Adoption Q&A #4

This is a continuation of this converstaion:

Adoption Q&A #1
Adoption Q&A #2
Adoption Q&A #3

And on to more questions!

Are you considering Open or Closed Adoption?

Even writing this, I’m starting to see why God had us wait so long before starting this journey. I would have told you closed or semi closed when I began thinking about adoption 2 1/2 years ago, but now I can easily say open! Of course with boundaries! When I think about God’s heart for the lost and the broken, I can see how he would use open adoption to do the work he has set out to do which is to bring everyone to a right relationship with Him. Open adoption allows a relationship to form between us as adoptive parents and a birth Mom or birth Dad. Ultimately the child comes first, but would it be the most amazing thing to be a part of a birth Mom or Dad coming to Jesus and wholeness and then going on to parent some of their own children later? That sounds like Gods plan. There would be boundaries and no contact if there are issues on the birth parents that would lead them to be harmful in my kids lives, but I think open adoption is the right idea. The Ministry doesn’t really do closed adoptions the way they used to anyways.

This video is an amazing testimony of how God can use Open Adoption.

Adoption Q&A #3

“When will the baby show up on my doorstep?”

The actual timeline varies greatly, but we’ve been told between 1 year to 18 months. We have the home study process and educational portion to finish before we go anywhere. That’s minimum 6 months. Then we look at profiles and learn about potential matches for our family. This could take a very long time if we set our scope of willingness very small. For example, if we said we would like a healthy Caucasian boy with brown hair and no history of any physical or mental illness in the birth parents, well…we would wait for ever! but that’s not even close to what our scope of willingness looks like. Shall I tell you about it?

“Are you open to special needs?”

YES! I’m super excited to share that! Our heart is for children who are orphans or unparented and especially those with special needs! One of the forms we fill out is a huge questionnaire asking us about our willingness to consider certain special needs. We checked off loads of boxes! Definitely our heart is for children with Down Syndrome! We are very interested in children who have hearing loss or are deaf or children with speech delays like cleft palate. My background is in speech and behavior intervention, so that will be very useful. We are willing to consider a huge amount of other special needs too. Autism Spectrum Disorder, HIV+, Hepatitis B, club foot or other physical disabilities, special diet issues, allergies (not a hard one to check off), and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder too. (someone asked “how many children are affected by FASD?”, and I couldn’t even guess other that to say that many, many, many children who are in a position of needing to be adopted are likely to have some form of fetal alcohol effects)

Do you know what you are getting into?

Before anyone writes me a letter saying we don’t know what we’re getting into when we checked off FASD, realize that we didn’t come to this decision easily. In fact, to begin with FASD was on the no list. Even still, we didn’t check off profound FASD. We also are not saying we are hoping for a child with 10 co-morbid special needs and extreme violent tenancies. We are just saying we are willing for God to show us who is supposed to fit into our family. We aren’t flipping a coin about this either. We have a solid support network around us who we will take any possible matches to and discuss and pray with.

Another thing I’ll add to that is that we don’t know what we are in for! We are doing our best to have our eye’s wide open about special needs and not pretend we know everything or are ready for everything either. Like HIV+ for example. Until Reece’s Rainbow did a great job of pointing me to Project Hopeful and I got informed, I had HUGE misconceptions about HIV+. We also know that you really cant be prepared for everything, not even with bio kiddos. We had no idea what to do with a preemie when Em was born. Or a better example is my awesome friend Leah whose son has Autism. She wasn’t prepared or ready for that, but she and her hubby do an amazing job of parenting him, becoming experts on Autism and advocating for him and his needs. Go read her blog right now!! We can’t be prepared completely, but we are studying and learning and whenever we find out what actual needs our child(ren) have, we will become experts and work our butts off. That’s just part of who we are.

More Q&A’s tomorrow!! Keep those questions coming!

Rainy Day Bakers

It has been raining for most of the past two weeks and I had been hanging on to summer, but then I realized I could hang on to rainy days and make the most of them instead! So we chucked together a crock pot soup and got to work on bread!

I decided to experiment with my Bread recipe from Dosi (an extra Grandma…we seem to collect them!)!

I added Dark Rye flour.  30% ish. Probably pretty heavy on the “ish”.

Then we went to work stirring and mixing and measuring and forgetting the oil…still worked!

I love homeschool practical things like teaching math with measuring cups. We still did our regular Math today too, but this way is so much more yummy!

I love making my kids help me with things that I know are a great part of a sensory diet and they just think are fun things.

I am sooo proud of my big girl. Both hands in the icky gooey dough and no freaking out at all! She has come so far from the girl who wouldn’t put a finger in playdough. If you haven’t read them yet, the “Out of Sync Child” and the “Out of Sync Child Has Fun” are super awesome for helping you figure out what sensory issues are the biggest problem and what to do about it! Read them and set up sensory diets! (special thanks to Leah for lending me those! and to her sister Jilly for the box of sensory sand!)

And the finished product was a very nice rainy day soup with bread and buns!


Adoption Q&A #2

You guys have been adding great questions on the Courtenaymomma Facebook page! Here are some more answers to your questions!

Are you guys adopting internationally or locally? Why?

This is a huge question! So huge, that we went back and forth over it for 2 and 1/2 years before we decided. We both have a heart for adoption and this question is nearly impossible to answer. We are adopting locally (provincially) through the Ministry of children and families.I hope that one day we will adopt internationally too, but this is the choice we feel God has lead us to. We realize the need is huge oversees, but there is a huge need in BC too. There are 1,300 kids waiting to be adopted in BC. The stats say somewhere around 169,000,000 orphans worldwide. That number is staggering. We realize we can’t adopt them all, but every one we do adopt makes a different. These are kids we are talking about not statistics. So, we have prayed about it forever and decided that adopting one of BC’s children is what God wants of us. We feel we are responsible for the children in our back yard who are unparented.

Direct Placement, Adopt or foster to adopt?

We have three different options when it comes to adopting in BC. Part of our decision to adopt has to do with children who are already born and needing families, so that rules out waiting for a baby to be born and direct placement. We are interested in Foster to adopt, but our heart isn’t for a trial run or part time. We are all in. We certainly aren’t closed to the idea of fostering, but adopting is where we want to end up, so that’s what we are working towards.

More Q’s tomorrow!



Home Group

We go to a Home Group. It’s a small group from our church. Lots of churches have them, but they go by other names like small group, cell group, care group, giggle group. I may have made that last one up, but I think I’d attend a giggle group, wouldn’t you? I love having a small community around that I can be real with. Sunday mornings are a great time to worship the Lord together, but they are hardly a time to talk about the things we are each walking through and support one another, so thats where Home Groups fit in. They are intergenerational to allow the younger folk to learn from the wiser ones and many different background make up each group. They are the best place to feel loved and cared for and get a kick in the butt when you need one too.

These aren’t just wonderful campfire pics, theses are Home Group pics.

This week we had a campfire.

A time to worship and pray and love eachother…and burn stuff! MY favorite things!!

I love that my kiddos are loved there too. Boy, do they ever love s’mores! I love my Home Group!

Hebrews 10-:24-25 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together,as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Adoption Q&A #1

I wanted to answer any questions people have about our paper pregnancy, so I’ve been collecting them on Facebook and emails.The first question I’ve been asked is:

What is a Paper Pregnancy?

You don’t seriously think that’s something that happens if you loiter at staples for too long do you? No, I didn’t think so. Paper pregnancy is just the cute term that applied to a family that is in the process of adopting. I’ve heard people say it doesn’t start until all the paperwork is through, but I think that misses the point of the “paper” in paper pregnancy.

Where are you in your Paper Pregnancy?

The first question anyone who has a tell-tale bump  and is biologically prego gets asked is always: “How far along are you?”. We have  filed papers and met with our Social worker to discuss them and finished our medical exams. The funny part about this question is that you can’t really know with adoption how long it’s going to take because there are just too many variables. So we will count backwards and say we started this journey on May 23rd. We know that the home study usually takes 6 months and from there it really depends.

Is it a boy or a girl?

This one is easy to answer. We don’t know! It might even be both! We put down on our papers that we were willing for either a boy or a girl or both! We are excited for whomever God has chosen to be part of our family. We know that He prepares things for us long before we even have a clue.

What other questions do you have??

James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Waiting and watering

This is the first year I’ve ever had a real garden(in the back of my head I can hear MK saying something about a fake garden).

I built two 2×10 foot boxes and a couple of rows of dirt too and we’ve started to plant veggies. Carrots, Potatoes, Radishes, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Chives, Oregano, Corn, Beets, Pumpkin, squash, cukes, beans, peas and a bunch of other misc things. Mostly I will see what grows well this year and plant more of that next year.

I love slowing down the pace of life and water plants or pulling tiny weeds.

I can wait for the veggies to be ready and patiently watch them grow. I’m learning something lately about the pace of life and how quickly we try to speed it up. I’m learning to say “I can wait” 

Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”

Waiting doesn’t mean doing nothing either. Wait is an action word, a verb. It requires something of you to wait. For gardening, while I wait I learn about gardening, research and study. I pull weeds and take pleasure in how God created plants so uniquely. In my life, waiting means learning and studying Gods Word. It means pulling weeds in my heart and taking pleasure knowing that God created me the way I am.

Waiting isn’t easy, but it is a good opportunity to learn and grow.



Five in a Row

We have long wanted to try doing a week of Five in a Row. It’s like a unit study based on a book. Basically a similar thing to what we did from Mr. Popper’s Penguins. So this week we tried it! We used the book “The Giraffe who walked to the King” by Judith St. George. That and a combination of resources from Homeschool Share.

Each day you read the story and then pull something different from it. For one of the days we studied geography and the places Zarafa traveled. Another day we talked about cultures and how they are different in different places. Emily right away picked up on the paper beaded necklaces some of the people were wearing in Africa so we had to figure out how to make some.

We had a new bible verse to study each day too and loads of neat facts to learn about giraffes. Every time I used the word ossicles, Emily corrected me and said “No mom, the cone shaped ears are called ossicones.” She also over uses the word “symbiotic” which always makes me snicker because Leah and I over used that word in high school.

Th only thing I didn’t love was the math aspect of  Five in a row. Mostly because I didn’t think it worked very well with the level she is at and I couldn’t make it work for that either.  I think the next “Row” we do will just use our Math-U-See instead. I found I could be VERY thorough on all her other subjects and I liked that.  My favorite part was that she liked it. I thought for sure she would get bored reading the same book five times, but I think she could have read it even more than that. I liked including Avery in many of the lessons too.  I think we will be doing many more “Rows”.

I am super proud of her giraffe drawing because she took a “how to draw…” picture of a horse and modified it for her giraffe.

Paper Pregnant

It is about time! We can actually announce that we are Paper Pregnant. If you have no idea what that is, then don’t worry about it because you will hear all the explanations you need! MK and I have been praying about how to grow our family for a loooong time. Think two and a half years. I know, Avery is only 3. After Avery was born, I spoke to my Doctor about having another wee one the bio way and he said in a strong eastern european accent “Sure, you have baby. You won’t have preemie 3 times, not likely.” Ahh how very nice of you to flip a coin with our future. We’ve had one miscarriage. Two Preemies and we came close to losing Aves when I went into labour at 22 weeks. Do we want to do that again? Nope! Plus I had horrible pregnancies! Oh the stories I could tell…but I don’t want to re live that. No no no.

That brings us to the discovery of Reece’s Rainbow two and a half years ago. An amazing ministry that connects children with Down Syndrome and other special needs with families who want to adopt them. Its been an amazing couple of years to watch what God has done in the lives of so many of those kiddos. God broke my heart and then Morgans for adoption over the last few years and we started to realize that this was his plan for us all along. So then, just over a year ago, we decided to adopt. (But wait, you are blogging that you are paper prego today! Ok, just hold on a second. I’ll get there.) We have gone back and forth so many times about adopting internationally and through BC’s waiting children that I can’t even count how many times. Every time we thought we were ready to file paperwork, God said wait. I’m not super good at waiting, so to start with, I was pretty frustrated. But over the course of the last year, I realize there were HUGE reasons to wait just a bit longer. We bought and settled in a house, decided to homeschool, the main route we were going to take through international adoption closed, among other things. We really needed the last year to get settled. All that brings us to today.

We have decided to pursue adoption through the Ministry for children and families in BC and are praying about whomever God has planned for us to adopt. I’ll answer millions of questions and please feel free to ask them is you have them because Adoption is one of my favorite things to talk about, but for now… just celebrate with us! We are expecting! We are expecting God to move in the same miraculous ways he moved to bring us our girls. We are expecting the unexpected. I’m paper pregnant and so unbelievably happy to not be hugging a toilet.

I can wait. God is good and his timing is perfect.

Your job, my friends and family…Pray!

These are Paper Prego Celebration cookies love from my wonderful neighbour Ashley!