Friday, November 7, 2014

With a little help from my friends!!!!!

Earlier this week I was so lost with trying to shop for Grace, and organize the gifts for the Directors of the orphanage and finish paperwork, that I almost broke down in tears in the middle of Walmart looking at Pajamas!  sigh..

Today I had a wonderful friend and adoptive mom, MaryEllen, join me and helped to keep me from loosing it!  She had wonderful ideas, and kept me organized and on track.  With her help I have all the gifts bought for the 3 nannies, 1 director and his wife and 3 officials! (all for under 60$) bonus!!
Oddly enough I couldn't find any "Canada stuff" anywhere.. so I guess for this trip Canada is going to be represented with snowflake ornaments and polar bears!  oh well!  lol

The puzzle is coming along nicely!  
There is still lots of time to donate..  
just press on the Donate Now button on the right side of the blog!
You can see her eyes now!!  Let's get the rest of her face finished! 

Everyone has been so wonderful, caring, and gracious, from donating to the puzzle, to donating items to sell at the fundraiser, to dropping off clothes for Grace, to donating their musical talents, to helping me get organized!  We really have some of the best friends around!!
Thanks everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Puzzle update

There is still time to buy a puzzle piece!  You can find the donate button on the right side of the page.
Thank you to everyone who has added to the puzzle over the last few days. 

In 12 days there will be 1 less orphan in the world!!
In 12 days I will meet our newest member of our family, Grace!
Join us this Saturday at Kingswood Park, 7:30pm to celebrate, listen to some music and maybe bowl a string or two (Kingswood has arranged a special rate for those who would like to bowl). There will be tables set up to sit and enjoy the music. Bring the kids along, lots of fun for every one!
There will also be some donated items for sale to help with the fundraiser, such as Chinese teas set, prints, bangles and even an autographed copies of a famous children's book!! There is no cover charge, but any donations are greatly appreciated!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


We received some new updates on Grace this week.

She is very similar in size to Lily, right down to the same size shoe! But her chest measurement is much larger due to her scoliosis. (68cm)
She is 121 cm tall and weighs 27.5kg (60.5lbs)  Although she is a few inches shorter than Lily she is the same weight, and foot size (19.5cm)

The update also said that sitting or standing long periods hurts her back, and also so does wearing tight pants or jeans.
This means lots of dresses and tights and leggings!  :)

I'll have to contact Air Canada about how we can help her be more comfortable on the flight.

Our Puzzle Grace Home Fundraiser in moving along.. We still have lots of pieces left - just choose a number, and click on the Donate Now button!

 These pictures are from when another adoptive mom visited earlier this year!  She put on the hair bow right away!  :)  

Friday, October 10, 2014


We now have our travel dates!  Our Forever Family Day is NOVEMBER 17TH!

We have good start on our fundraiser but we still have a LONG way to go.  There are lots of numbers still available, take a look at the picture and choose a number that is still open!
Thank you to everyone who has donated so far! Every cent counts!!
The link to donate is on the right side of the blog!! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Grace!

Today is Grace's Birthday!  

Today our sweet girl turned 10years old.  

Today was the LAST birthday without a family!

We can't wait to bring her home.

Our Puzzle Grace Home fundraiser is in full swing, we've had some donations this week- 
Thank you!!! 

If you would like to choose a 
number to donate, please click on the DONATE button on the right side of the blog and enter any number that is still left!!   Each number represents the dollar amount.
I'll be updating every week.  Let's get this puzzle made and get Grace HOME!!

Monday, September 29, 2014


I haven't been a very good blogger have I ??

Well let's see what we have been up to??
(and see if I have any followers left!) lol

I guess our BIG news is that we are adding to our family once again!!
Our daughter Grace is waiting for us in Lu'An Anhui province China.
She is 9 years old, and is only 3 days older than Lily!  :)


My heart has been connected to the orphans in China since that very first adoption trip 9 years ago...

For the past 7 years, I have volunteered with an incredible organization called Gracie's Room First Hugs.  We started in Dianjiang Chongqing, in Lily's orphanage and now we are in XinXiang Henan China. 

In those 7 years, I have witnessed many miracles - a baby born so small, so premature that she couldn’t maintain her own body temperature, she didn’t have enough strength to suck from her bottle, but with loving hands and heart, and the knowledge from friends from all over the world, she is now going home strong to her forever family.
A sweet little toddler, quietly sitting in my lap, that when she looked into my eyes, she looked straight into my soul and it took my breathe away.  Never hearing a sound, for the first 2 years of her life, but I got to watch the video of her hearing her mother’s voice for the first time.

In those 7 years I’ve witnessed too much death - a newborn baby just hours old - still covered with vernix and blood, her black hair matted to her head, born with spina bifida - so severe that there was no chance of survival.  But I leaned over her cradle, silent tears streaming my down my face, breathing her in deeply, I told her she was loved, and that she wouldn’t die alone. 
Another baby, struggling for breathe, her eyes void of life, her body filled with infection.  I tried to have her moved to our program quickly.  She died that night - alone.

In those 7 years I’ve witnessed the unknown - a baby with a bile duct blockage, so jaundiced her bowel movements were now clay-like, her skin yellowed.  
A 10 year old boy, just skin and bones, his head hanging over the edge of the bed, his muscles so tight from cerebral palsy, unable to lift to his head back on to the bed.
I don’t know what happened to them.

But mostly in those 7 years I’ve seen despair.  I’ve seen the complete absence of hope in the older children that live day to day in the walls of an orphanage.  Wanting a mother, a father and a sibling to tease.  What is so distressing is that they know their time is running out, when they reach the age of 14 they are no longer adoptable.
Many of these children are healthy - with mild or no special needs.  
Actually they do have a very significant need - they need a family!

I am now the Director of First Hugs and every year I travel to China to love and check on the babies.  I love to send pictures and updates to all the families that are waiting to travel to their babies.

And although I love to do this, it consumes a significant portion of our family budget.  Everything I do with First Hugs, whether it be work here in North America or plane tickets to China, it is all paid for out of my own pocket.  This is a volunteer position and all proceeds go directly to the children.

Could you help us with another miracle -  
Our daughter Grace.
She is a beautiful 9 year old girl that would like to learn how to dance.  She is bright and strong and longs for the love of our family.
She was born with scoliosis and will need surgery when she is done growing.
She lives in Lu’An Anhui province and has seen all of her friends be adopted. 
Grace now knows that she too will be adopted.  She has seen our pictures and heard our voices.
I hope to travel in November to bring her home - where she belongs.

Here is how you can be part of the miracle 
to bring Grace Home.

This beautiful picture above has been made into a 16x20" puzzle with 220 pieces. The assembled puzzle will remain upside down on a table.  People can pick a number, donate the dollar amount of that number, and we will write their name on the back of the piece corresponding to the donation.  Someone can pick #1 and donate $1, someone can pick #200 and donate $200.  No one person will give more than $220

This will put us a LONG way down the road to meeting our financial costs of the remaining part of the adoption.
Anything above and beyond what is needed for our adoption will be donated to the children of  First Hugs XinXiang China.

There is a DONATE button for paypal on the right side of the blog, just choose which number of the puzzle you would like and press the donate button!!!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Heading home tomorrow after an incredible and emotional visit back to our First Hugs program.
I'm so happy to see all the changes that have happened in the past year and hope that over the next year we see even more progressions.
Next we need to look at getting things like Double Strollers and Antibiotic ointment, ear thermometers, mobiles for the cribs.. etc..

Here are a few pics from our last days there!

 This sweet little girl was found by the police with a family that bought her.  She will now be adopted domestically.  She hit her head on her bed and gave herself a black eye.

This little guy was abounded on one of the days we arrived.  He was being whisked off to the hospital. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Alrighty!!!   We are now Wednesday morning here in China, 6:30am!  ouch!  I just can't sleep today.
No worries though I feel well rested.  Every day we get up, and pull back the curtains hoping to have the sun shine in our eyes....but....nope, nothing but a thick grey smog!  YUM!
The orphanage visits have been very good!  What a huge change since last year.
Last year we were ready to pull out and go to another orphanage that wanted to work with us, not tie the kids down, not leave them with minimal toys or stimulation!
This year!! WOW!!
They want advice, they want to have conversations, they have changed!  Everyone is so happier, the children run around freely, playing with lots of toys in 2 beautiful bright rooms.  Our goal now is to get strollers for the summer and 2 walkers / wheelchairs.
We have a meeting today with the Head of the nannies, the Director and our room manager to discuss things.   Compared to last year, our "changes" we would like to see are so minimal.. things like hand washing after changing the baby, setting up a changing station, cleaning the toys every night..
When we walk into the room, the toddlers look up and start shouting ni hao and smiling and waving and run right up into our arms laughing!

There is a huge shopping center here with hundreds of stores, but it's like dresses, shirts, shoes, coats, and it all fits me!  lol (I am a large here)!  lol
No name brands or anything.  Not till Beijing on Saturday!

For now I leave you with this wonderful t-shirt we found in Walmart!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ohh  I want to win a copy of this book by Kay Bratt!!! 

A Thread Unbroken  

I wish I knew how to put a picture with a link here.... 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Long time no post!!

WOW, way too long since I've blogged!!  Darn you FB!

I'm heading off to China again for another trip to XinXiang Henan China, to our Gracie's Room Program there.
I'm hoping to see the children in much better conditions than the last time few times we were there.
They've moved into a nice bright and new building and we have 2 big beautiful rooms for our program which is now running 24hours a day!!

My incredible friends and family have once again been so generous and I've been given lots of donations to take with me for the babies, and the nannies!

I'll be updating this blog whenever I can, so stay tuned to keep updated!