Thursday, June 9, 2011

Our Sponsor Child

Today Caate and I sat down to write our first letter to our newest sponsor child. Our newest little one is Caate's age. His birthday just so happens to be 10 days after Caate's! This boy is very special to us in so many ways. Geofrey does not have parents. His grandma is the main caregiver and I assume bread winner for the family. He also has quite a few siblings whom I'm sure also help out by having jobs. I think what hits home the most...is that he doesn't have parents. In a lot of ways Caate and Geofrey come from similar pasts. Both losing their birth parents. Maybe for different reasons. But, both being orphaned at a very young age. Thankfully he has a grandma to take care of him....but who knows for how long.

When we were given the opportunity to take on another sponsor child, I didn't have to think about this one. It was like, how could we not? This little boy will have the ability to go to school, have some clothes, some food, and a place to learn more about Jesus. There are so many ways to help God's children. We have sponsored kids with World Vision and Compassion Canada for many years..well before we had kids. It may seem like such a big thing to adopt a child....and maybe you are not the right person to. So, how about sponsor one then! Anyone can sponsor a child. For so little cost, you can help a little boy or girl get an education. Every child deserves to go to school and have a childhood.

It was fun to be able to write this letter to Geofrey with Caate. She drew a picture for him too. She may not understand now that she lived a life not that long ago that was similar to Geofrey's. But one day we hope that she will realize the miracle God did in her life, and hopefully she will want to help others to make a difference in their lives. Caate has something very special and unique about her. I know God has something amazing planned for her life. She has this passion and fire in her soul. We desire for our whole family to continue to live our lives to help others. We are not stopping at Caate. Bringing Caate into our family changed us in so many ways. Caate has given us a growing heart to serve and love the fatherless like a never thought possible. We are excited to see where God plans to take our family and how he plans to grow us in Him.

For now, we are working towards having some kind of adoption/foster care/orphan care ministry in our city. We'll see how that goes over the next few months. We are working with about 20 others with the same heart and passion. And I currently have had the opportunity to walk beside and encourage a family that is seriously considering adoption. It has always been my prayer that through our journey others would grab onto the same desire to give a child a forever family. It truly has been amazing to give light to a dark pathway for this family. Adopting internationally in Canada is very difficult and scary. And, the fact that God has given me the opportunity to shed light on their path is just so incredible. It will be neat to see how things go for this family and I look forward to the day where we can celebrate bringing their child to their forever home!!!

When I have tough days....I think about what could have been for Caate. I think about others her age that won't be given the opportunity to have a family or a home. And, then those tough days don't seem as tough. But, at the same time...these tough days are very real. For me, it's when people (and I mean friends and family in our lives) don't understand parenting an adoptive child. How can I expect them to understand. And I don't. But, this has been hard on me. At times I feel I stand on my own. I guess that's why I love to be a support to families in our community that are starting to pursue adoption. I want to give them something I just don't have. Sure, I had a lot of people that cared for us and showed love...but they didn't know what it was like to walk the path to adoption and beyond. I know what it's like now...so I can be a huge support to others that will now walk that path because they know they have someone to be a support and encouragement. In our community of people...I feel like the guinea pig really. Why am I always the guinea pig? I guess someone always has to be. I just hope that we can make the adoption journey easier on someone else. That is my desire and goal. I don't want them to go through the lonely days that I have. Support and understanding is probably one of the biggest things an adoptive family needs in their community. Yes, we've had it through blog friends and yahoo support groups for fellow Canadians. And, I have a few friends in town who have adopted. But, for a lot they adopted a long time ago. Or, they claim to have no issues or hard times. hmmm...wish I was you!

I have such drive to help others in their journey! I believe that's what God has called me to. The fact that our roller coaster of a journey hasn't scared people away gets me excited! They know, it's not the journey that really matters in the end...it's the gift at the end. And, we have this amazing gift that just keeps on giving!! The journey may be big and tough and scary...but it's just such a small part of the real picture. And that picture is Caate, with her family around her, loving her to pieces! If you have a heart that has room for a special little boy or girl that desparately wants to be loved....would you please consider adoption?! Please email me (cjellema@shaw.ca) or put a post on my blog. I'd love to chat with you!

I want to leave you with a couple pictures from today. Caate LOVES cinnamon buns. Well, I was convinced she didn't like them until grandma showed up to take care of our kids a few weeks ago. Now, she keeps talking about cinnamon buns. So, she made me some today....

Saturday, June 4, 2011

10 Months since Gotcha Day....



Caate just got back from a birthday party at a dance studio. I decided to get her pics now before her pony was out and her clothes were ruined! LOL! She really loved the party. She even did the routine and joined in like she had done it a million times. I was so proud of her! She has come so far in 10 short months. Like so many have said. So much changes in a year. Well, I believe it!

We are starting our 1 year post placement report in a few weeks. Boy, did that come fast! We are looking forward to the summer and our 1 year celebration. On August 4th (Gotcha Day!!) we are flying to Toronto. We will meet our agency CHOC for the first time...to thank them for all they did for us. And, we will get to see so many people that were a big part of us making it through our journey to Caate. We are so excited about this trip. I truly believe those that journey together, are family. And so...family needs to stick together! We will be in Toronto 2 weeks. We have lots of fun touristy things planned for the kids. Especially a TORONTO FC game. Ok, who am I kidding...the game is for me! LOL! I am sooo excited! If you know me...I am a soccer fanatic. I play twice a week! Anyway, it will be an all around HUGE celebration of our 1 year with Caate. Taking a airplane ride has been Caate's dream ever since getting home from Russia. It's all she talks about. Soooo, it's fitting that we are flying on her 1 year Gotcha day. It's going to be so much fun!! I sure hope she gets to meet the pilot!!!

Anyway, here are a few more pics...enjoy!