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Happy 9th Birthday Canaan

IMG_0836Last week we celebrated Canaan’s 9th birthday! Wow have these years gone by so quickly. What a good reminder to savour the moments, each one. Canaan was born during Spring Break while we were in the training with NTMC. And this year his birthday was during Spring Break again and we ended up celebrating Canaan’s birthday twice. Once as a family during Spring Break and today we successfully pulled off a very last minute surprise birthday party with some of his best buddies.
We are so proud of our Canaan. He is so tenderhearted and loves people. He is very outgoing and talks more than I thought possible for any human being.  He is so passionate about so many things. I am constantly in awe of who he is becoming. IMG_0682

Our adoption is always on Canaan’s mind. He talks about it every day and prays for our adoption to go smoothly at nearly every meal. He has been trying to come up with ways to raise money to pay for our adoption. Some of his suggestions have been:
-Selling his clothes!
-Sell his toys.
-Make bead bracelets to sell to our neighbours.
-Do chores for money and then give that money to the adoption… (Until we explained that the money would come from us and not really help at all.. LOL)
-Buy journals at the dollar store and sell them for double the price. =)

He has so many ideas… most of them wouldn’t work at all. But he is constantly thinking about it. He wishes he could do more. But these kids don’t realize how much they have already given up and will give up in the future. They are our biggest advocates and it is beyond precious to me.

A few months ago we talked about presents at his birthday and he thought it would be awesome to forego gifts and have his friends bring small donations to the adoption. I knew he would get money/presents from his grandparents so this worked out wonderfully. He didn’t know he was going to have a birthday party, but when we planned his surprise party we asked his friends to just bring a small donation instead of a present. He was quite excited about this. At his party today he raised $67.65! Way to go Canaan. Thank you to all of Canaan’s friends for that! You guys are awesome!

IMG_0850This is Canaan’s “what in the world is going on” face when he walked in the door and all of his friends yelled “SURPRISE!”IMG_0841We did a food challenge game. These are a couple of the items the boys were challenged to eat. We also had canned beats, raw potato, sardines, pickles, olives, and marshmallow with mustard all over it. They boys had a really fun time. It was quite entertaining. IMG_0859

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Miracles

This is an update to my previous post about setbacks. If you haven’t read that please read that first!! You can read that by clicking here!
I wrote this in my previous post:

I am praying for a miracle. I know that looking back I will see God guiding and directing us through this dark muddy journey right directly to our precious Haitian children.  He sees every detail from start to finish. He sees the path like a perfectly lit highway. From our point of view we can hardly see a thing. But he has promised us with so much if we just continue to keep our eyes on Him and walk forward in faith!

WELL GUESS WHAT!!!! It appears that God has been working on some pretty awesome miracles! I can’t really go into a lot of details but its looking like we might get our FBI background checks back really really quickly!
He has also been working on a few other miracles but we can’t post about them yet. I know horrible right?! But I can tell you that pretty much every problem I posted about in my previous post is not a problem anymore! I really can’t wait to tell you more about these awesome miracles. I am dying to see how all of this works out… Its so amazing.

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. Psalm 77:14 

Thanks for stopping in!
~Debra

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Setbacks and Hope

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Well what a whirlwind 2015 has been so far. Its been a very difficult few months for us. We’ve dealt with a lot of sickness, someone telling lies about us, a lot of setbacks on our adoption journey and so much more. We have been walking in quite a lonely valley for a few months. But even when your heart breaks and you feel alone there is always hope!

Its been so hard to share about the ups and downs of our adoption journey because its so hard to explain the ins and outs of this crazy web of adoption details. Even those closest to us don’t really get the process. Mostly because we haven’t really done a good job explaining things. Often times we don’t fully understand everything but we have to just go with the flow and do our best.

We have had a lot going on with the adoption and haven’t really shared much because we just don’t really know where to start. So I am going to try to get better at explaining things and keeping everyone in the loop as much as possible. Im going to try to give a BREIF overview of some of the things going on and then I hope to explain things a little more in detail with some future posts explaining each part a little better. Parts of the adoption process is confidential and some things we will just never get to talk about. That part is hard for me… I am a very open person and find it difficult not to tell all. But for my future precious kids and our adoption process I am going to have to get used to just leaving some parts out and learn to be ok with that.

Over the last few months our adoption timeline has become much much longer. We are now likely looking at a 3-4 year timeline. We have already put a year into this adoption and I am not counting that in the 3-4 years that we still will have to wait. Over the last couple of months it has felt like we have taken so many steps backwards that it has felt almost like we lost our way, like the nice bright pathway in front of us has become so dark and muddy that we were not sure which way was up down back or forward. But with our eyes fixed on God we have continued to push forward through the darkness… Keeping our eyes on Him instead of which way to go. One thing we know for certain is that this is the journey He has brought us on and that we are still completely steadfast and dedicated to walking this journey with Him. We still can hardly wait for the day that we get to meet our precious children.

Checklist
So a few brief details that I hope to explain in future posts:

Our home study and Ontario approval-  Our home study was completed last fall. We then expected our home study file to go to “The Ministry,” which is the part of the government of Ontario that approves to become adoptive parents. Somehow our file was misplaced and it was not sent in for approval until just before Christmas.
Our dossier for Haiti – Our dossier is our file full of all of the paperwork required by Haiti and our adoption agency. This took quite a few months and a ton of work to complete. But it was completed last December 1st. We expected this to head down to Haiti right after. But that is when we found out our home study had not been sent in for approval yet.
FBI background check- In early February we received an email explaining that we needed to change a few things in our home study in order to get approval and that we would also need an additional background check. We had done all of the required background checks but it turns out the requirements had changed after our home study was complete but before it was sent in for approval. The problem here is that the FBI is backlogged by 16 weeks because of a change in their system.
Expired paperwork- We notified our adoption agency that our Ministry approval was going to be quite delayed due to needing the FBI background check. They then told us that if we had to wait that long all of our paperwork that we have worked on for months was going to expire. Everything in our home study and dossier must be dated within 5 months of being sent down to Haiti. So now we feel like we are back at the beginning again… Not completely at the beginning but it was a big blow and has been really tough to comprehend.
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.

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I am praying for a miracle. I know that looking back I will see God guiding and directing us through this dark muddy journey right directly to our precious Haitian children.  He sees every detail from start to finish. He sees the path like a perfectly lit highway. From our point of view we can hardly see a thing. But he has promised us with so much if we just continue to keep our eyes on Him and walk forward in faith!
Here are a few verses that have been so encouraging to us:

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1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Hebrews 12:1b-2 and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Joshua 1:9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.Psalm 23: 3b-4a He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.

Have a blessed day!~Debra

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Open house tomorrow!

As expected, our time in California went by oh so quickly. On Wednesday we’ll begin our journey home! Before we do that, we’d love to see you tomorrow at our open house! It’s so hard to see everyone that we want to see during such a short trip. Our open house will give us a chance to chat and hear how you are doing.


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Come on by tomorrow to Charlie and Tami Rutledge’s home in Camarillo. The open house will be tomorrow, 3 to 8pm. Stop on by when ever you can tomorrow afternoon.

For directions or any other information, call us at 1-805-504-8753

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Busy Season

We are sorry for the absence here on the blog the last little bit. The computer has been at the repair shop. It was gone for a few weeks and they were unable to repair it. Hopefully it wont turn out to be a big problem.

Anyway we have had a good few weeks! Lots of little things happening that add up to lots of busyness!

We celebrated Berea’s 1 1/2 year birthday as we have done for all of our kids. Check our their 18 month pictures here: Canaan and Emmaus.

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The kids decorated our Christmas tree for the first time. I have to be honest though… I did make a few minor adjustments after they went to bed. =) IMG_9151

We had our big Copeland family Christmas party. We will be in California for Christmas this year so we celebrated early.
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The boys worked very hard and did an amazing job preforming in a Christmas program at school. IMG_9323IMG_9327

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Berea went sledding for the first time and LOVED it! IMG_9344

As I mentioned earlier we will be in California for Christmas this year.  We are so excited! Its has been 6 years since we have celebrated Christmas in California. We knew that we wouldn’t be able to afford a visit while we are raising money for the adoption but my parents couldn’t stand it and is flying us out. What an awesome Christmas gift to us! So we are now very busily preparing for our trip. We are leaving Saturday afternoon! =)

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Dossier COMPLETE!

 

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Yesterday we finished our adoption file! We have been working very hard to compile all of the many documents needed. We needed things like original birth certificates, marriage license, personal references, psychological assessments, medical reports, bank and tax statements, photos, etc.. This morning we mailed it to our adoption agency. Very exciting!
Last night we prayed over our dossier. We prayed for our future children, for the extremely long and difficult journey that lays ahead, for all those who will be handling our dossier, for the finances still needed and for our family that we would grow in our faith and shine as lights to the world throughout this process. Please continue to pray for us and our future kids! We need your prayers!

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We had originally expected it to go down with a woman from the agency a few weeks ago but there was a miscommunication and to make a long story short – there wasn’t enough time. Once it arrives, the agency has to complete the translation into French and have it all legalized by their lawyers. Then hopefully in a few weeks it will be hand delievered to Haiti! Once it is approved by the Haitian childrens services, we can wait for our match! The boys are so excited as they look forward to new siblings. Thank you for praying! It’s been a long journey, and we are still in the very early stages with much more to go. We can’t wait until one day we have a picture to share with you, and show you the faces of the children that you’ve made an impact on though your partnership with us.

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Happy 6th Birthday Emmaus!

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Happy 6th birthday to my sweet and silly Emmaus! What a joy he is to us! He is such a loving little boy who is always very quick to obey and be polite. We are so proud of him! He has had quite the life so far! He has lived in 4 countries, lived in 9 different homes, gone to 3 different schools, been on countless flights and so much more! He is incredibly excited about us adopting and constantly asks about them and prays for them. He LOVES legos, cars, collecting all sorts of “treasures” and organizing things into small containers. His favorite foods are pizza, spaghetti, hamburgers, olives, pickles and cookies. He is quite the little character and loves to make people laugh, feel loved and is the greatest snuggler ever!

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Good News and Bad News

I have good news and bad news!

The GOOD news is that our dossier is basically completed! We are just waiting for one report to come in the mail, hopefully in the next couple of days. We are so happy to be done with everything! It has been a ton of work and we have literally put blood, sweat and tears into it! We are thanking God for helping work it all out to complete it in record time!

Now for the BAD news! In an earlier post we shared how our agency called and asked us to try to get our dossier done as quickly as possible so that they could hand carry it down to Haiti on November 17th! We were not sure if we were going to be able to pull it all together so we began working like CRAZY trying to get it all done. Well we called our agency yesterday and much to our sadness we were told that they will not be able to take it down on the 17th. There was some miscommunication between a few people at the agency and the one lady should NOT have told us that she can take it down for us. All of our papers are still at the translators being translated and then they all need to be legalized by their lawyers. So we finished on time… but they did not… because they were totally unaware of the promise we were given.

We were pretty disappointed to hear that. BUT we were still content knowing that God is still in control. Our dossier will get there when he has it getting there. Our kids will still come home on the day that he has planned for us. Thank God! I love having that peace and joy… no stress… no worry… no anger. =)

We were happy though to hear that they hope to send our dossier down to Haiti towards the beginning of December! So exciting! I can’t wait until our paper work is there and being processed! Each little baby step towards our precious babies… whoever they are.

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Christmas Ornaments from Haiti

 

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I’m so excited to be selling Christmas ornaments from Haiti! These ornaments are from the Apparent Project. Earlier in the year, I was selling jewelry from the Apparent Project and made approximately $1000 towards our adoption!! Not only did we make that much for our adoption but we made approximately the same amount for the Apparent Project. That money goes directly toward orphan prevention! The men and women who work at the Apparent Project are working hard to provide for their children. Thank you so much for everyone who helped with that! Such a wonderful way to help out with two causes at once!

These ornaments will be the same as the jewelry. The money is split 50/50 between our adoption from Haiti and the Apparent Project!
The ornaments are $8 USD or $8.75 CAD.  Please consider buying an ornament for yourself or as a gift!
Thank you for your help with our desires to adopt and also for helping keep families together in Haiti!

To purchase these ornaments email me at norm.debra@gmail.com or message me on Facebook.

 

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Dossier

Just thought I would give you a very brief adoption update. We are very busily working on our dossier. Our dossier is a huge collection of documents that will be sent down to Haiti. In our dossier we need things like original birth certificates, original marriage license, a letter from our bank and employer, financial records, personal references, photos, psychological examination, medical reports, a statement of why we want to adopt and SO SO SO much more! Its a huge undertaking. We have been working away at if for a little while. Well a few days ago we got a call from our adoption agency, they told us that they are headed down to Haiti mid November and would like to take our file down in person. This would be WONDERFUL! Only problem is we are not sure we can get it done in time. They also said that it would be really great to get our file down their so that they can start looking for potential matches for us! This is really very exciting! Please pray that we can get the remaining documents done in time! We are just waiting on a couple of key items.

Also, we were finally able to send in our second payment to our adoption agency. Wahoo!!! This is so amazing! I can’t believe how wonderfully God is providing. It is truly a miracle!! Please continue to pray as we attempt to raise the much needed funds to bring our precious Haitian children home to us! We can’t hardly wait until we have faces to go with this huge love that we already have for them. =)

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