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

Friday, May 28, 2010

Orphanage Donations

Many of you have asked specifically what items Imagine is requesting for they are heading over to visit our orphanage(s) and transition home in just over a week.

First, thank you so much. Seriously. Right now, this is the most tangible thing we (I!) can do and your responses have been encouraging. Below is a list of what they are asking for. My gut is that non-clothing items will be fewer and further between so if you are able to pass those along that would be great. I have confirmed that all items can be gently used but they cannot accept stained/torn/holey items or anything broken/missing parts. So new condition or brand spankin' new would be wonderful.

I need to send any donations by Monday, May 31...yep, right around the corner. Thank you again. There will be other opportunities to do this also...down the road...when (notice I didn't say if) yours truly is hoping on the jet plane.

Clothes for infants and toddlers
Shoes (infants and toddlers)

Transition Home:
Clothes for toddlers
Mobiles (for cribs)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

3 Hour Getaway

We had to head only 25 mins out of town this morning and though the weather threatened to drown us out with it's looming clouds, we taunted it and stuck with our plans anyway. Is seemed worth it to stick it out in the wet nastiness that is BC right now, rather than spend nearly two hours in the car.

It was perfect.

After dropping the pup off at a much needed grooming appointment (he dropped what looks to be a 1/2 dozen pounds in a matter of hours), we walked down the road to a local park for an hour...followed by a much needed coffee break (ah hem, muffin break for some), a quick tour of the consignment store (which scored the boys a couple of screamin' great deals), and concluded with another hour and half at another park and it's neighboring beach.

It was a simple getaway with lots of fresh air, running, climbing, laughing and changing of scenery. The latter was priceless - we were in dire need - and after several days indoors and chilly temperatures, I cannot even explain how our moods were lifted.

After successfully drying off every piece of playground equipment in sight, we went at it...

We heard trains as they whistled by...

Saw trolleys as they ding-dinged their way down the road...

Truly lived out my father's motto that: "If you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean"...

Climbed like little squirrels...

And swung like monkeys...

And when the walk got a little too swingy...there was a kind hand to hold...

There was some serious tire climbing, swinging, twirling action...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hang. In. There.

The ups and down are as tumultuous as whether the feeling of morning sickness will actually transpire into puke or simply remain in a state of unease and discomfort in the pit of my stomach. Worse than any flu bug I've ever had, it never eases up.

It seems - I've read and been told also - that some guidelines around the relinquishment ban may incur soon. The elections were supposed to be followed by the introduction of some new doctrine. I would so welcome this. These things never happen quickly, however.

The elections took place this past weekend and while they were peaceful (contrary to 2005, when the last elections were held), there is concern over the outcome being legitimate. Crap. I am hoping and praying they were not. (The landslide was pretty incredible though.) I am simply exhausted from wondering when we will see some sort of change. Policies on relinquishment changing wouldn't necessarily be bad. Not at all. A slower pace of referrals, while not ideal, would mean everything on the up-and-up and still referrals moving. Movement people.

We need to see some movement.

I need to see some movement.

There's a place and a peace in me, where I am fine. There's an equal place and peace which is, well, not so peaceful.

It's been encouraging to see some post-referral movement...a couple visas (firsts since the inception of the new Imagine) and a successful court date are certainly reason for celebration. Go on over and congratulation this family on their stunning new addition. It brought tears to my eyes.

And, perhaps you recall the story of Gillis, one of the first wee ones to be referred in January? His was one of the only two visas in the pouch earlier this week. That means he's gonna get to meet his Mama and Daddy in a handful of days. And, if that's not reason to celebrate then this is: This story of the timing of God, the perfection of sovereignty, and the glory of adoption is enough to make this waiting Mama fall to her knees in awe, in prayer, and with the faith and knowledge that my God does perform miracles...and often we have not simply because we do not ask. (Okay, so I've been asking for awhile...but it's these BIG. SPECIFIC. MIRACLE SEEKING PRAYERS. which I do not offer up nearly enough. So, it's starting now. Bigger. More faithful. With a holy discontent like none other.)

An excerpt from Gillis' Daddy in an email sent to myself yesterday...

God has renewed our hope on more than one occasion during this adoption process. The latest just being our receiving Gillis' visa so quickly even though there are many families who have been waiting longer than we have to travel. Our Church and community have embraced our son and so many people are praying for him that it is unbelievable. Our Church presented us with a cheque for $4800 a few weeks ago that they raised to replace the $4000 we had to come up with to keep our adoption going after the bankruptcy. This was just God restoring what had been lost plus more! God gave us a vision that we were to have a son from Ethiopia and it seems that He continues to work miracles just to let us know that He is in control. We specifically prayed to travel in May even when it seemed impossible and we are leaving May 29.

So here I go.



Stinkin' huge prayers.

Faith of a child, yet wisdom and knowledge of what the Creator truly does.


Prayer with anticipation and expectation.

Doing anything less would be would be admitting that I don't think God is sovereign.

And I believe He is.

And this is the place and peace in me I would like to see more often.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ironic May

You know, it's funny to watch as God's plan plays out. The irony of May is almost too much to bear - so much so that I find myself smiling between the gritting of my teeth. Way back in what was it, February? I found myself naively on a referral high and made the idiotic attempt of guesstimating when ours might actually be realized...May. Seriously. That was back when I had a pretty good idea of how messed up things could get on the canadian side but let's be honestly, I didn't truly take into consideration the instability boasted by international adoption. I let the super positive cloud the realistic. I took it lightly, perhaps it could have been gullibility or narcissism. Whatever.

Many of us were pretty positive that our gut was giving May the thumbs up. And, I'm sure in many ways it has been a great month...just not in all ways...or selfishly the ways we had hoped.

May's been tumultuous, with but a single referral of which I am currently aware. I am pleased to hear of an Imagine staff trip to Ethiopia taking place at the beginning of June. (More on that to come later this week.) In a very personal opinion I feel that the in-the-flesh interaction is invaluable. The last trip was February which will place them 4 months apart (I'm sure you already did the math on that one)...I believe these trips are/were included in cash flow projections and, as the last one came in under budget I have no great concerns that this one will likely follow suit.

Earlier this month I panicked a bit over the thought of a two year update (yuck) and having to do it all over again, (minus the many many visits but one not-so-loved SW). I'm over it. Sucking it up. Realizing I've got nothing but time (well, that's not entirely true...but it works for now). Trying, truly and whole heartedly trying to gratefully accept the fact that for us - for our request - we hover around mid-twenties.

I've been trying to get to the bottom of the panicked "hurry up and happen" feeling deep down in my gut. The stress knots which form at the inability to change a situation. And I've been trying to get to the bottom of why this is happening. Why I cannot let it go and realize, understand, be hopeful and have some stinkin' faith. And the answer, mercifully is beginning to come to light.

More on this later but suffice to say I can't stand the wait not only for the sheer fact that this is an over two year journey (still) in the making, but that my Holy Discontent is getting the better of me. I am moved to want to scream to do something to help make a difference in this crisis. This orphan crisis. (More on that this week too, I suspect.) It's that I find it gritting to live in this "normal state" but rather feel stuck and unable to reach my "fundamental state"...due to the instability around developing countries, and rules, and laws, and legislation. But we can always blame someone else, can't we?

For now, I'll leave it at that. Holy Discontent. And elaborate later.

The Ethiopian Elections took place this weekend. It isn't suspected that the MOWA ban situation is related in any way to political change, but it will be interesting to see how much longer this ban does last...if orphanage closure will impact that soon, or if other guidelines will be implemented. All in time. Boy do I want her here. I yearn for the other side of the journey, the fork in the trail, the day when I can look back and say with certainty "oh yeah, so that's why it happened that way". And I know it will.

I love the quote offered by one ethiopian man concluding the article published by TIME, just prior to election day.

“I faced all of this because I want change. If you want change, you have to face difficulties and that’s what I chose.”

Friday, May 21, 2010


Yesterday, on our way to swim lessons the boys and I stopped in at our local(ish) thrift store. It's a place they know I love. They help me seek out special fabric, yarn, and sometimes the dozen.

I had reminded them quickly but sternly on our way in, that there would be no asking for things and no rewards for anyone who got the "gimmes" while we were in there. They nodded with understanding and the innocent look of we would never dream of it, in their eyes.

Once inside, they knew which way we were headed and asked if they could wander over to the kids' shoe section. (I know, right?!) It is within eyeshot and of course anything within a several metre radius is within earshot of a three and four year old. I heard the exclamation of "look crocs!" followed by "ohhh, and look at those". Here we go, I thought to myself...cringing in anticipation of a request to purchase whatever the new-to-them treasure was.

But I was oh-so-wrong.

"Mama, come look". (Tait)

"You have to see these shoes Mama, come look nowwwww, please!" (Noah)

I reminded them that we were in there to browse the fabrics but that I would be over in a minute. They eased up for about 30 seconds and then persisted.



"I know she will love them, Mama," Noah completed the thought for them as I wandered over.

Keep in mind we now have a good dozen pair of eyes on us...wondering where on earth this so-called baby sister is, and if she isn't with us why I don't look like I am about to give birth at any moment. I smile politely.

Arriving at their post I glance up at a small pair of shoes, likely a good fit for a one year old. They are up just out of reach (otherwise I am certain they would have been brought to my immediate attention).

It is at this moment that I wonder how exactly, these two small boys who have heard talk of this one small child who will one day (soon) join our family to complete us, can continue to believe so deeply in her. Talk about faith of a child. I wonder often, how much they think of her because talk of her is frequent.

  • Each pair of outgrown shoes, will be for their baby sister. (I withhold the comment that the shoes are blue and brown and, well, just not girly.)

  • Each sippy cup, cloth diaper, blanket, stuffed toy, soft baby book, will be for their baby sister.

  • Each night...Each. Night. If nothing else, they pray for their baby sister.
How and why do they continue to believe - know even - that one small girl from far far away will join us?

Perhaps it's naivety.

Maybe it's earnest, honest-to-goodness, God-given faith.

Whatever it is, I'll take it - and I wish I had more of it.

And the shoes? They were these muddy, filthy, old worn out things. With flowers. Tiny pink, purple, yellow, and green flowers. Yet, when my boys looked at them all they saw was how perfect they would look on their baby sister.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Going On Faith

I'm continuing to slug it out through Soul Survivor. Loving many of the chapters and barely squeaking through several others. Currently, I'm reading a chapter studying the life (and faith) journey of Frederick Buechner, many of whose works are found at Wheaton.

And, an excerpt I just read struck me more deeply than many others...Perhaps because it's a journey of faith we are on. Perhaps because I believe that regardless of our personal beliefs, there's got to be some sort of element of faith - believing in that which we cannot tangibly grasp or see - that gets us through each day. Perhaps because I believe that faith and hope are intertwined and one without the other is, in a way senseless. Perhaps it is simply because Buechner so accurately describes faith in a more abstract way than I have read recently...yet makes complete sense while doing so.

Faith is homesickness. Faith is a lump in the throat. Faith is less a position on than a movement toward, less a sure thing than a hunch. Faith is waiting. Faith is journeying through space and time.

So if someone (and this frequently happens) were to come up and ask me to talk about my faith, it's exactly that journey through space and time I'd have to talk about. The ups and downs of the years, the dreams, the odd moment, the intuitions. I'd have to talk about the occasional sense I have that life isn't just a series of events causing other events as haphazardly as a break shot in a pool causes billiard balls to go off in many directions, but that life has a plot the way a novel has a plot - that events are somehow leading somewhere.

- Going On Faith

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trick-a-ma-sticks And Such

Our family had an intimate moment with the Purolator guy last week as he arrived sometime shortly after 7:30am at our house. A common occurance at the camp we wondered if he'd made a serious detour. He's never been chez Keizer. However, after apologizing for our appearance, (truly, the apology was empty as recipients in jammies is a risk one must take at such an hour) we gratefully accepted a package sent for the boys - who were by this time on Cloud 9.

The package was from good friends who moved away in the fall. You know, the "aunts" and "uncles" who aren't bound by law. We all likely had them and all our kids likely have them and plain and simple, they rock. And there's not much that makes them different from family other than perhaps some names on paper.

Included in the package were a couple books - one of which I would definitely recommend to all you PAPs out there. The father/son Leman duo did a great job, I think. We've read it several times and aside from simply being a great read, it's a very applicable lesson.

Following the books, we pulled out "I Can Do That". And, for any Dr Seuss fan this is a keeper. I will truthfully, wholeheartedly and very readily admit: I am not a games person. Kids games, adult games, I am simply not a fan. I will happily watch and if a game isn't a real intricate thinker than I may be in, otherwise count me out, I am happy to observe and pass out the cookies and milk.

This one, however, is great. It's simple. It's quick. It's fun. And because it's a Dr Seuss the wording and directions are quirky and cool. Though it says ages 4+, I would disagree, as we have one three year old who has no problems. (I guess if your kid is into putting large foam objects in his/her mouth and chomping down it could be a cause for concern.) It's active which is great for days such

Step 1: Chose cards 1, 2, 3.

Step 2: Flip 'em over in numerical sequence, fit 'em together and have the nearest adult read out the sequence...or decipher the pictures.

Step 3: Complete the task and keep the cards. If you don't feel you can complete part of the task, swap that card for another.

(Step 4: Optional - admire cute kid's cute little bum.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thank You

Thank you friends...those of you whom I personally know and can hug and those who I cannot. These days of "wow, Noah was 2 when we started and Tait was only 13 months" can get to a girl after a many of you are well aware.

I try not to dwell on the uncontrollable.

I try to have faith.

I must have hope.

But, I am still human and there are still days when I think to myself, "really? seriously? still?".

Yet, I know that all things happen for good. I know there is a plan and that what will take place is going to be more than I could ever hope or imagine. So, I'll cling to that. Knowing that this thing called time is just that: time. No end. We've got lots of it. I should enjoy more of it.

I was praying desperately for a sign this morning. A big, fat, obvious sign that this. is. God's. will. Your comments and emails, so many of them (even the creepy one) lifted me ever so slightly. Whether you(s) meant it or not, I saw the use of the word "when" not "if" this happens.

And that was what I needed.

The tears of anguish and desire still sit right near the brink of pouring over, but the "whens" were what I needed.

So, thankyou.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I'm agitated.

Plain and simple.

I'm tired today, of seeking the silver lining. I realize it's all God's timing. That in all things He works for good. I believe, with faith as best I humanly can, that our daughter is out there. That the one created and placed aside for us is simply not yet ready to be called ours. I steadfastly hold to the truth of 1 Samuel 1:27, “For this child I prayed, and God has answered my prayer, and given me what I asked of Him".

Yet the wait is hard. The wait is harder when I see no real (and by real I mean tangible referral-wise) progress. The wait is more exhausting when I know I can do nothing. The wait is more frustrating when I don't know all the inner workings of all is being done on our behalf. The wait is more difficult when I watch as another day passes and see no change...though again, I am acutely aware that there are so many crucial yet minute steps being taken and done for good, for us.

Cummon already. Fifty one used to seem so close...yet today we still seem so far.

And now I'm done my rant for the week.