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!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

We can't take it with us when we go...

Our society loves comfort, money, entertainment and material things;they can consume everything we do. 

Why do we so easily forget that we are:









We are all of the above things and more because of Christ's death and resurrection. It is because of him that we can know without a doubt that we will spend eternity with him if we live for him. While we are on earth we are not to be building our material kingdoms but to be giving our lives to bring glory to God through the way we live. We can have all the riches in the world but we can bring any of these things to heaven when we die. They are earthly things given to us to be used to serve and care for others.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

It is because I am:






Rich (I live in Canada!)



that I want to adopt a child who does not know
what it is to be cared for, loved, redeemed etc.
I know that it is not going to be an easy, bump free
journey but I also believe with all that I am that God
has called me to walk down this road.
He is faithful and will provide amidst the sunny and stormy days.
May his name alone be glorified throughout this journey
to redeeming a child from a place where we would never
want to spend our days; let alone our whole lives.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Why Bulgaria?

I want to say thank you for your love and support as I embark on this journey. I am so blessed to have so many friends and family who are willing to journey alongside of me.

Why have I chosen to adopt from Bulgaria?
There are many orphans in Bulgaria living in institutions who have no hope of a future outside their walls unless they are adopted. They do not have the opportunities that people with DS have in North America as they are not seen as having the ability to live full, meaningful lives but are "burdens" on their society.  Because of my age and single status there were only a handful of countries that I am able to adopt from. My brother Aiden and our friends daughter Sofie were both adopted from Bulgaria as well through media and blogs I have seen the faces of many children who need families.  I would like to share pictures and stories if four children who have been adopted from various orphanages/institutions in Bulgaria.

I hope that as people in Bulgaria interact with people who value children and people with disabilites that it will change their perspectives and that their will be a switch in their social systems.

Katie at 9.5 years and weighing 10 lbs 9oz when she was adopted
Katie Now!

Sophia now

Sophia at 4 years old


 The story of Sofie- the daughter of our friends

Sofie on the day they met her in Bulgaria
Sofie two years later
 My brother Aiden
My parents adopted Aiden four years ago this year. He was nine and is so thankful to be in Canada. Everyday he thanks our Mom and Dad " thank you for bringing me from Bulgaria to Canada-I love you".

Aiden the week that he joined his forever family!

Aiden and I this year! He brings so much joy to everyone he meets!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Phone Call

Today I recieved my first call from my adoption agency! It was to tell me that they have recieved my first payment and application- next step will be sending me the binder to read through and finding the closest social worker.

If you can join me in praying that God will lead the agency to the right social worker so that I can start my homestudy! Sometimes it still feels like it is the same process I've been through many times...reality is that this time I will not be the "oldest sister" but "his mom". I cannot wait to meet him and tell him how much I love him and to introduce him to his Nana, Papa, Uncles, Aunties, Nephew and Niece. He will be one richly loved little boy.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders...

As I step out in faith and start on this journey I am reminded that God is with me on this journey and He will be leading me, challenging me and providing for me. He will be taking me deeper than I ever imagined and my faith will become stronger. He will make his glory known through this journey.

Oceans by Hillsong United is a reminder of what my heart desires. I desire to live a life that is Spirit lead where I continue to follow God where ever he leads.

"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior"