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

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Further To The BDO Creditors Meeting

Hopeful families were buoyed Thursday by a plan to try to save a bankrupt Cambridge adoption agency by bringing in new management.[...]

They left a Kitchener meeting in good spirits after about 200 creditors voted unanimously to pursue a restructuring effort outlined by bankruptcy trustees from BDO Dunwoody.

“I’ve never seen so many people in one room agree on something so quickly,” said Ingrid Phaneuf, of Etobicoke, who is trying to adopt a child from Ethiopia. “It was fantastic.”

About six people with the necessary expertise may take over the non-profit agency. The plan would require approval from the provincial government, which licenses international adoption organizations.

Bankruptcy trustee Susan Taves said the plan will be explored and developed over the next two to four weeks to see if it can work.

“I think it’s really probable – a high percentage of success here,” she said after the three-hour meeting.

Companies, church groups, individuals and affected families have contacted trustees with offers to help salvage the agency.

“This is a really unique file,” Taves said. “In 20 years of doing this work, I’ve never had people call and say they’ll give money to keep an organization going.”

The effort also has an ally in Kitchener lawyer Ted Giesbrecht, who went to Ethiopia earlier this month to ensure children at an agency transition home were properly cared for.

Giesbrecht, who is working for free, said staff at the home – where children matched with Canadian families are housed – hadn’t been paid in six weeks.

While also helping to complete adoptions that had reached the matching stage, he cut staff and reduced expenses at the home from more than $50,000 to $17,000 a month.

If the agency is restructured, Giesbrecht said, that will help stretch the money Imagine still had in the bank when it went bankrupt.

[One couple] of Kitchener paid $14,000 in fees to Imagine and were waiting to be matched with a child in Ethiopia after unsuccessfully trying to have a baby of their own for five years.

They were encouraged when a landscaper sitting next to them at the creditors’ meeting told them he’d write off the money he is owed if the agency can be salvaged.

“He said, ‘You getting your child is more important than us getting our money,’ ” [the husband] said. “I was blown away.”

“[The bankruptcy trustees and government officials] realize it’s not just money. They’re trying their best to make something reasonable out of a very difficult situation."

“So far, it looks good, but you can never be sure. International adoption is not for the faint of heart.”

“We won’t give up. We can’t give up.”

There was no sign at the meeting of Susan Hayhow, the former executive director of Imagine and two related organizations, Global Reach Children Fund and Saint Anne Adoption Agency.

Susan Hayhow and Morrow were at the transition home in Ethiopia when Giesbrecht, an expert in international adoptions, went there on behalf of BDO.

Giesbrecht said they were trying to make sure the children were OK and cooperated when he got there, giving him the information he needed to take over.

“There was an introduction,” he said. “I met them and then I said ‘You have no further authority here.’ ”

-courtesy of The Record

-Brian Caldwell

Tomorrow holds a call with the Government (MOWA) in Ethiopia. Please pray for cooperation, respect, and acceptance of this new plan of organization!

BDO Creditors Meeting

I have shivers down my spine and tears in my eyes.

Below are is an excerpt from an email just sent from the Albertan Pastor serving as our proxy at the meeting today. (Bold characters, mine.)

It was a very good and positive meeting. It leaves me with much hope.

An option to attempt to put together a new board of directors and have them put together a plan to resurrect Imagine was put forth by Susan Taves, the court trustee and BDO Staff Member. After discussion the vote of over 185 families represented was unanimous to pursue this option. There was much applause and cheering.

There will be board formed and a plan presented in the next 2-4 weeks. This will have to happen under the trustee serving as an officer of the court, and the government, but there is good optimism that this can happen. The hope is that at least those started with Imagine can see the process through.[...] Of course all of this will be dependent upon a good plan and approval of all the right officials.

The plan is approved in principle now, but hopefully can work.

Please pray that this will succeed.

Give praise for what has been done.

Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope."
-Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's New

I've added a couple of new site links over on the right. They are two sites of real interest. Families of Imagine Adoption (FIA) and Families With Hope are two incredible groups of parents who have joined together to Fight For Our Children.

If you are looking for up to date, truthful information please click on the links to get latest.

I will try to post what I feel to be the most pertinent information but this is such an "up and down" journey, I sometimes need a break.

Today was a good day in the world of bankruptcies and adoption. The Ministry in Ontario is doing a good job. They understand, or are at least trying to understand, the heartbreak and the right of children in Ethiopia to live full lives. They are making no promises at this point in time, but they are working in the right direction. This is so praiseworthy.

Please pray for the BDO Creditor's Meeting being held on Thursday. This is another big step towards our next big step.

FIA And Deb Matthews Meeting


July 28, 2009 -- Ontario is taking clear action to help families impacted by the recent collapse of Imagine Adoption/Kids Link.

Earlier today, Minister of Children and Youth Services Deb Matthews met with families affected by the recent collapse of the agency. During the meeting, Matthews indicated that the province would:

* Act quickly to consider any licensing requests should a reconstituted agency emerge from bankruptcy, while protecting the safety of kids
* Ensure home studies – evaluations of potential adoptive parents by agencies – conducted by Imagine Adoption/Kids Link will be transferable to other adoption agencies.
* Consider ways in which the international adoption system can be strengthened, as the facts surrounding this situation emerge.

Ontario is also working with the federal government to ensure that visas are expedited for children whose adoptions have been completed so they can make it home to their adoptive families in Canada.

The province will continue to work with the bankruptcy trustee BDO Dunwoody to explore all possible options to assist families at all stages of the adoption process, once the status of the Adoption/Kids Link is determined through the bankruptcy process.


“It’s heart-breaking when your hopes and dreams of starting a family are jeopardized. Adopting a child from another country is already a lengthy and emotional process. I want these families to know we’re doing everything we can to help them.” - Deb Matthews, Minister of Children and Youth Services


* Since the bankruptcy, at least nine Ethiopian children have received their visas and are travelling or have arrived in Canada.
* An estimated 36 Ethiopian children have already been matched with Canadian parents and are being cared for in a transition home in Ethiopia.
* Ontario is working with the federal government to expedite visas for those children whose adoptions have already been completed.

* Kevin Spafford, Minister’s Office, 416-212-7159
* Ryan Rigby, Ministry of Children and Youth Services , 416-325-5156

Summer Colour

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Failure...Is Not An Option

(2:15 pm July 24, post-meeting with ministry officials at 56 Wellesley, Toronto, Ont.)

Christine Starr:
I’d like to begin by stating just how reassuring it has been to us to see, through your actions and coverage, that you appreciate the seriousness of the situation not only for the families here in Canada, who are desperate not to lose what many believe to be their last opportunity to create or complete their family, but also for the children currently in orphanages in the countries with which Imagine Adoption was working.

I think it is key that as we, the Families of Imagine Adoption work to cooperate to solve this issue, that we clearly bear in mind that children’s lives are at stake. As a woman adopting from Ethiopia I know that one of the reasons I was drawn to adopt from that country in particular is the knowledge that 1 in every 6 children in Ethiopia will die before the age of five. In Ethiopia alone there are upwards of 6 million orphans at risk and when you combine all the countries in which Imagine Adoption worked the numbers are even more staggering.

We can understand that when you think of the magnitude of the problem in these terms, it might be tempting to think that finding homes for 300 or so of these children is a drop in the bucket, but we have to keep in mind that every one of those drops is a precious child that has a right to a full and fulfilling life. And there are families here in Canada who long for nothing more than to care, love and nurture these children for the duration of their lives.

We trust that when we fully consider this reality and what is truly at stake, that all will agree that failure to come up with a solution is not an option.

From the outset of our discussions we made it very clear that as regulators of International Adoptions Agencies in the province of Ontario, we hold the Ministry accountable in this situation. Knowing by law that we had to proceed with out inter-country adoptions using a licensed agency, we all chose Imagine Adoption because we trusted that an Ontario Government License represented thorough and reliable regulation.

We fully understand that this is a unique situation that has no precedent. Therefore we are asking the Ministry to look outside its normal procedures and maybe even responsibilities and to work in partnership with us to find a viable solution for all families affected by this regulatory failure.

In our effort to make our meeting today with the Ministry as productive as possible we narrowed our most pressing concerns into four questions.

We asked the ministry whether it is fully committed to complete the adoption process for ALL families that signed a retainer agreement with Imagine Adoption, regardless of where they are in their adoption process?

We asked the ministry if it is willing to work with the trustee in bankruptcy to develop a transition plan that would see the ministry hold Imagine Adoption’s license while it acted as an interim operational trustee until the organization can be restructured?

We asked the ministry if they would consider offering their support of a plan put forth by the Families of Imagine Adoption to take the agency out of bankruptcy?

Finally we asked the ministry what it is doing to take care of the families working with St. Ann’s Adoption Agency, an organization affiliated and run by Imagine Adoption staff but not currently in bankruptcy?

We did not receive any answers or assurances from the Ministry with respect to these questions. We look forward to meeting with Minister Deb Matthews on Tuesday.

Press contacts: Ingrid Phaneuf 416-710-0966
David Cotter 519-502-5818

(Bold characters mine.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Below is a petition we have signed along with over 7000 others across our country, in support of Imagine's bankruptcy affect on adoptive families.

If you wish to sign it we would be so appreciative. You can maintain anonymity at the site, if you wish. Instructions, after you sign, will ask what donation amount you would like to gift. Simply ignore this, as your name will already be added to the petition.

Thank you for your support


Friends, Family and Supporters of International Adoption

We need your help and support to protect the future children of families adopting internationally through Imagine Adoption. On July 10, 2009, Imagine Adoption, a government regulated agency in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada declared bankruptcy (Globe & Mail, July 14, 2009.)

It has been reported that there are more than 500 Canadian families who have been directly affected by this development. This number translates into an even greater number of children yet to be (or recently) adopted by Canadians.

The more than "500" families mentioned are at various stages in the adoption
process for Ethiopia, Ecuador, Ghana, Zambia and possibly other countries. Each family has entrusted many thousands of dollars to Imagine. As this process usually takes more than a year's time and many thousands of dollars to complete, we urge the Ministry of Children and youth Services to do the following:

Immediately determine a solution to
facilitate and complete all of Imagine Adoption's active files affected by this bankruptcy filing.

As this situation has been allowed to occur while operating under the direct
regulation (licence) of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services it is
imperative that the Government of Ontario takes an active role in ensuring the well being of the many hundreds of children and Canadian families who have found themselves devastated by this news.

As a community, the families who were working with Imagine Adoption are trying to come up with possible solutions to protect the well-being of our children and keep our dreams of starting or completing our families alive . We can't do this alone.

Please support our cause by signing this petition and encouraging all your friends and families to do the same.

Sign the petition


Friday, July 24, 2009

Late Night

It was late.

I had tried the usual "watching 10 minutes of a movie", in the hopes of falling into a deep slumber. My attempt failed and I endured the whole thing. Reading didn't do a thing.

Perhaps it was that cup of coffee at lunch.

Maybe it was nerves and sadness over this whole situation.

Regardless, it was late and I couldn't sleep.

So I began praying that God would show me maybe a little sign that this could possibly turn out well. I've always been told (and I believe it) that we serve a Big God. I know that I should pray boldly and ask for big things.

I did just that.

When Ben was finally home I was still lying there, in the dark peace of the late late night.

Still praying. Throwing as much praise, hope, thanksgiving, sadness, and pleading in there as I could.

And when he came to bed he surprised me with, "I have some good news".

It's not over. This journey, I am realizing is only just beginning. But last night as I lay there just before the clock struck into the wee hours of this day, I was finally given some good news.

You see, my God is Big and my God is so Good.

Update: July 22, 2009

BDO Dunwoody Limited, Trustee in Bankruptcy of Kids Link International Adoption Agency o/a Imagine Adoption receives generous monetary gift to ensure well being and placement of children in Ethiopian transition home.

Through a recent and generous gift of US $100,000 from Yamana Gold Inc., a short-term milestone has been reached and the well-being of the 43 children in their transition home in Ethiopia is ensured. With this donation in place, we know the transition home in Ethiopia will continue operations until such time as the matched children are placed with their new families.

While many individuals and interest groups have generously offered donations to achieve this goal, the ability to deal with one corporate donation that would fully fund transition home operations over the near term was a more manageable option.

Yamana Gold Inc. is a Canadian-based organization with operations in South America. Yamana does not have any operations or interests in Africa. This gift from Yamana is to ensure the care and well-being of the children immediately impacted by the recent insolvency who were resident in the transition home on July 14th.

Business Continuity Options being pursued

As Trustee of an insolvency that directly impacts the lives of children in Ethiopia and families in Canada, BDO Dunwoody has focused on the appropriate management of the situation some of which has exceeded a standard bankruptcy administration. Upon engagement, it became immediately apparent that there were some short-term priorities and milestones for the organization including

• that care would be provided to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of children in the transition home in Ethiopia; and,
• that the needs of people who have engaged with the previous organization to pursue the adoption of a child are appropriately and fairly managed. This includes the safe management of personal and private data and, where possible, the continuation of processes initiated by the previous organization.

The Yamana gift noted above has addressed the first priority.

Regarding the second priority, BDO Dunwoody is fully aware that the emotional and sensitive nature of this insolvency extends to individuals and families in Canada that have pursued adoption through the previous entity but who are not yet matched with a child.

BDO Dunwoody is continuing discussions with the licensing government office, stakeholders, individuals and other organizations regarding continuity of services that were provided by the previous organization. If successful, and fully compliant with regulatory requirements, the unmatched files would continue to be managed. This objective is not typical for a bankruptcy of this nature; however, the sensitivity of this priority is recognized. We will continue to communicate the status of this option for the unmatched families between now and the creditor meeting on July 30th.

Please continue to pray boldly to the God of the Heavens and the God of the Earth. He hears everything.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Not Much

I'd love to share new (and encouraging) information but right now there is nothing. We continue to wait in limbo to know if any fees will be recovered and much, significantly, life-changingly more importantly, we wait to find out if anyone will take over the files.

There are simply so many waiting families that it is a huge undertaking for any agency. I'm getting antsy, having lived in limbo of "when will this happen" for so long now that this extra anticipation and question mark is really hard to bear.

The Ministry of Ontario updates it's site when there is more and new information, and this is where the majority of my info comes from. This is also where our agency gleams a lot of the details.

It is also truth.

Please continue to pray to the God Who moves mountains, for a miracle.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Meeting

Last Updated: Sunday, July 19, 2009 (CBC)

Groups of prospective parents trying to adopt overseas children through an Ontario adoption agency that declared bankruptcy last week met Sunday to figure out what to do.

About 50 people gathered at a downtown Toronto condo to share their frustrations and discuss potential solutions after Cambridge, Ont.-based Kids Link International Adoption Agency, which operated under the name Imagine Adoption, went under July 13. For the last two years, the agency had helped Canadians adopt children from Ethiopia, Ghana and Ecuador.

Other parents met Sunday in Ottawa and London, Ont., as well as in Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Alberta.

"We really need the whole group behind us to get good answers," Andrew Cooksley said at the Toronto meeting. He and his wife Jana are trying to adopt a child from Ethiopia.

'The money for us is not the most important thing. The most important thing is giving families their forever family.'
—Catherine Bruce, would-be adoptive parent

The $15,000 in adoption fees the couple and others had paid evaporated last week when Imagine Adoption's board of directors failed to approve its latest financial statements and the not-for-profit agency filed for bankruptcy.

But the would-be parents' primary concern isn't getting their money back, but ensuring their children arrive safely in Canada.

"The money for us is not the most important thing. The most important thing is giving families their forever family," said Catherine Bruce, who was at the Toronto meeting.

As many as 400 Canadian families who are waiting to find out when they will be matched with their adopted children are listed as unsecured creditors in the documents, posted online through bankruptcy trustee BDO Dunwoody.

The trustee must also sort out the future of some 40 Ethiopian children already matched to Canadian parents and living in a transition home in the country's capital, Addis Ababa.

Arnaka Rowan recently flew to Addis Ababa to check on the two children she's awaiting approval from the Ethiopian government to adopt.

It's "definitely financially, a little bit, challenging," said Rowan, who says she won't leave without her adopted children.

Officials say they'll fast-track visas

Kevin Spafford, a representative for the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, told reporters after the meeting that provincial officials are working with federal immigration officials to fast-track visas for 22 completed adoptions in Ethiopia.

A lawyer from BDO Dunwoody was at two transition homes in Ethiopia to ensure the yet-to-be-adopted children were being treated properly, he said.

Children's Minister Deb Matthews was in Newfoundland and could not attend the meeting, he said.

While the majority of parents at the Toronto meeting were in the process of adopting children from Ethiopia, other Imagine Adoption clients across Canada have been trying to adopt kids from Ghana, Zambia, and Ecuador.

Most of the Toronto-area parents had not reached the stage where they had been given the names, faces, and biographies of their children.

Friday, July 17, 2009


There's nothing too new right now.

I know that there is potentially an agency who may apply to be licensed in Ethiopia. This would be the first step, were an agency take over Imagine's files at the Transition Home. Potentially.

The Ministries (provincially) are in constant communication. This is getting huge media coverage. It is bad.

July 30, 2009 there will be a meeting of the DBO Trustees and some financial verdict (from a client's perspective) may be reached.

I know that the children currently in Imagine's Transition Home (approximately 40 of them) are being cared for. Praise The Lord.

I know that there have been a few individuals, one in particular who re-entered our lives about 18 months ago and I know it was for a reason. I'm waiting on that one.

I know that as I said to Ben this morning "This is all going to work out, you know," that I said it with confidence and certainty. And when he replied with "I know it is," he was just as confident and certain.

I don't know how it will work out. But it will. I know this because this keeps coming back to me...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope."
-Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's Not "If", It's "When"

I think one of the hardest things right now is what Ben pointed out yesterday. Throughout our journey we were continually told that it's wasn't "if" the adoption would happen it was "when". Hmmm. Now it truly is "if".

We don't know what this all means for us as far as adoption is concerned. We shared an update with Warmland a couple of weeks ago and we said that for us the journey had always been adoption, Ethiopia was the country that pulled at our heart strings the most as we learned more and more. So that question leaves us in the lurk. If not Ethiopia then where? Financially, it is a big strain. Will we get any money back? Will our file in fact be processed in Ethiopia?

This is what we know today.
  • DBO Dunwood issued a confirmation yesterday through financial statements that Imagine is truly and officially in bankruptcy. You can check out all 13 pages at what used to be Imagine's site. That is gone now too.
  • Possibly on Friday we will find out if we can recover $7300 in trust, which we gave Imagine about a year ago. The $6000 is long gone.
  • The 50 children at the Transition Home in Ethiopia (owned and run by Imagine) are being taken care of. We are not sure how, as there was only 2 days' worth of supplies...2 days ago. Apparently, however, they are doing okay.
  • There is one other agency in all of Canada who facilitates Ethiopian Adoptions. You may recall, CAFAC hitting the news a couple of months ago. They are now taking a waitlist of clients as they are sensitive to referral wait times. Those clients whose files are active with them have an 18-24 mth for referral wait right now.
  • There are a few other agencies in Ontario who could possibly facilitate these adoptions, however, they are not currently licensed in/through Ethiopia. Also, these agencies are smaller and they client load right now of those of us with dossiers in Ethiopia/Ghana is about 200. That is huge.
  • Ethiopia is a Hague country which means that any and all legal adoptions must be performed through a licensed agency. The Ministry Of Women's Affairs (MOWA) in Ethiopia is the governing body for adoptions. They will only work with licensed agencies. So, if you aren't working with an agency, you can't get your file approved in Ethiopia b/c MOWA won't work to pass any adoptions that aren't through an agency. Does this make sense? It it's most raw definition, the Hague Convention protects children. Amen.
  • We have sent letters to some of the key people involved with either the Ontario Ministry or International Adoption. Feel free to contact your (local) MP if you wish to voice your concern/frustration/desire to help those who have been inflicted by this.
  • We are sickened at the thought of people who so kindly, generously, and sacrificially gifted us so much money.
  • We still feel that the plan for us is adoption. We don't know how at this point. We also need to be realistic and know that the cost is great and our family cannot suffer but rather flourish from this.
  • We know God is bigger than all this. He led us here for a reason. We followed him along this path and now we are waiting to see why the path has taken a serious deviation.
  • We are still praying for the miracle.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Expect The Unexpected

Expect the unexpected is what we heard over and over at the start of our adoption journey. Going with the flow became a bit of a slogan. We thought we could handle the ups and downs of this roller coaster ride. However, news we received yesterday has left us numb. In a sense, our world has been turned upside down and we can do nothing but wait and see if it is flipped back up.

You may have seen headlines already which is why I am posting this.

Our facilitator, Imagine Adoption, yesterday announced it has filed for bankruptcy.

Our agency in Victoria found out about it (as did all other agencies) as the news broke yesterday midday. No one knew of anything gone wrong. But apparently something has. Something has gone very very wrong.

We are at a loss. I am emotionally drained and numb.

Both the Globe and Mail as well as CTV have already posted articles with fierce comments from their readers. I can't read them. I won't read them for fear that any embellishment or speculation will drain me more.

Please take whatever you read with a grain of salt because truly, all we know at this point is that DBO Dunwoody Limited (Financial Recovery Services) was appointed today as the Trustee in Bankruptcy. BDO is speaking with many stakeholders to move matters forward (whatever that means). The Ministry of Community and Youth Services will also be responsible to take some sort of action as they are the ones who license Imagine Adoption. This is all I, or anyone knows first hand. Period.

Sue Hayhow the Executive Director of Imagine is now in Africa. She arrived on Monday afternoon.

I will post anything as I know it.

We have so much invested in this. Off the top of my head I think of...
  • the children who now will not be with Forever Families
  • the baby sister our boys are excitedly anticipating
  • our time, emotions, energy
  • our finances (right now Imagine has about $13, is marginally possible we could recover $7000...though we don't hold hope...we've lost an additional $9000 if we don't pursue another adoption through our local agency)
I would anticipate Sue Hayhow will do everything in her power to see the dossiers matched with children and families. However, it will take a miracle with no money.

Pray for a miracle.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Oh, Bono

Many may well know of Bono's intense desire (and success!) in working with Africa and African Aid. He is a true humanitarian and though many are unaware, he is also a Christian. U2 never really publicized themselves as such nor did they claim to a a Christian Rock Band, however, there are rumours. And, if you listen to the lyrics comprising many of the songs you will come to realize these are more than just empty words.

I have been given (and accepted!) the privilege of attending the Willow Creek Summit, locally in a couple of weeks. I cannot wait. Bono is one of the speakers (video cast).

While reading an article earlier this morning written by none other than the man of the hour, I learned that President Obama will be heading over the Ghana in the very near future. And apparently, the nation is excitedly awaiting his arrival.

Soon, Air Force One will touch down in Accra, Ghana; Africans will be welcoming the first African-American president. Press coverage on the continent is placing equal weight on both sides of the hyphen.

I love that...equal weight on both sides of the hyphen. The phrase reminds us that though there is a difference in skin colour and heritage, we are all one lesser or greater...the parts making one whole.

And though Obama's father was Kenyan, he obviously isn't going over to fulfill a heritage seeking-mission.

But President Obama’s African-ness is only part (a thrilling part) of the story today. Cable news may think it’s all about him — but my guess is that he doesn’t. If he was in it for a sentimental journey he’d have gone to Kenya, chased down some of those dreams from his father.

He’s made a different choice, and he’s been quite straight about the reason. Despite Kenya’s unspeakable beauty and its recent victories against the anopheles mosquito, the country’s still-stinging corruption and political unrest confirms too many of the headlines we in the West read about Africa. Ghana confounds them.


Quietly, modestly — but also heroically — Ghana’s going about the business of rebranding a continent. New face of America, meet the new face of Africa.

Ghana is well governed. After a close election, power changed hands peacefully. Civil society is becoming stronger. The country’s economy was growing at a good clip even before oil was found off the coast a few years ago. Though it has been a little battered by the global economic meltdown, Ghana appears to be weathering the storm. I don’t normally give investment tips — sound the alarm at Times headquarters — but here is one: buy Ghanaian.

So it’s not a coincidence that Ghana’s making steady progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Right now it’s one of the few African nations that has a shot at getting there by 2015.

And so while I'm not sharing this to rant and rave about the wonders and beauty of what is seemingly becoming a healthier, stronger country (I am currently reading about similarly encouraging recounts in a book I would highly recommend); I think it's important to reflect upon a nation who is rising up.

It is summed up nicely in what was likely my favourite part of the article...

...proving once again that a picture truly is worth more than a thousand words.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What I Want To Say And What I Have To Say

I admit I've been a bit silent lately.

The rain had us down...seeking winter, indoor activities. Somehow the brain just doesn't function in "indoor activity" mode when it really should be sunny. But, lack of choice encouraged me in this direction while the boys were busy building in the basement...

Maybe the normal busyness of the season has kept me away. Maybe it's the sun that currently has a better pull on me than the computer. Maybe it's that I really really, more than anything want to share new and exciting news on the adoption front. And maybe it's simply that I don't want to post simply to post. I want to be purposeful - have real meat in my messages.

Right now though, there is nothing new.

We are enjoying, truly enjoying the day-to-day activities the summer brings.

With two weeks down and eight to go, the summer has once again taken on it's own rhythm. I love this part. We're into this time enough that we know what to expect but the exhaustion of a week-after-week routine has not yet become trite.

We've been playing. Serious, down in the dirt playing.

We've been not-so-much enjoying the joys of homeownership.

Taking care of business can sometimes come at a cost but the cost is worth every penny.

So for now, what I have to say will have to suffice because what I want to say is not yet available.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Mum Always Said, "You Gotta Kiss A Lot Of Frogs..."

I've been reading quite a bit lately. Duh. Mainly though, I've been reading about race, colour, differences.

What I've come to learn (and continue to learn) especially through the book I am currently into is that small children do not differentiate between black and white or chocolate and vanilla skin colours. They see a person as an individual. Small, young children see someone for who they are.

Santa is Santa. Santa is not a white guy. Santa is not necessarily a black guy. Santa is this great guy who, once a year slips down the chimney and leaves gifts behind. He is good. He is an individual being.

As kids exit toddler-hood this schematic changes and development takes over the senses. Children begin to notice the differences in skin colour, eye shape, boys and girl, etc. I remember Noah, up until recently would often tell me that when he grew up he wanted to be a girl just like me.

Isn't that interesting.

I find it too perfect and incredibly awesome that children, (assuming they've not been biased by adult persuasion and insistence) see us for who we are. We are assessed on an individual, one-by-one basis.*

While I find this all very amazing, I do think it is important to address the issue of race. Of course.

I think it's important to give consideration and as much lime light, respect, honour, and attention to all races.

Because no one race is better than the next. No one people is more intelligent, strong, worthy than any other.

Africans may be known for their incredible ability to run.

Americans may be known for their incredible ability to make it to "the top" in the cut throat world of business.

Asians may be known for their studious and extremely bright children.

But no one race is greater or more special.

We are all unique - bringing different qualities to the table, creating a whole through the sum of the parts.

That said, the white race is predominent in North America - in Canada this is even more evident.

I believe a movement is taking place. A generation, (mine) is taking notice of the qualities of those who may have been seen as the minority in the past.

Dove has stepped up to the plate with their Campaign For Real Beauty.

Cosmetic companies are creating new colour schemes appropriate for African and African American skin complexions.

And now Walt Disney has gone and created it's first ever movie starring an African American Princess.

Kudos to you Disney.

*none of this supersedes the fact that we believe all children need role models, friends, and peers from their own race

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ice Cream.

Such a cool, sweet, once-in-a-blue-moon treat

Fun to lick
"We not bite our ice cream, Mama" they remind me

Great to share

Perfectly paired with a trip to the beach to watch the ferry

Wonderfully worn by two year old tots
...though I wouldn't say pink is his colour...

An enjoyable ending to an extremely hot summer's day

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Crazy Love

How incredible is this?! (That was rhetorical if you're wondering...)

Another free book! And, the added bonus of this one is that you don't even have to read it, people! That's right. It's an audiobook. Download it for free, chuck it on your MP3 player...ah hem, iPod for the majority of you...and head on out for a walk, run, drive, make supper or just sit there...and listen away.

I am so inspired by the many organizations out there who are continually trying to spread The Word. So passionate about Truth, they are offering free material to those who want More. Christian Audio is one of these sources. Each month they offer a free audio download. This month, they are offering Crazy Love. No strings attached. No hidden fees. This one, written (and spoken) by Francis Chan is no exception.

Francis Chan is a pastor, the founder of Eternity Bible College, sits on the board of directors of Children's Hunger Fund and World Impact, he is also a father and follower of Christ. (Duh.)

Francis titles his main Crazy Love site page with this:

Crazy, Relentless All-Powerful Love.

(Now do you want to read it?!)

He continues on:

Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts - it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, [...] you will never be the same.

Because when you're wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.