Sunday, August 30, 2009

And I Ended Up In Thailand

These past few days have been a whirlwind of activity. Emily has been getting ready to leave for Thailand for 9 months. I want to be completely eloquent and share my feelings as we head towards Wednesday... the day she leaves. But there's just so much going around in my mind. So maybe later, I'll get some thoughts down. For now, here's a video which shows the organization she'll be working with.

Her blog is linked in the side. I know I'll be closely following to see any and all updates!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The tale of 2 weekends

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way...

The past 2 weekends were a real contrast. During the 1st weekend we drove down to NJ to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. The actual date was in June but the family was not all able to gather then. So we set aside a weekend in August when we could all be together. My parents from NJ. My brother and family from MA. My sister and family from CA. And my family from NS. We are all spread out so far so it was a real treat to be together and to celebrate the life and marriage of my parents.

I know what a blessing it is to have the love and encouragement my parents have always provided. I know how unusual it is to have my parents together and healthy. And oh so active. Altho I think the youngest grandchild gives them a run for their money. He is active with a capital "A'. But so cute!!!!!

David and Herlinda providing some laughs.

The girl cousins having some quality girl talk.

The 2 big boy cousins going crazy and burning off some energy.

We partied and celebrated and I think we ate the entire weekend. It was wonderful. Wonderful memories. A special time together.

Contrast that to this past weekend. In the spring, Robin's mother was diagnosed with dementia. The family knew some tough decisions were going to have to be made, but then in July she ended up in the hospital while her mental condition rapidly worsened.

So this past weekend we drove to St. John and along with another brother, we packed up her apartment. We loaded up a trailer yet still left quite a bit behind. She will now be living in a facility that specializes in residents with Alzheimers or dementia. She will be going from complete independence to a lock down floor.

After the packing we went into see her and both of us were thinking, "She looks great!" She really did. And we both started questioning the decision. She sounded fantastic...until the confusion started. Moments of clarity laced with complete absurdity. And when we went out to eat, we could see the panic and frustration when the waitress was talking to her. There were other signs too, that she is no longer able to function on her own. And for now, she accepts that. At this point she is embracing the change. And she will be moving to Halifax when the assessment is done.

That will be a huge change for our family. Even though she won't be living with us, we will be responsible for her care. We will have to establish new routines; ones that include looking in on her daily and taking care of basic needs that up until now, she has managed alone.

So today we are thankful for our families. We are thankful for the heritage and the Godly example they have given us.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

They are growing

This picture cracks me up because they have such a fake smile and pose. Actually it's a bit unusual for them. They usually seem so at home in front of the camera. I still love it.

And we're so thankful that Melanie is back at GLA and feeling better. She was home for a while after contracting Hepatitis A, which I'm sure was a mixed blessing. No fun to be sick, but it must have been great to be loved and cared for by her family.

On another note, I am so thankful for the dedication and commitment by all the orphanage workers and adoption staff who work so hard to move our paperwork through the Haitian system. I honestly don't know how they stay sane. Vera is an adoptive mom who also has a role in Haiti facilitating adoptions. She isn't connected with our orphanage but she is an invaluable source of information. Read this to get a feel for the madness that is the current state of adoptions in Haiti.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I love my cinnamon

I saw this recipe on The Pioneer Woman back when it was first posted. It looked interesting but I didn't feel the need to try it. I'm a bread maker and every once in a while I make cinnamon rolls. But this summer my husband wanted to give a little something to the staff in his office, so for some reason I decided to try this recipe.

I just have to say.... these rolls are amazing. I made 8 pans from one recipe and I heard things like, "These are the best cinnamon rolls I've ever had." They really are that good. And the recipe is pretty simple.

I made them a second time and I made sure to save some dough for the morning so I could take a pan into the office warm. Let me just say, they are even better fresh from the oven. Yum.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

July 25... 3 years and counting

We handed in our paperwork to adopt internationally to Community Services July 25, 2006. I never would have thought we would be here 3 years later with no end in sight. At the time, we thought it would take 6 months to complete our paperwork in Canada. It took 11 months to get our dossier to GLA.

Referrals used to happen fairly fast. Ours took 4 months.

Then it was supposed to take 12-18 months to complete the adoption. We're at the 22 month mark...

And counting.

There have been so many ups and downs in our journey. Times when I thought we might not be allowed to adopt from Haiti. No other country was an option for us. It was Haiti or nothing.

Times of energy.. rushing around to get things done.

But more often, times of waiting. With no word. No change. Nothing new.

There have been times of support from family, friends IRL (in real life,) and friends I've never met in person.

Times of real anguish and sorrow knowing that Peterson & Gaƫlle are in an institution. They are just one of many children. Studies have been done to show the impact of institutions on development. Even great institutions. It just is not the ideal environment for young children.

Times when I've fantasized about moving to Haiti until this craziness is over. Robin and I have actually seriously considered that. We have a bit of a plan. But we just don't have peace.

So, here we are. One of my kids thinks I've lost my joy. This adoption is sucking me dry.

One song that always ministers to me is "Mighty to Save" by Hillsong. I know that God can move mountains. He rose and conquered the grave. What's a couple of bureaucrats in Haiti? I believe that if it were God's will, He could bring our kids home in weeks instead of the months that are ahead of us.

So, I'll continue to sing and pray.

Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus