Saturday, March 14, 2015

Motherhood Month - 15

Progress:  Today is 1 year + 10 months of waiting. 

How I'm Feeling:  It feels like a long wait.  Sometimes I feel hopeful.  Sometimes resigned.  Sometimes content.

Craving:  Chocolate - what else is new? ;)

Thoughts About Our Future Child:  I wish you were here.

Thoughts About Our Child's Expectant Mom:  Just wondering what you're going through in life right now.

Most Recent Baby Purchase/Gift:  My sister E gave me this out of the blue.  Isn't it adorable?


This Month God:  has been reminding me that He is my Shepherd - as in He guides and leads me and is totally trustworthy!

Are you waiting to adopt, too?  How far along are you?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mothers with Different Abilities - Kara

Today I am sharing Kara's story of what it is like to parent when you are living with physical challenges.  I asked her a bunch of questions and she is sharing her answers with us.  Please read on and leave her a friendly comment at the end!

*****

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My name is Kara. I got married 7 1/2 years ago in August 2007 to a wonderful, supportive, helpful man named Tim who I had started dating in grade 9. I became a stay at home mom in November 2012 when my daughter Kailyn was born. She surprised us all by coming 3 months early at 28 weeks, weighing 1.4 lbs. Her strength was truly a miracle and we spent 10 weeks in the hospital without any major issues. 

I was diagnosed with scleroderma in 2000 when I was in grade 7. It's an auto immune disease that affects the skin tissue and internal organs. It's involvement for me up to this point has been mostly tightening of the skin in my hands and face, Raynaud's (which is poor circulation), which has caused ulcers and bone loss on the fingertips, slightly lower lung capacity, and tightening of the esophagus. 

In a normal week I'm involved at our church two mornings (bible study and moms group), one date day and the other two weekdays spent at home or doing other errands/appointments. We always will be home after lunch for nap time!

My disability definitely affects me every day in many ways, but often is ways that I have adapted and don't notice as much. The biggest difficult is my ulcers, especially if they are bad or become infected. Last winter one had gotten infected twice (had to go on antibiotics). At this time it was so painful and difficult to do things, that when my daughter pooped I would call my mom and she would come change her diaper because I was unable to. This is the extreme and has only happened that one time so far. My biggest daily challenge would be energy. I do fear the day that she won't take naps as I have napped almost daily since high school. Also, the baby stage and doing all the difficult buckles and clothing snaps were very hard. It's gotten easier as she has gotten older. I'd say that my biggest advantage of having this disease is that I've needed help with things for a long time so I lost my pride and need to be "super woman" and do everything myself a while ago. I am very comfortable asking the people around me for help. 

I wouldn't say that I doubted my ability to parent, but I knew it would have it's challenges. For me it was more of a question of getting pregnant, and the effects on my body for carrying the baby and delivery. 

The disease has shaped our relationship, since my husband has been on this journey with me since basically the beginning. He went into our marriage knowing that it's what I had and like most (if not all) auto immune diseases it's progressive and you don't know how it will continue to affect you. We have found the balance of what I can do and what is his responsibility. It works :)

I'm not sure how my disease has affected my daughter so far because she just turned two. But I hope it will teach her that life can hand you many different unwanted circumstances, but you can choose to be positive and look for the many good things. 

We are Christians and our hope is in our eternal life where there will be no illness and pain. This is what we look to for comfort. This disease is a reminder that this earth isn't our final home.

*****
Click here to read my reasons for doing this series.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mothers with Different Abilities - Intro

I'm excited to introduce a new series I will be running on my blog!  I will occasionally be sharing posts by guest bloggers about what it is like to parent with a disability.  The idea of these posts is twofold:  one, to show realistically what it is like to be a parent when one has a disability.  And two, to show that it is possible to parent well even though one has a disability.  The situations you will read about will vary greatly from one to another, but I think they are all worth sharing and I am looking forward to learning from them!

I already have some posts lined up ready to go, but if you are a parent with a disability, and you are interested in answering a bunch of questions I've compiled in order to help you write your story, and have it shared here, then please let me know in the comments and leave your email address.  (It does not have to be a major disability; it can be anything that adds extra challenges for you as a parent.)  Thanks!

Please come back soon to read Kara's story!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Rough Day

Today was a rough day.  There seemed to be preggo bellies and adorable children everywhere.  (Usually I can stay home and ignore it but today I had to go run errands.)  In the doctor's waiting room there was a lady (I'm assuming the mom) reading stories with a little girl.  Part way through storytime, she put her on her lap, they exchanged sweet smooches, and went back to reading.  The craving inside of me was so strong I thought I was going to dissolve into sobs right there in the waiting room.  (It doesn't help that I'm in pms and everything seems worse.)  The annoying thing is I can't tell the difference between coveting and this engulfing pain that overwhelms when I imagine my life without a child.  Ah well.  Life has been super-super-stressful lately (for the last month, to be precise).  I guess the good thing that comes out of hard times is that God hears from me a lot as I seek answers from Him and cry out to Him.  And yet other times (did I mention pms?) He feels somewhat distant.  Anyway.  I just wanted to share - it was a rough day.  Thanks for listening.

   

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am excited today to have a guest blogger and I am very excited to share what he has written for you all!  The following was written by my brother, Vic Reimer, who blogs over at What Path?.  He and his wife adopted their daughter (my precious niece!) from China just over 8 years ago, when she was almost 2.


The Love of God

What is the greatest love story ever told? No doubt you will tell of some love-stricken young couple who fell in love with each other! Yet, is that really all that great, considering that their love was reciprocal? Let me tell you of someone who loved their enemies with a self-sacrificial love...

Oh, some folks want to write off the account of Adam and Eve as a mere fairytale, but let me assure you, it's no fairytale – it is historical fact verified by science. So then, let us find out where the HEART OF GOD IS REALLY AT.

So going back to the beginning, let us explore those first critical puzzle pieces. Those that explain why things are the way they are in the world.

Now, the Word of God says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:1, 31) Further to this we read, “And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.” (Genesis 2:8) Later God would also bring Eve into this paradise we still mention today when referring to something exceptionally beautiful.

So we see that God is very interested in giving people all that they need and then so much more! God even took care of their emotional needs by creating companionship! God surrounded Adam and Eve with a PERFECT creation. There was no death, sorrow, crime, heartache, or anything bad – it was perfect. So what happened? What happened that things are the way they are today? Is there any remedy for this “run amuck” world?

The sad truth of the matter is that Eve believed the serpent – Satan, and Adam went along with the whole thing. This couple turned their back on their God who had done nothing but good for them. God had warned them, “You may surely eat of EVERY tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it you shall surely DIE.” (Genesis 2:17) Quite plainly, Adam and Eve CHOSE to break off the relationship with God, though it was without cause.

God didn't want anyone to love Him with a robotic kind of love. He wanted a genuine love from the heart. Being an all-knowing God, this act of treason didn't take Him off guard, but it will have hurt God very deeply nonetheless. Now if this were a strictly human relationship, I think we know what would happen – God would come and “rip a strip off" of Adam and Eve! He would call them a bunch of nasty names, tell them how incredibly much He had done for them, and why would they go and believe some complete strangers ridiculous story anyway! Then He would storm out of the relationship! In fact, considering God's warning, they deserved so much more; they DESERVED DEATH! So how would God actually react to their defiant act?

This is the amazing part! God said, “I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he [the promised deliverer] shall bruise your head, and you [Satan] shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) In plain language, God was saying that someone would be born from Eve's lineage that would take the penalty of DEATH for THEIR sin, in order that the relationship could be RESTORED! How often, I ask, do you hear of the offended party initiating the reconciliation process? Much less, at strictly their own cost? Yet, that is just what God was doing! That, I have to say, is love like only the one true God could ever express!

Now, before we carry on and go into detail about this deliverer God promised, let us consider what is quite possibly the most striking picture given in our Bibles as to what this would look like. We will examine the account of Abraham, and His only son Isaac – God's promised child.

So just in case you're not familiar with Abraham and Sarah, let me give you a very brief overview. Abram (as he was called at the first) left his homeland to go to a place God had called him to along with his wife Sarai (as she was called at the first). As time progressed, it became very clear this couple could not have children. Now Abram was not exactly young by the time God promised him a child; he was 75 years old! Yet, Abram took God at His word and began to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait! Yes, 25 long years went by! Finally, at the age of 100 years, his promised son arrived! Oh what joy there was in this tent! Against all human possibility, God had granted them a son in their old age! God had kept His word – He always does.

However, God would put a seeming wrinkle in this, His promised child. (For God had promised that it would be through this child that all the nations of the Earth would be blessed.) God said, “Take your son, your ONLY SON Isaac, whom you LOVE, and go to the land of Moriah, and OFFER HIM THERE AS A BURNT OFFERING.” (Genesis 22:2) How could God ask such an awful thing! Why would He say such a cruel thing to an elderly gentleman? Why would He demand that Abraham give up his ONLY SON?

So just how would Abraham react to this request from God? Would he question God? Would he say, “Why would you be so merciless to me? Don't you know what this will do to my wife and I?” No, there would be no such murmurings from Abraham, but why not? Abraham had seen through some 100 years of his life that God was a God of infinite love. God had always been faithful. God had even proven Himself able to give them a child in their old age. The truth of the matter is, we don't even have to guess what he was thinking. For it is written, “He considered that God was able even to raise the dead.” (Hebrews 11:19) Wow! Never had such ever occurred! Yet, such was Abraham's faith in God!

So up went Abraham with Isaac his son to the mountain God had instructed them to go to. By now Isaac was no small boy. Yet there is no account of a struggle as he was bound, knowing full well what would happen to him. For he was all too familiar with animal sacrifices. He knew that he would DIE at his father's own hands. Yet, he had also heard his father say to the young men who had made the journey to the foot of the mountain, “I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” As well, his dad reassured him, “God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” (Genesis 22:5, 8) So surely, Isaac placed his trust in his dad, whom he knew to be a God-fearing man and trustworthy. No doubt, Isaac also believed, like his dad, that God could raise him back to life.

There on the mount, father and son were all alone. The dreaded moment had come. Abraham raised the instrument of DEATH into the air and tried to prepare his mind for the DEATH-dealing plunge. As he was just on the verge of sinking that knife into the very heart of his ONLY SON, a voice from heaven commanded him to stop. Father and son's hearts must have been beating hard, sweat of anxiety pouring down their faces. What now? God spoke, “Because you have done this and have not withheld your ONLY SON, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of the heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore...and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:16-18) “So Abraham returned to his young men.” (Genesis 22:19)

So, yes, God was true to His word. Abraham knew that God was trustworthy! Indeed, it is written, “He considered that God was able even to raise the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.” (Hebrews 11:19)

Yet, there was a sacrifice on that altar. God had given a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. Therefore it was a perfect, unblemished sacrifice as spelled out in the law of God. However, it was not the “lamb” Abraham had mentioned.

So what do these things remind us of? They remind us of the Lord Jesus Christ who DIED upon the “altar” of the cross. So what does this all have to do about God's love, you ask? Ah, you see, just as Adam and Eve didn't deserve God's love, because they had offended God by their sin, so we have offended God by our sin. Because we belong to Adam's lineage, we are ALL born SINNERS. We are unable to save ourselves. For can a criminal pardon a criminal? Not a chance! Never mind a criminal attempting to pardon themselves! How utterly ridiculous a notion that is! So neither can a SINNER pardon another, much less themselves. Besides, God said, “The wages of sin is DEATH.” That means I would have to DIE for my own sins. Interesting, that is just what God says, “The soul who sins shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:20) Then too, “Without shedding of blood [death] there is no forgiveness [pardon] of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22) Indeed, the SINNER is left HELPLESS to save themselves – they are LOST. God says the SINNER will be PERMANENTLY separated from Him in the Lake of Fire – a place of unending torment.

You see, God spared both Abraham and Isaac the grief and horror of that sacrifice. Yet God the Father did not spare Himself the grief – neither His Son. For they too, and very likely on the same mount, had a sacrifice to offer. “For God so LOVED THE WORLD, that HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON...” (John 3:16) Yes, God the Father did not spare Himself the grief, but He gave up His ONLY SON to the altar of the cross – to DIE. Neither did God the Son resist, but willingly went, knowing all things that would occur to Him. He willingly laid down His life. Yet, He too, had full confidence in His Father that He would be raised back to life, and He was!

Yet, a very glaring question remains, WHY DID JESUS have to DIE??? Did He die for His own sins? No, Jesus was the spotless Son of God from eternity past. Why then did He DIE? He DIED to pay the wage for YOUR sin! Why would He do such a thing? God desired that you would be able to be RECONCILED to Him – to have the relationship RESTORED! Now, that is SACRIFICIAL LOVE!!!

So, even though the law revealed, like a mirror, that we were SINNERS. That it was an utter IMPOSSIBLITY for us to live up to the 100% perfection that God demanded from us. Yet, “God shows his LOVE to us in that WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, Christ DIED for US.” (Romans 5:8) And further, “While we were enemies we were RECONCILED to God by the DEATH of his Son.” (Romans 5:10)

You see, God the Father did not spare His ONLY SON, but dropped “the knife” of wrath upon Him, punishing Him for YOUR sin – all your sin – past, present, and future, in order that you wouldn't have to DIE and be eternally separated from God in the Lake of Fire for an eternity of torment! As it was said of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Now, this is the “Lamb” Abraham was talking about! No, all those Old Testament sacrifices could not take away sin, but this LAST LAMB would do just that!

So, I ask, would you do that for your “enemies”? God did. He did it for you! You didn't deserve it. Yet God LOVES YOU and extended His mercy to YOU! If that isn't love, than there isn't even such a thing as love!

So what's left for you to do? Nothing, except receive the free gift of salvation! The work's been done. Jesus said from the cross, “It is finished.” The sin-debts have been paid in full. Do you believe and acknowledge that you are a sinner? Do you believe Jesus paid YOUR sin-debt, taking all the wrath of God for all your sin – past, present, and future? Do you believe Jesus, being fully God and man, DIED INSTEAD OF YOU, so that you wouldn't have to DIE for your sins? Do you TRUST Him as YOUR own personal SAVIOR?

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever BELIEVES in him may have ETERNAL LIFE. For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever BELIEVES in him should not perish but HAVE eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever BELIEVES in him is not condemned, but whoever does not BELIEVE is condemned already, because he has not BELIEVED in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:14-18)

“For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Now that is the promise of God! We can count Him faithful, just like Abraham had faith in God!

The choice is yours.

Victor James Reimer

All Scripture taken from the ESV.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Motherhood Month - 14



Progress:  Today we have been waiting exactly 1 3/4 years since being approved.  It's been roughly just over 7 years since I first desired to become a mom.


How I'm Feeling:  I'm alright. 

Craving:  Food!  Um...pizza would be good.  Yeah, I'll take pizza.

Thoughts About Our Future Child:  Praying for you.

Thoughts About Our Child's Expectant Mom:  Praying for you.

Most Recent Baby Purchase/Gift:  I bought my hubby these bibs for Christmas (he's a pilot).


http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/child-of-mine-made-by-carters-3-pack-terry-teething-bibs/6000188067461
Hubby bought me this bib for Christmas (I enjoy photography and have studied it).
Camera ) Bib ) Colors Available
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/108696221/camera-bib-colors-available?ref=shop_home_active_14

This Month God:  Has been teaching me a lot!  The more time I spend in His Word (the Holy Bible) dwelling on truths, the more He is in my thoughts and I grow closer to Him.   

Monday, January 5, 2015

Summing up 2014...Looking Forward to 2015

To read my summing up 2012 post, click here.
To read my hopes for 2013, click here.
To read my summing up 2013 post, as well as my hopes for 2014, click here.

2014 did not have as many things happen in it as 2012 and 2013.  The biggest things that happened in our lives in 2014 were:
  1. We put our condo up for sale in March.   We looked at a few houses and made an offer on one which wasn't accepted.  Our condo was shown about 13 times with no offers.  We took our condo off the market at the end of June as it didn't seem like the right timing for us.  
  2. We reached one year of waiting.  We had not been shown at all.  We updated our adoption profile.
  3. We celebrated some big birthdays - my oldest niece's 15th, my mother-in-law's 55th, my mom's 65th, my brother's 40th, and my husband's 30th!
  4. I had a booth at a local fair getting word out about my business, Regal Gifts.
  5. Hubby & I went on an amazing camping trip from July 3-6.  Very relaxing and very beautiful scenery.
  6. I had a seizure, my seventh one but the last time I'd had one was almost 6 years ago; also my first one alone.  Caused us to rethink having children which was a very difficult time.  We prayed a lot, talked a lot, and cried a lot. We put in place some plans for babysitting in the early mornings and solidified a number of ways to keep Baby safe.  Having the seizure alone ended up showing me that it is possible to be alone during one and be okay.
  7. Hubby had 5 dentist appointments from Oct-Dec with another one coming up this month.  Ouch!
  8. We found out we had been shown 3 times in the six months since updating our profile in Spring!
  9. I had a booth at a local Christmas craft & trade show for Regal.  This one did a lot better, and it was indoors so we didn't get rained out like last time!
  10. And, Hubby's brother found and met members of his birth family! 
So, now it is 2015, which I find hard to believe!  How the time flies.  And yet how it drags, too!  Of course it's impossible to predict what will happen in 2015.  Perhaps Christ will come back and take His people home -- who knows!  But here is what I'm looking forward to in 2015 if it is His will:
  1. Celebrating more big birthdays in our families - my youngest niece just turned 10 three days ago, my oldest niece will be turning 16 soon and getting her driver's (!!!!), my sister-in-law will be having her 40th soon, and at the end of the year Hubby's brother will be having his 25th!
  2. Hubby & I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary!!
  3. We'll hit the 2-year mark of waiting and update our profile again, assuming we aren't parents by then. 
  4. We are planning for and hope to go away on a vacation for our anniversary :)  Unless we're parents by then, that is.
  5. We're planning on going back to the same wonderful campground as last year, this time with Hubby's extended family.
  6. We may or may not put our condo up for sale again.
  7. I haven't really thought beyond that!  I hope to stay seizure-free, of course, and beat my record of 5 years + 9 months.  I'm aiming for forever ;)  I hope that God answers our prayers for all the people we pray for.  I am excited to see what He will do in 2015!  His plans are always best!    
I hope you had a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!