Saturday, January 31, 2009

Referral Day

In an attempt to remember some of the details from two days ago, I will recap the events surrounding our referral phone call.

Mike had completed work for the day and so we decided to go to Costco in the afternoon. On our way home, it was close to the time that school would be getting out for Victoria so we decided to swing by and pick her up at school instead of her taking the bus home. As we sat in the parking lot waiting for her, Mike and I were playing with our cell phones – listening to the different ring options and calling each other. We decided to call home to check messages just for something to do. Mike called the business line on his cell phone and I called our home phone on my cell phone. (This is the part where you assume the agency called and there was a message on the phone and I had a major freak out right? . . . wrong!) There were absolutely no messages and I thought nothing of it. Victoria got in the van and we went on our merry way.

Austin, who wasn’t feeling well, had been lying around all day, feeling kinda sad and sick and so Mike had promised to take him to the hobby store to see the planes and trains. Samara was asleep in her car seat. When we arrived home, I went into the house with Samara, Mike started unloading the groceries from Costco, Austin stayed in the van to wait for Mike and Victoria went to play in the backyard. I went to my computer to check email and just picked up the phone to see if anyone had called. When I started pushing the buttons, I looked and saw that it said our agency’s name on there. WHAT???? It took a minute to sink in and then my heart started beating wildly. But why was there no message? What kind of cruel joke is this???? J I frantically started calling Mike but couldn’t find him for some reason. Both vehicles were still in the driveway so I knew he was around somewhere. I asked Victoria and she said he was outside by the side of the house trying to fix the gate that had decided to break at that moment. So I was calling him saying “the agency called but there’s no message”. I still couldn’t see Mike at this point but was just babbling on and on. Finally I went to the van and got Austin out (much to his dismay!). I told him to come in the house for a minute because Daddy had to make a phone call. LOL! At that point Mike came into the house too and I finally said to him, “The phone shows that the agency called but there’s no message . . . what do I do?” (As an aside, we have call display on our phone and if I’ve seen that someone has called but didn’t leave a message, I NEVER call them back. I don’t like to do that so I felt funny doing that to our agency). In my mind, I thought it was nothing because otherwise they would’ve left a message. Later on Mike told me he assumed it was our referral because if it wasn’t anything important, they would’ve left a message. Funny what goes through one’s mind eh?

Anyway, back to the story . . . When I asked Mike what I should do, I think he thought I was out of my mind and replied, “well call them!” So of course that’s what I did.

After S answered the phone at our agency, here’s how the conversation went:

Me: Hi S. This is kind of weird but I saw on the phone that someone from the agency called but there was no message.

S: Oh yes, just hang on for a second Karen, I’ll get your casework, E. (Just the ways she said it, I thought “Oh my word, this could be our referral”)

Me: Deep breath in, deep breath out, deep breath in, deep breath out.

E: Hi Karen.

Me: Hi.

E: How are you?

Me: Fine (In other words, “quit the chit chat and get to the point!)

E: Are you ready to have an awesome night?

Me: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!? (I should probably apologize to my caseworker for yelling in her ear!) :)

E: No, I’m not kidding you. We have an adorable picture of a little boy here for you . . . . . .

(There may have been a few tears at this point!)

We chatted some more and of course received a few details. I also got to speak to our social worker also who happens to work there part-time now. That was kinda nice too. It was very interesting to find out that our caseworker had no idea our referral was on its way and she was surprised when she saw it come in. I had been emailing a bit with her only a day or two before and from that conversation and a few other things, we had assumed our referral would come near the end of February or even into March sometime. So needless to say, we were quite shocked!

And then total chaos set in. We made a few phone calls, Mike still took Austin to the hobby store like he promised, I made some more phone calls, we fed the kids supper, made more phone calls, got the kids in bed, I went to get some copies of the pictures developed at an instant photo machine, bought some buns and salad dressing at the grocery store (??? totally lost my mind at this point), showed off the pictures of my son to total strangers in the grocery store, came home and confirmed what we were going to name our son, the phone was ringing, my mom came to visit and there were more phone calls. When we finally sat down after a few crazy hours, we realized that most of our groceries from Costco were still sitting at the front door and Mike and I hadn’t even had supper!

Ahhhh, the joys of referral day . . . .

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's a boy!!!

We are so excited to announce that God has blessed us with another son. We finally received “the call” late this afternoon!!!

He is just over one month old . . . born December 20, 2008 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

We have named him: Denver Jacob Baheran

Denver is a name we both really like.

Jacob is after Grandma Zandstra (her middle name is Jacoba)

Baheran is his Ethiopian name – Presumably given to him by his birthmother (we later found out that this name means "dazzling or brilliant")

He is the cutest little guy that you ever did see! Unfortunately you’ll have to take our word for it because we won’t be emailing his picture at this point. Things are different from when we adopted Samara from China and we are not legally allowed to post his picture online at all until he is officially our son. A court proceeding has to take place in Ethiopia before he is legally our child and that may take a few months. If and when you see us in person we will gladly show you the picture. In the meantime, we will keep you posted along the way.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Coasters

I whipped these up last weekend on a lazy afternoon when I felt the need to start (and finish) something crafty. They're just really simple little coasters but I love the African material I used and they turned out kinda cute. I'm slowly adding an African touch to our home after years of being focused on Asian decor.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Eight Months

Hmmm . . . what to say?

Not much to say except that we've waited for eight months and hopefully it won't be too many more. I've been blessed with patience this time around and I think I can last a few more weeks . . . . maybe months.

The crazy thing is that when we do get our referral, another wait begins which may end up being just as long as the wait for referral. But at least we'll know who our son is and what he looks like and the monthly updates will get us through.

But for now we wait . . . . . . . . . . and wait . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and wait . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . man, I'm getting good at waiting!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Snow, snow, snow . . .

I have to admit that I don't usually do any snow shoveling. Mike always does the job and is much better at it than I am. But this morning I thought I would get out there and tackle the driveway. Ouch! The only good thing about this heavy snow is this:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mini Golf

At the beginning of this month before the kids went back to school, we took them glow in the dark mini golfing. What a lot of fun. I had called the day before to see what time was the least busy and apparently no one else thinks it's fun to go mini golfing at 10:00 in the morning. The place is actually open until midnight! Who knew people were out and about past 9:00 pm?!?!?! We were there right when the doors were being unlocked and no one else showed up the entire time we were there. It was great to have the course to ourselves considering we had three young kids who found it very interesting to walk all over the place regardless of what hole we were playing on.

All three of the kid had a lot of fun. Austin pretty much played as if it was hockey. Very nice stick handling if you ask me. Victoria would hit the ball and then if she didn't like it, she would pick it up and try again. Or she would just keep hitting it until we told her to stop. Samara would pick her ball up from the start line, walk all the way to the hole and place it about two inches from the hole. Then she would proceed to hit it right into the hole and throw her arms up in the air in victory as if she just hit the best shot ever . . . every single time! Too cute. Needless to say, I stopped keeping score halfway through the first hole.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone. (Better late than never).

I’ve seen a few other bloggers do a “year in review” type post and I thought it was a good idea so I’m doing the same.


January marked the official date of Samara becoming a Canadian citizen. Sort of the last step in making it all official.

January was also a huge month for our family as it was the launch of our new company – Carmtech Solutions. A very exciting, overwhelming, scary . . . but much needed change.


The first day of February marked the one year anniversary of us holding Samara in our arms for the very first time. This first year just flew by and it seemed like she had been with us forever.


At the beginning of March, Samara turned two years old. The start of independence!

This was also the month we completed our home study update and our file headed off to the Ontario Ministry for approval.

At Easter we celebrated the biggest sacrifice of all times . . . that God sent his one and only son into this world to die on a cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

March Break was a fun family time – a break from school and a chance to go on some exciting outings.


April marked a huge milestone in Samara’s life . . . she stopped sucking her fingers. This was sort of bitter sweet for us . . . as long as we had know Samara, she would suck her fingers all the time. A huge change and one that meant our baby was growing up.

Who wouldn't miss this???


May marked the month of our ministry approval . . . . finally! Our file was off to Ethiopia!

We also celebrated Mother’s Day in May.


In June we celebrated my birthday and Father’s Day.

Victoria had her very first violin recital. We were so proud of our little girl who is growing up so fast.


July saw us fishing , swimming, boating and playing at the cottage.

It was also the month that Samara got her first stitches . . . perhaps not the last.

Austin was well into soccer and we spent most Saturday mornings at the soccer field watching him play.

August brought a new addition to our family – our puppy Teagan.

I also finally completed Samara’s 100 good wishes quilt . . . what a great feeling!

In August we also enjoyed the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. What a treat to watch China, the country that gave us such an amazing gift, host this huge event.


September marked the first day of kindergarten for Austin and the first day of grade two for Victoria. My babies are growing up!

Mike participated in the ride for MS.

Samara got her ears pierced in September.


I participated in the annual 5k Run for the Cure in October – not an easy thing to do as I ran in memory of Marisa.

October saw us celebrating Mike’s birthday – we enjoyed the beautiful fall weather at the cottage.

We ended the month with some Halloween fun.


In November I ran my very first ever 10k race. A great feeling of accomplishment.

November also brought the flu to our house with everyone being affected except me.


December marked the one year anniversary since the death of my dear friend Marisa – hard to believe it had already been a year.

Austin turned five years old in December.

Victoria turned seven years old in December.

December also marked the birth of our Saviour at Christmas time – what a great way to end the year.

We have been truly blessed and 2008 was a great year but I’m excited that 2009 is here. We anticipate seeing the face of our precious baby this year and eventually traveling to bring him home to be part of our family forever. I can’t wait.

There are so many people I’ve met over the past few years that are finally going to be bringing their babies home this year too. I’m so excited for them and can’t wait to see so many families finally coming together.
May God continue to bless us in 2009!