Friday, December 21, 2007

How did I forget the Turkey???

Well, our boys are getting more and more excited as we get closer to the arrival of their cousins from Victoria! The house is ready, the freezer is full of baking, supper is ready to be put in the CLEAN oven(yes, who thought a self-clean oven was so easy to use?!(ha!)...next time it won't take me so long to clean my oven!), the fridge is stocked with food, the pantry is full of every kind of drink imaginable....but where is the turkey???? Oh ya, I forgot to buy one last night, even after two hours at safeway! HA! How do you forget the turkey..considering it was the first thing on my list? But, we will have a turkey...I was telling my friend last night(who I ran into at Zellers after my trip to Safeway) about forgetting the turkey...and she said, "I have a turkey in my freezer I don't need, do you want it?!" Well of course, if you're offering! So, we have a turkey!!!

Thought I'd throw in a story alittle on the lighter side! Have a Very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

thinking of my little girl....and the peace of Christmas

Well, I had one of those moments I knew would come. One where I just wanted to know who she is, what she looks like. Until now I haven't really allowed my heart and mind to let go and really dream about her. But tonight I just wanted to dream alittle of our girl. Is her mommy pregnant with her? Is she just finding out now that she's pregnant and can't keep her? The thoughts she must be going through as a newly pregnant woman. Maybe even alone in her decision to give her up. Or maybe she isn't pregnant, but could be shortly. I guess only God knows. But I take comfort in that. He will take care of our little girl and her mom. I can have peace about that. This Christmas to me is all about peace . Mary had to let go of her baby, so that Jesus could go make the world a better place for all of us. Because of Jesus, who died on the cross to save us from all the things we have done wrong, we are forgiven. Debts are paid, we are free. Free to have this amazing peace in our hearts. Only if we accept His forgiveness and allow Him into our lives. I have incedible peace in my heart about our little girl. Only because of Jesus. So many this Christmas season are missing the real reason for celebrating. It's not about presents or great food or Christmas trees or colorful lights on our houses(though all those things are wonderful too!)....it's about what this little baby, born on this earth, did for us many years ago. He gave His life for you and I. We are like orphans, wandering this earth wondering why we are here. God wants to adopt you into his family. God's love reaches to every corner of this world...the poor, the rich, the sick, the hurting, the murderer, the sex abuser, the bully in your son or daughters class, your mean spirited boss, Yes, He loves all. That's what I love about Him. His love is unconditional. So, as you think about what this Christmas season means to you. Think about that day, Christmas Day...when this little helpless baby was born amongst animals in a stable. I hope this Christmas you can find incredible peace in your life too.

Merry Christmas to you and your families this Christmas season

With Love from Carala

Friday, December 7, 2007

Homestudy Gone to Government TODAY!!!!!

So, to our surprise...our home study will go to the Alberta Government today! We got a call that everything has been changed for Taiwan and now it's ready to be sent off. So, yesterday I went and got our papers to sign and last night we did the deed! After lunch we'll take them to our agency and then from there they will courier them off! How exciting. I wasn't sure they'd be ready to go before Christmas. I just didn't want to get my hopes up. So, we hear it's between 4 and 8 weeks to get approval...so that puts us at Feb 1 at the latest! We're pretty happy with that. :-)

What a great week this has been. Another step closer to our little girl. :-) Now that we're coming to the end of the provincial requirements...it feels like this is really going to happen. I know it will still be a long road...but I have faith that all will work out in the end. God is good and is constantly reassuring us with these little successes. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragements.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Important info for those adopting from Taiwan!!

Well, I thought I'd do a little update. I just found out yesterday (by fluke!) that our homestudy needs to be around 12 pages for Taiwan...and not 20 like ours is at the moment. So, our agency in Calgary is going to reduce it before sending it off to the Alberta Government to get approved. Good thing I caught this now...or that would have put us back 2 months! The government approval takes 4-8 weeks. So, I can't imagine how crushed we would have been if our homestudy got sent away not knowing this. Hopefully others from Alberta will be told this. I guess Haiti is similar. So, for those of you doing Taiwan...check and make sure your social worker knows this. I will also post on the the canadians adopting from Taiwan yahoo site so that others can catch this before they finish their homestudy.

Other than that everything is going well. We are just getting a few things ready for the International portion...like some pictures of the family and the Birth Mother letter. I'm glad we can just enjoy the Christmas season and not have to worry about paperwork. January will be here before we know it and we'll be onto the international portion of the process (as long as the Alberta Government doesn't take too much time off for Christmas!) Ya, good luck! HA! As long as our paperwork can go to the Alberta Government before Christmas I'll be happy! :-) I know there will be blips in the system...especially being one of the first to do Taiwan from Alberta. We are just learning a lot about patience, which isn't a bad thing when it comes to raising a family!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

IAFA - Christmas Potluck Social

We attended our first IAFA (International Adoption Families Association) event tonight! And, it just so happened to be at Trennon's school that is conveniently located right behind our house! So, we had no excuses not to attend. :-)

It was a lot of fun. The kids were from babies to 12 year olds. We ate some great food, then they did some crafts and played with balls. Trennon didn't want to leave...and Ryden, well, he was having a tough day...so need I say more. :-)

It was great to be able to meet Chris and Dawn that are also adopting from Taiwan. They are just a few weeks behind us in the process...so that will be exciting to go throught the process with someone. We met some other neat couples and families and enjoyed sharing and hearing stories of their journey to adoption. What a great night! We're all looking forward to more events...even Ryden. :-)

Monday, November 19, 2007

NEW - Canadians Adopting from Taiwan Yahoo Group

Wow! This is so exciting! There is now a yahoo group for Canadians adopting from Taiwan! So, for those who are interested in getting more info on adopting from Taiwan or for those already in the process....this is a great NEW group that just started on Nov 17th. I'm excited about getting to know others in the Calgary area that will be going through the process along side us. What an encouragement we can be to one another. And hopefully we can start a play group after the first little ones from Calgary and area come home! That's what I'm really excited about. I think it's so important for our kids....and for the parents. :-) So, here's the address! It's cdnsadoptingfromtaiwan@yahoogroups.com

Monday, November 12, 2007

Computers.....arrrrgggg!

We got our homestudy back to review this past week. After 2 nights of reviewing on the weekend and making a lot of changes...we LOST the file and with it all our hard work. Don't ask me what happened...we're all a little unsure. Even my brilliant I.T. brother couldn't recover the file...and not much gets past him! :-) (thank you again Kendal...we appreciated the effort!). So, tonight we got back at it and finished it. My eyes are going a little buggie from looking so intensely at this computer screen all night so this will be short. We hear there's a waiting list for the next few steps so the wait continues. I think we just have to get used to hearing the word WAIT with every move we make during this adoption process. Patience, patience, and more patience... Not like I don't have a bazillions things to do for Christmas to keep my mind off the wait! So, I'd best get at it!

Friday, November 9, 2007

A little homestudy update...

We receieved our homestudy back from our social worker to look over yesterday. The report was well done. A little long, but I guess when you are dealing with me, the long winded one, what can you expect! lol So, we'll review it over the weekend and send it back to her. Then Wendy(the head honcho) at Christian Adoption Services will review it. It will then be reviewed by a professional editor. Hopefully all these steps don't take long. Then off to the Alberta Government it will go. From this point they say it will take between 4 and 8 weeks to get our homestudy back from the government with approval to go ahead with the adoption...but we've heard more like 4-6. So, by the looks of it...we're still be on track to start the international portion of the adoption sometime in January. I am thankful for this busy time of year. Otherwise I'm sure this part would surely drag. That's all for now.... :-)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Another step closer...

Well, it was a great day yesterday! We went to a presentation that was put on by our Taiwan facilitator in BC. It was a packed room, small, but still fit 30 of us. They spoke of both their Russian and Taiwan programs. I had done my research, so most of it we knew already. But, being able to meet our facilitator was awesome! Holly from Choices was wonderful. I have full confidence that they really put the kids first in all of this and that they really seek out orphanages that really take care of their kids. We got some important questions answered. Even a really big surprising answer! We wanted to know how long the process will take. She said, "18-24 months for most...but if you have your home study done already (since a lot of people their did)....it could maybe take as little as 12 months! What??? Did I hear you right? WOW! For us, our homestudy won't be officially done until we get it back from the Alberta Government...so that could be January. But, a year from January...or even 18 months. We'll take anything that's shorter than the 3+ years that we were facing with China. Just hearing that we could have our little girl home in 18 months or less made our hearts jump.

I want to quote what Terence said last night after I got back from soccer(by the way I scored my first goal of the season and we won our game...I'm sure the amount of energy I had last night had NOTHING to do with the all this exciting news!). He said, "Today I feel closer to our daughter than I have ever felt before." That really sums of the reality of yesterday's news. She is going to come home. It is going to happen! We feel it in our hearts. Yesterday was a huge day for us. In the mail yesterday we even got the official "OK" from the Alberta government to proceed with Taiwan. No one from Alberta has ever adopted from Taiwan before (except maybe a relative adoption)...so this is BIG! We feel God has given us plenty of reasons to keep pushing forward in the Taiwan direction. We are on cloud nine! I actually believe this is really going to happen for us. Up until now, I had doubts. It seemed almost impossible at times. But, we continued to trust that God had a great plan for us. And, he's beginning to reveal that to us...and it's so exciting!

Thank you for the overwhelming support we have received from all of you. The emails we've received are staggering! They are a huge encouragement to us to just keep going. And that we will get through all the paper work. We just completed our application to Choices last night...and so it's one more thing done. We have a big letter to write to "the birth mother". I'm not sure where the words will come from to write that one, as I know I'm going to cry through it all. What words can you use to describe to our daughter's biological mother how thankful we are to be given this amazing gift of her child? I don't think words are enough...but somehow they will have to be.

Well, once again I've written a "book"! Sorry to those who would rather have the condensed version. :-) Terence will get his two bits in here one of these days and then you'll see an abbreviated version! A man of few words...so unlike myself. :-) Until next time....

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Taiwan???....what happened to China?

We're still getting used to saying TAIWAN instead of CHINA when we talk about our girl. I even pulled up Taiwan on Google earth this morning to show the boys where Taiwan is, compared to China...and that we may end up getting their sister from Taiwan. I thought I would have got some resistance from at least Trennon...but I didn't. We even found where the Orphanage is that our girl will most likely come from....Trennon loved that! He is very connected to our world and loves to spend time on Google Earth discovering new places.

Getting back to our change of heart. About 1 month ago we got a news letter from our agency here in Calgary stating the wait for China is only getting longer...especially with the 2008 China summer Olympics coming up. 3 + years it said! What? You've got to be kidding? Though, we had heard several reports of the wait potentially getting longer...but didn't really think it would happen. Why now? Just when we're getting ready to put our papers into China in the new year. So, I immediately jumped on the Internet to see if we should pursue another country...though our hearts are closest to Asia and we really feel we shouldn't go elsewhere. Within a few days I had heard of an agency out of BC that is facilitating a program for Taiwan. It only started this summer and no one has actually received a child yet. One couple has received a referral and accepted it but is still waiting for their court date and travel date. The total time they say from start to finish is less than 2 years. Now that sounds good...but until it happens for a few people we won't know for sure.

Where are we now in the process? We just finished our "Home study" with the Alberta government (a lengthy process to deem us to be wonderful parents!) and are now waiting for our social worker to write up the report(10-15 pages) and send it off to the Alberta Government to be approved. All in all this will take until about January sometime. It's about a 3 month process. Then we will pass our home study on to our facilitator in Victoria, BC to start the lengthy international part of the Adoption Process. Our facilitator told us they expect we could potentially get a referral of a child within 4-12 months from the time we put in our papers to Taiwan. Who knows if this will all happen like they think. Please pray that we will have patience during this time. As soon as we have a referral, we know our baby is already born...and I know this will be a very emotional time for all of us. Knowing she will be out there, waiting for us, will be the hardest. From the point of referral we have some more paper work to do. It will take up to 9 more months before we travel to get our daughter. Our daughter will be somewhere from 7 months to 12 months. We will spend only 1 week in Taiwan. Then we're home free! :-) I hope this gives you a better idea what we're up against.

Just so you know, we haven't given up on China altogether. We will keep China in the wings until January. We just want to keep our options open as long as we can before we really need to make this decision. We will be meeting up with our facilitator from BC, here in Calgary this weekend, so we hope to get some more information that will help us in finalizing our decision. This is such a tough decision to make. But, we feel God is leading us towards Taiwan. We prayed for China for so long and now our hearts are being lead toward Taiwan. It was quite confusing at first, but we do feel secure in knowing that God is in full control of our lives and we just need to trust Him. We know he has our girl picked out for us, we just need to walk the path. As long as Taiwan feels right in our hearts we will keep pursuing it. Please continue to pray for us, that our ears will continually be open to hearing God's voice in all of this confusion and information overload.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The beginning of our Journey

I woke up this morning thinking of our little girl...and thought maybe it's time to start to write her story. So, one day, she'll be able to see how much she was loved before she was even born. To family and friends who read this blog, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for taking time to be a part of this special journey to our little girl. I know there will be days where she feels so far away. I believe that having this connection with all of you will help us feel closer to her. I pray that as we share in this journey that we can be an encouragment to one another. To our friends that have adopted and those in the process of adopting now, thank for helping us get to this point. It was only through your experiences and willingness to share your story that we are at this point today. I know many tears will be shed over the next few years, some of sorrow and some of joy. But I know in the end it will all be worth it when we hold her in our arms....forever. So, let's begin this journey together.....and get the tissue box ready!