Friday, November 27, 2015

We Are Home!!!!

Just a short post to let you all know we made it home safe and sound!  Our flights were as perfect as they could possibly be!  We landed a few minutes late in Vancouver, but had enough time to make it through customs (it's amazing what a child in a wheelchair can do for you!  lol!  Seriously, though, we were escorted to the short line all the way through in Vancouver!  Thank you so much to Canadians for seeing the value of our children!) time for a bathroom break, and a quick stop for coffee/mocha.  We heard the final boarding call as we hurried to our gate and were the last to board.  One of the airline gals commented that we could have had priority boarding, to which we laughed and said it really didn't matter...we were just so very happy to be home and to have made the flight! 
Our kids really missed us!  Even Malia cried!  This girl has never admitted to missing us before, and if she has, only a little...unless we insist she has!  lol!  She was crying!  Oh, God is so very good!  Her crying is huge, and we don't take it for granted! And here we were, worried that our absence would set our kids back.  It seems to have done the opposite!
Thanks to everyone that came out to welcome us home!
Thanks Chantal for coming out to once again document this important day for us!   I can't wait to see more photos!  For now, here's one I stole from Chantal's page.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Earth Has No Sorrow That Heaven Can't Heal

This song has been running through my mind the past couple of days.  Especially the one line..."Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can't heal."
It runs through my mind as I watch our sweet Wren.  I see her big smile.  It's a smile that comes easily for her, but I see more.  I see glimpses of her past life...the life lived in an orphanage.
In all honesty, I really don't know my own daughter just yet.  I know bits and pieces.  Some of what I think I know is based on my experience with adoption.  Some is what I see in her eyes.  What I do know is this...that what I see now is only a small piece of who Wren is.  I know I don't completely understand the grief and fear that I have seen in her eyes.  I know that once I know her well, as a mother aught to know her daughter, only then will I really understand these moments we are experiencing now.  For now, I am comforted by the words in this song.
This song runs through my mind as I think of our time in Wenshan....

Here's what I wrote last week while still in Wenshan, but didn't share cause my heart was too raw.
We arrived back in Kunming on Thursday night.  Friday was an open day, so we headed to Starbucks.  It's expensive, but we both needed a little bit of home, and a place to destress.  I'm not sure if that is even a word, but it's what we needed to do.
We sat in Starbucks for a few hours, enjoying our drinks and talking...and crying.  Once the tears came, there was no stopping them.  Trust me I tried, but it was like trying to stop a water main break with a small cap!
I cried for YingYing.  I don't know her well enough to say I really know what she was all feeling, but I do know that poor girls heart was breaking!  She deserves to be in a family!  Then again, which child doesn't.  My prayer is that her family will find her, if they haven't already; that their paperwork will be expedited, and that YingYing will soon be home!
I cried for all the kids living without a family.  You may think the orphanage we visited was awful, but it wasn't.  It certainly wasn't as warm and welcoming as the one we visited in Haiti a few years ago, but it also isn't among the worst.
What broke my heart is knowing that most of these kids will spend the rest of their lives without a family.  I don't know how to process that information.  I don't know what to do with that information. 
Sometimes I want to go knocking on doors in Canada, begging those I know to reach out and offer one of these kids a home.  I want to fight the evil that puts kids in these predicaments in the first place.  I want to shout from a mountain top that adoption is beautiful! It is hard, but the beauty of it far outweighs the hard. 
If I could have, I would have taken every single one of those kids home with me...and some of you would have gotten a most wonderful gift from China!  :)
As always, there are a few kids that stick out and will forever be in my mind.  The boy lying in the corner crib not making a sound.  The "mean" boy who REALLY needs a family that will show him what love is.  The little baby that I whispered to my hubby..."she won't be around for long".  Sweet Miss LuLu...I will be praying that you are deemed "adoptable".  The little girl, sopping wet, who grinned the moment I smiled at her.  The bigger girl who melted into my arms and wanted to be held forever...I'm so sorry I didn't hold you longer, but my little Wren needed me. 
The tears come and sometimes I wish that my heart could grow new skin..... 


Monday, November 23, 2015

Beijing 2015

After some confusion in Wenshan with Wren's ticket, and having our wonderful guide Lily rush us through the VIP boarding, hurrying to our gate, and then a delayed flight we finally arrived at our hotel in Beijing around midnight.  It was snowing and cold.
 Yesterday was suppose to be a relaxing day as we didn't care to go to the zoo.  Because of the snow and cold, plans changed and we ended up going to the tea house, silk factory, and doing some shopping.  Wren enjoyed the silk factory and the shopping and pointed at all the electronic devices she wanted and all the cute things she wanted.  I'm not much of a shopper, but did manage to barter a few decent deals.
We're both tired and more than ready to go home.  This last stretch is always the hardest!  My computer crashed yesterday and it left me longing for some sort of comfort from home.  A few of our kids at home are having a bit of a hard time and I can't wait to hug them all close!  Needless to say, last night we walked to Pizza Hut even though it was cold and miserable.  It felt so good to have a ham and pineapple pizza!

Today was a day to do some laundry, have a nap and relax.  This evening we went to the acrobatic show.  It was good, but not as good as I remember in past years.  Wren wasn't so sure of all the loud noise and ended up sitting on Martin's lap, "hmm" ing  a lot.
I'm finding it hard to blog.  My heart just isn't in it.  My heart is having a hard time processing all I have seen. But I know my kids and friends are waiting for updates.  So this post is bland, but hopefully the pics make up for it.
Wren is doing amazing!  She has fallen in love with Martin, but is still a bit cautious.  She loves to giggle and grunt and coo to communicate.  She understands a lot of what we say and has little problems communicating her needs and wants.  She has a young and open heart.  A heart that is ready and willing to trust and to love.  For that I am incredibly grateful!

This is our guide Lily.  She was the best guide we have ever had, taking the time to chat with Wren, tell us what she was saying to Wren and what Wren's response was.  She even bought Wren some candy several times!

The tea house...

The silk factory.  This is one of my favorite places to visit in China.

And the snowy streets in Beijing.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

More of Wenshan

We travelled to Wenshan on Wednesday and returned on to Kunming on Thursday.  This post is rather random, but I want my kids at home to see some of what we saw.
As I mentioned in my last post, the drive from Kunming to Wenshan was gorgeous!

Wenshan is a busy city, but not as busy as Beijing and has more of a small town feel to it....if that's possible to say about a huge city!

This was our breakfast...a traditional Chinese breakfast.  We'd never had this before, so it was new and interesting.
I simply HAD to take a picture of our hotel in Wenshan!  You gotta love that window!  lol!

Thursday morning we headed to the orphanage where Wren spent the better part of her life.  We got to see the room she shared with a few other girls.

We saw the playground where the kids played.  I'm not sure if these cars are always out and about for the kids to play with, but Wren loved being pushed around in them.  There was a camera crew there during our visit, so perhaps that's why the cars were there?
Wren loved hanging out with Ellie, Mary and Cory's daughter.  She was such a good sport, pushing Wren around in the car and holding her hand as we walked.  You certainly made Wren's day Ellie!

We also met Whitney, who visits the orphanage regularly and does therapy with the kids.  Thanks so much for all you do Whitney! 

Katie travelled with the Miller family and was generous enough to become our personal tour guide while in Wenshan.  Without her we would have been lost!  She made sure we made it to and from Wenshan, found great places to eat and a place to spend the night. And she spent a good chunk of the bus ride back to Kunming with these 3 squeezed into her seat. Thanks so much Katie!

Our sweet little angel, all tuckered out after our trip!  She really is amazing!  As her Daddy said..."It feels like I've known her for a life time.  As though I knew her before we heard about her". 
Yup!  That man of mine really is a gem!  He has the biggest heart and his sweet little girl is slowly learning to see past the goatie that she despises!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Our internet continues to be sporadic and I'm having trouble posting.  We leave for Beijing today, but I thought I'd post a bit about our last few days.
Tuesday morning we headed back to the Civil Affairs office to complete all the paperwork and officially make Wren a Peters!
Wren was a lot more relaxed and even smiled for these photos. She looks terrified in the photos for the official documents...can't say I blame her!

We spent Tuesday afternoon meandering through the very "framous" (as our guide says) Green Lake Park.  It is beautiful and relaxing.

Wren got to feed the fish with her Daddy.

Wednesday morning we joined a family from the USA (They also adopted a boy from Wren's orphanage and we had met online before coming here), and headed to Wenshan to visit Tara, (Wren's foster mom) and the orphanage where Wren was living.
The 5+ hour bus drive was long and bumpy, but the view was fantastic! 

The spit buckets...not so beautiful!  Made me want to gag every time someone reached to the depths of their nasal passage to honk out a big greeny!  Lol!
I'm so very thankful that we got to travel with Mary and Cory, and Katie (our personal guide).  Wren was in the same orphanage as both of their boys.  How cool is that?!?!

Wednesday night we visited Tara's home.  It was a wonderful evening of meeting many new people who have an amazing love for this country!
Leaving was hard for Wren.  She cried, but only for a bit.  My mama's heart is so very's almost numb. I'm not sure if that makes any sense at all, but I feel as though my heart and mind can't even begin to process and understand all that is happening.  And then I wonder how Wren can even begin to process it all!  Continued prayers appreciated.  We know He has amazing plans for her!
To Tara and family...thank you once again!  The impact you have had on Wren's live is VERY evident and we will forever be grateful for that!  You made the transition so much easier.  You have helped her understand not only our language, but also our culture.  You prepared her well!

And then this girl...oh my!  She is amazing!  YY was so very shy, but spent the better part of the evening flirting with Martin.  She is so adorable!  Would you all join me in praying her family finds her soon and can travel very soon!  I can only imagine how she feels, seeing her friends leave with their forever families....girly, you've got us praying and I know many, many other people are hang in there! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Forever Family Day-Wren

Well, the day finally arrived!  We met Wren today!
I was incredibly nervous...something that has never been much of an issue in our past adoptions.  Martin, on the other hand, was all calm and collected...completely at peace!  Go figure! :)
 We were the last to arrive at the Civil Affairs office, and upon seeing us, Wren smiled a shy little smile!  It was good to see that she recognized us!
Wren was shy and unsure, and a whole lot overwhelmed.  Thankfully, Tara (her foster mom), and Katie, (who has visited Wren regularly the past few years) were both present to help ease the transition and explain what was happening.
Wren definitely felt more comfortable with me initially, but by the evening she had warmed up to Martin and was coloring with him!
As for me...the reality of all of this has yet to sink in.  It seems unreal that this has actually happened...that we are Wren's and she is ours!  However, it feel so very right! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015


We arrived in Kunming yesterday and are delighted to be in this beautiful city!  The air is fresh (compare to Beijing which was as smoggy as I'd ever seen it.  The grey smoke even hung heavy in the airport), and the landscape is mountainous and beautiful!  We spent the morning meandering through Green Lake Park.  It is a beautiful, peaceful place.  I'll try post photos later today, but thought I'd quickly update while I have access to the internet. (Yah!  I managed to post some pics too!)

We meet Wren in about 4 hours, which will be about 1 am SK time.  We've both had our moments of being overwhelmed, wondering what the heck we're getting into.  At the moment we are excited and at peace.  We know God has His hand in all of this, and we take great comfort in that!  It is where our strength comes from!
Please continue to pray for all of us.  Our kids at home are doing well, although a few are having a hard time and already miss mom and dad. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Here We Come China!

It's almost 11pm and it's late and I should be in bed, catching a few winks before our flight leaves tomorrow morning!
But I simply had to tell you we have our visas!  With 8 1/2 hours to spare before we leave! 
I asked you all to pray that things would fall into place perfectly, and they have!
Thank you so very much for praying!  And we ask that you continue to pray.  I'm too tired to write out an entire prayer request list...but I have a feeling you all have a pretty good idea of what our needs are.  Thank you!
I'll try to post a few times while in China, but that depends greatly on the internet service available. 
Till then...goodnight!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

God Fights for the Orphan

It's Orphan Sunday today, and the story I'm about to tell couldn't have happened on a more fitting day!  It's a story that shows how much God really does stand up for orphans; how much He loves them and fights for them!  And how He uses His people to make things happen!

For those of you not on FB, here's a bit of an update since my last post.  I honestly thought that the story of our journey to Wren was mostly complete.  I was wrong!

Last night our church hosted a fundraising party to bring Wren home.  It was an emotional night, and we left the event encouraged and completely blown away by peoples generosity! 

There simply is no way to adequately express our gratitude!  But THANK YOU to Nate and Carla for organizing the event, to everyone who donated a silent auction item, to everyone who came, and to everyone who gave of your hard earned money! 

We are incredibly grateful to be surrounded by such an amazing group of prayer warriors, encouragers, and God loving people!

I actually managed to finally have a decent nights sleep.

I awoke feeling fairly well rested, ready to get my little family ready for church, meet friends for lunch, and have a more relaxing day.

That wasn't meant to be...but first a little of what's been happening the past couple of  weeks...
The past month has been an emotional roller coaster with documents sitting in some office, those same documents taking a week to get to their destination rather than 2 days, trying to contact immigration with no success and thinking we wouldn't be travelling to China in November, then it looking feasible because we managed to get Part I of Wren's citizenship expedited.  Well, last week Friday we finally booked flights to leave this coming Friday.
The only thing that still needs to fall into place is getting our visas.  The plan is for our contact in Toronto to apply for an expedited visa on Monday, get the visas on Wednesday, send them out via FedEx, expedited once again, and have the visas arrive in Saskatoon on Thursday morning.
Well, this morning I got the phone call I didn't want!
It turns out the guy applying for our visas forgot to mention that we should have 2 passport style photos included to affix to the visa application!  I had sent two photos to our agency, thinking they would be used for our visas, and didn't realize we needed 2 sets! 
Adrenalin kicked in, and we began praying and searching for a way to get these photos to Toronto by tomorrow morning.  For those of you not familiar with Canadian geography, Toronto is half way across the country! 
I called every single courier I could think of.  ALL are closed on Sunday!  The earliest any document could possibly arrive in Toronto would be Monday night or Tuesday morning!
That's where God comes in!
I posted an URGENT post, asking if anyone happened to be flying to Toronto today, or if anyone knew anyone flying there today.  Within minutes on of my FB friends posted the following and within minutes I got a response....

I seriously burst out balling!!  And I still cry every time I read this fb conversation!
We spent the morning and part of the afternoon trying to get the right size of photo to meet China's guidelines and after stopping at Costco and SGI, we finally hit the jackpot at London Drugs!  We got our photos done and they are now in the capable hands of Mark!
I am emotionally and physically exhausted!  We asked for God to show us His hand in this entire journey to Wren...and He continues to do so!
Please keep praying that everything falls into place perfectly...preferably without more drama and stress!