Saturday, March 27, 2010

Build-A-Bear for Sister...




We've been talking about making a "build-a-bear" for their sister for a very very long time. Well, today was the day we went out as a family to make not 1, but 2 for her. 1 we will take to give her on Trip #1, and 1 to keep at home just in case she loses her new bear, from her brothers. We are calling these little bears, Hope. And, I'm sure you can imagine why we are calling these bears, HOPE. We have all had a lot of hope, for 3 + years. And, we will be giving her "Hope", to hold onto until we can all can come and bring her home. We all have had a lot of HOPE because of Jesus. Because without Hope, I don't know that we would have kept going on this journey to our little girl, our sister. We don't know what this little girl will want to name her bear when we give it to her, it may not be Hope. But, until she chooses a name that she likes...we will call her HOPE because of the amazing gift Jesus gave us along this journey to our little girl and sister, so we wouldn't give up! :-)

This was one more step towards giving our heart to this little girl. I've dreamt about this moment of making a "build-a-bear" for so long...it was so amazing standing in line while the boys picked the bear, stuffed it with the help of a lady, and picked clothes for them. As you will notice in the picture, the boys each picked their favorite outfits. I thought they did pretty good (with a little of mama's help!). I wasn't too keen on a gold skirt, so we decided on a jean on instead! :-) What a special moment I will always remember. It was neat to share with a lady in line, that we were adopting and the boys were making these bears for their sister.(I think a lot of people were wondering why 2 boys were making PINK bears! LOL!) A day I will not forget....

I also included on my blog a new map at the top. Bashkortostan is the new region we are working in, and hope to bring our daughter home from one day soon.

I have to admit it was fun to buy something PINK. I'm not a pink girl at all...hardly anything in my closet has pink on it.(just ask anyone that knows me well). But, I think I'm going to do better with buying pink than I thought I would. :-) I'm sure my mom will be pleased to read this! :-)

Have a good night!

...Carala

Friday, March 26, 2010

Welcome!

Well, I just wanted to say WELCOME to everyone that has joined my blog. Some of you new, and some have journeyed with us for all of the 3+ years we've been at this crazy adoption. So, welcome to everyone...hopefully the end in is sight. Nothing about the last 6 weeks feels real. I look at the pictures of this little sweet heart and think...is she really going to be ours? Could this really be happening? For 3 + years I've dreamed about our little girl, written her letters on my blog and pray for her day after day after day. Now, sitting before me is a picture of a little girl. And, it just doesn't seem real. Is this the little one I have prayed for, for years now? Could this really be her?

Most of you know she is 3. She turned 3 on February 9th. We started our journey to adoption in January 2007, weeks before she was born. God knew, all along...that we'd have to wait over 3 years to meet her. Cause, she was going through a time that we couldn't be with her. We had to wait for certain events to take place, that would bring her to an orphanage and then be available for adoption. And, she really was only available for adoption just recently. So, when you think about our journey, and how painful and hard it has been. So many hurdles, so many mountains....nothing compares to her life and the challenges she has had to endure. I'm glad we had to go through all we had to...because as a parent, as a mom, you want to share in the pain your child is going through. And although we will never understand or know the pain she went through in the 3 years of her life...I know that God was with her every step of the way. He was holding her, loving her, and keeping her safe. I know we missed 3 years of her life we will never get to experience, but I know God has placed her in our lives for a reason. We have a privilege of getting to love her the rest of her life! God has blessed us with getting to love her the rest of her life! What a gift that is. He chose us. He chose us to help mend her little heart and to love her with the love she deserves as God's child. I'm excited to see the end of this story unfolds. Yes, there are lots of unknowns. We are nervous, but as each day goes by, I'm a little less nervous cause I know God has this situation under control and I don't have to worry about his plan for our family. There will be a lot of challenges in our future, for us as parents, for her, and for our boys. Yes, every one's lives are about to change. But, with every new child in a family, yes, lives change. But, we know it's going to be amazing! We are soon going to be a family of 5! Our boys will have the little sister they've been dreaming about. Ryden will be a big brother, which he's sooo looking forward to! Our boys, have so much love to give. If you know them, you know they have both been given the biggest hearts by God. The love they show for others is incredible. It shows in their friendships, at school and how much they love God! I know God has a very special place in their hearts for a little sister. They are sooo ready to love her. They will be great, protective big brothers. And, I'm really excited for them to meet their new sister for the first time. What a moment that will be!

Anyway, I needed to write today about our little one. We have been so guarded with our hearts. It's been hard to really let go and just love her. Because of the way this adoption has gone so far, we've had to make life changing decisions in so little time. It's been hard on all of us. Lots to think about, even more to pray about, and just trusting God with our family. But, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We're both trying to just let God lead our hearts, wherever that may take us. There could be heart break, but I'm willing to risk it all for this little girl. I want her to know and feel I am falling in love with her when I meet her for the first time. Even if things don't turn out, I want to risk my heart for her. So, the next 6 weeks we want give more and more of ourselves and let God deal with the rest. He knows our future, He knows what sacrifices we'll have to make in the future. He knows our hearts...and that, is to love our children, all our children with incredible amounts of love! So, it's a journey, that is not over! One day though, one day soon....our girl will be home and the next chapter of our lives will begin. Oh, what an amazing day that will be, to land on Canadian soil...knowing she'll be ours forever. This will have all been worth it! And all the praise will be given to God, for all the things he has done. For taking us through the lowest valleys and the highest mountains. For opening doors that we thought were forever shut. For giving for us friends that have prayed us through tough decisions and the scariest phone call that I made on February 11th to our new agency CHOC, that would in turn start a chain of events that brought us to the point we are at now. He has been amazing through it all. We couldn't have had the hope we've had without Him.

Well, one day I will write about the "chain of events" that happened to get us here, starting with that Februrary 11th phone call. But, I need to clean my house while the boys are at play dates and do a bunch of other stuff! :-)

Until next time! Thanks for joining with us for the best part of the story...the end....or should I say...just the beginning!

We love you guys! And thank you for being with us and praying for us. :-)

Know that I wrote this post with a lot of tears. It's just hard to believe that our dream is coming true and one little girl is right around the corner from the biggest hug she'll ever receive from anyone!


With Love,
Carala (for all my boys)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Paperchasing done...for now!

Well, we had a hard week of paperchasing...but now it's over. I was so happy when we couriered our docs to our agency. Wahoooo! I did that on Thursday...and then Friday I went on my oldest field trip. Boy, was I tired...but it was fun!

Now, we wait for travel dates. We are most likely travelling with another couple, which would be fantastic! I am so looking forward to going! We are nervous, but I know that's normal! We are going to see our potential daughter!!!!! Crazy! I can not wait though! It does seem so unreal though. We've waited over 3 years for this, and in some ways I really can't believe that in about 4 weeks we'll get to hug and kiss this sweet little girl that could be ours soon. It's just crazy!!!! Most days I don't even believe it. We are guarded, really. It's hard after 3 years to just let your heart open up! But, when I look at the picture of her...I melt inside. She is so adorable. 3 years old. Gorgeous in every way. If she is the little person God had picked out for us, WOW! We hope to travel the end of April, but we'll see. Hopefully in a couple weeks we'll know our travel dates.

The region. We are now in Bashkortostan, Russia. It's is a 2 hour flight southeast of Moscow. Just norh of Kazakhstan. Everything sounds wonderful about this region! The orphanage is amazing. The kids are soooo loved there. I don't think we could ask for anything more! These last 40 days has been a dream really. So many things have fallen into place so perfectly that you can't deny God the glory for putting it all together. No human could have made all the pieces fit! So neat. And, such an amazing story I'll tell one day when I have time to write it all out.

Anyway, gotta go as I have snack to make and lunch to make as I'm in the Kindergarten room tomorrow helping out! It's Ryden's day! He's sooo excited. I can not wait as well. It's always fun.

I'll update again when I things start to really move....

Carala
**I'm probably going to privatize soon....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

paperchasing

So many of you know what it means to paperchase! Boy, has it ever been fun! (kidding!) I'll be so glad when it's over. What an exhausting day it was yesterday, but most of it is done. It is our goal to have it all ready to go by Friday at the latest. We'll send it off to our agency and then they in turn will send it off for legalization. Then, hopefully we'll hear what our travel dates are. We are looking forward to that!

Although we ran into some hurdles to jump, we made it through with your amazing prayers for our family. God is soooo good! Anyway, that's it for now. I'm pretty pooped!

Carala

Saturday, March 13, 2010

How blessed we are to know you!

After reading all the comments we've gotten from our last post I just needed to write! We are so overwhelmed with such amazing support from all of you! We know we are held together by the "glue" that binds us...and that is being adoptive parents/family/friends etc. But, also...there is another "glue"...and that is our heavenly Father! Without Him, none of this is possible! So, thank you for all your prayers. Finding out now how many have been praying for us...no wonder why miracle after miracle has been happening right before our very eyes! God is faithful! He will carry us to completion of this adoption..and His name will be glorified through it!

So thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! God is sooo good! I'm still in shock at the support we've had over the years. It's incredible really. But, I also realize how many we've supported because we know how hard it is to do it alone. So, know we are praying for all of you! Though I don't always get to write on your blogs...know you are on our hearts! No matter how hard this gets, know there is an amazing God that wants every orphan to have a home, be it by foster care or adoption! So, keep the faith! Have patience! And have Hope because of God's love for all of us!

Can not wait to get to the end of this amazing journey of adoption and start our life with our girl! One chapter will end, while another will start. So cool! I wonder if we'll do it again one day.... ;-)

love,
Carala

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Referral accepted!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my....where do I start. The referral we declined...we just over turned and we accepted it!!! It's so unbelieveable. Only God can make such a thing happen!

We got more info, more photos and thankfully another Canadian family spent some time with this little sweet heart of a girl this past week! And based on their thoughts and time spent...we decided we definitely need to travel to meet her. That's the short story anyway! So, here we go folks! Russia bound baby! And, all of this was done with our NEW agency....all in exactly 1 month from the moment I first called this agency. UNBELIEVEABLE!!!! This NEVER happens. God is sooo good! We're still both in shock.

So, the paperchasing has begun....do we ever have things to do! But, I am sooooo happy to be doing them! We hope to travel in 6-8 weeks...but I have no idea. They can't tell us a timeline just yet. God has moved so many mountains...I'm curious to find out how many more he's in the process of moving! I just keep shaking my head. It feels like a dream. If this little girl is to be ours...wow! Is she EVER beautiful! I feel so blessed to have been chosen to be her mom! What a gift she will be to us....ALL OF US! WOW!

Anyway, it's a happy day in the Jellema house!

I'm thinking I will privatize my blog now. I'll give it a few days. If anyone knows us and wants to be a part of our blog please email me your email address. You can send it to cjellema@shaw.ca

And last, but not least....thank you! All of you! Your prayers have been what has kept us together these last 3 + years. I hope this is it. If it's not, I know we'll keep going as hard as ever. I would love this to be the end of this journey, and the start to a beatiful life with this sweet heart of a little girl.

To my daughter,

I love you! And mama is coming for you so soon! I can't wait to wrap my arms around you and feel you against my chest for the first time. It's what a mother dreams about! You are so beautiful, my daughter. Keep hoping and having faith cause we are right around the corner from you now! Only a few more weeks! We all can't wait to have you in lives forever. It's been a long time of having you only in our hearts.

Love,
your forever mama

Friday, March 5, 2010

an update on the Jellema Journey

I've wanted to tell everyone about the last 3 weeks of our life for 3 weeks now...but couldn't, until now. This is why I have been so quiet for so long....


3 weeks and 2 days ago, we made a call to a new Russia agency to explore our options. During that call they eluded to a possible little girl that they didn't have a family for and that they could receive this proposal within the month. We left it at that, as this was such a crazy conversation. Who gets proposals where there's no matching family??? Strange. 1 week later I called them back to ask a few more questions. And during that conversation she told me they were receiving a proposal that week and would we be able to get our documents approved by the Alberta Government this week so we could review the proposal of this child. Of course I said I'd do what I could. This was the very first hopeful situation we've ever been in, in 3 + years!!! So, I got on the phone and somehow convinced everyone to do what they had to do to get our stuff approved that week.(which normally takes 3 months in our province) Within 3 days our homestudy was in our governments hands getting signed and that very afternoon our referral landed on our governments desk. The following day (Friday, Feb 26) we received a referral of a little girl. We were on cloud nine, it almost didn't feel real...yet we were cautious as we weren't sure about the health of this child. We couldn't get an appointment with our adoption specialist to review the file until Monday night this week...so we spend the weekend guarding our hearts. It was a hard weekend. I wanted to shout from the roof tops that I could have a daughter...FINALLY! ...but I couldn't let me heart competely go to her. And, in the end...we had to decline the proposal. For those of you who have gone through a decline of a child, you will understand how difficult it is. It's been only 5 days since we had to say no to a sweet little thing. I know we made the right decision for our family. But, it's still hard. I know we will never forget her. And, I hope a family will find her and love her, because we know every child deserves a family to love them.

So, what are we going to do now? Good question. We are still trying to figure that out. We are so thankful for the peace God has given us in this situation. It was the most intense 3 weeks I have even been through in my life. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't think. It was going too fast. But, I was thankful for the opportunity to have HOPE for once in this process!!! Hope feels so good. :-) And, we have hope for our future. We know God will bring us the little girl we've always hoped for. We know it just isn't time yet. As much as we wished this would have been the one...we know God has an awesome plan for our family. We trust Him with all that is within us. We know our girl will come home....one day...we just have to continue to be patient.

Please pray for us. Once again we have some decisions to make. This is the part I have the hardest time with. Making decision after decision...hoping it will bring us our girl. We don't know what God is doing. We know how many "mountains" He has moved during those few weeks. It was incredible really. So, I have no doubt He's working once again...to move more mountains! So, keep us in your prayers as I feel we need them more than ever. I don't want to get down about our situation. It would be very easy to...but I need to let God be in control of this one. We've done all we can do.

So, here goes the rollercoaster again...hopefully the ride is almost over! We can only hope.

...Carala

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

1 year



1 year. It was interesting to see the "word of the day" is YEAR. What are you supposed to say at the 1 year mark? Hmmm. I don't have much to say. For today, I just want to hope that we won't be here at the 2 year mark still. That is my prayer. I pray for so much. And we have hope. We know God's plan is perfect. And we will wait for it. We will not give up. Having to jump a million hurdles is hard on a mom. You all know that. So many of you have walked in my shoes. I just want to share my heart with my daughter. To wrap my arms around her. And I know that will happen. I just have to keep being patient. And, we all know how tiring that gets after 3 years! As you can see, today wasn't my happiest day. I am allowed to have bad days. I do. But, I also have hopeful days and I do have a lot of them. :-) Today I just didn't feel up to celebrating the 1 year mark of having our stuff in Russia.

So, that's it!

...Carala

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

facelift not complete...

I started on the "facelist" but it's not done yet. I brought everything back on line for now. :-)

Carala