Monday, December 30, 2013

Many Faces...

....of children who are waiting for a family.
Some pictures of orphans who are waiting for parents to come and adopt them. They live in orphanages in the country where my son lives. One of these boys may be my son depending on who my agency chooses for me. I am doing a blind referral where I do not request a specific child but my agency will pick a file that fits within the parameters my social worker and I have given.
There are many children who are waiting for families to adopt and love them. I do not know the specific number of orphans or how many of them have downs but I do know that there are many children waiting and who all they want is a family to love them and bring them home.
It is a country that is open to single moms and families of all sizes. It takes around 18 months to complete the adoption of a child with disabilities. It involves two trips (although some families only go on 1) and they are open to people over the age of 25 years old.






Are you my family?!?!?!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Adoption is like a ride that has extremely slow sections and then some that are wild and fast. I am at the coasting section right now as I wait for Immigration to process my application.

So how am I passing the time now?
  • reading lots
  • thinking about my next fundraisers
  • thinking through what I will need for my son
  • finishing up projects I have started
  • spending time enjoying family get togethers
  • went shopping with my Mom (thank you gift cards!)
  • we have respite kids most weekends
  • thinking and starting to plan our time in Bulgaria
  • counting down the days before Brent brings Andrea and I to Disney Land
  • trying to decide on a name for my son

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Half Funded!

When I started the process to adopt I thought that it would be a painful experience saving and raising the funds. It has been alot of work but people have been so generous to me and I am so blessed to be able to say that my adoption fund is at $18,554! Thank you for the ways that you have given so that my child will know the love of a forever family. I am blown away with how God has provided and I know that my son will be a reminder of his provision and faithfulness. I look forward to seeing how he will provide the remaining funds.

Already paid:
Application fee: $3000
Criminal Record Checks: $100
Immigration: $100
Notary: $30
Fee for Bulgarian Program to my BC Agency: $5500
Psychiatrist fee: $750

Coming up:
Social workers traveling expenses: approx $200
Notary: $56
Translation and to get the papers authenticated: approx $1500
BC Agency Fees: approx $10,000
Travelling expenses for two trips
As well there will be other fees and expenses along the way.

Hopefully in one year my adoption will be complete as I would love to for him to be home for Christmas!
Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Grateful to the woman who chose life for my son

Tonight, I am thinking about how I will have the honour of raising a son-someone who was born to another woman. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and thanksgiving that I will have this privilege.
It is because of someone else's loss and decision that I can do this.

I am thankful for the woman who chose life for our son.
I am thankful that she was strong and carried him for nine months.
I am thankful that she brought him to a place where he would be cared for.

I pray that God will heal her heart and that she will have a peace in her heart knowing that her son is loved.

I do not know why she chose not to raise him as her own and I will likely never know. I do not have any negative feelings towards her and understand that in other countries they do not have the support systems we have in Canada. I will tell my son about the mommy who carried him for nine months. The woman who was so strong to make the choice that she felt was best.

I am thankful that I will have the immense honour of being a Mom to her son. Thank you for loving my son so much that you chose life for him. I am very thankful.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The draft is in...

My home study draft has arrived! With some minor changes and approval from the executive director my home study will be complete. It feels great to have one more thing almost done. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Don't be anxious...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

I'm thankful:

  • that $16,385 has been saved and raised for my adoption- so close to being  a half funded!
  • for friends and family who encourage me and support me
  • that my son is alive and living in Bulgaria
  • for two agencies that are assisting me in finding and bringing home my son
  • that I have a warm house to bring my son home too
  • for family traditions 
  •  for a legacy of adoption in my family

Praying for:
  • protection over my son
  • that God will intervene and that the immigration pre-approval would not take until April 
  • that my Bulgarian agency would known which file to pull for me
  • that God would continue to provide the funds for each upcoming payment 
  • that God would be preparing our hearts for what is ahead
  • that people around me would be drawn to God and adoption

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Yesterday, I was thinking about how I should be preparing for my son. I was thinking about how when you have a baby there are lists and lists of the things you have to get/buy (carseat, crib, diapers, stroller, carrier, blankets, diaper cream, special shampoo, baby laundry soap, clothes, etc), you have to come up with a name or a list of names and prepare for the birth and baby stages through different classes and readings. You know that within 9 months the baby will arrive.

There are similarities for me as I walk down the road to bring my son home. I will need to buy/get many items (I have a carseat, some toys and depending what size he is maybe some hand-me-downs from my nephew), pick a name and I have been going through adoption classes with my social worker. I just do not know if I need to get clothing in 12 months, size 3 or size 7 and I am not going to buy clothing in everysize just incase:) As well, will I need a highchair, crib and baby toys?

Somethings I do know- that he will have two middle names and my last name, he will have a room decorated with love just for him (Andrea will be assisting me or maybe its more accurate that I will be assisting her- I have come up with the theme and an idea of what I want and she will run with it) and many homemade blankets. He will be loved deeply by his family and I pray that he will come to accept the love quickly and feel safe in my home.

It is surreal to think that just maybe he will be home next Christmas and be experiencing his first Keno Christmas! I cannot wait and I remember how special it was when Aiden had his first Christmas with us. Even though some of us were sick it was so much fun watching  the joy on his face as he experienced each of our traditions.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Financial Update

 The Purdy's fundraiser raised $263 and the magazine fundraiser has raised $154 so far!! Along with the other money I have saved and raised through the silent auction, card sales and donations we are at a total of $15,605!!!

That means I have less than $20,000 to raise and save!! I am so thankful to God for his provision-He has provided the money for each payment that was due and I am trusting He will continue to do so. Thank you for allowing Him to use you. I cannot wait to tell my son about all the people who helped me raise him ransom.

Thank you for loving my son and supporting me on this journey. Words cannot describe how thankful I am to each of you.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Home Study and Dossier Update!!

On Sunday, I met with my social worker (my last trip down to Victoria!) and the meeting went really well! On December 8th she will come and do our home inspection and finish up the educational aspect of the home study. After that she will write the home study, send it to the Executive Director and then send it back to me for a proof reading and then we will all sign it and it will be ready to go!

Now onto my dossier. I have started to collect the items that I need to collect for it and my hope is that it will be ready to go early in the new year. It was looking that it may take into the new year to find a specialist to complete my psychological evaluation but today I got a call and it looks like it will be complete by the end of this month.

My dossier checklist includes:

_____ Original Home Study (Expected to be done at Christmas)
_____ Hague Approval Letter (Agency will apply for this)
_____ Birth Certificate (Ready to Go)
_____ Original Criminal Records Checks (Will be doing in the next couple weeks)
_____ Medical Evaluation (DONE)
_____ Psychological Evaluation (Should be done this month)
_____ MCFD Prior Contact Check (DONE)
_____ 6 Family Photos
_____ Photocopy of Passport (Ready to Go)
_____ Immigration Pre-Approval (Will be applying in the next couple weeks)

Things are falling into place and God is providing each step of the way. The next fee I am saving for is my Bulgarian Agency Fee of $11,000 to $14,000 (waiting to hear the specific amount). 

Praise and Prayer Requests

  • Praise God for providing $12,710 (over a 1/3 funded)!!!!!
  • Providing a Psychiatrist to do my evaluation
  • God would continue to watch over and care for my son
  • That He would prepare my heart and mind for the months ahead
  • That my pre-approval to adopt from Immigration would be processed and not lost in the system
  • That God would bless those who are coming alongside of my and my future son 
  • That God would provide my next fees. 

Thank you for journeying with me. I am blessed! 

Much love,

Friday, November 8, 2013

Kisses From Katie

If you are ever looking for a good book to read that will inspire you Kisses From Katie is a book I highly recommend. Katie is a young women who went to Uganda on a short term missions trip and it stole her heart. She went back to Uganda for a year to teach and through that time God planted dreams in her heart and she still lives there today. She is the founder of Amazima and is a mom to 13 daughters that she has adopted in Uganda. She continues to give of herself each day to serve and love those around her. She is truly inspirational! 

I would love to share some quotes from her book that have challenged me. 

"My family, adopting these children, it is not optional. It is not my good deed for the day; it is not what I am doing to 'help out these poor kids.' I adopt because God commands me to care for the orphans and widows in their distress. I adopt because Jesus says that to whom much is give, much will be demanded and because whoever finds his life will loose it but whoeverlooses his life for my sake will find it."

Monday, October 28, 2013


I am half done my home study process and we are on track to having our last session on Dec 6th or 7th.  Then my social worker will write up a home study report and my agency will approve it.

When you are adopting you have the option of waiting until your home study approved before you pay the next fee and start collecting the parts of your dossier. Or you can do them at the same time so that you are able to submit soon after the home study is done. I will be making my next payment this week so that I can start the process of gathering all the parts of my dossier. Paperwork has a time period that it is good for and so once it passes a specific time frame you have to get it redone and so my goal is to have to not have to redo redoing papers and documents means more expense I have to pay.

On Sunday, Aiden saw me holding one of the little guys who comes to our house for respite and he asked Mom "Did Heather get her boy from Bulgaria?" I am excited to see him understanding that I am adopting and that he will have a nephew from Bulgaria! I cannot wait to introduce them to each other.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Tonight as I have started to write thank you cards I am overwhelmed with a sense of thankfulness and praise to God. When I said yes to God and started this journey I knew I could not do it alone but I did not know that you would support me so well. Thank for you giving of your hard earned money and for making this adoption possible. I pray that God will bless you 100 fold.

I am up to having $9650 raised and each gift of money I receive my hearts overflows with more gratitude to God. He is a faithful God who provides each step of the way.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Thank You!!

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to my Silent Auction and Dinner. I am so thankful to each of your for your support and for coming alongside of me. We raised over $2860!!!! Together with other donations and personal savings I have my next payment of $5500 ready to go. I am so thankful!

So my number of $35,000 needed is now down to $26,450!  I almost have a third of my adoption funded; I just need $3116.67 to reach that goal!

A HUGE thank you to:

Josh and the Tribe at RSDK


To check out the RSDK Apparel go to HERE

Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet

It is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is a perfect place to go for a weekend away.

For more information go HERE

Pacific Surf School in Tofino

Pacific Surf School - Tofino Surf Lessons and Rentals

To book a surfing lesson go HERE

Thank you to The Quality Resort Bayide for hosting the evening!

For more information go HERE

Thank you for Emily at My Little Nest
Sili Squeeze™

For more information check out My Little Nest on Facebook!

I would also like to thank:
Prancing Pony
Ivy Cottage
Petal and Kettle
Lighthouse Gift Shop
Bea's Nest
Wilde and Sparrow
Soak Essentials
Simply B Images
Rachel Bosch Photography
and many others who donated items.

I couldn't have done it without you!

With deepest gratitude,

Hosting a Silent Auction for your Adoption

I hosted my first silent auction. I have never been to a silent auction and so it was a first for me and I would say that it was a success! We raised over $2860! I thought that I would share the details of how we organized it in case it can be an encouragement or help others who are adopting.

Booking a venue:
We booked the event at a local resort and so we paid $20 per adult and $10 per child to the resort and I sold the tickets for $30 for adults and $10 for children. I only had two children attend and so with 63 adult tickets sold I profited $630 before the auction earnings. That price included a pasta buffet, dessert, coffee, tea and punch as well as all the linens and they clean everything up after the event. As well, the resort donated a gift certificate to the auction!

Inviting people:
My sister designed nice invitations on the computer and we mailed them to friends and family who live within 2 hours of our town along with a letter talking about my upcoming adoption.

Facebook is a great tool. We created an event on Facebook and invited anyone local. As well, we put signs up at the local mall and a grocery store. If you attend a church that is adoption friendly I would suggest asking them to put it in the bulletin.

Obtaining Item for the Auction:
I was overwhelmed by the amount of items I received. I received around 100 items. I emailed friends, family and acquaintances who have businesses and had a very positive response. As well, I emailed companies in a neighbouring city that has high tourism traffic and my sister went to some local companies and asked them to donate items.

I received:
  • $500 to a resort on the West Coast of the Island
  • two surfing lessons
  • many gift certificates
  • flowers
  • pictures
  • photo sessions
  • games
  • movie night baskets
  • along with so many other items

Setting up and running of the Auction:
Make sure that you have enough tables so that the items are not too crowded. We had 8 large rectangular tables and could have used 10. We placed the tables around the edge of the room.

We made bidding sheets for each item and placed it in front or beside each item. We made our own sheets similar to this one.

The rules were:
  • highest bidder wins
  • must start at minimum bid
  • have to pay by cash or cheque
We allowed throughout the night specific times for people to bid and then we closed the tables in 2 groups. If I was to do it again I would have closed the tables in four groups. As bidding closed my family would use a sticky note to place in the item with the winners name and the amount of the winning bid. When the whole auction had closed they tallied how much each person owed and they gave them the amount as they left at the end of the evening.

We also had a kids table where they could buy the items at set prices. I had items for .25, $1, $2, $3,$4 and $10.

Program for the Evening:
5:30 Bidding on the items and mingling
6:10 Supper with a pianist playing
6:50 Bidding
7:00 Quiz on Bulgaria with prizes (below)
7:15 Two minutes to finish bidding on specific tables and then close them
7:20 Name the Eastern European Countries on the blank map quiz with prizes (I gave them a list of countries that they had to identify)
7:35 Finishing bidding on remaining items
7:50 Closed bidding and my family started tallying how much people owe.
7:55 I shared about the adoption journey I am on, why I have chosen to adopt a boy with Down   Syndrome from Bulgaria and how people can get involved.
8:10 A friend prayed for me and I thanked everyone for coming. People paid for the items they won on their way out.

Lessons learned:
  • ensure you have adequate time to set up
  • recruit help
  • provide table games that involve minimal marking or get a teacher friend to help you!

Bulgarian Quiz

1.      What is the population of Bulgaria?

a.      6.9 million

b.      1.2 million

c.       7.3 million

d.      4.3 million


2.      What is the name of the Bulgarian President?

a.      Rosen Plevneliev

b.      Vladimir Putin

c.       Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta

d.      Petar Stoyanov


3.      How many kilometres is a direct flight from Vancouver to the capital of Bulgaria?

a.      9,307

b.      7,910

c.       11,909

d.      12,082


4.      What is the average high temperature in Bulgaria in October?

a.      10°F

b.      18°F

c.       21°F

d.      32°F


5.      What is the national flower of Bulgaria?

a.      rose

b.      tulip

c.       snowbell

d.      fire lily

e.      iris


6.      When did they become a member of the European Union?

a.      1999

b.      2005

c.       2007

d.      2011

7.      Which of the following is words is Bulgarian?

a.      картоф

b.      barabulă

c.       кромпир

d.      馬鈴薯

e.      תַפּוּחַ אַדֲמָה


8.      What is the name of the capital?

a.      Dobrich

b.      Burgas

c.       Nis

d.      Plovdiv

e.      Sofia


9.      What is the predominant religion?

a.      Eastern Orthodox

b.      Anglican

c.       Muslim

d.      Catholic


10.  What is the currency called?

a.      pounds

b.      lev

c.       euro

d.      forint

 A couple other questions to include would be:
  • Which of the following is the flag of Bulgaria?
  • Which countries border Bulgaria?

Friday, October 18, 2013

I cannot wait to say....

"There's one less broken heart in the world tonight".
What a joyful day that is going to be; I cannot wait!
For now I am working hard and each day is one day closer to you becoming my son.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I thought that it was time for an update! I am in the home study part where they ask you every question imaginable. Around Christmas my home study should be complete and then I will compile paperwork to create a dossier that will be sent to Bulgaria.

I want to leave you with a song that I have been enjoying. It brings encouragement to me as well as challenges me to remember the biblical call behind adoption. We are called to adopt and care for children who need families.

Little hands, shoeless feet, lonely eyes looking back at me
Will we leave behind the innocent too brief
On their own, on the run when their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons
And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won’t let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and be loved

Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in Your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free
Shout your name in victory
When we love when we love the least of these
When we love the least of these

Break our hearts once again
Help us to remember when
We were only children hoping for a friend
Won’t you look around these are the lives that the world has forgotten
Waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open


If not us who will be like Jesus
To the least of these
If not us tell me who will be like Jesus
Like Jesus to the least of these

Monday, October 14, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and family! This year I am thankful that God gives us dreams and desires and that he allows us to live lives of adventure while following him. I am thankful that he has planted the dream to adopt and care for children in my heart and that he is providing the means for me to adopt.

I am thankful that God has adopted me and made me his child. He loves and provides everything I need. I am blessed.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Why so Expensive?!?!

When people ask me how much the adoption will cost they are very surprised by how much it will cost (that is unless they have adopted before or have friends who have adopted). There are many laws around adoption and a way that they ensure that they are followed is by having agencies that walk you through the process. So I will be working with a BC based agency as well as a Bulgarian based agency. Let me break down as much as I can why it is going to cost around $35,000.

$3000                      Registration with my BC agency
$200                        Travelling expenses for Social Worker
$5500                      Program registration fees with my BC agency
$11-14,000              Program fees for Bulgarian agency
$ 7000                     Flights (this will depend on the time of year, etc)
TBD                        Food and Lodging
TBD                        Medicals, visa, passport and other appointments

How am I going to be able to afford $35,000? Well, I sometimes ask myself the same question. It is a lot of money. When I start thinking about it I am reminded that God has been blessing and leading me down this road. He is faithful to provide when He leads.

 I have created a list of ways that I can save, make and receive money for my adoption.
  • keeping my living expenses to a minimum
  • providing respite for extra money
  • crafting up a storm to sell on Etsy
  • holding a Purdy's chocolate fundraiser this Christmas season
  • collecting recyclables to bring into the bottle depot
  • applying for two grants (there are two that I am aware of)
  • using my tax refund in May
  • inviting friends and family to come along side of me
  • hosting a silent auction and dinner on October 19th

Right now I am focusing on the silent auction which will be held at the Bayside Quality Resort in Parksville on October 19th. Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children from 3-12 years old. I have lots of amazing items to auction off; photo sessions, art, jewellery, dvd's, children's toys, books, 2 nights at the Black Rock Resort, surfing passes, zipline pass, games, etc. If you are interested in purchasing tickets (I am praying that 100 people will attend) please email me at 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Why Down Syndrome?

I love people with Down Syndrome! I am blessed to have an Auntie and three brothers with DS as well as many other people who I consider friends.

I believe that God gives us all passions and desires for our lives. My hearts desire is to serve people with DS (and their families). I want to spend my life loving them and pointing them to Jesus. I believe that God calls us all in some form to care for orphans and I know that God is calling me to live this out through adoption and providing respite. I have seen the difference adoption has made in my siblings lives and in others lives around us and I want to be apart of what God is doing there.

Because of my family I have taken disability studies in college as well as work and volunteered in the field for half my life.

Some pictures of my friends and family who rock an extra chromosome.

Auntie Shirley and Maggy

 My family had the honour of running bible camps for people with disabilities for around 9 summers. Camp AMASA holds memories that are dear to my heart and I think of those as my most memorable summers of my life so far. I learned so much about serving and leading as well as caring for people. I had the opportunity to be a cabin leader, camp speaker, program director, shower expert, lice picker, kitchen help and anything else that needed to be done. I am so thankful that my family was able to run camps as it taught us to work as a team even more than we did before and it made us rely on God and each other for strength.

Auntie Shirley and I
My Auntie Shirley is amazing! She is the best Auntie anyone could ask for. She is fun, encouraging, forgiving, best dancer, loves schedules and has a heart of gold. She is known as "Auntie Shirley" to all my friends and the camp staff. She welcomes anyone to her birthday parties as long as you bring her a nice gift (her chocolate bar of choice, pop, tea, gift certificates to the restaurant of the year, etc).
My baby brother David

My family adopted David when he was a baby. He was the cutest little guy with crazy hair. He was so quiet and loved to be held. He is still cute but isn't quite as quiet. He adds much spice to our lives and loves spending weekends with Andrea and I.   
Aiden- our Bulgarian brother
Aiden became a Keno four years ago this October. He is from Bulgaria and is the most thankful person you have ever met- he thanks Mom and Dad daily for adopting him and bringing him to Canada. He has a great sense of humour and is very expressive-he has the ability to make people laugh everywhere he goes. 

Brent and I at his graduation this year- I am so proud of him and thankful to God for granting him health and life!
Brent joined our family as baby as well. I will never forget the day we found out about him. We were so excited to have a baby in the house and the best part was he stayed little for years. He is a guy of few words but when he does speak people listen. He loves Jesus and those around him.

Norman and I
Norman is a friend who I met at camp and then he moved to Port Alberni. You see him cheering on the Bulldogs every game and whenever you see him around town he gives the best smiles and hugs. He is my friend of few words yet he lights up the world around him. My favourite memories are from camp- he would play jokes on the counsellors and would tell me the next day all about them. He was famous for draping his dirty socks over people's mouth while they were sleeping.

So why Down Syndrome?!? I am so blessed to have been raised surrounded by people with different abilities and challenges and I want to carry on the legacy of my parents.  I want to spend my days serving others and using my experience to better the lives of people around me. I know that God has called me to adopt a child with Down Syndrome and I cannot wait for Gotcha Day!