April and I finally got my Canadian Citizenship. The exam was in January but the actual ceremony didn’t happen for a few more weeks. It will make the adoption process smoother I hope. Only one country’s passports to deal with! I also had the honor of being one of the two speakers at the ceremony. In my speech, made in both English and French, I talked about my journey here and what it meant for me to become a Canadian citizen today. What an amazing privilege to live in a country where we have freedom and democracy! Afterwards we went for fish and chips with family and friends who had been able to join us. What a wonderful day!
Sunday April 10th 2016. We were in church and the worship group played the song by Phil Wickham, ‘This is amazing grace’. When it got to the line “He makes the orphan a son and daughter’ Rob squeezed my hand and I started to cry. I am so thankful my husband shares this desire to adopt. We can’t wait to be a ‘forever family’!
April 19th 2016. Off to Brandon Manitoba for three days of union meetings. Using this as a time for refreshment and change of scenery and a ‘total get away ‘ from all things relating to adoption. I know this must sound crazy but I think it’s also heathy. The last few weeks have been filled with busy running around getting all the required paperwork assembled and blood tests and so on.
Enjoyed seeing the farmers prepare the fields for seeding as we travelled. So nice to have a good friend and co-worker along for company, a safe journey, fantastic food, a comfy bed and a clean hotel room! Lots of interesting topics regarding healthcare and animated discussion among several hundred other nurses from across Canada.
Getting our own garden ready to plant. Rob put a nice fence up to keep unwelcome visitors (aka Deer) out.
April 25th 2016. Mailed our paperwork for request for immigration for our yet unknown children to Citizenship and Immigration Canada today. As we have been approved for three children, I applied for three, fully aware it may be only one or two but I feel it will be three. I finally completed it on Saturday past, despite feeling unwell with a bad head cold and sore throat. Hope I didn’t make any mistakes! Guess I’ll find out soon enough if they need any corrections.
April 28th 2016. Got an email from our adoption agency to say they had been contacted by immigration to inform them that our papers had arrived safely. Thankful!
May 12th 2016. Received an email at work to say immigration part one had been approved for our as yet unknown children! This is wonderful! I had read that immigration approval can take up to 34 months and we got ours in just two and a half weeks! Surely the Lord’s Hand is in this!
Saturday May 15th 2016. ‘M’ came out to complete our home-study. Male or female, 1-3 children, ages 5-15 years. Finally!! Home study completed and all that remained was printing and signing! Then off for checking to ensure no errors and then it would go to be translated with the attached police checks and other paperwork. We also need to make another payment to the agency as per the schedule.
May 24th 2016. Lamentations chapter 2 verse 19. ‘Arise, cry in the night as the watches of the night begin. Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to Him, for the lives of your children who faint from hunger at the head of every street’.
May 29th 2016. I was in the shower this morning and I was thinking (aka probably more like stressing if I’m being honest) of all our paperwork and hoping it would get to who needed to see it and if we would get the correct child/children for us if it takes too long and so on. A chorus came into my head, ‘He knows my name, He knows my every thought, He sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call’. Why am I so slow to learn this?
God, You have been providing for us at every step. Working in ER and not being home till almost 1:00 am some mornings is somewhat tiring and can be stressful but very enjoyable as I love my job (well not the getting home late part), But might be a bit much when we adopt. A position came up at the PCH and I applied for it; a 0.7 EFT. The interview was to be conducted in French by French Language Services as it is a fully bilingual position. I felt that if the Lord provided the job, then He would give me the abilities I need to be able for it. I had 3 days or so to brush up on my French (I already make an effort to communicate in French at work) and then the interview on Monday. Wednesday I went back to work and my facility manager told me I had the job! Every step!
June 10th 2016. “Without You I fall apart, You’re the One who guides my heart’ ‘I need You oh, I need You, every hour I need You, My one defence, My righteousness, Oh God how I need You’ Am I to seek You more? Not focus so much on what’s going on around me? I need to trust You. Today Rob and I prayed against anything that would come against us and we cast it away in Jesus Name! Rob has this faith to believe and I am grateful! The words of the song above continue to speak peace to my heart. I need Him! My fear is selfish and sinful. I think on me, about how I will feel, how I will cope. ‘Lord protect me from this and forgive me. Jesus, You put the desire in both our heart to adopt, You gave us the song ‘Kings and Queens’, You made all the paperwork come together and put people in our path to encourage us. You made the immigration get approved so fast. You released Rob from his financial obligation so we could adopt siblings. You gave us a doctor who is following You and encourages us in this and You gave us clear blood tests. You provided jobs that we need to be able to do this and You provided the financing for us, savings and loans….You, You, You… Really and I’m stressed? Why? My tears fall… ‘I want my children…. but You already know that’.
July 6th 2016. Facing a Postal strike and we needed our 18-year-old sons’ fingerprints taken for a criminal record check as he still lives with us. The commissioner is only available 2 days a week to perform finger printing. Though the prints are electronically scanned to Ottawa, the results are returned by mail. Postal workers are scheduled to begin revolving walk-outs on Saturday, July 10th. We had the prints done on Monday June 27th and we have 9 business days to receive the appropriate documents back from RCMP national office.
July 9th 2016. I was exceedingly anxious about the possibility of further and indefinite delays. As I expressed my fears to Rob – the Lord’s still and comforting voice assured Rob that we would have them before Friday July 9th. Rob assured me with the words, ‘Sharon don’t worry we will have them before Friday.’ Praise God, the returned documents were in our mailbox on Wednesday July 6th, and we had them at the Adoption Agency on Friday. God did even better than us having them by Friday; He made sure they were where they needed to be by then. What a Faithful God!
July 19th 2016. Today we got amazing news! We received an email to say the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine has been contacted to say we are approved to adopt!!! ‘Mustard seed faith, Father make it grow into a tree’! I am so blessed by my husband and how he is listening to God in all this.
Granddaughter Grace helping take weeds to the compost pile. Our Garden is Growing!
July 21st 2016. Jesus once again, You are faithful, despite all my doubts and unbelief. Today we got an email saying that the agency in Ukraine had picked up the approval documents from the Embassy. Waiting on the next steps..so excited! I can hardly wait to meet our new family!
August 4th 2016 Thursday. I feel like I am on a roller coaster! I learned today that we need to get updated copies of letters from our bank, employer and real estate agent. Will this paper chase never end? It’s stressful and I’m working a 16 hour shift today. Will I get to it tomorrow. I have to!
August 5th 2016, Friday. Have a hair appointment booked for this am. Then I will continue the document chase. I prayed as I sat in the stylists chair. ‘Lord give me success and enable me to connect with those I need to’. He came through again. I emailed our Corporate office when I was having a trim, and within 30 minutes, I had an updated copy of our employment verification and income waiting for me at the front desk. I stopped at the bank and as I entered the manager saw me and invited me into her office and typed out the letter I needed so I was out the door again inside 10 minutes. I had texted John G. at the real estate offices and he told me he was going to be in and out all day as he had lots of scheduled showings. As I drove into the parking lot on the off-chance of seeing him, his SUV pulled up beside me and I let him know also what I needed him to complete. Done!
August 8th, 2016 Monday– After all the frantic running around before the weekend, our agent will not be in the office today to bring the updated documents to. What a bummer! He said he possibly could meet us at 4.00pm but that would be the earliest and if not then, it would be tomorrow. How frustrating, all the appeared delays and then I remember that the Lords’ timing is perfect and He is preparing our family for us at just the right time. After much debate, we called our agent and said 4:00 pm will be fine, and he said he actually can meet us at 3.00pm if that still works for us! It sure does! I want to get these documents delivered and out of my hands! God is faithful! They will be notarized tomorrow and then off to the Embassy in Ottawa. The SDA office in Kyiv, Ukraine will re-open from summer vacation by the last week in August and hopefully our dossier will be ready by then. ‘Jesus help me to see You working, even in the delays!’
August 10th Monday– Today we received the wonderful news that our documents have been notarized and that our agency has an appointment with officials in a Ukrainian Ministry to authenticate the dossier and then it will be on its way to Ottawa! ‘Jesus go with our papers and take them to the desk of the person that needs to see them. In all this, You are teaching me to trust’.
August 16th Tuesday. Today I was feeling discouraged by reading some adoption blogs as to timeline and when things will happen. I would really like to know for sure that our dossier made it to Ottawa. God gently reminded me that He is faithful. ‘I’m holding on to Your promises’ came very clearly to mind. ‘Thank you for Your gentle reassurance Jesus, that You are in this’. We listened to our song again, Kings and Queens by Audio Adrenaline. ‘Give us love and grace to totally love the children that You have already picked out for us Father’.
August 23rd, 2016-Tuesday– Today I was thinking about our paperwork and I had considered emailing our agency to see if there was any news but I decided to wait. ‘See God, I’m learning to be patient’. This evening I got notification that our dossier had been received back in only 1 week, it normally takes 2. I went into the room where I have been taping drywall seams and prayed for the children who will bless our lives. ‘Lord make it clear when we get there and help us be open to whom You have chosen for us’.
August 26-Friday– Paid the first part of the Ukrainian fees today. As we were leaving the office, got a text to say our documents arrives safely in Ukraine! It’s getting closer!
August 27th Saturday– Today I was reminded that God uses the most unlikely people to do His bidding. He used Jonah who didn’t want to go and tell the Ninivites to repent. He used David, a shepherd boy, who later became King in Israel and who did some really bad stuff but God was pleased to call him a man after His own heart!. He used Rahab, a prostitute, to hide the Lord’s spies and then had her included in the lineage of Jesus. He used Mary, a young and insignificant peasant girl to be the mother to His Son. And for some reason, He is using Rob and I. We who have been through divorce, remarriage, blended families and each of us with lots of faults. He can take all this mess and make something beautiful. He really is a God of second chances. The key is to be willing.
September 1st, 2016-Thursday- at 2230. ‘Tonight I feel Lord that You are continuing to teach me patience and to trust You more‘. On the drive home from work I was reminded on CHVN, our local Christian radio station, from Numbers 23:19, ‘You will not forget and has He not said and will He not do it’?. Then later that night in my devotions, Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 3. ‘Though it linger, wait for it. It will certainly come and will not delay!’.
September 6th. 2016-Tuesday– Today we got the very good news that our dossier has been translated and delivered to the SDA office in Kyiv, Ukraine! Now we wait for an appointment!!! My friend Anne came to visit today and to get an update. I shared with her what God has been doing so far. She said it is like adding stones to our ‘altar’, like in the Old Testament, where they set up stones in a pile and when they looked at those stones it would be a reminder of what God had done for the people of Israel. All my recording of our journey is like that. I can look back and see what God has done.
September 23rd, 2016-Friday– Trudie F. called to tell me that the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra will be playing in Manitoba this weekend. Rob is working and I don’t want to go alone. I have the email address of Wes Janzen who is their director. I sent an email and find out by return that Kim, his wife, is a distant cousin of my husbands. Small world, coincidence or not?
October 6th, 2016 Thursday– Great excitement at our home! Received news that approval of our adoption has been granted by SDA in Ukraine. This is the news we have been waiting for. Now we need a date!!!.
October 9th, 2016 Sunday– Listening to CHVN and Lisa Harper with Focus on the Family on my way home from work. She has adopted a little girl from Haiti as a single mother of 47 years. ‘Do not be discouraged’ she says ‘Do not listen to naysayers. She had some people say some horrible things to her when they heard she was adopting. Even people in her church! Can’t believe the way some people think it’s ok to say whatever they like. Jesus calls all His people to take care of widows and orphans. It’s a command, not an option. Not a suggestion or a nice idea that we as His followers can ignore if it doesn’t suit us. I know neither Rob or I are not 25 anymore and I wouldn’t be the person I am now if I was 25!. Life has taught me some hard lessons and the pain has made me grow as a person. I hope it has made me more thoughtful and compassionate to others. Yes I’m not perfect in myself but both Rob and I are worthy in Jesus’. So encouraging!
Renovations on the upstairs bedrooms in preparation for our new children. I think they look amazing!
October 12th, 2016 Tuesday– Got the flooring finished upstairs. Reno’s are done! When we started this Rob was sure we wouldn’t have it all done in time and here we are finished with time to spare as we continue waiting on our invitation to go to Ukraine. Packing even more things into my already full bags! Waiting….
Rob working on the Roof and new Dormer windows in what would become the boy’s room.
Daughter Jody helping me strip down a beautiful old rusty antique bed frame. All our hard work paid off! It looks great! I can’t wait to meet whoever will sleep in it!
November 14th, 2016 Monday– Out with friends this evening. Later Rob asked God for a date for us to go.
November 16th, 2016 – Tuesday– We have a date!! December 5th 2016 is our appointment with the SDA in Kyiv. Rob booked our tickets. We leave Winnipeg on November 30th at 1255 pm. Excited and scared all at the same time!
November 17th, 2016 – Thursday– Got a text from my friend Kaylene to say a couple with 3 small children are returning home to Canada on furlough from working abroad and they need a place to stay. We offered them our home for when we will be gone. All they have to do is feed the cat and pay their own power bill. Otherwise our house is theirs to enjoy. Perfect timing! We get house-sitters and they get a home!
November 21st, 2016 Monday– Went to tell our respective employers we will be taking adoption leave next week. My manager is on vacation and Robs’ is covering for him so one visit was adequate. It didn’t go super well but ok. I know the timing wasn’t great with Christmas coming and the short notice but it is the best that we can do. I think it’s ok. The Lord has it all planned. The line that comes to mind is ‘Even now, the Maker of stars is holding my heart’. Can’t remember who sings that but it’s appropriate for this time.
November 29th, 2016- Tuesday– We are staying overnight at the Days Inn by the airport in Winnipeg. ‘God You have been so faithful in getting us to this point’. The position Rob applied for in the summer so he could be home in the evening with the children seems to be his! He had originally applied in August and then had not heard anything until late October when he was invited for an interview. He said it was the worst interview he had ever had and just now, as we are preparing to leave for Ukraine, he hears that he has the job! Perfect timing! This is a ‘God Thing’. An added blessing, his new position provides him with a flexible start date!. Even better as we don’t know how long we will be in Ukraine getting our children.
November 30th, 2016 – Wednesday– After a good nights sleep and an excellent complimentary breakfast, I feel quite spoiled! The hotel provided a taxi to the airport with their compliments. I’m so grateful! Unexpectedly met friends Marlene and John who are off somewhere else. They took this picture for us. Through check in and security with no delays and we are off!!