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Happy Birthday Debra Lynn!

Today is a special day – it’s the birthday of the most incredible woman I have ever known! I am blessed to be her husband and our kids are also blessed to have her as their mother. I don’t know anyone who loves her family so deeply. She loves God and those around her:

Mark 12:30-31 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Debra continually gives to care for me and the kids – our 3 kids with us and also the 2 we haven’t met! She gives selflessly and tirelessly! I know that no matter where God takes us and no matter what He has for us, Debra is there and ready to take on the adventure with me!

Though it’s her birthday, we’re the ones who received a gift when God gave us Debra Lynn!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEBRA LYNN, WE LOVE YOU!

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Shop for a good cause!

We have a few fundraisers going right now. I thought I would post a little bit about them! We are still need to raise around $30,000! We are so amazed at how God has provided for us so far. We have found the one of the best ways to raise money so far has been by selling things. People love to buy something for a good cause. We so very much appreciate all of the MANY people who have already helped us and purchased things from us for our adoption! It is so encouraging to us. Our kids have hundreds of people helping them come home!

Right now we are doing three fundraisers: Steeped Tea, Just Love Coffee and Mabel’s Labels.

 

Just Love Coffeeurl

Just Love Coffee is an incredible company, they donate a portion of the proceeds from everything they sell. In their first two years of business they donated over $200,000 to adopting families, non profits and the like. They offer lots of variety and all of their coffee is roasted in small, non automated batches. They offer fair trade and organic coffees. These are excellent high quality coffees and make great gifts!  They also offer single serve cups (like K-cups), mugs, clothing, hot chocolate and more! Take a look and feel free to contact us with any questions you have! To shop visit: https://justlovecoffee.com/copelandadoptionSidamo_v3_NoWt

 

Steeped Tea

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Steeped Tea is a very family oriented company!  Fundraising is a huge part of this company and they give to many different programs and people in need. Steeped tea offers many many teas and tea products like tea cups, travel mugs, infusers, tea pots, etc. But for right now we are participating in their fundraising program. This program offers 12 of their most popular teas and three different types of infusers. Each item is $12 and 40% ($4.80 from each item) goes directly towards our adoption! We need to sell at least 48 bags of tea and infusers in order to qualify as a fundraiser. So PLEASE share this with your tea loving friends or buy them as gifts! They make a perfect back to school teacher gift. If you would like to order please contact me at norm.debra@gmail.com or on Facebook. =)
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Mabel’s Labels is also a company big on giving back! Mabel’s Labels offers lots of different kinds of labels so that you don’t lose your stuff. Its perfect for back to school! You can get durable stick on clothing labels, iron on labels, bag tags, household tags, shoe labels and much more. They are all fully customizable and really great quality. I especially love them for winter wear or anything my kids take along with them and tend to misplace! Mabel’s Labels offers 20% of anything you buy and they have free shipping on all orders in Canada and the US! To shop visit: https://www.mabelsfundraising.com/campaigns/23919-copeland-haitian-adoption

Other stuff!
I have a huge bag full of products I am still selling.

I still have: 

  • Haitian cereal box bead bracelets and earrings.imgres-1
  • Head bands from 3 CordsEDIT8256_large
  • Pacifier clips, key chain fobs, rice boo boo bags11114739_10155706937130413_2570324675077072808_nPlease feel free to contact me for info on these items or any other questions you may have! Email me at norm.debra@gmail.com or contact me on Facebook!

 

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Preoccupied!

Hey all! Yep… we are still here and alive! We haven’t posted much lately, party because there has not been much happening on the adoption front and we have been quite busy!

June and so far July have been pretty packed!

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In June we were very busy with life stuff… but also really heartbroken and very mentally preoccupied for our friends Jeremy, Eva and Ayla. Jeremy is a very close friend of ours who we met at Bible School. About a month ago they were driving cross country and Eva started feeling ill. She was 15 weeks pregnant at the time. They stopped in Colorado to go to a clinic to get her checked out. It turns out she had lost the baby and was now life threateningly sick with sepsis. There was about a week or so that we were expecting to hear of her passing. It was a very difficult time to be waiting and not able to actually do anything physically to help. I can only imagine how hard those days were for Jeremy. But our God of miracles saved her life. She is still very very sick and is facing some horrible life long problems because of this. But we are so very grateful that she is alive. If you would like to read more about their story or donate to their medical fund check out their Go Fund Me page here: http://www.gofundme.com/evarecoveryfund

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In June we also:
Celebrated Norm’s birthday11109020_10155885212525413_4010443372803587875_n

Celebrated Father’s Day11393218_10155911402290413_2694550278230186999_n

Went to Jungle Camp open houseIMG_1043

Enjoyed our annual church picnic 11238972_10155908175065413_4786909936314781483_n

Cougar and Firefox turned 2 (…or was it 3?)IMG_3769

And many other things!
July is proving to be a very very busy month! So far we have:

Had baptisms at church, Norm’s first time baptizing!IMG_4071IMG_1140
Taken a week long trip to visit friends in Michigan11666164_10155983465680413_8634520291360445248_n10387692_10155983459720413_3938935081754081397_n

Sent Canaan to a week long summer camp11745935_10155991848800413_8704677723734785967_n

Deb, Emmaus and Berea went to a local zoo with our church’s Mom and Tots group11239648_10156003958135413_4198228416622499248_n11755266_10156003956875413_3694737730424873622_n11742792_10156003958740413_5664815540302216590_n

Enjoyed the beautiful outdoors: 11745698_10156022336530413_8957167681773567334_n11009167_10155954300810413_1677910303781659616_n

Debra has also been working on lots of fundraisers for our adoption! Those details will be coming shortly in the next post! Stay Tuned!
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These last 6 weeks have been crazy, but we have had lots of opportunities to trust in God and his promises. We also had many chances to encourage and pray for the many people in our lives who are going through difficult times. Some days I look at all the hurting people surrounding me and I feel so broken for them. I feel so helpless! But yet God continues to encourage me through their faith and trust in God. I LOVE encouraging people… And I truly find the easiest, simplest and BEST way is to send scriptures to them and pray for them. God has given us so much wisdom in His Word! I find so much strength to push on when reading about all he has done and promises to do for me and everyone!  Have a blessed day… and consider passing an encouraging verse on to a friend today!

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Haiti Bound

mhaitiToday our adoption file should be headed down to Haiti! Yahoo! We have been working so hard to get to this point. It took much much longer than expected. Nevertheless, here we are! It will feel so good to have our file on Haitian soil.

Once our file is in Haiti it will be legalized and then deposited into IBESR. IBESR stands for “Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches.” Basically it is the children’s services in Haiti. IBESR will be the ones to approve our file, do and approve our children’s files and then match us with our kids.

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IBESR is sometimes called the black hole. Some people get stuck in IBESR for many years for this reason or another. Its not super organized but with the lack of personnel and tools available to them they are doing their very very best. They are working super hard to become more organized and to follow the many rules and red tape that they must follow. We hope to be deposited into IBESR within the next few weeks and then we will hopefully have a file number.

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Photo credit: Ambassade de France en Haïti Ambafranceht

We are so very excited to finally be at this stage in the adoption. We will likely be at this whole thing another 2-3 years. A huge part of that depends on how quickly we can be matched with our children. We have been told that because of our very specific age requirements it may take a very very long time. But we are trusting God that this will all happen in his timeline. Our hopes and desires are that it is quick… but whatever it takes to get to our children… we are ready for it. Ready for the long haul! =)

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Please keep praying for us! This is a real rollercoaster of a journey! Please also be praying for us financially. We still need to raise about $35,000. We will have to pay almost all of this around the time of the referral… which could be in 9 months, 18 months or more. But its a little scary to think of needing that much money in 9 months time. But as God has taken us through this thus far he has not failed us! I know that in His timing it will all come together! We have a few fundraising ideas up our sleeves. Hopefully we can get them into motion soon. Its very time/energy consuming doing all of this fundraising and adoption paperwork. Pray for perseverance! =)

Thank you for walking with us through this journey! We can not do it alone! We appreciate each and everyone of you!

Have a wonderful day!
~Debra

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Happy 2nd Birthday Berea!

Happy Birthday to our sweet little girl! What a blast these past two years have been with you! You were pretty stubborn and you were born nearly two weeks late. But when you decided to come you came very quickly. You have been developing into such a fun little girl with massive amounts of personality. =) We can’t wait to see what the next year hold with you as you grow more and more into a little girl.

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Secret Mission to Cali

Berea and I just got home from California. We called it our secret mission! I’ve been dearly missing my family and every time we go out our time is very very busy. We are usually visiting churches, supporters, friends and busy getting everything off of our shopping lists. That is NOT a bad thing, but I was ready to just see my family and spend good quality time with them.

While we were there we ate some of my favourite foods (In-n-out, Starbucks, Chick-fil-a, Tri-Tip, Los Posas Strawberries…), layed around and watched tv, ate more food, went to the beach, shopped at Target and Trader Joes, cooked together, had lots of great coversations, ate food, jumped on the trampoline, ate food… It was PERFECT!

Here are some pics from the trip. I also posted an album on Facebook, so check it out! =) IMG_2191IMG_2141IMG_2207IMG_2183IMG_2079IMG_2010 IMG_2245

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Faith and Disappointment

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Well, again, we have good news and we have bad news! It sounds like we have Ministry approval, we will get the official word on Monday! This is excellent news! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out my post explaining our need for Ministry approval. First read this one: Setbacks and Hope and then this one: Great News and Bad News

After a week of back and forth emails, revisions, signatures, phone calls we were told that we have our approval as soon as we email the final revised paperwork back to them with our signature on it. We did that yesterday. So I guess we are just waiting for the official paper to be mailed to our adoption agency.  This is so wonderful because it was the FINAL piece of paper needed before our file could be sent to the Haitian embassy for authentication and then finally mailed down to Haiti. This is such a huge relief! This step has been a bit of a nightmare and it only should have taken a few weeks.

And here comes the bad news…

When they sent us the final revisions to our paperwork they changed the ages that we are approved to adopt. We called and tried to see if it could be put back and they were completely against it. Back in the Setbacks and Hope post I talked about the 18 month rule. This is what I said:

18 month rule- There is a guideline in Ontario that you cannot adopt any children that are within 18 months of age of any of your biological children. We were under the impression that this was not going to be enforced in our situation. But the Ministry has since said that we will 100% have to abide by this. Our adoption agency has told us that if we abide by this rule it will be very difficult to find a match for us… that it may be many years to find a match… at first they said that it would be impossible. But since then they have said that it is possible but that it will likely take a long long time.

After writing that post we were told that a miracle happened and they decided against making us follow this rule. We were ecstatic and overjoyed! But then on Friday they wrote us and email and said that they again changed their minds and are enforcing this rule.

It might not sound like a big deal. But our adoption agency is telling us that its going to be very very difficult to find us a match within those dates and that we may be waiting several years. Its a real blow. I’ll be honest, I cried. I’m not a crier… but I couldn’t contain my disappointment. Pure disappointment.

When the news came in a major mental battle started within me. I believe without a doubt that God has already picked out my sweet children. I also firmly believe that He has already seen the day that we walk off the airplane in Toronto with our precious children and that its the exact date He has chosen.

So if this new “bad news” doesn’t change who my children are and it doesn’t change the day that we bring them home… why am I so very sad and disappointed? I have absolute unwavering faith that God’s got this. He has every detail worked out.

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I’ve had to really work through this in my mind and also talked it out with my loving husband. Norm reminded me of Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” I was taken aback and thought the word mourning was just way too strong. But I realized that it wasn’t actually. I’m disappointed in my expectations being shattered. I had imagined this going smoothly, with two kids that fit nicely between Berea and Emmaus, having them all close in age. Now I am mourning the loss of how I saw this going, I’m mourning the loss of time I had expected Canaan to have with our adopted kids before he grew up. He will will be probably 12 or 13 before our kids come home to us. Unless God blows us away once again… which is my hope! =)

Fact

I’ve been struggling with the fact that I’m so disappointed in God’s plan. Even though I have utmost faith in his plan. I kept telling Norm that I didn’t know how I could have total faith in his plan and yet feel so sad about it. I felt that if I saw the facts…

  • He has a plan. Jer. 29:11
  • He is in control. Jer. 32:27, Job 42:2
  • He has all the details already worked out. Psalm 37:23
  • He already has my kids picked out for us. Psalm 33:11
  • He already has the date set for their arrival. Psalm 139:16

faith

…and had total faith in those facts that my feelings should be joy, peace, contentment. It didn’t compute in my head. Until I saw that I DID have peace, joy and contentment. I was not angry, anxious, resentful, bitter, nor in despair. I’ll be honest… I had moments though where I started to take this personally or feel upset with the person who decided to be “mean” to us… And I would again remember the facts… Gods got this!

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Can we be sad, disappointed, and mourn things in our life? You betcha! Does this mean that we don’t have faith in what God is doing in our lives? Nope! But we have to be careful not to wallow and have self pity.  We need to have the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Note that being happy is not one of the fruits of the spirit and being sad or disappointed doesn’t interfere with the fruit of the spirit. Wallowing in a in self pity though would not show joy nor self-control.
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So what are your thoughts? What are some of the times you have been disappointed in God’s plan?

Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings and walk this journey with us!
~Debra

 

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One Year Anniversary

We're adopting!

One year ago we posted our big adoption announcement! If you never read it please do! Just click here: A Leap of Faith!

It’s been a true roller coaster ride. Up and down, fun and scary, happy and sad, exhilarating and nauseating. But most of all its been an incredible journey of faith!

When we first thought about adopting we had a pretty simple idea in our heads. Fill out some papers, raise a little money and voila: A new kid in the family!

This little picture that I found on Facebook has been so true for us this past year:
Your-plan-Reality

We have been through a year long crash course on international adoption and yet we are still only learning the tip of the iceberg.

So much has changed from the first day we decided to adopt.  We originally thought we were going to adopt only one baby girl from Guinea, but God closed the door on adopting from Guinea. We then decided to adopt from Haiti. And slowly over time God really moved in our hearts and nudged us to change our plans yet again and adopt two children! Not only two but not babies. In Haiti most children available are between 3-6. And the process takes several years. So we are looking at bringing home two kids between the ages of 5-8. faith-mlk-quoteI know that if we planned on spending 3-4+years in the adoption process to adopt 2 children that are much older than babies and spend around $70,000 doing that…. I would NEVER have signed up for it. But you know what?! God worked in our hearts, brought us to this place, and we are OVER THE MOON excited! I’m so glad God works on our hearts slowly, one little bit at a time.

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One year ago we posted that we were taking a giant leap of faith. And that it has been and will continue to be a leap or journey of faith for many years to come! I’m incredibly glad that God has brought us to this path. Its a scary uncomfortable path… but and incredible one that I very much want to continue traveling, with HIM as our guide!

If you haven’t been following our adoption feel free to browse through all of our adoption posts: Copeland Adoption

Thank you for walking with us on this journey! Have a blessed day!
~Debra

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Smooth Sailing!

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I saw this quote on Facebook and it really struck home for me.  I even wrote a blog post called “Setbacks and Hope.” And those setbacks REALLY were an INCREDIBLE set up for a miracle. I’m still blown away at how God has truly worked everything out.  If you don’t know what I am talking about please go back and read the blog posts that I linked to.

In my most recent post I said we are waiting for ministry approval and also that we need to update 9 pieces of paperwork. We need to update our psych exam, medicals, references, police checks, and a few other random things. I’m so happy to say that we have successfully updated all of the papers! We were really worried that we were going to have to start from scratch and have to pay several thousand dollars to get some of these updated. Thank God the grand total cost of updating these papers was $63.00 and we got it done in record time.

As far as ministry approval we received word that we are pre-approved and that it needs to be signed off by the director. She will hopefully be able to do that tomorrow but possibly not until next week.

Our adoption agency has told us that as soon as the the approval letter arrives they will mail our packet down to Haiti!!! The moment we have been waiting for!! =)

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This quote also strikes home for me. =) Just about one year ago we posted our adoption announcement and called it a Leap of Faith. SO much as happened in the past year. Many, many ups and downs. And I can honestly say that our faith in God has only grown. He has shown us over and over that He is fighting for us. He carries us through the valleys and rejoices with us on the mountain tops.  He has done amazing things with our fundraising. We are needing approximately $70,000. And so far we have raised and saved about $33,000!

I have to tell you a little story that happened this week. On Tuesday evening I locked the door on the van thinking I better keep it locked so that no one tries to steal anything… We often don’t lock the doors because we live in such a small community. But anyway… usually its the prudent thing to do because we live in a world where if someone goes into your car with out your knowledge its to steal something. Well on Wednesday Norm gave me a call and said that he found $50 that someone hid in our car. WOW! How often do people go into your car to GIVE you something? I just laughed and laughed at how cool that was!

We have had so many stories of incredibly generous people helping us out however they possibly can. We have learned so much about generosity throughout this past year. So many lessons that I will keep with me until the day I die.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings! I hope you have a truly blessed day!

~Debra

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Great news and bad news!

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Our FBI background checks arrived today!! Yahoo!! God really worked an awesome miracle! Somehow someone at the FBI found out that we needed these checks done ASAP and ran them as soon as they arrived at the FBI and mailed them off the next day. God is so good. Seriously! How does that happen!??!

Now that we have these background checks we should be getting “ministry approval” in the next couple of days. “Ministry approval” is the government of Ontario approving us to be adoptive parents. We had to have that approval before our papers can head down to Haiti.

We also received a bit of disappointing news.  Even though the background check came in so quickly we still need to get a few things updated. Nine things to be exact. Most of these will be very easy and quick to update. But a few of them are slightly more challenging or time consuming. We need to have our medical reports done again. We are not sure how long it will take to get in to see the doctor. They are often booked months in advance. We are hoping the doctor will be able to slip us in really quickly so that he can just quickly update the medicals instead of completely doing them again. Another big question is our psychological exams need to be updated. It was $1200 to get these done originally and we had to drive 2 hours to go see the psychologist. PLEASE pray that we wont have to go back in and do them all over again. Pray that they will be willing to either update it or meet with us over the phone. We also had to update our local police check. We went in this morning and they said it should be back in tomorrow! I’m amazed at how quickly it will be done! Thank you God!

I will post as soon as we get our ministry approval! Thank you for walking this crazy journey with us!

Have a blessed day today!
~Debra

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