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

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I am not Buying a Baby.

What do you do when someone, even with good intentions, offends you? It's a tricky question, because I certainly don't want them to feel bad, but I am really thinking that these sorts of things should be tactfully addressed rather than overlooked. I know for sure that when my girl is present, I will be a little more proactive, but I just don't know what to say. Especially if that someone is not someone I know well.
Yesterday, I was waiting around at school for another teacher's mom to arrive because she had brought from Edmonton a box that I forgot at my mam's last weekend. I had only met her once before, but she was kind enough to bring it back. When she arrived, I had been talking with her daughter, my colleague, about the adoption, and where I'm at and what still is ahead, and her mom started asking questions, which is fine -- I'm pretty much an open book. But one of the questions she asked was, "Is she expensive?" I know what she meant, and so I answered the question and didn't feel like we had the sort of rapport that would justify a lesson in tact, and so I let it go. But really, I'M NOT BUYING A BABY! Seriously. I'm trying not to be offended, but I kind of am.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAR Amendment Complete

I'm pleased to say that the amendment for my HAR that will allow me to accept a referral for a less-than-perfectly-healthy-but-still-all-vital-organs-functioning child is completed and will be signed off by ABC and then me, and then Anne at the province. I'm feeling pretty good about that. I know that the odds are I'll still get a referral for a healthy young 'un but I just wanted to make sure that my little girl is taken care of, even if she needs some extra help.
The one thing I was advised not to accept, from my doctor-friend who I talked to, was a baby born prematurely (way premature), because then there could be problems related to oxygen deprivation at birth. I had never really thought of that, and was glad to have talked to her about it. She said that even though a little one seems healthy at birth, all sorts of problems could come up later. I know this holds true with any child, but with babies born long before full-term, there are greater risks.
So now what? I should file my PRV paperwork right? I mean, I'm sure there's really no rush, but I would hate for my girl to have to wait on me. I'm less than a month into the wait, and there is a part of me thinking, "Wow, those three weeks went quick!" and then there's the other part of me thinking, "Huh. Only three weeks?" I should really stop checking in on my fellow bloggers so often! Maybe if I limited myself to only once a week, I would be forced to get a hobby to pass the time!
On an aside, congrats to Karen, whose paperwork is on its way to Nairobi She can finally say that she will be able to hold her Phoebe in her arms soon!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Moving On

I've survived the week and parent-teacher interviews (I still have a couple, but they are spread out over the next week or so, so no problem), and am feeling on the upswing. I'm bagged though -- out before ten last night. The general feedback I got from parents is that I need to filter what I say a bit better (fair) and that they would like updated progress reports on a regular basis (also fair). All in all it went well, and since I generally respond well to CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, I have no doubt that the next round of interviews will go more smoothly.
Other than that, I’m staring down the pipe at a 4-day weekend (well, tomorrow is a PD but I don’t have to teach). Oh, Yeah!!!
My thoughts, now that the main chaos of report cards and parent-teacher interviews has died down is that I just need to keep on going, persevere, learn from my mistakes and plug on.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Boy of Many Faces

I have been meaning to post these pics from the last week of October. I picked up a $1 pack of face paints -- perhaps the best dollar I've ever spent. Here are the many faces of my favorite boy:

A Pirate and his Gold
Actually that last one was the start of this (Mr. Incredible),
but it was so funny, I had to take a pic.
Wearing his sister's new hat ("No more pictures please!")

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cranky (and Griping -- Sorry).

I'm not ready for the weekend to end. It's just so nice to... not work. I've said it's been tough lately, and it really has. I'm not a perfect teacher -- I'm not sure such a person exists -- but I work really hard and run a tight ship and genuinely like my kids and want great things for them. But somehow, it's not enough. Unless kids are passing with excellence, there seem to be complaints from parents, that I am simply a poor teacher. I know this isn't true, but it is still so discouraging. If a student is missing an assignment, it is not only my job to inform them of this (which I do), but apparently it is also up to me to give up all my lunches to keep them in, and not only that, but hunt them down when inevitably they dodge the work-DT, and if that fails, I should be calling parents. Are you freakin kidding me? Do parents understand how many students I have, and how much this is asking of me? If they do, they do not care.
And I can't help but wonder, where is the parents' sense of responsibility? I'll happily sign any agenda I'm asked to, but less than 1% of parents ask me to do so, so that they know what students have for homework in my class. And I know my students (that parents are complaining on behalf of) are 12, but seriously, they have to learn responsibility for themselves too. That, as far as I am concerned is what the first term of junior high is for! After years of having teachers hold their hands and wipe their noses, they are given a chance at independence. And yes, most bomb this first, but they also bounce back! If they don't do as well as they think they should, most realize that they have to be doing more. Lesson learned, responsibility increases, all is well. Except for me, apparently. So I am actually dealing with a hoard of angry parents, led by one crazy bully, who cannot end a parent-teacher meeting on a high, despite my ability to spin things for the positive. So frustrating!
There is talk of a rec center being built in town, and seriously, I hope it goes. Because these people need a damn hobby! I understand that there is not much to do here, but spreading rumors about teachers and organizing meetings to justify teacher-bashing under the guise of bettering students' education? Give me a break. No wonder they have such a hard time keeping teachers. They've got me ready to run.
Anyway. I know it doesn't help to gripe, but I am just so frustrated. And stressed. I lost five pounds last week from the anxiety of my job. I woke up nauseated everyday, thinking about having to go in there. I would love to call in sick, and take a mental health day, but planning for subs and dealing with the aftermath... it's just not worth it.
Sigh... what to do? Move to the coast and open a bed and breakfast. Huh. For an off-the-cuff thought, that was not bad.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Hey Mam! That Man Has a Baby in His Belly!"

This was actually the worst week in my teaching career. The mob of parents with pitchforks and the bullying mentality of a couple and the sheep-like tendancies of others peeve me off! It is making me second-guess my choice of career.
On the up side, we were at the hospital on Tuesday, and Jonah calls out, "Hey mam! That man has a baby in his belly!" The guy didn't look our way, but I can't believe he didn't hear it. Yikes. And how can you redeem yourself after that? So we had a little chat about how even if a man has a big belly, there is never a baby in there. He just likes to eat. And if a lady has a big belly she may have a baby in there, but maybe she just likes to eat too, so we don't say anything. I don't know if it'll stick, but here's hoping. He's been around so many babies and prenant gals lately I guess it must be on his mind!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Waiting (and Shopping) Begins

I'm anticipating this wait, and even though I hope that I am laid back enough to be patient, and busy enough to keep this referral out of the surface of my mind, I do think that for sure the last couple of months will be rough. Especially if it takes more than seven months. Because then I'll be caught in court. I'm trying not to stress about it, but when I see people post updates that their little ones are another month older -- I don't know how they cope. I think it'll be very hard to see my sweet girl grow up in pictures.
But I've joined the ranks of the expecting. And so I'll engage in another "waiting" pastime: shopping. I love ebay. Especially when you can buy used kids clothes, because, really, how worn do they get? And hardly anyone bids on them, so you can get some sweet deals. Here are the latest buys (and to my mam and sister, if you are reading this, I don't buy stuff on ebay too often):

Here's a cute little outfit. Everything I got with these is cupcakey.

And this matches.

And so does this.

And this too.

These sweet riding-style pants came with a bonus matching shirt.

And this one is just a different color.

This is one of my favorites. It was actually new and is sooooo soft.

I'm imagining a couple of poofy pigtails sticking out the bottom.

So there we go. And now, for the rest of the month, I will pass the time writing my Novella. Gotta do something to pass the time, right?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Thanks all for your good wishes regarding my dossier arriving in Ethiopia.
This has been a busy last week -- report card marks are due tomorrow so my sister kept Jonah in Edmonton all week so I could get all my work done. It was a tough one -- being away from my boy for five days (the longest we've been apart). I can't help but wonder how much harder it'll be not to see my girl for months! Jonah did well though. I called him every evening before bed, but he was always more interested in playing with his cousins than chatting with me. Thanks for the ego check, favorite boy of mine! We just got back home, and even though I love Edmonton and my friends and family there, it is relaxing to be home. Here's my sister's take on the week.
I got ahold of the social worker who did my HAR, because if I want to change my child desired to include little ones with physical challenges, I have to get an amendment to my HAR, and get that okayed by Anne at the province, and then send it off to Imagine. I'll be honest -- it's kind of a pain in the butt, and really, that stuff should have been addressed in my HAR, but it really wasn't, to any significant degree. Because the social worker recommended me for a healthy child, and that's what the province okayed, I can't have anything but, unless I get permission from the province (hence, the amendment). I think that the odds that I will be proposed a child that is anything but 100% healthy is probably slim, but children with challenges are out there, and I can't look away and wonder if a little gal that could've been with me, might instead grow up family-less. So I'm working on the amendment.
And I am still wanting to do NaNoWriMo this month, but confess, with the hustle and bustle of report cards, I haven't even started! Well, it looks like the next part of the month will be even busier than the first. But busy is good for those trying to wait patiently.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Officially Waiting (confirmed)

It's true! Confirmation from you all (thanks all) and Erica tells me it's true... I am officially expecting. Baby on the way! Hallelujah! I am waiting. I've revised my spreadsheet, as has Brenda ;) Thanks for your good wishes.

Officially Waiting?

Okay, I just went to the post office today, and received a note from Anne Scully saying that they did indeed ship my dossier. Included was a tracking number which I just pounded in and... IT'S THERE!!! Signed and delivered just this morning! Help me out folks. Am I now officially waiting? Or do I have to wait for some confirmation from them or something? I'm about to burst! Please, someone respond!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Unreferable Healthy Babies

What is a healthy baby? This is what I started wondering last week. I put in my request with Imagine for a healthy baby girl, but there were no questions in the application about exactly what I would consider as far as health-related issues. When I think healthy, I think of a person with functional organs, basically. Someone who isn't going to stop breathing, or go into kidney failure or cardiac arrest. Someone whose brain works well and whose spine does its job. That's pretty much what I thought would count as healthy. But I was wrong.
I emailed Erica at Imagine last week, and basically asked her, what healthy looked like to them. I found out that children with club foot, or cleft palette or deafness aren't even proposed for adoption! WHAT?! I don't understand. I figured, maybe there are related complications with those first two, but when I talked to a friend today who is an OBGYN, she said, no, all those things are totally manageable. With surgery, cleft palette can be repaired, and with club foot, it can also be fixed (sort of). One foot might be slightly smaller or one leg slightly shorter, but basically, it'd be okay. So I don't understand why these little ones don't get referred. I mean, this stuff can happen to a child I give birth to. Something like fetal alcohol or fetal drug effects, wouldn't, but these things? It can happen! And instead of being referred and becoming a part of a family in Canada, where deformities can be taken care of surgically, they stay in orphanages in Ethiopia, and live out their lives with these malformations and that's just something they just have to live with.
Maybe I'm ignorant of the big picture, but it seems wrong to me to pass over these little guys. How must that feel to grow up without a family, probably realizing at a certain age that they had to spend their childhood in an orphanage because of the way they look, or because they were disabled in some way? What would that do to a person's sense of self worth? Thinking of it makes me want to cry. I don't want to volunteer for a life change. I don't want to seek out a child with spina bifida or CP or something like that. I'm a bit selfish I guess, to not want to give up hiking or wall climbing as a family. I would do it if my child, it turned out, was physically unable to do these things, but I wouldn't go looking for a child who couldn't. But physical deformities? These are fixable. These are manageable.
I'm emailing Erica tomorrow to let her know I'm open to one of these "unreferable" kids. I hope some who read this will be as baffled as I am and do the same.