Ten.

Steve and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last week. We enjoyed a picnic supper in Stanley Park, at the place where Steve proposed.

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We exchanged new rings and enjoyed the gorgeous sunset.

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And I surprised Steve with a wedding cake I made for us. (Ironically, we had a brownie tower instead of a cake at our wedding, funny since I do cakes now!)

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The next morning we took our bikes on the ferry to Bowen Island and spent the day exploring, resting, and enjoying each other’s company on this quiet little island.

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It was so nice to have some extended time to ourselves, to relax and have fun together. We’ve come along way from these two young kids who fell in love ten years ago…

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I am so blessed to get to do life with this man. We’ve been on many adventures this past decade, and I’m so excited to go on many more including this adoption journey together with my best friend.

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Before we could ask, He answered.

Delays and waiting are the name of the game in the adoption world. Endless waiting is what I’d expected from this process based on the experiences of friends who have adopted. So, for things to go much much quicker than planned? I’m shocked and surprised, and just so thankful. We were about to post a request for prayer for this here, and before we could write a post, God answered!

We submitted a huge amount of paperwork ten days ago. We mailed it a-la snail mail to our agency in Victoria on a Friday, and by Monday morning they had it and were processing it. This week we received results from both our Saskatchewan and my Ontario Prior Contact Checks already (a process that took two weeks instead of the expected six to eight). And now, only ten days after submitting our stage two paperwork, we have been assigned a social worker. Not only that, she called me today, and we have our first homestudy date planned and we are ready to begin!

To back up a bit for those not in the adoption world, it can take months to be assigned a social worker here (they are private and contracted out by adoption agencies and apparently there are not enough of them to go around!), so the fact that our paperwork has already been processed, and that a social worker has been assigned to us, and that we have spoken with her and set up our first meeting already, is ah-mazing!

PLUS, she attends a great local church, is the same age as me, and has three kids the same ages as ours! She sounds lovely and I’m so thrilled. (I’ve been praying for her since we began this process. I’ve always been super intimidated by the idea of a homestudy and a social worker deciding the fate of our family!) Things are moving right along – quicker than anticipated! I can’t imagine a better scenario, and I’m so thankful for God’s hand in this.

Thank you for your continued prayers, dear friends. We feel them, and are so thankful. We appreciate prayer specifically that the new letters being sent to the Guinean government actually get to them this time, and that we can officially move forward with adoption from this country. We are getting together with friends soon to plan a big fundraiser event for later this fall, and appreciate prayer for wisdom and creativity as we plan. And of course, please continue to pray for our little one, and the Source of Life Infant Rescue Centre in Guinea.

~Melissa

Full.

I used to get it all.the.time.

I was usually out with big red our second vehicle double stroller, and often one or more children were crying, one or more children were attempting to run away, and it usually involved piles of groceries, racks of candy at toddler level, and one very long line up. Today, however, I had none of those things, but I still got “the line.”

(Mama’s of littles…say it out loud with me….)

“Boy, you sure have your hands full!”

Really. 

Really?

Today I went to the library with my three. We walked/biked/scootered in the crazy heat, and arrived red-faced but in good spirits, happy to bring home some new books to while away the summer days. We had just hunted down the French language program that was waiting for me via inter-library loan, and I had just finished saying to my crew, “Thanks for being so patient, guys. Now we can go to the kids section.” 

My kids were quietly walking towards the brightly coloured kids area, at least one still adorably donning a bike helmet.

And someone muttered it in passing. I paused, and actually said “pardon me?” to the older gentleman, giving him every opportunity to rescind his comment, not sure I heard him correctly, when he repeated it again. In front of my children.

“Boy, you sure have your hands full!”

And I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. My initial thought was that it was so ironic that he chose that moment to say it. My kids were actually being wonderfully well-behaved. We were at the library, getting resources on learning a foreign language, quietly walking through the adult section like little blonde ducks in a row. And this guy thinks my hands are full now?

A couple slightly snarky comments came to mind: “You’re right, where am I going to put the fourth one?” “This is nothing, you should see them when they’re hangry!” But mostly, I felt sad. Sad for my kids who are hearing adults devalue their very existence. Sad that they are viewed by some as a nuisance. Sad for this man and others who see children as an inconvenience.

I’m tired of being told my hands are full. I’m well aware that my life is busy and at times a little crazy. But I chose this and I believe with all my heart that it’s worth it. I’m confident that right now my time could not be better spent anywhere else.

And now, I’m choosing adoption. While I thank the Lord for the awesome ability to carry and birth children, I’m choosing adoption now as a way to build my family. Because. I know it doesn’t make sense. But we’re choosing it because God is calling us to it, and my goodness, it’s so worth it.

And if that guy seriously thinks my hands were full today…I hope I run into him next summer with another little one in tow!

Because with my hands this full, it means my heart is absolutely overflowing.

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Big Manilla Envelope #3

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Happy to send off stage 2 paperwork today. Enclosed were autobiographies, medical clearance forms, a detailed family tree, information on the support systems in our life, a 12 page questionnaire on our childhood, upbringing, and parenting styles, copies of our marriage certificate and lease agreement, recent pay stubs, and our authorization to have criminal record checks and prior contact checks.

I’m writing this in the van as the whole fam trekks to the MCFD office in surrey to request our PCC checks in person. It’s a sunny summer Friday, and we are one step closer to bringing our little one home.

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She gone

That thing where the in-house social worker you have been working with since before day 1 that you LOVE, that has been so supportive, pro-active and helpful, and who you even share a first name with, is suddenly no longer employed with your agency without any explanation. BRUTAL.