Being nowhere and everywhere at the same time…

It’s 6:12 AM.   I hear a loud “thud” as he plunks out of bed, tip-toes barefoot across the hallway, and then rustles the sheets as he climbs into bed.  He quietly slides in next to me like a canned sardine.  He couldn’t possibly get any closer.  Then, he whispers…”Mom? Mom? I love you Mom…I love you.  Is it story time yet?” This is particularly the routine when his father is away, and although I am tired, I realize that moments like these are fleeting. 

It has been a long week. For the past 3 weeks I have been dealing with lower back back pain. It began from training for a 5K run but escalated due to lifting – be it books for school or my solid 40+ pound boy.  I had gone to see the chiropractor and was doing considerably better, but last weekend I pushed things too far.  I woke up last Sunday night and could barely move.  Amazing how you can go from walking – even if unconfortably – to relying on your spouse to help you stand up and even get dressed in a matter of hours.  Frustrating…humbling…and at times…humorous.

Ben wouldn’t give me help unless I asked for it, and I didn’t want help unless I felt I needed it.  Having been together for as many years as we have, I didn’t need to comunicate this to Ben.  He knew.  One time I was face planted on the bed waist up while trying to get the the tail end of my body on.  I was reaching for the headboard.  He stood there…and waited…and waited some more… “Okay… I guess I need help,” I finally cried out.  It hurt to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation.  Yet he had patiently waited because he knew I was determined to try on my own, and when I needed him he was there.  Strong. Patient. Encouraging.

I have a new appreciation for being able to move….a new empathy for those who suffer from pain that keeps them from moving physically with ease…particularly for my mother who has dealt with back pain for years and my sister who has had her fair share of back troubles as well… and I have a new appreciation for friends who are willing to take an active 4 year old boy out swimming or for a trampoline jumping session while his father is away.  They say it takes a community to raise a child, and these past few days I’ve seen evidence of that and been touched by people’s generosity.  I may be able to move better than I did earlier in the week, but I am slow moving and trying to give my body the rest it needs to recover.

I am very much looking forward to returning to work next week. I love my job!  My movements will be slower as I’ve been told I still need to “baby” things, but I will be out of the house and with a staff and students whom I love dearly.  Part time work gives me the best of both worlds – time with them and time with my boy. I’m usually always on the go, so to be couped up all week has been awful.

Will I be running a 5K this summer?  No.  I’ve decided that when the doctor gives me the “okay” I will focus on other forms of physical activity.  I think God was trying to remind me that I need to take better care of myself.  I thought I was…but not quite.  I have a son to keep up with, and Lord willing, more children on the way.  Adoption home study visit #5 is set for this coming Tuesday, and I hope to fill you in this week.  I also hope to make some changes to my blog over the summer in between travels to Caton’s and university classes…it is in need of a makeover and updated info. 

So where have I been this week?  Nowhere physically.  Everywhere mentally.  Laying in bed gives one a lot of time to reflect, to think, to pray, and it reminds you to be grateful for the little things in life…even something as small as carrying a laundry basket up the stairs (Don’t worry Ben, I haven’t done this in your absence…yet…).

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Time to put my “game face” on

Definition of “game face” according to the urban dictionary: “a confident swagger you bring out when you are about to get ready to tackle something difficult, or when you are about to take on a challenge. Or when you are getting ready to get down to hard business.”

Some days I just want to call it “quits” when it comes to adoption. Forget the “game face.” I’m 33 years old. I have an awesome husband and an amazing son. I’m furthering my education, and Lord willing, will have my MEd by the end of the year or shortly thereafter, depending on the scheduling of my additional courses. Our family is healthy and happy, and although there are the financial stresses and strains of life along with other things that come our way, we are stable. Adoption is exhausting.

Even still…

I haven’t had to mourn the loss of babies through miscarriage. I’ve never been pregnant. I’ve dealt with more than one adoption loss, and the most recent one was enough for me to say, “Okay God. I’m done. I was obedient. I saw things through. I’m tired. I need rest. How about I stop thinking about the growth of my family regarding siblings for our son and just focus on what is?” Parenting an adopted child is in and of itself full of conversations and experiences that no parent of a biological child has to consider…especially when you’re us. That statement can be clarified on another day, but if you’ve followed our story, our circumstances are indeed quite unique, and James is a very inquisitive boy who has been very aware of many things from the time he was 2. Perhaps we’re meant to have an only child.

Even still…

March of this year Ben stopped into social development to see what the status of our file was. We had finally decided to proceed with the provincial adoption process. In January we worked hard to see that all of our references were handed in along with our paperwork, but we hadn’t heard anything. When Ben spoke to a case worker who had once been assigned to us, she gave him good news and bad news. The good news was that the provincial infant wait list (age 0-2 years) had been significantly shortened, and that they were currently reviewing names on the list from 2009. Our names were bumped to 2010, the year James was born, so essentially, they could be looking at our names within the next few years. The bad news was that our file was in limbo as currently there was no case worker assigned to us. They were short staffed and needed the position filled, and we were told by the end of March someone would be assigned to us. The end of March came….and went. April came…and it nearly went. April 15, I e-mailed the case worker who was no longer assigned to us to try and find some answers. April 23, I received a response with the name of an adoption supervisor and the assistant who oversees the files. I e-mailed them both immediately, and before the morning was out, our new case worker had been assigned to us, contacted us, and set up a meeting for this coming week. We were given a heads up that more paperwork will need to be completed as there is a new format for completing home studies, and we will find out more about it this coming Tuesday at 1:00 pm. More paperwork?

Even still…

Wednesday included some other things that were a bit discouraging, but this was encouraging. As the day progressed I was mulling things over in my mind thinking, “By now I should be done having children. If things had gone according to how I’d planned…” That was a big mistake. The Lord quickly stopped me in my line of thought and reminded me…it’s not about how I planned it, it’s about how He orders my steps. Proverbs 16:9 says, We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” As I reflected on his faithfulness I noted that when a door closed He opened another…whether it was through our son James, a job, education…you name it, God had it… His timing…You can’t tell me it was a coincidence that we found out about James a week after our International adoption failed. You can’t tell me it was a coincidence that I was hired to teach at a school practically a month before my husband’s job was changed drastically and resulted in a significant loss of income, not to mention God used the job to keep me from falling into depression while I dealt with concerns for my husband’s job situation and a significant adoption loss. You can’t tell me that it was a coincidence that Crandall opted to bring in a Master’s program the year I was looking into it, and that I was able to immediately start courses for their Certificate Program in the specialty I wanted for my MEd before the Master’s Program was finalized. Just last week (8 months after applying), I received my acceptance letter into UNB’s MEd program, but I’m already 3 courses in with Crandall, so I’m obviously meant to complete my studies sooner than later.  His timing…and those are only a few instances mentioned.

I know we are to see this through. God will make it clear what His plans are for our family. Adoption. Pregnancy. He’s got this. He needs to refine me more before I am able to handle what lies ahead, and everything I have experienced and will experience in the coming days, is only going to make me stronger so long as I keep placing Him first in my life.

So I guess it’s time for me to get stop griping about being tired and get my game face on.  Let’s do this!


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A Lesson in Skating – Part 1

Excerpt from a letter to James:

Before your first skating lesson you were very excited. You figured you’d step out onto the ice and glide I suppose. You had new skates and a nice helmet…but before the 45 minutes of time was up, you were in tears.  You started out strong. Someone was with you the whole time, but  you eventually were fatigued of falling and getting up…falling and getting up.  My heart broke for you. I had prepped you for this, but I knew you were thinking, “This is too hard! It takes too much work!  I want to be finished with this!”

You told me afterwards that you didn’t really like skating, but I managed to get you excited for the next lesson by telling you we’d get you a helmet with protective face guard (remember I said you were a cautious child), blue skate guards, and blue laces.  You still said you didn’t like skating but you were excited about the skating gear (side note: You couldn’t figure out why they didn’t make “colorful helmets.”  When you discovered you couldn’t get a blue one, you mentioned pink since you had seen a little girl with one on the previous lesson. I stuck with black.)

The day of your second lesson, I psyched you up by telling you the story of you and the “turkey transformer” (I had told you a story earlier that day about the “turkey transformer.” Why a turkey you ask?  I suppose because it’s Thanksgiving weekend.  I really need to write some of these ridiculous stories down before I forget them.) I told of how the turkey transformer wanted to learn to skate with you, and how you and him would continually fall and get back up.  Each time you would fall you would giggle and say, “It’s okay! We  can do this! We are not giving up!!”  And before you knew it, you were gliding on the ice. After I finished the story, you got out of the van at the arena you said, “I’m going to be like the story!  I’m NOT GOING TO GIVE UP!”  You said it with such gusto I figured I had you convinced. Then, before you got onto the ice, it happened, “I don’t want to go on Mommy.”  I encouraged and reminded you of the story, but the final convincing was (you guessed it – a form of reward) with the offer of 2 stickers from your skating teacher. I also had you excited for a date with me and surprise directly after your skating lesson.  You were steadier on your skates this time before you got on the ice and even on the ice. You were able to stand easier – although you still fell quite a bit – because you were taking your eyes and mind off of the task at hand and looking for me.  I chose to stay out of site because the last lesson you were crying for me.  At one point I went over and waved, but then I quickly discovered that was a mistake as you were trying to get to me, so I left.  I sat in the stands watching you with bated breath…yearning for you to succeed. You stood on your own and lifted your arms to your sides.  You slowly edged forward. You’d fall and get back up. Fall and get back up.  I was so proud. My eyes were glassy.  You weren’t keeping up with all of the other kids, but you were making progress, and you weren’t quitting. You fell most often when you were looking for me, but you couldn’t find me.  All the while I was there watching.

As I sat there I thought to myself, “I wonder if this is how God feels sometimes watching over His children.  When we’re in the midst of something difficult and He’s trying to see us through without intervening in the way we want right away…does it pull at His heartstrings? Does He watch with bated breath – yearning for us to succeed?  He could come in and save the day right away, but instead, He waits because He knows that we’ll be stronger in the end if we persist and pull through.  Meanwhile, we get frustrated and sometimes  take longer to work through things because we’re too busy looking for Him forgetting that He is already there – but we want to SEE Him – see His signs and wonders and then, when we catch a glimpse we’re ready to say, “Okay I’m done with this!  Let me out of here!”  The difference is I was watching from a distance, but God is always right there beside us.  And it’s not that He is just watching, He is always active – it just takes time to see how the pieces fit together.

I tried to explain to you afterwards on our date how I was watching your every move even though you couldn’t see me, and I tried to relate it to God as you are still trying to wrap your mind around Him. “Can God see me EVERYWHERE?” you asked. “Even if I’m in a canoe or if I fall or if I….”  on and on you went. Oh child, how I love your inquisitive little mind.

I hope I don’t ruin the skating experience for you as a result of these lessons.  I wrestle with “Are you ready for this?” and “I can’t let you give up so easily.” I know that the end result will be worth it – just as it was with you learning to walk, just as it was with you learning to get dressed, just as it was with you learning to swim…Common words from my lips, “In this family we don’t give up!  We keep trying because we know the end result will be worth it!”  I don’t want you to be a quitter.  You can do anything you set your mind to. Perhaps it’s a lack of will power.  Perhaps it’s a lack of confidence. Perhaps it’s because you are cautious.  I’m still figuring you out, but I love you for it. You are teaching me how to be a better mom and how to be a better person. We have our similarities and our differences. But for our love of talking, art, and vivid imaginations, our personalities are  different. You need preparation before something happens.  I don’t. You aren’t big on change. I am. You like to know how things work and how they are made. I could care less (but I do my best to explain what I can!) You are a deep thinker.  Me – not quite so much aside from personal life circumstances. We both feel things with our emotions quite strongly. Your words often get you into trouble as you are still learning to think before you speak.  I so yearn for you to be a hard worker and persistent in your endeavours. . What an intricate design of God you are!  What a responsibility your father and I have in parenting you. He has entrusted us with so much!

And so the skating saga continues. “I still didn’t like it very much Mommy,” was your response later on.  But I told you how proud I was of you.  You didn’t give up.  You kept trying.  After talking with you about the two of us skating together, you thought about it and said, “And I will have fun with you and Daddy on the ice.  Oh, and I want to go skating with my friend Oscar too.”  So once again, I have you convinced it will be worth it…and we will go to another lesson, and we will see how it plays out.

For the record: You don’t have to like skating. You don’t have to be a star hockey player.  You don’t even have to play hockey or like it for that matter. In the end, I just don’t want you to be the kid in school pushing around the chair trying to keep up with his peers because he was never given the opportunity to learn. I’m trying to spare you at least that much.

I love you James…just the way you are.


xoxo, Mommy

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The Fingerprints of God (#2)

Dear Charlie,

There are so many things I’d love to say to you, but I don’t really know that I can find the right words. Your story is much different from your brother’s, but just as special. Just as in your brother’s case, there were many emotions all of which involved a combination of joy and pain, but this time, instead of your mother having to grieve a loss, it was I who was the recipient.

The day you were born was a beautiful fall day. I remember the drive to the hospital, but I can’t recall as many of the details as I do from when James was born. Ben and I were nervous about how things would go and how I would “hold up” in being a support for your mom, but we believed God would prove himself faithful, and He did. James was excited to meet “baby sister” even though she wasn’t coming home with us. After your mother was “suited up” in her little johnny shirt in preparation for your arrival, she was allowed to walk around with her IV pole.  It was rather humorous to watch. She, your Uncle Matt, and the rest of us all went to relax in the Ronald McDonald room until it was time to get ready for your birth.


When they took your mother into the room to prepare her for the C-section, I was sitting all by myself on a chair waiting to go in.  I remembered thinking how different things were.  I didn’t feel the same type of nervous energy I felt the day your brother was born, but I was still nervous. When the doctor walked by me to go in with your mom, he put a hand on my shoulder and squeezed it as if to say, “As for you Sarah – You’re going to be just fine.”

One thing that your mother probably doesn’t remember very well is the anesthesiologist.  He really was a comical man with a thick English accent. He stayed in during the surgery because your mother had been sick from the anesthetics. During the surgery he was conversing with her about what your name was going to be.  When she said, “Charlie” he thought you were going to be a boy.  When she told him you were a girl, he couldn’t believe it.  “Charlie for a girl?!” was his response, “Why not some nice sensible name for a girl like Kendra or a name such as yours – Wendy?”  Your mother retorted, “Wendy? That’s an old person’s name!” I grinned at him and said, “Well I know you’ll love the middle name – it’s Sarah.”  That seemed to appease him for the time being. Shortly there after you were born – your first cries were heard, and you, a perfect little bundle was placed upon your mother. I cried just as I did when your brother was born.  I thanked God for you.  You were perfect.  I knew you would be.


Ben, James, and I stayed with you and your mom the entire day until your Grampy and Grammy Nutter were able to arrive that evening. Your Uncle Matt was there too, and he was going to help out in the hospital. I got in lots of cuddles and made sure you were cozy. It was hard to say good-bye. The drive home was quiet. Reality had sunk in.  I didn’t have a daughter. You were never ours to begin with. You were always God’s, and you were meant to be with your mother Wendy.


I want you to know that you will always have a special place in my heart, but it’s time for me to let go. You probably won’t see very many photos of us together during your first year of life, and it wasn’t because I didn’t care, but because I just needed time: the same thing your mother needed when she had to let go of James. I did look after you a few times here and there, particularly after you were born, and I marvelled at the similarities and differences between you and James.

It really isn’t for me to tell you your story. That is between you and your mother.  This post will long be archived and gone by the time you are old enough to understand, but someday when you are grown, if all is revealed and you want to sit down over a cup of tea, I will hand you some letters that were written to you before you were born and perhaps a letter written here or there as you grew to let you know just how special you are and how much I will have prayed for you over the years.


I hope that you and your brother James will become the very best of friends. And just as I wrote to James when he turned one, I will now write the same words to you:

Someday, you will better understand.  The decisions your mother Wendy made.  The decisions we have made.  It was all for you. We want you to know how much you’re loved.

The circumstances surrounding your birth into this world are all a part of an intricate plan that God weaved together. He took what was a complicated circumstance for Wendy’s family and for ours, and he wove it into something beautiful. Something unique.

May you grow up knowing that the world doesn’t revolve around you, dear Charlie, but that you were meant to make a difference in the world. May you grow up with a heart to serve others, as others had to serve in preparation for your arrival. May you grow up knowing God had a purpose for you, as He does for every baby born no matter how easy or how difficult the circumstances concerning their arrival is. May you grow up knowing that your purpose doesn’t involve living for you, but living for God, for you are covered with His fingerprints. Every time I look at you I see them: the fingerprints of God.

I love you Charlie Sarah. I always will.

And as for you and your mom – you’re going to be just fine.


“Auntie” Sarah

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And so it begins…again!

A year ago we began opening our provincial adoption file, not with regards to a newborn, as we are already on the infant adoption wait list which is an 8-10 year wait in NB, but with regards to exploring the possibility of an older child (0-5 years old). Shortly after that we were approached about a private adoption and put provincial things on hold, but we maintained regular contact with the social worker. The day Charlie was born we received a phone call from the same social worker.  She didn’t know it was Charlie’s birth date and was surprised to hear we were at the hospital. Shortly after that we closed our provincial file for the time being. Last week, while finishing a 3 day fast which included praying about our family’s growth, I received a phone call from a provincial social worker wondering if we were interested in reopening our provincial file. I couldn’t deny that the timing seemed right, and so, we met with a social worker today to talk about updating our file and home study. We are confident that if this is not the right path, God will close the doors, but we can’t deny it is an option we need to explore.  The doors have been shut on us in the past both internationally and privately, and it is not to say that they could open up again in one or both of these areas, but at present, provincial adoption seems to be a reoccurring area that we need to explore at this time.

I was reflecting today on the amount of times Ben and I have been contacted about to consider an adoption and how those adoptions have not worked out – more times than I have written about. We don’t put word out until we are confident things are moving forward. We typically have our guard up, and it is easy to figure out in conversation whether or not someone is truly serious about it. Sometimes we feel like our options are limited because of where we live. If we were to live in the US, for example, we could submit our names to an agency where expectant mothers could go in and “choose” us. In NB, adoption options are: put your name on the infant waiting list, pray to be approached to adopt privately (advertising is not allowed), consider adopting older children provincially, or adopt internationally. More than once we have ventured down a road feeling confident this was the right path only to have the doors close. It is later on that we see how those pieces all fit together. Quite frankly, after this last time, I didn’t know if I had the strength or the will to move forward to find my children. Ben was ready to move forward in January. In fact, he was looking into China. He has his heart set on a daughter. I remember the conversation we had on our way to work one morning where I said to him, “I just can’t do it right now. I’m tired. Let’s just focus on the 3 of us and continue to pray for my healing. I just want to be healed.”

When I mention provincial adoption, some people cringe. They tell me not to go down that road because of the horror stories they have heard. I have to say though, for every awful story, there is a success story. I know of a family whose daughter they adopted provincially wrote about how thankful she was that she was adopted and how different her life would’ve been had they not brought her into their family. Some adoptions: be it private, provincial, or international, go well. Others do not. So it is with pregnancy. You don’t hear someone say, “Don’t get pregnant.  You might have a miscarriage!  Your child might be born with poor health!” Some pregnancies go well. Others do not. If you want to grow your family, you’re willing to take risks, and by doing so you’re saying to your children, “I will love you no matter what the cost, no matter what the complications.  I am committed to you.”

Any child who is adopted older than birth age is going to have an adjustment whether he/she comes from overseas (language and/or cultural adjustments, orphanage baggage, etc.) or provincially (foster care adjustments, home life baggage, etc.). Even children adopted from birth eventually have to come to grips with their adoption story. You just have the benefit of raising them from day 1 and eliminating a variety of other barriers. ALL adoption involves risk.

We are praying about the possibility of adopting a little girl up to the age of 7 who may have a younger sibling (boy or girl). Had we been able to conceive when we first hoped to grow our family, this is how old our son/daughter would be. James plays well with older children and has already responded well to conversations we’ve had with him regarding this possibility (that is another blog post in and of itself – ha ha!). We also continue to pray for my healing.

Don’t worry – I’m not setting myself up for disappointment. I have a peace about everything. If God were to close ALL doors, I know that one day I would better understand why, as I have with other parts of our family journey. Yes – I’m human. I still get frustrated and discouraged, and I’m still working through and praying through a lot in many areas when it comes to our little Canney clan.

And YES, I do realize I have a healthy, amazingly intelligent son whom I’ve had the privilege of raising from the day he was born (okay so I’m bias, but anyone who has met him can’t deny that he’s quite the little man.)

And so the journey continues…


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What are you thankful for?

“What are you thankful for James?”

“I think I’m thankful for God giving us a baby.”

“A baby?  What baby do you mean?”

“Baby Charlie…”

And just like that my son has me pondering.  We weren’t even talking about Baby Charlie.  You see, I asked him the question from a “Q & A a day for kids 3 year journal.” Ben and I bought it because James is such a great little conversationalist, and we thought it would be fun to see how his answers changed over the next 3 years.

When I asked James what he was thankful for, I wasn’t expecting that response.  In some ways I was taken aback. And in his typical 3 year old fashion, he went from saying something that to me seemed so profound (Baby Charlie) to what I was originally expecting:

“…and I’m thankful for that dirty tractor and that clean tractor” in reference to those very things sitting on the table (FYI: His “dirty” tractor only looks dirty – John Deere makes some amazing toys!)

But I haven’t been able to get his response out of my head: “I think I’m thankful for God giving us a baby.”

Yes.  I do THINK I’m thankful.  But am I really? I’ve seriously asked myself these 2 questions.  “Am I thankful for Baby Charlie?”  And “Did God really give us a baby?”

James knows that Baby Charlie is his sister.  He also knows that she lives with his Auntie Wendy (aka “tummy Mommy”).  He talks about Charlie from time to time: where she is, why she doesn’t live with us, and then he’ll always respond, “but that’s okay.” His adaptable little self  accepts this as it is and knows that it is okay.

It’s okay because God, in his infinite grace has given Ben and I the strength to accept this as our normal and to allow everything to be okay. We long for James and Charlie to have a special relationship.

Am I thankful for Baby Charlie?  Am I thankful for the simultaneous joy and pain her life brought to us?  Yes.  I am. In a small way she has given me a glimpse of what it must have been like for Wendy when she placed James into our care. Reading about special markers on facebook: her rolling over for the first time, her sitting up…experiences that could’ve been mine but weren’t meant to be.  Her first Christmas….every 12th day of the month…all markers that were always there for Wendy on every 2nd day of the month…

Did God give us a baby?

That’s a hard one for me to answer.  Last year this time I had the hope of a baby. I had finished a fast, and I knew that another baby was on the way. I could hardly believe it.  I was confident and sure of what I had hoped and prayed for. This year I’m left saying, “Is this it?” All forms of adoption are at a stand still since we are still unclear as to what God would have us do come summertime. Will we stay? Will we move? Currently the only “baby” in my household is now 3, and I certainly thank God for him every single day.

Did God give us a baby?

Yes. No. I don’t know. He gave us a baby but not in the way we had hoped and prayed for.

I am still searching my heart and seeking God for understanding. I am still wrestling with the “whys” of my life. Some of the pieces of the puzzle have come together, but it’s going to take time. I may never fully understand.

I will say that for the first time in months I feel like Sarah again – if that makes any sense. Although some stresses in the past few weeks have caused me to be forgetful and get mixed up about some things, the fog is clearing.  For that I am thankful. I am thankful for a blue eyed boy who wakes me up in the morning and says, “Mom. Can you tell me a story?”  I am thankful for a teaching job at a school in which I feel fully supported and am encouraged on a regular basis.  I am thankful for my students whom I believe I was obviously meant to teach this year.  I am thankful for a husband, who despite the various things going on in our lives has humbly taken on our reversed roles working 20 hours a week at the office and putting a whole-hearted 20+hours/week into our son. I am thankful for mom and dad next door and the time and energy they put into our son. I am thankful that although life isn’t what I thought it would be, it is what God has given us. We have our health. We have our family. We have each other.

So what are you thankful for?

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Grieving Ella.

Her name wasn’t intended to be Ella, and Charlie wasn’t the name we had chosen.  We had another name picked out, but I can’t write that name.  It was written to her in letters that were meant for her. Maybe someday she’ll get to read them, or maybe they will remain tucked away forever, but for the sake of this post, I’m going to call her “Ella.”

You might say that Ella and Charlie are the same.  Technically, Charlie was the daughter we thought would be coming home with us, but I don’t think of Charlie as mine.  I think of her as Wendy’s.  I think that is why it was so important that Wendy change her name.  It really is a strange thing: to grieve a child who is alive and yet who isn’t.  To grieve a child you spend time with and yet you know isn’t yours and apparently wasn’t meant to be yours.  At the same time: to grieve a child you wonder will ever come into existence in your life. Will I ever have a daughter?  Was it some sort of strange dream?

I’ve been thinking about Ella even more with Christmas approaching.  Originally I thought I’d have 2 stockings to hang this year and gifts filled with little girl things.  The carefully hand knit sweaters I had purchased long before her arrival are packed away, the little girl clothes as well, and any trace of her is no longer in my house but for the few things left in sight in the basement such as the crib or the bouncy seat.

Every now and then James asks where she is, and then I explain to him things in his terms once again .  I don’t think he minds really – still being the only child in the house.  His inquiring little mind often fascinates me.  It won’t be long and he’ll be further grasping what his “normal” is and that there’s more to it than the fact that he didn’t grow in my tummy. That is a whole other post in and of itself.

Most of the time I am fine, but the grief usually hits me in unexpected ways.  It comes in the form of a song I haven’t heard in awhile that spoke to me during that difficult time.  It comes in the middle of shopping when I find myself in the little girl section of a store and then I ask myself, “Why am I here?”  It comes when I see someone else with a baby girl and I think, “Why don’t I have a daughter?”  Usually it is a sad grief.  A feeling of great loss and pain. Other times it is in the form of anger.  For instance, about a month ago Ben received a message from the birth dad  saying that he didn’t know much about the baby except what people told him and in closing,  “I’m sorry it didn’t work out bro.”  I’m sorry it didn’t work out bro? Who is this man?  This man who wrote us such heart warming words in June and then whipped us in return with his actions only a month later? What is it like to “create” a life and then have the power to walk away from it?  How can one be so callous?  I forgive, and then I have to forgive again. And lately, grief comes when I hear that someone else is expecting.  I don’t envy them.  It’s not like that.  I feel sorry for myself.  What is it like?  To get pregnant?  To have a life grow inside of you?  To plan your family so effortlessly?

I can’t foresee another private adoption in our future.  We’ve been burned.  I’m not sure at this point about International Adoption.  We’ve been burned there as well.  Any form of provincial adoption is on hold because we don’t know what the next year holds and whether or not we will even be living in Sussex.  Once again, we pray. We wait.  Once again I work through wondering if James will always be an only child and finding contentment in that while learning to believe in what I can’t see.  What is to come.  What I believe is to come.

Last year during January I entered a 21 day partial fast in which I found out about Charlie shortly thereafter and believed she was my answer.  This year during January I will enter another 21 day partial fast.  I look forward to that time.  A time of renewal, of refocus…

More has been going on in our lives than most realize – it’s not just the adoption loss we’ve had to deal with…other things have been happening that have threatened to uproot us and shake our faith, and yet, we remain firm.

Perhaps I’m not just grieving Ella, perhaps I’m grieving our life as it was.  I can’t fully explain it, but our lives were greatly altered in September when numerous events occurred at once.  Serious unexpected life changing events. Were it not for the grace of God and what I believe to be His protective covering, I would be depressed. Nonetheless, I am still working through my grief.

We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” – C.S. Lewis

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Everyday I thank God for Wendy.  I thank Him for her decision to willingly place James in our care.  I thank Him for giving her the strength to be a part of James’ life and to open up her heart to our family.  I thank God for the strength He has given Ben and I to be her friend and family in return. I thank God for little Charlie Sarah. I thank God for how Charlie has changed Wendy’s life and my life.

This is not to say that I am never sad about not having a daughter in my life at this time, but it is to say that I am choosing to see that God has always had my best interest at heart and Wendy’s best interest at heart. She needs Charlie.  We need James.  We all need each other.  Our connection was to be in an even more unique way than I had ever dreamed or imagined.

From the outside looking in, it really must seem strange to many of you. It is not the road I would have willingly chosen, and I’m sure it’s not one Wendy would have willingly chosen either, but it is the road God has chosen for us, for that, and I am thankful.

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September was a month of fog. There were some days filled with a heightened sense of joy and excitement and other days filled with indescribable grief and despair. A friend died. I started teaching school part-time. Charlie was born. Ben travelled. I picked up full time work. Ben’s job description changed.  His working hours were lowered to 20/week. Extended family issues.

We are working through and praying through a lot. There will be some big decisions for us in the months to come. My teaching contract is a year, but after that…Do we stay with Ben’s 20 hours or do we go?  Will other doors open up? Our provincial adoption home study is now on hold because our life seems to be on hold.

Thank you for your patience. I will write about Charlie’s birth very soon. Thank you for your prayers.  We need them. God has helped us work through a lot of emotions, and we believe that He will continue to be faithful as we try to see through the fog.

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Urgent: Prayers Needed

Due to the public nature of this blog and a recent change of events with regards to the adoption, I am no longer posting specific details about the adoption at this time on this website until I further investigate privacy settings.  Please accept my apologies if this is your only means of following me and be patient as I try to review settings.  More details will be posted on facebook as that is where the majority of comments and feedback now seem to come from.  Details that we thought were falling into place are now unclear, and all we can do is pray and wait.  Ultimately the future of this little girl is in God’s hands, and we can but hope and pray that her future is with us.  No matter what the outcome, we covet your prayers with regards to strength in the days to come.  She is due in September, and we have been busy getting the room ready for her, but our dreams may not be as planned.  That is all I can say on here at this time.

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