What a week

It’s Thursday…this week isn’t even over and I have been specially blessed TWICE!  Some weeks are normal, boring even…some weeks I see and feel heartache and sadness, but this week – this week is great!

First, my cousin Matt and his lovely fiance safely had their second little boy delivered by C-Section at 9 pds and 15 ounces!  I know – a big boy!  James Gordon and I met on Tuesday and snuggled for well over an hour.  His newness and sweetness radiating off of him and of course putting him down left an aching that I never fully recover from.  I know that having a newborn is not a part of my journey – but sometimes, when I let me weaknesses role in, sometimes it still bites.

Second – and this is MY good news – I am ADOPT READY in Ontario, meaning my ministry has put the stamp on my home study and once my dossier is complete I can submit my final documents to my adoption agency for translation.  My first meeting with my practitioner was all the way back in January and now – 10 months later, I am adopt ready!  I know I still have a year or more of waiting for referral, but this crucial step is complete.  I can breathe a sigh of relief.  My government is not standing in the way between my child having a mother.

Thank you God.

Love Nicole


Seasons of wait

When I see friends whom I haven’t talked to in awhile, the standard first question is “how was your summer?”  I don’t have much to say other than – “alright”.  I went to the cottage, spent time with friends and family and waited.  Waited for reports to be finished and most recently (since the beginning of August) waited to be approved as ADOPT READY.  This has been another really long wait.  I know being a mom will require patience and understanding, but testing me through long wait periods of documents being signed and approved isn’t really helping me!

Once I am ADOPT READY, I can submit my dossier to my agency, have everything translated, give them a kidney and possibly a lung to cover the costs and THEN finally have my documents sent to HAITI.  Sadly, this is when the longest wait will be.  I will possibly wait a year or more to be matched with a child.  A year or more of my baby growing up in the Creche (Orphanage).  A year or more of possible Hurricanes destroying his/her land.  A year or more of them not knowing who their mother is.  Not knowing how needed and loved and wanted they are.

The wait is painful.  The only thing that makes is bearable is knowing that my child is there waiting for me too.  They need me to be patient.  They need me to relax and be calm and have my ducks in a line.  They need me to be healthy.  They need me to have my finances all in order.  They need me.  For them I will wait.  For them, and only them, I will take a breath today and accept that waiting is part of the process.  I will suffer through more seasons – fall, winter, spring and summer – with the faith that when everything is right and the stars have aligned – my turn will come.  I will get to be a mommy.  For now I will read the blogs, I will chime in on the numerous Facebook groups dedicated to adoption and I will wait.




The Climb

I am not now nor have I ever been a “Miley Cyrus” fan.  However, whenever I hear this song (the only one by her on my phone) I can’t help but dream off into space thinking of my journey to be a mother…

I can almost see it.
That dream I’m dreaming,
But there’s a voice inside my head saying,
“You’ll never reach it.”
Every step I’m takin’
Every move I make feels lost with no direction,
My faith is shakin’

But I, I gotta keep tryin’
Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down,
But no, I’m not breaking
I may not know it,
But these are the moments
That I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep goin’,

And I, I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on,


There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb


There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody’s gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb

Yeah, yeah, yeah

Keep on movin’
Keep climbin’
Keep the faith, baby
It’s all about—it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa, whoa, oh.

  • Google time play

I’m not sure if this makes any sense to you, I just feel like I have had so many obstacles ahead of me, so many hills I have had to climb and really – regardless of what happens in the end, once I hold my child in my arms – it will all be worth it.




Cottage life is great, but it will be better

People say I am crazy for buying a cottage with one of my best friends.  “It was to much money”, “it’s not worth it”, “it will ruin our friendship”…I have heard every negative thing possible.

What people don’t understand is that it was not to much money – it was fairly cheap for a place you can basically live in for 6 months a year.

It was 100% worth it.  I spend most weekends up there plus a week or two each summer.  I tan, I have amazing times with my friends, I swim, I go boating and I get a lot of reading done.  If I was at home all summer I would be doing nothing – not being social that’s for sure.  I’d be on my couch watching TV and movies.

Finally – and this is a big one – it has not even come close to ruining my friendship with K, if anything we are closer because we are together most weekends for half a year.  We have fun, we laugh, we bicker and we tease her husband – a lot…if anything I am surprised he hasn’t killed one or both of us!

The best thing is that I get to spend a lot of time with her two children C and M.  It gives me a picture of what it will be like when I bring my child home from Haiti and introduce him or her to cottage living.

We all went on a boat ride Saturday afternoon and watching K hold M in her arms while we sped through Lake Seymour into Rice Lake I could almost feel my child wrapped in my own arms giggling as the water sprayed onto us whenever we hit a bump.   When we stopped to fish for a few minutes I sat on the back of the boat with M dipping our feet in the water comparing toe nail colours (she had pink, I had purple). I so desperately was yearning for my own child in those moments it was almost over whelming.  Bringing my little one home is something I constantly day dream about…I know there will be a lot of tough times…times when I doubt myself and my abilities, but those times when I hear a laugh or see a smile – those will be the times that are worth it.  I can’t wait to blog about THOSE times.  To let you all in on this amazing little person who will change my world in the most epic way possible.

Having this cottage is going to allow me to give my kid memories that will last their lifetime.  Some of my favourite childhood memories exist at my aunts trailer – and we were only there two weeks a year!  Imagine the possibilities when they are up north for days and sometimes weeks at a time!?  My blog and Project Life albums will be so much more vivid and exciting!!



Why Haiti? Here are some facts…

    1. Native Haitians were pre-Columbian Amerindians called Taíno, “the good people.” The Taíno named their land “Ayiti,” meaning “Land of Mountains”—a term that evolved into “Haiti.”
    2. More than 10% of Haitian children die before age five.
    3. Eighty percent of Haitians live under the poverty line and 54% live in abject poverty. The average per capita income in Haiti is $480 a year, compared to $33,550 in the United States.
    4. Because of both violence and AIDS, Haiti has the highest percentage of orphans of any country in the Western Hemisphere. Before the 2010 earthquake, the United Nations estimated there were 430,000 orphans.
    5. Nearly 1.5 million people left Haiti in the early 1990s.
    6. A typical worker in Haiti makes only $2.75 a day. Because jobs are so scarce (approximately 70% do not have regular jobs), those who do have jobs are afraid to speak out against unfair labor practices.
    7. Only 53% of Haitians can read and write.
    8. Haiti’s national sport is soccer. Haiti first competed in the World Cup in 1974.
    9. Eighty percent of Haitians are Roman Catholic, 16% are Protestant, and 4% are other. Voodoo is often practiced alongside Christianity.
Haitian currency is named after the gourd
    1. Gourds were so important to the Haitian people that in 1807, President Henri Christophe (1761-1820) made them the base of national currency and declared all gourds the property of the state. Today, the Haitian currency is called “gourdes.”
    2. In the eighteenth century, St. Dominique (Haiti) was the richest colony in the French Empire and was known as the “Pearl of the Antilles.” It grew rich mainly through the importation of slaves and through devastating environmental degradation. Haiti is currently one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
    3. In 1801, ex-slave Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803) led nearly one-half million Haitian slaves against Haiti’s French colonialists. Their eventual victory was the first successful slave revolt and helped establish Haiti as the first black republic. After a betrayal from the French, L’Ouverture died in a French prison.
    4. In 1803, Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1758-1806), Haiti’s first ruler, created the nation’s flag by ripping out the white stripe in the French red, white, and blue flag, claiming he would rip white people from the nation. The remaining blue and red stripes represented blacks and mulattos of Haiti. Haiti’s coat of arms sits in the center.
    5. Haiti is the third largest country in the Caribbean, after the Dominican Republic and Cuba, which is the largest.
    6. The Citadel is a large mountaintop fortress located in northern Haiti. It is the largest fortress in the Western Hemisphere.
    7. In 2008, almost 1.8 million people (20% of the entire population) were living in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
    8. When Columbus first saw Haiti (and the entire Hispaniola island), he thought he had found India or Asia.
    9. After the death of revolutionary leader Toussaint L’Ouverture in 1802, his principal lieutenant, General Jean-Jacques Dessalines, proclaimed himself Jean-Jacques the First, Emperor of Haiti. He ordered the killing of most of the whites in Haiti.
    10. In the eighteenth century, Haitians developed elaborate tables of genetic descent, dividing mulattos into over a hundred shades of black and white. These ranged from the Sacatra which were seven-eighths black, to the several varieties of Sangmeles, which are only one-sixteenth black. Technically, a mulatto is someone who is half black and half white.
    11. Only about 10% of all Haitian children enrolled in elementary school go on to a high school.
    12. Haitians love to gamble. Its popularity is a result of the Haitian belief that so much depends on the fancy of the gods. During voodoo ceremonies, Haitians implore the gods to reveal winning lottery numbers.
    13. Cock fighting is a traditional sport in Haiti. The roosters are fed raw meet and hot peppers soaked in rum to make them aggressive and tough. The winner might bring home $67, which is more than a person would earn in an entire month.
Haiti is one of the most deforested nations in the world
    1. Haiti is the most mountainous nation in the Caribbean.
    2. Haiti is one of the few countries in the world where the destruction of the original woodland is almost complete due to competition over scarce land, intense demand for charcoal, unsound agricultural practices, and feral goats which overgraze. This massive deforestation has led to lethal mudslides and flash floods. A muddy brown ring surrounds the country’s coastline where topsoil has washed into the sea.
    3. When early Spanish explorers encountered a female Haitian ruler named Anacaona, or “Golden Flower” (1464-1504), in 1503 who resisted them, they killed many of her people, arrested, and hanged her.
    4. Christopher Columbus initially called the island La Isla Espanola, meaning “The Spanish Isle” when he landed there in 1492. Over time, the name became Hispaniola and includes both Haiti, which covers the western third of the island, and the Dominican Republic (or Santo Domingo), which covers the eastern two thirds.
    5. The United States did not recognize Haiti as an independent nation until 1862 even though it was freed in 1804.
    6. Author, statesmen, and ex-slave Frederick Douglass (c. 1818-1895) was an ambassador to Haiti.
    7. Haiti’s highest peak is the Pic la Selle at 8,793 feet (2,680 meters).
    8. One of Haiti’s islands, Tortuga Island (Île de la Tortue in French), was a pirate stronghold in the seventeenth century.
    9. Île a Vache (Cow Island) lies off Haiti’s southern coast and is so named because it was once overrun by wild cows descended from animals abandoned by the Spanish.
    10. Haiti and Canada are the only two independent nations in the Americas that have French as an official language. Though approximately 90% of Haitians use Creole as their primary language, Creole wasn’t made an official language alongside French until 1987.
    11. Most of Haiti’s current citizens are descendants of Africans shipped to the Caribbean to work as slave laborers in earlier centuries.
Haiti is one of the most densely populated nations in the Western Hemisphere
    1. With an area of 10,714 square miles (27,750 square kilometers), Haiti is only slightly larger than Vermont. The United States is 3,794,100 square miles (9,826,675 sq. km.).
    2. Haiti is one of the least developed yet most densely populated countries in the Western Hemisphere. Its population density is 747 people per square mile (295 per sq. km.).c Comparable in size to Haiti, Vermont’s population density is 65.8 people per square mile (25.9 sq.km.).k The United States’ is 79.55 people per square miles (30.71 sq. km.).
    3. The population of Haiti is approximately 9.7 million. It is expected to reach 10.2 million in 2015.b Comparable in size to Haiti, Vermont’s population is approximately 621,760.k The population of the U.S. is 308,891,000.
    4. The hurricane season in 2008 stripped approximately 70% of Haiti’s crops. This damage was the most expensive in Haiti’s history at an estimated $1 billion.
    5. The capital Port-Au-Prince was founded in 1749 and was named for the Prince, a French ship anchored in the bay.
    6. When Christopher Columbus landed on what he later named Hispaniola in 1492, the people greeted him with offerings, unaware that he was claiming their lands for Spain. By 1508, the Hispaniola’s native Arawak/Taíno population had fallen from about 400,000 to just 60,000 due to the devastating social, political, ecological, and immunological effects of Spain’s arrival. Ten years later, less than 3,000 Arawak/Taínos remained alive on Hispaniola.
    7. Pirate activity off the northern coast of Haiti weakened Spanish control in Hispaniola and, in 1697, Spain gave France the western third of Hispaniola, which is today’s Haiti. That left the remaining part of the island, the Dominican Republic, under Spanish control.
    8. Haitian revolutionary leader Francois-Dominique Toussaint earned the nickname Toussaint-L’ Ouverture (the opening), which referred to his ability to find an opening in the enemy lines as well as opening the way for Haiti’s independence.
    9. Haiti’s former president, Francois Duvalier (“Papa Doc”), created the National Security Volunteers in 1957. A dreaded security force, it was also called the Tonton Macoutes, after the Haitian folk figure Tonton Macoute (Uncle Knapsack) who carries off small children at night.
    10. Throughout the mid and late twentieth centuries, Haiti experienced a “brain drain” as educated professionals and business people left the nation to escape brutal dictators. This exodus weakened Haiti because it was left with fewer and fewer skilled workers to run businesses, health centers, government offices, and schools.
    11. Descendants of African slaves make up 95% of Haiti’s population. The other 5% are mulattos, descendants of French planters and African slaves, and whites. Haiti also has a small population of Middle Easterners, descendants of Syrian and Lebanese people who came to Haiti in the nineteenth century.
    12. Nearly 79% of Haiti’s people live in rural areas.
    13. Haiti is the second oldest independent nation in the Western Hemisphere, after the United States.
    14. From 1804-1915, more than 70 dictators ruled Haiti.
    15. Jean-Bertrand Aristide won Haiti’s first free election in December 1990. He fled the country a year later after being ousted in a military coup. He was president again from 1994-1996 and then from 2001 to 2004, when he was ousted again.
There is one hospital bed for every 10,000 Haitians
    1. In Haiti, there is one hospital bed for every 10,000 inhabitants. There are only about eight doctors and 10 nurses for every 100,000 inhabitants.
    2. The life expectancy for Haiti is low: 50 years for men and 53 years for women.
    3. Haitians have the lowest caloric intake in the Americas, which has led to chronic and often fatal diseases.d An estimated 25-40% of children under five suffer chronic malnutrition.
    4. Anemia affects 59% of Haitian children between the ages of six months and five years.
    5. The first recorded smallpox outbreak in the Americas occurred in Hispaniola in 1507.
    6. Families who live in the country spend almost 60% of their income on food. The poorest groups spend more than 70%.
    7. Haiti has been ranked as one of the five most corrupt countries.
    8. The infant mortality rate in Haiti is high at 74 deaths per 1,000 births. The maternal mortality rate is also high: about 520 deaths per 100,000 births (compared to just 14 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in the United States).
    9. Even before the 2010 earthquake, only 54% of Haitians had access to sanitation facilities (toilets, indoor plumbing, sewer systems). Less than half had a regular source of safe drinking water.
    10. Most rivers in Haiti are polluted with human and other waste. Diseases such as hookworm and typhoid, which are transmitted by contaminated food and water, are common in Haiti.
    11. In the early 1980s, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced a number of the first AIDS cases in the U.S. to Haitian immigrants.
    12. Eighty percent of schools in Haiti are private, and religious groups run many of them. The remaining 20% are state-run. Students learn their lessons in both French and Creole.
    13. Haiti has only one public university: the University of Haiti in Port-au-Prince founded in 1944. Most wealthy students attend college outside of Haiti.
On average, girls in Haiti attend just two years of school
    1. Only about 40% of school-aged children attend school regularly.
    2. Women were granted the right to vote in 1957, though many women still suffer from discrimination and mistreatment. The Haitian justice system rarely punishes men for abusing women.
    3. The typical Haitian woman will have five children in her lifetime. Because the Roman Catholic Church discourages birth control, birth control is not readily available. Less than 20% of married women use birth control, and abortion is illegal.
    4. Most human rights experts agree that the worst abuses of Haitian children involve young people called retavecs, or poor children who work as house servants for urban families. Their parents hope that host families will feed and educate their children, but some hosts physically and sexually abuse the resavecs. Experts estimate that 300,000 Haitian children are living as slaves.
    5. Before the 2010 earthquake, the U.S. Labor Department estimates that between 5,000 and 10,000 Haitian children were homeless. Many resort to begging or prostitution to survive. Other children are trafficked to foreign countries.
    6. During radical ex-priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s second term as president, the government established Voodoo as a state religion along with Catholicism.
    7. Haiti’s entire annual budget is $300 million, less than that of many small cities in the United States. Since the 1980s, its economy has shrunk steadily.
    8. Thousands of Haitians were ruined when pyramid investment schemes collapsed. While Haitians lost about $200 million investing in these scams, the co-op founders acquired millions on the proceeds.
    9. In 2003, the U.S. Coast Guard picked up 2,000 Haitian boat people trying to reach U.S. shores, more than from any other Caribbean nation. Most were returned to Haiti.
    10. Over 40% of the population is under 14 years old, creating a high dependency ratio.
    11. Haiti has the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS in the Western Hemisphere. One in 50 people are infected.
    12. Half of the children in Haiti are unvaccinated, and just 40% of the population has access to basic health care.
    13. Approximately 1% of Haiti’s population owns more than 50% of the nation’s wealth.
    14. An estimated 1.5 million Haitians live outside the country, mostly in Miami, New York, Boston, and Montreal. About 300,000 Haitian immigrants live in Florida alone.
    15. The United States is Haiti’s biggest trade partner. More than half of Haitian imports come from the United States, and more than 80% of its exports go to the United States.
    16. Haiti is a hub for the trafficking of illegal drugs—especially cocaine—between South and Central America, Europe, and the United States. Some Haitians even traffic human laborers, especially children.
    17. Haiti has 2,583 miles (4,160 km.) of highways. Only 628 miles (1,011km.) of those roads are paved.
Rebuilding Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake could take decades
  1. More than 200,000 Haitians died and millions were left homeless in a devastating earthquake in January 2010. It was the strongest earthquake to hit the region in more than 200 years.
  2. Since 2004, approximately 8,000 peacekeepers from the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) help keep peace in Haiti.
  3. Very few Haitians own cars: fewer than 5 out of 1,000. There is no railroad in Haiti. In the cities, people often take communal taxis and colorful public buses called “taptaps.”
  4. Haiti has 14 airports, of which only four have paved runways.
  5. In 1963, Hurricane Flora killed approximately 8,000 people in Haiti, the sixth highest death toll from an Atlantic hurricane in recorded history.
  6. In 2008, Haiti had only 108,000 telephone lines. The country with the most telephone lines in 2008 was China with 356,600,000 million. The United States was second with 150,000,000.
  7. In 2008, Haitians used 3,200,000 cell phones. Chine had the most cell phones in the world with 634,000,000; India had 545,000,000, and the United States was third with 270,000,000.
  8. In 2008, one million people in Haiti had access to the Internet (users who had access anywhere from several times a week to only once over several months). China had 298 million, and the United States had 231 million.
  9. Rape in Haiti has long been a problem and is often used as a political weapon. After the 2010 earthquake, some men handing out coupons for food distribution would demand sexual favors.
  10. Experts claim that it will take decades for Haiti to recover from the January 2010 earthquake. Nearly 75% of the capital will need to be rebuilt, not from zero, but from, as officials declare, “below zero.” Recovery plans include completely rebuilding basic sectors such as health, agriculture, governance and security, and infrastructure.

— Posted April 12, 2010


This is no way to live – for anyone, let alone an innocent child.  I may not be able to do everything, but I can give one child access to education and health care and just love the stuffing out of them!



Bedroom furniture on Wayfair

I’m obsessing over this bed.  It’s on sale.  However what if the worst case scenario happens and I don’t get my child?  I refuse to jinx anything by buying anything before my proposal.  Even then I worry, but I will put all my faith out into the world and pray it’s okay.

Now this is not the color I will paint the room or anything, but I do want a dark wood or black bed (the child will be between 2-3 most likely) and I would like to not have to buy a crib AND a bed.  I may just borrow a crib from a friend if I absolutely need to for transitioning.

What do you think?  Mom’s – opinions please…


They’re bed will be up against a wall and I love that it has the rail to help keep them from rolling off.

Well…until next time



Part 1 – done

My home-study is officially complete.  My PRIDE classes and assigned homework is done.  My psych evaluation has been written up – and I am not crazy!  All of this is being sent to the ministry today.  OMG!  This is a major step forward in this long process and I couldn’t be happier.

My skin is actually tingling.  I am trying so hard not to get excited because I know I have a long way to go – that I am not even close to my dreams coming true – but I am CLOSER and that’s what matters.

I have been trying to come up with ways to save money and make money for this whole process.  Saving money isn’t actually the hard part – it’s the making money aspect that has been difficult.  There is only so much I have that I can sell.  A friend told me start a go-fund me page soliciting donations, but that doesn’t seem right to me.  This was my idea, my dream. I am hoping to find a way to get about $5000.00 extra by January (to help pay for my two week trip to Haiti + extra that i need after that date) and I think by selling some things and with the savings I may have about half.

I am reaching out to you my dear readers – I already work full time so a second job isn’t really going to work with my schedule, but what can I do to make money besides sell stuff I already have??  I am open to even the craziest of suggestions!

I am so grateful to y’all for your support.  I will let you know when my Ministry approval comes back!