The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Touched By ... A Bake Sale

I just received an email from a friend telling me about a Bake Sale someone else in our church just held to raise funds for "Baby Keizer". I went to her facebook to check out what I thought was going to be a picture of someone with a table of goodies.

What I found was 55 pictures posted with a bunch of our Warmland kids and their parents, using sidewalk chalk and other homemade signage to advertise the Bake Sale they were holding on a busy Crofton Corner.

I am touched as I had no idea this was going on. I wouldn't have known if I hadn't been told about these pictures. These kids, some of whom I know, some of whom I only recognize and know their name, (they don't necessarily even know who the Keizer family is...what adoption means...or where the heck Ethiopia is) are working towards a goal. They know it's important. They know it's bigger than us & bigger than them...and...with the help of their Super Mums (!) they are helping us, one brownie, one cookie, and one rice crispy treat at a time, to bring Baby Keizer home.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Homestudy Complete: Check

Well, that may not be completely true. We do not yet have the "red stamp" of approval on our Homestudy, deeming us to be fit parents. However, we completed our 8th and final interview in our Homestudy on Tuesday night.

Enter chorus: HALLELUJAH

This was either the toughest or tied for first (along with interview 7) as the toughest interview. It was 9 pages, riddled with lengthy questions requiring very lengthy answers. Homestudy interviews must legally be 2 weeks apart and may last no longer than 2 hours at any given time. We were told that other families must take 2 interviews to complete it. We finished with 6 minutes to spare. I kid you not.

A very minor part of the interview was discussing the "type" of child we would like. This is not something to be taken lightly and it is just a strange sort of thing to do. It felt very artificial, as if I was walking down the aisle at Superstore and had to chose between the different types of cereals. Except that this is a priceless human life.

  1. Would you accept a child with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Diabetes, FAS, FAE, Schizophrenia.
  2. Would you accept a child who is a product of Rape, Incest, Illegitimacy, Teen Pregnancy.
  3. Would you accept a child who may have been subjected to Drugs (heroine, cocaine, etc) while in utero.
  4. Would you like to request a gender.
  5. Would you like to request an age.

...and the list continued. Initially, as I was warned about this "shopping cart" interview, I felt guilty. Am I closed minded to not want a child with even mild Down Syndrome? Would I not be open to a child who only has Fetal Alcohol Effects and not Sydrome? (We are fortunate that Ethiopia is such a poor country that in Addis Ababa only 0.1% females and 1.8% males drink alcohol...and the percentages are lower in rural areas.) We reminded ourselves, however, that it would not be fair to Noah, Tait, or our child-to-be to take on more than we can handle. We do not feel equipped to offer ourselves in any greater capacity than to a child who is "as healthy as possible".

And besides, I have faith in knowing that there is a little one out there (born or not) who is meant for us...and we are meant for her. This was pre-destined a long time ago.

So there you have it. 3 or so weeks and we'll read through our homestudy and then hopefully just WAIT....and allow the excitment and anticipation to build.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sweetness Personified

As I was prepping for the yard sale last week, a friend offered to take the boys for the morning. Lola has two little girls, Anna Kate is 2 and Alberta is nearly 5 months.

At the end of her nap the kids all piled in and around Alberta's crib. Noah hopped in. After a few minutes, Noah engaged in a series of questions with Lola about Alberta's origins. It went something like this:

N: Lola, where is Alberta from?

L: From my tummy.

N: No, where did she come from?

L: She came from inside my tummy.

Noah turns to Alberta, both still in the crib.

N: You came from Epiopia.

Out of the mouths of babes, I tell ya.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Will She Like Us, Mama?"

That's what Noah asked me the other night after our Adoption Fundraising Yard Sale. We had a very successful day and raised more than I had prayed specifically for. There is still are few dollars here and there trickling in but we raised over $1750! It was very exciting and affirming to have so many friends supporting us.

On Saturday evening the boys are I were sitting down to supper. I wandered over to the kitchen to grab something and as I was doing so Noah, out of the blue asked, "Mama, do you think our baby sister will like us?". (Insert "awwww" here.) I think my heart may have melted in that instant. "Yes bud, I think she will love us very very much." Such deep, kind thoughts and questions for such a little boy. It's so thought-provoking, some of the things that pass through the minds of little ones. Maybe we think them but our self-esteem, or concern of social acceptance doesn't allow us to voice them. Maybe, as I have, we just assume our children will love us. What other option is there. How remarkable that a 3 year old would wonder if the sister he has never met (who may not be born) will even like him. His sweetness and thoughtfulness is often mature beyond his years.

I will save the next "baby sister" story for tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Fun For Little Boys

As with all summers, we're of course busy! But, we've had a few little adventures, parties, and laughs so far...and thought we'd share the love with our faithful readers. Even the backyard seems more fun this year, as Tait is no longer a blob (sorry buddy) and can run around. Noah calls the backyard, our field. "Can I play in the field with no shoes on, Mama?" he'll often ask.
It's a treat to run around barefoot in the grass as I am the mean Mum at camp who makes her kids keep their shoes on. My Mum was the mean one too and I figure I turned out ok so why not follow in her footsteps. Ha ha.

Tait, while not really talking much yet, can definitely sign a few words and is very familiar with 'NO', which sort of sounds like "NEW" but accompanied by a vigorously shaking head and there's no mistaking it. "Ha Da" with a wave is "Hi ____" (fill-in-your-name). It's quite cute as he keeps his arm still and moves his hand back and forth...some friends joke that it is his royal wave. The other phrase, now decipherable is, "Uh Duh" which is code for "I understand". Funny, you always think your kids first words will be Mama, Daddy, dog, etc...not "I understand." He's quite the character.
We had our 7th of 8 homestudy interviews last week. By far, it was the most challenging. However, we're close to the end of this leg of the journey. Our papers are alllllll notarized and our agency pretty much has everything else from us that they need.
We are holding a HUGE Yard Sale this Saturday (19th for anyone who lives close). We've been very encouraged by the amount of stuff people have donated. Everything from a large (newish) TV, to a crib, bikes, glass shelving units, sewing machines, etc. All purchases will be by donation and we're having a bake sale organized by a fantastic person at our church. Now, let the sorting begin! (This part is a little daunting.)
Enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Three Little Words

I have been struggling a bit lately with why I feel so passionate about adoption; specifically from an impoverished country. I know why in my heart, but sometimes thoughts can be impossible to put into words.

a) Why is fostering a child for $1 a day not enough?

b) Why is there this heart-wrenching desire, this lump-in-my-throat need, to actually change the future of our family? (Our grand-children will likely be biracial, some play groups we attend will likely be comprised of both biological and adopted children, our boys will be confronted at school with questions they would not otherwise have given a second thought, and our family will take on a new dynamic.)

c) Why can I not be satisfied with purchasing a chicken, a goat, or heck a whole farmyard of animals to support a village somewhere far off each Christmas?

And the list continues.

While those are all good, genuinely giving (and necessary!) things to do, it just doesn't sit well in the "I've done all I can" part of me. While reading an article the other day (posted below, also) three little words hit me. That was it. Those three words resonated as "the reason" this is why we have been called to do what we are doing and following this passion:


We get to change the outcome of one family's generations to come. This child will not have to worry about the possibility (likelihood) of being kidnapped for marriage...and I use the word 'kidnap' because she would probably be about 11-13 yrs old...just a kid.

She will not ever have to think of where her next meal will come from...or if there will be a next meal. She will have the comforts of two loving parents and brothers, a bed in her own room with a solid roof over her head. Everyday.

I don't think the world is a fair place. I don't think that this is the path we should all rush out and pursue. I do, however, know that we are blessed. Blessed by the fact that we have been born into a society where even the poor are rich, where we choose who and when we will marry, that we love who we marry, that we determine the "right" time to start our family - and that our family is born out of love. We are blessed by the opportunity to change a generation and we will follow this journey to it's completion.

And, completion will be so sweet.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Oh Canada

We hope everyone enjoys a festive, warm, sunny Canada Day!

Hieee Canada!

Thumbs up for Canadians everywhere.