There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle......
The other is as though everything is a miracle.

~Albert Einstein~

I came across this song by the African Children's Choir....I just love them. When they come back to Edmonton for a concet, I will be sure to go. Check out their website www.africanchildrenschoir.com/




~Debbie~

GOOD MORNING


Today is going to be a good day. I have done lots of shopping for the girls and their room is almost done. I'm just waiting for a shelf that is being built for me. It should be done on the weekend. I am hoping to have an update on the girls next week. Roberta from CAFAC, is leaving on Saturday for Ethiopia and she will take new pictures and get new measurements etc for me and other families that are waiting. In Ethiopia they go by a different calendar then we do here in Canada. Their New Year is in September.....and they are only in the year 1999. I know it seems a little strange, but they have a 13th month. Anyway the courts are closing down to celebrate their holiday, but they close for 6 weeks, starting August 3rd. I really need to have a successful court date long before then so we don't get caught up in the court closure. I am confident we will, but a little prayer will always help. Every day that goes by is one day closer to bringing our girls home......we are all so excited. Sam took some donations to school today for the Big Birthday Box (that's what he calls it). He was excited to take them and be able to place them in the box. Jody also was able to get her preschool involved a little bit as well. Hope you all have a great day!
~Debbie~


I watched the 'Generation Of orphan's' DVd last night. It was very sad, but yet hopeful. There are places in Africa where children and adults are being helped......it's just not enough. There are to many people dying. I read in the book '28' last night that in one hospital, 10 people die every hour from Aids.....that's in one hospital. It is not uncommon for a household to have the oldest sibling be the head of the household.......the sad thing is, the oldest might only be 12 years old. It is happening so often that it has become the norm.....they even have a name for it. Imagine for a minute, a 12 year old here in Canada in charge of raising a family and making sure they have enough food etc. It wasn't always this way. It used to not be acceptable for children raising children to happen, but there are to many family members dying. I recommend getting the DVD for yourself and checking it out. You don't have to do a lot to make a difference.....if everyone does a little, it will change things. Here is the link to order the DVD http://www.stephenlewisfoundation.org/

~Debbie~

Jesse turned 17 years old this weekend.....where has the time gone. He is so gifted and talented and we pray he uses his talents wisely. He is a gifted musician and has a great sense of humor and a tender heart. We love you very much Jesse.....Happy Birthday!

Here are a few pictures to celebrate the life of Jesse.....



Jesse's 1st birthday, with his brother Taylor.



Jesse's 4th birthday....he doesn't look impressed!



Jesse's sweet smile


Jesse in his gear....


Jesse's 17th birthday......what a charmer! We celebrated Jesse's birthday last weekend with family


Zack, Jesse, and Mike....we always celebrate their birthday's together because they are so close, only a few days apart.

Some of the family. It was a good day, we went and saw Shrek the 3rd. and then had a BBQ


~Debbie~

MISSION ETHIOPIA

In an effort to help get donations for the Cafac Foster Home in Ethiopia, my sister Jody, was able to get the school our kids go to onboard. There is a newsletter going out this week with an article about her efforts and she is also placing a Donation box in the front entrance to the school. I am really hoping that there is a really good response. Each classroom will receive the letter from my sister and it will be read by their teacher. It is so great to see what can be done when you put some thought and a little bit of effort into it. I thank the school and the teachers for being willing to do this. Jody and I made a donation box today, well actually Jody did all the work, I just glued and taped. It turned out quite well! Thanks again Jody for doing this.....I pray it is a huge success.

~Debbie~




Zack, Sam, Emily and Jody with the finished product.




GRATEFUL

My sister Jody has been busy the last few weeks coming up with ideas for fundraising. Some of the things she has done include......infant formula from Shopper's Drug Mart(where she works) and also some of her friends have donated some items, as well as she has been able to get an entire school behind her efforts. She is posting a letter in the school newsletter as well as placing a donation box in the school to gather donations. Her goal is to have every child bring one item.....she is amazing and I am so grateful to her. We often take forgranted family and just expect them to do and support whatever it is we are doing, but Jody is going the extra mile. Because of her and everybody else's efforts I believe we will be successful in getting a good supply of donations together....keep it up. I want to be able, to not be able, to take everything myself to Ethiopia. The Kids deserve it. Thanks to everybody who is doing something to make our dream come true. We appreciate it...and Jody thank you from the bottom of my heart....

~Debbie~

Today we sent a letter and a card to Denaye and Maya. Roberta, from Cafac, is travelling to Ethiopia on June 2nd and is personally going to deliver and read the letter to the girls. I am so thankful that we are able to do things like this. I never thought it would be so hard to come up with the right words to say to a 4 and 2 year old. It was very difficult to try and put into words what we are feeling and how excited we are, without overwhelming them. Deb, from Cafac, said that the girls will really be excited to receive it......I wish we could do more. I was feeling a little sad today, but I know our time will come when we can go and get the girls and bring them home. I just wish it wouldn't take so long.

~Debbie~


This is my friend Sarah. She has offered to help out with our fundraiser BBQ on the 16th of June. I am so thankful for people like Sarah, who are willing to give of their talents. She makes handmade cards of all kinds. She will be making an assortment to sell at the BBQ. All proceeds are going to the CAFAC FOSTER HOME. She is very talented and I am so glad she has offered to do this for us. Since it is Father's Day that weekend she will have some Father's Day cards there as well as other's. Here is a sample of the Father's day card and I know she has other's that she is making. If you’re going to be at the BBQ and want to pre-order cards (good idea), please email her. You can also visit Sarah's website at http://stampingisfun.typepad.com/ There is also a link on our blog that will take you directly there. Her email address is sahunter@shaw.ca . I know she is planning on posting pictures of other cards she will have available. The cost of her cards are $5.00 a card or 10 for $37.00. I already put in my preorder. Thanks to everyone who has taken an interest in what we are doing and are willing to contribute to what we are trying to accomplish.....right now it seems so small, but together we can all make a differnce.

~Debbie~


I thought I would put this information up for those who want to get the DVD. This is from the Stephen Lewis Foundation website.

DVD copies will be available for $20 as of May 12, 2007 . Cheques or money orders payable to the Stephen Lewis Foundation (mark “Orphans Film” in subject line) can be sent to:

Stephen Lewis Foundation
260 Spadina Ave, Suite 501
Toronto, ON M5T 2E4

For more information, please call (416) 533-9292, ext 0.

Rod

Bono's acceptance speech at the NAACP IMAGE AWARDS.....it is amazing....we can make a difference.
~Debbie~

I just wanted to add to what Deb has said. Last week at CBC, where I work, we premiered the only Canadian public viewing of the documentary "A Generation of Orphans". The documentary was produced by the Stephen Lewis Foundation. It's a gripping story of six children whose lives have been affected by AIDS. I won't tell you the stories, I will just say YOU MUST SEE THIS!!
You can get a copy of the documentary on DVD for 20 dollars. Just go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation website. We have the link right here on our blog. Get the DVD and play it for your friends. Even if you're reading this and you're not adopting a child, you can play a part in this. We can all make a difference. The question is WILL YOU??

Rod

"what are you going to tell your granchildren... when they ask you....what did you do while an entire continent whitered away from AIDS?"
~BONO~


The more time that passes and the more that I learn about the Aids epidemic in Africa, the more I feel compelled to do something. These are my own personal feelings about what I feel I must do. Right now I feel helpless and useless because the problem is so big. I do know that bringing awareness is a first step and maybe that's what this is about today....bringing awareness. Everything we do in life starts with a decision, once someone has decided to do something they look for ways to make it happen. When we first started our journey of adopting 2 little girls from Africa, that's all it was. It is so much more then that now. I am not sure where our road is leading to....I just know it's heading towards Africa. Remember those prayers...."oh Lord I'll do anything....except go to Africa"

We have some wonderful friends, Mark and Colleen, who are hosting a Fundraising Barb-b-que. The bar-b-que is on June 16th in their backyard. We are so thankful that they are so supportive of what we are doing and are willing to do something. The proceeds are going to the Cafac Foster Home in Ethiopia. They need all kinds of things on an ongoing basis. For more information on the donations that are needed please see the link 'Donations'. If you would like more information on the event please e-mail me and I will send you a copy of the poster, rodanddeb@shaw.ca

There is a book called '28' by Stephanie Nolan.....In this book, Stephanie Nolen tells the stories of 28 Africans affected by the deadly AIDS virus. According to UNAIDS, the number of HIV-infected people in Africa is 28 million which, hence the reason why she is writting 28 stories. The numbers are astonishing.... by 2010, they predict that there will be between 25 and 50 million children orphaned by AIDS.

Jesse is reading a book called 'A long Way Home' by Ishmael Beah. This is a true story of a boy who was a child soldier and was saved from that life and has learned to forgive himself. He is now living in New York and telling his story to bring awareness .

These things are really going on.....and it has now become very personal to me because our girls come from that country. This might be a little heavy today, but this is what is on my heart. As always thanks for your support and your prayers, they are everything to me.

~Debbie~



My Mom......

Cousins.......

Fun times.......


Family.......



Jody, mom and me.....
We spent the day at the park.....it was a beautiful afternoon. A nice way to spend Mother's Day. Next year their will be 2 more girls.....Denaye and Maya......Emily won't be the only girl anymore. She is quite happy about that.
God Bless
~Debbie~




A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
~Trevor Jordan

Today we honor mother's of all kinds.....grandmother's, mother's, sister's, aunts, cousins, birth mother's and especially the mom's, who are waiting to bring their children home. Have a wonderful day........Happy Mother's Day and may you feel God's blessings in your lives.
~Debbie~

SISTERS



Sisters

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her Mother.
As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.

"Don't forget your Sisters," she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. "They'll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much love for the children you may have, you are still going to need Sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them. "Remember that 'Sisters' means ALL the women... your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives, too.

"You'll need other women. Women always do. "What a funny piece of advice!" the young woman thought. "Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!

"But she listened to her Mother. She kept contact with her Sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another she gradually came to understand that her Mom really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are the mainstays of her life.

After more than 50 years of living in this world, here is what I've learned:

THIS SAYS IT ALL:

Time passes
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don't do what they're supposed to do.
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Careers end.

BUT.........

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach.
When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end. Sometimes, they will evenbreak the rules and walk beside you...Or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family, all bless our life!

The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

TOOLS OR FLOWERS











Today I put together a basket of flowers for the girls room. It will go on the top of their bookcase. I asked Sam to help, but imagine that, he said no. He's out in the garage right now, with his pockets full of tools, working on a bookcase. He just came in asked me where we keep the chainsaw.....so I guess flowers are out.......and people wonder why I'm looking forward to girls.
~Debbie~

Someone emailed this to me.....very powerful video.

~Debbie~

FAMILY

This is my sister Jody and her husband Mike and their 3 kids, Zack, Emily and Jonah. I wish Jody could go with us to Ethiopia when we go to get the girls. It would be nice to have her along. She is my best friend and I would just like her there. Emily is so excited to have another couple of girls around so she can play with them. When she comes over to our house it's all about the boys. Emily had Sam convinced for awhile to play house with her, but now that he's older it's just not gonna happen. We went shopping the other day and I found some other bedding that I liked for the girls. Jody convinced me to buy it, so now after all that fuss about thinking I had found the perfect bedding, I now like the new one better, so I took the other one back. I think Jody thinks I'm going a little overboard with the shopping......I probably am, but after 19 years of buying nothing , but boy toys and boy clothes, I am going to enjoy every minute of it. I love my boys and I think they are the most special boys in the world. They are only used to having boy things around as well, so they think I'm going a little crazy too. After all that being said....the first thing they do whenever anybody comes over is show them the girls room.....so I think they are loving it, but just don't want to admit it. They all give me a hard time, but we all can't wait for the day we bring the girls home.

It was kind of a hard day today. I was a little sad...no a lot sad......that we have no idea when we can go and get the girls. I look at their pictures everyday and wonder what they are doing, if they are learning anything new, or if they are sad or happy. I also think of how they must be feeling and it overwhelms me sometimes.....not being able to be there. Anyway some days are good and some days are bad, but in the end I know it will all work out the way it's supposed to, some days just need to go by a little quicker. If you think of the girls, say a little prayer for them, that would be safe and get to come home quick. Thanks for your continued support.

God Bless
~Debbie~

On Saturday night Rod, Sam and I went out for dinner to a restaurant called Langano Skies. It serves authentic Ethiopian food. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not because I am not the adventurous type when it comes to food. I liked it and of course so did Rod. He likes anything. Sam liked it as well. We will definitely do it again. What made the evening so special was that we met with other families in the Edmonton area who are also in various stages of adopting from Ethiopia. There were a couple of families who were home with their children and so we got to meet some of the kids. Sam had a great time and made some new friends. It was so nice to talk with people who have faced the same struggles that we are going through. We had such a good time. We will do it again....maybe a barbeque or something. It turned out that the restaurant is owned by the parents of one of Taylor's good friends......what a small world. We had no idea, but then again this is a whole new experience for us in every way. We are enjoying the process as hard as it is to wait......I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. In a few short (long) months we will be bringing our girls home.....can't wait for that day!!!

~Debbie~

Sam's prayer..........

Dear God,

Thank you God for my sister's, Denaye and Maya. I'm thankful that they are coming to us. Please keep them safe.

Amen

~Sam~

Sam wanted to write something on the blog about his sisters. I thought it was so sweet that he wanted it to be a prayer. He actually typed it himself, it took a long time, but he got it done. The reason for the pose in the picture of Sam, is we are going to see Spiderman today and he is spiderman, so he has to assume the position.

Have a great day,
~Debbie~

Wow things are just getting more and more strange, we got names, a pink room, (that looks like a barbie doll house) and a bunch of stuff for them! Its weird but very exciting! I'm really happy that we are doing this! :)

~Kyle~





This is the girl's room....or the beginning of it. It was just painted on tuesday and we will add the wallpaper border later. I'll post more pictures when it's completed. This is so much fun!!!
~Debbie~







;;