I feel like doing when I get home is typing some more. Another part have it may have had to do with the fact that the weather last weekend to gorgeous to spend it inside. Finally, I know that it also had something to do with the fact that this boy has been so heavy on my heart lately that I simply could not put it into words.


Igor, my heart… oh, how my arms long to hold him again. I’ve been missing him a lot lately and along with that come the worries about whether he’s doing ok. It’s been three months since I’ve been able to hear any kind of updates on Igor. Three months since I’ve seen any new pictures or had anyone tell me how he’s doing.


For the last couple months I’ve been telling you about Igor’s brother, “Jacob” (you can read more about “Jacob” here and here). “Jacob” captured me with his smile, his sweet little giggle and his infectious, inexplicable joy. I would bring these two brothers home tomorrow if I could. Still, I do not know “Jacob” the way I know Igor. I have never held him in my arms, I have never prayed over him or sang him words of hope and peace, I have never felt my heart shatter as I watched him scream and cry and hurt himself and there was nothing I could do. For that reason, the love I have for Igor is special and today I want to remind you of the little boy who holds my heart…


Igor.

The little boy who I saw more progress from than any of my other kids. The boy who went from being trapped in his own little world, banging his head incessantly to a happy, smiley little man who loved exploring his environment, snuggling, being tickled a marveling at my hands.


Igor.

The little boy suffering from so much inner turmoil yet who would still rest his head on my shoulder while I sang his favourite song, It Is Well, over him. It was in those moments that I knew that this precious child had a connection with the Father that went beyond all understanding. His mind may not have understood the words to that song but the look in his eyes said that his spirit knew the peace that can come from Christ alone.


Igor.

The little boy for whom my heart at times fills with fear at the thought of his being transferred to a mental institution. The child with bumps on his head the size of ping pong balls from where he pounds his head on the cold, hard floor. The little boy who, although he self-harms, is so much more than his self-harming behaviours. The child who may be the biggest challenge his forever family has ever encountered, yet will undoubtedly also be their biggest blessing and reward.


Igor.

My heart.


Please continue to keep this precious boy in your prayers. Keep donating to his grant fund and keep sharing his story so that his forever family can find him. For more information or to donate, click here.


Igor is listed as “Brody” on Reece’s Rainbow;
in order to protect his identity, when sharing about him on your own blogs, facebook pages, etc. please use his Reece’s Rainbow name

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

World Down Syndrome Day 2012

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!!! Last year I shared passionately about how God had transformed me from someone who was terrified at the thought of giving birth to child with Down syndrome (or any other special need) to someone who was begging God for the privilege of parenting such a child. Today, I have no eloquent words. Instead, I share this video which has touched me so deeply and pray that you too would have your eyes and your heart opened to the blessing of Down syndrome.



Last year mentioned that I would be deeply disappointed if God never gave me a child with that extra special chromosome. I believe that God does have a child with Down syndrome waiting for me and today, I am thinking about them…

Precious child of mine,
Today my arms ache to hold you even more than they usually do. Oh how I long to gaze into your beautiful almond shaped eyes, plant kisses all over your face and whisper in your ear that you are mine. I already love you more than words can express. The thought of finally seeing your face, holding you in my arms, getting to know you inside and out… my heart will surely burst.
Today, I pray that you would always know that you are cherished. You are my chosen child, my dream child, perfect in every way.
You are wanted and I will do whatever it takes to bring you home.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Find My Family Friday - Maxim



I truly am at a loss for what else to say about Maxim so I am simply going to repost my post from last month(you can read more about Maxim here, here, here, here, here and here). My sentiments remain the same and I am simply hoping and praying that someone new will read this post and realize that this precious little boy is their son.

____________________________________________________

I truly don’t know what else to say about Maxim. Out of all of “my” kids, he is the one I’m most baffled hasn’t found a family yet.


He is happy, affectionate, playful, active and smart… not to mention cute as can be! Truly, he is perfect in every way. 
Is it because he’s already 7-years-old? Is it because he’s in an orphanage for older children with special needs? I honestly don’t know.


All I can say is that which I have said countless times before…
Please, won’t somebody choose this precious little boy???


You can help Maxim’s family find him by sharing his story, donating to his grant fund and remembering him in your prayers.
For more information or to donate, click here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Find My Family Friday - Andriy



Baby boy has a new picture. (you can read more about Andriy here and here)


The truth is, my baby boy is not really a baby boy anymore. Andriy is growing up before our very eyes and as much as it made me smile to see what an adorable toddler he has become, it also made me sad to think that he is growing up in an orphanage.


I know that this little boy has captured the hearts of many (I mean seriously, look at that face, how could you not fall in love?) but the question of who God has chosen to make this little blessing their own remains a mystery. Please join me in praying that God would move powerfully in the hearts of Andriy’s forever family, making it clear to them that Andriy is their son. And please continue to share Andriy’s story and donate to his grant fund. For more information or to donate, click here.


Andriy is listed as “John Mark” on Reece’s Rainbow;
in order to protect his identity, when sharing about him on your own blogs, facebook pages, etc. please use his Reece’s Rainbow name

Friday, February 24, 2012

Find My Family Friday - Andrey



I am truly out of things to say about Andrey (you can read more about Andrey here, here, here, here, here, here and here).


I know that many people love him but somewhere out there his mommy and daddy have yet to realize that this little guy is their son.


Please help me get his picture and story out there so that his family can find him.
You can also help Andrey’s family find him by donating to his grant fund and remembering him in your prayers.
For more information or to donate, click here.


Andrey is listed as “Aiden” on Reece’s Rainbow;
in order to protect his identity, when sharing about him on your own blogs, facebook pages, etc. please use his Reece’s Rainbow name