Wednesday, August 29, 2007

At last...

Chris and I have finally decided we are far enough along to share our exciting news...we are in the process of adopting again! We decided in June to pursue another adoption and we are finally at the end of getting all our paperwork ready and homestudy updated. This time, we are adopting from Ethiopia and we are requesting a girl between the ages of 2 1/2 -4 years. We have started another website to keep everyone updated on this adoption so feel free to check it out at

As for Two Homes One Heart - we have decided to focus on 2 areas international and 2 areas local. We will want to give back in any way we can to our new daughter's orphanage in Ethiopia and we also want to add more orphanages (and still support Alyssa's!!) from the city where Alyssa was born (Yongzhou City, Hunan). We will be focusing on supporting our PEI Food Bank with a baby formula drive and collecting diapers, baby cereal and school snacks for children all across the Island. We will also be focusing on the "Heart to Heart" project - collecting teddy bears and care packages for all foster children who come into care on PEI.

FYI: For the last 2 years a few friends and I have collected diapers and baby formula for our local food bank. We collected over 100 cans of formula and MANY packages of diapers both years. I talked with the coordinator of the Food Bank and these supplies only last for 3 months! There are many families with babies and toddlers who need our help in supplying them with food and diapers. Our mission for Two Homes One Heart is to help any and all children worldwide who need food, shelter, care and love. We cannot focus on international projects and forget the many children needing our care and love right here in our own communities. So, this year we are challenging our communties across PEI to collect 400 cans of forumula to supply the food bank for the whole year! We would also like to collect this many packages of formula and boxes of cereal! Can you help us? We can do this - together!!!

What you can do to help:

*purchase baby/children items each time your grocery shop
we are looking for large cans of formula (no name brand costs about $15.00 at Superstore, Sobey's and Walmart), large packages of diapers (mostly size 3 & 5), boxes of baby cereal, and/or snacks for school lunches (juice boxes, fruit cups, fruit-to-go, cheese & crackers, pretzels, etc...)

*collect toiletry items such as toothbrushes, hairbrushes, journal, pens...

*donate teddy bears for boys and girls

*donate kit bags (boys and girls)

*join us for one of our fundraising events - chinese cooking classes, car rally, dinner/auction (I will be posting details on these events in the next week!!)

Thank you!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

So much to do!!!! maybe my office isn't this bad but I'm beginning to feel a little overwhelmed..........

There is so much going on with Two Homes One Heart right now that I'm finding it hard to keep everything together! It's all good but it requires so much work. We have 2 weeks left of summer vacation so I'm trying to spend as much time with the kids as I can! I really can't believe how quickly the summer went!

We are in the process of writing a charity proposal to get our charity status so that requires a lot of decision making. We need to have a board, we need concrete mission statements, goals and programs.

We have several fundraisers in the beginning stages (chinese cooking classes, car rally, banquet dinner and auction....) and we are trying to find dates, locations and PEOPLE to help organize the events.

We are in the process of communicating with other orphanages in China to see what their needs are in relation to food, clothing, foster care, medical care, etc....

I am still waiting to hear back from Director Lei to see if I am able to go to China. I am very stressed about the financial obligation of this because Chris and I are in the process of something very special and it's going to cost us...oh, say...about 20 grand! So, now I'm not sure where that leaves me and the trip to China. Of course, I still want to go with all my heart! We are praying for God's direction in all these decisions, decisions, decisions!!!

If you are interested in joining our Two Homes One Heart team, please email me - we would love to have more help and ideas. Even if it's just to help out with one (or two!) events. We can give you a little to do or a lot - it's up to you!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A different perspective...

A different perspective on the question post I wrote about the other day....

This morning I was reading some articles written by adoptive parents on the adoption experience and QUESTIONS they get from children and adults. There was a story written almost like my encounter in my last post, only the adoptive mother in the article was upset by the child's questions. She thought the child was being nosy and inconsiderate in her questions. I guess for me, I realize a lot of the questions from children come from their own insecurities. They worry about whether their parents will give them up. For several months after we adopted Alyssa, our Dylan (then 6) would ask us "Are you going to let me be adopted by a Chinese family?" It is too difficult for a child to comprehend the "WHY" of adoption and so children want to make sure the reasons our children are adopted don't apply to their lives. Does that make sense?

I just really want to be as open and honest about adoption as I can- I want adoption to be seen by our community as a wonderful experience, not a "tragic event" in Alyssa's life. I want Alyssa to be confident in her place in our family and in our community. The more people I can talk to about adoption and set the record straight - the better!!! And trust me, I've had some doozies of questions! The worst one (and I've been asked by many people) - "which ones are your real children? Are they all adopted?" Okay folks, do they look fake!!!! Of course, they are all my real children! Even in these situations, I use the opportunity to talk about how each child (any child!) is equally as loved, special and important in our family.

It doesn't get any more real than this!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Questions, Questions, Questions!

I had some very sweet, interesting questions asked today about Alyssa's adoption. I always welcome questions from people - I use every opportunity to share about adoption and to tell people about the needs of orphans. Most times, people are very sincere in their questioning and have a true desire to know about adoption. There are other times when people are being insensitive and provide me with very inaccuarate information they've heard or "learned" about adoption and orphans. Still, I don't mind this, I can use these opportunities to share the truth about why families adopt and the plight of children around the world. If I didn't want questions about our adoption, we would not have chosen to adopt a child of different nationality!

BUT, today, I had the most sincere questions asked of me. Alyssa and I were at the park playing and there was a group of kids there - probably between the ages of 6-10 (their parents weren't there). This is kind of how the question - answer period went between the kids and I...

First little girl asked me, "Why is she brown and you're white?"

Me: "She is from China and I'm from Canada"

All the other children come over at this point and start asking me questions at once...

Kids: "WOW, does she know all the chinese restaurants in town?!"

Me (laughing): Well, we do eat at a lot of chinese restaurants - her daddy and I love chinese food but Alyssa likes chicken nuggest and fries"

All the kids yell, "Me too!"

Kids: "Why is she with you?"

Me: "We adopted her. She didn't have a mommy and daddy to take care of her and we really wanted to be her mommy and daddy so we decided to adopt her as our child"

Kids: "How could she be born without a mommy and daddy?"

Me (thinking...oh great...the birds and the bees!!!): "Well, she was born from a lady in China but that lady wasn 't able to take care of Alyssa."

Kids: "But why not?"

Me: "Sometimes grown-ups aren't able to take care of their children - maybe the lady was too young, or maybe she didn't have money to feed her baby - there can be lots of reasons why someone can't keep their babies. She loved her baby and wanted someone to take care of her so she said she could be adopted"

Kids: "where did she live if she didn't have a mommy in china?"

Me: "She lived in an orphanage. It's a big house where lots of children live and nannies take care of them. "

Kids: "Like on Big Brother? There's a nanny on that show!" (I'm not sure if this is true because I don't watch Big Brother but how funny that she said that!)

Kids: "So now you're her mommy?"

Me: "Yup. She is my daughter and I'm her mother"

The kids all look at Alyssa, smile and go play as if nothing was talked about.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Two Weeks in Africa, or China or wherever...

Remember the children...remember the love of Jesus...

Johannesburg to Capetown
the plane had barely touched down
she was taking photos for the friends back home
this was always where she felt her heart belonged
and she was finally here

the sky was bright and clear
two weeks....and we all can feel the calling
two make the world a little smaller
and so a girl got on a plane
for two weeks in Africa

Johannesburg to Houston
she came home on a mountain
but school was starting, things kept moving on
before you knew it, seven years had gone
she found a picture of her standing, smiling
arms around the starving kids
she swore to not forget...
she swore to not forget

and if we follow our dear sun
to where the stars are not familiar…
faces turn to numbers
numbers fall like manna from the sky
why, oh why? oh Father, why?

one village in Malawi now has water running pure and clean
one church alive in Kenya’s full of truth and love and medicine

We put the walls up, but Jesus keeps them standing
He doesn’t need us, but He lets us put our hands in
so we can see His love is bigger than you and me

Written and performed by Caedmon's Call (Two Weeks in Africa)

Friday, August 10, 2007

A delicious meal!

Stir Fried Romaine, Corn & Pine Nuts, Steamed Buns, Shrimp Dumplings, Honey Garlic Ribs, Spicy Chicken Stirfry, Pork & Rice Balls, Chinese Tea

Wendy and her children, Yvonne and Tiger, invited us all over the other day for a traditional Chinese meal. WoW! We had such a great time visiting with each other and tasting some really delicious food. Wendy and her children moved to PEI last January from Beijing. She and her husband also have a deep passion for the orphans in China and are so supportive of our family and Two Homes One Heart. Our China Adopt group here in PEI is starting a playgroup for families who have adopted children from China and Wendy will be teaching them mandarin. We are all excited about this!

Wendy is also going to be hosting Chinese Cooking Classes this Fall with 100% of the proceeds going to Two Homes One Heart - helping the children in Alyssa's orphanage. I will let you know the date, location and time. Her cooking is fabulous so you won't want to miss out on this!!!!

Steamed or "stuffed" buns

Shrimp Dumplings

Pork & Rice Balls

Wendy - our fabulour chef!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Lemonade anyone??

Like, really...who can resist this?!!

We finally received our lemonade stand from Sunkist ( - they are giving out free lemonade stands to the first 10,000 children who pledge to give all their profit to charity. Caleb and Dylan pledged to give all the money to Two Homes One sweet of them :-)

Alyssa and I set up tonight for the first test try and we did great! We went to a baseball game for 1/2 hour and then to Caleb and Dylan's soccer game for 1/2 hour. We made $51.61 which we were thrilled with. I had made 4 dozen cookies and we sold out! We are going to buy one of those coolers that keep things frozen for 3 days and then we can sell freezies and popscicles, too. It's really quite a lot of fun! We are going to try to do a couple a week (sports games are a really great place to set up!) and then set up a few times at local businesses.

Alyssa serving her customers!

Our friend, Jacob, enjoying cookies and lemonade! Thanks, Jacob!

Saturday, August 4, 2007


We had a great meeting on Monday for Two Homes One Heart. We were able to share ideas, shed a few tears, and come up with a plan to help even more children through Two Homes One Heart.

The exciting news is...a local law firm has agreed to do all the work in getting our charity status PRO BONO! This takes a lot of time, a lot of headaches and a lot of money. We are so thankful to the local firm who agreed to do this and work on behalf of all the children we will be able to help. Having charity status gives Two Homes One Heart credibility and will allow more individuals and businesses to support us financially as we can give income tax receipts! THANK YOU!!!!! God is so good!

Two awesome fundraisers we are working on are:

Car Rally - to be held early Fall (probably in September) so stay tuned for the date. We will have teams compete on a fun, challenging race across the Island!!!

Charity Auction & Dinner with a beautiful choir cantata for entertainment - the dinner will be catered and will be an experience of fine dining with a beautiful atmosphere. We will be having a PEI choir perform amazing music to entertain while you eat. There will also be an Auction of items from China and Ethiopia - scarves, purses, jewlery and other items handmade in both countries. We will also be framing artwork from children living in the orphanages in both China and Ethiopia. It will be a very special night honoring the children needing families and care. We hope to raise a lot of money at this event! It is going to be a really beautiful night. We will keep you posted on location, date and price of tickets!!!