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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It Seems Appropriate

It seems appropriate that, though I was brewing inside and doing my best to keep all negativity at bay, on the last day of June - a month with aspirations of positive posts and seeking the silver lining - there is genuine positivity today.

My inbox contained an email from Imagine (yours possibly did also) loaded with Board Meeting Minutes from May and June. I've emailed requests several times over such number of weeks to BDO to post these and was so pleased to receive them. Apparently there were many others in the same boat...and the squeaky wheel truly does get the grease.

Suffice to say difficult decisions are being made and they are being made for the better. Contracts, agencies, directors - they are being held accountable. And, at the end of the day when all is said and done I feel confident that our agency is doing their job.

They are doing their job well.

And June is ending well.

And that's no random fluke.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Irony Defined

We live on just under an acre of land.

We have a small garden plot in our yard.

{they say "all things grow with love"...perhaps the thought here is that, though the soaker hoses are doing their part, the tlc from a small 3 year old hand watering could do the trick}
However, the potted garden plot recently set up on our deck is doing better.

{okay, perhaps the blueberry/strawberry planter is doing really well as it was bought that way 3 days ago least i'm big enough to admit it}
Stupid slugs.

Dumb deer.

Crazy critters.

Rebellious rabbits.

Blessed motion detection sprinkler gets nearly all of them.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Court Procedures Update

Just kidding. Apparently I'm not leaving you just yet. I was made aware of this blog, via a solid US agency this morning and I couldn't let it go.

You see, I am an uber-details person. So, I need more than just a paragraph detailing why the significant (!) slow down in referrals. I'm not content with status quo. And, because this is an Ethiopian Federal thing it won't pertain solely to those holding a red, white, and blue flag. It implicates us all folks.

I think it's important to glean as much info as we can and while there can often be a fine line (thread bare fine line, actually) between truth, rumour, and hypothesis, I also feel it is up to us to discern what is the truth. These are our children, after all.

Walk away with what you wish, but it gave me a glimmer of a smile this morning...simply because now I know a teeny bit more. This being so close thing isn't an easy one to swallow...not that I would change it for the world but it's still excruciatingly hard...and I realize I'm not even near the very start of the line.
(underlined comments are from the blog poster...enabling additional explanation for anything that is fuzzy)

  • The court now requires birth certificates issued by districts/kebeles (local areas of government in cities/village around the country - something along the lines of our Secretary of State office system) when the cases are submitted to court. This was not a requirement until now (previously birth certificates were not required until after the court approved the case, in preparation for the Embassy interview). The districts/kebeles are not used to (or prepared/having the capacity/experience in) issuing birth certificates. Hence, this is something new that they have started to practice after the regulation was made publicized (and therefore will take them some time to "ramp up" to get things moving along at a quicker pace).
  • In addition, photo of birth parents or guardians is required to be attached along with the child photo and should be attached on the document that has the life history of the child when we open files at court. Formerly, only the child’s photo was required to be attached. This is not a requirement for abandoned cases. (Thus getting the birth parents/guardians photos is another step in the process that will take time - getting these photos may (or may not) be easy, convenient, financially difficult - there are many possible barriers that could impede families from being able to do this quickly.)
  • The Court schedules two court dates for one case...for the birth and adoptive families respectively. They are approximately 20-30 days in separation to prevent the two parties from meeting at this stage in the process.
  • Yes, this will delay the pace of adoptions and referrals will slow until the local government offices become more accustomed to the new regulation(s).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's All I've Got Right Now

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Today was long.

Today was (a bit) hard...okay, who are we kidding, it kicked me in the butt.

Though it ended perfectly.

This should keep us all smiling at least a little...until I'm back here sometime next week.

{at the first event of our advance crew appreciation outing at Toy Story 3D of course...and now the oldest wears his everywhere...}
Until then, I just need to be.

I'm sure you understand.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I realized this morning that it's been over two months now since a referral, (affecting our placement) has been realized. Ouch...quite the kick in the gut. It's not like this was an epiphany but I've been making a concerted effort not to get hung up on that fact, and my stressing over it won't affect, change, or improve the situation.

Okay, now that I have that out of my system we can continue enjoying all the positive things in June. Remember? Focusing on positive? One good reason to rejoice and smile each least.

Here we go...enjoy a quick glance at my perspective - my point of view this morning. You can't help but smile. Well, I can't anyway.

Plus, I know - I confidently believe...with some tangible, concrete insight - that positive, light, (referrals), hope it's all just around the corner.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Old School

Several weeks ago I went on a very short and effortless hunt for a dresser to redo. You'll recall the freebee...and once completed I would say I caught a bit of a bug.

It's slightly addictive to find cheap furniture in need of a little TLC and give it just that.

So, two weeks ago while cruising a few of the many many yard sales in our small town I found a small piece that took me back twenty years (wow) and reminded me of how things were "back in the day". Man, that all makes me sound old...

Anyway, here's my toonie find - seriously, I nearly fell over when the lady threw that number out to me. It was as if she was trying to match the dollar value to the era. Whatever, it was fine by me.

While in pretty good shape, it had endured it's years of childhood love, shall we call it. So, with a bunch of back-and-forths with the old sand paper, a teeny bit of hole filling (you know, in that spot on the top edge of the desk where you used to drill your pencil or pen as something to do when the teacher would drone on), some priming, and a little more sanding, followed by final coats of colour and spraying the metal (yuck), I am quite pleased with the outcome.

You'll notice it matches the dresser, (possibly those chunky letters in between the two pieces,) and not only does it share the hue but it will also claim space in the bedroom with our boys some time in the near future.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Cake Makes It Official

After our small blue cupcake gathering the other night which preceded the true day of birth, we ended these few days of festivities with the "real" party.

It's the cake that officiates these things with small children, isn't it? Like cutting the ribbon to celebrate a building, nothing seems 100% done until cake is created (it was sketchy for awhile!) and candles are blown.
{fortunately, he wasn't too possessive about gift opening}
This heart-of-gold kiddo wanted a race track cake and Murphy's Law proved itself when I googled them and pulled up what was likely one of the slightly more challenging (and vertical) of them all. It was fun...nerve racking for a few minutes. Fortunately, icing is worth it's weight in gold and it all worked out.
{for argument's sake, you can consider the stanley cup to be the piston cup...though we do hold a place in our hearts around here for the leafs}

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pace Yourself

If your kids have friends who stretch a wide range of ages what do you do?

To ensure your small child won't fulfill the title song "It's My Party And I'll Cry If I Want To", what measures do you take?

To keep your kids (somewhat?) grounded and avoiding a sugar coma, what plans fit your household and family?

To avoid saying "no" to your child on his birthday, how do you accommodate requests?

For us, it was easy.

A mini party with blue cupcakes (at the birthday boy's request) the night before, a quieter actual birthday with perhaps a playdate and a wonderful Nana visit, and a party for all those five years and under the night following. (Okay, their chauffeurs are also invited.) And, while that all may seem as though it's dragging the whole celebration out, it's actually been quite nice. A little more one-on-one. Extra seconds of quality time and enjoyment, rather than a hurricane of activity and a whole lot of refined white stuff...followed by the inevitable crash.

Can't wait for tonight's shindig.

Can't believe he's 5.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I don't know much, but I read a bit awhile ago about Martin Luther King Jr. And I'd love to know more. Not a Saint (but deemed so by many) this man was a true hero in my books. He made strides and took steps of faith and shared pearls of wisdom beyond his years and ahead of his time. He made mistakes. Many of them. (Apparently he was a human being.) But he possessed this intense, unhindered, desire for equality and yearning to see racism eradicated that leaves me in awe.

Again, I don't know much. Yet, some of the words which rolled of his tongue during his life fascinate, encourage, strengthen, and give hope to my sometimes weary heart. Many of his recorded moments leaving me thinking "yes, this is how it should be" or with shivers simply rolling down my spine.

If you're looking for an "up" today, go here.

Below are a few of the more - to me - impressionable and inspirational of his speech excerpts...

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop and help this man, what will happen to me?" But...the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop and help this man, what will happen to him?"

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

And now that I've read them and been inspired, I feel the innate need to act upon them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We've Earned It

The sun that is...

The ability to play around and have to wear hats...

The necessity of shirts, (I call them "wife lovers") without sleeves and certainly not sweatshirts...

Running. Non-stop running.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Reflecting And Such

  • the weekend was beautiful...and so is today
  • my baby turns 5 on thursday. say it ain't so
  • we are touring a school today other than the one we anticipated our kids would attend. no decisions made...we'll see how it pans out
  • i am reading holy discontent for the second time. i get more and more revved up each time i make my way through it
  • i just read from an extremely unofficial source that the ethiopia program is on "thin ice" and i have to say i disagree. this is international adoption. it's all a little hairy, nail biting, heart wrenchingly emotionally exhausting at times. (recent times moreso than others.) but let's call a spade a spade. it's not on thin ice.
  • i am reading more and more into the reasoning behind the ban and am sickened. i am also finding comfort in the measures being taken to protect the children...because that is what all of it... all. of. it. about right? the children. my child.
  • i am also reading more and more about the fact that we are squeezing our way out of the funnel that has been the slow-paced-referral-occurance and i can see light. there is light. there is hope. and there are precautions being placed so that (hopefully) this mess doesn't happen again. hindsight is 20/20 right?
  • the summer, therefore, other than weather-wise is definitely looking up. it's going to take awhile to get it all going but it is looking way flipping up

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Open. House.

The day started wonderfully. After a little Yard Sale hopping, (another perk to small town living is a town-wide yard sale...I'll share my newest $2 score once it's all fixed up and presentable), we headed over to the camp to start the day off with food.

After filling up, a beach walk was in order. We quickly lost count of the number of crabs, seaweed strings, and other fun treasures found.

Hot enough to get wet in clothes, the day was perfect...and so packed with people! We hit a record attendance level of just under 1300 guests including staff. The day was amazing.

{Some were a little more timid than others to get their shorts wet...}

After beach combing and ocean wading, we headed back up to refuel on icecream...ah hem, frozen yogurt.

Face painting was followed by bouncy castle jumping and candy toss catching.

Sucess to a T.