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

Monday, September 29, 2008

He's the Ex for a Reason

A couple of not so exciting developments: my back is miraculously healed. Seriously, a miracle. Yesterday, it still hurt. And I took a pill for the pain yesterday afternoon, to relax those muscles, and I haven't needed one since. I'm at 100% today. Yay!
A kind of irritating development in my interactions with Jonah's dad. In the spring, he fell off the planet. No contact for 3 long months. My boy cried all the time, about missing his dad and talked about how his dad didn't like him, and he didn't like his dad. He saw a pic of his dad and called him by our neighbor's name, and pointed at random shaven-headed strangers on the street and said, "Daddy!" It was a crappy time.
Then he bounced back in. And I was so mad at him and hurt for Jonah and thought he was such an @$$, I wanted nothing to do with him, except that Jonah isn't old enough to make plans with his dad on his own. So I talked to his girlfriend and told her I'd find it easier to deal with her, and she was fine with it. They live together and whatever, so it's just as easy to communicate through her, and she's happy to be in the Jonah-loop. The problem? Now they are coming out here on a regular basis and wanting to take Jonah for regular visits. Okay, I know this isn't actually a problem, because it's good for my boy, I just feel like it's not reflective of his dad's level of interest. I mean, he was so inconsistent (well, actually he was consistently disinterested it seemed), and now visits are like clockwork, thanks to the girlfriend. I know this is good for Jonah, but if they ever break up, Jonah will have these expectations of his father, and Jon is not likely to pull through and deliver.
Anyway, I emailed the girlfriend this week. She had sent me a note about setting up a visit on Sunday. I emailed her back that a visit would be fine, but when we are in E-town, I'd like Jon to come by himself, because it shows initiative on his part, and it's important to see that contact is what he wants, and that he isn't just coming because the girlfriend tells him to (I said it nicely though). I didn't really think it was a big deal -- visits are about Jonah and his dad, and wanting to see Jon prove that he is actually interested in contact -- I don't think it is totally unreasonable. Anyway, she emailed me back this eloquently worded note, that basically said, "That's nice. I'm still coming." So to be clearer, I emailed her back saying that I feel like we (she and I) are the adults in all of this, making play-dates for our boys, and this is not how it should be, and that I just wanted him to put in some effort. I really thought (and think) this is fair.
So Jon calls to say he'll pick Jonah up in the morning -- no problem. But then, they both show up. She waits in the car, then they take Jonah back to their place. When they dropped him off again she waved from the car. Yeah. I'm done with her. I know I sound unreasonable and petty. But I'm so annoyed at being completely disregarded by them. I was clear, I think even fairly reasonable. All I wanted was some effort from Jon -- an indicator of his intentions and commitment to his son. And what irks me is the total disregard from their end. I'm so mad.
Now you all probably think I'm a big petty jerk, but ever since Jonah's been born, I've made requests of Jon (you know, like "change Jonah a few times today," and "feed him around noon") and he doesn't care. If I ask something of him, he does the opposite (which explains the baby soaked up to his armpits, put down for a one o'clock nap without being offered lunch -- true story). I'm so over dealing with him. And she's out of the loop. If he wants to see our boy, he's going to have to make the arrangements. I'm not setting up play-dates with his mom/girlfriend anymore.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oh, Mine Achin' Back!

I'm taking a sick day today. I'm not exactly sick, but my back is killing me. I threw it out last week playing at the playground with Jonah. Ow.
There's this piece of equipment like a merry-go-round in the air, tilted at a slight angle. So when you are on the low side, you run on the ground, and on the high side, you fly up into the air. Fun, right? I played on it this summer with my sisters and there was no problem. But last week, I saw some girls from the elementary end of my school playing on it, trying to run on the high side (?) so I said, "Here, try it like this," and showed them how to do it. Only for some reason on the high side I kept my arms bent like I was doing a chin-up, rather that hanging from straight arms. Didn't think too much of it at the time, but by the end of the evening, I was like... hmm, my back doesn't feel quite right.
Doing it right this summer
The next morning I went into work, and actually had to leave because my back hurt so bad. How did I pull a muscle eating brownies while watching TV last night? I wondered to myself. It wasn't until the end of that day that I figured it out. Apparently, I have become too portly to carry my own weight without injuring myself. Self esteem? Are you still there?
Over the weekend, I thought it had gotten better. I even worked on my fence (because it has to get done before the snow falls or my beast gets picked up by the pound as a stray), and no problem. But yesterday at work, I bent over to pick something up, and it was back. Like an earthquake, it started as an intensely painful epicenter, and slowly spread outward and upward. I'm sucking it up and going to a doctor today. I don't know what they can do about a muscle pull, but hopefully, they can do something.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Do I Need A Man?

I'm an independent woman. I'm educated, hard-working, self-sufficient, and smart. But there are times when I think to myself, "I could really use a man." It's not that I need a man, so much as one would come in useful on occasion. There is the obvious reasons for wanting a man -- for company, love, sharing of responsibility, and well... you know. But that's not the reason I've found myself wanting one on recent occasions.
I have a fence to build. I've been working on it most of the summer. I'm tired of the bloody thing! I want to snap my fingers and have it done. And I don't want to pay students to do my heavy lifting (they are moving cement patio blocks for me). I mean, I could do it, but I am so stinking tired from just regular life. I just want to have a man, for even a week, to finish my fence. My neighbor is married, and she keeps the house clean and makes food, and her husband takes care of the yard, does the shoveling in winter and takes out the garbage. I'm not really jealous of the marriage, I just want someone to take care of my yard and garbage.
I had another mouse this week. It's an ongoing problem. I haven't had one for a while, but in the last week, I just knew. So I set a trap inside a paper bag in the pantry (for easy pick up), and while I was watching TV the other evening, I heard it snap. "I knew it!" I said to myself, and decidedly ignored the sound, opting to clean it up in the daytime (because, as a disliker of darkness and dead things, I just thought it seemed like a good idea). But then I heard the trap banging around in my pantry. "Just the last throws before death," I told myself. But they continued, on and on.
I peeked into the pantry, and saw the mouse, neck in trap, running around frantically, fear-pooping everywhere. What a survivor! You kind of have to respect the little guy. I didn't want it dead then, I just wanted it out of my house. But I do not have the stomach to pick up a live mouse in a trap to carry it outside and release it. I just can't. I thought maybe I could throw the whole thing in the toilet and drown him quick, and then he wouldn't suffer anymore, but I just don't have that in me either. So I went looking for a man. One of my students lives across the street, and I know his dad so I zipped over. But it was almost eleven at night, so there was no sign of movement. I heard low voices and saw two guys standing on the lawn of the Legion, near my place. So I went over to see if I knew them. I didn't. "So, how are you with mice?" I started my introduction. They agreed to come and help me out, and free my little critter. We exchanged names as they came inside (maybe not the best call, but I was desperate) and the one on mouse duty declined my offer of a pair of socks to cover his hands. Then they were gone, with many thanks from me, and I haven't seen them since. But it is just one more example of when a man in the house would come in useful.
Do I NEED a man? Not really. Would I like one? Absolutely... and not just for the mice and yardwork.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Anticipating the Shoe

You know, I read all these different blogs, about the mom adopting from Ethiopia, only to have her daughter die of SIDS weeks before she was supposed to be picked up, the couples who have dealt with miscarriages, the adoption referral that was denied at court by a stupid judge (which ended up working out at the appeal stage), and I can't help but feel like the other shoe has to drop at some point. Everyone has their trials and struggles, and it's not like my life has been perfect, or that things in my life are exactly where I want them to be, but generally, I have had it pretty easy. Well, maybe not, but things don't really get to me, so I always feel like things have been easy.
I know that the wait is going to suck and be emotionally draining, and the time from referral to pick-up is going to be at least as tough, but it's hard for me to think about it. I'm not used to things in life being so tough, and feeling so helpless. I think that must probably be the worst part of it -- feeling like there is nothing you can do, that you are powerless to move things ahead and that you are at the mercy of people a million miles away and fate itself. Hmm. I'm still at the point of blissful stokedness (yep, I'm making that a word), and it's a bit hard to imagine how it'll feel to be there. It's hard too, to imagine I can avoid the turmoil and strains that come with the territory. I don't know if I can force myself to toughen up in preparation for the roller coaster, but I don't know if I can avoid it either. I guess the best I can do is try to roll with the punches, and to force myself to peel me up off the floor when I inevitably get knocked down.
Maybe I shouldn't think about this in advance, it's not really going to do me any good, but I'm just... thinking.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mail, My Sweet Boy and Grace

I faxed off my Notice of Assessment to Imagine today, and got an email back to send the original. And I hadn't yet filled out some of the agency paperwork, and so I printed it off and did that too. So then after school, I tried to get away quick to the post office to send it off, and only after the envelope was on the mail truck (which had waited for me to add my letter to the bag), did I realized that I had only sent the paperwork, not the Notice of Assessment! Dang! So I ran right back in and they kept the truck there while I paid for and addressed another express mail package! Well, at least it's done, right?
I was praying with Jonah at bedtime tonight, and we prayed that his little sister would be safe and healthy and growing up strong in her mummy's belly. And after we were done, Jonah asked something about, when she goes back to Ethiopia (after she's been here). I told him, "She's going to stay with us and live with us."
"Oh!" he smiled.
"And she's going to share your room," I added.
"Oh, okay," he said.
And when you get too big for your tricycle and learn to ride a bike with no training wheels, can she have your bike?" I ask.
"Yeah, she can have it."
Good guy.
If you are not already reading up on Grace's trip to Ethiopia (she met her Anna today and posted all about it -- get a tissue and click on the link on the right-hand column). So exciting.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Tax Return Cometh!

I checked the mail, and it's here! My Notice of Assessment. So I can fax that off tomorrow, and with Becky's letter in the mail last Wednesday night, it should be all good. One hitch -- my passport application was not accepted as my mam (my guarantor to prove I am me) was not a valid candidate for guaranteeing. She has a two-year passport, and needs a five year passport. Dang! Seriously. Well, that's not the end of the world. Just need a new guarantor -- no problem.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Check (and Dossier) is in the Mail!!!

Wooooooooo Hoooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got it off in the mail today -- my paperwork to Imagine! I am so excited and feeling like, this is it! This is a big move! The check is in the mail, and I am getting closer! I can't stop using the exclamation point!
Everything except my one reference letter (come on Becky -- mail it already!) and my Notice of Assessment, which I can fax once I receive it. My friend Becky said she'd send the letter off tonight directly to the agency, and I should get my taxes back pretty quick now! So I don't think either of those things will hold me back.
Part of me feels like a huge weight has been lifted, because it's stressful to collect all of these parts of the dossier, and takes a lot of time and work. But I kind of feel at the same time, that an even heavier weight has just been laid on me. Because this is it. This is the real deal. I'm in it. I'm mere weeks from being officially waiting. I have a baby on the way. I am, for all intents and purposes, pregnant. Well, as pregnant as I can be with an empty womb. But that doesn't even matter. My heart is swelling so much, that there's no more room in my torso anyway! Baby on the way!!! So excited.
Jonah and I have started praying about his little sister when I tuck him into bed at night. I know the wait is a bit unpredictable, but moms tell their kids when they have a sibling on the way, and so we talk about how she's growing up in her other mummy's belly, and we pray that they are healthy and safe and blessed. I know that probably some women who give us their little ones feel like they are being left behind, maybe even forgotten to a point. But I already love this woman. I already want great things for her. The best that life has to offer. And any role that I would be allowed to play in that would make me thankful. I want my girl to know that both sides of her family are doing okay.
Bliss. That's the only word for how I'm feeling. Elated (okay, I guess two words can describe it). And on the brink of tears with anticipation and excitement. I'm one step closer to my girl.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Provincial Approval!!!

Well, they say crime doesn't pay, but I don't know... I emailed Anne Scully last Friday and said, "Look, I understand you're busy, but I'd really like my approval, and so if you don't mind, I'll send my mam to come and pick it up!" Stalking works, apparently! Because I got it in the mail today, postmarked Friday! So there you go! If you're waiting for Alberta Provincial approval, call Anne a couple of times to make things happen! I know that she's busy and short-staffed and what-not, but it's hard to be patient when so much is on the line.
Anyway, just wanted to share the good news! Just a couple of other things to wait for and we'll be ready to send off the whole shabang to Imagine.