Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Russian Adventure...

Here goes...

We took off Friday night from Toronto after sitting in the airport for NO LESS than 5 hours. Anyone who has travelled with me before knows I tend to get a little intense when it comes getting places. So, I insisted that we leave Barrie at 12:30 for a 7:30 flight in Toronto. And for the record, I don't regret it!

We flew overnight to Paris, then on to Moscow after a 4 hour layover. Our driver, Dimitri, picked us up at one Moscow airport to take us to another regional one to wait for SIX hours for our flight to the city where the baby home is (I'm not allowed to post what city we were in online, I'll call it T). Let's just say this was interesting...no one in this smaller airport spoke any english...it was old...it was smelly...and we were exhausted by this point. The funniest part about this airport was the bathroom. Mark got locked in a stall where the toilet had no seat, and he couldn't even call for help because no one spoke his language...too funny (he didn't think so though)!!!

We finally arrived at T at 5:30am. We were met by a co-ordinator and a translater who would be our guides during our time there. They drove us to our hotel and let us sleep for a couple of hours before going to the baby home. We have never slept so hard in our lives!

We got to the baby home around 10:30am on Sunday. This was a secret visit as we wouldn't officially recieve our warrant to enter the home until the next day. With our masks on, Jacob was brought in. People keep asking me about that moment...the only way I can describe it is surreal. I simply couldn't believe that it was finally here. He hopped out of his caregiver's arms and came running over to me to play with the toy that I had brought for him. Poor Mark was stuck helping our translator read medical records! He made up for it soon enough...Jacob played with him a TON that first day (I was a bit jealous!!!). We spent the rest of the day sleeping and reading in our hotel room.

I will take this time to tell you that we DID NOT like the food in Russia. Perhaps it's just the food in our hotel room, but after our first breakfast in our hotel, we thought we would die!! Think big, boiled weiners and cold quail eggs for breakfast....that's just not a smell that I can take before noon!!

Day two we were picked up around noon to do a little shopping in T. The coordinator and translater took such good care of us the whole trip. Our translator walked through the department store with us showing us some great Russian souveniers to bring home. Driving there, we saw a McDonalds too....it was so good to see a familiar sight, so we thought we'd come back there for supper that night.

We had to be at the Ministry of Education at 2:30 to receive our official proposal and warrant to enter the baby home. Our coordinator warned us that they might ask us some pretty tough questions, but it went really well (even our coordinator was surprised!). We did find out that adoptions had been closed in our region due to the H1N1 virus...they had made an exception for us!

We went back to the baby home to play some more with Jacob. I brought some Goldfish crackers for him to try this time. Let me tell you, I think I have created an addict!! He didn't mind sharing with me, but he sure did like them! I'll be sure to stock up on those for my sweet boy! He spent most of our time at his little kitchen...he's going to love cooking with his Mama!! We left there, picked up some McDonalds (Did you know that "Big Mac" and "Coca Cola" are universal terms??), and headed back to the hotel. We were in bed by 7pm!

Tuesday was our last day in T. Because we had gone to bed at 7 the night before we were WIDE awake by 4am... We were being picked up at 10am to head over to visit with our boy. This was the visit where he called me Mama...I've mentioned it before....I will never, NEVER, as long as I live, forget that sweet, sweet moment. It changed my world. Of course I had more food to share...Teddy Grahams this time, which were also a big hit! He is amazing to play with. He'll pull out one toy, play with it, then put it away before pulling out anything else. THat is something I'll have to reinforce at home, that's for sure! He began playing with a toy vaccuum and literally vaccuumed everything in the room, even going under the chairs and tables...what a sweetie!! We then had to go back to the ministry to officially accept the proposal...OF COURSE!!! We were able to spend another hour with Jacob that afternoon before we had to say good-bye. I still don't know how I managed to get out of there without breaking down....the grace of God is the only answer I have.

I do need to talk a bit about the baby home where Jacob has lived...it is one of the most wonderful places I have ever seen. The caregivers are amazing, hardworking people who love this children dearly. They work at the baby home because they love what they do. I could never thank them enough for the amazing things they've done with my son. Knowing he's well-loved while I am away from him is the only thing that's getting me up in the morning. I owe them so much.

We headed to Moscow on Wednesday morning for medical testing. Those tests weren't until Thursday, so we were able to spend sometime enjoying the city. More people speak english in Moscow so we had an easier time communicating. I loved to get to see even a bit of the what the city has to offer. I hope to make it to Red Square during our next visit...of course we'll have Jacob with us then, so it will all depend on what will work for him (and how freak'n cold it is!).

The medical testing was "interesting." I had spent days fretting about the needle that they were going to give me, only to discover that it was an itty finger poke. We saw 8 specialists over the course of the day...mostly they just wanted to know if I had any "complaints." I did, but I don't think they are the same complaints!

We headed home bright and early Friday morning, sad to be leaving Jacob behind, but happy to be getting back to all things familar. We enjoyed two fairly empty plane rides home, so we were both able to stretch out an nap during the 4 and 8 hour flights. I will tell you that during our layover in Paris I spent $22 American on two medium coffees and two muffins...INSANE!!

So, we're back. We are hoping and praying to be able to head back to pick Jacob up at the end of January or beginning of February. Please pray with us, that all things will go smoothly so we can bring our son home! Pray for Jacob. We want him to feel our love all of the time while we can't hold him in our arms.

My heart is broken. God has always been faithful and is always enough, but I am still broken without my son in my arms. I am so grateful to those of you who have left comments, or sent emails, or came to visit, or took me to dinner, or found some way to let me know you're thinking of me. Please keep doing so. While Mark is the most amazing support on earth and going to be an incredible father, he is broken too...we long for our support systems to cover us with love. And yes, we love to talk about our sweet, answered prayer, angel boy.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Russia Sneek Peak...

I am back! I promise to post more details soon, but I have a ten-hour time change jet lag to get rid of before I go back to work on Monday and my mind isn't working quite right. Let me just say this...

I will never be the same. I said to myself that I wouldn't get too attached to sweet Jacob. Out of fear, I wanted to guard my heart until he was safely home with us. But when I got there for our second visit a sweet little boy remembered me and came running up to me yelling "Mama" and threw his arms around me. I was done. My sweet boy has me wrapped around his little finger. He has stolen my heart and wiped away every painful moment that lead me to him. He is my world, he is God's goodness and faithfulness exemplified. He is my living, breathing answered prayer. There is nothing I wouldn't do for him and I will be empty until he's in my arms again. There are no words to describe my love or longing for my sweet boy. No words at all...

And somewhere while you're sleeping
Someone else is dreaming too
Counting down the days until
They hold you close and say I love you
And like the rain that falls into the sea
In a moment what has been is lost in what will be

When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
And this love will never let you go
There is nothing that could ever cause this love to lose its hold

- "When Love Takes You In" by Steven Curtis Chapman


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Oui, Oui...We're in Paris!!!!

We have survived our first long haul flight! Acutally, it wasn't bad at all...some yummy food and good movies...and one tin-tasting pill to give me 1.5 hours of sleep. We'll be off to Russia in about an hour.

The best part of the trip so far has been our wait in Toronto. I was so stressed about being on time that we arrived at Pearson and were through security with FIVE HOURS TO SPARE!!!!!! Needless to say we looked through every duty free shop known to man there. And my crazy type-A husband has never been more proud.

I can't believe that we're well on our way....

Keep on praying!!!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Here We Go!!!

By this time tomorrow I will be on a plane heading to Russia...hard to believe that 5years of begging and pleading with God to make me a mother have brought me here. Words just cannot express my gratefulness.

We still aren't quite sure what to expect while we're there...but we going with the confidence that God is guiding us every step of the way. He has proven that to us over and over and over again. Please continue to pray for us!

This is it!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This is the post I have been waiting for...the reason I started blogging. And now that it's here, I can barely type the words. I simply can't believe that it's my turn. I can't believe that God has been so good to me. I can't believe that five years of tears and heartbreak have been wiped away in seeing one sweet litle face.

Okay, let me start from the beginning (I did start writing this post on Thursday):

This has been the most unbelievable week of my life. First, my best friend in the world gets engaged to the man of her dreams. When she called me to tell me she said "Did you get a call from Russia today?...Cause I got engaged." I laughed because we always said that because of the amazing way that our lives have paralleled each other, that these big events would happen together too.

Well, on Tuesday at 12:05pm, I got a call in my classroom. It was the school secretary saying that my husband was on the line. My stomach when into an immediate knot because I knew exactly why he was calling. So, with 20 8-year olds watching me, I listened to by husband tell me about a child that they were referring to us. I do not know how I kept from vomitting. All we had was a picture and his age. Our agency asked us if we wanted more information (OF COURSE!!!).

We waited for two days to receive more information on the little boy. I literally shut down because I was too scared to get my hopes up, just in case. While I'm not going to share any of the information that I received, I will tell you that he is a healthy and happy two year old who was born September 30th, 2007. The baby home sent us 17 pictures of this sweet boy to look at, a very uncommon blessing for us to receive! We prayed, and God spoke to our hearts. This little boy was the son we had been waiting for. We have decided to name him Jacob Alexander.

We will know our travel date to go and meet him tomorrow (hopefully). We'll spend a week getting to know him, then we'll return to Canada to wait for our court date. Our agency says to expect to have him home within three months. I don't think that day can come soon enough!

We covet your prayers over the next few days, weeks and months. We ask that you pray specifically for Jacob's health and well-being, as well as our own. Please pray for his caregivers. Please pray that our trips will be smooth and problem-free. And most of all, please join me in thanking the One who creates all children...my joy is complete!!

"I am singing at the top of my lungs...I am SO FULL of answered prayer!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Legacy of an Adopted Child

This was a poem given to me by my bestie today...beautiful.


Once there were two women
Who never knew each other.
One you do not remember
The other you call Mother.

Two different lives
Shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star
The other became your sun.

The first one gave you life
And the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love
The second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality
The other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent
The other gave you aim.

One gave you emotions
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile
The other dried your tears.

One sought for you a home
That she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child
And her hope was not denied.

And now you ask me through your tears
The age old question unanswered through the years.
Heredity or environment
Which are you a product of?
Neither my Darling, neither.
Just two different kinds of Love.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


This has been one of the best days ever! I got the greatest call tonight from my Bestie letting me know that she is ENGAGED!! I'm so excited, I actually cried when she told me. I can't wait for the planning to begin...she's the most amazing girl around...my future BFF-in-law is one lucky guy!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

H1N1 Monster....

A friend posted a blog about whether to vaccinate or not....I just had a case of H1N1appear in my classroom so I decided to do my research...I posted this as a comment on her blog, but thought I would make it into a blog...I don't want to overreact, but I also want to have as many facts and as much knowledge as possible so that I can make educated decisions...I encourage you all to do that same!

My sister (a nurse) sent me this link today. I'm not getting the flu shot this year (and I have never), but I am going to get the H1N1 shot (and I am terrified of needles). The scary part about H1N1 (from my own research) is that the severe form is being found more often in healthy kids and adults (as opposed to elderly for the seasonal flu). It's respiratory and the severe form goes into your lungs and can cause severe shortness of breath. Sure, it's scary to get vaccinated, but the research I've looked at has shown that versions of it have been used for years with no adverse affects. I've also read that those with chronic conditions (like asthma), are more likely to get the severe form. There are so many urban myths and rumours that are going around, and we don't know what to believe....we all have an obligation to do our research and make educated decisions. I am worried about getting H1N1..VERY worried. I'm afraid that it would affect my trip to Russia if I did have it....and I won't let anything get in the way of that....NOTHING.

As someone who has never been an advocate of shoving unecessary stuff into my body...I sure sound intense. But I am trying to look at the bigger picture, and as someone who works with a high-risk population I need to keep the needs of the general public in mind. I want to be careful not to pass it on to them. I completely understand how those with children have a harder time with the vaccinations....that's a toughie for me too, and I don't know what I would do...seeing as holing ourselves up in our house all winter isn't an option. If it was me, I'd be talking to my doctor (and all of the health care professionals that I could) to get a range of opinions to make an educated decision. It's not the first time that we've had a "new flu" pandemic, and I'm sure it won't be the last...it's definately a scary time that we live in!

Let me know your thoughts!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I am starting to freak out a bit...we've been waiting for four months now for "the call..." That's not a long time to wait in the grand scheme of things, but we have been lead to believe that the call could happen any day now. This is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Of course, I am excited that years of heartache will begin to melt in seeing the sweet face of our child. But, the unknown is keeping me up at night!!! I'm scared about the call coming. While it's going to be the best call of my life we're going to have very little time to approve the proposal, book tickets to Russia, have a week's worth of lesson plans ready to go, pack, buy gifts (cause you better believe I'm not meeting my baby empty handed....), figure out finances, figure out what we're going to in Russia, I worry about what could happen while we're there...when I really begin to think about it, I start to shake!!!! I'm most scared about how I'm going to get back on the plane to come home without my baby...I can't even stand to think about that.

I am asking for your prayers...prayers for our sweet boy who we have yet to meet, for those taking care of him, and for us as we navigate such unknown waters.

I'll keep you all updated.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dirty Underwear

Here is how a conversation went with Mark and I last night...

Mark: I'm going to get it the shower. (Leaves pile of dirty clothes on the floor-comes out 5 minutes later, roots through same pile of dirty clothes...proceeds to PUT ON the same underwear he took of only minutes before...)

Becky: That is disgusting...you are putting back on your dirty underwear!

Mark: What's wrong wtih them? I just put them on this morning. (at 5am when he got up....it is now 10:30pm...)

Becky: You have been sitting in them all day...you've sweated, went to the bathroom (you get my drift...), in them!

Mark: I do this every night...I only change my underwear in the morning.

Becky: SO you are telling me that you put on dirty underwear every night after you shower?

Mark: Yes, they are still good.

Becky: That is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard of. Please, please, please put on clean underwear.

Mark: Fine...(he puts on clean underwear, then tosses the dirty underwear on the floor beside him). These will be good for the gym tomorrow anyways.

Becky: Oh. my. goodness. (gags)

Is this normal male behaviour???

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dead or Alive...

I taught a sweet girl last year who happened to have autism. She added fun and excitement to every day...sometimes not in a good way but I definately miss having her in my class this year. When she realized that I wasn't at her school this year she freaked out saying "Oh no! Mrs. Kennedy is dead!" Well my old VP and EA decided to bring her to visit me on Friday to prove that I was, infact, alive. It was so good to see her, as she's a student has left a profound impact on me. Apparantly her visit didn't prove to her that I was alive. She went back to her school and told the kids that she had gone to Heaven to visit me!

A moment I'll never forget...:)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day!

What a great day! I love the first day of school. I love to see the kids come in, excited to find out who their teacher is, discussing the events of their summer with their friends. I love that this day represents a fresh start and the possibilities are endless. I love to think about where these guys will be in June...how much bigger and smarter they'll be! I love fresh pencils, books, desks, clean classrooms.... I love my job!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Crushing Cancer....One km at a Time!

This weekend I will be participating in one of the most amazing events-The Weekend to End Breast Cancer. This will be my third time participating in the 60km walk, and I have know that it will be just as life-changing as my first two walks. Walking with my bestie (and her mom, who is going to kick our butts!) is going to be an honour. We walk through thick and thin in life....this walk illustrates that for me! I can't wait for 60kms of games, giggles and gossip!!!!

I began walking to honour the memory of my sweet Grandma who fought breast cancer with more courage and grace that I have ever seen. I saw the looks in the eyes of my family as we said good-bye to a woman who lived her faith with every breath, in all circumstances. I listened as my Grandma said good bye to her youngest daughter, knowing that would be her last opportunity to tell her daughter everything she wanted for her life. I saw how hard it was for my mom to worry about her mother and father. I see the loneliness in my Grandpa as he lives out his days without his wife. I never want to see that happen again. Not to my mom, my mother-in-law, my sisters, my friends, to me. I knew that I had to do something big to stop this terrible, terrible disease.

This year a little girl in my class lost her mom to that same terrible disease. While I know that progress is being made in the fight against cancer, little girls are still having to grow up without their mommies and that can't happen anymore. Some of my greatest friends have little ones, and I'll be walking with them in mind...hoping and praying that they will get to see their little ones grow up to have little ones too. I think about myself now too. I have waited so long to become a mommy and I will do whatever it takes to make sure that I am there to see my little guy grow and develop and learn and love.

For my Grandma, for two little girls who are learning how to live without their mommy, for all of the amazing women who I am blessed to know, for my son's momma...this walk's for you!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

I Would Die For That...

I had a friend forward me the link to this song, and I just had to share it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqfGqOx2iDQ (just copy and paste it...thanks to Em for updating the link)

You may not be a big country fan...just listen to the words and watch the video...it just begins to describe the years of suffering I went through...so many of us can't put our thoughts and heartache into words...I hope this helps to describe it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gettin' Ready for School...

Summer (what summer???) vacation is coming to a very quick end. It has truly been one of the best summers of my life beginning with an amazing end the proudest school year I've had, the best news I've ever received (our adoption approval letter), two amazing weeks at Omagh (I was sad to miss SPCC this year!), an awesome week visiting my aunt and uncle (and sweet Karoline) in Northern Ontario, and a phenomenal week of summer camp put on by our church. Throw in a few visits with family and friends...and it couldn't have gotten much better. I was busy ALL of the time...but it was the best kind of running around...spending time with people I love and making a difference in the lives of others. Summer '09...you were fine!!

I was lucky enough to get a full-year job at a brand new school right around the corner from my house this week. Seriously awesome to be able to walk to work every day and to teach the kids in my own community. I love to teach so much!!! I can't wait to meet my students on the first day and get to know them. I can't wait for those "aha" moments when I know that something has really clicked. I can't wait to see them grow, and talk and share as the year goes on. I love, love, love my job. I would seriously do it for free!!

This also got me thinking that I probably won't make it through the school year. Our call from Russia could come at any time (and yes, I still need to mention this to the principal, which I'm nervous about...). It's honestly causing me to freak out a bit!! It's exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. I'm worried about all of the unknowns....coming from my safe day-to-day life and adding a new little boy into the mix (not to mention the insane process that's going with it!!) Do all waiting mom's feel this way???

Phew...moment of freak out over!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I did it. I bought the baby his (we will most likely be matched with a boy), first outfit this weekend during a family girls shopping trip to the states. My sweet sister in law had pulled out a cute pair of pajamas that she wanted to buy for me. That got me looking through the shelves myself. I literally couldn't hold back the tears as I thought about the "little man" who would be wearing the overalls and shirt that I picked out for him one day. I still can't believe that it's my turn. I am beyond blessed!

I have also loved having my nephew and neices talk about the adoption with us. I love it that they're not afraid to ask: My 8 year old nephew asked at the dinner table "So, anything new on the adoption? Is it going to be a boy or a girl because we need some boys around here." I (surprisingly, I know), tear up every time I hear them pray for the baby from Russia. I have a feeling that you'll be able to mop the floors with my tears the first time I watch them all play together.

God is very good!

Friday, August 7, 2009


My Grandpa turned 80 this week. We're having a party on Sunday to celebrate with him, and I've been working on a slide show of pictures to show during that time. One of the pictures that my mom dug up while searching for photos was this one of my Grandma, her parents and older brother.

It was so neat to see a picture of my Grandma as a young child and notice the similarities in many of my cousins and my sister. Looking through all of these old photos got me thinking about the blessing that is my Grandma and Grandpa.

I have been so blessed to have had so many amazing people impact my life in positive ways growing up. My grandparents especially have helped to shape and mould me into who I am today. My Grandpa has a faith that is unshakeable. He knows this reward is in Heaven and he lives with that attitude every day despite the tremendous amount of loss he's experienced in the last 10 years. I'm going to devote another post to my Grandma later on. I am honoured to be their granddaughter, and I am so thankful that I will be bringing a child into our home knowing that he or she will grow up like me: knowing that he's got grandparents who love and care about him; who will spend time simply loving, and teaching and playing with thim; grandparents who will help to raise him to be a man (or woman) of God; grandparents who will spoil him simply because he's their grandchild.

We are more than blessed. Happy 80th Grandpa!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

You Go Girl!!

Umm...Okay, so this post is going to have nothing to do with adoption, school, my husband, my family, church, singing, etc...none of that. This post has to do with this:

Girls, you might be wondering what this is. Well, let's just say that it is the answer to all of your bathroom problems. Ever had to "use the facilities" in a nasty, dirty bathroom and envied your husband, brother, son, etc., who could go standing up? Ever had to go outdoors while camping and had a bit of a "trail mishap"? Ever been stuck on a boat with your crazy husband who refuses to pull up on shore and makes you go in the FREEZING cold water (and then drives away thinking it's funny)? Ever had to "hold it" for 9 hours straight while in Cuba stressing out your bff because you couldn't hover? Well the GoGirl is your solution!! You can now go standing up anywhere, at anytime. I know...you are going to all go to GoGirl website now and order one...because "life's greatest adventure shouldn't be finding a bathroom."

I do need to give credit to MckMama for sharing this with me....and I know you will continue to share this good news! I only wish I was the one to think it up!

Men...you just finished half of your Christmas shopping!!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Stay Tuned....

What an awesome day...we got to announce our news in church today...to a response of clapping and spontaneous song...I can't believe it's for us. I just can't believe it's finally our turn. God is so, so good. Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I would really like people to stop telling me that I am "lucky" to not have to go through those first 6 weeks of torture, or "lucky" not to have to deal with the pains that go along with pregnancy, or "lucky" that I'll get my kid just in time for the fun part. I can empathize completely that those things can be really, really hard. I am not taking away from that. But, I am sure that none of these people would be willing to give up any of those things if it meant not having their little one, and I would have given anything to be in those shoes.

Even as our process moves forward, I know that I would not change my broken heart, sleepless nights, seemingly unanswered prayers, depression, unsuccessful procedures, too many needles to count, unanswered questions or dollars spent for anything because it is leading me to my baby. A part of my heart is missing because I know that my baby is likely born and living in another country. MY CHILD not with me, and that tears me apart. When I bring him home, I know I'll feel whole again, but I will never forget that I am missing part of his life because I am stuck here while he waits for me to bring him home. How lucky is that?

So, please stop calling me lucky. There is nothing about the journey to my child that has been lucky. It is blessed, it is God-led, it is the answer to every one of my prayers, but it is not lucky.

So...to the next person who tells me that I am lucky without handing me a check for a large some of money...there is a strong chance you might get punched.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bam! Hiccups...

We are a tad on the excited side. After our approval call on Wednesday, we needed to get a few things together (colour passport copies, signed paperwork, pics of us and our house, etc) to send to our agency so that they can prepare our application package and dossier to send to Russia. Of course we had all of that finished on Wednesday night so that Mark could drop everything off on Thursday...we've already waited for what feels like forever, so we're trying to get all of those little things accomplished as fast as possible.

But, true to my form, I forgot to sign my flipp'n passport...meaning an extra day and an extra trip to Toronto to drop the forms off...a small error...but if you know me...typical (I've already had to get another passport for forgetting to include my middle name on my first one...)

Next, we find out that we had filled out, and received feedback on the entirely wrong form!!! When adopting internationally, you need to either ask Canada to grant the child immediate citizenship, or you ask for Canada to allow you to sponsor the child to immigrate to Canada (like anyone coming to the country to stay). Well, in this whole process, no one seems to know exactly what they're talking about, and unfortunately, you often get the wrong information. So we were led to fill out the immediate citizenship form, only to learn yesterday that we need to go with the other option because we are adopting from Russia. Why couldn't someone have told us this when we asked specifically which form to fill out? So, we are frustrated. My hope and prayer is that the hiccups happening now mean that things will go smoothly once we're in Russia where and t not crossed could delay you days or weeks.

Overall, this is just a small hiccup in the big picture. If I've ever been reminded that God is speaking directly to me, this has been the week. This whole process has reminded me that God is real, working in my life, and holding my hand as I walk down this path. Even those times when I try to let go, He's still close beside me...I praise Him for that! I was supposed to be away directing a week of camp this week, but I decided that I should stay behind in case I received interview calls for teaching jobs for next year. I knew deep down that there would be no calls this week, but I also knew I couldn't be away. God had a different plan. I'm going to start working on a post about this subject directly because I've been moved this week to fall at his feet in thankfulness for speaking to me even when my ears were plugged and for walking beside me when I refused to hold his hand. God is alive, He is real, and He is so so so good!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What a Day!!

My heart is full! Of course, my head is overwhelmed trying to figure out what the heck our next step is....taking pictures of our house and us (not gonna lie...used some older "Becky-friendly" ones) to send over with our application and dossier, figuring out how to apply for citizenship for a child who's name we don't know, figuring out where the region we'll be travelling to is (it's Tyumen...still don't have it nailed down, but I know it's nowhere near Moscow), and FINALLY making plans as to what we're going to do with the baby's room. Like actual, real, pick-out-a-paint-colour, choose a pattern, let's start shopping REAL plans!

THIS is what I've been waiting for. Getting to tell our family and friends what we have to look forward to...getting to keep his or her eventual name a secret to get back for all of those surprises from our family (jokes!)...getting to plan and dream, and really feeling like it will come true...This is my positive pregnancy test....I am so blessed!! It's so, so awesome to have so many people congratulate us....our child is coming into our lives knowing that he was loved and thought about and prayed for by SO many long before we ever knew him!!

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3

It will!! It will!! It will!!

B :)

p.s. It it wrong if I send Mark out for icecream late at night now or park in those pregnancy spots?? Just asking....


We finally received our approval letter from the government of Ontario giving us official permission to become parents! In the adoption world, this means that we are officially paper pregnant...I can start the baby timers, and begin waiting for "the call" (which won't happen anytime soon because we still have a few small steps to take before our stuff is in Russia.

God is SOOOOOO good!!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm not really as bitter as I sound...

Just found out that the government of Ontario is now taking 14-20 weeks to approve home studies. That went from the 6 weeks we were originally told. I suppose I've got to get used to things taking MUCH longer than I expect. The thought that comes to my mind when hearing this is: BALLS!! Please excuse the rudeness...

I would honestly just like only good news 100% of the time. K? Thanks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hillsong Weekend!

What a great weekend (okay, I know that it's almost next weekend...forgive me!)! I got to spend Saturday with my bestie, just hanging out, walking, eating...awesome. I love, love, love her! I love it that I can be real with her, and that she can see right through me even when I'm not being real with myself. We understand each other in a way that I don't think anyone else does. I know whole-heartedly that she was placed in my life for a reason. I truly and honestly don't know what I would do without her. Seriously don't know what I would do.

That's not where I was going with this post...but it's who I was with (so there!). We had been planning on going to a Hillsong United worship at Ontario Place. The concert wasn't until 6, but we thought we'd hang out together during the day...I was only a little bitter that I was missing out on the fun that our "play all day" passes at Ontario Place had in store. Anyways...we went for a walk (because we're going to be walking 60km together in September and I hadn't done one bit of training yet!), and got to talking. I had been feeling down again...frustrated that I wasn't getting the answers that I was looking for fast enough...frustrated that I could feel myelf falling into a hole, and I wasn't sure I could get out of it. Well, as we were talking, we realized that we were both in that same spot...what a blessing to know you're not alone!

We finally got to Ontario Place at 5pm...and the first thing I realized was that Ontario Place is like a mini Wonderland...their Drop Zone is no higher than my house. I guess I wasn't missing out on much fun! Anyways...we waited FOREVER in line, each ate a hotdog in about 30 seconds when we learned we couldn't bring food into the venue...and sat down to worship.

I must admit, I was excited to be there, but my heart was hard. Again, I'm mad about the hole I can't find a way out of, the answers I'm not getting, the bitterness and doubt that I'm constantly struggling with. I was looking for God to show himself in a big way, but I wasn't so sure he'd come through for me. Silly me, he ALWAYS does, but I ALWAYS forget. We stood to sing "Mighty to Save" and I felt my heart beginning to melt...
Saviour, He can move the mountains

My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever, author of salvation
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty save...

My arms were up and open wide... and it only got better from there. These were words I knew, but I needed them to touch my heart again. Then a speaker got up and gave a brief message. I couldn't tell you much of what he talked about, but I remember how he ended...He asked for anyone who was hurting, or needed healing, or was looking for an answer to raise their hand. I put my hand in the air. He prayed for all of us with our hands in the air. The 50 000 people who were there prayed together. For me??? For me!! Call me crazy, but I literally felt the Spirit moving in me. I could feel my sadness begin to disappear. I remembered that I serve a God who is SO much bigger than my hurts and fears. I serve a God who has shown me time and time again that He will take care of me, that He loves me, that He is doing what's best for me.

What an amazing night...life-changing worship. Worshipping in a way causes changes of heart and mind. Opening up your heart completely and feeling Him come inside. Wanting nothing more than to sing with everything within you, and raise your hands in utter awe of the amazing God we serve.

That was Saturday. This is Thursday. I haven't talked to my bestie in a few days (well, I called her in a panic because I lost my visa and health card on Saturday...), I haven't gotten any real answers. Doubt, bitterness and worry are starting creep back in. I know that God is faithful. I know that he hears me and I know that he'll answer. But why don't I believe that? Why can't I just trust Him and his plan? Why can't things just be the way I want them?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Not Me...

I can't do the "Not Me" stuff on Mondays....all my embarrasing stuff happens during the week...so here it is:

I was NOT incredibly offended when my Grade 2s said that another teacher at school was their favourite. I did NOT proceed to shorten our math lesson, hand out freezies, and take the kids skipping in order to try to win them back. That would be stooping to their level...I am so above that!

I do NOT have one month worth of laundry sitting in my livingroom waiting to be folded. I do NOT have to come down every morning to grab clean underwear while leaving the rest of the stuff to be folded.

I did NOT eat an entire loaf of bread in one day.

I am NOT sitting here typing this and pretending to do work for an online course I am taking in hopes that Mark will start supper. NOT me!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

All I Can Say

Here is a new song I heard by the David Crowder Band. Actually it's an old song, but I just discovered it today. Wow, is all I can say!

Lord I'm tired
So tired from walking
And Lord I'm so alone
And Lord the dark
Is creeping in
Creeping up
To swallow me
I think I'll stop
Rest here a while

And didn't You see me cry'n?
And didn't You hear me call Your name?
Wasn't it You I gave my heart to?
I wish You'd remember
Where you sat it down

And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give

I didn't notice You were standing here
I didn't know that
That was You holding me
I didn't notice You were cry'n too
I didn't know that
That was You washing my feet

I spent most of last month feeling sorry for myself. I was angry that we have't heard anything new on the adoption front, angry that I don't know where I'll be working next year, angry that I can't make plans, angry because I wanted things to be different, to be set, to be known. I was angry that I had to watch a sweet little girl say good-bye to her mother. Angry that life just isn't fair, and tired of having to deal with it all. I know that the majority of the world has to deal with a lot of harder things than I do, so I don't write this so everyone will feel sorry for me, or so that I can have a pity party (blogging is just my therapy). I really felt like God had forgotten me. Things haven't turned around quite yet, but by the grace of God and some amazing friends (who probably don't even realize how awesome they are, I am out of my funk. It's in those moments when I realize that God is with me through it all. I am never alone. My pain is leading me to bigger and better things. I am learning lessons. I am becoming more open with others. I am learning to enjoy small moments. I am becoming stronger, and in the end, I am learning to rely more on Him.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Crappy day. Crappy, crappy day. One of the sweetest little girls you could ever meet (seriously, I'm not just saying that) had to say good-bye to her mom yesterday. Her mom has had cancer for well over a year which had metasticized, but I had a meeting with her and her husband last week and everything seemed like it was okay. On Mother's Day mom had to go into the hospital. My sweet little student told me on Monday that they celebrated together on Saturday. She just thought Mom was having some tests done. I found out Monday night that the cancer had quickly spread to her brain and to start preparing for her death. Heartbreaking. This morning I found out that mom died yesterday. The girls (8 and 4) were able to talk to their mom on the phone on Tuesday night to say good-bye.

How do you tell 20 8 year olds that their friend had lost her mom? How do you comfort them and reassure them that there parents would be there when they got home? How do you look a little girl in the eyes knowing that her world will never be the same again?

What a sad, sad day...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Awesome quotes from my kids...

I love my job....I hear so many funny things every day, and thought that I needed to start writing some of these down...

"We can't go outside, I have a lot more learning to do."

"I love you Mrs. Kennedy because you learned me a lot"

"Oh crap!"

"Dammit, dammit, dammit!"

"I had a great March Break. My mommy met a new friend. He made me pancakes every morning."

"My favourite game is gwenefotaafor (Grand Theft Auto Four)."

During a math work period: "Hey! Hey Mrs. Kennedy! Hey! Over here! We're having fun over here!!"

"Mrs. Kennedy you are old and you are going to die."

"Hey! You are tricking us...this is fun!"

"I am not going to Grade 3 next year. I am going to a new school. I am going to karate school with you."

Not Me Wednesday

Okay, okay, I know that I should be doing "Not Me" stuff on Mondays...but I had to get it out there today. Here it goes:

I did NOT wear my wedding dress at school today. Also, the buttons did NOT pop with every breath I took. I did NOT let one of my students try it on and chase others around pretending to kiss them. This would all be too silly and not good educational practice.

I did NOT gag as one of my sweet students ate a booger SO big that she actually had to chew it (it all honesty I DID try to stop her). I did NOT let her continue on after I realized that she probably would have spit it into my hand.

I did NOT begin to giggle uncontrollably after two of my students passed gas and I certainly did NOT let the rest of my class laugh as well (including the tooters of course). That would have taken too much time from my math lesson.

I do NOT love my job.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Straight A's...

Thanks to those of you who've commented/emailed/called me over the past few days....it's been a rough week (mostly with me feeling sorry for myself), mostly I just needed to get some burdens off my heart. But I also needed to know that people care. Thank you.

That being said, I am so blessed to have the job I do. There are times when it breaks my heart, there are times when it drives me crazy (my kids call it "making me go grey"), but I LOVE waking up and going to work every day. I love watching my kids learn and grow. I love to see even the small successes. I love to have them tell me about their weekends and the funny stories that go along with that. I am tired, but fulfilled when I leave (most) days.

These guys seem to know when I'm having a rough week...in the middle of a lesson this morning, one little girl hugged my legs and said "You're the best teacher ever!" (should I be worried that it came right after a poem on how to torture your teacher???) Then as I was telling one of my little guys that I was away the other day because I was learning how to be a better teacher he looked at me and said, "But you already are a better teacher!"

Straight A's for those two....

B :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mommy's Day...

Of all the days on the calendar, Mother's Day is definately the hardest for me. I am happy and honoured to celebrate my Mom(s) and Grandmas. I've been blessed with amazingly strong women in my life and they deserve to be honoured. But as someone who's always wanted to be honoured in that way, it's also a day filled with pain and tears.

I can handle teaching my students to celebrate and honour those who take care of them (whether it's their mom, step mom, dad, aunt, grandma, etc...). Motherhood is the hardest (and most rewarding) career of them all, and moms deserve to be celebrated. The hardest thing for me has been heading to church on Mother's Day morning where people have known about my heartache...

Being the only "childless" adult female at my church a few years ago, I sat and watched as all of the mother's were brought to the front to be honoured. Of course this is something they deserve, but I literally felt like I was being punched in the stomach as I thought that I would never be up there with them. I felt like a failure as my imperfections were being highlighted for ALL to see.

Last year, every mother at my current church was given a carnation (I faked sick the year before because I couldn't deal with going). In fact, so many were bought that most moms got a half a dozen. Shouldn't be that heartbreaking really (carnations are ugly), but to have those who know and love me look me over was painful. It just makes it crystal clear to everyone (or at least me) that I'm not in the momma club and thought I may never be. What a blessing to have one sweet woman come over and share one of her flowers with me.

If I can work up the courage to show up, this year will be hard as well, I'm sure. Already, the expectant moms have been asked to share their favourite song in service (I'm not expecting anything, so I shouldn't be hurt, right??), and I'm sure that all the moms will get their carnations again. I'll be wondering if next year will finally be my year. If I'll finally deserve that ugly pink carnation and the right to choose my favourite song (which I'm sure no one will know anyways)....oh how I ache to be one of those women!!

Once again, I think that mothers should be honoured. They shape lives every day. They put the needs of others before their own. They worry and love and care like no one else can. They deserve their own day. But I ask that in the midst of the celebrations, if for just a moment you could think about all of the women who are in the lives of your children. Aunties, Friends, Teachers, Babysitters and all of the women who care about the little ones you love more than anything. If you know someone who is struggling with infertility or the ache of wanting to be a mommy, just think for a moment about them and let them know that they are in your thoughts. It will make a world of difference on a hard, hard day. Then enjoy your breakfast in bed...because you deserve it.



I am tired tonight.

I'm tired working my butt off in hopes that I'll get a permanent position within my board only to hear that there's going to be none available.

I'm tired of having to prove myself over and over again, and worrying constantly about where I'll be working next year (or if I'll be working next year).

I'm tired of doing a job that I love so much while feeling that I am never doing it good enough.

I'm tired of waiting for all of the things that I want most in life only to feel like they are never going to happen.

I'm tired of feeling guilty for being tired of all of these things.

I'm tired.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

House a Home...Down to the Wire!!

Okay...I know that this is last minute....but I gotta get in on this house a home give a way from Lucy. Here are my top five...

1. My Kitchen. I LOVE my kitchen! It is a great size with plenty of cupboard and counter space. The best part about the kitchen is that it's connected to the family room, so even when there's company over, everyone is able to chat and visit, even if some of us are cooking or cleaning up.

2. Friends and Family. I have dreams of filling my currently empty dining room with a table for 12, and hosting many dinners there. I LOVE having people over. I love to hear my neices and nephew run around our house. I love to serve people a yummy dinner (I try anyways), and to sit around and talk with those we love. (I know this isn't a picture of our friends, but it's of their dog, and it proves that Mark DOES love dogs).

3. A Mess. I'm not going to lie...I don't deal with drop-in guests. This is strictly because I can not stay on top of keeping my house clean! I let the dishes pile up, the laundry pile up, the dust pile up....(you get the point). I know I am going to have to crack that habit before we have kids, but I would just rather do anything else than clean!! The best gift ever would be a housekeeper.

4. My King Size Bed! Mark and I bought a new bed this year (our joke is that we wore the first one out in our first year of marriage :). It is awesome!! I get super hot at night, and Mark is a flipp'n furnace, so it's been nice to have my own "cool" side of the bed. I also love getting to spread out as much as I want and not getting accused of stealing the covers!!!

5. My hubby. Of course, the biggest thing that makes my house a home is my hubby. Mark and I have moved three times in five years, and have been through a lot together during that time. We compliment each other perfectly. I know that as long as I have Mark by side, I can get through anything that life throws at me. (sorry that you have to turn your head to see this one...)

I feel like you should know...

I am not adopting because I need to save the world. I'm not adopting because I feel like I need to give back to humanity, or save some poor soul from a terrible life. I'm not adopting because I'm a good person.

Wow, that sounds harsh. I don't mean it to be, but that has nothing to do with why I'm adopting (not that those aren't good reasons).

I am adopting because I need to be a mom. It's a job I was born to do, and I have NEVER wanted anything more. I want nothing more than to hold my baby as he (or she) falls asleep, or to feel the love as they hug me for the first time. I want to watch them grow older, and have them watch me grow old. I want to see them get married. I want to be a Grandma one day.

Sure, Mommies are in the business of saving people...I believe we all save the world in some way as we strive to raise our sons and daughters to be good, God-loving, people. But I don't ever want my son or daughter to think that they are only in my life because I saved them from something else. They'll grow up knowing that they were brought into our lives because they were chosen by God to be our son or daughter. I belive that with all that I am. Afer all, is that not the way all children come into our lives??

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to
birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before
you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even
lived one day.

Psalm 139:15-16

Please keep us in your prayers as we wait to hear from the Ontario Goverment!

Becky :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

First Hiccup

Okay, so first hiccup in the whole process. Unfortunately, the hiccup is that I am an idiot. I had to renew my passport in February. We wanted all of our paper work to be in order so that it's one less thing we have to worry about later on. I filled out all the forms and went all the way to Whitby and spent my Saturday morning standing in line waiting to get the process completed. I now have my nice new passport in my hot little hands.

Taking a closer look at everything but the photo, I noticed that my middle name wasn't included on the document. Nuts. No big deal, I search online and contact Passport Canada to let them know of their screw up. Well, they informed me that I neglected to include my full name on my passport, so I will need to redo EVERYTHING-photos, forms, guaranteers, line-standing, paying the fees- everything.

Who forgets to write down their middle name? Me, of course. I am the person who wears two different shoes to school, puts my pants on inside out, and wears my shirt backwards. So that I don't send my super type-A husband into a tizzy, lets hope this is the only hiccup due to my absentmindedness (or anything for that matter!).

On the plus side. I get to have a new passport pic taken. The last one was bad. Really bad.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

We went to a seminar this weekend held by the agency who is facilitating our adoption. What a great experience to be able to hear from adoptive parents who had JUST returned home with their children. We were able to see their little blessings and hear about their experiences in Russia. While it was stressful to hear about all of the hiccups that can (and will inevitably) occur in a foreign country where no one speaks your language, it was reassuring to hear these parents say that they were helped every step of the way. It was great to hear that the Russian orphanages took excellent care of these babies, providing them with vital early attachment experiences, a bright environment and excellent care. It was even greater to hear these parents say how much these little miracles have blessed their lives in such a short time, and how their pregnancy happened in their hearts as it grew waiting for their babies to come home. All of them were excited to adopt again.

My heart is growing every day. I pray that things go smoothly with the Ontario and Canadian government who have to give us official "permission" to be parents and allow us to bring a child into the country. I pray that God keeps us patient and calm as we wait (so far, some days are definitely better than others). Most of all, I pray that God blesses our little baby, the woman who is carrying (or has carried) him or her for us, and those who are caring for him in the orphanage. Thank you to all of you in cyberspace who have been remembering us in your prayers....please don't stop!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What a Day!

What a day! We met with our Adoption Agency this afternoon. I had been warned that she can be kind of harsh, so I was a bit nervous, but she really put my mind at ease. She told us the truth without being too harsh. She gave me some new things to worry about (like how 8 Russian doctors have to examine us in Russia!!), but she also gave me the hope I needed that this would succeed.

We will definately need an abundance of prayers over the next several months as the process gets going. So please keep us (and our baby) in mind!

Becky :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Our Homestudy is finally over!! We have the final copy in our hot little hands and are preparing to meet with our adoption agency on Tuesday.

For those of you who don't know, our adoption practitioner has met with us four times over December and January, and asked us about everything in our lives from how we met, to how we were raised, to our life's goals, to our relationships with others, to how we plan on raising our children, etc, etc, etc. We had to get police and child welfare checks from every place we've lived in since we were 18 (stupid us for moving so much!), references from our friends and family, medical checks, and more. We even had to attend a training course on how to raise children. Of course, none of this was for free either. I feel like we've let the whole world into our lives to decide if we should have kids or not. It can definately be overwhelming at times, and I'm trying not to let my frustration come out in bitterness or anger. Those who work, live or spend any length of time with me, will know that it usually comes out in tears anyways!

Today in church, one of the little girls told me that she prays for Mark and I to have a baby every night. It reminded me that no matter what hoops we have to jump through, we're going to come to the end we're hoping for.
"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of
you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen."
We're blessed to have people who care about us. We're blessed to serve a God who cares deeply about what happens to us, who knows everything we desire, and who has the power to make these desires a reality.
We are meeting with the agency on Tuesday. She's the one who will send all of our documentation to the government, eventually present us with a potential child and help us to plan our trip to Russia. We know people who have adopted through this agency and have had a good experience. I am excited to meet with her and get the next stage of this process moving. They say that after everything is done on the Canadian side (our approval, etc), it should take somewhere between 3 and 12 months to get a proposal for a child. In my head, I'm thinking next summer (2010), but I really have no idea of when things will really happen for us.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Blessed Be Your Name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord blessed be Your name

I love this song by Matt and Beth Redman. In fact, I have a hard time singing it without tears coming to my eyes. Today, I was at a funeral for the father of one of my students from last year. The student went home, had lunch with his dad, then his dad got ready and headed out for work while the student came back to school. Little did he know that his dad would have a heart attack on his way to work. He had no idea that lunch would be their last meal together. Heartbreaking.

The above song was sung at his funeral this afternoon. The family choose to have it sung during the service. What a testament to their courage and faith. It's easy to sing a song like this when things are going well. I have no idea how they got the words out during their darkest hours. God is still God during our highest highs and lowest lows. He's there even when we can see him through the cloud of heartache and disappointment. What a powerful message to those who were at the funeral.

May they continue to feel God's presence even in their heartache, and may all of us continue to choose God despite the heartaches our lives may bring. May those words continue to touch our hearts.