Monday, December 12, 2011

Tomorrow is the big day

We got news today that our letter of approval (for our homestudy) from Victoria is going to arrive tomorrow. So tomorrow I have to drive out to the agency to pick up our entire dossier and then go to the UPS store to ship it overnight to Toronto. To say the least, I am nervous. Anytime I handle the dossier I feel nervous. What if I dropped it? What if it got wet? What if the plane it goes on to Toronto crashes? Yes, silly concerns when you consider how big God is but when you have poured so much love and work into that stack of papers you just can't stand the thought of something causing any delays.
Anyways, would you please all pray that our dossier arrives in country by the end of the month? It takes that long because it has to be notarized, authenticated, and legalized. Thank goodness that our agency in Toronto is going to drive it to all of those locations themselves and not use any couriers. Less chance for problems!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Prosthetic Arms

I am in no way an expert on this topic but I wanted to share what we know so far. Being born without arms is a condition called bilateral upper limb amelias. According to the Dr. we are in contact with, Ivan most likely also has proximal femoral focal deficiency. What this means is that his right leg is short and lacks a knee cap. If this is his diagnosis he would have abnormalities in his hip and pelvis as well. 

The point of all this is to say that he most likely is not a candidate for arm prostheses. Unless of course the technology advances which I am sure it will. Here are some reasons why it is difficult for people with bilateral amelia to use prostheses.

"The technical difficulties in dealing with bilateral upper amelia are tremendous 3,6,7,10 . A few of the major problems are 1) lack of movement to power the prosthesis, necessitating either external power or severe body contortions to create movement, 2) the absence of switch-activating sites for externally powered prostheses, 3) the lack of bony and soft-tissue anchors to hold the prosthesis in place, 4) the nearly total lack of sensory feedback to the patient, and 5) the need for complicated harnessing and power systems beyond the level of understanding of the young patient with amelia."  http://www.acpoc.org/library/1976_07_001.asp

There are many types of treatments available for improving the function in his right leg but what option would be right for him would not be known without an evaluation at Children's Hospital if he was to come to Canada.

That is all we know for now.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

We are getting SO close!

Thank-you to all who contributed to Ivan's grant fund!

On Monday we went to the States to get our blood test and by Tuesday morning we had the results already. Now that is fast! Jason's fingerprints came in the mail today so I hope that means that mine will come tomorrow. Then we see our Dr. on Monday and hand in our papers to our agency on Tuesday at 10 am. By Thursday the papers should be safely on an airplane making their way to Ontario. There they will be checked by our other agency who will help facilitate the adoption in country. Then the papers will be translated and sent to Eastern Europe. Hopefully once the government opens from their Christmas break our papers will be at the top of their list! Hopefully they will allow us to come and meet him.

When I woke up and realized it was December I was so happy because I felt like we were just that much closer to getting Ivan home. At the same time I felt sad that he would not be here for Christmas. We have a stocking for him and he is surely going to be getting lots of presents even though he is not here. Just today I received gifts for him from some friends. Everybody can not wait to meet him!!!

We are busying ourselves with learning all that we can about children without limbs. We want to know everything there is to know. We want to be his advocates and provide him with every opportunity.  We've made contact with the head of orthopedics at BC Children's Hospital and they are ready to take him as a patient should he come to Canada. We ares so lucky to have the Children's Hospital so close to us. Ivan is not "sick" but he may need some surgical intervention for his right leg if it could improve the function of his foot. They say he may not be a candidate for prosthesis but it is not a for sure thing. There is a lot that can be provided to help him achieve a high level of independence.

We can't wait for Ivan to be home!  Jason would get 6 months of paid leave from work! Yes, I did say paid!!!  That is the biggest blessing when you are trying to bond as a family.

Once our dossier is successfully handed over to our agency we will put up our Christmas tree to celebrate. Not until then. We cannot celebrate until we know we have done everything we need to do to get Ivan home.

Thank-you so much for following along on this journey!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

One more week !

We have just over one more week till we have to have all of our paperwork to our agency if we want it to arrive in Ivan's country right after the Christmas break. Of course we will have to wait for an invitation from the government. We have everything ready except we have our medical appointments on December 5th. The day before our paperwork deadline. It turns out that our province won't do our blood work until they get a batch of requests so on Monday morning we are heading down to the good ole USA to get poked again. We should have the results in 3 days. We just can't take a chance that our blood work will not be back on the 5th. We are doing whatever is in our power to speed things up. We even paid double the money to get some of our paper work legalized in 1 day instead of in 1 week. Using overnight couriers helps as well. Once we hand in all our paperwork on the 6th it is completely out of our hands. We have been praying for a smooth process since day one and so far things have gone pretty well. We are praying that once we hand in our paperwork God will remove every obstacle and allow our dossier to sail through. We are praying for super fast couriers and extremely efficient lawyers and translators. Ivan is being well cared for and that is comforting but it doesn't take away our desire and hope to come to him as soon as humanly and legally possible. One of my friends is planning a baby shower for Ivan and it is so exciting to think of all of our friends getting together to celebrate his life. What a joy he is to us and to the Lord!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

His name is........Ivan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With great and abounding joy we tell you that his name is:
Ivan

Meaning: God is gracious!

Dear Ivan:
We love you! We can't stop think about you or looking at your beautiful pictures! We hope we can come soon!

Do Not Be Anxious

 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
 
Philippians 4:6-7.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

We'd like you all to get to know us!

I wanted to post some pics so you could get to know us a bit better. But first I have to share a bit about Trent. Today we went on a shopping trip to the states to get diapers and wipes. We even packed a lunch so we would not spend any money on eating out. (Yeah!!) We wanted to get a little something for the baby to remind us that hopefully he will come home soon. We got him a little bunting bag and we also found 6 pairs of shorts for $2.20 each at Kohl's. We also got a 3 pack of onesies and 2 matching pants. And we got him a stocking too! We know he has one leg that is not properly formed while the other leg is nearly completely missing. We have not seen any pictures of his lower limbs so we don't know exactly what kind of clothes he will need. One thing I do know is that I will need to learn how to sew! I figured the shorts could be sewed up at the bottoms to help him keep warm. Or they could be left open if I use them in the summer months. My sister has put a call out to all of her friends for donations of boys clothes so we won't need to buy anything else for him. We put all his stuff in our crib and we will leave it there for him until he gets here. He actually won't sleep in the crib because we have the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper but the stuff looks really cute in there.
 Here is an update pic of our family from our recent trip to Port Townsend Washington.
I've been working on the adoption stuff all night! We are trying to have all of the paper work in to our agency by December 6th.  I will write more later because I have to work in the morning and need some sleep!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Introducing......

 
As you may know we have been going through the process of international adoption for the past year. We are finally at the point where we have made a commitment to a little boy in Eastern Europe. It is with great joy that we introduce you to the sweetest boy.
  His orphanage name is Trent but of course that is not his real name. This little boy has spent his entire life in an orphanage. He has no arms as you can see and only one leg which is not formed correctly. If we are lucky enough to be granted the right to adopt him, he would see an orthopedic specialist at BC Children’s Hospital and a physiotherapist in hope that he will be able to get around on his own.

Trent does not know what it means to have someone love him the way a Mommy and Daddy would. Orphanage life is not easy and we pray that one of the orphanage workers will show him affection and love but we are just desperate to get to him as soon as possible. Please understand how urgent this is.  Please help us bring him home!

We would love for you to join us in praying for Trent’s adoption. Please pray with faith that God would move mountains to bring him home. We are praying that the process will go smoothly. That we will have safe travel. That the judge will approve us. That God will through his miraculous provision provide the necessary funds. And most of all….that people will accept him and be excited with us.
 
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” James 1:27a

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A life too short

On Friday October 14 we found out that our little baby had died. I had some bleeding and not wanting to wait 5 days to get an ultrasound to see what was going on I went to the hospital. I had an ultrasound a few hours later. My mom was able to baby sit Renee so that Jason could come for the ultrasound and the results. We didn't have to wait because sadly during the ultrasound Jason could see that the baby indeed had no heartbeat. When the tech stepped out to consult with the radiologist Jason told me that there was no heartbeat. I know I believed him but I must have been in denial. I didn't cry. I suppose I was hanging on a thread of hope. We went back to our bed in the ER and then the Dr. came a bit later and told us that indeed the baby had died and was only measuring 9 weeks 5 days....not 12 weeks 3 days. When he stepped out the tears flowed. It was real now. My baby was dead and there was nothing I could do about it. I passed the baby that evening at home and not knowing what to do I placed the body in the fridge. Our first baby was lost at 7 weeks and we had a private burial and ceremony for the baby. I didn't know what would happen this time. Jason asked me if I wanted him to open the sac so I could see the baby but I said no. I regret that now and wish I had seen the baby and seen the little fingers and toes. But what use is regret? The next day I started to have horrible labour contractions and had to go to the hospital. It turned out that I was delivering the placenta. The pain lasted about an hour but the doctor said that a small piece of placenta had remained in my womb and so now I would have to take a pill to help stimulate contractions. After about 72 hours the pill did it's job and now I am hoping that the physical side of this is over so that I can process the emotional loss. The baby's body and the placenta were sent to the lab for genetic testing to determine any cause for the miscarriage. I am thankful for that but sad that because of that I cannot have my baby's body back. They will not give it to you once you send it for testing. I am really sad about not seeing or holding the baby. The good news is that we had an ultrasound done at 9 weeks and they have a CD for me with pictures of the baby. I'm happy about that. I have to go pick it up on Monday. We were so overjoyed that day when we saw our little peanut.....the heart was beating so strong......168 per minute. I wish I knew what went wrong....I hope the testing gives us an answer. I know it's not my fault but I still feel that I could have done something to stop it. Why didn't someone says something to me when the baby was measuring small at that first ultrasound? Why didn't the suspect something was wrong and if so could have they have done anything about it? Probably not. A few days ago we went to the big oak tree where our first baby was buried and  we just spent some time praying and reading The Bible. It was comforting but also brought back the pain of the first baby we lost. I know that I have two children in heaven but it still just hurts that they are not here. And now I have all these crazy fears that I could lose Renee too. You never think you will have two miscarriages and so now it seems like maybe all of the unthinkable things will happen to me. I try not to think about it but I have to admit it's hard to not worry that Renee or Jason or me will get sick or die. I mean.....God says his grace is sufficient but that doesn't mean that your spouse or child won't die...........so it's hard to find comfort in that. I keep trying though because I know that He is true. I have no idea what will happen with our family at this point. I don't know about getting pregnant or adopting.......all I know is that we love children and one day pray that we can have more.....by birth and by adoption.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm Pregnant!

Yes...so exciting!..I'm almost 12 weeks and it's all going well. The adoption is on hold for practical reasons and becasue in BC there must be twelve months between children entering the home either through adoption or birth.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Update

I know it's been a long time. We've been busy with summer and also updating our home study to include Down Syndrome. We are now finished that process and moving on to getting our dossier ready. It's scary because the dossier is very tedious.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Dear Daddy,
You are the best Daddy any girl could have. Thank-you for taking such good care of Mommy while I was in the womb. All the snacks you made her and all the back and foot massages sure helped relax her. Thanks for reading me stories and talking to me on the "belly phone". I heard you you know. Thank-you for taking 12 whole weeks of prenatal classes so you could be the best labour coach for Mommy. You were so knowledgeable they called you the Dude-la ! Mommy felt she didn't need a doula with the Dude-la around! Daddy, you were always there for Mommy during the pregnancy and you were always so patient and understanding. I was listening you know. I know Mommy wishes she could have held me right after I was born but since she could not you were such a great Daddy to hold me skin to skin to keep me warm. Since I've been born we have sure been having a blast. Thank-you for all of the stories you read me, the songs you sing, the baths, the cuddles, and the bike rides. You stayed up late with me for so many nights when I was little so Mommy could sleep. It means a lot to me when you tell me how you miss me when you're gone to work. Thank-you for lying down with me until I fall asleep and for changing my diaper in the middle of the night. Thank-you for being gentle and sensitive to all of my feelings. Thank-you so much for working so hard so that Mommy can be home with me. Thank-you for praying for me and for telling me about God. I can tell Daddy that you really do love me. Thank-you for telling me that I am a precious angel and for making me laugh a lot. You are the world's best Daddy and Mommy says you're the world's best husband too! Happy Father's Day!
Love Renee

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's official.......we're expecting!!!

Our home study is complete and signed! We are excited even though we know that there is a lot of paper work ahead and many potential bumps along the road. We can't wait to find out who our little one is! Most likely they are already born ....waiting for Mommy, Daddy, and Renee to come and meet them. Don't worry sweet baby, we will come as soon as we can! We are praying for you....for your birth family...and for the orphanage workers. We pray for your health. We pray for healing and peace for your birth family. We pray that the orphanage worker will love you and give you the affection you deserve. We pray you can be home by Christmas! We love you!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Only one more visit!!!!!!!!

Yeah! We only have one more home study visit left! I can't believe it! Then the waiting process will begin. It's hard to think that our sweet little baby might be born already but we don't know who they are yet. I wish I could tell them not to worry. That Mommy and Daddy are coming for you soon. But I can't. Will you please join us in praying for this child....whoever they are? We are praying that they will not suffer effects of being institutionalized and praying that they will be in an orphanage where they receive love and attention.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Green Disaster

I was supposed to be going to bed. I have to work tomorrow morning. But as I stared into the fridge looking for a snack I saw the bag of "fresh greens" that I bought for Renee. They weren't getting any fresher.
Hmm....I thought to myself, "Can I get these prepared...cooked...pureed ...and frozen into cubes before Renee wakes up?" I took the chance. Well the little angel did not wake up but it was a disaster none the less. Do you know how long it takes to cut the stem off of one bunch of green kale and one bunch of black kale. Especially when you have never in your life prepared kale before? A long time. The cooking part was easy....but then came the pureeing. Let me tell you, kale does not like to be pureed. My Cuisanart mini prep could not really handle it. Grind...stir....grind ....stir....oh boy! This was a lot harder than swiss chard!   Needless to say the entire kitchen was green...the counters...the floor...everything. Not to mention that there was kiwi juice all over the place because I was trying to strain two pureed kiwis through a cheesecloth to get the seeds out for Renee. I ended up with one ice cube tray of frozen kale and a very small bowl of kiwi. I am happy about that but I tell you if I can find a good organic kale in the frozen food section I'll be their best customer.
Besides all of that mess...I had to throw out the whole bunch of red swiss chard because it had already wilted. Now I know I need to prep greens the day I buy them. I still have the bunch of parsley in the fridge and I need to de-stem it. I am by no means looking forward to the process. How do chefs do this every day? I just say in my head, "This is a labour of love....you're doing this for Renee." It helps to repeat that but it is amazing how a bunch of green leaves can be so very irritating. Now I am officially going to bed, with no more trips to the fridge.
      

Monday, March 14, 2011

Renee at play

Slight obsession with paper and with emptying out baskets of stuff

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Authentic African Wrap Fundraising Draw

It's time for the first official fundraiser on this blog. I don't have a lot of followers but we'll see how this goes.
You will get one entry into the draw for every $5.00 dollars donated to my chip in. So if you donate $5 you get one entry if you donate $15 you get three entries.
The prize is my African wrap that I got from my friend from Rwanda. This is the pattern. It is very large.....about six feet long and around four feet wide. I'll post a pic of myself wearing it soon. I haven't decide when the draw date will be yet.....but I'll let you know soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Facing the Facts

In the United States alone, 137 million people claim to be Christians of some denomination.  If only 1% of the Christians in the US adopted just ONE CHILD, 1.37 MILLION CHILDREN from abroad would have loving, Christian families to grow up in.  Of those 1.37 million, 1,869 of those children have DOWN SYNDROME.

If you're just not able to adopt  you can still save a child's life. Help us help other families bring these children home.

http://reecesrainbow.org/


Friday, March 4, 2011

Cry for Help!!!!!!!!!! Don't Let Her Die Alone!!!!!!!!!

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18)Girl, Born December 2009
Karina's  hydrocephaly is getting worse, she needs a family desperately.   PLEASE someone help her, or she will die alone and waiting.
 
 From her medical records:  congenital anomaly of the skull, feet and  hands. Cleft hard palate, UPU, LLC, aortic defect.
 
 Blog readers....please pass this post on...put it on facebook....whatever you can do. This little girl needs a grant and a family yesterday! This little one should not have to languish alone in an orphanage. How can we allow a child who may die soon to be in a little orange chair rather than in the arms of a Mommy or Daddy! It is inexcusable! We are so rich here....we need to sacrifice something and help her. I don't have any money as we are behind on our adoption costs but I'm so upset about this that I am going to Cosco tonight and returning the food processor that I got yesterday that I thought I needed. Well Karina needs a mom and dad more than I need a food processor! Can you help too? Can you give a little? Even $10? Please go to Reece's Rainbow ASAP!!! It is tax deductible too. Her profile is on the following page. It is so easy to donate. Please act now....time is running out!

http://reecesrainbow.org/category/waitingchildren/angel-girls-0-5

If you don't have a credit card or don't like to use it online send your donation to:
 
Reece's Rainbow
PO Box 4024
Gaithersburg, MD  20885

This saves Reece's Rainbow the Paypal fees as well. Don't forget to specify which child your donation is for if you send it in the mail.

"When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands." (Deuteronomy 24:19)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Daddy's Girl

It all started with Daddy holding Renee to warm her body because Mommy couldn't.









Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting Closer......

We have finished our 3 Day Parenting Seminar! It was a really intense 3 days but we learned so much about so many adoption related issues. The best part for me was probably the realization that with international adoption we still may be able to have a relationship with our child's birth family. It is definitely harder but it is possible. What a blessing for our little one!
The next step for us is to complete our autobiographies and have our medicals. We hope to have this done in the next week. After that we wait for the social worker to call to set up our first home study appointment. It is so exciting because once we are home study approved we will be able to commit to a child with Reece's Rainbow! How exciting for us to know who our little one will be.
We are also excited because we are filing our tax return tomorrow. Yeah....money for our home study!
Please keep praying for God to make this road smooth and in accordance with His will.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Application Complete!!!!!!!!

We are so excited that we finally got our application sent in to the adoption agency! We had to wait because we had to wait for the money to come. Then I was able to pre-book 21 4 hour shifts at work so we went ahead and handed it in. A huge thank-you to all our references. We couldn't do this with out you.

We are excited to see how God will continue to pave the way for the adoption. So far we have been able to pay $2300 towards the fees. We also have our TB test and medical coming up this week and next and I'm hoping it won't cost too much. I know the TB test is $80 but not sure about the medical yet.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Adoption Seminar Friday

We have our first adoption seminar on Friday. We have been waiting so long for this! We are so excited that we can finally start the paperwork. Our goal to do all paperwork as fast as we can. The first set will be criminal record checks, ministry checks, as well as medical forms and references. I think this will be the easy part. Also Renee will need a passport so I might take her for her photo in a few weeks and get the application filled out.
Please pray our child will come home very soon but for sure by Christmas!!!
Please consider going to Reece's Rainbow and signing up to be a prayer warrior. There is no cost for you to sign up and pray a child home. Also to learn more about adoption and God's heart for orphans please see the blog of a wonderful lady Adeye. She is such a blessing in the adoptive community.

http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/