Major Adoption-Related Events

  • 09-04-29 Part One Sponsorship Application Completed and Sent
  • 08-11-04 Dossier in Ethiopia -- the wait begins
  • 08-10-24 Dossier on its way to Ethiopia
  • 08-10-23 Dossier back to Imagine
  • 08-10-17 Dossier to Ottawa
  • 08-10-07 Dossier (finally complete) at Imagine
  • 08-09-10 Dossier (most) Sent to Imagine
  • 08-09-04 Provincial Approval Received
  • 08-07-08 Completed Dossier Sent to Province for Approval
  • 08-06-26 HAR Signed and sent back to ABC
  • 08-05-16 HAR Started
  • 08-04-22 Int'l Adoption Self-Study Course Completed
  • 08-04-07 Application sent to ABC
  • 08-02-19 Initial Application faxed to Imagine
  • 08-02-16 References Requested from Friends

Sunday, May 25, 2008

HAR Finished?

The HAR writer Perdita came out yesterday to finish the Home Assessment. Finish? Yeah, you heard right! So I'm pretty pumped -- it should be signed this week, and sent off to the Government very shortly! And, according to Perdita, the wait time for approval from the Alberta government is actually 3-4 weeks, as opposed to the 6-8 I was expecting. So hooray! I'm pretty pumped, but a little stressed -- I really thought I'd get another year of teaching under the belt before I had my girl come home, but now I think it is not completely ridiculous to think that I could be a mom of 2 before next summer. Wow. I'm a little stunned and not so sure what to make of it. I was looking too at finances and whether or not I really could afford to stay at home for the year. It'll be tight, that's for sure. But I guess if I start putting away a few hundred a month right now I should be able to pull it off if I follow a tight budget. What I need to do is stop buying stuff for my guy. I spent too much today on some playmobil stuff that I'm going to give him for Christmas. And I got some dollhouse furniture, because I am going to get the dollhouse my father built for Melanie and I when we were really little for Jonah to play with, and the furniture we had was too delicate. For Christmas, I'm going to build a play hospital for Jonah, and furnish it with the playmobil stuff I ordered. Anyway!
Another spur of the moment kind of decision. I was at my first rodeo today -- a couple of students were competing in it -- and I saw this really cute pup. I asked the owner if I could pet it. So cute! And she said I could have it. Now I know that this might not be the best time for another dog, but... well, how different will my life be with 2 dogs instead of 1? Anyway, now I have two dogs. Davis, my oldy is a shepard-collie cross, and Felix, my newbie is a border collie. The lady I got him from is going to call me in a week and see how it's going and she said if I have any hesitation, she will take him back. I was a little worried about telling my mam and sister. They would not approve. I told my mam though. And well, my sister will find out if she reads my blog!
I should go -- school tomorrow and I'm going to try to take advantage of my guy's ridiculous enthusiasm for all things happening before 6:30 AM, and get out and walk the beasts!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Home Assessment Report Started

Well, I got a call from Perdita, the gal that would be doing my home assessment report, and I was pretty pumped to get the ball moving. I gave her a call, in response to an answering machine message, on Wednesday, and let her know that I would be in the city (where she was coming from) on the Friday, visiting the family for the long weekend. That was okay by her, and so on Friday afternoon, she came over to meet at my mam's house and we sat and chatted for a couple of hours. The questions were, of course, personal in nature, but I'm pretty much an open book, so that was fine by me. She apologized for them being so personal, and acknowledged that it was probably pretty uncomfortable for me, but really, it didn't bother me. I worried a bit that the fact that I was single might come up, because it's an area of my life where I feel I have very little control, and am fine with, but not really thrilled about. Because it's a bit of an internal conflict for me, I was hoping it wouldn't come up, and it didn't, so that was good. She actually is an international adopter herself. She has a girl from China that she adopted as a toddler 10 years ago. So she had a lot of insight about adoption, because of that experience. I asked her as our meeting came to a close if she foresaw there being any problems, or if she had noticed any red flags, but she said no, that it all looked okay. She made arrangements to drive out to my place this coming weekend, and I am stoked to have things moving along so quickly. Really, it's mutually beneficial -- she gets paid by the HAR, and I want to get going, so good for us!
Oh! Another exciting development: I was offered a permanent teaching contract with my school district which means stability -- at just the right time! I mean, I could have, and would have still adopted if I'd only been offered another one year contract, and I don't think it would have been a huge issue, but now I have the security of income and maternity leave. I think the ATA might pitch in a bit there, so I should hopefully be able to get more than the EI 55% offered by the government. If that's all I get, I will take off 6 months and suck it up that my income is low, but if (which I hope) that ATA helps out and I can get 75 or 80%, than I will take off the year for maximum bonding, and it will actually save me money because that will be the last year that I would have to have them both in the family day home full-time. And I don't really want to spend an extra $1000 per month on childcare. Ouch! It'll be sweet when Jonah's in school and I can just keep him with me before and after school.
Yeah, so that's about it. A funny aside -- Jonah was enjoying his first independent walk in the rain this morning (on the sidewalk in front of my mam's house) when all of a sudden I hear him screaming hysterically. I rush out and find him standing it the grass, just shrieking away. He's obviously scared, so I ask him, "Jonah! What's wrong?" And he points to the sidewalk and cries, "SNAKES!" The earthworms had come up onto the sidewalk for a little air, as they do in the rain. That's my little braveheart!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Paper Scramble

Well I guess I needed a lesson in patience -- preparation for the many months ahead. I had to get in my CYIM check from child welfare and the form they sent back to me saying it was okay to do a Home Assessment Report (HAR) on me, plus a T4 so they could know that I make enough to support another little one. So I have all my stuff together and I just keep forgetting to go to the post office before it closes and what-not, and then finally I get organized, throw the stuff (minus T4 which I still can't find, but supplemented with a letter from my employer saying what I do, when I was hired, how much I make and what kind of benefits I get). I get this, along with the binder holding all my international adoption course materials which they want to have a look at before they start the HAR, all together and then right after school on Monday, I book it out of there to get to the post office, only I can't find any of my stuff. Where the heck is it? I think to myself. Then I scour the house, looking everywhere, pilfering through stacks of paper and neglected, unopened mail, but it is nowhere. I've got the binder, but not the little envelope with everything else. So I pray... Okay, God, please help me find the envelope. I really want to get to the post office today and get the ball moving, and I finally made it out of there at a decent hour, so... help me out will you? But still I can't find it. God? Are you there? The post office is going to close in about half an hour. I've looked through all my piles of papers, I was sure it was in my briefcase, but I've looked in every pocket, like 15 times now, so can you lead me to it, please? And then after a few more minutes, I get it God, I need to be more organized. Point made, now can you just let me have it? Okay, I'll make you a deal. You give me the envelope and I will do all the dishes and the rest of the kitchen before I turn on the TV, and I'll fold the laundry, well, at least half, if you give me the envelope in the next minute. By now, I'm getting a little ticked. And I'm crying because I just want to get this stuff off and get this HAR going so I can get approved, get matched and have my daughter here. It seems like, every day, is another day I don't get to have her. And then I can't help but think, that maybe this is not supposed to happen. That maybe God is saying, I am just not patient enough to be a mother of two. I think to myself, I was sure we were together on this. But I always sort of wonder where God's will is compared to mine. Am I ignoring him because what he tells me is not what I want to hear? I know I've done that before. In church a few weeks ago, Pastor Chad was talking about how God doesn't keep his perfect will for our lives hidden from us. If we live pure lives and are motivated to do something that is good and will glorify Him, then that is his perfect will. But at this point, I'm wondering if I am wrong. So despite all the searching, I turn up nothing. I'm frustrated, irritated, bummed out. But then I think, maybe there is a reason. Maybe I'm not meant to be matched so soon. Maybe there will be a little gal who is perfect for this family and is meant to be with us, but she won't be ready for a little while. Maybe there is no huge rush. But later in the evening I can't help but think, Okay God, I get it. Patience. I don't have enough. It's not my strength. This was a lesson, a sign of things to come -- all the waiting and red tape and hassle that is keeping my little gal from us. I will work on it. I will try to remember this when it happens next (as it surely will). Eye on the prize. One day, I will be able to pick her up in Ethiopia. One day I will be able to hold her and call her mine. One day I will have a little girl. One day. And I can wait... Eye on the prize.
The next day, lunch, I'm like, Okay! I know it has to be here -- I KNOW it's here! I have half an hour to get to the post office and back before the kids come in from lunch recess. I can do it. But I still haven't found it. I have the binder, I've searched my house, car, briefcase, classroom, locker, mailbox and every other place I can think of, but it still hasn't turned up. I came into the staffroom and knelt down to look one more time in my briefcase. But first a little prayer, Please let it be here. And I open the top pocket, which I'm sure I did so many times yesterday, and there it is. Not hidden -- the pocket isn't big enough to hide anything. There it is. I close my eyes and smile and thank God. Lesson learned, and here we are moving forward again. I sent it off express and the lady at ABC said the letter from my employer is just fine. I can get a T4 later, when crazy tax time has ebbed away a bit.
I've started buying clothes now. I mean, I had already bought a couple of little things, starting with a little shirt I found a couple of months ago. I saw it at the No Frills store for $4 and it was so cute, I couldn't help myself. It's all size 2 or bigger. And it may seem a little strange, but I don't care. I bought little things for Jonah in utero, and I am expecting... eventually. She's in utero somewhere out there! I don't tell many people about it, but my mam knows and my friend Becky knows. Melanie (my sister) I don't know how much to tell because she is not so supportive. She doesn't agree. She thinks adoption is a good thing -- just not for me. I don't really understand, so I don't really go into it with her. There's no point. I don't know if it's because I'm a single person adopting or just because I'm me, but whatever. I do love my life -- there is a lot of freedom in being single -- and I love living where I do and having the friends and family I have. I have a blessed life. But it would be nice to have someone to come home to. That's neither here nor there though. So anyway.
I got my evaluation from the principal for my first year of teaching. According to the report, I meet or exceed all areas included in the evaluation. And he said he will recommend me for a continuous contract. Awesome! It all falls into place. A continuous contract means stability, and more importantly -- maternity leave! Yes! So I will have a good chunk of time to spend with my little one, and though initially I thought I would just take 6 months for financial reasons, I'm thinking more and more I will take the full year, because it will be good for bonding, and otherwise I will have to pay to have 2 little ones at the family day home, because Jonah won't be in school full-time yet when she comes. At $10,000 per year for the two, I may as well make a little less and enjoy a little more time at home.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

James 1:27

I left these blanks in my first post that I intended to fill in before actually posting, and I just realized I never did. I'm not real great at memorizing scripture (I can of course, I just don't take the time to) and so even though I know what I've read, I can't quote it or tell you where I've found it. But this is what those blanks should say: James 1:27 is where you find it, and this is the verse I love and live by: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." I love it. Women and children -- that is where I have strength and seemingly endless love. That makes me certain that this is His will.