Wednesday, December 23, 2009

to wait....

So, I thought it was so fitting that the "word of the day" on my blog today is "to wait"! Ha....I think I'll remember the Russian word for the rest of my LIFE! Ya, I think I know what it's like to wait...just a little!

On a happy note...my friend is on her way to Russia today!!!!! I'm soooo happy that everything worked out for you...she got her visa etc and got on her plane. :-) She will see her little man on Christmas day! YA!!!!! Soo happy for her. What an amazing gift. A gift she will never forget!

On a sad note...another blogger friend lost their referral. Soo sad..so very sad. :-( It makes my heart sick for them. It happens so often these days...it makes me scared for us. But, I know we need to keep trusting that God is in control. :-)

Well, this is short...we just got back from a skiing holiday for 5 days and tomorrow we leave for my parents place...a nice 8 hour drive away! :-) It's chilly today, but we hear the roads will be fine.

Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! Sorry I didn't get to send out personal greetings to all my "bloggy" friends....I was so sick for 2 weeks. One week I had the stomache flu and the next week I had STREP throat. Then we packed and headed skiing with Terence's family. Now, we're off to my family and then back for New Year's. It's crazy busy...but soooo fun!

Remember the reason we celebrate this season, the most amazing gift of all...Jesus. God's son, who came to this earth to give us life, eternal life forever with him. We are so thankful for God's love for us. Without him, we could never make it through this adoption process. I feel such peace this Christmas, because I know God is taking care of everything. We can't do anything. His timing is perfect, I keep reminding myself everyday. We may not understand it, but we just need to trust. :-) So, when I light a candle on Christmas Eve, I will remember Jesus....the most amazing gift I have ever received in my life. And, I will think of our daughter. The gift God has given us in our hearts. She's been in our hearts so long...it feels like we know her. I just can't wait to see her sweet little face. And to tell her how much I have longed for her to not just be in our hearts, but in our arms. :-)

Thank you all for being a part of our journey to our daughter. As much as this year hasn't been what we thought it would be. I know we are so much closer to getting a referral than we've ever been. So, it's that hope that I hold on to. Just keep praying for her, and for us.

Thank you!

Love,
Carala

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I thought I should do 1 last post before we head off for Christmas holidays. Nothing new. Same old, same old. I hope our holidays will be a good distraction from thinking about our adoption. We are going skiing for 5 days, then 5 day with my family, then we come home for a week...then hopefully we'll be off to a nice beach somewhere. Yes, we decided that we need a break. Terence has worked his butt off this year and so we decided to head south and catch some rays. Since no adoption plans...we're using that week to head to a beach. :-) I'm very happy to be going south...though I'd rather be going to Russia. :-( One day....

Christmas planning has been a struggle this year. I had a nasty stomach flu last week...and this week I have Strep Throat! Nice. So, I have lots to do in the next few days....yikes! Oh well...if it doesn't get done, what can you do? I'm exhausted these days. No energy to make lasagnas or cookies. All I can think about is hanging out and not having to get up at 6:45 everyday! And of course I can't stop thinking about a very warm beach...ahhhhhh. It's been nasty cold. But, the temperature is much better today.

I feel like this post is all over the place...it's my brain. Lack of sleep and no energy to be creative today. Sorry. :-(

I am looking forward to Christmas at my parents! So much fun, lots of eating and playing games. Hopefully we'll be able to take the boys skating. The boys are looking forward to spending time with their cousins too! It will be a much needed break from being stuck at home so much these last few weeks.

I want to wish all of you a Very Merry Christmas! I have great hopes for 2010! As much as I thought 2009 was going to be our year...it wasn't meant to be. God had other plans...and I trust 2010 will be one great year!

We finally got a laptop! So, when we figure it out I'm sure I'll do a post around Christmas with pics...if I'm not too busy sleeping and eating! :-)

Love,
Carala

Friday, December 4, 2009

9 months and counting!




Nine months. 9 months! How are we doing? hmmmm...good question. As long as I'm reading my bible EVERY day...I'm great. When I don't...I'm not. I really have been drawing from God's strength these days. Our church gave us a challenge, that I decided to take up. We have been challenged to read throught the New Testament by the end of December! Yes, that's a big task...but it's been incredible! And, I've been reading the most encouraging stuff! Paul has been encouraging me through his strength while he was in prison. The attitude is what impressed me most. He was happy, even in his sufferings. In Ephesians 4 :13 is says "So please don't despair because of what they are doing to me here. It is for you that I am suffering, so you should feel honored and encouraged." He's not sulking and sad...he's writing letters to the church of Ephesis (in this case) and encouraging them despite his suffereings in prison! So, how does this apply to my life? Well, I could sit here and sulk and be sad, mad or even angry. OR, I could focus my time on what I could do for others? Especially at this time of year when so many could use our help. We've chosen to help a family this christmas, a single father is in need of food and gifts for his teenage girls. It doesn't take much. As much as I'd love to have our girl home, God calls us to love and care for those around us even while we go through our own "sufferings". So, while I'm doing what God wants me to do here...He's taking care of our little girl over there. So many times we stop caring for others and focus on our own problems. We lose focus on what's really important. I can't change our situation with our adoption process. I have absolutely no control here. So, what I can control is helping someone who needs the bare essencials in life. I can turn 1 families Christmas into a very happy one with hardly any effort at all...and can you imagine how excited those girls are going to be when they open their presents?!!

I hope this Christmas you too will step out and help someone in need. It's not hard. And, there's so much joy in giving!! Isn't that what Christmas is really about? Jesus was born on this earth, to one day die for us...and give us the most amazing gift of all....a life with him in Heaven and a best friend that loves us unconditionally while we are here on earth. In Ephesians 1:5 it says "His unchanging plan has always been to ADOPT us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure." The greatest adoption story ever told is this one. That God's desire is to adopt each one of us into his family. He sent his son to die for us, to forgive us our sins, so we could have the greatest opportunity to become apart of God's family if we so choose. :-) So cool! God loved me so much, that he was willing to let his son die on the cross. Talk about suffering! Some days I feel I've suffered enough with this adoption. But, I think of all the things I've learned through these last 3 years and I don't think I'd change a thing. The lessons God has taught me have been life changing really. I am different because of this journey that we've been on. And, I am thankful for all God has taught me. :-)

So, as much as I long for my daughter...I just keep trusting that my heavenly Father has her all taken care of. His love is deeper, greater and stronger than mine will ever be. As much as I would love to be the one holding her...I know God is doing an amazing job taking care of her.

Thank you all for your prayers. We need them to help us get through this with a positive outlook. Some days can be tougher than others. But, we have such hope for the future! God is good. And, because of all of you praying I can hold my head up! :-)


Carala

**if you are wondering...there has been no update for us this month. We probably won't hear about anything more until February as Russian Christmas is in January. And, I figure the news will be the same...unless God has a cool little plan brewing in the background that we have no idea about. Keep praying! :-)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1058

1058 days since we began this journey to our daughter... I don't even know what to say to that. It's a lot of days.

To my girl,
I never thought I could love you so much...and I don't even know the color of your hair. Most days I dream you have jet black hair....and other days I see blond. I think of being able to comb your hair and put braids in it. Though it makes me nervous cause I haven't done braids in so many years. Would I even know how? I so look forward to it though. :-) I think of taking you shopping and going on playdates with you're new friends. I look forward to seeing you play with your brothers. To see the smile on your face when we pick them up from school each day, cause I know how much you'll miss them. I look forward to seeing you run into your dada's arms every night after work. And how we'll be able to go for lunch with him every week...like I've done with the boys so many times. I look forward to baking with you, like I'm going to do with Ryden this morning. And I look forward to taking you camping, and hiking. And, it will be a pretty sweet day when I'll have 4 fans in the stands at one of my soccer games...not just 3! A family complete! So, the count down is on my baby girl. Even though we don't know how many days are left...I know that the day is coming where I won't have to count anymore. And that will be the best day EVER! Love you forever and always. Your mama.

Friday, November 20, 2009

another rollercoaster of a day...

Boy, this has been one of those days....up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down....you get the picture! LOL! We had a late night, discussing adoption. As much as I'm tired of talking about it...it's all I can do. It's all we can do. So, I go from wanting to talk about it...to the last thing I want to talk about...all in about a minute. It's really a rollercoaster!

Someone the other day asked me if I think about my daughter every day. HA! Do I think about her? I eat, sleep and dream HER! As much as I'd love to not think about another adoption thing ever again...I CAN'T and DON'T want to stop thinking about her. She is my daughter!! Would I stop believing in God cause I can't see him? NO!!!! I will not stop thinking of her...cause I KNOW I will have her in my arms one day. Just as I will be able to spend my days in the presence of my heavenly Father one day too! (Hopefully not too soon though!! LOL!)

I'm a fighter by nature. I don't give up, ever. From the age of 15-20 I fought a horrible illness that left me days on end in bed, with a lot of pain, exhaustion, and other not so fun things. Did I give up? NO! Did I give up on God cause my life sucked? Did God give up on me when I yelled at him and questioned every thing I ever believed about Him? NO! God brought me through a very difficult 5 years of my life. Yes, I got mad...but I was determined to allow God to take me through that time and trust Him with my life. I had no idea if I would ever get married, have kids, have a life again. I dreamed of being a mom, marrying a man that loved God as much as I did, but really there was no hope at the time that that would ever happen. Now, 14 years later...I have the man of my dreams, the most incredible boys, and a little girl on the other side of the world praying her mama won't stop fighting for her. Do I believe that God will bring our daughter home, Yes, in His timing! No, I won't stop fighting for this adoption. Even when days like this I get really tired of it. Days like this I want to throw in the towel...though I never would. It's days like this, that I lay everything at God's feet. And tell him I trust Him with our daughter life and our adoption plan...cause there is no one else that is bigger, greater and more loving than He. He gave me my life back 14 years ago. No doctor could have stopped the pain or the fatigue. I realize who really is in control of this adoption. And, I can do nothing. I KNOW without a doubt the day we meet our daughter will be a day when I will see that every day of this adoption will have been worth it. We are approaching 3 years of paper chasing and a lot of waiting. 3 years, 4 countries. It's like an eternal pregnancy that will never end. God made pregnancy 9 months for a reason. But, I know in my heart, that I will do another year of this if we have to. I will keep dreaming about her, I will keep fighting for her, I will keep loving her...until she is in our arms. I can tell you that I wouldn't survive this long, moutainous, strenuous climb to our girl if it wasn't for my relationship with Jesus. I need Him to help me through. I want to smile as I go along this journey to her. I want to enjoy the amazing life God has mapped out for us. I want to love the plan God has for my life, be it waiting for 3 + years for our girl. And, when things get tough, I'm thankful for a loving, caring, and sympathetic God that I know will wrap his arms around me and carry me to the end. We would never have met so many of you, if we didn't take this journey. And most importantly I have a rock solid relationhip with Jesus because of this amazing journey.

So, it's on these rollercoaster days that I am reminded what an amazing life I have been blessed with! With so many surrounding us, supporting us and praying us through. And, to be thankful every day for the small things.

sorry for the long winded post....I can hardly ever write something from the heart that only takes a few lines. :-)

Thanks guys! We love you all so much.

Carala

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

a saddened heart...

So, this is an update to my "cool little story" the other day. My good friend, had to decline the referral. My heart is saddened. Deeply saddened. I can't imagine going through what my friend is going through today. I woke up this morning, praying for her...and I know when I put my head down on my pillow...I will still be praying for her. And, for so many others out there that have gone through, and are going through the very same thing. My heart goes out to you.

..Carala

We remember...






In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A cool little story...

A friend of mine has been on a long journey to adopt a little boy from Russia. I met her through an adoption forum a year ago, we are with the same agency, and she lives in Calgary so we have gotten to be good friends. It's been 13 Months since her documents have been in Russia....too long for someone waiting for a boy 2 1/2 - 4 years old!!! Way longer than they ever expected this to take. So, about a month ago....I was praying for S. and was just asking God when is this going to happen? When is S. going to get her call about her little boy? S. has gone through a lot in life, losing her husband in a roll over car accident 11 years ago, 1 year after they got married. This is someone I admire, for her courage, strength and her amazing love for son. Anyway, so a month ago I was praying for her, like I often do....and God threw the date NOVEMBER 9th into my head. So, I wrote it down and told S. ..."you're going to get your call about your son on November 9th!" We laughed about it, but it was so strange that this date was firm in my head. 5 days ago I was emailing with S. and said....only 4 day girl!!!!!

Well, yesterday I had been home 20 minutes, when the phone rings and its S. ...she got her REFERRAL!!!!!! A little boy, not even 2 yet!!!! He's sweet, adorable and healthy! November 9....amazing! God is truly incredible. I love how He shows us Himself, how real He really is. I asked God the other day, to show me something. Something to do with our journey that would get me through to the end of this adoption. Something real, that I would know it was from Him without a shadow of a doubt. Well, this couldn’t have been more real.

I’m still in shock really…yet I shouldn’t be. So many times during this journey I've doubted. It's so human to doubt, when things are not going your way. But, God is faithful...and doesn't give up on us. I love these verses from the bible. From Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to posper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
And this one from Isaiah 40:28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

When I hope in God, I feel I can run a marathon! I love when God reminds me that He is my friend, my best friend. And what does your best friend want? They want the best for you, and would do anything for you! This story was a huge reminder, that God desires for our kids to be with us. He desires for S. to be a family with her son, He desires for our girl to be in our arms forever. Sometimes, His timing is different than ours. We are in such a "want this now and don't want to wait" society. You don't need patience in our society. Everything is at our finger tips. This journey has taught me to be thankful with whatever I've been blessed with, no matter how small or how big...and to be patient for the plan God has for me....cause it will be sooo amazing and defnitely worth waiting years and years for! No, I don't understand why the wait. But, I only want what God wants for our family. I want the daughter that God has planned for us!

We are excited to be on the "home stretch" in our journey. Though we still have many months to go...I am thankful it won't be years anymore(remember, being thankful for the little things!)! I know, we would have never met S. if we would have adopted from China, Taiwan or Ecuador! We value our friendships in life. They are what is important. For our daughter to have a playmate from her own country is worth so much. And, a friend for us to go through this difficult process...means more than you could even imagine. Especially to have someone that lives mear minutes away. S. and I also share a love for soccer...she could probably kick my butt...but I'm ok with that! :-) We are looking foward to having our kids home....most of all.

Well, there you have it! A cool little story...I'll never forget. :-)

Carala

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

8 months!




Wow! 8 Months already! Another month closer to our girl. I'm sooo happy this first year of waiting is 3/4 done. My feeling is that it will take over a year for sure to get a referral. My feelings waiver though. Some days I think it's going to happen in the early New Year(Feb '10) and then I hear about slow downs in our region and then I want to protect my heart and think...maybe not until summer or fall. I'd love to have her home by summer. That would be perfect! But, when does anything ever go perfect in this world. NEVER. So, we keep praying and asking and trusting God. We know we're getting so close now! :-)

The most recent news is that our region is slowing down at the moment. What does that mean? Good question. I don't know the answer though. Their explanation is that more Russians are adopting in our region...but I don't know. There could be a million reasons. Our region has been the most consistant in Russia with referrals. I just pray that this won't affect our timeline. That we won't be sitting here this time next year...wondering where our girl is.

So, Christmas has started. The other day we put on Christmas music! The boys were so excited...November 1st! They are already asking when the tree is going up. Thanksfully not until the first weekend in December. It's our tradition. It would be fun to start a Russia tradition...I'd guess I'd better start doing some research on that....I'm sure I could bake something Russian. Any ideas anyone? I know we'll celebrate Russian Christmas as well in January. Lots to think about!

Well, I have to get organizing the boys toys. We are making the loft, where the boys have their toys upstairs, Trennon's room! This is all in preparation for their sister coming home. She will have the room Trennon is in right now. When his room is ready, then we will paint and decorate her's! So exciting! That also means the toys have got to go somewhere and I need to figure that out today. Plus, it's time to chuck toys, or at least give them away. Today is a good day to do it because both boys are at school and they won't sit here whining about all the toys I'm giving away!!! I've been wanting to do this for awhile...they are growing out of their toys and now don't play with a ton of stuff. It's a lot of lego and cars. And Trennon really is into reading books. So, I'm thinking he will need a book shelf in his room for all his books! So fun!

Have a great day everyone! And be thankful for all you've been blessed with. No matter where you are in the process of adopting, be thankful! God has a plan, a beautiful plan, and keep trusting that you are where he wants you to be. We are approaching 3 years in this adoption process...believe me I've had my impatient days! But, I KNOW that God has us where we're at for a reason...and I just keep trusting that our girl will come to us when He says it's the time. I keep praising God in the "storms" of this adoption and I know He is never going to give up on this adoption. God will help helping us through it to the end. So, chin up guys! God is good! :-)

love,
Carala

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pictures...

Nothing new....so I just thought I'd post some pics. This was from our last camping trip of the season. It was a beautiful weekend at Mt. Kidd! We are praying that the next time we pull out our trailer....our girl will be with us! Darling daughter...your bed in the trailer is ready for you, we can't wait to share our love for camping and the great outdoors with you!!!


Ryden...always a smile, always there to make you laugh, always my little boy.



me and my sweet, adorable, lovable, hugable....boys!



My last big run before the race...



Terence...my rock, the love of my life, and the best father in the world!



Trennon...the boy with endless hugs, kisses and has a heart of gold.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Our weekend in Victoria

Well, it's been over a week since we've been back from our RUN FOR CHOICES weekend! Time has just flown! We had a great time in Victoria. We got up at 5am on Sunday morning and was the start line in plenty of time...probably too early. I was frozen by then! It was about 2 degrees out and my little body was numb! A long sleeved shirt and crop pants just didn't cut it for that kind of weather. Plus, it's a damp cold out there right along the ocean...so you can imagine how cold it would have felt! The race started at 7:15am! Yes, kind of early if you'd ask me. Everyone said I'd warm up...but I never did! The cup of water spilling over my hands at kilometer #3 didn't exactly help! LOL! But, the race went so well. I ran faster than I've ever ran before...I ran 8km in 42 minutes! Terence ran it in 48 minutes, which was impressive!! The course ran along the ocean..which was amazing! I got teary eyed the moment I saw the ocean...cause I knew on the other side was my girl...sitting in an orphanage. Nothing between us, just water. (For those of you who don't know, Victoria is on the Western coast of Canada and Vladivostok is on the eastern Coast of Russia.) I could just feel her in my heart, cheering me on. I was so thankful when I saw the finish line and all those people! :-) There were 2500 people running the 8km race...and I placed 435 over all, I was the 183rd women to cross the finish line and 16th in my age group with over 150 women. I couldn't have hoped for better! Not bad for someone who started training on September 1st! LOL!

The highlight of the weekend was deifnitely meeting CHOICES Adoption, our agency. We've been with them for over 2 years now. It was so wonderful to put names to faces. We saw them several times over the coarse of the weekend. It really brought the reality of this adoption to life! It's already October(mid!) and Spring isn't that many months away. We hope to get a referal by then. I'm even hoping for February! Who knows though, anything can happen. It's nice to know that Vlad is going well and that referals continue to come in for families. Soon, it will be our turn! And what an incredible day that will be!

This fall has been pretty good...other than it's getting colder and colder outside! LOL! I'm nursing a back injury from shovelling heavy snow last week. It's all gone now...but I see piles of dirt in our yard...meaning the mice are digging their tunnels so it's time to do some trapping before they hide away for the winter! It never ends! But, I'm glad I will be kept busy now til Christmas. When January hits we'll be in the home stretch! God has been sooo good to us. We're excited where we are at and hopeful for the future. This adoption IS going to happen! My girl IS coming home! It's sooo good to be in the home stretch. For so long I wondered when we'd ever get here. Now, we are and it feels good. :-)

Thank you all for praying, for following along on our journey. Thank you all who sponsored our Run for Choices Adoption, it is so appreciated!! :-)

Have a wonderful day!

Love,
Carala

Monday, October 5, 2009

time to RUN!

I always feel the urge to RUN, when another adoptive family gets a referral. Run meaning, run a 8km race, or run in a soccer game. Not, run away! LOL! This is a new thing for me. I've been preparing for our 8km run for Choices Adoption this Sunday, so it's now becoming my "outlet" for when I start to miss my daughter. It just so happens that whenever another one of my blogger friends or another one of my adoptive families that I know gets a referral....I choke up! Half due to such happiness that another little one has a mama and a dada and half due to the fact that I am reminded again that my daughter still doesn't know who I am and that she's STILL all alone. So, I cry for a minute...then I tell myself. Buck up, and go for a run. So, thankfully tonight I have my first indoor soccer game of the season that I can run til I'm too tired to cry. I miss my daughter, more than I can say with words. And, it seems that every week, a family gets a referral from somewhere...just not us. So, I keep running (hopefully in the right direction!)...like all the time! So today I'm so thankful another little man is going to meet his family in a few weeks! And, there will be a new mama and a new dada in the world...and that is a sweet sweet thing!

So, if you're saying your prayers tonight, tomorrow, or whenever. Could you pray that God would be close to our daughter so she doesn't feel alone. Cause if I was her, I'm feel alone without a mama or a dada. :-(

Thanks.

Carala

Friday, October 2, 2009

7 Months and counting....



Well, it's been 7 months since our documents got to Russia. I'd love to know where they are. Are they on a shelf collecting dust? Are they on the top of a pile...or the bottom? :-( Has anyone even looked at our file? Do they know how much we are longing for our girl to come home? Do they realize how long we've been waiting? I pray that they've at least opened our file and are searching for the best girl for our family.

We prayed tonight for our girl. Like we do every night. But tonight we prayed that she would not feel lonely. That God will fill her with His love. She MUST long to be loved and held? Or does she have so many walls up she doesn't "feel" anymore? Oh how this hurts a mama's heart to think and feel all these things. I just need to keep trusting that God's plan is perfect. That his plan for her homecoming and her arrival into our lives is perfect. Absolutely perfect!

I didn't know how I'd feel 7 months into this. I personally feel that we are half way there. Well, hopefully over half way there! I think I can do another 7 months! At least it hasn't killed me! :-) It feels like just yesterday it was 6 months...so thankfully God has given me the ability to believe time is cruising by! He has given me hope really! Hope that it is going to happen...soon. So, I keep trusting, keep hoping, keep telling myself His plan is perfect!

It's only 9 days til our big RUN! I made it through another 8km run today! I didn't feel like going...but I was sure glad I did! It feels so good. And, it's time for me to dream about my daughter. :-) Not that I don't do enough of that anyway...but it's time for me to pray for her, and spend time dreaming of the day we get to hold her! What else would I think about during a 45 minute run?! I find it quite boring otherwise! Just not my first love...but I love that I'm doing it for a great reason...for our agency who is making our dreams come true...and for our girl! Hopefully we raise a lot of money for our agency! It's not easy these days for agencies.

Well! That's it for my 7 month update! Not much new I'm sad to report. Hopefully one of these months I'll have some exciting news to share! :-)

Until then...

Carala

Sunday, September 27, 2009

1000 Days since this all began....

Well, it's been 1000 days since we first started dreaming of our little girl. In a lot of ways it's gone fast when you've think of 1000 days! But in reality...I never would have dreamed would we still be going at this in September of 2009! I remember telling Trennon at several points during this process that for SURE she'll be home in 2009....but so many things keep changing. It's International adoption. It's not predictable, it's not easy. But, we know in our hearts that this is the path God wanted us to take. When you know that...you know you'll make it through. You know it's worth it...whatever the path is. We have met so many people because of this long drawn out journey. We wouldn't have...if this adoption would have gone smoothly and quickly. I am thankful for meeting all of you! I'm thankful for all we've learned through this process. My kids have taught me sooo much. They've taught me patience, to have faith, trust and hope in the one great Saviour of all, Jesus Christ. They have made me smile when I've wanted to cry. They've brought me tissues when the tears don't want to stop. They've rubbed my back, held my hand and hugged me so tight! And I know they will continue to help me through as we have even tougher days ahead I know. We do know we are getting closer though. The spring of 2010 may bring some good news our way. Hopefully we'll get a referral around that time. Then add about 6 months to that before we get her home. So hopefully by the end of summer next year this whole process we'll be over and our life as a family of 5 will begin! How exciting that will be!

So, that's all for today! Today we are trying to celebrate 1000 days. Unfortunately we have a sick boy...so we're lying low...but we hope next weekend we can head to the mountains and do some celebrating there!

With much love,
Carala

PS To our daughter, we love you! You are so worth the wait....I would wait forever for you. We do hope that God is going to bring you home soon though. We just all miss you and want to share our lives with you, now. But, we'll hold out for the great big day that God reveals you to us! It's going to be awesome girl! I know He is taking great care of you, there is no one better. He is preparing your heart for all of us I know. We love you. love, your mama :-)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Run for CHOICES Adoption!

The weather has been absolutely incredible this month! We don't usually get temperatures in the mid to high 20's at this time of the year so it's been a treat. Needless to say our weekends have consisted of spending a lot of time outdoors...especially in the mountains. When you have some of the most amazing landscape just an hour or two from your house it's hard not to go enjoy it! We spent 12 hours on Saturday enjoying God's amazing creation. First we did a hike up to a lookout that gave you a bird's eye view of the beautiful and famous Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel.(pictured just above this post!) Then we headed to Johnson Lake by Banff, Alberta to enjoy a barbeque and swim. The day couldn't have been more perfect. To get 25 degrees in banff and very few (if any) clouds...it was incredible! We also did another like hike around Johnson Lake to find a Geocache! The boys always love this. I didn't think it was going to be that far a hike so I decided to wear flip flops! NOT....a good idea. :-( We were trying to find the cache on the side of this steep hill....and was not being very sucessful. After having looked and looked and looked around this area I decided to extend my search....10 meters from where the GPS said the cache should have been hid....was the cache! I'm glad we found it...cause I hate walking away without finding the cache. I'm pretty persistent! This is why I haven't totally gone over the deep end with this adoption! LOL! I just don't give up that easily...and it definitely stems to all parts of my life. So, that was Saturday!

Sunday was another gorgous day. The boys hoped on their bikes and I got out my running shoes and we went to another very beautiful forested area near our house. Now, if you know me....I'm not a runner! I love playing soccer...but to run without of ball is pretty much pointless in my mind! Well, a few months back our adoption agency sent out a letter saying they're going to be a charity for the Royal Victoria Marathon in October in Victoria, BC(their home town). That's cool! But, how would that involve us? Well, you can also choose to run a 1/2 Marathon or an 8km road race. So, Terence and I have been training like mad for the 8km road race! Can you believe it? I can't. Terence isn't a runner at all. But, he's been training 2-3 times a week on a treadmill and I've been running in our neighbourhood. It's amazing what you can do when you set a goal! Yesterday I ran 7.5 km! Amazing! And, I actually was enjoying myself. Everytime I run, I think about my girl. At one point yesterday I got tears in my eyes. The more I thought about her, the harder I ran. I would do anything for her...and that includes running! And, I am doing this, so others can share in the joy of adoption!! Whatever we raise, will go to our agency to help them, help others adopt. What better cause is there?!! The money will also help an orphanage in Nepal! Which is very exciting cause we've been there...and love the Nepalize people! The Run for Choices Adoption has given me HOPE! It's exciting! And, I like that we're helping others!! Nothing we raise will go to our adoption. The joy you get from helping others is incredible and it inspires you to do more!

Our boys are also getting involved in this! Yes, they are doing a 1.2km Kids Run! It's so neat that they too can do something to help raise money for CHOICES. They are excited to do the run. So, on Sunday, October 11th we will running the race! The other wonderful thing about this, is that we get to meet our social worker and others that work at CHOICES! In 2 years of working with them, it will be nice to put a face to the names.

So, that is what's been up in our world. Nothing new on the adoption front. We've been waiting to hear who will get referrals in Vladivostok from our agency. Wishing it was us...but knowing we're still a good 6-8 months away. Hopefully we will hear soon...they did say September was the month some referrals would come.

The boys are doing great...loving school! This is a big week..as all their activities start...Beavers, soccer, Gymnastics etc. It will be a crazy busy week of driving for me but I love it! I know having a fun fall will make time fly and soon we'll be counting down the days til our sweet little darling girl will be coming home! Oh how sweet it will be. :-) She has 2 amazing brothers that can't WAIT to see her. Trennon is overly excited these days about having his sister home. When they talk about her like she's already here...my heart gets so warm...and it almost starts to hurt cause I wish I make all their dreams come true, and bring her home tomorrow. It's hard for a mama to not be able to make the hurt go away. It's hard to teach your kids what patience is. Yet every night lately Trennon's been praying for patience. Amazing! A 7 year old...praying for patience?! I'm truly amazed! I have learned so much from my boys during our adoption journey. Without this long, drawn out process...I wouldn't have learned anything through it. So, though the days can be hard...I am SO thankful for the last 2 1/2 years. I know I will be a better mom to my kids for it! They have taught me that no matter what comes our way, we will be able to get through it, together! So, though I do wish things would hurry up, I'm trying to just enjoy the time that God has given me today, to just enjoy his beauty, His creation, his mercy, His grace, and His undying love for me. Every day that I wake my boys...and they're healthy..is a day to celebrate! Everyday that we have food to eat and a warm house to sleep in, is a day to be happy with all we've been blessed with. To never take for granted this free country we live in! To have a country we can freely worship God in. When I think of all these things....I can only be happy. :-) So today...I hope you too can be thankful for all the things you've been blessed with. Today is a day to be happy!

Love,
Carala

Thursday, September 3, 2009

6 month milestone












Well, we made it to 6 months! I just hope I can do another 6 months. We could potentially get a referral by then...maybe. So, with that in mind...I think we can do it! Just knowing the end is in sight...makes this journey so much more do-able. I've had some rough days in the last few months. But, I keep reminding myself how worth it this is! Our girl is at the end of this journey! She needs us as much as we need her. She is worth waiting for!

August 31st was the boys first day of school! They were sooo excited. I'm posting a few pics from their first day. I didn't cry...I ran instead. After my run I was too exhausted to cry! I even sat on a patio and had coffee with a good friend of mine...that was so enjoyable!! There has to be perks with having your boys in school! Thankfully Ryden is home 3 days a week and goes 2 days. I am thankful for that! He's my baby. :-)

Well, nothing else new. Just waiting...and more waiting...and more waiting! :-)

...Carala

Thursday, August 20, 2009

post #102

So, I had always planned to do a big post on POST #100!!!! But....that has come and gone as you can see. I guess I did a few more over the summer than expected! Oh well! And, I also had planned to put a BIG "5" on a post for 5 MONTHS of waiting...but that also has come and gone. I think this summer has me a little scatter brained! LOL! So, here we sit, 102 posts in and 5 months 2 weeks and 3 days since our stuff went to Russia....and no news. :-( Today has been one of those days where I feel I am in a daze. I should be outside enjoying the hot sun as we all know it's not going to last very long. But, I did a little of that earlier...read some of my book...it was nice. But, I just kept thinking of my girl. It's like the biggest surprise I'll ever have in my life! What does she look like? With our boys...we could kind of imagine...but with her? It's like, who knows?! And, we have no idea what age she'll be either. 18 months to 3 years is a lot of difference. I just want her here with us...enjoying this nice summer day. I almost feel like I can't enjoy the sun today. All I think about is how much she would love it here, loving our grass, play structure, ice cream, going on the slide, loving her brothers and how entertaining they are! Anyway, that's my thoughts today.

I've also thought about the "call" that we'll get from our government saying "we have your girl!" It will be so unbelievable! So incredible! I think I'll run to the school and pull the boys out for the rest of the day! At least that's what Trennon says I should do! :-) Then we'll go visit Terence at work and yank him out of a meeting!! How fun! Then Trennon says we'll let them stay up late cause we'll want to talk about her all night and look at her picture! I love his excitement and how much he is dying for his sister to come home. His prayer last night ended like this "...and thank you God for giving me a mama, dada, brother and SISTER that loves me so much." Ok, I just got the big old tears in my eyes.... I just wish God would scoop up our girl and deliver her to us. He can do that you know?! Though I'm sure it's not in His plan at the moment(hee hee!) I just wish it could be that easy. I've learned a lot in the last 2 years about God....He's not always quick..well, pretty much NEVER quick! :-) I'm just sooooo tired of it. I remember when my friend K who adopted from Russia was getting very ansy and just wanted her "call" to come. It was long after....she got the call. It was so cool to join her in her journey and now they are home safe and sound. I have other friends that are in China right now picking up their girl....God has blessed them with such a sweet heart! I love these stories...cause they're stories of HOPE! One day....we too will have our own story! So, we wait for the day.....


...Carala

Monday, August 17, 2009

nothing new...

Well, it's been 5 1/2 months now of waiting. Nothing is new. Haven't talked with our agency. Just waiting... We just got back from a bunch of holidaying. It was fun...but we're glad to be home. I am anxious for school to start now. It's time to get school supplies this week with anticipation of school starting in just 2 weeks! I knew the summer would go fast...and it has! But, it's been fun.

I'm glad we almost have 6 months of waiting under our belts. I feel pretty good about it. Life is good, God is good, and I feel like I'm really coming out of this valley I've been in this summer. You know when God says, "I won't give you more than you can handle?" Well, He's been pulling me out of the "dark" and into a very nice place. I have this peace. Though times I still struggle with the wait, I have this hope within me. God is good. :-)

In the month of July so many of my friends received referrals or went to get their children. It was so exciting to see God work miracles with their lives...but also very difficult for me at the same time. As you can imagine. But, I know our turn is coming. I know God is teaching Terence and I patience...and I know it must be for a very good reason. Something we must need at some point in our future. So, I am very truly thankful that God brought us through that very difficult time in June/July. No pain, no gain...right?! I am excited about our future! I'm excited about this fall and seeing both my boys in school. I will have a couple days a week to do some stuff for myself and to get ready for our girl to come home. I think God knew I needed this time. Ryden will be in school 2 full days a week(for K) and then in January they add Fridays full day. So, after 7 years of being home with my boys...I will get some "free time"!!! I am sooo looking forward to this! Though, I know I have so much to do in getting ready for our girl...I am also going to join a squash club or something like that. I need some "me time" in there as well!

Anyway, time to make breaky and get ready for the boys swimming lessons...which I enjoy so much!

Hope everyone enjoyed their summer! Though a cold and rainy one for us western Canadians...it was still fun!

Love,
Carala

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer photos...

This is our "backyard"...only 2 hours from our house. We love every minute we can spend in our beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Only a few years ago this once was a gorgeous green forest. A forest fire went through Marble Canyon. It just recently reopened for hikers. It's still gorgeous though!!!





More Photos....



the boys at sunset, Drumheller, Alberta





and more photos...!





Thursday, July 23, 2009

nothing new...

The hardest words to hear today were, "don't expect a referral til Spring, realistically". Yes anything can happen, but spring, 2010...that's practically a year away!? I guess I hoped that things would have improved a bit and that maybe, just maybe it wouldn't take over a year for a referral.....what was I thinking?! Getting too hopeful I guess. I think what's hardest on me...is know how sad our boys are right now. It's hard to keep telling them to keep trusting that their sister will come home. Already 2 1/2 years feels like a lifetime...and now, another 18 months before she comes home...or longer? I couldn't even tell them that...cause I couldn't bare to see the sadness in their eyes.

Anyway, enough sad talk...time to go enjoy this hot weather we're having. We're heading off to camp and hope to forget about this for at least the weekend.....

Wish there was more I could say....

Carala

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Imagine Adoption....

All around us people are going to Russia, or just getting back, getting good news or moving forward quicker than expected. This is wonderful! Then there are those caught up in the Bankruptcy of "Imagine Adoption" based out of Ontario, Canada. If you haven't heard about it you can google "Imagine Adoption". Though it doesn't affect us or our adoption...we have some close friends that have been affected. And so, our hearts have been really saddened these last few days. Adoption is tough as it is...and then to face so many unknowns with an agency going into bankruptcy. I feel for my friends...and those hundreds of Canadians affected by this. Adoption is NOT a money grabber. Agency aren't out there to make money off us..they are there to help us get our kids home. And, with all the rule changes in the International adoption world...I'm sure this couldn't be good for agencies. Money doesn't flow if referrals are not happening or kids aren't coming home. Families are waiting and agencies are busy trying to get things moving for us as fast as they can. Their costs don't go away. So, I'm sure this isn't the only agency having issues with cash flow. I just pray that things in the adoption world can start moving again. Kids needs homes, families need kids. God has a special place in his heart for orphans. He says in John 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you". Everyone of us is essentially an "orphan" at some point in our lives....when we are without Christ in our life...there's this emptyness and we have this hole in our heart that can only be filled by Him. Until we accept Him into our lives...we are "orphans". But, when we realize life isn't worth living without Christ...God adopts us into His family. It's probably the most incredible adoption story I know! Ultimately God wants to "adopt" all of us into his family. I love that God put the adoption of our girl on our hearts 2 1/2 years ago....cause it made me realize how much more amazing He is and the plan He has for this world to know Him. Knowing God doesn't mean an easy life. In a lot of ways it's a lot tougher. Every time I go through a very difficult time in my life....I've learned to lean more on God. So many times I do fail though...and want to do it all on my own. But, I learn very quickly that, that just can't be done! He patiently waits for me to come to him and ask for help. The month of June was probably my most depressing months in a very long time. Everything in our adoption seemed hopeless. I know I shared on my blog during that time and I know it was bold of me to do that. But, this is real stuff. If you know me...I'm very real. This is who I am. And, during that time. God stood beside me, holding my hand through my frustrations and sadness. He was a friend to me. The more I didn't try to get through it on my own and the more I relied on Christ...the happier I got. God has given me this most amazing peace. Yes, some days I just wish he'd deliver my daughter to me...and my patience lack. But, those are the days that I'm trying to do this adoption on my own, without his peace, patience, and His love. With Him in my life...I can do anything. With out...I crumble. So, I appreciate all those who pray for me, for my family. Because God has brought you into my life so I can have a support behind me, behind us. It's amazing what happens when people pray. Miracles can happen when people pray. So, I thank you all for praying for us. We feel them...especially on the tough days. I have seen friends move leaps and bounds in this adoption process...and I know it's because people pray and God answers their prayers!! We have not given up hope in the least! God is good and God will bring our girl home....one day! So, keep the faith, keep hoping. God will not leave us or forsake us. He is an amazing God and friend that will love me the rest of my life. And, I know he is loving my daughter right now and taking GREAT care of her! She is ultimately in the best hands possible...His. Though, some days I argue with God and say, aren't my hands better?! :-) I know one day he will make all my dreams come true...and bring her home.

So, as much as I wish I had great news for you....I don't. But, I know how much we will all celebrate when we do get the call we've been waiting for, for so long. And that is woth waiting for!

Love,
Carala

Friday, July 3, 2009

4 Months Waiting...




It has been 4 months today since our documents were sent to Russia. I can't decide if the time has gone fast or slow. In some ways it's gone pretty fast. But, to think that we could potentially have another 14 months to go...now it feels like time is standing still. I hope God has a faster referral than that planned for us...cause I don't know that we could wait another 14 months. Now, that is the longest we'd have to wait...and my feeling is that it will happen sooner than that. But, you just never know with adoption. So much changes so fast! So, we keep on waiting.

I'm glad we have summer to keep my mind off the "wait". So far our busyness has been helping. We just got back from camping with family...and now we're getting ready for a family reunion next week. The big Calgary Stampede is on and we're going to the big Rodeo tomorrow with the boys. We've never been to the Rodeo so the kids are going to love it! It will be a long day...but so fun!

Onto to happier news...our little "big" boy Ryden just turned 5 today!!!!! Wow, hard to believe it's been 5 whole years since he came into our lives. That doesn't seem long ago. I wish adoption waiting went as fast as the last 5 years with our little man. Hard to believe he was 2 1/2 when we started this whole process. Anyway, we had a great day celebrating with our boys.

But, the day wasn't complete without praying once again for their sister. I wasn't sure if the wait would ever affect the boys. They have always been so positive and it didn't faze them...well, until now. Now, they are even starting to doubt if she will ever come home. That made me cry. We prayed last night that we'd ALL keep trusting the God will bring their sister home soon. The wait is long, and it's wearing on all of us. I just hope God has a miracle planned, cause the Jellema's really would like our daughter home by Christmas! Is that too much to ask? I don't think so! So, please join us in praying that God will do a great miracle and bring our girl home...real soon! :-)

Wish I had more exciting things to post. Hopefully soon we will.... :-)

Love,
Carala

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy 9th Anniversary!





9 years ago today...Terence and I got married on the shores of Bow Lake, Alberta. I have been so blessed to be married to such an amazing man! He is my adventure seeking, God loving, kind hearted, humble, my best friend and incredible father to our 2 sweet and lovable boys. He has been my rock through this adoption and I love him to bits! I love you Terence and I will for the rest of my life! I look forward to spending endless years together...enjoying the blessings that God has given us! :-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

waiting...waiting..and more waiting

We're tired of waiting...so tired. Yes, our stuff has only been in Russia 3 months...but we've been doing adoption for 2 1/2 years! It's all I think about. I wake up thinking about our daughter...I think about her during the day...and then I think about her when I go to sleep each night. To just know who she is, to be able to see her picture...that would get me through. Yes, I am thankful where we're at. It's nice to have our dossier in Russia. But really, it's been 2 1/2 years and we're only at this point? I'm tired. I'm tired of no being able to hold her. To kiss her. To love her. I'm exhausted really. Not many people understand adoption. How could they, they haven't gone through it. Until you go through it...you can't understand what it's like. I do know what being a parent is all about...and it's like my daughter has been ripped from my arms and she's on the other side of the world. We have felt for a long while now, that we do have a daughter and sister out there. When the boys draw family pictures....there are 5 of us, not 4. She is already their sister...and to keep telling them she isn't going to come home til next year, it's heartbreaking! It's heartbreaking for all of us. To keep having hope, to keep trusting God that His timing is perfect, to keep praising Him in this "storm" we're going through...it's not always easy. It's hard to ignore the burning ache in your heart day in and day out. I wish all the things we do in life could cover up the pain I feel every day she isn't with us...but nothing helps. I know this is probably the lowest point I've ever been at in this process. When we had to give up Taiwan 1 year ago...I didn't know how we'd go on. The month of June last year was horrible. And once again...this June is no better...though I see what we've done in a year and think...at least we have hope that we will get our daughter from Russia. Last year at this point we didn't even know where we'd go from Taiwan. I've wondered so many times if God has a little Euroasian girl planned for our family. Russian's won't adopt kids that don't look like themselves, so there is hope that we could get a little Asian girl like we've dreamed of for so long. Not that we really care...we just want our daughter home. But, our dream was always Asia...and when that wasn't possible we thought we'd lost our dream. But really, our dream is for another child,...doesn't matter where they are from. :-) I love being a mom, and it seems like a perfect fit for the boys to have a sister. So, we came to settle on Russia, not really thinking that we could possible get a child that may be part Asian! So, there's hope for our dream.

Anyway, that is my thoughts today. Not maybe the most uplifting..but this process isn't always that. We have our days. I hope July proves to be a better month for me. With more distractions in our lives and a lot more sunshine!!! Summer for us is a lot of camping and a few family reunions. I hope it will be a good summer and before we know it, it will be fall. We don't know what the fall will hold for us...most likely not a referral...but we can always hope for a miracle....cause we know God can do anything! :-)

Love,
Carala

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Happy "early" 5th Birthday Ryden!





So, Ryden has his birthday party today! He isn't turning 5 until July 3rd, but we wantd to celebrate when all his friends would be around. July 3rd is not the time to have a party..everyone is gone on holidays!

He was supposed to have a Mini-golf Party...but as some of you know, it SNOWED here today. Ya, snow on June 6th! Crazy! No, it doesn't normally snow in June in Calgary...but today it did! Thankfully it's all gone now...but still quite chilly outside.

Here are a few pictures from today. We ended up bowling instead and it was still a very fun time! :-) It's hard to believe my baby will be going to Kindergarten this fall...that is one thing that has gone fast. Though, I thought our girl would have been home by now. :-( Hopefully by Ryden's 6th Birthday! :-)

Enjoy.

Carala

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

things seem very slow...but may pickup in July

I've had this feeling over the last few weeks that things are very slow out there. Blogs aren't updated as much, people just waiting. According to our agency they are supposed to be getting some referrals in July, from 2 different regions. Not that our "number is up" or anything...but maybe the summer will prove to be good with fellow Canadians getting referrals and kids coming home. I hope anyway. So many I know have waited a long while...and it would be so wonderful to have some good news for them. The wait is hard...despite how long it's been. It seems like to me that our agency gets referrals every 3-4 months. So, kind of like 3-4 times a year. So, maybe the next round of referrals could be before Christmas...and if a miracle was to happen...wouldn't that be a great time to get a call?!!! HA! Ya, I know I'm dreaming...but if you know me at all...I am a big dreamer! :-) You can't underestimate what God can do. So, I'm going to hope for Christmas...and see what happens. :-)

The other day I ended up on the door step of a friend of mine, who adopted a girl from Haitie a few years ago. It was kind of neat how it happened. I had left my jacket at a pool in her area on the weekend and decided I should go get it back before it disapprears for good. So, after picking it up I thought...hmmm...Julie lives near here...maybe I should go see if she's home. Unfortunatley they tore down their house and are building a new one in its place...so I was unsure what house they were renting on the block while their knew one was being built. So, being like my mom...I began rapping on a couple doors...but noone was home at either of the houses(yes, I guess people work!). So, I got back into my truck and was leaving a message for Terence when who drives by but my friend!!!!! She pulls up behind me(not knowing it was me, cause we got a new truck since I saw her last!) and I jumped out...surprising her! I got a tour of their framed new house(it's gorgeous bytheway!) and then she invited me in for coffee.

It's like God knew I needed her that day. That I needed to just chat with someone who understands adoption all too well. Yes, our experiences have been different but just to know she understands me and knows what I'm going through gave me what I need to get me through this rough spell I'm going through. I was much happier after leaving her place and I still feel pretty positive today. :-) Isn't God good?!! I had no idea when I had left my jacket at the pool...that it would be the best thing I could have done.(at the time I was upset that I had to go all the way back and get it...if it was still there). It's a reminder that God is in full control and He has his ways of letting us know that He is near and will give us a boast when I need it most. :-) He will bring people close to support me through this...and I am so thankful that He loves me enough to bring Julie into my day! Cause I really needed her. So, thanks Julie...for being free and having nothing urgent to do! :-)

In the last few days since I spent time with my friend...I've felt more of a peace about this all. I know I've had good friends praying for me...and to them I am thankful, sooo thankful! :-) Not that I'm ok with waiting and that I don't get upset every other day about this whole thing....but I know down deep in my heart that God is in control and he will do what he wants with my life. I just need to trust that he has our best interest at heart. So, I hold onto that...and try to keep smiling. :-) I've been enjoying watching my super star son Trennon excel at the game of soccer and as a player myself I have thoroughly enjoyed myself these last few weeks, just watching him play. Ryden has been my sidekick these days...helping me clean the truck, helping out with taking care of Oma every Tuesday, he's my constant. And I love that about him. He makes me smile...with that amazing pearly white smile he has and that belly filled laugh of his. God knew that I needed him by my side this year. We've had fun and I've loved the time I've had with him. Usually middle children miss out on "mama alone time"....but thankfully he hasn't missed out..since the timing of our adoption was definitely different than we expected. So, that is a bonus I'd say! Even in the fall I will have him home 3 days a week and he'll be in Kindergarten 2 full days a week. So, we will still get lots of time together...which I'm very very happy about. Then, by the time our daughter comes home for good...he'll be almost in Grade 1 and then I'll have her by my side. I know she will miss her brothers while they are at school...but I do spend time volunteering there...and maybe, just maybe they'll decide to come home for lunch every so often! We do live a 1 minute walk from school after all! :-)

Well, I think that is all. One last thing. Our dossier has not been registered in a 2nd region as of yet. I think there are a lot of others ahead of us. So, we keep our hope in Vlad...maybe that is where our daughter is?! We can only hope that the day won't be too long before we get that long awaited call!

With loads of love,
Carala

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Russia news...and a whole lot of rambling! :-)

Last week I had a chance to talk with our agency. Unfortunately things are slowing down even more in Russia. How could it get slower? Who knows. Hey, it's better than the country shutting down all together or stopping adoptions to Canada, like our experience with Taiwan when they pulled the program from Canada. We're trying to be as optimistic as possible and doing our best not to worry about the possible long wait ahead of us.

Our agency has stopped taking new clients on until this start to pick up a bit. They have had 3 regions of Russia open until now. And, they are opening 6 more regions which is good. The problem with new regions is that they have no experience in them and their relationship with the facilitator is new. So, we hope that things go well in the new regions and families will get matched with kids sooner than later. It's all pretty much a gamble going into a new region. This is why we chose Vladivostok. Choices has been in this region for a very long time. Unfortunately they are losing their facilitator that they've had great relationship with. I know they have another one lined up...but what will this do to adoption in Vladivostok? Who knows. Time will tell the story on that one. In the mean time Choices is doing something to help maybe speed up adoptions in Russia for us families that are currently registered. They've decided to put our dossier in 2 different regions at the same time...and not just one. So, it kind of doubles our odds of getting a child sooner. I don't know when this will be done. We were probably one of the last families registered into a region so maybe in a month or two we'll find out more. I'm trying not to think about it too much. I just keep praying that we'll get matched with a child from Vladivostok in the next 6 months and then we won't have to rely on a new region. This probably is being too hopeful...as they now say over a year for a referral. Hey, God can do anything...and I believe that with my whole heart!! So, we just keep praying that a miracle will happen. That we'll get the long awaited call about our little girl that is waiting oh so patiently for us. Won't that be just the most amazing day?!!! I get tears in my eyes just thinking about the call! What would I say? Well, I probably wouldn't say anything...I know I'll just ball!! When I think about getting that call I get a little panicked cause I don't that I'm totally ready either. We would have about 2 weeks to get ready before we'd go meet her. That's crazy! My parents are planning to come be with the boys while we're away and all that that entails scares me a little. Plus have to buy plane tickets, book hotels, etc. Yikes! I am so happy that we won't have to wait months to meet her like some countries. But, we will have a long wait between trip 1 and trip 2. Could potentially be 4-5 months between trips. That will be the biggest test of patience I know. I may think things are hard now...but really this is nothing compared to knowing what our daughter looks like, and having held her in our arms...and then having to let her go for months!!! I know God will get us through this...He has always been there for us through thick and thin. And, I know I don't have to worry about going through it alone. But, I know this will be a true test and I know my heart will be broken without her in my arms. I know this because I have two amazing little boys of my own...and my heart almost broke not seeing them for 19 days while I was in Cambodia last year. But, God was amazing through it all and I was able to poor my love into little AIDS orphan boys and girls and I had an amazing time. I know God can do anything if you let Him. And, I know He will provide a way for us to poor ourselves into our boys and into others around us to help us get through the long wait. And, soon this will all be over and we'll be living our lives as a complete family and I'll think how fast this all went! HA! Ya, fast. Well, maybe not fast...but I know it will be nice for this all to be over! To not have to think about having a child on the other side of the world! I think she'll be sleeping down the hall from us. Oh won't that just be amazing! Our favorite thing to do at night is to go check on the boys before we go to bed. We do it faithfully every night...to see them sleeping is such an amazing sight. They are so peaceful. I can just imagine the first time we go check on our daughter...I don't know that I'll ever want to leave her room. Just to watch her and remember all the nights I just wanted to be able to see her face. And now, seeing her in her bed fast asleep. What a dream come true.

Anyway, I'll stop rambling on now. I just want to fill this hole in my heart that can only be filled by my girl. I just long to be complete. So, blogging helps me...like I know it helps others. I know so many of you know what it feels like to have this hole...and then you know how it feels to have that hole filled up with someone. I hope one day soon I will be one of those people. So, we keep trusting and hoping and praying that that day will soon come! God knows! And, one day He's going to share that with us! It's going to be incredible...just like when our two little boys came into our lives. It was amazing. I loved when I got to finally put my arms around them. I'm so thankful God blessed us with two amazing boys. I also love that God chose adoption as a way to grow our family. We feel so blessed to be able to adopt. This journey has been incredible. All the bumps and turns have brought our relationship with Jesus to a whole new level of trust and faith. I am thankful for all we've been through and all we have yet to go through! It's not always easy...but it excites me to see God move in our lives and through us. He is good! :-)

With all the love,

Carala

Friday, May 8, 2009

Turn up your speakers....

If you turn up your speakers you will hear my newest song on my blog!

So, I was driving (in my new Nissan Pathfinder!!) around the city today and this song came on the radio. I knew as soon as I heard the words that God wanted me to hear it today. I love how God does that! I had a really tough weekend last weekend. I was tired of WAITING! But, Monday night while Terence and I were preparing for our bible study we realized that when things are rough...we need to continue to draw on God's strength. And, with continued faith in God...came this peace that eased my sadness and pain that comes with missing my daughter so much. It was amazing! And, when I heard this song today....God was reminding me that I need to keep serving Him as I wait, I need to keep loving others with His love as I wait, and I need to keep worshiping the God I love because of His undying love me. I need to keep being confident that His path and His timing is what I ultimately want for our family! So, how could I not want to wait on his most amazing plan for our family? I want the daughter that God has planned for us...so yes, I am willing to WAIT! Yes, it's not always easy...with every new mountain that stands in our path my faith will be and has been challenged. I am still human after all! But, I know that it's because of these obstacles that my character is being formed into the person God wants me to be. I desire to be more like Him....but I know I will have to go through challenges and climb big mountains and rely on Him all the more. So, like one of the songs on my blog "I will praise Him in this Storm". Yes, I will. And one day...our little girl will come into our lives and we will thank God for all the mountains and all the obstacles that came into our path...cause without them we would have never made it to our sweet little girl. I'm excited about all that God's going to do in our lives between now and then! He gives us Hope for our future....our future with our daughter. And to think...finally having her in our lives is only the tip of the iceburg. To think of all the days will have with her....the ups, the downs...the rewards, the challenges....yes, more challenges. But, when you know it's all part of His plan for our lives....I'm excited to follow Him no matter where He will take us!

Thank you all for being such amazing friends, family, fellow adoptors, and bloggers! I never could have dreamed that we would have needed such a big support group...not knowing how long it would really take and how high some of the mountains have been that we've had to climb! We've needed you so much, to stand by us through thick and thin. And, we appreciate you more than I could say in words.

So thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love,
Carala

**my next post is going to be an update on our adoption and what's happening in Russia these days.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Little Soccer Star....

Trennon is enjoying U-8 boys soccer this spring! This is his first summer of Outdoor soccer. He enjoyed playing indoor soccer this past winter. He's a chip off the old block...has amazing speed and a mind for the game! He's on a very talented team of boys. I'm impressed with their ability to make great passes and great shots on net and work as a team to get the job done! I look forward to seeing them all progress through the rest of the season. Last night Trennon had a great assist that he was so proud of. I've always stressed to him that making assists is just as important as scoring. He definitely has a natural ability for the game...and that excites me (as a player myself!). I definitely was a proud mama last night!! :-)












Friday, May 1, 2009

how long can we wait?

Well, if it were on my own strength...I'd be done right now. Done with this adoption. As of yesterday we heard that referrals of boys are taking 1 year.....1 year? You have got to be kidding me!!! I didn't even ask about a girl...cause I just didn't want to hear the answer. If God wasn't giving me the strength somedays...I don't think I'd get out of bed. Like this morning....I just didn't want to enter the world...cause I just wanted my girl in my arms. I know miracles are possible...and that's what keeps me going day in and day out with this adoption. I know I can not imagine holding out for our girl for 2 more years....yet I will do it...for her, for me and our family! She's worth it baby...and I will wait. But man, I think it's the hardest thing I'll ever have to do in my life!!

I have to keep reminding myself that God is in full control and he could bring her into our lives in a moment if he wanted. He will, when the time is right. I just hope that day isn't 2 years from now! :-)

This is once again..."a storm" I'll have to get through. Today I just wish I could see her face...and tell her I love her and that mama thinks of her every moment of every day. And that I will NOT give up!!! Those with kids, and those adopting can feel my pain I know....and understand.

But, now I need to buck up! Cause we're going to have a wonderful weekend. My mom is coming to town tonight. We're going to Trennon's Spring Musical and then Thomas the Train tomorrow! And, it's supposed to be 16 degrees tomorrow! wow...summer might actually come to Calgary this year! LOL!

Thanks for standing by us...we love you all!

Carala

Friday, April 24, 2009

A little about the history of Vladivostok...







To many world-wide travelers seeking adventure, the Russian Far East is a very desirable place to visit, and of course if you are going to visit this region, you do not want to miss seeing the famous sea port, Vladivostok.







Vladivostok, meaning the “Lord of the East” in Russian, is located less than 75 miles east of the Chinese border, approximately 100 miles north of Korea and just across the Sea of Japan from the main Japanese island of Honshu but a very distant 6,200 miles east of Moscow.

Interestingly, this beautiful sea port city was so far from the center of communist rule, when Russia was better known as the Soviet Union, that it was not until 1954 that a leader of the USSR visited this city. I am talking about Nikita Khrushchev, a man who became famous, worldwide, for his eccentric statements and actions. He was the first one to call Vladivostok the “Russian San-Francisco” which in many ways is a fairly accurate comparison.

Like San Francisco, the city of Vladivostok is located on a hilly region surrounded by a bay, in this case the Gold Horn Bay. Visitors who arrive to this city enjoy the spectacular view, which is surprisingly similar to San Francisco.

Vladivostok is also the home port of the Russian Navy’s pacific fleet, and there are hundreds of military ships and submarines located in the Gold Horn Bay. As a result of this, the city of Vladivostok was a closed region for more than 70 years. Vladivostok was city for a military installation, and even Russian citizens wanting to visit relatives, were forbidden to travel to this city without special permits and passes. It was not until the year of 1992 that Vladivostok was officially opened for foreign visitors as well as the rest of the Russian population.

Vladivostok attracts many tourists’ attention not only because of its’ beautiful location, but also for its’ very rich history.There are quite a few historical buildings and monuments still standing that hold the memories of many events from the 1860, when this city was founded, to present day. These historical buildings remember the times when Vladivostok was given a free trade status with the purpose of encouraging foreign trade in 1878. More than 40% of the 4000 residents of the time were foreign nationals which allowed the city to have diversity from the various cultures that traded and resided within the city’s boundaries.

From 1917 to 1922 Vladivostok became a cultural bastion. During the ensuing years, beginning in 1917, Vladivostok became a haven for many Russians trying to escape from the clutches of the new Soviet regime, settling in the port city while retreating to the east together with the White Army. Among them were many Russians, the creative intelligentsia from Moscow and St Petersburg. They established conservatories, theaters, symphony orchestras and art centers in Vladivostok before escaping to countries such as Australia, China, the USA, and other lands after the Bolsheviks, in 1922, achieved victory in the Far East.

This city can still remember the 1930s when the Stalinist repressions began and the transit camps were constructed housing political prisoners from the Western regions of Russia to Kolyma, and to the new camp in Vladivostok.This city remembers when it was Russia’s biggest military port during the cold war and the beginning of “Perestroika.”

Now, Vladivostok is filled with businesses from all over the world coming to take advantage of the city's position as the gate to modern Russia, Japan, China and Korea.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Box of Adoption Papers....and Russian Visas

Good morning! I've had a great week this week...as both my boys have been off school! We're going to spend this afternoon at the pool with some of Trennon's classmates...it should be fun! I've really enjoyed this week with the boys. We went for lunch with Dada, bowling, lots of sleeping in (bonus for Mama!) and riding in the cul-de-sac on Ryden's new bike....and on and on.

There's nothing much new on the adoption front. I was bored last night so I thought I would take a picture of all our adoption paper work so far. Well, that's just the stuff that we have kept. It's unbelieveable the amount of stuff we've filed. It started off accumalating on a pile...and then Terence got this nice box to store everything in. :-)

I heard recently that the time it takes to get a Russian Visa has been reduced. It used to take something like 3 full weeks...which is ridiculous! I guess a normal visa is now 5 days...and if you don't mind paying extra...it could be done in 1 day! This could potentially take almost a month off the adoption process! What great news! (ok, so maybe I did have some good adoption news today) As much as I like the idea of going to Russia 2 weeks after we get our referral...I can just think of how crazy busy it's going to be to get ready in only 2 weeks or less! My mom has got to get her stuff together and come take care of the boys, I've got to make sure I have food in the house for them, notes written for mom, plus I have to pack, pack and pack some more. All at the same time that I'm completely freaking out that we're going to see and hold our daughter!!!!! Ya, that's going to be a gong show! But, I'm not complaining!!!! Hey, the sooner I can hold that sweet like girl of mine the better! Oh, I'm getting so excited for that day. We've had some friends lately that have gotten their referrals. To see how happy they are....literally bouncing off their chairs....it's where I want to be right now. But, I know God is taking care of our daughter and preparing her for our arrival into her life. The boys seem to talk a lot more about her lately. The other morning we were talking about her while we were making breakfast. They said, can we set a place for her at breakfast as if she were here? I said, of course! So, we set her a place...it was so cute! I couldn't imagine life without our boys. They have made this adoption process so amazing. Just having them to talk to about it is just incredible. They are so patient and don't get frustrated by the length it's taking....I learn so much from them.

Well, approx. a month has gone by since our documents have been registered....I wonder how many more will have to go by before we meet our little girl.....???

Love,
Carala