Friday, January 31, 2014

My answer was.....


Six years ago when I was living in Lethbridge working and preparing for my dear friend Emily's wedding there was a baby that was born in Bulgaria. He was born to a Roma couple and he was blessed with designer genes. He weighed almost the same as my brother Brent and I have no doubt he was adorable.

He has spent  almost all his life living in state care and is ready to have a Mom and family to call his own. Someone to care for him when he is healthy and sick, happy and sad, scared or feeling adventurous.

I am not allowed to post pictures of him until he is officially mine but I can tell you he has Roma colouring and is around the size of a 3 year old. He has recently learned to walk and is developmentally very delayed. He will need a lot of love and support in the years ahead but I am prepared and will continue to prepare so that I can provide it for him.

Today, I have signed and sent in my forms that say I would like to proceed with his adoption!!!! In the coming weeks I will be filling in paperwork and sending my first fee to Bulgaria. I am trusting and praying that his government will grant me the honour of being his mom.

Although his name will not officially change until I am granted the privileged of becoming his Mom  in court this little guy will no longer have to be called "my future son" or "the boy I am adopting" he will now be known as

Wyatt Timothy_________(his birth name-I will wait to share) Keno

Wyatt means strong and brave which I think is appropriate for all he has faced in his short life and the adjustment that is coming for him.

Timothy means to honour God. I love the meaning but the reason I have chosen Timothy is because of a man that I knew with that name. He was a man of God, who loved deeply and encouraged me to follow the desires of my heart. He told me that I would make a difference in the lives of people around me and he was such an honourable man. I am excited to tell Wyatt about Pastor Tim.
Pastor Tim's eldest son and family have adopted a daughter with Downs from Bulgaria as well.

I am looking forward to meeting him in the months ahead and can't wait to show you all pictures and videos of him. I do not know when I will be going to Bulgaria yet but as I find out the next steps I will let you know.

Monday, January 27, 2014


After I wrote my last post I had a little surprise call from one of my Social Workers to say that they found out a file was for pulled for me. So, I have been waiting this past two weeks on a proposal for a 6 year old boy with Downs. I was not expecting anything until next month ( at least ) but I guess God has other plans for January:) I have received the pictures and videos but am waiting on the official written part. It should be arriving this week.

I would ask that you pray that I would know God's leading to whether this little boy is to be my son. It is a decision that will take courage but also discernment from God. This little guy has not had the opportunity to spend most of his life loved in a family like most of us have and so he will need extra support and a lot of love. He hasn't been to school nor does he know what is waiting outside of the walls that he sees each day.

I want to follow Jesus and his will- I want to look to the cross and go forward knowing that God is with me and that he will give me wisdom in each decision I have to make. I am trusting that He is watching over my son whoever he is and where ever he is in Bulgaria.

In the next week I will be making a very big decision; one that will affect not just my life but the life of a gorgeous little guy. Please join me in praying....

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Now?

As long as I can remember it has been my dream to adopt. I have grown up in a family where adoption is normal and something that we did. We have interacted with families who have adopted and I get excited when I meet people who have opened their hearts and homes to children who need a parent or parents.

Growing up my plan was to marry young and be a mom to a large family of both birth and adoptive children. I never pictured myself having a career or going to college really. But that is not how my life has unfolded. I went to college for 8 years (if you count my first year which was a bible program/mentorship program). Two years in Port Alberni, two years in Lethbridge and four years in Caronport. I have my business degree, disability and community rehabilitation diploma with credentials in FASD as well as my certificate in Human Services. I learned so much in my studies and it has brought me to the place where I am now.

A common thread in my life is that I always chose to have people with disabilities around me whether it is through my job, serving at camp, providing respite or spending time with my family. I am drawn to supporting families and people with disabilities. I feel it is the passion that God has given me. And put that with my belief that we are called to adopt and care for the orphans in the world around us...It's a decision that I knew I would make I just didn't know what the timing would be.

Over a year ago I was at a place where I was done school and I was starting my career and getting established on Vancouver Island. I was starting to connect with others and feeling the desire to start the adoption process. I tossed the idea around and started to talk to my family and friends about it. I thought of all the cons and then realized that they were self-centered and based around my comfort. I committed to praying seriously about it over the summer and I knew that by September 1st I would make my decision. God confirmed that I was heading in the right direction and started providing the funds to make the inital payment. On August 27th I sent in my application to adopt. I had taken the first step and paid my first $3000. I was committed to moving forward and there were times where I would sit in my room looking at the fees to come and feel like I couldn't do it...however God has provided each step and I am blown away. I know without a doubt that I am walking the right road right now. It is going to change my life forever but I am so excited for that to happen.

I am choosing to adopt as a single person because I want to be a mom and I believe that we are called to adopt and care for orphans.I can't bare the thought of living out the days of my life focused on me  while children are living and dying without knowing the love of a family.

 I want to be a Mom to a little guy who may need extra cheerleading in life.

 I want to use the gifts and talents I have been given to serve others; specially children with disabilities. I do know that somedays it is going to be really hard and I am going to wonder what I did but I think all parents must have days like that.

I know that he will cost alot of money and that my days of attending concerts and sewing the night aways will decrease but I am okay with this.

I know that my son will need me to advocate for him and that there will be days where I miss sleep but I know that I am getting the honour of raising a boy who will become a man and will have an opportunity to make a mark in the world.

I have the honour to become the mom to a little boy who doesn't know what it is to be loved and protected.

I have the honour of sharing Jesus with him.

I am so thankful that I have the honour to be on this journey. I do hope that one day God will bring a man into my life who will love me and my son and that we can serve together. I know that adoption and disabilities will always play a role in my life and so I know it is important that it is something he is passionate about as well. I trust God to lead in this area of my life as he has so far in my adoption journey.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Home Study Complete!

I thought it was time for me to update you on the progress of my adoption. Today I received my signed copy of my home study!! I am thankful to have another item completed.

Immigration is very back logged right now it seems and so it will likely be well into the spring that I receive my pre-approval to adopt. After talking with my social worker we have decided that I will wait until I have my pre-approval or until I have a proposal before I send my dossier to be translated.

I am going for a blind referral and so this means that I am not allowed to pick a children who is listed on a site like Reeces Rainbow. My Bulgarian agency has an opportunity each month to see what children are available from the Ministry of Justice. The MOJ lists the children that are available and it appears to be the first week of the month. The system in Bulgaria is that agencies are able to "pull" a file for two months. During that time they work to find a family to commit to adopt the child. After that time if the child doesn't have a committed family the file is returned to the MOJ and is listed once again.

In December, there were two boys with Down Syndrome that were listed and they were younger than I was originally thinking and so by the time I was able to give my okay to pull the files they were already "pulled".This month there was three boys with Down Syndrome that were older then I am approved for and so I will wait for another month. I have been approved for a boy with Down Syndrome between the ages of 18 months and 5 years old. I originally was going to request an older child but I have decided that a younger child will be a better fit at this time. So we will see if February is my lucky month!

Monday, January 6, 2014


Adopting is a humbling experience. It is a time for me where I have had to ask for help and then allow people to support me. I prefer being the person who gives and cares for others and I like to be independent so I am learning to put my pride on the shelf.

I have been so blown away with how much people have come along side of me and I know that I could not do it without each of you. I still have people who think I have lost my marbles but I am trying to grow a thicker skin so it doesn't bother as much I know without a doubt that I am walking the path I am suppose to right now.

Last week, I was a bit discouraged as I was thinking about how I have only found one grant that as a single Canadian that I can apply for...well when I woke up I had a message waiting for me from Katie....

(Background is that Jon and Katie were at their extended family reunion from Jon's Moms side. Jon worked at camp with my family and then he married Katie whose sister has downs. They have three beautiful daughters; one from Bulgaria with downs. Jon's dad was my pastor for my teenage and young adult years- he was someone who I looked up to and had the upmost respect for.)

"Us grandkids also got to be educated on some of the family business this year. We were also given the opportunity to decide where to give a large some of money for charitable donations. This was a pretty amazing experience for me. From 25 people we had about 20 suggestions of where to give them money. Lots of great recommendations, all of which had a special meaning to the person suggesting it. We each had less than a minute to let the group know about our charity and why they should get them money before we cast some votes to see which charities could be eliminated. I was one of the last to make my suggestion. Mine was a little different since no tax receipt would be included for the company. I didn't suggest a registered charity but instead a person for her adoption of a little boy with DS from Bulgaria. She is also going in to this with no kids of her own yet and no partner.

(A little back story on this soon to be mom, Heather. She is the oldest daughter of the Keno family. The Keno's are the family that introduced Jon to people with special needs and have adopted 5 children with  special needs themselves. 4 from the Ministry, 3 with Down Syndrome, and 1 of those with DS was an international adoption from Bulgaria just before us. They prepared Jon for my world and influenced our decision and ability to adopt greatly! Now Heather is on the same journey and we get to be a part of it!)
I was SO humbled by what happened next. With only my short explanation of why I thought Heather should get some money, it was unanimous that she would be getting some of it! I LOVED watching all Jon's cousins cast their votes. The only question was how much. We unanimously agreed in a short 30ish minutes that Heather would be getting 50% of our donation and the other 50% was divided between 5 other charities, some very big well known ones and some smaller ones that the cousins have personally volunteered at. I had tears in my eyes. I was so honoured to have been able to let them know about this adoption and see them all jump on board whole heartedly to support something that is so dear to my heart. It was VERY cool to see and be a part of. Something I'll never forget."

All I could say was "wow" and I was humbly reminded that God has been providing and here he was again providing. I am humbled that a large group of people would soften their hearts and listen to Katie's request. I am humbled that they love Jon and Katie's daughter (she was adopted from Bulgaria and has Downs) so much they would see the value in adoption. I am humbled that they would bless me and it took a day or two for the news to sink in. I shed some tears of thankfulness and I cannot wait to thank them one day with a picture or even better with meeting my son.

With their generous gift my adoption fund will read $21,054!! My dream going over the $20,000 is coming true. Thank you to each person in the family who decided to come alongside of me; know that I am so thankful and my son's middle name will be a reminder of your gift. I am humbled by your generosity. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in Review

2013 was a great year and I think 2014 is going be even better!!!

2013 in review
  • Over 13 funerals at work
  • A year of country concerts (Paul Brandt, Dean Brody, Terri Clark and Kenny Chesney)
  • Cloverdale Rodeo for May Long
  • Trip to Sask to see friends and church family
  • Seattle trip with Andrea and Steph
  • My niece Braelyn was born in May
  • My sister and brother in-law had their wedding in August
  • I committed to start the adoption process at the end of August
  • Home study visits and it is ready to be signed
  • picked that I was going to adopt from Bulgaria
  • Andrea and I moved into our rental house
  • Started doing respite in April for David

A year ago I wrote:

"Looking forward to 2013. My hopes are that I will throw away the fear and worry in my life and that I will go forward with confidence knowing that God will open and close doors. I am looking at starting the process of adopting or fostering later in the year  as well as continuing to help with the special needs bible study at the church. I know that God is leading me down the road of caring for the orphans and I feel that obedience will be taking steps and allowing God to control the timing.

I am excited to see what 2013 will bring!"

I have started the adoption process and it has been a faith stretching time for me. God has provided each need and continues to show me his provision. I am overwhelmed and humbled by the gifts of people and know that without the support I would not be able to be on this journey.

2014 is going to be a huge year for me as I become a Mom and will be hopefully bringing my son home at the end of this year. I will be going to Bulgaria twice and have the opportunity to go and visit Aiden's orphanage and two missionaries that we contact with. I am looking forward to this year and cannot wait to introduce you all to my son.