Friday, April 20, 2012

Our little Miracle

On April 2, 2012, a miracle dropped into our lives.  His name is Jasper Edward Ausema.  On that dream-like evening, just hours after his birth, Jasper began the process of joining our family through adoption.  The following day, we left the hospital as terrified new parents of a tiny, 7 pound angel.    

We've had an amazing 18 days since this day that changed our lives forever!  Each day, we survive the crash-course in parenthood and learn a little bit more.  Most importantly, our baby boy is healthy and happy.  Every second of life with this angel is a blessing from God! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A visit from Michigan

In late March, the Bass family arrived for a visit to the North Coast. The rain fell in torrents for the first few days and flooding was rampant. Gradually, the storms became fewer and farther in between. We spent time in Redwood National Park and the Trinidad area together. Later in the visit, they also spent time in Patricks Point State Park and more time in Redwood NP on their own.

On April 2nd, the visit took an intriguing and powerful turn. I'll update that story in the next blog entry. It was a WONDERFUL visit and we were sad to see them leave!
The flooding was incredible in Redwood NP (above). Owen enjoying a puddle-filled trail in the park (below).The "Arco Giant" in Redwood NP (below) of the largest trees on earth.The Bass family is dwarfed by a giant...Gabriel and Owen in the heart of a Redwood grove (below).The day turned sunny in Trinidad!Randy in his "photographers" pose.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Green and Gray in Chile

In mid-March, Susanna had an opportunity to travel to Alerce Costero National Park in Chile with the superintendent and two other colleagues to represent Redwood National Park. This new National Park in Chile has recently become a "Sister Park" to Redwood NP. It protects the massive "Alerce" trees, which can live to be 4,000 years old, rugged coastline and coastal mountains. The similarities to the Northern California coast are amazing.

Susanna gave several presentations in Spanish on Interpretation and Environmental Education and had the opportunity to explore the park. Later this summer or fall, Chilean rangers will visit Redwood, and Susanna will assist with their visit.

This was a highlight in Susanna's 10 year career with the National Park Service. It was a huge honor to be selected to travel internationally and represent Redwood NP abroad. Her Spanish language skills were valuable, as well as her experience in developing environmental education programs in Guatemala and Colorado.

Here are some of the highlights:

A boat ride up a river, to access a remote section of Alerce Costero National Park, followed by a delicious, 4 course, campesino lunch.

This tree is 3,500 years old. Standing in an Alerce forest feels quite similar to standing in a Redwood forest.