Thursday, March 22, 2012


NOTE:  I originally posted this on No Hands But Ours (NHBO), but decided to post here as well for those who may not subscribe to NHBO.  Sorry if it is a repeat for some.

Let me tell you about a couple of my friends...

Meet Rob.
Read about Rob and his Family here
This is Rob.  A good looking fellow.  Short hair.  Respectable even.
Mild mannered.  Looks like someone you could drop your kids off with for a day and leave them in safe hands.
What might surprise you, at least it surprised me, is that Rob is a Rock and Roll drummer!
Yes sir, he is currently touring in some League of Rock thing, with a band called Miss Taken.
And I can just see him, rocking out on stage, all caged up with his drums, being hauled into the hair on a rotating drumming platform.  Surrounded by 20something year old rock and roll wannabes, with their big hair SLAYER hair, tight leather pants, ripped under shirts, a cigarette hanging out of the corner of their mouths with a bottle of Jack in one hand, and the other in their pants.
And then, Rob.  Rocking out on the drums.
I LOVE it!
It was a dream Rob had, and decided to follow it!  And his lovely wife, is probably there for every concert, in the front row, with some biker jacket, with pink dyed hair, screaming at the top of her lungs while some gaggle of groupies are screaming beside her trying to figure out how come the "good looking drummer" isn't paying any attention to them (and seems to be focused on the chick with the biker jacket with pink hair).

Meet Jenny.
Jenny, on the Mountain
This is Jenny.  Jenny decided to climb Mountain Killiminjillio... or however you spell it.
And I can just see her standing there, mountain in the back drop, surrounded by what she described as "many big white men".  And then, Jenny.  5 foot 2 inch, 80 pound, Jenny.
Climbing a mountain.
And a real mountain.
Not like, a Manitoba Prairie Mountain... but a real mountain.
How she managed to climb that mountain, while "[I] lost consciousness from time to time", is beyond me.  I'd be like, "Oh heck no!  I loose consciousness, I go back down.  I don't need to sit on no top of no big mountain... I'll just Google Earth View it when I get home... alive!"

I wonder, how many people told them THEY were crazy for following their dreams?

The response to the dreams which are deposited into my care, my dreams, are not influenced (or at least should not be influenced) by those around me.  Those dreams are there and will not be silenced until I decide to do something about them.

Maybe if I work hard enough, I can ignore my dreams.  Bury them deep down inside, under layers of apathy and work.  Keep myself so busy with doing "good stuff" that I don't actually have time to do what I have been truly called to do.  Maybe I can drown out my dreams by the roar of my new Dodge Challenger... okay, maybe not, but I'd like the opportunity to try.

So what dose it take to step out and chase our dreams?  The most iconic speech I can think of about Dreams is Martin Luther King Jr's, "I have a dream" speech...  And in the end, it cost him his life.  But I don't think he would have changed his dream, even if he did know how it was going to end.

Life may not be best lived from a position of fear, life is for the dreamers, the risk takers, the crazies...  or at least, that is how I want to live my life.  If I were too scared to chase my dreams, we would not have managed to adopt two beautiful children.  If I were too scared to follow my dream, I never would have left the family business and moved 1/2 way across Canada to a new job*, in a new city, where we knew no one.  If I were too scared to follow my dream, I would never have had the courage to marry my wife - and yes, finding her was a dream come true.

If life were lived without dreams, then really, what is there?  A life of simplicity, predictability, stability and calm serenity?!  Why, who would want that!
MENTAL NOTE:  I just realized that I might have some emotional/psychological issues when I finished typing that last sentence about stability, predictability and stuff...
Give me chaos!  Give me love!  Give me a life full of adventure and the unknown!  But each time, it gets harder to harder to chase our dreams as the stakes seem to get higher and higher... and some dreams, may take years to be realized...

But the question remains the same... do we trust the dreams birthed inside of us, that they are going to be better than the safe life we know?

I would like to believe, that my adopted children had a dream once... and yes, they are having an exciting life of chaos, adventure, the unknown, and most importantly, love.  They have been brave enough to embrace this dream.   What about us - what about the old, the parents, the stately, the settled - are we brave enough to embrace what ever new dreams may come our way?  Or, is our desire for "safe" greater than our desire for our "dreams"?

So if no one wants to support my dream to become the first Professional Male Zomba Dancer... then fine, so be it.  I'm going to chase my dreams anyway... where ever they may lead... even if it makes no "sense" at times.

... but if you DO need a Professional Male Zoomba Dancer, you know where to reach me.

* == the wisdom of moving thousands of kilometers away from one's mother (and therein free babysitting) can be debated, and has been debated by many.  According to my mother, this was NOT one of my best decisions...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ramblings From a Selfish Jerk

NOTE:  I originally posted this on We Are Grafted In, but decided to post here as well for those who may not subscribe to WAGI.  Sorry if it is a repeat for some.

It is funny what people say when we are talking, and it is amazing what funnies we can miss if we don't actually stop and pay attention to what is being said.  I've documented a few conversations I've had at work over the past little while, and have reprinted them here in exacting detail*.
Little Bing in the middle - our newest just turned 3
after being in Canada for only 6 weeks!
... flash back a few months ago...
Co-Worker:  So, are you going to tell Ping that she is adopted?
Me:  *blink*  *blink*  
Co-Worker:  What?
Me:  You know I'm not REALLY Chinese right?  I only pretend to be.
Co-Worker:  Huh?
*awkward silence*
Co-Worker:  AAAaaah!  Wait!  You are white!
Me:  Yea.
Co-Worker:  And she is Chinese!
Me:  Yea.
Co-Worker:  So I guess you're gonna tell her then?
Me:  Well, I'm gonna try to hide it for as long as I can, but I think eventually she will figure it out.

... flash back a couple months ago...
Co-Worker:  You're wife doesn't work right?
Me:  Well, I don't know.  Depends on how you define work.  If you mean, dose she work from 8am to 5pm, get a benefits package, a decent wage, time off and the respect of co-workers and a satisfactions from a job well done... then no.  But if you are asking is she busy from dawn till dusk, 24 hours a day, with no pay, no thanks, and a never ending to do list... then yes.
Co-Worker:  Wow.  Uh, what dose she do?
Me:  Stays home with the 5 children.
Co-Worker:  Oh, so she DOESN'T work.
Me:  *blink*  *blink*  Yea, she does nothing all day.

... flash back a few weeks ago...
Co-Worker:  Hey, you speak Chinese!
Me:  Yea.
Co-Worker:  So is your wife Chinese?
Me:  Uhhhh, no.
Co-Worker:  Why then?
Me:  Um, because her parents were English?  (Now in her defence, the question in Chinese made perfect sense, as in "why [do you speak Chinese] then", I was just being a smart ... )

... flash back a few days ago...
Co-Worker:  So, 5 kids now right?
Me:  *snoork*  Whaaaaaza, some ... one talking... *zzZZZzzz* 
Co-Worker:  Right, 5 kids I get it.  So you gonna have any more?
Me:  WHAT?!  6?!  Are you crazy!
Co-Worker:  No, but apparently you are!  5 kids!
Me:  Oh right, well, yea... maybe.

... flash back to a couple days ago...
Co-Worker:  So why you adopt?
Me:  Oh, it was an accident.  My wife and I were up a little late, had a little too much wine, and before you knew it, we had filled out 27 copies of paper work for internal adoption.
Co-Worker:  I mean, you can have your own kids, why adopt?  Is it your faith?
Me:  Well, yes... and no.  I mean, it is.  There is something in the Bible about caring for the widows and orphans.  However, that is not why we adopted.  It would be easy to say that and sound all noble and righteous, but in all honesty, I choose to adopt because I'm a selfish jerk.
Co-Worker:  Wha?!  Oh no, you are not selfish!
Me:  Oh but I am.  If I really wanted to help care for the orphans, than I should have taken the thousands of dollars this inter-nation adoption costed, and built a new orphanage in Africa!  I could have drilled two wells in an Kenyan village, installed a grain feed system for cattle, purchased 4 achers of land for sustainable farming, and supplied a means of food for over 30 children and all their generations to come.  But instead, I was selfish.  We wanted another child, and we adopted.  I only managed to help 2 children so far.  What a waste of resources I know.  We could have taken care of TWO Kenyan villages and all their orphans.  If we build the wells, the grain feeders, and the farms, then maybe those children would not have had to been orphans!  Who knows.  So was it my faith that made me adopt?  I would rather say my faith made me capable to love all people, and in that, I had a desire to love a child into our family.  Was that the perfect or correct expression of my faith?  Well, that is a different matter.
Co-Worker:  ... so, it was your faith then?

See yea, there you go.  I'm a selfish jerk.  I mean, when God said to help the widows and the orphans, I though I was answering the call through adoption.  But in the end, I was really only helping a couple of kids. If I really wanted to help orphans, I should/could have taken the thousands of dollars it costs to adopt internationally and build schools, farms, and orphanages in parts of the world where they are very needed.  For example, check out  - and see what wonderful work they are doing!  The UN even had a World Farm Day at their farm 2 years ago, setting as the example for all sustainable farms to follow.

Yet, Silas and Kimberly (the couple who head up are NOT being stopped on the streets by strangers going "oh look at you, you are doing such a wonderful thing" ... yet, they are helping hundreds of orphans every day.  I only helped 2.  I suck at this "helping orphans" thing!!!

So what, as a Christian, in response to our "faith", are we to do for the orphans and widows?

If you are called to adopt - then great!  Adopt!  But if you are NOT called to adopt... there are still so many many things you can do to help the 147-MILLION children who are in need!

Do not sit idly by and say "Well, we're not called to adopt, so we can't help the orphans"... and at the same time don't say "I'm helping the orphans by adopting!".

So there ya go, I'm a selfish jerk.  I hope to fix this in the future as I am in the process of setting up a monthly donation to so I can actually get around to "helping some orphans", like people think I do.

* What I find so awesome about blogging, is that in all the 360+ posts, not once have any of the stories I've told resulted in the comments section being filled with people in the stories clarifying the happenings.  For example, when I blogged about the wife and her "mafia accidents", not one of her friends went to the feedback comments and said "I can not see your Wife doing that crazy thing you have described!"  Nope, normally the comments are filled with "I can totally see your Wife doing that!", which means, as un-believable as some of these stores are, they are really quite factual and accurate.  Keep that in mind next time you are laughing through them thinking "Oh the Yeti MUST be exaggerating!"  :-)  And I'm picking on my wife there for example only... the stories with my co-workers are just as accurate as any one of them who reads the blog would correct me if I were speaking out of turn.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Do I smell Chocolate?

My daughters may be a little spoiled... at times.  I try to bring home flowers and chocolate for the Wife on a somewhat regular basis.  Once the little Miss G, at the tender age of about 3 or 4 realized what was going on, started waiting at the door for me.  I would come in, and she would run to my arms, and as I picked her up and felt her cuddle her cheek in next to mine, I would hear, in her teeny tiny little voice, ask me "Dad, did you bring me chocolate?"

Picture from Bings time in China...

So what was I to do?  On a regular basis, I was now bringing home flowers and chocolate for two women.  It was cute for a while, but now that there are three girls in the house, the flowers are getting expensive.

But what I love the most about this, is how I can see the similarities between Mom and Daughter(s) here...

Me:  Hey!  I'm home!
Miss G:  (voice from the basement)  I SMELL CHOCOLATE!
Me:  What?!  How can you smell chocolate?!
Miss G runs up from the basement and stands in front of me, hands on hips...
Miss G:  Did you have chocolate?
Me:  What?!  When?  I just got home from work.
Miss G:  Well I smell chocolate.
Me:  I don't have any chocolate baby.
Miss G:  But did you EAT any chocolate.
Me:  Ummm, yes, I got a chocolate bar when I got gas on the way home.  But that was like a half hour ago!
Miss G:  You had a chocolate bar!  And you didn't get ME one!
Me:  You weren't supposed to know I had one!
Wife:  (voice from upstairs)  I smell chocolate!
Me:  HOW!!!
Ping:  (coming a little late to the game, I don't think her "chocolate sense" is as strong yet)  You bring me chocolate?!
Me:  No!  I didn't bring anyone chocolate!  While I was driving home, after work, I got myself a chocolate bar at the gas station!
All 3 Girls:  Whaaaaaa!!!
Me:  *siiiigh*  I'll be right back... with chocolate.

Yes, there is a strong similarity between mother and daughters...

But to be fair... I guess there are some similarities with me and the boy(s)...

Wife:  Bing!  When Daddy go to store, you tell Daddy - buy Chocolate Cake!
Bing:  *grunt*
Wife:  Cho-co-la-te cake!
Bing:  Tiao-ke-li.
Wife:  Yes!  That's right!  Chocolate!
Bing:  (shrugs shoulders)  Otay.
Wife:  haha!  See!  Bing agrees with Chocolate.  You have to get me chocolate now.
Me:  Really?  Hey, Bing, you want a big stereo with 72" speakers loud enough to knock you over?
Me:  Well, I guess we need to get a stereo as well.

Yea, I know Bing has only been with us for a couple months, but already, I can tell there are some family traits rubbing off on him...  :-)  And that makes me happy.  Slowly he is starting to feel more and more like "ours", and less and less like "China's*".

*  == Not that there is anything wrong with being "China's"...