Monday, March 31, 2008

Thai Photo Montage

Ranavan's Thai Adventure

This past Christmas Yvan and I decided to take one last big holiday together as a couple before our new addition joins us. We decided to go to Thailand because.....well why not!

We packed our backpacks and spent two glorious weeks roaming the south of Thailand. We experienced the gentle, open and warm hospitatilty of the Thai people and some of the best food we have ever eaten. We slept in raft houses in the middle of a man-made lake, slept amongst the monkeys in the jungle and swam in the salty waters off the shores of the Phi Phi Islands.

We travelled by plane, train, boat, songthaew and long tail boat. We walked, swam and motorbiked to our hearts contents. We baked in the sun in the crowded streets and markets of Bangkok, lay on the sandy shores of Ao Nang beach and had our toes nibbled on by microscopic fish in the ocean. We ran after the crabs on the beach of Koh Sukorn and snorkelled with the clown fish, eels and jellyfish in the deep blue waters surrounding the Phi Phi Islands. We rode atop the gentle, giants that are elephants and hand-fed them bundles of bananas. We drank buckets of Long Island Iced tea, large Singha beers and the freshest of fresh fruit shakes. We ate red, yellow, green and coconut curries, savoured every morsel of the most delicious Phad Thai and banana pancakes in the world. We enjoyed thai foot massages, card games with new friends, gazed at the stars at night and watched the sun set and rise every morning and evening!

To our wonderous amazement and glee there were families from all parts of the globe in Thailand. There were baby strollers with babies sleeping, toddlers wobbling, school children running and teenagers swaggering everywhere we looked. As we are wanderers at heart and love to travel, we are excited to return one day with our bambino :)

See above montage for a peek at a very small sampling of the hilights of our trip!

Friday, March 28, 2008


I haven't much to say today...but remembered this poem we put in our Christmas letter that we sent out to family and friends this year announcing our adoption. Thought I would share it!


I haven't met you yet or seen your face,but in my heart you hold a place. My hopes grow with each passing day,even though you're miles away. I know you're there waiting for me,as I am here waiting to see,the child God has sent from above,to make me a mother and share all my love.
By Karen Cooper

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fur Babies

Yvan and I have adopted before, but it has been what we like to call our "fur babies". When I moved into my first apartment I fostered to little kitties and ended up loving them so much I adopted them. Suki and Sammi were my first babies and it is hard to believe that 10 years has passed since I first got them. When I met Yvan I was moving to Halifax to work for 6 months. He offered to look after my cats while I was away and the three of them fell in love!

After only a 1 - 1/2 months of being in Halifax, I moved back home because Air Canada decided to lay me off...again...for the 3rd a year - thank you very much Air Canada :( (notice my disdain) and Yvan, me and the cats moved into a cute little house together.

In the fall of that year, we adopted Leroy Brown. He came to us thru a friend of my sister's who could no longer handle him and 2 kids under 3. When we picked him up, he hopped into my lap straight away and didn't look back.

I am not sure how we got so lucky with our fabulous fur babies! They have brought so much unconditional love into our lives. While Suki has gotten older and has diabetes and needs lots of care, and Leroy needs to have his teeth professionally cleaned every year - oh such the bad dog breath! We wouldn't have it any other way.

We can only imagine how much we will love this new little baby coming into our lives...if the love we have for our animals is any will be a whole lot!!

We can't wait for the day to post pictures of our entire family to be!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Our African Violet and Sweet Michelle

About 4 years ago Yvan's mom gave us an African Violet. It bloomed for about 2 weeks and has never bloomed since. Yvan is in charge of watering our plants. I am the black thumb type gardener and have managed to even kill a cactus! How does on kill a cactus you ask? Well, you put it outside and forget about it and it freezes. Yvan has a green thumb for sure and he is a very conscientious waterer. He waters our plants weekly and cleans the containers often. I just buy what I like and he takes care of them.

Last night we had some friends over for a chocolate dessert fondue (mmmmmmmm...goood) and I was tidying the house before people came over. I happened to wander over by the area of the African violet. Quite often I look to see if it is blooming and I am always disappointed to see that it isn't. However, feeling optimistic I took a peak and to my utter amazement and audible in take of breath - I saw some teeny, tiny flower buds popping up!!! I was beside myself!!! Our African Violet is blooming!!!!!!!!!!!

I am a big believer in things happening for a reason....I believe that what you put out in to the world will come back to you ten fold. If you believe that life has nothing to offer and you constantly get the shaft...well than life will give you that. The same goes for positive thoughts and energy! If you put out the good vibes you will get it back. I mean if you don't ask for will you get it right! We when we decided to have a family we just thought it would be easy. How wrong we wasn't easy at all. Well, instead of just giving up we decided to ask for alternatives to having a family. Adoption came up over and over! When we started we were looking at China but the wait times were too long . We sent in an application for Thailand but were told that the program wasn't open. We had heard of all the people who were adopting from Africa and decided to look into it.

I think the universe had intended for this to be our direction from day one! We just weren't seeing it...initially the adoption process was a bit trying and difficult but when we made the decision to adopt from Ethiopia things seemed to get so much easier...everything became clearer if you will. Now, this isn't to say that our journey doesn't have its hiccups and frustrations - but all roads point to Ethiopia and we are very happy to be headed in that direction.

I think our African Violet is a testament to our being on the right path! Otherwise, I don't think it would be blooming!!!!

Sweet Michelle! What can I say?!? She made me cry but in a good way. Michelle and I are great friends!! We quite often go running together and are training to run 10K together. This morning we went for our run and she brought over a present for us from her and Peter!

It is the sweetest little journal for adoptive families. I have been thinking of how we would chronicle our passage to our new baby. I loitered briefly in the scrap booking section of Micheal's but I am not scrap booker! I would love to be but I am not.

Now we will be able to easily capture the moments and details of our adoption. The book is laid out so well. It is just what I imagined and was thinking of seriously starting to look for.

Thanks to Michelle and Peter we now don't have to worry about it. As my emotions are these days, I cried because this is such a special, meaningful gift!

I also feel the need to say how lucky we are to have such fantastic, loving, supportive friends (old and new) and family! They are as excited as we are about us starting a family and are right there with us on our journey!!!

Sending the love to all!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Yvan and I are back in training...again. Last fall I coerced Yvan into taking "A run your first 10K" clinic. I was running sporadically over the summer and thought I should get some training and actually try to accomplish a goal of some type. So, I decided to take the 10K clinic. Of course, I wasn't about to do this by myself...that would be I bribed Yvan into taking it and also managed to sweet talk my friend Michelle in to it as well. Well, that isn't necessarily true...Michelle didn't need any sweet talking...she was happy to join!!!

The three of us laced up our running shoes and filled our water bottles and started the clinic at the end of August. The goal was to run 10K at the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis the first Sunday in November. We trained thru September and October with Brainsport and ran our hills every Monday night and did our homework the rest of week. I think it was during the first long (45 minutes) run we did one cool fall night in October that I thought to myself...."self what the #$%# are you doing!" As we ran up the steps of the train bridge and I realized how far we still had to go in order to get back to the store. It was very tempting to give up! But no, I would persevere.

I must also tell you that Yvan was a running a machine. He was worried that he wouldn't be able to even run for 20 minutes when we first started...uh, the name Forrest Gump comes to mind when I think of him the first night we went out! He ran and ran and ran and ran....and he hasn't stopped.

We finished the clinic and ran the 10K. Yvan ran it very admit it I struggled...alot.

We finished and it felt great!

One night in December, Yvan says to me...I think I am going to run a half marathon...what??? Are you crazy???? Nope, he is serious! So, we are back training!! I am going to stick with my friend the 10K - I will conquer you this time. Yvan is training for the half! I am so proud of him...mainly because he has found a true passion! Oh, ya...his other passion besides homebuilding :) There is much chatter in our household about heart rates, pacing, lactic threshold....and of course homebuilding! Add into the mix the non-stop adoption talk I spew daily and we are a real treat to be around :)

The good thing about the running is that we are both getting in shape physically but most importantly mentally! This is good to keep our minds off the LONG WAIT!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why do some days go so well and others....

Why do some days go so well and others just so not well!??? Yesterday was a really good productive day at work and at home. We went to an amazing performance last night by a fantastic storyteller and both Yvan and I came home buzzing from the energy of the show. I honestly haven't smiled or laughed that much in a long time! We both went to bed thinking the world is my oyster.

This morning started out fine enough but get to work! Just as your starting to think that you were getting take two steps back. Work is so busy right now, which is good, but with it brings all sorts of challenges. It actually isn't that bad...I think I am just in need of a vent! I have done it and feel much better....tomorrow will be a better day :)

On Saturday we went to an Ethiopian gathering! It was so good to see some familiar faces and meet some new people as well. We both felt much more at ease this time as the last time we went to one we really didn't know anyone at all. Add in the emotion of it all and well we were burnt out. This time we knew quite a few people and had a really good visit! It is so awesome (for lack of a better word) to talk with people who completely understand where we are and what we are experiencing. Big thanks and hugs to all in attendance!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Recycling and Baby Clothes

These are two separate subjects here but both need to be discussed. I told Yvan yesterday that we had started a blog and that I would send him the blog address...ha ha ha! I knew that as soon as I told him he would say " what photos can we add".
Recycling - Yesterday I went to Costco and did the "how did I end up with that total" shopping trip. Costco has a way of sneaking up on you and you are always shocked when go to the till! I bought some Gillette Razors for him and when I brought them home he was disgusted at how big the package was for 16 razors. Oh yeah! We recycle - everything- from toilet paper rolls to cheese slice name it, we recycle it! He is always concientious about what we buy and if I even throw one tiny little juice box container out I hear about it! So, he was appalled at the amount of material used for the razor packaging. He is right! There is definitley too much plastic! As you can tell by the look on his face....something needs to be done now!! Apparently that something is the first photo he took for the blog!

All the materials went in to the recycling bin for this Saturdays' pick-up. It really is a waste and we are both pretty sure that the cost of the product directly relates to the size of the packaging!

Baby clothes - I finally decided to brave the baby section! This is something that has been very hard for me....when you are trying to get pregnant and it just doesn't seem to be happening month after month you start to withdraw from all things baby! At least I did! News of other people getting pregnant, people out walking with their babies in strollers on a summer evening, kids in restaurants, or even just commercials about babies would make be a sad and many times a blubbering mess on the couch under a blanket.

Once we made the decision to adopt, I felt free of all of this! Almost! I was still apprehensive...once our dossier made it to Ethiopia and we started meeting other people who were also adopting, I started to let go! I had an evening out with some other gals who are adopting and two of the girls were in shopping mode. This sort of lit the fire of enthusiasm in me too!

I nervously made the first trek to Superstore on my own (no one needs to see me sobbing my eyes out which thankfully didn't happen) to look for some baby clothes. Now, it is hard to buy stuff until we know what age and gender our new baby will be but I did manage to pick up a few things.

The cute brown jacket is courtesy of Auntie Danielle! How much do you love the red hoodie!! I love hoodies (bunny hugs - whatever) - hooded sweaters, shirts, coats you name it I love it. My friend Sarah can attest to this as she recently asked me the other day "Is that a new hoodie?" "What number is that?"
Rest assured our new little boy or girl will have plenty of hooded shirts just like their momma! I figure the choices I made are safe for either a boy or a girl and I bought stuff for 18-24 months so we should be o.k. Yvan loved all the stuff I got and said it brought a tear to his eye! AWWWWW!

Friday, March 14, 2008

We all live in this world

We all live in this world! We are all responsible for how this world, our world, functions! We are all linked to every other person in this world. We are responsible for making sure we do our part. Not one person should go hungry or be homeless! Unfortunately, this is not the case!

Check out the links for givin' a little! If you aren't sure you want to give out right...then lend. Kiva is a great organization for lending to people in other parts of the world to start or grow their businesses. You only have to lend $25 dollars if you want. When the borrower has paid back you can take your money and run or you can relend it. We have yet to have someone not pay us back :)

Oh by the way! Yes, we do donate money to every link we have provided.

Best part of all, you will feel great knowing you have helped someone out!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Girls Weekend

So, this past weekend a few of us girls decided to have a girls getaway weekend. We left the husbands, boyfriends and fiancees behind to have their own little getaway (Poker Night) and we loaded up the car with good food and drink and headed off to Waskesiu.

We stayed at the Lost Creek Resort in these oh so cute little cottages. They have several different sizes of cottages from 1 bedroom to 3 bedroom units. They have kitchens, bedrooms, fireplaces, dvd players etc. The kitchens are stocked with the essentials cooking wise. You just need to bring your food and beverages. There are two outdoor hot tubs for use by the guests of the resort. We definitely took advantage of that. They have a firepit for bonfires and a fantastic view of the Northern Lights!!!

I am now quite an expert at finding Orion's Belt, Queen Casseopia, the Big Dipper, Little Dipper and the North Star!

We tried was my first time. It was a lot of hard work but very fun. We are pretty sure the people driving or skiing by us thought the funny farm had arrived. The funniest thing about it was that we trekked for about an hour from the resort into Waskesiu Village. We decided to walk back and found, much to our chagrin, that it only took us 10 min. to walk back. Here we thought we had travelled so...ha ha ha!

This weekend getaway was just what was needed ! I find myself quite often consumed with thoughts of the adoption. Agonizing over the wait, when will we hear something, how do we prepare for the arrival of our new little one. I really needed to give my weary brain a break and just have some good old fun! Which we definitely did! We played the Mexican Train tile game (love it) and Rami-O (don't love it - probably because I could never pick the right hand) and watched a little Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze!!

Thanks Girls!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

First Post

Well, we finally decided to start our own blog. Thought we would join the growing massess of bloggers!!

It is, in part ,for many different reasons that we have decided to blog about our life. We want to document our journey to start our family so that we always remember the steps we took.

We also wanted our family and friends to be able to follow easily along with our journey. We know you want to know what is happening but often are afraid to ask.

Well fear no more, now you can check on us whenever you like, if you like that is.

If this blog in anyway helps other families who are adopting or are thinking about adoption, then so much the better.

And here begins our journey!