What do our kids think of all this?

Many people have asked us how are kids are feeling about moving to Honduras.
Below are their initial reactions.

Jacob:

Before the words were even out of our mouths, Jake, our oldest son said. “Please tell me that we are going to move to Honduras!”
Our jaws dropped because out of all three of our children, we assumed Jake would be the one to give us the most grief.
That was not the reaction we were expecting. He totally shocked us by being a hundred percent on board with us.  He wanted a change in scenery, to experience a new culture, a new beginning and a chance to start over.
A few people know how over the years we have struggled with him from day one. One issue after another. We would overcome one obstacle only to be thrown something else, something worse than before. At times things looked hopeless and the feelings of despair were overwhelming at times.  We were at our wits end spent allot of time crying out to God to get through to him.  Nothing seemed to help. Not art therapy when he was young, not counselling, not a trip to the police station, not the intervention weekend with his older biological sisters…
But then this summer something happened.
We allowed him to help at a christian camp. At first we were not going to allow him to go, but we really felt like God was saying “let him go”
I spoke about this in another entry so I guess I am repeating myself here…but he came back from that camp a changed young man.
I can say with confidence that he is not the same guy he was before the summer. His demeanor, his attitudes, the way he spends his spare time, what he watches on TV, the music he listens too….
He gave his life to God, totally, one hundred percent….and He changed him from the inside out.
Where counselling and therapy failed…God prevailed, and it’s beautiful!
I am so proud of him.

Jake is a very gifted guitar player and artist.
Favorite colour…. lime green.
Favorite music …Hillsongs United
Favorite movie…Avatar

Benjamin

Our middle child Ben is a blond haired, blue eyed sports enthusiast.  He has always been very good any sport he sets his hand to try,  very good natured, with a sunny personality. He is a thoughtful kid, always asking if there is anything he can do to help. Ben is full of energy and fun. He was NOT so keen on going to Honduras in the beginning.
He loves his sports especially snowboarding and how would he do that in Honduras? And friends…he has a couple really close friends. It would be HARD to say goodbye to them. In his words, we were forcing him to go, not giving him a choice or a say in the decision. He was very adamant about how he felt.
However in August he met other MK’s ( missionary kids) who were in the same boat as him.  Some of them had spent most of their life outside of Canada. One had never lived here but had spent his whole life in Senegal and much preferred it there to here. Between the friendships he made with the other MK’s, and the influence and leadership of Matt Janes, the MK’s youth pastor, and God speaking to his young heart…Ben’s heart was changed.
I will never forget when Ben stood in front of everyone at Segue; adults, youth and children. Dale and I looked at each other, not knowing he was going to do this and not knowing what was going to come out of his mouth when he said..”When my parents first told me we were going to Honduras, I did not want to go, but now I am looking forward to it.”
It was all I could do to keep the tears from flowing.
Out of all the kids, Ben is giving up the most because of his love of winter and all things to do with winter. He for one is praying for a ton of snow before we go!

Favorite Colour … Blue
Favorite Movie….Hunger games
Favorite Sports…Snowboarding, Basketball, Skateboarding.

 

 
 

Elisa is our youngest child. She is a happy 11 year old who loves to sing, dance and shop.
She is our drama queen. She is very outgoing and loves to talk…though she does have her shy moments.
Her first reaction was to be excited…over the top as Elisa can often be.
Then reality sunk into her heart. While she was excited and happy to go, she thought of all the goodbyes, all the things familiar she would be leaving behind and it made her sad.
Going to the mall and hanging out with her friends, walking around the avon river, playing at upper queens park, her grandparents, her pets….
If you asked her today how she was feeling she would tell you.
Happy. Sad.

Favorite Colour….Purple
Favorite Music….Yancy, Deana Hoyles
Favorite Movie….Soul Surfer

"Forever family" How our story began…

This Thanksgiving there are so many things I am thankful for but today I wanted to focus on one thing…my family.

 
 

I had always wanted three or four children for as long as I could remember. But after 8 years of marriage it was a dream that I had long given up on; although I felt the pain of being childless all the time.
Dale and I were living just outside of Essex in the country. He was children’s pastor at the church and I offered child care in our home. I was caring for one family that had a little boy and two foster children. After chatting with the mom about the need for foster parents in the area an idea was born in my heart that this was something we could do! We had a ton of space in that home, and I thought we could make a difference in a child’s life. I believed it was something we should pursue.

We made the call to CAS and then began the invasive home study and a ten week long fostering course with other prospective foster parents.
It was during the home study we were informed that they would never place children in our home under the age of 6. They felt that us not being able to have our own children we would not want to give the children up when it was time for them to go home with their parents.
That was so disappointing! I felt like I was a better fit with younger children as I had been “babysitting” younger kids for years and really loved that age. I knew that older children came with more baggage and would be more of a challenge and I honestly didn’t think I could handle an older school aged child; not with the attitudes and acting out. I felt defeated before we even began.

We were not even finished with our course when the call came from CAS.  They were in desperate need for a home for a brother and sister. Could we take them right away?
Their ages were eighteen months and two years old!
I don’t have to tell you how excited and happy I was. It was a dream come true!
They came for a visit one evening to meet us first before they made the move to our home.
Blue eyed, curly blond haired Benny and his brown eyed little sister. Both of them were so cute.
Dale had set me down before we met them and said ” We cannot get attached to these kids” He had a plan to just hold them at arms length and not get his heart involved.
After meeting them that line of thinking went out the window because it was love at first sight!

Benny was hyper, always on the go and very clumsy; accident prone. I remember one time he walked right into a glass door at church, rubbed his head and asked ” How did that get there?” 
That has been a saying that we now use all the time!
Elisa was always cute and just an all around happy child. Just learning to walk, she was a bit wobbly on her feet.

 
 

Every week they had visits with their mom, older sisters and brother. We would get them ready, a driver would come and pick them up and then drop them back off again when the visit was over.
Four months in we received a call asking us if we had room for the brother Jake. He; like Ben and Elisa was being made “crown ward no access”  At the time he was still living with his older sisters who still had visits with mom. In order to make things easier they wanted to move him in with us. It would have been devastating to have to tell him that his sisters could go see mom but he had to stay behind. Can you imagine having to explain that to a four year old?

Anyway, we definitely had the space, so the last day of school that summer, Jake came to live with us. He was exactly like his worker described ….a little pistol! Cute as a button though…but my goodness what a handful. His first night in our home he peed on the carpet in his room!

It is a long story but eventually mom signed off on the kids. We didn’t even have to go to court to sing the affidavit.
We had a lawyer tell us, “look, if you want to adopt these kids…speak up!”
Of course we did. We wanted to keep them together as a family..not have each of them end up in separate foster homes never again to see each other.
And so the adoption process began.  We had another home study and an adoption course to complete. It took what seemed like forever.

By the time everything was final, Elisa was already four years old.
There was a lot of red tape. The courts had to sign off on the dad because he was no where to be found, there were spelling mistakes between the health card and the birth certificate, one thing after another , another hoop to jump through, the glitches kept coming.
My greatest fear in it all was that we would lose the kids. It was taking so very long. I was afraid that mom would change her mind and want the kids back, and that would be it, they would be gone, lost to us forever, our dreams of being a forever family destroyed.
Thankfully, that didn’t happen and when everything was final we had them dedicated to the glory of God in our church in Essex. Family was there along with our kids siblings ( who by the way we still maintain relationships with) and all of the workers who had worked along side from the beginning.
Afterwards one of the workers commented on what a miracle it was and it was obvious who we worked for.

Indeed it was a miracle. It was a dream realized. Not just one child, but three….instant family!

It has been several years since that journey began as our children are now 11, 12 and 14. In some ways it seems like they have always been with us. It has been an adventure since the day they walked through the door and stepped into our hearts.
It hasn’t always been easy.  There have been a lot of challenges and things to work through. We aren’t perfect parents, we have made our share of mistakes, but we are there for each other, we love each other through it all. Today and always I am thankful for them!

 
Here is a photo of the kids with their older sisters Maria and Anna.
 

One Wednesday in October..

It has been a rough day or so. A discovery was made that made my heart stop and left me reeling inside with a gnawing sense of worry.
With the simple click of the mouse…mystery solved. What was hidden was made known, the truth glaring at me from the screen of the laptop.
My husband would say I am worrying over nothing and perhaps I am….but isn’t that my job as a mom?
I love how God does that. He puts something on our heart to clue us in to what is going on with our children. It’s like a nudge or a whisper in the ear. It’s that sense of knowing not all is as it appears. Something is up..and then He shows us.

Jer. 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

But Satan has other plans and they are the opposite of God’s plans. Plans to steal, kill and destroy.
He doesn’t want us to have that future or a hope God has for us so he weaves his deception, his lies into our hearts and minds so we think something is ok..or harmless when it is far from it.
We can’t serve two masters.
We can’t be a part time christian- only at church ….but at school, work or wherever we may be live like the devil. The things that we do, the places we go, the things we watch on tv or the internet..etc
Either we are serving Him or we are not.

Rev 3:15, 16
I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot or cold.  I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither not or cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!

We need to stop and think would we want our christian friends,  or our pastor knowing what we are up to when no one else is around? If Jesus were standing beside us in the flesh would we still do it?
Satan is the father of lies. His goal is to destroy us.
Sometimes it’s subtle. He may use “stuff” to distract us. Stuff that isn’t necessarily bad in itself, but maybe it replaces the time that we once spent in the word, praying or talking to God.
The descent may be slow, where we don’t even notice how far we’ve slipped and fallen, until we find ourselves doing things or thinking things we know would break the heart of God.

A song that comes to mind is that old Steve Camp song “the fire that once burned bright, we’ve let it grow dim. And the very Word we said that we would die for, all has been forgotten as the world’s become our friend”

I don’t want to see my child struggle. I know high school is a tough place to be a christian; even more so than when I was there many years ago. I know his desire to serve Jesus. The change in him this past summer was nothing short of miraculous. I believe with all my heart is was all part of the preparation he is in for when we go to Honduras.  God did an amazing work in him!
But, I also know his desire to fit in with his peers. The desire to be liked and accepted. There is also that  teenage arrogance there thinking he is on top of the world and can handle anything that is thrown at him.

I know it is spiritual warfare and the battle for his soul is on. The battle for all our souls really. Whether we are going on the mission field or not. Whether we are rich or poor, young or old…

Eph. 6:12
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies., but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Heb 12:1,2a
Therefore since we are surrounded by such a large crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up, And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

That is the prayer for my family…that we would constantly keep our eyes on Him..that we would not look to the left or right or get side tracked by things in this life..that we would continue to pursue Him as we walk this journey, the road to Hope.