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Yes, we made into Glamour Magazine!

 

YES! Our amazing story has made it to one of America’s best selling magazines and I am particularly happy with the end result. It even brought a tear to my eye….ok, I can can be honest with you all, it made me weep. It was embarrassing.

So people, go get the magazine, get something warm and comforting to drink (vanilla latte is my preference) and enjoy.

Thank you to all of whom took an interest in our miracle and have made this story happen. Also a special thank you to my adoptive father who has always helped me in my search and has too welcomed them into his family. It must be hard but he did it and  with grace.

I just can’t believe how lucky we are. I have an amazing, loving ,sweet,  beautiful and talented sister whom I am sooooo proud of ! The future is looking bright. She might be in the spotlight, but behind her are our loving parents who have welcomed me, my children and my husband into their family as if we have always been together. A great mom who acted just like a mom would at our wedding. A father, who I feel like I related to the most and a great brother who my son A-D-O-R-E-S ! I kind of like him too. We even have matching tattoo’s now. We got them in Amsterdam. My wedding present from him. Sweet!

I only hope to be able to see each other more often. Having a sea between us ain’t helping! Can someone give me a job over there? Please ? ^^Ooops, I’m embarrassing myself again.

Love yah sis, mother, father and bro! Dad, I love you too of course!

Thank you God!


25 points of useless information about myself.

Image via Wikipedia

1. I’m Canadian and proud of it. I am however living in Belgium for the moment.

2. I never finish anything. I always leave  the last cookie –  I have endless amounts of chip bags with crumbs in them – I’ve never emptied a glass and I even leave one piece of toilet paper on the roll….

3. I get hyper if you touch my toes.

4. I’m too lazy to pre-read my posts and so I end up making loads of typo’s and constantly going back and forth trying to correct them.

5.  I’ve been pooped on by an eagle.

6. I cried when Spock died in Star Treck 2. R.I.P. Spock!

7. I used to be crazy (read obsessed) of the New Kids on The Block. Aaah, Joey McIntyre…I even had a crush on a guy who worked at Wendy’s. That  was until my dad told him that I though he looked like Joey. (the shame)

8. My sister is an upcoming celebrity. I would like to tell you more, but I’m afraid of making myself look pathetic as in “Look at me, my sister is …” Oeps, almost did it.

10. I’ve been adopted but have been reunited with pretty much my entire birth family. So I now have 2 families!

11. I believe in miracles because I believe in God and have seen what He has done with my life. Really a miracle.

12. I was a teen mom and now my two kids are teens themselves. Thank goodness that they’re smarter than me and that I’m not a granny yet!

13. Just to make things clear : I DO love my teens (adore them) and haven’t once regretted having them. They have made me who I am today (with allot of help from God)

14. I don’t really understand what all the fuss is about Miss Pippa’s butt.

15. When I’m genuinely laughing, I snort. Yes, snort as in a little pig.

16. I used to date Bear Grylls.

17. I lied.

18. No matter how much I deny it, I have a flair for the dramatic. Ask my fiancé.

19. I hate confrontation.

20. I rather text, BBM, chat, skype,Whatsapp then have to talk on the phone and will almost always pass the phone to my fiancé. Unless your my mom, sister or good friend. (I felt like I had to add that)

21. I often speak without thinking and then spend the rest of the time wondering what the fudge was I thinking and cussing at myself. In my thoughts that is. I’m not actually speaking to myself, now that would be weird.

22. Kids used to pick on me in primary school, because 1. I was an Anglophone in a French Canadian School, 2. I was tall + skinny and 3. Because I was an Anglophone in a Canadian French School. It has distorted my way of thinking.

23. When I’m depressed I like to hide in my room with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and a Barbara Cartland book. Hey, she’s a good writer.

24. My family situation has become so complicated that I could only explain it by using charts.

25. I wrote this post from work because I was bored.

Meet me under the Eiffel Tower. -A sisters reunion.

I met my sister under the Eiffel  Tower.

My sister found me in November 2009. But because she was living in the States and I am living in Europe, it has made it impossible for us to meet. This is pretty frustrating, looking for your birth family for 14 years then being found but not able to meet yet because of the ocean between us and the high fuel prices making ticket prices incredibly expensive. Whom should I thank for that? But we still fabricated a strong relationship by emailing, Skype and BBM as I do with my birth-parents. Unfortunately you can’t see each other’s facial expressions, or mannerisms. Most importantly, you can’t hold each other.

 

Well anyway, my sister’s husband, who has family in the UK, planned a trip for them to Europe around Christmas, to my parents dismay. First London, then Paris. Ahhh! Paris. I was secretly hoping that we could maybe finally meet each other then, but it seemed like they had too many plans, romantic ones, and I didn’t really want to intrude. So, I just left it at that and pretended that my holidays were fully booked as well.

But my “soon –to- be- other- half” though differently and secretly planed a two day trip to Paris with the kids (and myself of course) to go and meet them. Poor dear, he couldn’t  keep the secret for long. Once I have the feeling that something is happening behind my back, I turn into Sherlock Holmes and usually find out what’s going on. It freaks my son out.

This would all take place December 2010. But, like some of you might have heard, the airports across Europe were closing down due to weather and partly because they were running out of de-icener. Crazy! Europe really isn’t prepared for winter when it comes to snow and ice. So, Heathrow, the airport my sister was flying into was shut down for a few days as well because of old man Winter. What happened then ? L’s flight got cancelled and my dreams to finally hold the sister I so longed for went down the drain.

I prayed fervently that evening, even posting a Facebook status asking my friends to pray for a miracle as well. I though for a second, but why God? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?(sobbing dramatically)

But I quickly calmed myself down and choose not to make myself depressed or to feel self-pity. I know that God is in control and that even if I don’t understand some things that happen, I know He has a plan. If it’s not meant to be now, it will maybe be in the future then.

I woke up the next day to a couple of BBM messages and messages on Facebook. It was my sister.

“Where are you, I’m trying to reach you. I wanted to let you know that we were able to book another flight”

Thank YOU! I guess I just needed to realize that I have to trust God, no matter how unfair something may seem. It’s in spite of the trials, we always have God’s promise that the trials and tests that we go through are for our good (Romans 8:28, Hebrews 12:2, 2 Corinthians 4:17, James 1:2). We learn that it is through trust that our relationship with God strengthens and our love for Him grows.

So, three days after Christmas, my fiancé, children and myself, climbed into our Citroen C3 cookie tin box at six in the morning, making our way to Paris. By then, I think my hubby -to -be must have asked me ten times already if I was nervous. I said, no. I didn’t really feel nervous.

Three hours later we arrived at our hotel in Paris, parked the car and made our way to the Eiffel Tower, by subway. Unfortunately, the receptionist of our hotel gave us wrong instructions as to where to get off and we ended up across the river “La Seine” away from the Eiffel Tower. I yelled : noooooooooooooooooo! Five minutes to our meeting and we still have a river to cross. Typical!

Despite all of this, we were still able to be taken aback by all the beauty around us. We have been there before a couple of times, but it never grows old, it never looks dull. It was cold and foggy and but I really don’t think that there are many places that still  look so lovely on a grey day like this. Even the tip of the tower was hiding under a cloud of fog. It had something magical to it.

All that time my hubby-2-b was filming me and my sweet teenage daughter was taking pictures. I was surprised at the amount of photo’s taken when I was looking at them at home after getting back, she had been mainly taking pictures of horse statues and of pigeons apparently…many, many horses.

“Are you nervous?” Kim asked while filming me.

“NO, anxious, YES and worried that we won’t get there on time and annoyed at you for asking me if I’m nervous for the tenth billionth time.” I replied while rolling my eyes. I’m pretty good at looking annoyed. He got the picture and fully exploited it on film.

Well, anyway,continuing, we saw a bridge we needed to cross and started heading towards it. Then my daughter, who hasn’t let go of my arm since leaving the car except for maybe filming the pigeons and horse statues, asked me why I was walking slower instead of faster. I started to think and panic:

– “But what if she doesn’t like me?” “What if we don’t know what to say?”  “Do we hug or not”, “Darn, I should have not put on any make-up. Oh well, I won’t cry. “I guess I was just so scared at the thought of my fantasy bubble bursting and the fear of being rejected.

We arrived under the Eiffel Tower and we were all looking around us, desperately trying to find them among the herd of other tourists. I was squinting my eyes as if that would make them appear miraculously. I kept on turning and looking .

I was worried most of all that she wouldn’t like me or that she decided at the last moment that she wasn’t ready, or that they maybe got run over by some crazy French dude in a Renault. It could happen…have you been to the “Arc of Triumph”?

Luckily  for us, we ‘re living in an era where even dogs  have a smartphone and all that time we both kept in touch, monitoring each other’s step until I proudly sent:

-“We’re here!!!”

I could have sworn that half an hour passed before I heard from them again, but my son reassured me (while rolling his eyes at me, I’m so proud) that only 1 minute had passed. I then get an answer back from her:

”Where?”

Is she kidding?

-” Euh, sweetie, we are under the Eiffel Tower, between the other zillion tourists.” I answered.

While I was still frantically turning and squinting my eyes, my boo kept on bugging me to maybe move more to the side, next to a blue caravan or container with some questionable wet stains on the bottom sides. Not quite the movie like background I had imagined, so I pretended not to hear him.

I kept looking at my phone….then up….the around…then back at my phone, until I hear Kim say:

– “What are you doing? I’ve spotted her already you know.”

All of a sudden, all went silent, or so it seemed to me; I didn’t hear people talking anymore or notice the  pushy vendors trying to sell me a Eiffel Tower key chain, just silence….

This next bit will sound corny, and I apologize beforehand, but common, imagine you were me and your meeting your sibling for the first time!

So after hearing him saying that he had already spotted her, I looked up and it’s seemed like the crowd parted as if they were curtains on a stage.

And then, all of a sudden there she was, my sister. She was heading straight, not quite running, but walking very quickly. I leaped towards her and we just flew into each other’s arms and wept.  She was stunning and she was a part of me. We hugged and it felt like holding a long lost friend; warm and perfect. After a couple of minutes we let go of each other and it was the first time that our eyes have ever met. I was now starring into the two same pair of hazel eyes…the same eyes I have looked at for years in the mirror. I always wondered if there was someone out there with the same eyes. Is that person thinking of me?

She did. She thought of me, looked for me and found me. My sister.

We spent the next two days sharing, shopping, laughing, sightseeing, comparing our hands and freckles, and finding out things that we had in common. We have the same mannerisms, the same nose and same size of petite hands. It was just so incredible to find a part of me. A relative…besides the ones I have already gladly produced myself. She and I have the same mother, the same father plus the same brother. Basically, we have the same family. All of whom I still yet need to meet, but due to money issues can’t just yet. It’s just so sad.

But meeting my sister  has made me feel whole again and so incredibly happy. With her has come the first steps, the bridge if you will,  leading to my new found family.

I will be forever grateful to her for looking for me, finding me, accepting me, loving me and last, for helping me with filling up those ugly empty gaps. The gaps I had  in my family tree.

“Dear Lord, thank You for my family. I’m grateful for so many things, and one of those is for the family who loves me enough to want to meet me and want to be with me. Help me to trust You always. I might think I know what’s best for me, but I am not seeing what lies ahead the way You do. I want to submit to Your plans for me every day, in sunshine and shade.

In Jesus’ Name,  Amen.

My Weirdest Pet Peeve

“PET PEEVE (or pet hate) is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to them, to a greater degree than others may find it.”

I can easily tell you what my weirdest character trait would be, having to have access to internet at all times so I can look stuff up on Google or Wikipedia. I have even googled the second World War on my cell phone to prove myself right.

I’m sharing this useless information with you because that brings me to my weirdest pet peeve. I didn’t know what a pet peeve was, so I looked it up on Wikipedia of course.

Now, what’s my weirdest pet peeve? Hmmmm….

Well, I have a few, definitely when it’s that time of the month again but what I really hate is when someone doesn’t clean the sink after having used it. Ok this sounds crazy, but I’m a neat freak and the rest of my family isn’t. Each and every time I clean the house (that’s 3 times a week) half an hour later someone probably spilled something, left remnants of toothpaste in the sink/on the mirror or left some worn, dirty socks in the couch.

Our sink in the kitchen is made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel , yeah right! W-H-A-T-E-V-E-R! If you don’t dry it up after having used it, you end up with these stains, calcium deposit stains. That drives me crazy, then I drive my family crazy by telling then every one to clean the sink after washing their hands, each time they use the sink.

It’s not only cleaning out the sink- each sink has it’s own wipe down cloth btw, but just keeping the house clean. My teen-age daughter makes coffee every morning, bless her, but she never cleans up after herself. So I’ll find coffee grind and stains all over my white kitchen cabinets.

Or when my son is filling the dishwasher, he never empties the cups and just puts them in the machine. So whatever was in those cups, end up again on my white kitchen cupboard doors. Aaaaarrrgggh!

This untidiness makes me so angry that I actually went around the house one time, when everyone was away and took pictures of everything!!! From stains on the floor as to a Yu-Gi-Yoh cards lying forgotten in the corner. After taking the pictures I made a PowerPoint, full of embarrassing pictures of their room and bathroom. I added some dramatic music and a couple of threats:- “Beware if you don’t start cleaning up after yourselves, I will post this to You Tube and Facebook and tag your names into it”.

I even went on a mummy strike once or twice, but being a neat freak, it didn’t last that long.

Threatening your kids with humiliating then on the internet is way more effective than anything else. Until they block you …

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Taking it easy is hard

He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.

~ Psalm 23 : 2-3

I’m tired physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m tired from no sleep. I’m tired of trying so hard to function. I’m frustrated. I’m weak. I’m what Isaiah calls “weary.” Weird, considering that I’ve been on “vacation” since last Monday. Yet, I still get up early in the morning  and feel exhausted by 7 pm. Sometimes, I lie awake making out my to-do list in my mind. In the morning, I wake up as tired as when I went to bed. The real problem is I didn’t get enough sleep.

Being on vacation doesn’t mean I can just sit down and rest, it just means I don’t have to go to work. I still have to clean, mother, cook and do stuff I usually don’t have enough time doing whilst having to work.Doctor appointments, shopping for the kids summer clothing, clean the windows…arrgghhh!

So, I sort of was neglecting God, by the time I had “me time” in the evening I would just drop myself onto my bed like a sack of potatoes (not that I would drop them into bed ,but you get the picture)-I’m wanting to drift off to dreamland rather than to grab my bible and read. I try to pray and I end up by doing it eventually, but I must say I’m pretty embarrassed at how lazy my prayers have become. Either I’ll just mumble “I lay my head down to sleep”  . No fuss there or I’ll just say something like ” Thank you Lord for this day, please bless my family and me…” I’m just so tired and I just can’t concentrate.

I really try to, but then I hear the cars on the road -our house is situated on a pretty busy street. Or our mama cat will be miauwing like crazy. She just had kittens and the’re walking around, this seems to make her feel uncomfortable. But what usually happens is that when I’m praying, my brain takes me, pulls me away from God. Result of this is that I just couldn’t feel near to God anymore the last couple of weeks, I couldn’t seem to enter into his presence.

But now I’ve realized the reason why I wasn’t feeling God’s presence lately is because I wasn’t making any time for Him. I just gave Him the bits of time I choose to give, thinking, ahhh, He’ll understand, He knows that I’m exhausted!

Then the Lord showed me that I wasn’t putting Him first. I was putting everything else before Him and He ended up with what was left. How terrible does that sound?

So this morning I got up as early as usual, happy to be the only one up. I can have a cup of coffee and some time for myself and for God. I prayed, not just a quicky, but a heartfelt prayer and took my bible and spent some time with Him. I finally felt Him near me again.

Even David felt the pressure of life. He protected, guided, and tended to his sheep. How did David manage? He looked to his Good Shepherd for rest and the Lord provided. “He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, he restores my soul” (Psalm 23:2-3).

So from now on , my green pasture will b  the cool early mornings, when no one else is up and I can just sit alone in silence with my cup of coffee and my bible. The secret is stealing away with God to places of unending rest.

Everyday people cartoons by Cathy Thorne


Dear Lord, I’m sorry that I’ve become so selfish and have choosen to put you aside and put myself first. You never give us more than we can handle and You want us to come to You and rest. Help me to rest. Guard my time and help me manage my responsibilities so that I can renew myself emotionally, spiritually, and psychically each day.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Everyone wants a piece of my Rice Krispies treat

Wow, an advantage at being a Canadian in a European country- Almost anything you make, as simple and as common as it is at home, they’ll love it.

We had our annual church picnic today. Oh boy, the stress. I decided staying at home in the morning instead of going to church, due to my son having to study for his exams,we could then enjoy the picnic in the afternoon.

I spent all morning making sandwiches,egg and tzaziki and slicing my RiceKrispies treats I had made the day before. That on it’s own seemed quite the “challenge”, I made it to sticky, so I and the rest of the family spent an hour trying to cut the freaking stuff up.

The weather was as usual here, sad for a June month, nonetheless we made our way to the park, trying to call at least 10 people trying to find out where they where at,only to find out by a text message that the picnic was moved to the church due to the, grayish…cold …depressing weather.

Once we actually got to church, everyone had already ate…grrr…but nonetheless, I set my foods on the table and yes! YES! The rice Krispies were a hit. After posting pics on my FB page people were asking me (begging I would think) for my simple, ordinary North American treat.*tear*

Oh yes, I’m a proud Canadian! 😀

 

How do I make them less sticky next time?

Looking for my mother

If you have followed my posts I want to thank you first for showing some interest in my story.

So you’ll know that I’m adopted.

I’ve been searching for my birth mother ever since my son was born. When my daughter was born first I was 15 years (almost 16) old at the time, and too preoccupied with my new meaning of life. I did think for a split second of how my birth mother could give such a beautiful thing away…but that was only for a split second. I had other things to think and worry about.

Having my son a couple of years later really started to get me thinking. I was older by then and had already experienced motherhood. I never really thought of her in a negative way, but I can’t say that I could understand her actions then. I just couldn’t give my baby away. Where there is a will ,there’s a way!

I started frequently thinking about her, maybe because I was feeling lonely again due to the separation with my partner. I didn’t have any family where I was living and I had banned my adoptive mother from my life once I moved out.

I called my adoption  father who was by then talking to me again. I asked him about the adoption and asked him about all the details that he had. He gave me all the info he had plus the name of the doctor involved .I got this doctors number and dialled him a soon as I could. I got him soon enough on the phone and explained to him who I was . He listened and was very nice but he said that it was a closed adoption and that he couldn’t give me any info. He could however send me my medical birth records. I guess that was better than nothing. He also gave me an address of an agencie who could help me with my search.

I wrote to that agency and received forms to fill in, but it wasn’t without any costs . I think it would have cost me around 300 or 400$. I didn’t have that money to spare to be honest, so those forms stayed in my cupboard.I received my medical records, but I didn’t learn much except for that my birth mother was seventeen I think and what my birth name was . Knowing what my birth name was did make  me happy, at least my birth mother named me.

I had left it rest the searching thing for a couple of years. I had other worries on my mind. But then came the internet ERA to my home. Wow …I would have never imagined as a child that everyone would have 1 or more pc’s in their homes let alone that we could send virtual letters to each other and such!

I was taking internet lessons and I learned how to make my own email account, how to “surf” the web. The teacher asked me one day if there is anything I would really like to learn  and after years of almost forgetting that I was adopted , I had all of a sudden the urge to give it another go. I told her briefly that I was adopted, that I didn’t know my birth parents but that I would like to look for them.

I don’t know sweety, ask mommy or Google.


My teacher then typed in “adoption” in the wonderful Google search engine ( thumbs up for Page and Brin…and for Wikipedia :) ) . After she pushed the enter button I had a life changing moment . I never imagined that there would be so many topics and issues about adoption, so much to read, amazing. She then showed me a few sites with forums on them and explained what a forum was. My real searching began there and then.

I started posting on every query board, forum or anything else involved with adoption. I searched sites  for anybody who might be looking for me. Sometimes I would on the web for days and then I would get frustrated and  then didn’t go near the pc for weeks.

It was so very frustrating. All these thoughts came into my head:

– Maybe my birth mother doesn’t have internet….

-Maybe she can’t remember when I was born ….(ok a bit far-fetched but possible)

-Maybe she has passed away …Dear Lord, please no!

-Or she might just not be looking for me

Years passed, without any news. I kept on surfing the web, searching, but not as often anymore. I discovered Facebook, that was another site I really enjoyed. Being able to connect with old friends from back home. I really loved that and still do, it has made me feel much closer to home.

The older I got, the less hope I had of ever finding ANY blood relatives. I have sufficiently put myself out there and there was no way that if someone was looking for me that they couldn’t find me.

Over the years I had thought more and more about my birth mother, for some reason with every birthday, I would calculate how old that she would be .

My children don’t look very much like me so I would always wonder if they looked like her ? Or my birth dad.

I would wonder if she would still think of me, did she have any other children? Maybe she has gotten married to some guy who doesn’t even know that I exist. Maybe I was a family secret? Oh no!

I have a very fertile imagination ,so I could think up stories and get myself upset over it. I really started getting frustrated and sad.

Adoption Cartoon e-Book by C.Papile

It’s really hard to explain, but the frustration you get, by not finding what you’re looking for, is for me beyond words. It’s like your being  “rejected” again . After years of looking and being excited of what you might find, comes years of sadness at finding nothing. When I look back at those years, I’m embarrassed to say that I had self-piety. Poor little me, nobody wanted me, nobody wants me, nobody is looking for me.

A couple of months ago, our Pastor was doing a sermon on prayer .  He was explaining that God answers every prayer that is lifted to Him. Sometimes God answers “no” or “wait.”But God only promises to grant our prayers when we ask according to His will. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God:

“that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” 1 John 5:14-15

Well, I prayed each and every night for many weeks after that. Asking the Lord to help me find my birth mother. That this was so very important for me. I needed to know her, I needed to find her and I needed to tell her that I didn’t hate her for giving me up !

During my prayers ,somehow I though of the tough years I had behind me. How even though my children had whatever they needed, however much that I love them…would I have not wanted a better life for them? Of course I would, but I did my best and I’m glad that I have had them. But yet, I could understand why a woman would give up her child if she herself had nothing to offer(think that she had nothing to offer). That too is motherly love, wanting the best for your child, even if it kills you inside.

Weeks when by, my prayers left unanswered. I don’t have much patience unfortunately. I’m a now person ! So one day, I didn’t sleep very well the previous night, so I was cuddled up with a blanket in the sofa in the morning and just started writing a letter to my birth mother. I had almost given up hope by then of ever being found and I just decided to write a letter for her, of how I felt . I would probably never be able to ever give it to her, but it was a sort of therapy, like writing this blog.

I wrote the letter and saved it in my documents on my computer. That was it. I now give up.

Lord you have a plan for me. I trust in you. But please take this sadness away from my heart, I can’t cope with this feeling anymore.

But on the 16th of November 2009 , I was found.

To be continued ….

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