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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How To Say Thank You

I mentioned last month that I had become involved in a Secret Pal exchange. It's been fun but I leave each month (you know, the whopping 2 that have passed thus far) feeling less than creative. So, in April I need to get my thinking cap on and get with the program. Don't get me wrong, I am sending good stuff, useful stuff but I want my gifts over the next four months to have that "wow" factor.

This month is "something for the child's room/nursery". So, if you have any fab ideas I am all ears people. All ears. I'll even let you know the age range/gender of my secret pal's referral request if you want...just not case she reads.

I was blown away - socks right off - Monday when I went to the post office. My package was there and it was a doozie. Big, bulky and one of those things you just knew didn't fit the slogan "good things come in small packages". (By the way, I am a fan of that one...have you seen all 5' of me?)

I digress.

I opened, gazed, and teared up.

It was a bag.

Not just any old bag.

My Secret Pal suggested I could use it when we head over to pick up our daughter. (Saying that never gets old...I just wish I could add a specific month on the end of it. Patience, Ashleigh patience.) Afterwards, she suggested I use it as a diaper bag. And, whaddya know I've been looking at my old one (blah) and coveting the cool one-of-a-kind, handmade one a good friend has...which, other than colours is actually quite similar to my new one. It's not something I would have picked off a shelf and said with absolute certainty, "yep, these are my colours and this is my style". But it just fits. You know? It's a step out of the fashion comfort zone that just works. I love it. (The pictures don't do it justice....there's a reason my models are usually small human children.)

The detail which seals the deal (other than the intricacy of all the different fabrics, prints, and textures which in themselves are noteworthy,) is that if you know anything about Bags4Darfur you will know this bag holds more than just fabric and thread. It carries with it stories. And it is creating them too. All materials used are either re-purposed thrift, vintage, or recycled materials. They've all lived a good life and will now go on to give a little more.

The story behind Bags4Darfur is this...

I've always been a scrounger. Raised by a frugal prairie farm woman who reduced, reused, and recycled long, looooong before it was trendy; I've come into the concept of re-purposing honestly. I am silly-in-love with anything vintage-ish, and am powerless against it when I discover it stacked on card tables in someone's garage, or stale and lonely in a thrift shop.

As a responsible consumer, here's what you can feel good about:
*the bags are primarily made from recycled fabrics purchased at thrift shops, garage sales, and fabrics donated by generous supporters.
* Most of the thrift shops are themselves humanitarian aid fund raisers.
*while keeping this stuff out of the landfills, you get to enjoy little pieces of history. Fabrics that used to function as tableclothes, aprons, bedspreads, sheet sets, coats.... Well, you get the idea.
*the proceeds of the project are intended for food aid to people in camps in Darfur, Sudan via the United Nations World Food Programme.
(italics mine)

I've watched them from time to time, come up for sale and go to the highest bidder. All the while I thought I would wait. Wait for our referral. Wait for ...???... well, I'm not sure. Just wait.

Now I don't have to.

Go check it out. You'll be surprised. You'll fall in love. Yes, with a bag. You'll help others. You'll help our planet. You'll stay local (she's Canadian). You'll have a little fun.

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's Good To Be Home??

I thought I would be super excited to be home. Though I knew I'd miss the sun (oh, the sun!) and the hot temps, I also expected to be happy back in my own bed with my own pillow and my own routine.


The soggy-dog look, which I sported at the end of my run this morning sealed the deal. (Disclaimer: it wasn't raining when I went out!)

Do you think if I put on a pair of red shoes, click my heals together three times and say "I wanna go back" it will happen?

Well, you can't blame a girl for trying. (And it has been great to catch up with friends. I missed my friends!)


Fortunately, my mood was lifted when I opened my email to find out I'd won the Happy Find Blog contest yesterday. You should check out Venus' creations. She's talented and adds that little something to everyday, run-of-the-mill items. I've coveted her aprons for awhile so to win one was a thrill. After checking out a few down in the States and deciding I would come home and make one myself, this was even better! Thanks Venus.

Well, I guess being home isn't that bad.

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Number

Well, the month's not done yet but after a Board update today it seems appropriate to post our newly updated number. There have been 23 referrals since...well...inception of the New Imagine. And, I do think that both those words ("new" and "imagine") need capitalization as it truly is a new organization.

I digress, there have been 23 referrals. You'll recall we were 51 (quite happily, I may add) when the list was shared a couple of months ago. So, while I won't subtract the latter from our original number I will more than happily state that we currently sit at 30.


Why, you ask? Well, I believe (at least) two of those referrals have been sibling referrals and they are on a different list than us.

30 seems nice and round though, does it not?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Second Half. I Love This Place

a little pre-supper yoga
you may recall this vacation is a celebration of two sixtieth birthdays...well, when the 4 year old is desperate to celebrate in the morning, banana slices make the perfect pieces of cake

(I hate these things)
(they drive me nuts...and I believe they should be banned in north america)
keeping out of the sun rays, when the spf 50 doesn't do it

**I cannot believe I did this. The first time in 18 months that I forgot to post that it was our EIGHTEENTH month of waiting. A year and a half peeps. We're hangin' in. Stayin' strong. Waitin' to find out about our little girl. The one meant for us. The one to call daughter. Sister. Friend. Family.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mmmm. It's Nice Here.

It's safe to say, I would do okay as a snowbird. I'd possibly be the youngest (poorest?) snowbird down here. But, I'd be warm - oh so warm.

We got here with only one minor glitch. The flights were smooth, quick, and the boys enjoyed more TV than they usually would in a month. So, it's safe to say they thought it was fabulous. Unfortunately, I was frisked beyond my imagination at customs between Edmonton and Palm Springs. What was it that the Customs Officer said to me as he was leaving me with the woman who was to "check me over"? Ah yes, it was "this will leave you feeling refreshed". Sick.

My words of wisdom to anyone traveling across a border: innocent 1/4 full bottles of hand sanitizer will indeed lead you to be violated if you make it through customs in one go. Yuck.

(in our yard...oranges, sweet grapefruit, and lemons)

Today, at least 2 referrals were given out so to say that made the day more wonderful (in all of it's 30 degrees warmth) than it already was, would be an understatement.

May the week continue so incredibly.

(my parents were upgraded from their prius...I'd say they did okay)

Friday, March 19, 2010


It's been quiet around these parts. The blog and posts (or rather, lack thereof) reflect it. The adoption process is following suit. These are seasons. We must endure them. Grin and bear it. Sometimes not grin but simply bear what is present, resting in the knowledge that another season is around the bend. Not wishing them away but instead, seeking refuge in the moments - glimpses - of pleasure, peace, content.

This season is coming to an end. Both metaphorically and in reality.

Hope is peaking it's lovely head over the moutain peaks. Can you see it? You must look closely. You must wait patiently. But she is there...waiting until just the right moment to crest, to rise, and shine.

I am certain.

Yet, the soul needs refreshment before diving in for another swim. For us, it's a family trip. A break. Change of scene. Celebration of two sixtieth birthdays and a thirtieth anniversary. Family together. Sun. Heat. Mindless reading. Schedule-less days followed perhaps by evening strolls. Anticipation of the cresting of said hope. It's coming.

Little ones dance with excitment and relish in the thought of t-shirts and shorts only - no jackets. They anticipate swimming as only crocodiles and salamanders do...all day. Every day.

And me? I will take a little stroll down memory lane. You see, our destination holds much significance. It whispers secrets of days, vacations past. An era when this Mama was the crocodile with a salamander sister, swimming in the (not-so) deep of the pool. Slathered in sunscreen, calling for our Mama and Daddy to come play. Smiling, not knowing the deep need for rest and refreshing needed by those who brought us.

I recall our alarm early on the morning(s) of our departure each time we left. My Dad. Standing in our bedroom doorway, guitar in hand...doing what he does best. Rejoicing in the moment. Knowing the moment would soon be but a memory. And, while the city may not be exact the song holds much value and sacredness in the bank of memories held in this girl's heart. Ones we will surely share this time, ones we hope to pass along. And too, the anticipation of new memories made is nearly enough to send me forth in to a sleepless night.

We're off. Well, nearly. We still have some packing. I hope to post next week. I'll surely be checking my email - eager for any updates which may come our way...and yours too.

Until then, I leave you with these. A little glimpse of the anticipation we all hold.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Crazy Heart

I haven't seen it. In fact, I'm so out of it that I have never even heard of it (okay, so we PVR everything and skip all things commercial). Sad, since Jeff Bridges earned an oscar from it.

However, a friend shared some lyrics from one of the songs. Thanks for the chuckle, Tracy. And for hitting the nail on the head.

More than you know...
...this ain't no place for the weary kind,
and this ain't no place to lose your mind,
and this ain't no place to fall behind,
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Slow Cooker Supper

It's my "go to" and "I'm in a rut" meal.

Anything in the slow cooker.

This morning I threw a garlic ginger sauce together and poured it over ribs given to us from a very kind farmer friend. Then added in a few potatoes.

I forgot about it until the smell warmed me inside just a few minutes ago. Kind of like soup on a cold snowy day. (Oh wait, it was a snowy day.)

It's not that anything's gone awfully wrong this week. It's just that nothing's gone superbly right. No referrals (that I am aware of) so the MOWA situation drags on. I'm not sure what, if any progress is being made on the front of orphanage contracts, etc. There's a possibility of now needing to complete two trips prior to picking up an adopted child in Ethiopia. This was news as of yesterday...coming down from an Ethiopian Courts Federal Level. All 70 international agencies would be implicated. The silver lining is that we'd get to meet her sooner. I don't really see it as a setback.

The hardest thing for me is seeing no progress. Three steps forward and two steps back is how I described it to a friend the other day.

He reminded me gently but honestly that at least we are taking that 1 step forward.


Point taken.

Humbly, thankfully taken.

So tonight. Movie night.

It includes a sugary treat.

Because I'm just feelin' like they need to drown my sorrows.

But because I don't want to feel too guilty about giving them sugar, we've included some almonds. And the popcorn part's not bad. They'll enjoy. I'll enjoy watching them. We all three enjoyed making them.

This will be a rare treat in our neck of the woods.

Onward and upward. Here's to a better week next week. If in no other way than my mental state of being.

We're still in this and that's what counts.

I'd just like to see a little more joy in this joy-filled journey of ours.

Deep breath. Deep breath. Deep breath.