Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tradition, tradition! Tradition!

I don't know why I'm humming the song from "Fiddler on the Roof", but I'm caught up with those little traditions in my life.

I just got back from a family vacation at Beulah. A Wesleyan church family camp. 10 days of spiritual and physical renewal. A place we have gone every summer as a family. I think since my marriage, I have only missed one family camp and that is the summer we drove out to Regina for Robin's training.

This is a tradition. The kids love it and look forward to seeing all of their friends and acquaintances once more. It has remained a constant in all of our lives no matter where we are currently living. But the crazy reality is constancy along with change. As kids grow up, they no longer come. My own teens were counseling camp and only made it on weekends. We once owned a cottage but now we stay in a tent. No matter how much we want things to stay the same, they change.

Even so, this year was great. Robin and I were innitially reluctant because so much has changed for us and it's hard to convey all that in superficial, "Hey, how's it going?" conversations. But we both needed that spiritual boost, dynamic singing and preaching. I for one, certainly received a boost.

Because we are still waiting for a referral in our adoption and it doesn't look like it will happen soon, I was expecting the Lord to hit me with messages on patience, waiting on Him, and leaning on His strength. They really didn't come. Instead we were encouraged to live out our faith in a bold and secure way. The message I heard loud and clear was to "act" and not "wait". Yes, I am waiting on our adoption, but my life doesn't have to be stagnant. I need to grow and live.

So, I'm going to lead a women's Bible study this fall. I'll probably be able to do another one in the spring but just one at a a time. I'm excited to be leading "Believing God" by Beth Moore. I'm just as excited to be doing it on Tuesday morning. With only Kaylin homeschooling, I think I can swing this.

Robin and I will also be focusing more on local outreach with our puppet group. I came back from Beulah and wanted to plan a trip to Haiti, of course. But after prayer and discussion, we're going to spend this year in our own area. Robin and I have been planning different themes and songs that would translate well to kids not use to a church setting.

Robin's big project will be another post. It's a doozy and it will involve all of us. So exciting to see God's hand leading us.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Love Thursday - yeah... we really do love each other

Joshua and Emily are only 2 years apart. I can remember the moment Joshua came walking down the hospital hallway right after Emily's birth. The big brother. And he certainly seemed like a big brother and not my baby. He was so good to Emily when she came home. He loved playing with her and trying to make her smile.

They haven't always been best friends. There have been frequent spats and squabbles through the years but there have also been times of laughter and play. Next week they will be the only counselors during the wilderness camp. They were both asked and it just warms my heart to know that no matter where life takes them, they will always have each other.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Owning my story

It's pretty obvious that my little girl belongs to me. She may not be the spitting image of me but her looks are close enough that nobody would even question her origin.

With our adoption from Haiti, that is not going to be the case. Everybody will see the biological differences. People will question. They won't always keep those questions to themselves but will voice them, often in rude ways.

I have been reading everything I can about international and transracial adoptions. One thing I have been pondering is the issue of privacy versus openness. With our own kids we will need to be as open as possible. I hope we are able to share information about their birth family. We will need to discuss pain and loss, and also joy and belonging. We will need to discuss racism because we live in the very white Maritimes. We will also need to provide our kids with boundaries.

The first time I heard the concept of "owning their story" was during a radio broadcast by Dr. Dobson. His children are adopted and during a discussion with his son he mentioned that phrase. He never broadcast the details of their adoption because it was their story to share when and if they wanted. It gave them a bit of control in a world where they had no control.

My kids won't have that control. People will know part of their story because of their skin color. But I want to save as much of their story as I can. I want them to "own their story". Because of that, we will not be sharing personal family details with our neighbors and acquaintances , only close family and friends.

I hope we can walk the fine line between clearly conveying our love and pride for our children and protecting their hearts and their stories. I hope that when people intrude on our family we can be gracious and yet aware of putting our children's needs first. I pray that our silence does not portray shame but that our concern shouts out our love. I'm sure this will all be a work in progress, but I hope that my heart and mind stays open to any and all the changing needs of my family.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Canada Day party

On June 20, 1868, a proclamation signed by the Governor General, Lord Monck, called upon all Her Majesty's loving subjects throughout Canada to join in the celebration of the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada on July 1st.
As an American living in Canada for almost 20 years, I can say without reserve that July 1 doesn't quite have the oomph or emphasis that July 4 does. However, I think Canadians are starting to change a little. Of course, every community is different, but there seems to be more red and white every year. The flags are around and little kids have Canadian flag tattoos all over. Some cars even drive around with flags sticking out the window. There's still a long way to go before the patriotism can rival the good ol' USA. I think my head would turn if I saw a street with even half the homes bearing a real cloth Canadian flag.

So how did our family celebrate the beginnings of British North America in Canada? We went to church and then our puppet show entertained the crowd at our town's Canada Day festivities. It was a nice family friendly afternoon. We had a bbq with friends and then we all went down to see the town fireworks.

So party on Canada. It looks good on you.