Friday, April 3, 2015

We Are Not Wonderful Or Awesome

We do not pretend that our actions make us wonderful or awesome people.  Yes, I will admit, we like to look at ourselves in the mirror and be proud of who we are.  And that's what we tell our kids: make sure your actions make you proud of yourself.  That you can look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and be satisfied with what you have done or what you have said.  Michael and I are proud of who life has shaped us to become.  We feel fulfilled with what we have, with who is surrounding us.  We feel like we have nothing to envy.  This did not all happen overnight.  It takes a long time sometimes to build enough self confidence to learn to swim upstream comfortably.  But we just followed the course of events that unfolded in front of us.  Everyone comes to life with a mission and I guess we are living up to what ours was through our family, our children.

The really wonderful and awesome people are the ones around us, near or far, who have been helping us through this all so far.  Hopefully, I have everyone here...!

- my mom and dad, and Michael's mom and dad for supporting us without judging us;
- our friend who has been helping our boys with their homework during my absence;
- our precious friends and our caregiver who have travelled to Toronto to bring support;
- our friends who have been supporting Michael and have been advocating for him in hospital;
- the MFRC in Toronto for helping us find an incredible ''human resource'' and the KMFRC in Kingston for their support with the girls;
- our Military family who organized a Meal Train when I returned to Kingston and felt so overwhelmed;
- the local restaurants and businesses who took part in the Meal Train;
- our amazing friends from far away in UAE who have been supporting us since the very beginning of this amazing adoption story of the twins: we miss you guys so much!
- our Vietnamese family in Canada: we are so blessed to have your support and we are proud to make the Vietnamese culture a part of our family;
- the parents of the dance, robotics and cadets communities who have helped with transportation;
- the mother who made sure my boys could attend her little boy's birthday by providing transportation;
- the little child who asked his guests for donations for the twins in lieu of birthday gifts: thank you from Binh and Phuoc!
- the individuals from all over the world who have been sending presents to the twins and their siblings;
- the young man who offered Binh and Phuoc a tote bag from his company: thank you Andrew!
- Michael's co-workers and the personel who works at the Base Hospital;
- My friend Véronique who took over the admin of our Facebook page when it became overwhelming!
- all the so very generous people who have been contributing to our GoFundMe: wow!!!
- the random people who saw me in the hospital, recognized me and just came over to give me a hug;
- the medical teams at Sick Kids and Toronto General Hospital
- our home care nurses who show up everyday at home for IV therapy;
- the very patient people who work in the Live Liver Donor Assessment office at TGH: do we owe you paper for the fax machine?
- all the 100s (over 600) people who have volunteered to donate part of their liver for our girls: that took a lot of courage!
- and hopefully the many of those hundreds who will make the decision to leave their name on the list to be anonymous donors for the other equally worthy people waiting for an organ;
- my children's schools: thank you for keeping an eye on my precious children by making sure they remain happy through this all;
- all the different groups and organizations who have come together to send donations, thoughts and prayers our way;
- and all the members of the media and press, from all over the world, for helping us by making our twins' story known and therefore helping in raising awareness for organ donation and Alagille syndrome.

Without all of you, this would not be possible.  YOU are the AMAZING and AWESOME ONES!


  1. It's a privilege to have met (most of) the Wagner Family. Michael and Joanne, Your generous family is a perfect illustration that no matter what our stations in life, there's always something more to give/share. Your actions go far beyond providing for your family… your an inspiration for people to do what they can in their own backyards.

  2. It is so great to read your story. We too are an international rainbow family. We have 3 birth kids and (soon to be) 5 kids all adopted through China's special needs program. I follow lots of American blogs of large adoptive families, but I'm so glad to find a Canadian family that is like ours. My oldest daughter starts at Queen's university in the fall. I would love to meet you sometime. It is great to know that there are other crazies out there building big families of children in need and loving it. Best wishes! MayLynne kidsandchickens at porchlight dot ca if you would like to get in touch sometime.