Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A Little Break

I'm going to be taking a little break from writing the blog for a week or so. I'm going away for a few days and I'm not sure if I'll have Internet access. In addition to that, some of my most faithful readers are taking a, well, let's call it a 'fast' from electronics. This way, they won't have to miss anything :)

In the meantime, thank you for reading our story. Why don't you tell your friends about it? The more readers the merrier!

Next post is about "The Skype Call". Is that considered a cliffhanger?

<3 Haley

Monday, 23 May 2011

Looking forward to Skype

Email to Haley, from Kevin; March 18, 2011

Hi Haley,

It’s Friday and we're really looking forward to tomorrow afternoon's Skype call, as I said earlier it may be me, Linda and I, or it might be the whole band. Is that ok? I'm not sure how it will unfold, so if you have a preference please say and we'll do that. (...)

I haven't been counting days or weeks but I know it's been a very short time since we began conversing...feels longer for me, but I know it’s short. (...)

Have a great day, we'll see you tomorrow!



Email to Kevin, from Haley; March 18, 2011

Good Morning! I have been trying to reply to all the emails that are overflowing my inbox! It's an interesting balance of wanting them to get a careful and timely reply and yet I have to run to work right away! Not literally though, my legs hurt like, well a lot. I had an early morning training session with a lot of lunges yesterday.

As for tomorrow, I am very excited! I would love to 'see' you all but how about just you and I start and then we can add people in to the call as we run out of things to say :) I do want to greet all your kids, as they have certainly expressed that desire in their emails. I need to frame those emails, you should read them all! They are amazing :) (...)

Thanks for the emails...and for including me in the family. Your children are so special. They're already dear to me after only a few typed words back and forth.


Our time together has been short? It's been less than two weeks since the Facebook conversation of March 6/7. Wow. How fast can you build a sustainable relationship? 

One of my big regrets with Camille is that we actually met within days of our first emails. Let me correct that, it was the same day. I got the first email from her at 3:20pm; Nick and I went to visit her at 7:30pm. Too much too soon? Yes. Of course hindsight is 20-20. 

Is this too much too soon? It's like taking out a few stones from the dam every day, and then there's a trickle of water coming out...which leads to a breach and widespread flooding. It's too late to put back any stones now, so I think I'll just hope the flood is good for the land. 

Sunday, 22 May 2011

My Inbox Runneth Over

Email to Haley, from Kevin; March 17, 2011

Hi Haley,

Daniel and Sarah told me they e-mailed you last night, and then I heard Amy mention it to Linda as I drifted off. I was so happy to hear that, hopefully its not too much for you now...they are incredible kids, and yet I can't help but think it overwhelming for you as well.

Be sure to speak up, ok?



Email to Haley, from Linda; March 17, 2011

Hi Haley,

Are you overwhelmed yet? I am fully aware that the children have been e-mailing up a storm!!!!!!!! How excited you have made them. I have not read any of Amy’s or Daniel’s correspondence but since Sarah’s e-mails come into my e-mail box I have read hers. Imagine my horror :) at her describing her hair as long and golden (I am sure she is humble somewhere in her soul!!!) When she read that to me I laughed and hoped you would too! She has taken so much time to e-mail you that it touches me.


Many blessings to you and I look forward to Saturday when we will hear you voice and see you face to face (kind of!)

In Christ,

Email to Kevin, from Haley; March 17, 2011

It is very overwhelming in a 'my cup runs over' joy-filled way! I was thrilled to read their emails and responded to them last night. They are an absolute delight! I'm privileged to get to meet them!


What a wonderful problem to have. I used to be afraid that I had read the very last email I'd ever receive from Kevin, and now I can barely keep up with my inbox. I don't think Nick has ever seen me so attached to my iPhone or the computer. 

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Sarah, Part Two

Email to Sarah, from Haley; March 16, 2011

Hi Sarah!

Wow! You sound like you love ballet. That's so neat! I've never ever tried it, but I remember going to see the nutcracker when I was about your age and loving it! Do you do recitals in your class? The closest I come to dancing is a Zumba fitness class, that's Latin dancing plus aerobics. It's pretty fun!

I saw a picture of your beautiful hair! I have dark brown hair, it's only shoulder length now but I used to have very long hair when I was younger. It was too hard for me to keep straight! I have very fine hair and it would always get tangled.

We have a Wii too! We only have a couple of games but my favourite is bowling. Which ones do you like to play?

Do your dolls have names? My favourite doll had red curly hair and I named her Penny. I really liked to pick out dresses and do my dolls' hair too. We had a friend that made doll clothes so it was always special to get a new outfit that you couldn't buy at the store! Do you like to do any crafts?

Sarah you're pretty wise for 9 years old. Faith is very important and I know a lot of people don't take it seriously. It's a good thing that God gives us second chances (many of them) and that He loves us enough to forgive us when we don't take Him seriously.

Thanks for your email Sarah! What a treasure you are! I can't wait to meet you!



I can't wait to meet all of them! Only a couple more days until our first Skype date! 

Friday, 20 May 2011


Email to Haley, from Sarah; March 16, 2011

Dear Haley,

As you already know my name is Sarah and I am so excited to get to know you. I am going to tell you my hobby’s first, I spend most of my time listening to music and story CDs. But one of favourite hobby’s is ballet. I go to do ballet twice a week. I also enjoy playing with Amy and Daniel, styling dresses for my baby dolls (all eight of them), and doing my long golden hair!! But I think out of all these things I like best to play with Amy and Daniel. (...) A few years ago my dad and mom got us a Wii, so now Amy and sometimes Daniel will play Wii with me. Unfortunately Amy has given up Wii for lent. I am giving up sweets (candy) for lent. Mom is giving up coffee. Daniel is giving up sweets too. And dad? He is giving up smoking and he doesn’t even smoke. And that brings me to talk a little bit about my faith. Faith should have been the first topic in this e-mail because it should be so important in everybody’s lives even though it seems like nobody feels this way. Well by for now!!!

All my love,


Sarah is nine, and she is a complete doll! I laughed at "my long golden hair" and cried at "All my love". 

I just can't express what it means to receive these emails. They are the dearest kids I have ever known, and I haven't even had the pleasure of meeting them yet. It's inexplicable. I don't know them, yet I love them. They don't know me, yet they have already opened up their hearts to me. Oh to have childlike faith. 

They deserve the best big sister in the world. I hope I don't disappoint them. 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Amy, Part Two

Email to Amy, from Haley; March 16, 2011

Hi Amy!

Can I just start out by saying how adorable you are? I just loved your email! It gave me a glimpse of your sparkly personality!

I love reading too. I remember when I finished off the library at my middle school, the massive disappointment of no new books...then I got to use the public library and I haven't run out of books since. :)
I love all sorts of books, but right now I read a lot of non-fiction Christian books. My favourite fiction authors are John Grisham and Jodi Picoult but I don't think I started reading those until I was in my late teens.

I'm kind of sad to be grown up too. I feel like missed out on quite a few years with you! But I'll still try to be the cool older sister who doles out boy advice and has their driver's license!

I really love Christian music too. I volunteer at a huge Christian conference in Edmonton every year and this year I got to run our Sunday night concert. I got to meet a bunch of bands: Pocket Full of Rocks, Bluetree, 33Miles, Building 429, Leeland. We've also met Matt Maher, Paul Baloche, Robin Mark, Third Day, Michael W. Smith, MercyMe, Casting Crowns, Brian Doerksen... Lots of them! It's kind of a cool volunteer job! I used to work for the conference so they trust me :)

I love Chris Tomlin! How lucky are you!?! Is it a special birthday trip?

I am so impressed that you passed your grade 8! That is a huge accomplishment! Congratulations! What type of music do you like to play? Is it more classical or pop?

Amy, you can email me anytime (as long as your mom and dad are ok with that...). I'd be delighted to hear all about your life and answer any questions that I can. I don't have all the answers, but I know someone that does :)
Do you have many other activities? I heard you go out for sushi after piano! That's fun! I love sushi too.

I think we've got great potential here for being kindred spirits :)

A sister at last! And not just one, but two...I can’t wait to introduce you to Sarah. She’s effervescent! 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Reminder of what I wrote to Amy and Sarah:

Amy and Sarah - I saw your pictures and you are both so beautiful! I am so excited to have sisters! If you're ok with me joining your family as your big sister, I think we may have some great late-night chats, spa dates, watch Anne of Green Gables with giant boxes of kleenex and maybe you're past the barbie stage...but I still have a box of barbies that haven't seen sisters play together yet.

Email to Haley, from Amy; March 16, 2011

Hi Haley,

I’m SO excited to have an older sister! I’ve always wanted an older sister. Older brothers are fine, but they just don’t get girl things. (...) Little sisters are fine too, but you can’t ask them for advice or anything like that. In other words, I’m glad I have you now! I hope you don’t mind being an older sister. (...)

Ok, I am Amy and I am 13 at the end of April. I LOVE reading fantasy books, but I also like mysteries like Nancy Drew, and I like books like Anne of Green Gables. Wide variety! But fantasy books are probably my favorite. My favorite fantasy author is Bryan Davis, he is GREAT! He writes for adults and teens. You should read some of his books. (What kind of books do you like to read? I’m always open for suggestions, because I go through books pretty fast.) I requested a new book he just wrote from the library in September, and it STILL hasn’t got here. It’s the second in the series and I’m on pins and needles to see what will happen next! (...)

I also just kind of got interested in music. I’m a big fan of Christian music and some of my favorite artists (that is such a weird name for a song writer!) are: Matt Maher, Chris Tomlin, and Toby Mac. Well, I only like 5 songs of Toby Mac’s but it still counts…Dan found you’re face book page and it said you like Matt Maher too! He wasn’t sure if it was the right page though. I’m going to see Chris Tomlin live in Seattle in April! I’m SO excited for it! Mom and I are going and after the concert we’re going to stay in a hotel for the night! Fun!

Besides being an avid reader, another hobby is piano. I just passed my grade 8 exam, and I’m SO excited about it because now I’m qualified to teach piano! (...)

Yes, I think I’ve past the Barbie stage, but I would LOVE some late night secrets! I’m not real big on a spa though…Sarah is though! She loves stuff like that! (...)

I’m sort of disappointed you’re grown up, but in a way I’m glad because then I can tell you boy stuff, and you probably won’t ever meet them, and let something slip that I like them. 

Love, Amy


She’s a complete delight! The time, thought and trust that she put into this email, it’s incredible (The original had 1042 words...Amy and I edited it down quite a bit). It demonstrates to me what wonderful parents these dear children have had.

I can’t wait to meet her in person! What a gift to be loved by someone who has never met you.

The best line... "I'm sort of disappointed you're grown up." Me too.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Daniel, Part Two

Email to Daniel, from Haley; March 16, 2011

Hi Daniel!

No it's not every day you find a new family member is it?!? And I found 5! Have you told anyone else yet? Everyone I've shared with has been very excited for all of us.

You have my permission to grill my husband Nick a bit if you need some practice screening boyfriends, except for the part about being in the garage...that's just a bit too scary for me :)

I do love to read! I used to read 5 books a week when I was about your age, now I read less, but still love it. Thanks for the recommendations, I'll have to see if I can find some of them!

I loved reading about your interests, thanks for sharing! God is #1 on my list too. I'm so thankful we have that in common. It took me until I was about 16 to really accept Him into my life, so I'm extremely happy that you've already done that. Do you have any favourite Bible verses or stories?

I used to read a lot of fantasy/sci fi too, but I haven't lately. I read a lot of non-fiction Christian books and also books about adoption. My favourite fiction authors are John Grisham and Jodi Picoult; I also read a lot of CS Lewis when I was younger.

I love music too! I listen to all sorts of music, but I especially love worship music. Matt Maher is awesome! I actually got to meet him; he has come to a conference in Edmonton that Nick and I both volunteer at. It's called Break Forth, and it's an awesome Christian event. Maybe sometime you guys can come up for it.

I'm not really "sporty" either, although I did promise Nick that I would play softball this summer...so I guess I'll still have to practice playing catch with him :) Do you like to watch any sports? I heard you had a special visit to see the grey cup! How was that?

I like being outside too. I used to be in army cadets and we did a lot of orienteering things like camping and target practice, don't tell Nick... but between you and me, I can start a fire faster (and in the rain!). Do you get badges in scouts? What kinds of things do you do at scouts? Your Dad told me you were on a trip with them last weekend. Sounds like fun!

I have seen a picture of your dog! He looks like a great furry friend. Have you seen a picture of mine? Her name is Lucy and she's kind of a princess dog. She doesn't like to go outside when it's cold or wet, but she does love walks! How old is your dog? Lucy is 5 but still acts like a puppy sometimes.

Thanks for your email! I look forward to meeting you 'face to face' on skype soon!



The day I received the email from Daniel was monumental. I literally expected to come to the end of my life (many years from now...) never having experienced what it's like to have a brother. Yes I have three great brothers-in-law, but it's not the same. Nick has a strong bond with his siblings. And no matter how close I've become with them, it's different. I know I'm an 'in-law' and while I'm warmly accepted into the family, I'm an addition. It's most clear when we take family photos; There's always the one photo where the 'in-laws' step aside to let the original family have their photo taken. I realize I am floundering at trying to explain this, let me just say that if you're not living this, you won't understand.

Monday, 16 May 2011


Reminder of what I wrote earlier to Daniel:

Daniel- It must be great to be an older brother. I know you've got some serious responsibilities on your shoulders. Soon you'll have to fend off future suitors for not just one but two sisters. You get to be the 'man' of the house when your Dad's away. And you have two sisters who may have ganged up on you to force you to play house or let them cut your hair...I'm sorry that I don't balance out the boys side for you :) But at least you don't have to screen my boyfriends, I'm already married! Seriously though, what a great honour I'll have if you allow me the privilege of being your big sister. I always wanted a brother to show me how to do some boy stuff like playing video games or someone to play catch with. I also need someone who can recommend some great books...I go through a couple most weeks! I hope you can help me out with some of that!

Email to Haley, from Daniel; March 16, 2011

Hey Haley!!

I’m SSSOOO excited to have you as an older sister!!! I can’t wait to meet you in person!! This whole thing is really exciting for me, I mean it’s not every day you have a new sister!!

Yeah being an older brother is awesome....most of the time :P (...)

Dad and I have always joked that when the girls are older and a boyfriend comes to take them on a date we’ll be in the garage like in that song.....oh what’s it called..? hhmmm....and I’ll be sharpening my knife and he’ll be sharpening his axe and we’ll screen the boy first :P. Dad mentioned that you like to read...thats something we have in common...well You might like this series of books ‘Dragons in our Midst’ by Bryan Davis... They tie in with another series called ‘Oracles of Fire’ and they are both great Christian fantasy series (by the day read Dragons in our Midst first).

Well I guess I should probably tell you about myself because I’m guessing I won’t have much time when we have our video call on Saturday or when we meet. So... I have a few passions which are: God and my faith, reading, and music (classic rock mostly). Some of my favourite books are: the Inheritance Cycle, Sherlock Holmes, Dragons in our Midst, Oracles of Fire, Lord of the Rings, and a few others. Then some of my favourite bands are: U2, Rush, The Who, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Boston, The Beatles, The Police, Matt Maher, and Bon Jovi. I’m not a very sportsy person I prefer to read or play videogames (which I don’t do a whole lot because I am only allowed 40 minutes/day. I really love to be outdoors though. I am in scouts and I love camping and hiking! I also like walking the dog (did you know we have a dog? He’s awesome! 

Well I’m not quite sure about what else to tell you so help me out by asking questions!!!

(feels so weird to be saying this) Your Brother,


Ok, my heart totally melted. I love him already! What a charmer :)  "It's not every day you have a new sister!!" No it's not!

I love the signature..."Your Brother,"

This is what joy feels like!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

It's a new day!

Email to Haley, from Linda; March 16, 2011

Dear Haley,

How your e-mails warm my heart!!

Today is Wednesday, and the kids have piano lessons first thing in the morning. Following these lessons we normally go to a local Japanese restaurant for sushi. I shared with the kids more details about you and their responses were amazingly enthusiastic! Daniel asked if he could have your e-mail, so I took the pleasure and told them that they had an e-mail waiting for them at home! As soon as we entered the house, the kids asked to read it!! Well, they did. How they delighted in your personal words to them. It is agreed that you have an amazing personality! They will be responding to you (today probably).

I hope you don’t become too overwhelmed but they are anxious to get to know you and anxious to tell you all about themselves!! We’ll all be present for Saturday’s Skype call.

May God Bless You



Yesterday I thought I would have to wait as long as a few weeks to interact with my siblings.

It's a new day! And you only have to wait one more day to read what the first email from my brother said...

Saturday, 14 May 2011

A Very Delicate Situation

Email to Linda, from Haley; March 15, 2011

Oh dear! I learned not to open personal email at work, because I had a serious break down today! Your email was so accepting and honest, I was able to hear your heart. That's no small accomplishment via email :) Thank you for the warm welcome.

I was so nervous to share that I am a Christian, but I'm so grateful now that we can share that faith. Thank you for being open about that with me. It's a significant part of my life too.

Your dear ones! I have been so focused on thinking about what a big change this is for me, I didn't fully think about what a huge change this will be for them. I didn't know you had told them yet, but thank you for being so candid about their reactions. It makes it real for me to know they have some processing to do too. There's no disappointment on my end; you know what they can handle and I trust that you will be as gentle with them as you can in this very delicate situation.

It's a delight to have heard from you Linda. Thank you again for the kind words and for sharing from the heart. I can't wait until Saturday!

I told Kevin before that my productivity is way down...well I told my boss today that I haven't really been "mentally present" lately and he laughed and said "whenever I have a new grandchild, I'm not here either. You gained a whole family. You're high functioning enough of the time to have a few weeks of being a bit slower!". What a great boss :)



Email to Kevin, from Haley; March 15, 2011

Good morning Kevin,

I was so excited to get an email from Linda, she sounds wonderful. I think you're very blessed!

It's totally fine to Skype just the adults. I want you to go as slow as they need. I can't imagine the shock factor for those dear ones! I'm glad you're not rushing them.


Sometimes I have a hard time falling asleep, so I listen to podcasts of old radio shows, or Wiretap. I downloaded some more Vinyl Cafe to add to the list. :)



It's amazing to me that much of the anxiety of the reunion is fading just from knowing that Linda is ok with it; I know how much it means to me that Nick is supportive of the reunion. Now, I think of my siblings and my heart aches for them.

Imagine you are 9 years old (or 12 or 14), and your parents sit you down and tell you that your Dad has another child. Even now, when I know what their reaction was, I still have a hard time thinking about this. It's not the romantic, long-lost daughter story line that would fit in well in any soap opera. It's losing the image of an infallible father. It's confusing and difficult to understand. It's shaking up a world that you're very comfortable in.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Four Fathers & Four Mothers?

First, please forgive the delay in this post. Blogger has had some issues lately, and therefore deleted my current drafts. Drat. So I have a bit of re-writing to do...thus the late post.

I'd like to introduce you to someone who has become very special in my life. I already told you that Google failed to answer what her title is...and biological father's wife is kind of stilting, not to mention somehow unflattering.

I suppose I have four Mother figures in my life now:
  1. My Real Mom - she's the most amazing mother, I love her dearly. No 'adoptive' mom qualifier needed here.
  2. Mom-in-Law - I'm so blessed to be able to call her Mom too, she is a fabulous mother-in-law. Seriously, they do exist!
  3. Biological Mother, Camille. What can I say, I'm happy to be on planet earth! I'm thankful for the life she chose to give me.
  4. Linda (Kevin's wife) She is, well... read for yourself:

Email to Haley, from Linda; March 15, 2011

Dear Haley,

Firstly, I want to start by telling you...welcome!
Secondly, I want to thank you for the e-mail that you sent to us. It was beautiful! I hope you won’t be too disappointed, but we won’t share it with the kids just yet. We will share it with them in a few days (maybe weeks?). Less than 48 hours ago they didn’t even know you existed. We want them to be settled with the information first and then I will pass your e-mail on to them. (...)

Now for me...since Kevin told me that you had contacted him, I have experienced every emotion possible...fear, joy, anxiety, apprehension, relief, excitement, and even resentment. Emotions are emotions and I don’t want to become too caught up in them. It’s our “will” to do the right thing; the Godly thing. All that matters to me is that I do God’s Will and it is quite obvious to me that God’s Will is that we accept you and Nick into our lives! So I have and I will, without reservation!

Thirdly, faith is very important to me too! Imagine my initial relief when I saw you sign your e-mails with “Blessings”. I also suspected that you were a Christian when I discovered that you married so young. (I’m quite sure that only souls concerned about chastity do so in this day and age! ) The children and I have a strong faith in God. We have home-schooled them since the beginning so it has been easy to instill Christian morals and ideals. They certainly are not perfect (nor am I!) but they are pretty good kids. I think you will care for them a great deal over time.

Finally, I will talk face to face (kind of) to you on Saturday (if that works for you?) with Kevin. I truly look forward to getting to know you better. You sound like an amazing young lady and I am sure your parents are so proud of you! You’ll love meeting the entire extended family too and they are sure to share that love meeting you.
Bye for now.

In Christ,

I was afraid Linda would reject me. That she would discount my presence, as I am not her child. Perhaps somehow she would prevent Kevin from contacting me so her family could maintain the status quo.

The tears of relief that were shed reading this email! I can't express how grateful I am. She is welcoming, gracious, candid...and even includes my parents. She's a Christian! Could God have made this any better? I don't think so. It's so good.

I reached the end of Linda's email and I knew I could love her.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

A Big Sister

Email to my new family, from Haley; Subject: "A Big Sister"; March 14, 2011

Linda - It sounds like you married an amazing husband and father. I know we all have some baggage in the past, but not everyone inherits a 27 year old. Thank you for being supportive of this whole situation and thank you especially for letting me share Kevin. I don't want to disrupt any family dynamic intentionally, but I know that things will probably be a bit different now. I hope that's ok with you. I hope I can be a great addition :)

Daniel- It must be great to be an older brother. I know you've got some serious responsibilities on your shoulders. Soon you'll have to fend off future suitors for not just one but two sisters. You get to be the 'man' of the house when your Dad's away. And you have two sisters who may have ganged up on you to force you to play house or let them cut your hair...I'm sorry that I don't balance out the boys side for you :) But at least you don't have to screen my boyfriends, I'm already married! Seriously though, what a great honour I'll have if you allow me the privilege of being your big sister. I always wanted a brother to show me how to do some boy stuff like playing video games or someone to play catch with. I also need someone who can recommend some great books...I go through a couple most weeks! I hope you can help me out with some of that!

Amy and Sarah - I saw your pictures and you are both so beautiful! I am so excited to have sisters! If you're ok with me joining your family as your big sister, I think we may have some great late-night chats, spa dates, watch Anne of Green Gables with giant boxes of kleenex and maybe you're past the barbie stage...but I still have a box of barbies that haven't seen sisters play together yet.

I'm so looking forward to meeting you all and discovering what you actually like to do instead of guessing!

With great expectations,

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Yes, I knew when you were born...

Email to Haley, from Kevin; March 14, 2011

Hi Haley,

Yes, I knew when you were born, and that you were a girl, we can talk more of those details and history face to face sometime.

Lets line up a skype (correct terminology?) for Saturday afternoon at 4:00 pst? Linda is away until mid afternoon Saturday. Is 5:00 okay for you, or too close to dinner?

I'm totally ok if you want to write something to the rest of the family, I'll cc our home address. Feel free, she's looking forward to it!

My FB picture was when I was about 13, I put it there because I think FB is more for kids, I have a quirky sense of humour...




Sometimes it's like God can read my mind, that He knows my prayers before I pray them. "the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will" ~Romans 8:26a-27

When He knows I cannot take one more moment of fear, that I'll fall into despair, I receive something to look forward to. Skype! I'm thrilled. Who cares what time dinner is; I will fast for the day to get a Skype call. And I can email Linda and my brother and sisters! I don't even know if they know about me yet...but I'm still going to write to them. What on earth would you write to siblings that didn't know you existed?

And he knew I was a girl. "The Putative Father was aware of the pregnancy but not of the birth" (From my adoption records). I suppose news travels...

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Email to Haley, from Kevin; March 14, 2011

Hi Haley,

13 minutes seems preety good to me, I can barely make it two blocks without a rest! I will take heart that can make it up to 13 minutes if I keep at it.

Linda and I lived in Manitoba for three years in the late 90s, we moved there for my work. We really liked it, except the winter weather, it makes Edmonton look like Vancouver! Both Daniel and Amy were born there, we bought our first house there, and we made some wonderful friends, the people were unbelievable! Really warm and welcoming.


I'm totally ok with how we've been e-mailing, we're getting to know each other.. :) Feel free to reply however you like, I do both, right away or wait, depending...

Oilers / Eskimos, automatic! As we've moved around a bit I've learned over the years to cheer for the home team, so today it would be the Canucks, unless they're playing the Oilers. Ditto for football. (...)

Our annual vacation tends to be the one I mentioned in Jasper with Linda's family. Kind of low key, but we all enjoy it as we spend the whole time together doing hiking, biking, fishing, lots and lots of fun. I've been fortunate to travel a bit with work and I'm learning to stay an extra day or two to see the local sights.


Have a great day Haley. Have fun!

Email to Kevin, from Haley; March 14, 2011

Today's my day off so I'm going to clean a bit, meet a friend for lunch and maybe cook some freezer meals. I love to cook. Nick likes to eat what I cook :) but he does take a turn in the kitchen every once and a while. He really loves to bbq even when it's -25. I think his cutoff is about -30.

I read through some of my adoption paperwork again, it says you knew Camille was pregnant, but did you ever know when I was born? I wondered if you knew I was a girl...

Maybe tomorrow I'll scan some of it and send it to you. I got the report in 2005. Alberta opened adoption records in the fall of 2004. After what happened with Camille, I didn't think I would ever look for you. But God stirred up a desire in my heart just in the last 6 months. I am in a Bible study group and we all had to share our "stories" with each other. Basically it's a life story where you try and look back and see what God's been up to in your life. While I was writing mine I noticed that empty space again so I decided to look for you. All I had was your name and I thought you probably had gone to school with Camille. So I tried Facebook. There's more than just one Kevin _________...but at the time your picture was you as a boy. I thought your smile looked a lot like mine when I was little. I knew in my heart, this is the one. So that's all I did. You're the only one I messaged and I didn't know what to write. High school seemed innocent enough...


Now all I can think about is when do we get to meet? If you have Skype sometime this week we could book a time (...)

Is it ok if I write something to your family to share with them?



The emails are getting longer now, there's lots more 'life stuff'. It's so good. Yet so completely nerve-wracking! Every time I hit send, I think, should I have been less _______, more _______... should I have said ____________, instead of ____________. Ahh, second-guessing. You're a real cross to bear.

I wondered if it's because I'm a woman, an adoptee, or if it's just me. It's so validating reading some other reunion blogs, because they share the same feelings! Fear, fear, fear. Anxiety vs anger. Regret and shame. Brief flashes of joy.

The joyful moments seem to be the most fleeting. It's really unfair. I get butterflies when I see the email is from him. I open it, it's wonderful, full of new information and interest in me...then in comes the anxiety. What am I going to write back? Did I read that right? I hope he didn't think __________ when I said _________.  Then I write the reply. Re-read it, rinse, repeat, and again. Hit send at a weak moment. Then I have to wait with the fear in the pit of my stomach. When will he write back? Will he write back? Or was that the last email. The last time I'll ever hear from him.

It's a shame the joy can't last longer. Maybe it can push some of this fear away next time it shows up.

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Irony of Being Needy

Email to Haley, from Kevin; March 12, 2011

Thats terrific news Haley, all of the bits you gave me!

Linda was a marathoner before she broke her ankle 18 months ago..I started to run (?) the dog a month or so ago to save some time and get more exercise. I don't consider myself a runner as I was a hockey goaltender until I was 35 so my knees are 'well used', probably people who see me say, "woah check out that guy, he looks in pain!"...though I'm happy with it because its a 15 or 20 minute pickup every morning as I take Danny around 5:00 am.

I've heard of the home performances but haven't been to one, I love music so I'm sure it would be great for me.

-17 is tough. My hobby is motorcycling and one of the reasons I love living here is I can ride year round, sometimes its wet and cold, but I will ride anyway. In half an hour I'm going to go for 90 minutes or so, its only 8 degrees but any ride is better than no ride!


Have a great weekend Haley,


Email to Kevin, from Haley; March 13, 2011

A visit to the gym turned into a 3 hour nap. I guess I'm more tired than I thought! I think an emotional roller coaster can be way more tiring than a 6:00 a.m. visit to my trainer.

I started 'running' last summer, if you call it that. I'm still very slow. I max out at about 13min before I need to walk a minute.

This morning we're going to church. We usually go every Sunday but sometimes I skip because it's a bit tougher to attend the church you work for.

Nick's Dad is a pastor. They live in MB right now, but Nick grew up mostly in the Calgary and Edmonton areas. His one burning question for you is are you an Oilers fan? I should interject that when we were first dating, I had no idea he liked the Stampeders and the Flames. Made for a very awkward viewing of a western conference CFL final. But I have since converted him to the Eskimos and Oilers side. He claims it wasn't me but instead "time" that converted him. Sounds suspicious to me.

Do you go on many family vacations? We try and take a big trip every other year. Last year we went to the Maritimes and it was amazing. This year going to visit Daniel is a bit of an exception to our every 2 years rule; we're excited that we'll have him as our tour guide.

How did Linda break her ankle? That's a pretty devastating injury. Sounds like she loved to run!

Great emailing back and forth with you. I hope it's not too often. Nick told me I didn't have to email back immediately and it hadn't even occured to me to wait a bit before replying. It doesn't help that I'm an iPhone addict. Sorry if it's been too much! I guess I just have 27 years to catch up on.



Gosh I can be needy. I think it's driven by a fear of rejection. Which is ironic, because needy people are often rejected for being so high maintenance. I know because I have rejected a few people in my time for displaying the same characteristics that I am now displaying. It's embarrassing, yet I'm afraid I can't help it. I think Nick is a bit concerned about the frequency of my contact...and while I appreciate that he's trying to protect me, it's kind of like fighting a losing battle.

Sometimes in my elusive high-self-esteem moments I think I can be quite witty and charming; that's the "how could anyone not love me?" mode. But the majority of my time is not spent there. Instead I frequent the other much less glamorous, self-deprecating and inadequate mode. I used to live exclusively in this area of my mind, but thankfully God is revealing how He sees me. Little by little I allow myself glimpses of the Haley that He treasures.

Which Haley am I in my emails to Kevin? How will he see me? I know that I have people in my life that love me and accept me as I am, but will he?

Sunday, 8 May 2011

An aside... Mother's Day

I'm going to take a one day break in our story, to reflect on Mother's Day

I spent some of my afternoon yesterday reading a few other adoptees' blogs. Fascinating to see others who have gone before me on this journey. Quite a few had notes about 'Birth Mother's Day'. Hmmm. I hadn't heard of that before. I've just had many bittersweet Mother's Days wondering if my bio-mother, Camille has made any progress in her healing.

When we met a few years ago, she was unable to have children and unintentionally (or otherwise) blamed said problem on me. That's a lot of guilt for someone to carry. Thankfully, I have given that back to God, and hopefully Camille will be able to find some healing in that area too.

So today, I celebrate because I have a wonderful Mom, a wonderful Mom-in-law, and I also grieve for Camille. I haven't yet had the privilege of becoming a mother (sometimes when I witness a spectacular tantrum, I'm not sure I'd like to...) but that doesn't keep me from praying that she'll be able to have that joy sometime. Today I also celebrate because I have a new 'Mom' in my life. You haven't met her yet, you've just heard her name. I'll share more about her in days to come.

Blessings to each of you on this Mother's Day. We don't need a 'Birth Mother's Day' because they can share Mother's Day; they are mothers too.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Finding the best camping spot

Email to Haley, from Kevin; March 12, 2011

Hi Haley,

Great to hear about your parents, they sound like terrific people, you're very lucky! Lucy sounds pretty lucky too; dogs are great and our kids really love Danny, but it may be Linda and I that spoil him the most.

I bet it's great to work four of five days, I'm all for a long weekend every weekend. Are you and Nick campers at all? If so, you would get the best spots at every campground every week! We do an annual camping trip to the rockies with my in-laws every year, it's really great because when I was younger our annual vacation was in Jasper so I really love that area. (...)

Have a great weekend Haley!



Email to Kevin, from Haley; March 12, 2011

We love camping! We try and go a few times a year, even if it's just for a weekend close by with friends.

I was finally able to connect with my parents last night. My Dad was very excited and wanted to hear all about you; my Mom was surprised but happy too. They encouraged me to pursue a relationship with all of you and they look forward to learning more about you too. I'm very relieved, as that was my last big anxiety-causing item in this whole situation.

Last night we had a bunch of friends over for a house concert. Have you heard of those before? Our friend Calvin is an excellent performer and he sang for the evening. It was awesome! We love hosting our family and friends. It's one of my favourite things to do.

So we are going to have a pretty quiet weekend now, that concert was our only big activity. Just lots of laundry and maybe going to the gym. Nick is training for a 10k and I'm training for a 5k. My first run!

Hope you all have a nice weekend too! I hear it's a lot warmer there...I think we're -17 at the moment.



Telling my parents was such a relief. I'm so thankful it went as well as it did. At least last time I had told them in advance of my search, so it wasn't a huge surprise. This one was a bit out of nowhere. I'm really blessed to have them.

I'm also fortunate to have a great support system walking alongside me during this time. My husband has been very supportive, and mostly just listens to me talk and talk about it (seemingly endlessly...). He has the patience of a saint. The small group we're a part of has been praying for us as well, and I know that that has had a huge impact on safeguarding everyone involved. 

Friday, 6 May 2011

I am not a cat person

Email to Kevin, from Haley; March 11, 2011

I think Wednesday is usually my busiest day in the office because we’re at full staff and everyone always has loads of questions for me… but Friday is my day to clean up and finish up everything for the week and I can often get a couple normal days worth of work done as there’s hardly anyone around. Last year I only worked 0.9 (a day off every other week), and this year I dropped my hours to 0.8. I got really quick at everything I needed to do, and there just wasn’t enough to keep me busy. I love working Tuesday – Friday. Long weekend every week! Nick likes it too, because he doesn’t have to come with me to Costco now :)

Sometimes I bring Lucy to work with me. She loves it. She loves licking everyone she meets…but then gets tired and just sleeps in my office the rest of the day. I think my co-workers like having her around. She’s definitely ‘my’ dog. The summer we got her I was looking for a job and so bonded with her 24-7 for the first few weeks.

We always had a dog when I was growing up. We started with Blue, the blue-heeler. My parents rescued her from a ditch as a puppy, and she was very old, blind and grumpy when I came along. I think she died when I was 5 or 6. Then we got Barney, he was a terrier-poodle cross. He was my Mom’s dog, no doubt. I just always loved having dogs around. (I am not a cat person – my Grandma had cats, and I always disliked them. They were never friendly enough for me!)

My parents are awesome. They make an effort to visit us often, they did even when they weren’t retired. They are pretty active volunteers. My Dad runs a community policing branch of the RCMP, does hosting at the airport, and they both work with the ‘adopt a senior’ program from their church. They drive them to medical appointments and help do handy-man things around the house. I thought retiring would give them a rest, but they haven’t really slowed down. They were elementary school teachers. My Dad taught grade 6, and then grade 5. My Mom taught part-time, first kindergarten then grade 1. I therefore excelled in school; hard not to when you’re surrounded by teachers (all their friends were teachers too!). I often had people say, “Are you going to be a teacher when you grow up?” and I adamantly said “no way!” Even though I do have a bit of ‘teacher’ gene in me, I never really wanted to be in a room full of kids for extended periods of time.

I do want my parent’s blessing before I say anything more, but I certainly want to get to know you all! Even though I have been so blessed to have even these short little emails back and forth…I do want more. I’d love to try Skype and a real visit sometime too.

Blessings, Haley

I think I finally got to the point where I'm ok with sharing more about my life. I can sense that apprehension lifting off, and I'm just feeling like I'm getting to know someone. It's a good place to be.

I still haven't been able to share with my parents! It's driving me crazy! Soon, soon, I know. It's not for lack of trying, I might add.

I really want to meet Kevin in person, even if it's just on Skype. Email can only tide anyone over for so long. It is no substitute for real life interaction, and I'm saying that as a social media junkie!

Thursday, 5 May 2011


Email to Kevin, from Haley; March 11, 2011

Good Morning,

I'm a mix of joy and anxiety! I'm so happy to have found you and your family; I love reading the emails and often check my phone multiple times to re-read and impatiently wait for the next message. But I still haven't been able to tell my parents. I think they're out of town for a few days. I'm not sure what their reaction will be.

Our intention right now is to build a relationship, it's "easier" to go slow when you're a province away. Only easier because of distance restrictions. Once I saw the pics of your kids my heart skipped a beat. I'm sad that I've missed this long without even knowing they existed. When I hear they're just like me and can read 3-4 books in a week, I want to fly there and curl up with them and read them all my childhood favourites.

I'm a mix of emotions, because my heart's desire is to know you and your family, but I would NEVER want to hurt your kids, wreck a fresh relationship or disappoint them. Somehow the hurts that happen in childhood are so much more impactful and far-reaching than the adult stuff. Use your fatherly discretion and tread carefully as you and Linda decide. I will respect your decision.

I hope you have a great day; I've never been less productive at work than the last week. Hopefully I can get some stuff done today! Especially since you're all about efficiency!

Email to Haley, from Kevin; March 11, 2011

Hi - you found me at Starbucks again!

You just wrote what I've been thinking, thanks for that. Productivity has been off the charts (cliff?) for me too... 

Its ok to be sad about what you may have missed, me too, but its kind of wasteful, I'm mostly working at a sense of relief and happiness that we're starting from here. :) 

I might not have been clear enough, there's no need to respect our decision, because where we go from here is really your and Nick's decision. If you would like to get to know us better and fold yourself into our family (whatever that looks like will be figured out over time...) then we are all for it. We welcome the opportunity! 

I don't want to presume anything Haley, and one thing to consider with your parents is that we do not want to be an 'instead of', we would want to be an 'add on'. Your parents are your parents, irreplaceable. I'm thinking you already know that, I just want to say it so you know where we stand. 

Have a great day yourself, and get to work! 


I laughed at being told to get to work...I smiled about the sensitivity towards my parents...I melted at "If you would like to get to know us better and fold yourself into our family...then we are all for it."

This is a major turning point for me. I'm still apprehensive, but that is rapidly shrinking. What kind of person can extend acceptance and open arms, while still being so diplomatic and considerate of my parents' role? I can't wait to get to know him better.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Avid Readers

Email to Haley, from Kevin; March 10, 2011

Hi Haley,

My kids are unbelievable; we have (ok, Linda has) homeschooled since day one, we knew we'd be moving so wanted to prevent a bunch of the junk. They've all played sports here and there but today their activities revolve around school and piano. They're all pretty good, Amy just passed her grade 8, Daniel is taking the grade 8 test in June, and Sarah is in grade 3 piano. Daniel enjoys scouting, Amy lives for the piano and Sarah does ballet - a real diva in the making!

This will give you a chuckle, our whole family are avid readers, it’s not uncommon to have three or four of us hanging out reading...how crazy is that? My kids will read a few books every week.

As of now our kids don't know about you, and we think that will depend on you and Nick, in terms of your desires. If you'd like to have a growing relationship then we would be happy to tell them, as I'm sure they'd be thrilled. I don't think it wise to have a short-term relationship with them in it as I don't want to break their hearts with a roller coaster program.

I have 2 brothers and 4 sisters, they're all great, and remember they're family, so they're all special in their own ways.

Daniel promised to hook my computer up with skype, so I'll get him to sometime in the next few days (he's at camp tomorrow for the weekend so it will be early next week), it would be fun to do.

Something I try and keep in mind is to only go as fast as we can adjust to, and in my mind you and your family are the pacesetters, do your parents know? Are they ok? Are you ok with what they think? Those kinds of things...



The kids sound just like me! I remember when I was younger I used to go through at least 5 books in a week (the max allowed out at one time from our public library; I had to go to the public library once I had read through our middle school library).

Would I be a roller coaster? I don't think I could go in and out of someone's life, I'm usually pretty loyal. Hmmm. Can you rent someone for a few days to come in and make all the important decisions in your life? I need to rent a pacesetter. I am not good at doing that in my own life, never mind when it would impact two families.

He sounds like such a good Dad. I wish my parents were home to talk to.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Do your kids know?

Email to Kevin, from Haley; March 10, 2011

7 kids? Wow! I grew up in a really small Mennonite town, some of my friends growing up came from families of 9! My best friend was 2nd youngest and had 7 brothers and 1 sister. That always made me wonder what it would be like to be one of many. I was the main focus in our family.

So are your siblings scattered across Canada or are most of them still in #yeg? How many bro/sis?

My husband Nick is from a family of 4. He's #3, has an oldest brother who's married and has a 3 year old (almost 4), an older sister who's married, then youngest brother is single and lives abroad. He's a university student. We are hoping to visit him this fall.

How are your kids doing? Do they play any instruments or sports? I used to play basketball in jr high, until a girl stepped on my foot when I was going for a layup. Tore all the ligaments in my ankle. I took piano for a while, but didn't stick with it. I love to read, that's still my favourite activity!

Do your kids know, or are you even going to tell them? I imagine it would be a very difficult/awkward conversation. I'm just curious :) definitely not pressing for that!

Do you have skype? Maybe we could do a skype call sometime.

Ok my 20 questions are up :)


"Do your kids know, or are you even going to tell them?" That was so hard to think about. I have two cousins on my biological mother's side that I have never been allowed to meet. They were age 3 and 5 at the time of our reunion, so now they'd be about 9 and 11. Every year I miss with them is painful. 

What if I am never allowed to meet my siblings? "Definitely not pressing for that!" Well, that's only true in the sense that I don't want to press any issue during a reunion. I told myself that I must be amenable. This time will be different.

Monday, 2 May 2011

My Real Parents

Dear Mom and Dad,

I've tried calling you every night this week, and the phone just rings and rings. I need to tell you before the world finds out my news. Sometimes I'm relieved though, I don't know how to tell you that I'm trying this reunion thing again. It was so hard on all of us last time, I can only hope that this time is different.

I've had such a good life so far. I am so thankful for everything you have done for me. You gave me unconditional love and support from the moment I was placed in your arms. I had every opportunity and privilege as your child. I was accepted and cherished as though I was your biological daughter. I remember seeing the pleased look in your eyes whenever someone would say, "Haley you look so much like your Mom", or "Haley you look so much like your Dad". It was one more blessing that God gave us as a family, that I even looked like both of you.

I learned so much from each of you. How to be empathetic, how to care for those around me, how to be a good parent (well, I guess time will tell if I learned that one!). Mom you taught me your faith, Dad you taught me how to teach others. I am eternally grateful that I am like each of you in different ways.

Searching for biological parents is not an easy decision. The number one barrier to searching is the horrible feeling that you may possibly hurt your real parents, the ones who raised, nurtured and loved you. Somehow the curiosity became overwhelming, and the hope I have in searching is balanced by the security I have knowing that you will still be there for me. Whether I am rejected again by my biological mother, whether I am left unnoticed by my biological father. You will be there, and I am confident of that. How blessed am I to be able to say that without reservation. There are many children who could not say that of their parents.

I don't know how else to say thank you, or that I'm sorry if you feel like you weren't enough. You are enough, and you will always be enough. For an adoptee there's always the biological question mark on their heart. That's just the way it is, I can't explain it.

I love you both!

Perhaps I'll be able to remember some of these words when I tell you...

Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Big Reveal

Email to Kevin, from Haley; March 9, 2011

21 years at the same company! That's amazing!

Well my work history will reveal a very important part of my life. So I guess it's my turn to share that!

I took my BA in Psychology. I was a development coordinator for a local shelter about 2 years (some part time while finishing my degree). Then I was hired by a Christian organization (that puts on a huge annual conference in Edmonton) as an admin assistant and worked there for 2.5 years.

My current job is office administrator at my home church. I started here in February 2009 after being "recruited" by one of our pastors. I love my job. I get to do a bit of IT, a bit of web design, I have 3 staff to supervise and I love my co-workers. It's a great fit for me.

Faith is very important to me, so I do my best to live a life that demonstrates how grateful I am for each day.

I hope that sharing this with you isn't a scary thing. I'm not in a cult, and I don't hit people with my Bible. I just try and follow what Jesus taught, and I definitely stumble often.

I'm thankful to have found you. I've always wondered what you were like. It's a funny thing, being adopted, you're grateful for your life, your adopted family, but there's always the little question marks in the back of your mind...wondering if there's someome else out there with your eyes, your smile, your height! I'm 5'9" and I sure didn't get that from Camille!

Blessings, Haley


Email to Haley, from Kevin; March 10, 2011

Not scary for me Haley, we are Catholic, though my wife Linda calls me a buffet Catholic..

I am happy for you that you're in a role and job you really like that is a great fit. It's so common for people to get into roles they don't like or hate then get bitter over time. Not good; there are enough hard things we deal with without getting caught in a job you can't stand.

I'm 5'11 (and a little...I need all I can get!), and am pretty fair, though I would say I have a sister who seems to share some of your features. I am the youngest of seven kids, big family!



*Breathe big sigh of relief.* The Christian thing was part of the deal-breaker last time around (during my brief reunion with Camille), so I was a bit reluctant to share this time. It's hard to hide something like that when it's a part of your identity. Who I am is found in Christ.

Hmmm. Buffet Catholic. What. is. that.

I really don't know much about Catholicism but I don't think that's an official "denomination" per se.