Back in the USA! Yes, I’m back in the USA!
I arrived on Monday at 4 PM in Colorado Springs after leaving Calgary at 7 AM! I am so tired today, that I can hardly get around. I went to see the Chiropractor because my back was killing me and pain ran clear down into my right leg to my foot. I was miserable on the plane ride out of Calgary. I’m better tonight after seeing the doctor.
I leave tomorrow at 7:30 AM for Illinois. I will spend Thanksgiving with my family there and then visit Harvest Bible Chapel on Saturday night in Chicago. I will return to Colorado on Sunday, pack up everything I’m taking back to Haiti, finish the Christmas newsletter, and maybe try to get some rest in there somewhere! I leave Colorado on Wednesday and arrive back in Haiti on December 1st.
But, back to Canada…
Saturday night was the fundraiser in Calgary, Alberta. I had LOTS of adoptive families come to see me and there was a meet and greet before the fundraiser where pizza was served and I got to just sit and talk to some of the adoptive parents. All of the kids had grown so much since I last saw them and many of the little girls were now teenagers! I find that so hard to believe!
The fundraiser had a large crowd and I thought it was fantastic. Shawnee Griscowsky told her adoption story and showed photos of her visit back to Haiti with her oldest daughter, Maya. I found it very moving.
Callie Finlay made a great emcee. I will miss her on the GLA board. She served for a couple of years and did a wonderful job. Now, her little girl, GiGi, wanted nothing to do with me. I don’t know if she thought I might take her back to Haiti, or what!
Here are some photos of that night and families who were there. I am sorry, I did not take any photos because I was so busy and the church hall was decorated so nicely too! Maybe Callie took some photos and she will send me some so I can show you!
Sunday, I was a guest at Bow Valley Baptist Church in Cochrane, Alberta. Sunday morning, I attended Sunday School and Church with Jeff and Brenda Ryan and their family. A small group of us then went to Boston Pizza for lunch and some dear friends from the area joined us. Phil and Janet Weening have two adopted grandsons from GLA and have long been supporters of GLA. They have helped some of my staff complete higher education and I really wanted to see them while I was so close. Thank you, Phil and Janet, for blessing me with a nice visit during lunch that day!
Sunday night, was the Mission Banquet and there were almost 300 people there. They served prime rib along with yummy baked potatoes! Each table was decorated with a different theme and country. I have included some photos of the African tables and GLA tables too! Some of the wood carvings from Africa were really nice.
I was interviewed for the banquet. First, they showed the newest GLA video. Then the emcee asked me questions about GLA. Finally, he asked me to tell a story about one of our children and I chose, Angel Noel, our first baby.
When I started being interviewed, there was quite a bit of noise in the room, forks hitting plates, and people talking. I wondered if people were even listening and then I started telling the story of Angel. As I spoke, the room became deathly quiet. I could see people wiping their eyes and watching me as I spoke about our little angel. Our first angel. The baby that started this whole journey that John and I have walked the last 17 years since the orphanage was started.
After hearing about how the orphanage started, people’s attitudes seemed to change. Now they new more about GLA and came up to me afterwards and visited. A tiny baby changed my life on Christmas Day 1994 and I like to think she changed the way people thought about GLA and orphanages that day of November 20, 2011, too!
That night, Jeff and Brenda drove me to Calgary to stay in a hotel close to the airport. I had to be up to go to the airport by 4 AM and by the time I got to bed, I couldn’t sleep and so I stayed awake all night!
I arrived at the airport at 5:00 AM and that gave me time to buy two…yes that is 2, French Vanilla Cappuccino Supremes! I drank them BOTH, too! All by myself! My last two before leaving Canada. My gift card came in very nice and there is still money on it for Melissa Friesen to use when she goes back to Canada for Christmas!
Colorado Springs feels quite balmy after the frigid temperatures in Calgary and Saskatoon! It was 54 degrees F/12 Celsius in Colorado on Monday, while it was minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 in F) one of the nights, I spent in Saskatoon!
Here are some photos from the Mission Banquet in Cochrane, Alberta:
Posted on Tue, November 22, 2011