Monday, September 27, 2010

7 weeks home...

Some days it's hard to believe she's home....but most days I feel like she's always been here! She has fire, depth, heart, and incredible strength. She is helpful, happy, ready for any adventure, and has absolutely no fear in whatever she does. And, she is my girl! The one I dreamed about, prayed for, loved from afar....the one I ran that crazy 8km race for last fall...when she was going through probably the hardest time in her life!!! I ran my hardest for her...and she fought through days when I'm sure she wondered if anyone would ever love her. She's the one I cried an ocean full of tears for...on good days and bad. She's the one God had in mind for us...before she was even born. And, to think God placed adoption on our heart in January 2007 because he knew Caate was going to be born in February 2007 and would need day. So, he took us around the search of our girl. We never gave up...only because we knew God wanted us to keep going. No matter how many valleys we encountered...and how many mountains we had to climb...God was there to help us through. So many days I didn't understand why so long, why we had to wait, why did we had to change countries so many times, why? why? why? But, God was patient with me and patient with my questions. But through it all, I learned more about God in 3 1/2 years than I had learned in my 35 years of life put together. I learned to live by faith, to love without abandon, to trust Him when it didn't make sense to me, to hope when the chips are down, to persevere when you're runnin' on empty. God filled my tank when there was no station near and gave me strength to push through thoses days in Russia that almost broke us. We kept going, because we knew God had a plan for us and for Caate. When nothing made sense, He made sense!!!

My favourite song was "Praise You in This Storm" by Casting Crowns, during our journey to Caate. I learned what it meant to praise God during the most horrific storms of our adoption. Not that it was easy to do, but I knew it was what He was asking of me. Did I trust Him with our girl?...then praise Me too. I think some of my best days...were the days I followed God without looking back. When I was consumed with God. When I desired to follow Him, serve Him in my daily life, and when I chose Him over worldly things that got in the way of really SEEING Him. When I chose to think positively about our adoption, and not fall down and cry my eyes out. Those are the days I think back on and know I chose to think about my daughter, and not me and my circumstance. Whatever I was going through, was nothing compared to NOT having a Mama and a Papa...and never getting to know the one that loved her more than anyone....her Heavenly Father, GOD. Caate never forgets to pray before nap time or bed time. If I forget, She reminds me! :-) It's like she knows that there's someone much bigger and more amazing (as hard as it is to imagine! ) than Papa and Mama...and she desires to get to know Him. And, she prays, " Dear Jesus, thank you for "Mama,Papa,...etc etc" ....all on her own. Talk about a tear jerker! Talk about an answer to prayer. I've prayed for so long, that she would desire to know Jesus, to want Him in her life. I never imagined that her first sentences would be in prayer. Isn't God good?!

Well, that's what's on my heart today. So thankful for lessonsed thankful for those who also helped us through. And, I'm feeling so blessed today.

If today you feel like giving up in your adoption journey, the days are hard, there seems to be no hope, the costs keep going up....DON'T! Please don't. There is a little boy or girl with your name imprinted on their heart. You need to keep going. You need to lift your chin up and keep going. You need to cast all your cares on God...cause He cares for YOU! Let Him take your heavy load...and Praise Him for the storms of your journey. What would have happened if we would have listened to those people who said to us, "Are you sure you are supposed to be doing this? Are you sure you're supposed to adopt?" Just because it's tough...doesn't mean God wants you to quit. God doesn't promise an easy life...but He promises to carry us through! Trusting God with everything was the best decision I ever made...I hope you will too. :-)

Here are a few pictures of Caate from the weekend. :-) Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back to work....


Terence is back at work after being off 9 weeks!!! I thought I would have been a wreck this morning. Having to get up, get all 3 kids ready for school, and get out the door on time. But, it really felt like any regular day! I'm totally surprised! The only thing I have to do different is make lunches the night before...other than that I get up regular time and still get Caate ready, hair done, fed and teeth brushed! AMAZING! She's pretty easy though....other than a slow eater! LOL! When she came home she was a rock star eater....ate so fast!! Now, she doddles! oh well, the honeymoon had to end at some point. :-) At least she eats what I feed her! :-)

Wow, 9 weeks is over. We were talking the other night about how much we've done in 9 weeks. Here are some of the things: We left for Russia, endured the trials Caate put us through in Russia, Trennon was sick the whole 3 weeks in Russia...most likely pnuemonia, Terence had the stomache bug the whole trip, then got pneumonia and was sick for 3 weeks after we got home, we camped 2 times, took Caate to our local amusmement park 2 times, spent the first month after getting home just with the 5 of us...having lots of family time, getting to see Caate smile at us for the first time 20 minutes into the flight from Ufa to Moscow on August 4th (gotcha day!), taking her to church 3 or 4 times now and she really likes it, taking her to school to drop off the boys and pick then us...and to see how much she LOVES it, etc etc etc. I could go on and on. We've been home over 6 weeks now and it just feels good to know how well she's adjusted. She got a clean bill of health from her doctors and with that we are pleased! She's happy, and loves life! What more could you ask for?! :-) A Happy Girl = A Happy Mama!

Terence also did a lot of work around the yard and the house since he's been off. The "boot room" is almost finished. He just has to install the cabinets! (that he built himself!) I can't wait! I'll have to do a before and after picture for you when it's done. Hopefully by the weekend! At least winter will be a little more enjoyable with places to put wet jackets and snow pants for 5 people! The 5th person sure increased the amount of clothes and shoes hanging around the entry way! Especially a girl! I can't tell you how many jackets and shoes she has!!!!!!!! It's insane! We've been given an unbelieveable amount of gifts and hand me downs. We feel so blessed!

So, what does Mother and Daughter have planned for the coming months?? Well....Caate and I start Gymnastics together TODAY!!!! I am sooo excited! Caate is ready...she is energetic and ready to DO something on a regular basis. It's a parented class so I get to participate too! I did this same class with Ryden and we both loved it. Hopefully Caate will love it too. She's fearless and flexible, loves to run and loves to I'm thinking this is the perfect sport for her! :-) What Russian isn't good at gymnastics?! LOL! I am just looking forward to having some fun with her. Doing daughter/mom stuff. Shopping, playing dolls (and cars!), cleaning the house together, going to the park, having friends over...just the two of us.

Ryden has started Beavers again and starts indoor soccer in a couple weeks. Trennon is one more evaluation for soccer (tonight!) and then he starts developmental soccer 3 days a week. It will be a busy fall, but a fun one. We have a couple trips planned to see family which will be fun. Hopefully the snow holds off so we can enjoy the fall a little. It's been a cold one here in Calgary this fall. Oh well, what can you do! :-)

Well, that's the update! Regular life is about the start!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy 8th Birthday Trennon!

My little baby boy is all grown up! :-( Hard to believe it's been 8 years since I first held him in the hospital....I was such a happy mama. He was sooo cute! Everyone said he looked like an old man! He looked very mature from day 1, and if you know Trennon today...he is still that very mature boy! I love you sooo much Trennon and we are both so proud of the big boy you've become. You have a heart of gold, always thinking of others, and have a very special love for God. You truly are one amazing son and I feel so blessed to have you as my oldest boy. You have patience like no one I know. You waited so long to meet your were there in the tough times and still held your head up high. You never gave up hope! You shed tears with me when the chips were down and when we finally saw her picture for the first time. You have strength and passion and always looks on the bright side of life. I love you very much. :-) Have a very Happy Birthday my boy!!!!

Here are a few pictures from Trennon's party yesterday! He had a few boys over for some Wii time and then they went to Shakers to play laser tag, climbing wall, go-karts and mini golf!!!!

Caate and I just had some girl time while they partied! It was the first party I haven't been at. :-( Oh well, everyone had fun...including Caate and I! We shopped, ate and had a KUPATSA (a bath!!!!...something she loves the most in life!)

Trennon was pretty stoked about his gifts!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Meant to Be - Steven Curtis Chapman

This song, "Mean to Be" by Steven Curtis Chapman is featured in the new Veggie Tales video , due to come out October 2nd! Just wanted to post it just in case you hadn't heard about it! Thanks Stacey for posting this as well! :-)

Monday, September 6, 2010

1 month Anniversary - Gotcha Day

So, September 4th has come and gone. We were camping on September 4th..and celebrated 1 month since Caate has been in our lives. So much has happened...time has flown by. We've camped twice now and gone to Calaway park (amusement park) twice as well in the last month with Caate. She loves both! She's always on the go and always happy. She is a bright light in our lives. :-) She loves going to the boys school to pick them up and drop them off. She feels pretty comfortable there already...sometimes too comfortable for mama. :-) I have to keep a watchful eye on this girl of mine!!! She listens very well though and doesn't push the boundaries too much. So, we are sooo thankful for that! LOL!

Caate LOVES the bath...anything with water! We were just camping this weekend with Grandma and Grandpa(which was fun!) and she got to play in the lake for the first time. She kept pointing to her feet, which were full of dirty sand. Wasn't too sure about that! She dumped water (cold) on herself and then wanted to dump water on me! She had soo much fun! We even took the kayak out and she loved the boat. When we had the boat sitting at the campsite she would sit in it and just smile. At one point she laid down in it and had a sleep for 10 minutes! (as in picture above) We just laughed!

Caate loved getting to know grandma and Grandpa on our trip camping. This was the first time since the airport that my parents got to spend with her. She really did well with them. Grandpa teased her and she really liked that. And, grandma even got to hold her hand and got some kisses from her too. We are all looking forward to going to visit them at their house at Thanksgiving in 1 month! Caate does well in the car (except for the million or so, "mama! mama! papa! papa!" when she does something or sees something outside the window!) so the road trip will be fine. She will get to meet her cousins and aunt and uncle for the first time while we are there too so that will be fun! So many firsts for Caate! She really enjoys it all though. She loves a new adventure and she loves her little life. She fits into our family so well, it's also unbelieveable! I never dreamed it would be this good. It will be interesting to see how she does when the boys activities start in the next few weeks, and when Terence starts back at work again after being off 9 weeks! I think it will be her toughest adjustment yet. But, she will do fine!! I have no doubt about that. :-)

I am looking forward to having some little friends over in the next few weeks. I have some lined up, one being my friend Stacey and her son Corbin that came home from Russia about 6 weeks before Caate! We are both looking forward to that. Stacey and our family were both with the same adoption agency for Russia until changed back in February. Thankfully she made it though and came home with Corbin in June! We both have been looking forward to this day when we can sit on our deck and sip lemonade and talk about the days gone by and the amazing days to come with our darling little kids! It's been a long time coming for both of us....but I definitey can say it was ALL WORTH IT!!

We have some great little trips planned over the next couple of months. Us Jellema's never stay still!!! I remember when I told my mom we'd be sticking close to home over the month or so after Caate comes home. You know, to get her used to her home and for her to settle into our life. My mom said something like this, "why would you do that? You guys are always on the go, that's what she's got to get used to!!" Well, that's so true! And, now that she knows home...we're back to our normal routine of going place!! We have a couple trips to our place in Panorama, a trip to Grandma and Grandpa's and then the last cousin on my mom's side gets married in Edmonton so we'll be heading up there for a weekend at the end of October. Lots of fun planned...and I know Caate will love it as much as the rest of us! :-)

Until next time...

Carala (for all the J's...including the littlest one, Caate!)
** here's the boys on "dress up" Friday at school this week! Aren't they just handsome! ;-)