Monday, February 28, 2011

IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!!!

They got their referral! The Berzenji family got their referral!!!!!! This means that their adoption agency sent them a certain child's file, and asked them if they would like to adopt him! Of course they said "YES", and it's a boy!!!!!!!

Unfortunately, though, I cannot post a picture of him until it has been approved in Ottawa, and in China. I can tell you, though, that his name is baby Bing, he is two years old, he has spina bifida, and that he sure is cute! In the next week or so, I'll post pictures of the orphanage so you will know where the money is going.

A lot of people have been asking when I'll be cutting my hair, and that's a very good question! I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to cut my hair soon (now that they have their referral), or if I'll wait until it is officially approved; but, as soon as I decide I'll let you know!

I'll give you some more info, and also explain what spina bifida is (for those of you who don't already know) in my next post.

If you haven't already, check out the Berzenji blogspot here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bake Sale

Just last Tuesday, my friend, Becky, and I had a bake sale at the school we are enrolled with (since we are both home schooled.) We baked for my fundraiser, and raised $108.10! It was so much fun!

Sunday afternoon we baked up a storm. This is what we made:


-(Egg-less) Chocolate Chip Cookies

-Chocolate chip banana bread

-Scottish Shortbread

-And last but not least...... we baked a whole cake! I'll tell you the story.........

We were planning on making cupcakes and were discussing the creative ways we were going to decorate them, but unfortunately though, we accidentally baked two cakes! We were following a vanilla“cake” recipe, and were planning to pour the batter into a muffin pan, but when the recipe said to pour the batter into a cake pan, we just followed the instructions. We didn't even notice our mistake until Becky's sister asked, “Why are you baking cakes?” We were so bummed out, and couldn't believe that we had made that kind of mistake! We had worked especially hard on our 'cupcakes', even splitting the recipes in half so that we would have chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. Then, not only did we bake cakes instead of cupcakes, they didn't come out of the pans properly, and fell apart. I guess we didn't grease the pans enough. We were able to piece the vanilla one back together, but the chocolate one was a whole different story :) (It was very yummy, though!) Eventually we laughed about it, but it took a little while.

Despite the cupcake fiasco, we had a blast, and the bake sale was a success! Thank you to everyone who supported us and bought our baking. We are hoping to do it again before summer break!

We didn't sell the vanilla cake, so we gave it to some special neighbors, who enjoyed it very much!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another lesson to learn...

For the past three years, my family and I have gone to a family camp called “Barnabas”. In my opinion, it's the BEST family camp in the world!!!!!!!! (Even though I have never been to another camp in my life:) We might go again this year! I was very excited about us possibly going, until I remembered I was going to be turning 13....... Turning 13 means I'm going to be in the teen's group, which means I'll probably be the youngest/shortest in the group. I'm also really quite concerned about this again, since the teens are probably going to be pretty tall, because the teen group is for all 13 to 16 year olds.

When I was talking to my mom, a few weeks ago, about what was on my mind, we started discussing what it must be like for children from orphanages overseas, who are adopted into families in North America. If his or her family, doesn't come from the same race, they might not have the luxury of blending in. When they are out and about, going to the store or the park, people will likely notice, since they don't look the same as the rest of the family. Standing out might just be a new way of life for lots of adoptive kids. Some might not mind at all, but for others, I wonder if it is a hard adjustment.

I don't know about you, but I don't like standing out. I spend too much time wishing I was the same as everyone else. Especially when it comes to being the shortest or youngest in the group. I would much rather “blend in” with everyone else than have to be the shortest from everyone's perspective. I'm guessing that's how kids sometimes feel, when they are adopted. They might feel like they don't blend in, or maybe that other people think that they don't belong because they don't look the same as the rest of the family.

I desperately wish all orphans and adopted children would feel like they fit in, and that they are loved. It's very sad to think that some might feel like they don't belong, when they DO! Especially in God's eyes. Personally, I would love to have a family with brothers and sisters of all different races! I absolutely love the idea of adoption! I love the fact that someday in heaven, we will all be one family of different races, and not one of us will stand out, or feel out of place!........(or even feel a little on the shorter side:)

It's the inside that counts, not the outside, that's the lesson I'm still learning! It's one thing to know it in my head, and another thing completely, to believe it in my heart.

After my mom pointed out all those things, I started understanding what she was getting at. She was trying to explain to me that many children feel like they stand out, because of many different reasons. I was worried because I thought I might stand out because of my height, but that doesn't matter as much to me today because I'm realizing that God made me this way, and he is pleased with the way he made me! (Maybe I'm not too short after all. :) He cares more about my heart than my appearance anyway. Also, when I'm too busy worrying about how I look, or what people think about me, I miss out on “seeing” other people's hearts.

If we do end up going to Barnabas, I know it will probably be hard, but since it's the inside that counts, I'm going to practice forgetting about my insecurities, focusing on the other teens in my group, and trying to make friends. (Even if they are taller than me:)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Everyone Needs a Family

A few weeks ago, my youngest brother, Brennan, who is 3, fell down while he was rollerblading, and broke his arm (he wasn't wearing his wrist pads). My brothers and I were all rollerblading in our friends' hockey room (it's a room with a cement floor which is painted to look like a hockey rink.) Yes, it was alarming, especially since none of us “kids” had ever broken a bone before. Brennan was surprisingly brave for his age, though! It was hard to tell at first if he had broken his arm or not, since he didn't act like he was in pain. Our neighbor knocked at our door, and as soon as he walked through it, Brennan stopped crying. (To me, it wasn't really a surprise, since he likes being treated like a Big Boy! For some reason, he thinks big boys DON'T cry!) The whole evening he seemed happy, like his usual self, until he started crying in his sleep that night . The next morning my mom noticed that he wasn't using his left arm and decided that she would take him for an x-ray..... and sure enough it was fractured!

Brennan was pretty cute when he came through the door with his cast! It was obvious that he was pretty proud of himself! We gave him lots of attention! We all signed his cast and we had a movie night with pizza & popcorn.

The whole thing made me think about orphans, and how they often are not able to get the medical care that they need. There are many orphans in China and around the world who are waiting for minor surgery, or major surgery. Some of them are orphaned because their parents couldn't afford the expensive medical care that they needed when they were born. Some children need a cleft lip or palate repaired, or heart, eye, or spine surgery etc. Sometimes even orphanages can't afford surgery and specialized care, and so many children go without the help that they need to heal and thrive. You can click: here, here, and here to find out about some organizations, that my mom showed me, that are providing surgeries for orphans in China.

China has a “Special Needs Program” that families can choose if they want to adopt a child with special needs. The Berzenjis are in the process of adopting a “special needs”child right now. You can read about it on their blog.

I am very excited about it because I believe every single child needs a family. My mom tells me that every child has special needs..... in fact, every adult has special needs too – at least sometimes. That's why families are so important. We all need each other. People who can take care of us when we need it. For example: The stomach flu has been traveling through our house the past week (and yes, I'm writing this post in bed:) Believe me, we have all taken turns looking after each other.....

I really feel for those children who don't have families to look after them...parents to rush them to the hospital if they “break a bone,” or kiss them better when they get hurt. Brennan had a loving mommy and daddy to take him to the hospital, he had a lot of loving attention, and he had his family.

Lately, I’ve been really thinking about what life would be like if I was an orphan. I think I would feel unwanted, unloved, terribly lonely, and scared. Would I trust anyone? Maybe not. I'm not sure. If I was an orphan with “special needs”, I may not look perfect on the outside, but on the inside I would be just the same as everyone else. I would feel even worse if someone didn’t adopt me just because of how I look on the outside, or because of my medical needs.

Hopefully, the money we all send to the orphanage will provide some children with the medical care that they need. Perhaps, some will even become eligible for adoption if they get the surgery they need. Either way, we are praying that the money raised here will be a blessing, and will change lives!