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, December 26, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Two families (that I know of) received their referrals yesterday. I got an email from M saying that the Ethiopian end had reapproved the agency and that referrals could once again commence. I emailed asking if it meant that referrals would come right away or if they would wait until a transition home was established before they would start. Her response? They had already begun. In my mind, the flood gates are opened. And while I know that it is really much more likely to be a trickle as it was before July, I am again hopeful. Is it possible that my referral may come sometime around the start of summer holidays? Could it be that my sweet girl may, by God's grace, be home for Christmas? I don't dare hope. But I can't stop myself. I acknowledge that the people ahead of me in line according to the Y! Group has increased since the near-death of Imagine, but I'm not too far behind where I was before. I had been hopeful that my referral would be coming any day (had the agency not tanked), and now it seems, everything has been delayed 5 months or so.
Is it okay to hope? I guess it doesn't matter if it is or isn't. It's coming.
P.S. I got my yellow belt this week, without even a puddle. At the beginning of the week, I really believed that would be the best part of the week. I never even guessed that referrals were on the horizon.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
J: Does God bring Christmas presents?
J: So what? Do they just fall randomly from the sky?
I'm not even kidding. What a funny kid.
We've started praying again for my sweet girl. Somewhere in Ethiopia, possibly not even conceived yet. It had been a long stretch over the summer when I only prayed alone about her. I didn't want to even bring it up with Jonah because I didn't know that she would come at all. Now we're saying that when he is six, he will surely have a sister at home. I hope that is very conservative. But who knows. They won't be close in age like I had hoped, but he will definitely remember the day he first met her, as he gets older.
I've decided on a New Year's Resolution. One that I'm excited about keeping and have thought about for some time. Actually, I want it to be more of a lifestyle thing and a mostly permanent deal, but I'll start for sure after Christmas. I am not going to be buying things new anymore, well except for food, gas, underwear, and a few select things. But other clothes? Toys? Household appliances? Vehicles (not that I'll need a new one any time soon)? I'm committing myself to shopping in thrift stores, classified, and kijiji-type websites. And I'm allowed to make some stuff myself.
I've had marriage on my mind lately. Jonah's dad is getting hitched January 2. I'm actually really sad about it, though Lord knows in my mind, I don't want to be with that guy. But my heart is still a little scarred. Yes, it has been four and half years since we split, but still. I had a dream about it last night. That we fell in love again but he had already made plans to marry her and so he did anyway. I woke up with my stomach churning. I don't know why I feel like this. He's been pretty friendly as of late, which is good, but it dredges up old things. Hey family - if you are reading this - I don't want you to comment. Pretend like you never read this. Anyway.
A positive right now: I've been taking Taekwondo a couple times a week, and though I'm exactly as chubby as when I started, I'm really enjoying it. And my instructor told me I can take my belt test next week, so I am pumped (and actually, a bit surprised). Yellow belt, here I come. The only thing I'm nervous about is that I have to do it in front of all these students and parents that I know from school. That and we have to show we can spar. It's a lot of bouncing up and down, which my bladder doesn't love. And it's a test, not in-class practice, so I can't excuse myself to run to the bathroom. Now I'm having nightmares about marriage AND peeing my pants in front of a crowd. Awesome. In fact, I have to decide today if I will in fact take the belt test, because I'm, yeah, stressed out is putting it mildly.
I apologize if that was too much information.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I finally, FINALLY got my cashola off to the agency, only to find out later that the address I used is wrong. So I emailed J to let her know that it is coming, and to get the proper address, and it still should get there a-okay, but I just need to scan and email her copies of my mailing slip and money order so she can be certain that it is coming. I asked when I talked to her today, how things were looking, and with a smile in her voice she told me that she couldn't say but that we would know soon. Soon. Hopefully in the next day or so.
Wish us all luck that our adoptions may continue, and I will post pics of our wonderful weekend soon.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
She will come. One year. One day.
Friday, October 30, 2009
I am encouraged by contact though. I'm glad to here Imagine is back, and just hope they make wise choices, and that each family who voted to continue will fork over the cash. My mam offered to pay the extra cost. I won't let her, but I'm pretty blown away by the generosity. Hopefully I can keep up my current level of patience and optimism. I was doing just fine at 8+ months into the wait before the bottom fell out from under us all.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I couldn't help but be uplifted this morning when I woke up to my favorite guy cuddled up next to me, as he awoke and immediately burst into song! How can I not wake up on the right side of the bed? He woke up singing, and throughout the morning as we got ready for the day he continued. He didn't have all the words right, but these are them. (I actually caught it on my camera video as I snuck up behind him coloring, but I have no idea how to put it on my blog. If you know, you could feel free to advise me. I know how to get it onto the computer, but that's it.)
Be My Guide
by Brian Thiessen
Be my guide, God of Abraham
Lead me by Your hand, You are strong and wise,
I want to trust in You
And in all I do bring you honor and praise
How I love You,
Great and Mighty King
You are faithful,
Through the ages You never change
Be my guide in the dark of night,
Set all fear to flight, You are hope and truth,
I want to trust in You
And in all I do bring you honor and praise.
Be my guide for the road ahead
And should I feel misled, You are just and good
I want to trust in You
And in all I do bring you honor and praise.
It is the song I've been singing, humming and whistling since Sunday. I suppose he was bound to catch it!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I am sort of lost right now which is why I have not posted. I am planless in life. At crossroads, and not sure which way to turn. I had felt very sure that what I should be doing is missions work and so I explored my option there and continue to do so. I have looked at fostering but seeing as I have no idea where I'll be a few months down the road, it doesn't seem like a good call. I don't want to be another notch in a child's belt; another home to stay at before being ejected. If I foster, I want it to commit to it for a good chunk of time. I'm not sure I'm there right now, so that thought is on hold. There's a job in Nanaimo that I'm still working through applying for. They want my transcripts and so I'm waiting for those to come. And then just yesterday, my mam called and told me to sent in my application to E-town (where all the people I love live), because the school board is advertising. That NEVER happens! So as soon as my transcripts arrive, I will send them off with my application, and we'll see where that road leads.
Hard to say at this point which way I'll go. I still have yet to hear from Imagine or BDO which makes sense -- they are in the early stages of rebirth still -- but it's hard to just sit tight. When I think that it may well be still two years before I hold my girl, I'm discouraged to the point of giving up. Don't worry, I won't actually give up, but it hurts my heart to think of it. My guy will probably be six before he gets to be a brother. And I'll be 34. It's not old, but it's older than I had hoped for.
Anyway. Didn't want to be all sad and boring, but whatever. I'll buck up another day. If you need something to make you laugh, go HERE. I laughed aloud. This makes me want a husband.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
And I am moving ahead. Sent off that application for a teaching job in Nanaimo, but haven't yet heard back besides confirmation that they'd received it. I'm really hoping they will call though.
Another ball in the air for me is that I've made the decision to look into fostering. My mam is a foster parent and I know the good it can do, and I know the need that there is. I mean, I'm not going to take in kids with severe behaviors or predators who could turn my sweet guy into a victim; I know that there are some risks. But there are risks with anything, and parenting is about minimizing the big ones. I know kids in care who are amazing and just got the crap end of the stick. So I think if I don't get the job in BC, I will foster here. I'll take a break when my girl comes home, but that could be some time, so I'll let someone else borrow her room in the meantime. Not all the stuff I've set aside for her. Just her room. Our bonus [foster] child will have special stuff that I'm picking out just for him or her. I think it'll be a good thing.
I am sure that God has a plan. And he is faithful and I know all will work out for good. But I don't know what that good will be, so for now, I'll just be quiet and trust in Him. Do you hear that God? I'm trusting in you.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Anyway. Not feeling morbid or anything, but you'd sure think so by that start!
Some good news - non-adoption related - is that Jonah and I are starting to take Tai Kwon Do this year together. It's going to be super fun. But I'm with Jonah in the 5-8 year-old class (because he's only turning 5 in April 2010). So that might be humbling at times, but hopefully I will be able to run as fast as my "peers." If I was in the adult class, I'd feel like the fat kid who can't keep up. But with the little guys I'll be the big kid. I'd rather be the big kid. And hopefully doing Tai Kwon Do twice a week, by the time Jonah is on his own in class and I'm with the grown-ups, I won't be fat at all.
What else? Oh. Jonah said the funniest thing to me in the morning about a month ago. He came into the room and this is the conversation:
J: Guess what? My pull-up's dry! Yep. Dry as a monster!
M: What? Are monsters especially dry?
J: I don't know.
M: Usually people say, "Dry as a bone."
J: Oh. Well, I'm dry as a bone!
In hindsight, I wish I hadn't corrected him. So random and funny.
So. The plan. I don't know how to feel. Good I guess, because it is moving forward, likely. Not thrilled that this has happened at all though. But no point sulking about it. I'm bummed that my kids are going to be so far apart in age. Of course, I'm not adopting a playmate for Jonah, but it would be nice if my daughter was also a playmate for Jonah. When I started, it seemed like they'd be about 3.5 years apart. Then four with the changing timelines. Now 5, 5+? Who knows? I wish I'd listened to those who months ago offered me advice when I'd asked -- about moving to BC. Would it complicate my adoption? A bit, but at this point who cares? It's not going to get too much more complicated. So I'm applying. There's a job opening in Nanaimo in the second half of the school year. What's the point of putting my life on hold anymore? Life goes on. I've got to move with it.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Cotton Candy Goatee
Paddleboating with my sisters and the neighbor in Edmonton in July:
At the sweetest camp ever -- Rockridge Canyon (a Young Life camp) last week:
Friday, August 7, 2009
Hope you all are loving summer as much as I am.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Well, I had honestly been wondering if what happened with Imagine may have been because I wasn't listening to God well enough. That because I felt Him calling me to missions or fostering or whatever, and my response was, "Just wait. I need a few more months or a couple of years," maybe He got tired of me ignoring Him. And so he took that which put my life on hold and shook it up like a storm. I know that this may sound crazy to some, and if it does, don't comment please. But I've been wondering if I just leave my girl behind me and do those things, maybe the storm will settle. I really don't want to though, and I can't help thinking I'm crazy to think it, but still it's there in my head.
But then I read THIS. I don't think this is God's work. This bullsh-- is the result of greed, selfishness and irresonsibility of the big cheeses at Imagine. I'm so pissed I'm in tears. I can't believe that people can be so careless when it comes to others, children, and the pursuit of family. Brutal.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
A couple of potential positives, maybe, I don't really know. I would think that the order of referrals in a resurrected Imagine would be the same as when they went under, no? And since all the present inhabitants of the TH are being hustled out of there as soon as they can based on court and immigration, the latter of which is faster than normal, when/if Imagine restarts, that could mean a number of referrals right away. I'm trying to stay positive. If you feel like I'm grasping, point it out gently please. I'm a little sensitive right now.
If it doesn't go, I think I might not pursue adoption anymore. I really don't want to think it possible, but I just can't imagine it. I wouldn't be able to afford the international route again, and even though I would have probably gone through the Alberta government's Foster-to-Adopt program from the start, had I known how successful most placements are, I now have in my head a picture of my Ethiopian girl, and to replace her with a Caucasian or Aboriginal girl just feels wrong. It's not about race; it's about my expectations that I have long had for my family. I have imagined my girl for the last couple of years and it's too much to think of anyone else filling her shoes. I feel like, my girl is out there, somewhere, and she is meant to be with me. All the clothes and toys I have bought for my girl are for that someday-girl I'd imagined. I can't imagine giving them to anyone else.
So a couple of options lay ahead of me now:
1. If it is a go, and somehow, miraculously, this all still works out, than my life will continue as planned. I will live in this town I don't love, working at a job I don't love, enduring until my girl is home.
2. If it all falls apart, my life will come unpaused. I have put a hold on my life for a couple of years in anticipation of this adoption, in spite of advice from people commenting who said, "Don't do it!" and I will not do it anymore. If it doesn't go (my stomach flipped just thinking of it), then I will quit my job as soon as a missions position comes up. I have wanted to do missions for years, but have felt like life has gotten in the way. I've put it on the backburner for relationships, Jonah, this adoption, the idea that so many of us have that I need to store away like the ant, get a home, car, stable career, etc. before I can do what I'd love. So many people waiting for retirement to do what they love. Well, I'm not waiting 30 years! It's not going to happen. So either I start my missionary life in the next few months, or in a few years when my someday-girl is a little bigger. Either way, I'm done putting it off.
I'm brushing up on the Old Testament now, because even though I imagine I'll be teaching when I go, I'll want to be solid in my knowledge of scriptures and be able to defend my faith.
Life is good.
It will all work out one way or another.
Hoping and praying for the one way, but satisfied with the other.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Later... I can't find that news anywhere. Please someone, tell me I didn't dream it.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Happy Summer All!!!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
So I'm working in my garden yesterday after school, while my favorite boy is inside. I come in, and smell poo. I go into the bathroom, and all over the floor, wall, counter, toilet seat... poo. The floor is wet and toilet unflushed, and I have never had this happen before, so I call Jonah in.
M: What happened in here????
J: I pooed.
M: Why is it all over Jonah? It's on the wall and floor, and oh, look at my jammies! Why is there poo on my jammies? Why is the floor wet? Did you dump water out of the toilet?
J: No, that's pee.
M: Why is there pee on the floor???!!
J: I peed on the floor.
M: Jonah! I - What - ? Wh - ? !!! (speechless now)
J: (face crumbling) You're mad at me.
M: (finally realizing my boy had been explosively sick and had not made it to the toilet, and had then tried to clean up -- using my jammies as rags) No I'm not mad. I surprised that there is poop all over. I'm surprised you used my jammies to clean up. No I'm not mad.
J: (needing a hug, but having a mother who is unwilling at the moment) I tried to clean it up.
And so my boy proceeded to go directly into the shower, while I got elbow-deep. Yuck.
Waiting parents: doesn't this make you eager to dive in? I tell you, I love my sweet guy, but boy, this is not what I signed up for! Well I guess it is, but it's not my favorite part. I've washed the jammies well, but am not sure I'll ever wear them again (shudder!)
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Six months ago, I thought I’d have my referral well on its way at this point
Five months ago, I was getting ready for Christmas, thinking to myself, “Next year there will be three of us.”
Four months ago, I was ringing in the New Year, telling my sweet boy that this would be the year he would become a brother.
Three months ago, I started realizing it wasn’t going to happen this year.
Two months ago, I sent off my amendment, hoping maybe it’d help.
Last month, my first born turned four.
It has not been an easy six, but not terribly heart-wrenching either.
It did have a thought on Monday though… If indeed I get a referral in the next six months as I hope, and my girl is 0-6 months at referral, then the next six months will bring about:
The birth of one beautiful daughter with two bright, shining eyes, making us a family of three. And even if it takes a bit to meet her (which admittedly, would be excruciating), we will love her from many miles away, waiting anxiously to pick her up. The next six months will bring about the completion of our little family unit. To think that in six months, I may know my daughter… it’s not so far away, but it can’t come soon enough!
Praying for her to be well loved and cared for until she’s in my arms.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Anyway. On an aside, I'm working my tail off to get my trailer ready for sale by next week. So I'm busy doing all the things that would have made my house exactly as I'd've love, and wondering why people seem to wait until they are on their way out before doing those sorts of things. Oh well. It's getting done, and there is a solid sense of satisfaction in working hard.
Monday, April 27, 2009
So I've found lately that Jonah is using many measurement related terms, though it is clear that he does not fully understand them.
A few weeks ago, Jonah wanted to go play in the yard and so I dressed him all up and sent him out, and a few inutes later he was knocking on the door to come back in.
M: What's up buddy?
J: I want to come inside.
M: How come?
J: It's too cold outside.
M: No it's not, Jonah! (it was maybe 7 degrees outside, and he was well dressed)
J: (exasperated) Mam! It's like ten miles out there!
And then yesterday:
J: Is Christmas soon?
M: No, not for a long time Jonah.
J: How long?
M: Umm, like two hundred sleeps.
J: (resigned) Ugh. That’s like ten minutes!
Oh, the last one, which is not so much about measuring as it is about straight counting, happened yesterday at the library. Jonah saw on the librarian’s desk, a jar full of candy for one of those “guess the number of candies and win them all” contests.
J: Mam, can I have one of those candies?
M: No. You have to guess how many there are and then the person who guesses right gets them all.
J: Can I guess?
M: You can try.
And so he proceeds to count to 20, which is as high as he can go. And then he stops, seeing that there are still many more.
J: Oh wait. I need to start again.
And he does, but stops again at twenty.
J: Huh. I don’t want to count anymore.
I’m a little sad for him that he felt embarrassed that he couldn’t count, because that’s what it was. The librarian and a bystander were both watching, so he was trying to save face. Seeing him experience embarrassment is new. Usually I’m embarrassed by him (or just as often by myself).
Here’s a lovely story of my most recent foot-in-mouth incident:
We were at the doctor’s and Jonah was being a turkey, because we had to wait over an hour to get in and there were no toys or even kids’ books to look at. So I took him outside and stood him up and talked to him for a minute about behaving properly. I was really embarrassed about how he was acting. Then we went back into the clinic and I say to the lady who I’d been chatting with for the last hour, “Well, he would be good in a condom ad.” (Okay, I know that isn’t nice and it makes me seem like a bad parent, but it is not at all that I don’t love my boy and want him very much. If you have seen that foreign commercial on YouTube about the boy freaking out in the grocery store and the horrified, embarrassed dad who is with him, with everyone looking and tut-tutting, and it turns out to be a condom commercial – that’s what I was thinking of. That was my boy at the clinic). So the lady was all quiet for a second, and I’m feeling like an ass for saying it, and then she tells me that she just found out that she’s pregnant. Turns out she’s totally scared. And yeah. I can back peddle and say that there are so many great things about parenting, but yeah. It’s hard to recover form that.
Next on my list of things to do before I die: develop tact.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I still don't want to stay in that town though. I have found this to be one of the most trying years of my life: stressful, friendless, and very lonely. I need a change. So I'm not sure where I'll be a few months down the road, but it would take a strange sort of miracle to keep me where I'm at. I'd applied for a job on the coast, and got a call for an interview, and unfortunately, never heard back again. He said, "I'll try and get the committee together early next week, and will let you know a good time for a [Skype] interview." That was a week and a half ago, and since then, nothing. I was supposed to have it sometime early last week, and even left a phone message to find out what was up, and apparently, they've decided to go a different direction, and don't consider me worth the time it takes to shoot off an email. Whatever. I actually don't care, which I suppose means it's probably all for the best.
I did however, go onto Facebook for the first time in a couple of months last week and found a message from someone I am not even connected to through FB, but she is instead a fellow teacher at a different school in my district, just a stone's throw from E-town, where all my family is. I had asked, when I saw her at Teacher's Convention, if she knew of any jobs coming up at her school, and though she didn't think so, said she'd ask her principal. So I find this FB message from her, that is at this point over a month old, and it says, indeed her principal may be interested, and she requests my resume. And I'm like, "Hell!" because a month's gone by since, but I send it off anyway with a quick explanation, and she wrote back the next day that after a meeting on the 20th, she'll know better what's up for next year, and so I hope that maybe something will come up. That'd be sweet to be able to drive into town for family dinners on occasion.
I don't know though, if teaching is really for me. I feel like a bit of a fraud, as I go in everyday, somewhat dreading the next many hours. It should not feel like that. And I know how competitive it is to get a teaching job, and how many people are desperate to get a job like mine, and I feel a little guilty knowing that one of those people is out of luck, while I'm already calculating how many more years til retirement. I know how awful that is. And everyone I talk to says, "Give it more time; give it a shot elsewhere," but I don't know if it'll be any different.
I've been thinking maybe Social Work is the way to go. I don't think it'll be my passion, but I'm pretty sure I can't make a career out of being a Fine Arts student, so maybe I need to think a little more realistic. So the holidays aren't as good. But when I go home at the end of the day, that is my time. That's worth a lot to me at this point. And maybe once I've taught for several years and don't have to plan so much, and have figured out how to be an efficient marker and only take in some stuff, my evenings won't be so crazy, but right now...? Blah. There is value in having summers and Christmases and Spring Breaks to chill out with the hoodlums, but there are good things about just hanging out with them normally and being able to spend good times with the everyday, even if the amount of time is less. Quality over quantity, right?
My mam doesn't love the idea of me becoming a Social Worker. It's what she does and so she knows how stressful it can be. She also would love to teach, and it was only bad luck that got her out of teaching and into Social Work in the first place, so for her to see me do it willingly, I think, is hard on her. I don't know though. I guess we'll see. I know that whatever job I do, I really want the assurance of stability. I have a permanent contract right now, which means unless I kill a student, I have a job until retirement. Given the economy, I am hard-pressed to give that up for some industry job that can be pulled out from under me at any time. I used to work in Forestry, but it is so much dependent on the economy around the world, and I would not want to be a sitting duck at this time. I need stability. Sole breadwinner in my family... I don't really feel like there's a choice.
And after this year, I have a permanent certificate coming my way, so if I do decide to return to teaching, it would technically be an option, though I know I'd probably have to head back out to the sticks to reinsert my foot in the door.
I don't know. I have no plan or solid solution or even an idea of where I will be a few months down the road. That's why I haven't been blogging.
I did host a sweet pirate party for my favorite boy's b-day. He's turning 4 on the 20th, but we had it early, because I have a week for Spring Break right now, and I got him a bike, so I wanted some time to teach him. It didn't take him too long to give up today, but I have high hopes that tomorrow will bring with it more enthusiasm. My sweet guy also saw his dad for the first time in 3 1/2 months today, and while I have plenty to say about that, I will wait until I have pics to post, more time, and a whole box of kleenex (spring allergies.... wee.). Soon.
One last thing... Congrats to all those who have been travelling in the last few weeks to pick up their babes -- it is the highlight of my day to read about the uniting of families. And especially, a HUGE congrats to Adam and Carolyn for their referral after 17.5 months of waiting. Everytime I head to their blog, I get mighty teary. I highly recommend wandering that way, if you haven't already.
Happy Resurrection Sunday all.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Anyway, since I have nothing much else to say, I’ll tell about my two favorite Jonah-moments:
This morning, I told Jonah that I was going to jump in the shower.
J: You don’t need a shower.
M: Yes, I do.
J: But your hair doesn’t look stinky!
(Yeah, I don’t know where that came from)
And the other day:
J: You’re my favorite mam.
M: And you’re my favorite boy.
J: And I would never give you away.
M: Me neither.
I love that kid. He is so good (most of the time) and genuinely good-hearted. And he loves to cuddle, which I don’t mind either.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Anyway. I've been thinking plenty about the broadcast since I saw it, and though I know not all adoptions are done in an ethical way, I do think the vast majority of them are. And to decide not to continue, in light of this sort of thing, especially when the government has tightened the reigns and taken measures to prevent exactly this sort of thing, would not sit well with me either. I am not going shopping for a child. I am waiting to be matched with a child who needs to be taken care of outside an institution, and who needs to feel valued and loved. Am I doing it for me? Absolutely. But am I also glad that my girl will get a forever family who can provide for her well? Of course.
I can't help her family. I don't even know who they are. And even when I meet them, if in fact I can, when I go pick her up, I can't offer help then. I'd love to give them money. I'd love to make sure they are taken care of, and maybe do what I can financially to help them start a business or whatever to support the birth family. But I can't. It's not allowed for the very reason that it could be twisted and appear that I am buying my girl. It sucks, because I'm sure most every family adopting, would like to help out the birth families, if for no other reason that to be able to tell their child that they are okay. To have to leave them without offering anything, except maybe photos, is brutal. I wish I could do more.
I sort of figured out something. It's not as good, but it'll do. I signed up today to start sponsoring a couple of other children in Ethiopia. A 9-year-old boy who lives with his grandfather, and a 10-year-old girl with 2 siblings who live with their father and step-mother, who are unemployed and cannot feed the family. It doesn't help my girl, but it puts my mind at ease to a point, that another family will not have to suffer the same loss as my girl's bio-family.
I have many scattered thoughts on the topic, so sorry for the rambling. I guess the point is, that there is no perfect answer here. Things aren't always going to be done as well as they should. Is it okay to make mistakes at an institutional level? Well, no, not really, but it is going to happen. And then hopefully, because of those flaws, things will be changed and fixed. The point though, is that there really are great things that can come from the process -- families completed: children being matched with parents, and want-to-be-parents being matched with children. Money from the adoptions going into Ethiopia, and trickling down to hopefully help people at many levels. And in the case of IA, going to build a compound which will provide quality care to many children, medical help and education to a community... I know it may be a bit of a band-aid solution, but even so, a band-aid is better than a festering wound.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I’m moving on. My life is going forward. I’ve applied for other teaching jobs, not knowing if that’ll end up doing more harm than good to my career. I have a permanent contract right now with the school district, but I’m just not as satisfied with where I am as I’d like to be. I’ve always wanted to live on the coast, and so I’m taking the plunge. I’m checking out jobs on the coast. Hopefully it’ll all be okay. I guess I should check to see how that affects my adoption, and if it will bring it to a halt, I may have to delay, but right now, I just need to be looking forward, focused on the future, and not dwelling on the present, because while I do my best not to think about my girl at all, when I do, it is a weight on my chest.
So I’m looking forward.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Oh, one cute Jonah story from last week: we we doing bedtime routines and I was tucking him in and he was ready to pray. Most of the time, he tells me what to pray for, but that night, he wanted to pray. So we talked about what he wanted to say, and then he started:
J: God? (pauses, looks at me) He's not there.
M: He's there. He's listening, even when you don't hear him.
J: Huh (looking mighty skeptical).
It was pretty sweet. I just like to write these things down, so I don't forget.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I think my amendment is in my mail box. I hope so anyway. I got something I have to sign for, but only got the card after the post office closed yesterday, and I left P-town for E-town this morning before it reopened. I have teacher's convention in Edmonton, and had a dentist appointment this morning and so came out a day early. I also got to see one of my students who was in a serious ski accident last week, and who is in the Stollery being rehabilitated. It's hard to hear about this great girl who I absolutely adore not being able to talk and having to learn to walk again, even though less than 2 weeks ago we weren't sure she was going to make it. It was bad. But the progress in the last week and a half makes me very hopeful that she will recover, and I just have to hope and pray that who she is once she's healed is close to the girl who she was before the crash. My girl was sleeping, but I left a gift for her, and her sister told me she'd let her know I'd been by. I might try to go in again before I head back home.
What else, what else? Oh, I think I may have a blind date next month during spring break. My best friend Becky has been telling me about this fellow that she says she'd go for if she weren't already dating and living with his friend. He's a good Christian guy, carpenter, and sounds like he's pretty responsible, and he didn't leave a cloud of dust when she told him about me, including the fact that I am adopting. Huh. Does such a guy exist? He apparently has agreed to double date and meet me over spring break, so I guess if that actually works out, we'll see.
Anyway, I am home for the first evening in weeks and just came down to check my email, and think I'd better boogie back upstairs to visit with my mam.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Anyway, lent starts tomorrow. BUT TODAY IS FAT TUESDAY and I take that seriously. For lent, I'm giving up eating out, butter and sugar. So today, it's lunch out, and then pancakes for dinner, covered in butter and syrup. Yum.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Go to your fourth folder of photos.
Post the fourth photo you find there.
No editing allowed.
This is a pic of my family Christmas morning. From left to right: my sister Cierra, my Jonah, niece Miriam, sister Caitlyn, niece Carmen, and nephew Finnegan.I was tagged by Laura, and will go ahead and tag my sister Melanie, Rhonda and Lucilia (because I know she's got pictures aplenty!).
Sunday, February 15, 2009
So a couple of things in the last couple of weeks: a new timeline announced by the agency (sigh), and a possible new home for us. Let's start with that timeline. I talked to my caseworker E this week, to clarify about this new timeline buzz, and indeed, it has been extended, again. That is crappy. I really thought that at this point I'd be half way through the referral wait. HA! Actually, according to the original timeline I was given, I could be expecting a referral any moment. Yeah. Obviously that is ridiculous to even think. We are now looking at 10-11 months for people currently receiving referrals. But that means that the people who have been waiting 10-11 months right now can expect a referral shortly. That does NOT mean that I can expect the same sort of timeline. In fact, I can pretty much be guaranteed a longer timeline. So, I have adjusted my hopes to a referral by Christmas (that'd be 13 months of waiting -- I hope HOPE that is as liberal an estimate as I think it is). Travel by summer 2010? The upside, I tell myself, is that there is no risk of getting caught in court closures, so yay.
There is, of course, always a chance that I will get a match with some medical issues and so the referral will come earlier. I did get the amendment done. Whether or not it'll go through approval anytime this millennium is another question. Seriously, I am so ticked at my HAR (home assessment report) agency. Yes, I'm talking about YOU, ADOPTION BY CHOICE (yeah, I said it). I had to get this amendment done in the first place, because the child desired section of the HAR was not done the first time around. I get that the SW who wrote it for me was new, and I was her first, but seriously, shouldn't there be some guidelines she goes by; some training she goes through for the job? I guess not. And so I paid the extra, and in all fairness the HAR writer recognized that it really should have been done the first time, so I had to pay the agency for the job, but she did not take a cut, so it may have been cheaper. That was nice. But then the amendment is done, and I ask when it'll be sent to me, and they say no, I don't have to sign it because it is just an amendment. Seems odd to me, but hey, they know their job, right? WRONG!! After 6 weeks of waiting for the AB gov to approve the 3-page document, I call Anne Scully at the department, and she looks it up, and says, oh, it wasn't signed and was returned to the agency. What the???! So I call the agency and they say, yes, it's on the way to me, and once I return it, it'll be sent off again. And apparently it's supposed to jump the line, but I'm not exactly holding my breath at this point. Fooey.
Anyway, I have to follow my boy and feed him, because he's wandered (we're at my mam's for the weekend), and I don't want to dump him on my mam this morning, as I often do. I'll tell about the potential new home soonish.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Report cards are done (painfully) for another term. Usually, I’ll admit there are some assignments that do not make it onto the report card just because they are not marked in time, but I am very proud to say all my marking is now up to date, and from here on, I expect that I will be motivated to keep up, so as not to have the dreaded knot in my stomach that comes with knowing there is a mountain of paperwork waiting for me. Ugh.
My sweet boy’s father has made a return today. I had wrote him a letter saying, basically, that he needed to explain what the heck was happening, that he was not calling or visiting, and that he needed to make a choice to be in or out. And instead of answering the questions, he tried to arrange a visit for this weekend! I’ll have him come to see our boy, but I want him to explain what the… Am I being petty? Be honest; I won’t be offended.
What else, what else? I’ve been thinking more about the whole foster-to-adopt dealie. I don’t know. I really want my girl – no doubt about it – but am I ready to be a mam of two next month? Maybe not. And I know it may not go that fast, but I also know it could. That’s fast. Really fast. And the adoption wouldn’t go through right then, but there would be a baby. The two processes are sort of polar opposite. The one could have me parenting two in mere weeks, while the other will still take over a year (before baby is home with me). I would love an inbetweenie sort of deal. Kind of like the original timeline I expected when I began. Huh. Oh well. It’s not about my time.
I’ll admit I’m sort of having a crisis in my head. Really, my head can be my worst enemy. I’m sure I am not the only one out there with a plan. You know, a plan for my life. There are things I want to do, and things I have expected for my life up until this point, and very few of those things worked out the way I wanted them to. I really thought that by my mid-20’s I would be married and working on building up a family the size of a soccer team. No luck there. It’s hard for me to imagine that Jonah will be my only pregnancy, especially since I found it hard to fully celebrate at the time, for fear of being a single mam, and the uncertainty of how things would work out between his dad and me. The thought of Jonah being my only pregnancy makes me sad. Sorry to anyone reading this who is still eagerly waiting for child #1.
I know people who have divorced, and who maybe wonder when they will meet that great love they’ve wanted, but I’m still waiting on husband #1. Okay, I only want one, so that didn’t come out quite right, but you get the point. I’ve never been married, never lived with a man, unless you consider the many roommates I’ve had. It’s a hard pill to swallow, that I may always be a single, but I guess that’s life. It kind of makes me want to live a much freer life though. Go do good works, be a missionary, build and operate a compound in Africa, providing people with medical care, education, training, supplies for farming and survival, etc. I think sometimes that that’s the reason I am single. I have it in my heart to do that, so maybe that is what I’m meant for. Maybe God knows that if I have a husband, my heart will be on my own family unit instead. Still, I can’t really deal with the idea of being just me from here on. My biological clock is ticking, and for the first time in my life, I realized yesterday, that this is it! There is only one go round. When my body (which has never failed me) is past it’s prime, then that is done. No more bio-babies. That’s it. It’s very final. I know that it’s a common knowledge sort of thing, but still, I’d never though about it before.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The family came up for the weekend (my mam, sisters and niece and nephew). It was a full house! Full of fun and good company, that is. I was pooped out when they pulled out this afternoon, and so I let my favorite boy watch a little show while I watched the backsides of my eyelids for a few.
My favorite boy has not seen or heard from his father in the last 3+ weeks now. Even though last Sunday, I sent an email for him to call, and Jonah dictated a message for me to type asking him to call as well. Every night, when I ask my boy what he'd like to pray for he says, "My dad, and my heart." So we pray that his dad is well, and that he will call, and that if he doesn't Jonah's heart will feel better. Some may say, just call him! But it's a long-standing issue of him making an effort with our boy, and so we don't call. We leave it up to him. Sigh.
Congrats to those who are heading off to pick up their munchkins (I'm thinking of Ricki and Barb here). I'm looking forward to seeing your exciting dive into parenthood! The upside of the long wait of adoption, is that by the time you get there, you're as ready as you'll ever be, and with adoption, there are no whoops'. It's all very well planned and expected. Or so I hope.
One person commented on my last post, and said something that made me look at the wait and the change in policy in a whole new way. Here's what she (or he) said:
There were many done illegally under the old system...mine included. It sucks to wait for a referral....but it is a MUCH bigger hurt to deal with the knowledge of an unethical adoption for your entire life. We deal with it daily as we see our incredible child and know that the laws were not in place to protect our child and birth family from corruption....and yes...we did adopt in Canada...and the many I am referring to were also Canadian...sad, tragic but true. Though my child is amazing and we are so blessed...I would take a longer wait...much much longer to know that the adoption was ethical and legal.
Wow. I can't say it any better than that. And (s)he's right. I would not want to ever wonder if my child was taken from birth parents who loved her and were able to care for her. I'll definitely take the wait.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I've been doing so much thinking in the last week or so about the email that was sent out informing us of the changes in court and what not. Brutal. Crappy. That's about all I can say. And I get that it is about keeping kids safe and protecting families, but still. Yuck. I mean, I can't help but wonder how many children adopted under the old procedure were done so illegally. Were there any? I guess I should be happy that they are making a preemptive strike to ensure that it doesn't happen (even if it hasn't been happening up to this point). Well. I don't really know what more to say about it except to echo what probably hundreds of others are thinking or saying. What a disappointment.
When I started this whole thing last year, I thought maybe my girl would be about 3 years younger than my boy. 3 1/2 I guess. Then with the adjusted wait times, I thought, okay, maybe more like 4 years different. But now? My guy turns 4 in April, and I am pretty sure that I will not be seeing my girl's picture until the summer. Scratch that. Fall. Boo.
I really thought that hoping for a summer referral was very reasonable. I thought that I was being safe so I could avoid disappointment. Err on the side of caution, I told myself. But now? I'm not sure I can be cautious enough. I have readjusted my hopes to summer 2010 travel (makes me want to cry), seeing as babes will now have to wait longer to be with their forever families and therefore, will spend more time in the transition homes, and so referrals will also take longer because those referral spots will be occupied by court date babies. I'm trying so hard to be okay with that. But I'm not. This feels like the first in a very long series of let-downs in this process. It honestly makes me question if I'm strong enough. I guess this whole deal makes you strong enough. You don't have a choice, because once you see your sweet babe's face, there is nothing so awful that could make you give her up. But oh, I can see it now... it's going to be a long hard road.
My mam still thinks that maybe I should foster-to-adopt through the province, and I'll admit, it is mighty tempting. I mean, realistically, I am in it now, and I'll stick it out, but how sweet would it be to have a little one with me from birth, and to wait out time for court dates while raising my girl? Mighty sweet. And I know that foster-to-adopt is not a guarantee. When my girl comes home, she is mine. And she will be mine forever. And some foster-to-adoptees will go back to birth parents. But not many. Very very few. If I knew how few when I started, I might've gone that way I'll admit.
I'm not trying to sound like a quitter. I'm in it for the long haul and just have to try and push this out of my mind until the ball gets rolling again. Come on ball. But it is true that I make a conscious effort not to think of it. To fill my mind with anything else. I know I am only two months in, and the wait so far has flown, but it is the mountain ahead of me that has me so discouraged. I hope it's true that prayer can move mountains.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
On another note, here are my two favorite Jonah-conversations of the last few weeks:
Jonah: (Yammering on about something, while I tune out in my own little world of driving)... What do you think about that?
Me: Oh! That's pretty cool.
J: (In disbelief) No it's NOT! A real dinosaur!!!
M: Oh. Um, sounds pretty scary?
J: Well Yeah. It IS!
I still have no idea what we were talking about.
Driving in the car yesterday on the way back to P-town...
J: (Indignantly) What did you do THAT for MOM???
I look into that back seat to see a shiny-faced boy -- think Shawn Mujumder as the sweaty Indian man on This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
M: What happened?
J: You slowed down, and then you started going again (while he was drinking juice from a bottle).
M: (Trying not to laugh) Oh, sorry but someone was turning so I slowed down, and then they turned so I kept going.
J: Oh. (pause) Sorry for getting mad at you mam.
Seriously, who apologizes after being soaked in juice, even if it was an accident? He is a better person than his mama.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Top 5 events of 2008:
1. Finishing my first full year of teaching.
2. Beginning my adoption of my sweet girl (I'm really doing it!).
3. Building the fence in my yard (a small thing maybe, but it occupied the better part of the 2008 growing season!).
4. Seeing my foster sisters again after seven years.
5. Skiing with the family in Jasper this Christmas holiday.
Highly anticipated events of 2009:
1. Getting a referral for my daughter and (here's hoping) passing through court before the year's end.
2. Seeing my favorite boy off to preschool (wow! time flies!)
3. Getting a teaching job in Edmonton and moving back.
4. Selling my trailer in P-town for a lofty profit ;)
5. Meeting the man of my dreams! (well, we'll see on this one!)
Okay, so some of the events of 2009 may be more reasonable than others, but I do expect to get my referral, send Jonah off to preschool, and move back to Edmonton, whether I have a teaching job or not! By the end of this school year, I will have my permanent teacher's certificate, so I could potentially take a different job for a while, or sub until something more permanent comes up at home. I am so hoping to find something there soon!
Actually, truth be told, I am currently debating whether teaching is in the cards for me for the remainder of my career. I have found this year to be one of discouragement after discouragement, and I don't know anymore if this is really what I want. I find working with my hands very satisfying, so maybe a job in the trades is something to look at. I don't know. My sister and brother-in-law have strongly advised me not to make career-altering decisions based on this school year, but I don't know. The other thing that would be nice is to have a job that doesn't require me to take work home nearly ever night! I shouldn't complain, I know, because there are plenty of unemployed teachers out there who would be happy for my job, but it is wearing. I guess in the many months to come we will see how everything pans out.
Here's wishing that my 2009 year works out as well as I hope!
I have been religiously stalking the blog of one Dynamite D(whose blog is private, and therefore I am not linking to it), and finally heard news this morning of her second court date. Again, it was a no-go. Seriously! I have known that court does not always go through on the first try, and am trying to prepare myself for the possibility, but to not go through on the second date? I can't imagine. I don't even want to prepare myself for that sort of thing. And yet there it is -- it happens. It happened to D. C-rapp-ee.
I have felt deflated all morning since reading the news. I have felt down-hearted. I have felt like crying. And I have never actually met her! So how must she feel? Words, I'm sure, cannot describe. And I have been following her as she waited for the second court date, and have not known how to comment on her posts. What can you say to someone who is grieving (at not passing through on the first go, and having to delay being united with their child)? I can't say I understand. There is no use trying to see the bright side, because it sucks, and that's all there is to it. And I'm sure that all will work out in the end, but that is little consolation at this point.
I'm so sorry. That's all I know how to say. It probably doesn't help much, but it's all I know how to do. I'm thinking of you D. I'm praying like crazy. I know that many, many of those following your journey are. May January fly by. May the paper-pushers get their stuff together. May your girl be well cared for and may your hearts be healed and uplifted come February 12.