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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Celebrating family Dec 10th



I can't believe it's that time of year again. I feel as we get older time passes quickly. That being said, we always coast through the season. December 10th is our annual Christmas party. This is an important year. Without writing too much detail, I am hoping that every one can attend and families that haven't, come out and join the party. We are having a craft table set up making Christmas cards and tree ornaments. We will have a scheduled talent show (our group will be providing “hopefully” laughter with our skit) We will be having a makeup and nail table that two beautiful girls will be running. A photography table so you can have your moments with family and friends captured for a keepsake and share with others. Of course Santa will be arriving, so it's important that you bring a labelled present with your child's first and last names written clearly for Santa's bag! It is a potluck! Bring your favourite dish to share for at least one hundred people! (Just kidding) We will have prizes! Our prizes this year have been donated from our local businesses throughout our community and I have to say, some have been generous! One prize alone includes a family photo shoot worth $175.00! We are also having an adult gift exchange. The idea is any one who would like to participate brings a gift. From there, gifts are stolen throughout the night. The gift you're left with at the end of the night is yours. Older teens can join with our adult gift exchange if they don't want to sit on Santa's knee! Originally we started running this Christmas party for adoptive families. So we can connect, relate and befriend. Lately as years have passed, I have recommended that extended family members attend, friends of adoptive families, interested potential adoptive parents and now we have extended our party invites to all families. I understand on how important it is for adoptive families to connect, to seek support and for our children to seek support with each other. We can relate in ways that some families can't. Many of our children have special needs and including attachment disorders and mental illnesses. However as our adoption journey has come to an end (re-adopting) and we have grown with each other, we feel that we need to just strengthen as a family without labels. With that being said, “we are what we are” we just want to extend ourselves to others that need support too. Raising any child while needing support within our society is a huge undertaking. I believe we should celebrate our unique individuality. Embrace our strengths. Persevere and learn through our weaknesses. Teach unconditional love and acceptance. Meet and support each other through celebrating togetherness. It doesn't matter where we came from. We need each other. We need support to feel we're not alone through whatever challenge it may be. So let's unite! December 10th starting at 4 pm at the Nanoose Place Hall! If you have any other questions and or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me at hohnstein@shaw.ca We are looking forward to seeing or meeting you! A magical evening for all! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

"How we do it"

Many people continue to question, “How do we do it?” “Where do you find the strength!?” I have often thought about this topic. Do I think I'm stronger then any one else? Absolutely not....I have internalized. Feared the worst. I worry. Over a year now I have developed anxiety that comes and goes. Sometimes I have bouts of feeling sorry for myself. Sorry for my husband. Sorry for my children and our family that witness our health challenges. I awake everyday checking my husband's condition. Then once we both have our two feet on the ground, we start walking. One foot in front of the other. We continue on with our daily routines. It gives us strength knowing we are productive every day. I truly believe life isn't too waste. We are human beings with feelings but we don't wallow in self pity nor let challenges consume us. We are thankful we awake breathing every day. We strive for the excellence that we can provide and to show our children that giving up isn't in our vocabulary. That the past is the past and our futures still await when we awake. That's a blessing. I have Instagram and Facebook and I proudly share our family. Some may wonder why? I have even heard, “You're not a teenager anymore” Exactly, I am not hence why I don't have time to waste. I share our challenges and triumphs in hopes to support others. I share some of my personal progress pictures because it's never too late to change and try something new. This life is meant for living. After nearly loosing my husband and as we move forward with all the unknowns with his current health, there is no way, NO WAY we would waste a moment believing we can't or shouldn't do something. When we pass on, I want our children to say, “Our parents were people who taught us to live and to live happily unconditionally” Here is something I fear.....for my child/children to grow up hiding themselves because they were afraid to just live and be themselves. Having suicidal thoughts. Developing so much anxiety because they worry about what others think. Success to me is happiness that comes from within and you're able to show that happiness with what you do without allowing judgements to control you. That's my belief. That's what I teach. And I'm not strong all the time, I have every emotion as any other feels however I continue to move forward productively while accomplishing things that make me happy and that starts with awakening and being alive the next day with two feet on the ground. That's how we do it. We are grateful. Having a large family can definitely be hard. It definitely becomes that much harder with a serious sick parent. I have noticed over the past year that our family as we once knew it hasn't been the same. Now the question becomes, “Can we accept it?” Well.....we have too. It goes back to the forever reminders that we're breathing. That's my answer. You have to learn to accept what is in order to move forward or make steps to change it. A little story. Every couple of months my friend dyes the grays out of my hair and she straightens it. I felt like a hundred bucks! I felt light and that the weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I came home, I dressed up in hopes to go out with my husband. I already knew he was having a horrible week health wise. So what was I thinking!? Right then I felt sorry for him and sorry for me. I hated the fact that we couldn't just slip out for even an hour that night. However I wasn't resentful, I understood, and this has been our life now for over a year! Every week, even every day can look different. So as I stood in a black dress, nylons and with my hair feeling as light as a feather, I asked softly, “Can you change your shirt so we can take some pictures?” He shaved and changed his shirt. From there one of our children took our pictures in our hallway, then we proceeded to take a few “selfies” together. We simply smiled, then edited and shared our evening together. I shared this story because this was one of those moments we felt angry with our situation. Just cheated. Then as we smiled and shared our evening taking selfies in our hallway, that moment shifted and it was embraceable. We felt that could have been the last pictures of us together. Who knows what the next day would have brought us.....but we awoke breathing and thankful to start all over again. This is the mind change, the acceptance and the strength I'm writing about. This is how we do it even when we don't think we can do it anymore. We are learning to accept what is, we changed our approach and our thoughts. We don't care what others are thinking, we just live within these moments. This is my post, semi-tired, distracted by our children (one is banging on the drums right now, two are fighting with a balloon and I have three dogs literally barking at nothing) My grammar and sentence structure is messed up however I was determined to share how we do it. Just like this - posted! ((Hug and continue smiling))  

Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile" 
 "Enjoy life today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come"
"It is not too uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to START LIVING" - Eckhart Tolle.

"Make your breath count - me."