Thursday, 29 October 2015

from a family of 3 to a family of 4

Our family has expanded!!! Our girl was promoted to big sister and last January our adoption was complete and we held our son in our arms for the first time.

photo courtesy of Crystal Lee Photography
Before you think, "wow that was easy" or "wow that was fast" let me give you a little behind the scenes action.

We knew we wanted a sibling for Grace, and that we really wanted to pursue another adoption after the 1 year waiting period was over. ( Saskatchewan had- I'm not sure the current regulations- a 12 month wait before you could apply to adopt again) We agreed to take the year to rest ( adoption is HARD) adjust to being parents and enjoy every single second with our girl.  We also wanted to take the time to pray and listen to God about where we would adopt from and the circumstances ( age range? gender? health issues? special circumstances?) By the spring of 2013 we knew for sure we wanted to pursue a second adoption in Taiwan and got in contact with the organization we worked with Grace.  We had to start from square 1 with the second adoption.  The only thing we found easier was that we had a better understanding of the process and the hiccups that we could/would come across daily.  When we were accepted for a second adoption and our time had passed we were able to start the paperwork process for adoption #2.  
photo courtesy of Crystal Lee Photography

After months of waiting, we received a referral for a sweet little boy who was 18 months old.  God had prepared our hearts for this moment and as we read through the proposal we praised God for choosing us as his forever family.

In January 2015 our adoption was finalized and we jumped on a plane to hold our precious son and start the adventure of being a family of 4.

We are so excited to introduce you to Wyatt
To the Wock's Love God

He fills our family with so much joy.  He has captured his big sister's heart. He is full of smiles and his laughter is contagious.  He is determined and strong. He is a miracle. 

The last 10 months we have worked VERY hard at bonding with Wyatt and getting to know him.  We have had sleepless nights, tears and triumphs.  We have had to adjust our schedule, change the way we do life and trust God for our daily needs. We are so blessed!!!! Wyatt your are a gift to us!

photo courtesy of Crystal Lee Photography
*** if you know someone in the adoption process, wether it be in the beginning stages or stuck in the waiting for paperwork and legalization will you stop and give them a huge hug from us and speak words of encouragement over them.  


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Grab a cup of tea and let's catch up!

Has it been a full year since I shared our heart and story with you? I was visiting with a friend who reminded me I needed to get back to the computer to blog, I was shocked to think anyone one reads our story but also that it had been so terribly long since we shared our adoption journey.

I started writing because I had so desperately searched the Internet for successful stories of adoption and just couldn't find as many resources as I would have liked. Over time my insecurities about my writing and the interest in our story made it easy to walk away from blogging. However, I remember the hours of searching and hope that someday someone in a position like I was in will find encouragement, strength and hope from our story.

So it's time to update the blog starting with where we left off....

Our princess is 4!!!! 

1st day of preschool

She is full of life! Her laughter is contagious and her strength is amazing. This little girl is discovering what it means to be compassionate and caring and balancing that with her determined outlook on life. There are no boundaries standing in her way ( other than maybe mom)

learning to golf

Not much escapes her little ears, and her understanding of life is amazing.

This is the first year we have had any questions from our sweet girl about her story.  Some days it confuses her, other days it brings her peace to hear me tell her the story again. One of the phrases you will overhear her say is " I grew in your heart, right Momma?"

Yes sweet girl, 4 years ago ( and before that) you were a seed of hope, joy and the promise of tomorrow planted in my heart. Im excited to see what being 4 is like for you!

Thanks for following along! 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Three and thriving

She is 3!!!
Our bundle of energy,  full of joy, spitfire little girl is 3! 

It has been big year for her.  She has grown "big and strong".  Two was a fun age but also filled with a lot of goodbyes.  We said goodbye to the crib, soother, bottles and afternoon naps. Grace grew up a lot in height and also with her development. She is a talking machine. She tells wonderful stories and it is fun to hear her verbalize what is going on in her head. There is no height too high for Grace and her climbing and balance is wonderful.  Grace has developed her creative side and the fridge is filled with lovely creations.  

Grace blesses us in incredible ways each day. She challenges us to be more patient,  kind, creative and joyful. She never settles for ordinary she works until everything is extraordinary.  This year promises to hold many more adventures for us and I am excited to see what is in store for our little princess. 

Happy Birthday miss Grace. We are so thankful for you... Our precious gift.  We are excited to see you thrive as a 3 year old as you test new limits and accomplish new things. Never forget how much we love you! 

Thank you to all of you who have joined us in the adoption journey, and as you celebrate today with us. 


Monday, 2 June 2014


What day is it?"

It's today," squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day," said Pooh.” 

Grumpy face

silly girl

Today is my favourite day because I got to make you breakfast and then chase you around the house trying to wrestle you into your pants.  Today is my favourite day because you mastered a new height, new skill, new word.  Today was my favourite day because you challenge me to give everything I have and then more, all of my patience, all of my love, all of my knowledge, all of my joy.  Today is my favourite because you hug me as tight as you can and say "good job Mommy", because you never forget to smell the flowers or pet the dog.

too much hard work
We have been walking through a season with Grace that has forced us to take each day at a time.  Grace has been struggling with some attachment issues and has required us to focus on the present.  When I say attachment people tend to disagree that Grace has any attachment issues.  I believe that Grace 100% knows that we are her Mom and Dad, I have full confidence that she knows we are here for her forever.  But we have seen her go through a season of insecurity and fear and needing constant reassurance in little things in her day.  Reassurance that we hear her, that what she is feeling is important to us, that we will be there for her no matter if she screams, cries or lays down kicking and screaming. It has been a physically and mentally exhausting season but we have season the fruit of our labour.

so sweet
Walking through this season has forced us to focus on today, and because we have been focusing on today we see the beauty in the little moments.  It has meant cancelling plans last minute because what Grace really needed was time at home.  It has meant nights laying in uncomfortable positions for hours to cuddle Grace just the way she wanted.  It has meant long conversations, singing the same song over and over.  It has meant running, jumping, playing and cuddling!

so yes… today is my favourite day!


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

show me the money….

Many many many people ask " how much did she cost"

         My response usually varies but usually ends up sounding something like this " She is our special gift, we are grateful to be her parents" ( yes I know, I did not answer the question)
sweet girl loves plants… plants don't always love her ;)

Yes there are costs involved with adoption.  We have chosen international adoption and with this commitment we have taken on the responsibility of paying the costs that come.  These expenses are different for every family and in every situation.   New expenses can quickly pop up, or in the best case scenario expenses can be less than expected!  But to help those better understand the adoption process we have written up a list of possible expenses that adoptive families can experience.

Agency fees- no the family is not paying for their child… but for the agency to run they need employees, buildings, and have day to day expenses.  The agencies role is to work with the family to make the adoption successful.  They help families organize the paperwork, follow the proper process, guide and answer questions and help meet requirements.
$2 000- $5 000 +
In country costs- this may cover the cost of the child's living expenses, ( housing, food, clothing etc) staff taking care of child, staff dealing with paperwork and courts, translation of documents, finding biological parents to sign paperwork etc
$10 000-  $20 000
Home study- for international adoption home study is the expense of the family.  This would include the fees to meet with the home study practitioner to have the home study written up, along with travel costs
$2 000-$3 000
Authentication fees- all paperwork needs to authenticated by certain people ( lieutenant governor, embassy, lawyers, etc) before it can be presented in court. These fees vary greatly!
$500- $2 000+

Citizenship/Immigration- to come to Canada the child either needs to go through the citizenship or immigrations process.  Both process include lots of paperwork, sending authenticated documents and fees for processing
$300- $2 000+

Travel expenses- expenses will vary greatly depending on how long the family needs to be in the country, and what season they travel, and what they choose to do while they are in the country.
$10 000 +

This is not a complete list, it is just to give you a basic idea of what expenses families who adopt internationally face. I know for certain I forgot possible expenses, and all numbers are just an estimate.  It may be easy to respond by saying " just adopt in Canada, it is cheaper" but please remember people who are adopting are not doing it to save money, they are doing it to expand their family, and to provide a safe loving home to a child in need.  

Thanks for joining us on our journey! 
this girl loves to soak up the sun!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

the cost of adoption

I often get asked how much did it cost to adopt?

and my very true and honest answer is everything….

Adoption has cost us everything.

It cost us every shred of privacy we ever thought we had….

it cost us sleep… while we waited… and once we were home…

it cost us personal time….

it cost us friendships…..

it cost us giving up total control….

it cost us our hearts….

oh yeah… it cost us a little money as well.

The cost of adoption is very real… when you agree to adopt you agree to give everything you have to bringing your child home.  This is a child you have never met, never held, never kissed, never touched. This is your child.  And bringing them home cost you a lot more than a plane ticket.  

This winter we have been preparing to fundraise for our adoption, and while the monetary cost has seemed overwhelming I have been reminded that the cost of adoption is so much more.  Physically we need to raise/save the money to cover the expenses that come with international adoption… and we will slowly but surely ( check back soon for blog posts about our current fundraisers) and the rest we have already payed, we have given our hearts to a child that does not share our DNA but has our hearts completely.  

I am blessed!  I am so blessed!!!!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Chinese New Year 2014… year of the horse!

I am finally finding a few minutes of time to write one of my favourite posts!  Its time to share our Chinese New Year adventure for 2014.

This year Chinese New Years landed on January 31st.  2014 is the year of the Horse.

red envelope with our chocolate money
Chinese New Year is celebrated in Chinese cultures each year.   Unlike our North American new year which is celebrated January 1st of each year, Chinese New Year follows the Lunar calendar and its date changes.  Each year is categorized by one of the 12  Chinese zodiac symbols.  Chinese New Year lasts 15 days and ends with the lantern festival.  The holiday is filled with specific traditions and lots of symbolization.  We have enjoyed learning LOTS about this fun holiday, and every year we seem to learn a little more!

fireworks in the front yard
This year was again such a great time. On January 31st Grace and I made fortune cookies and milk tea (mmm my favourite) to share with the ladies at work.  It was a great success and fun to include them in our celebrations. On Saturday we were blessed to celebrate with family and friends ( the most important part).  We had a great visit and got to try out some new food.  We love to have a good mix of "North American" and Asian food and this year our friends blessed us by bringing some delicious food to add to our wide variety of selection.  It was so fun to have the kids running around and celebrating.  Once we finished up with the food we bundled up to head outside to enjoy fireworks and flying lanterns.  This year was much more successful without the blizzard raging, but it was very cold and everyone was very brave to stay outside for so long.  To end off a wonderful evening we sent everyone home with traditional red envelopes with chocolate "money" inside!

lanterns ready to fly!
Some people question why we have started celebrating Chinese New Year, as Grace would not know any different.  First, it is so much fun and a great reason to spend time with the people we love. Second, it never hurts to stretch and grow and educate ourselves on the different holidays and cultures around the world… in fact it is a lot of fun! and lastly, while Grace will some day be a Canadian, part of her story will always be in Taiwan.  We do not want to hide that, we want to celebrate that!  One of the ways we choose to do so is to take time to have some fun and celebrate a major chinese holiday.  We have also chosen other ways to bring her culture and history, language etc to our life because she is important to us!

our musical entertainment for the evening
Thank you to everyone who made Chinese New Year so much fun this year!  We are blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people!