Celebrations & Traditions

I have always felt that it is important to have family traditions and celebrations. They give structure, continuity, and routine to life. A child will gain security and stability from regular events. In our home we often have “Sunday Dinner”. This means we use a tablecloth, eat from the good dishes, often have visitors, and linger a little longer over the meal. Our girls have begun to look forward to this and expect it.
This time of year we have lots to celebrate. We celebrated on June 29th – the two year anniversary of Emma coming to live with us. We celebrated on August 8th – the two year anniversary of Emma no longer needing the feeding tube! On this past Monday we had our 2nd “Gracie Day”. This is the celebration of the day her adoption was finalized. A second birthday of sorts.
I’m sure in the years to come we will have lots of celebrations and continue to make new traditions as a family but I am really looking forward to marking each birthday and adoption day with my girls!

Very Thankful!

There are many things that I am very thankful for. I am very thankful that I live in a country where I am free to follow my beliefs. I am thankful that I am part of a large extended family and that I have a community of friends. I could sit here all day and list the blessings of my life.
Today, though, what I am especially thankful for is my washing machine! Over the past week or so all five members of my household have had the flu. On the worst day I changed Emma’s clothes seven times, Sarah’s four times, and the bed clothes three times!
Hat’s off to my hero, my Mom, who had five children before she had a washing machine! She had no machine, no indoor running water, and no disposable diapers! How did she do it!
I am thankful for many things. Close to the top of that list for today, my washing machine!

Emma

I just returned from a trip to the IWK (Children’s Hospital in Halifax) with Emma. She was there for a dental assessment. She will need to have two teeth capped! Apparently it is very important to have no cavities or gum disease before heart surgery. Emma’s next surgery is expected in September when she turns three so that’s why we are keeping a close eye on her mouth.
Emma travelled well and was cooperative during her visit!

A New Year!

Where has the time gone? Somehow days seem to fly by! I had a lot of fun the week-end of the book launch. I sold some books, we raised some $’s for the IWK, and everyone had a great time.
Since then we have had a wonderful Christmas with our three girls. I do so hope they grow up knowing more than just the commercial side of this celebration. Yes we had stockings. Yes we had presents. And yes, we talked about Jesus, the reason for the celebration.
My wish and prayer for the New Year is that everyone considers who Jesus is to them.
Happy New Year Everyone!

Book Launch!

Baby Sarah spent over ten weeks in hospital battling cancer. One year to the day after her homecoming, Mom, Anne Van Donkersgoed launches her book about the experience.

        Book Launch & Fundraising Ceilidh
Kate’s Artisan Café

Down East Mall, Montague
Sunday, December 9th,1-3pm
Live Entertainment

 $2 from all books sold on  
December 8th & 9th will go to the IWK

 Sales & Signing   Dec., 8th, @ Charlottetown Farmer’s Market

Available after Dec 8th at the Home Hardware, Montague, South Shore Sea Glass at the Ch’town Farmer’s Market, Maritime Christian Book Store, and online at www.yearofthebabies.com 

Precious Moment

A few days ago Gracie’s birth mom dropped by for a visit. We were standing in the entry while she took off her coat when Gracie ran up to say hi. She stopped a few feet away from us and looked from one to the other, smiling. Then she said, “I’m yours and Jane’s* aren’t I Mommy? I’m both yours.” Jane and I looked at each other and smiled. We both wanted an open adoption. We both wanted Gracie to grow up knowing Jane and having a relationship with her. We didn’t know how it would all work out and still don’t. This was a precious moment along the way.
I am pleased for Gracie that she can know Jane. I am pleased for Jane that she can keep her connection to Gracie. I am pleased that my daughter has another person who loves her so much.  
(*name changed to protect her privacy)

September 27, 2012

Written on September 27, 2012. Its one year today since my life changed forever. One year since my daughter and I had an adventure of a life time.

On September 27, 2011 my day started with a trip to a cottage in Chepstow. This is a beautiful spot in the Eastern end ofPrince Edward Island. I was dropping my parents off at a cottage for a few days by the ocean. Mid-morning found me walking along the beach carrying five and a half week old Sarah in a snuggly. I was enjoying the gentle breeze in my face, the ocean smells, and slap of the waves on the sand. I was relaxed, content, and at peace. I was enjoying just being Sarah’s Mom!

I was a little concerned about Sarah. She was more sleepy than the previous week. She was going a little longer between feeds. Her stool was a little watery. Her abdomen looked like it could be a little distended. Not cause for real concern but I decided to take her to our family doctor, just to be sure. I saw the doctor at about2pmand by9pmSarah was in the air on her way toHalifaxto the IWK Children’s Hospital. There were concerns that she may not live through the flight.

It was such a shocking event! How could I go from strolling along the beach in the morning to not knowing if my daughter would live through the night? I watched her condition deteriorate with each passing hour.

It would be December 9th before she came home again. We spent all fall between the children’s hospital inHalifax and the pediatric ward of our local hospital. Traveling the 350km by ambulance four times.

Here we are one year later. Sarah was diagnosed with cancer, made a full recovery and is now a happy, healthy, content thirteen month old. She is so much fun! She adapts to whatever situation she is in, almost always smiling and happy. This summer we discovered she loves the ocean and playing on the beach. I can’t wait to see her grow. What a year it has been!