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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas is coming, The goose (not me) is getting fat

So life goes on. Congrats to the several families who have had referrals made in the past month or so. Exciting to see families coming to completion. One of those referrals was similar to my own, so I have two families with similar requests ahead of me (that I know of). This is good news.
Christmas is coming and I'm getting ready. I'm done shopping for my son, and my nieces and nephews and one of my sisters. Two sisters, one brother-in-law, and a mother left to shop for and we are good to go. I highly recommend the Melissa & Doug puppets -- well-made, and fairly priced. Caucasian-looking, although the skin is ethnically obscure, and the few with dark hair could pass for other races. When did I start shopping like this???! I don't care. It's good to be aware. I bought one for each of my sister's kids.
The boyfriend and I are going to choose a show or concert or something (maybe dinner theatre), and buy that together. It'll be fun; we both like getting stuff to do over stuff to have, and we're still not at a place where we are sure of what to buy each other. That part of my life is going very well. Very well. I'm super-pleased, and I think the family will eventually see him as I do. Sigh. Life is ooooookay.

Friday, November 12, 2010

See Ya Ticker Baby

Well, there she goes again. Well, in all fairness, I got rid of her, knowing it was coming, so technically she didn't fall off. But it's past two years of waiting. Whatever. She'll come when she comes. Would I like to meet her? Absolutely. Is she becoming dimmer as I look down the pipe of my future? Well, yeah. There will come a day when she is clear and bright. There will come a day that we will finally meet her. Someday. Just not yet. I still hold to hope that it will be soonish, but I know better than to hope too much. I don't think I'm going to go with the name I'd originally chosen for her. It's been so long. It seems like that girl is gone. I have another name in mind. It's a good one too. Any guesses? I'll give a couple of hints: Biblical, four letters, not common, but not unheard of. That's three good clues. Someone will probably guess.
Things are going well with the new fellow. Except that he is not a Christian, which is certainly a concern. Especially when he could be someone with huge influence on my kids. My family hates that I'm with him, because of that. My sister has nothing nice to say about it. My mam is worried that Jonah will be hurt if he attaches to him and things don't work out. But they don't know him at all, and this man is amazing. With the exception of that one (admittedly MAJOR) thing, he is so the guy for me. And not only is he not anti-Christian, like some non-Christians, he is curious and open to hearing about my faith. We discuss and debate the possibility; he prays with us at meals, and is coming to church on Sunday.
Arg. I hate that I can't tell my mam and sister, who are the people I'm closest to, about this guy. They don't want to hear. It's just caused a fracture in the family. But honestly, I'm so frustrated with them. Because it's not up to them. It's not their life. And they don't know anything about him or us, because they don't want to know. They can be so black and white. I would love to see him come to Christ, and truly, I think he will. Should I walk away from him because he's not? I know it is unwise to date a non-Christian. But I guess I'm holding on to hope. For him and me.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Woot Woot! October!

Well, September came and went with nothing exciting to report. One referral. It can really only get slightly less exciting. I did find out that my home study update is ready to be signed off on, except that my CYIM and CRIM are too old. New enough for the social worker that wrote the report, not new enough for Anne who has to sign off on it. Here's my official advice: don't use Adoption by Choice. I'm deleting them from my page. Use... pretty much anyone else.
My favorite kid loves everything kindergarten has to offer. And the teacher's assistant has told me a couple of times how exceptionally polite he is. That is good news too.
On a different front: I had a date yesterday. With a nice, handsome, environment-loving, socially conscious man. Oh man. He's a good one I think. We'll see if it sticks. Here's hoping! I'll let you know how it pans out. Premature to blog about it? Maybe. Do I care? Not so much!
Anyway, on the adoption front, things continue to slog along slowly. Like walking hip-high in mud. Such is the life of an adoptive parent. I'm just pushing it out of my mind for now, praying for my girl, who's out there somewhere to be safe and well-love until she comes home. Somehow in the last couple of years she has gone from being a hypothetical someday girl, to being a little lady living out there somewhere, not at all aware that she is already loved and eagerly anticipated in a quiet town on the other side of the planet. I'll make up for those missed months when she comes -- can't wait to start.

Monday, September 20, 2010

September So Far

I'm okay now. I've returned to my state of calm (pretend) indifference. She will come. Someday.
I have to put in a request for a leave of absence for court, but guess what? for those days that I don't have personal days saved for, they can withhold my pay AND charge me for the cost of a sub. What? So not only will I not make money, I have to pay. Ridiculous!!! Don't pay me, but pay the sub from the money they keep! That makes sense to me, but somehow the union A-Okayed that one. Stupid.
Before I forget, a huge congratulations to Carolyn and Adam and their new son, Leul, who finally are traveling! The visa is on it's way, so they will be taking off on Monday to meet their little guy. Wow. A long wait with many MANY trials have finally brought them here. Best wishes for your trip guys.
School is going swimmingly. My course load is a little ridiculous: Music 2 and 4, Art 6, 7-9, Drama 7-9. Social 6, 7, and 8. Health 7, and Math 9. Yep, that's right. A small town teacher has to be a Jack-of-all-Trades. But I love the variety. And the kids are great. No big issues at all this year. It helps (in terms of patiently awaiting adoption) when you have a job you love. And we also have a new principal this year who is loved by students and staff alike. That surely doesn't hurt.
So life continues on... the wait does too. It seems like I'm not the only one changing my referral -- people keep popping up ahead of me on the list who were never there before. Ah well. Such is life.
Anyway, it's just a quick update, but I have to head off and work. Cheers, all!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I'm trying really hard to control myself right now. If you received the IA update in the last couple of days, it mentions having secured a contract with a new (to them) orphanage. What is doesn't say, but has been posted on the Y! group is that it is an exclusive contract -- that unlike the other contracts we have, we are the only agency working with this orphanage. They are sorting out paperwork now and then we should be seeing some referrals coming. I am really trying to be neutral. Really trying to be chill. But according to the Y! spreadsheets, there are only two families with similar requests ahead of me. And to add to my angst, the homestudy I had updated is still sitting at the provincial office in a pile awaiting approval. Arg. I did email Anne to see if she might be willing to put a rush on it. Of course, I expect not. But at the same time I hope that she might give the agency a call to say, "Hey, if there's one for this gal, let me know and I'll push it through." Hoping. Trying not to. And I know that the odds are probably slim, but even to think that a referral that is similar to my request might be on the way, bumping me up the list by even one notch... I am nearing heart-bursting excitement. What happened to me? I used to be so laid back... sometimes. I need to chill out. Simmer. But I don't know if I can.

Friday, August 20, 2010

This is Adoption, People.

I guess I should be glad. I mean, there are definitely times when I'm stressed out by the wait, but it is, thankfully, not a constant state of being. I understand why people stress about it. These timelines are not as predicted, but, seriously, has anything gone as expected for any of us? It seems to me that this is the nature of adoption. From anywhere, but especially from a foreign country. Maybe I'm a bit more laid back (at least most of the time) because I already have a five-year-old to distract me. I know I'm lucky to have already started my family. I have to think that it is easier for the already parenting than for those that are waiting.
But I really don't get the constant stress of some. Maybe it's just not in my nature to stress. Well, I kind of work on things based on priority. And when something is about to expire or when something must be done, then I will make it happen. It's not always pretty, I'll admit. The purchase of my house this summer is a good example of this. I needed people of various agencies to send off paperwork to my lawyer so she could release the money to the other lawyer. Only nothing went as planned. And I kept going, "It'll work out; don't worry," until it was an hour from deadline, and still nobody had their crap together. It was an ugly hour for me. High stress; entirely too much crying; yelling at people from the royal bank and student loans who kept telling me the same crap I'd been told for days: "It's coming." Not good enough at that point. And it wasn't pretty, but it got done. And I think I'd rather have one really manic hour than a longer less-stressed-but-still-stressed period of time. I don't know.
And maybe it's that I was able and willing to change my request to a toddler, so the wait will hopefully not be as long, but even before, it wasn't the wait that was hard in and of itself, it was the knowing that my kids' ages were getting further and further apart. We have our yahoo! group for the purpose of info sharing and support and venting, but when everyone jumps in saying it is taking so long, I find it a little frustrating. And yes, I know some people will be ticked at me for saying so, but this is adoption people. The process is bumpy and sucky and unpredictable, and long, but that's what we've all signed up for, whether you knew it or not at the beginning. I mean, I had no idea what I was getting into. I remember commenting on Laura's blog two years ago that wait times were supposed to be 2-4 months. Oh, how naive I was. They just got their referral recently.
But you know what I am thankful for? People like Laura/ Chad and Carolyn/ Adam and Malia's mom, who get the short end of the stick -- long waits and heartbreaks. Not because I'm a horrible person who likes to watch others suffer; let's be clear. But because these are people who endure and push forward and inspire me to do the same. And I know most people don't have horrible roadblocks to persist through (please don't think I consider your heartaches as mere roadblocks -- I say it because I can't think of another word, but want it clear that no disrespect is meant), but I also know it is possible. It steels me, makes me ready to absorb the shock of what may come. And makes me thankful when nothing bad is happening. Adopters, if a long wait is the worst part of the journey, be thankful that that is it. Our adoptions will go through in time. We will all be parents at some point. When people are trying to conceive, things rarely go exactly as planned, so why should it for adoption? These are the labor pains. But with labor comes children. It will happen.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Where I'm At

So the home study update is completed and, as far as I know, has been sent to the province for approval. I had high hopes that what with more referrals on the horizon, and the update being so much smaller than the original home study, that it would be a much shorter processing time this go around. I was silly to hope -- this is the government after all. It goes in the same pile as other updates and home studies and they are processed in order. I was told it should be about four weeks, so I'm hoping for six. Sigh.
On a similar topic, I applied for a position with Child and Youth Services (government), as a social worker, hoping that I might get a position in E-town, so I could be near the family and, you know, live in the house I just bought. But again, although based on what I gather from people within the department, I have the experience that would basically ensure an interview for the position, I have now been waiting nearly seven weeks since the posting closed. According to the government website, they are still screening applicants, but the truth is, the fact that they have not interviewed/ called/ hired me by know means I can't wait anymore. I can't carry two mortgages, plus all applicable taxes and bills. I have to rent out my brand new place. I hate it. It's like buying a new pair of shoes and offering to have the neighbor borrow them for a week before I get to wear them. But what with a possible referral looming in the next few months (I hope), it does not make sense to move for a say, October start date. So I think I'll stay in P-town teaching this year (I AM excited about my assignment for this upcoming year), until I pass court and can move to Ethiopia. I'll have someone sign a lease on my new place until the end of June, and when I go to Ethiopia, I'll put my other place up for sale or maybe rent if I know someone good who is looking. That actually works out okay, because then I won't (I hope) have any bills to worry about back home while I'm in Ethiopia, and it's a good thing, since I'll be living on 55% parental leave pay.
I did look at rental properties in Addis Ababa and it looks like I can find a place for $260-500 per month. I don't know if any utilities are included. But I also found a forum that discussed the best way to find a place to rent there, and it said that basically you should go, and stay at a guest house for the first few days while you get your footing. Then figure out what area you want to live in, ask where the government apartments are, and then wander on down. Someone's job is to hang out by the apartment and answer questions and recruit renters. So you talk to that guy and you're in! Okay, it's not the way we do it, but it makes sense and I think that's the route I'll take. I need to be economical, and I know that Ethiopia is not real expensive, but the fact that we will be living there for months??? I need to play it safe. So I'll get a smallish place, buy the minimal furniture and housewares I'll need, and live the sweet life. After some encouragement from Laura and Joy (thanks guys), I'm feeling a bit better about it. There are times when I definitely worry -- fear of the unknown -- but there are times too, when I am excited and looking forward to living in what people have described as a beautiful, safe, lush, friendly country. When I come back for a year with my kids when they are both in elementary (I am planning to go for a year to teach at Bingham Academy in Addis), I hope to have a sense of coming home. I really want to settle in while we wait for visas and really enjoy being a stay-at-home mam, and living there.
We headed out to the Heritage Days Festival, and I waited all afternoon to spend my food tickets until we got to the Ethiopia booth. And when we got there... no food! They hadn't started making it yet! Boo. I went to Eritrea, and had alicha and injera. Oh, delight. I was satisfied. And I chatted with this beautiful little Ethiopian girl there too. Is it just me, or are there a disproportionate number of stunning Ethiopian women?
Encouragement: Referrals are moving... special congrats to Chad and Laura! I had been waiting to see them get their match for too long. But now they've added a sweet baby boy to their family. So exciting!
Discouragement: My PRV Sponsorship has become invalid. I was told by CIC to email Nairobi to get it back (they said it had been sent there), and then I could possibly just resubmit it. Nairobi has no record of my application. This just affirms my idea that I should be renting in Addis and get ready to wait. Sigh.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Don't Judge Me -- I'm Human

Well, we are well into summer holidays, and are in relax mode -- sort of. My fella learned to ride his bike without training wheels early this summer, and now we're at this sweet age where we can exercise together, him on his bike and me on my rollerblades. I love it. And I realize that this is probably short-lived as I will hopefully have a second little one home by next summer.
So I am waiting for my update to be signed off at the Adoption By Choice then sent to the province for signing. I hope it doesn't take as long as the original signing. I would like to think it won't because it's only a few pages long, and only mentions changes that have happened in the last two years. The original was 18 pages and took over a month to get back from the province. And if I'm looking at the yahoo group spreadsheet (which I do -- religiously -- even on weekends), I can only see two families ahead of me with similar requests. Only one that is the same.
So here I am, stomach churning, feeling for the first time like this is the real deal. I AM going to be a parent of two. Soonish. Like I think it's realistic to think I might have a referral this fall. I get butterflies just thinking about it. I mean I knew that applying to adopt was likely to lead to adoption, but now, it's coming. I haven't read any posts that show the sort of anxiety I'm feeling. I mean, it's not a bad-anxious. But it's like stress. Like I have a dream coming true but I'm not sure I can handle it. I mean, I will handle it. It's what I do... And I think I do it well. I love my life and my kid and my students. But I'm a leap-before-looking kind of girl. I see something I like, and I go for it. And I choose not to consider the impact of my actions at times, and then I deal with whatever else comes with it. "Deal with" sounds negative, but it's usually not; I just can't find a euphemism for it. I'm anxious I guess because my emotions are going in different directions: excitement, hope, joy, and panic. Well, panic is the far end of the spectrum, it's not that exactly, more like fear. Because I've also made the choice to live in Ethiopia from court to visa -- about five months. And my mam will be with me for the first couple of weeks, and then I'm on my own in a foreign country with two kids, in a rented apartment, where I don't know the language. Maybe that's the source of much of my anxiety. It is a little scary to think. And I know that if I take my girl and something happens, that I can't leave Ethiopia. Yeah, I think that is a big source of stress. But I want to do it. Those scary things are always worth doing. Because travel and adventure is always a cause of growth. And once I'm there, I know it'll be good. I just need to get there and get in there and it will be fine. It's like standing at the top of a high diving board. I never want to jump, but when my feet leave the board, I'm all good.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A House and a Homestudy

So it looks like I got the house. It was listed for $179,900 so I offered $169,000. They came back with $171,000 and a better washer and dryer than is currently in the house. I couldn't have asked for better. It's currently owned by a building company, and my realtor said that what likely happened is the old owner bought one of the new houses of the builder, and in exchange, they bought his old house. Then they proceeded to gut and redo the inside -- mostly. The appliances are not new, nor is the kitchen or bathroom. But all the floors are new -- dark stained oak in the bedrooms and living room, tile in the hall, kitchen, bathroom and entryways. Neutral paint on all the walls and ceilings, new baseboards too. I like it.
I also met with the social worker this afternoon, to do an updated homestudy. I changed my child request. I gave myself a buffer, in case I decide to alter it in the future. I can go as high as three. But I'm telling Imagine that my request is up to 24 months. It still gives me time to bond in those formative years, especially since I'll be heading to Ethiopia to be with my girl as soon as we pass court. And she'll fit in well with our family dynamics. I hope. I got a glimpse of how much Jonah likes to share his mam this week at the Canada Day fireworks. I had my nephew snuggled up on my lap, and Jonah stood at my knees looking like there was something wrong with that picture. And then he asked to cuddle in too. But my nephew's four and my lap's not that big. He sat with his uncle and it was okay with him. It was funny though -- the look on his face. Not too sure about it.
I hope this is a good choice. I can tighten up the request if I want, but I don't think I will. Hey Laura (or anybody who recently updated): Do the updates also need to go through provincial approval, or just straight to Imagine?

Monday, July 5, 2010

A New House.

I put another offer in on a house today. Thousand square foot 1922 bungalow with dark oak new hardwood in the bedrooms and living room, and new tile in the halls, kitchen and bathroom. A double garage and a basement that might knock the head off of a tall person. But I'm not one of those. I guess it was likely bought by a building company when someone bought one of their new homes, and then the company fixed 'er up, basically making everything new. It's currently owned by the company, so that's why my realtor thinks that. It all seems well-done too, which is a nice change from your usual DIY disasters. And it's reasonably priced and in the right neighborhood to boot. Hope the offer is accepted.
Took young Jonah to see Toy Story 3 today. Thought a matinee would be cheaper -- nope! Twelve plus bucks per ticket. What a rip off. Won't go back to that theater! I liked it, but there were some parts that sensitive little folks would not like. A crazy mean little monkey, and a near death incineration. My niece and nephew would have been in tears.
Anyway, I have my home study update tomorrow, and I should hear back about the house too, so I'll have an update in a couple of days!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Summer. Ahhh, summer.

So the decision is made: up to 18 months it is. I got an email from Grace about it, because I really wanted to get the perspective of someone who has been there. I loved each stage of Jonahs (my apostrophe is not working -- forgive me) life, and at each one, went, Oh I wish he could stay this way. But he really does keep getting better. I mean I could do without his recent attitude, but otherwise, I think hes great. But I don't (contrary to what I thought) miss that baby stage. I like the interactiveness of the older kidlet. So even though I was right set on a baby baby, I think a toddler will be a fine fit. And I think that being home with little gal for almost a year will do wonders for her ability to attach.
I'm pretty desperate at this time for a job in E-town right about now. Even my school librarian thinks I should just quit and move back to the city. You need a life! She keeps telling me. And I do. And even if I have to take a ker-appy job, well, if it pays okay, it'll do. Thatll do donkey, thatll do.
I continue in my search for a dream home for less than $200000 (stop laughing). I know it is a tough find in the city, and I'm sure my realtor is getting tired of knowing me. Ive looked at, um, probably 20+ houses with him. Put in an offer, but was outbid (dangit). So the hunt continues. Cest la vie. Something will turn up. And it helps that I am looking to buy in the inner city because more options (well, the only options really), but my biggest requirement is that I'm within walking distance of Hasheba, my new favorite Ethiopian restaurant, with their Wednesday all-vegan buffet.
Next week, we will check out seven more. I've got a feeling about these ones. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


So, I haven't heard anything of Hazel in a hundred years and can't get to her blog. Are you there? How do I find you again?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Big Debate

I'm debating about my referral request. It's going to be about a hundred years before I see my girl's face. My kids will not be three or four years apart -- more like six. That's a big difference from what I expected going into this process. I had made my request 0-6 months because I was worried about attachment, and the timelines from referral to travel seemed pretty long when I started this process. But now, court is moving along much quicker, and IA has changed their policy to now allow parents to travel to get their munchkins (and stay in Ethiopia until visas are issued) right after court.
All of these things change the game a bit. And seeing as how we're creeping up on two years of waiting and I don't want any lapse in my file, and will have to get it updated soon anyway, I'm thinking I may change my referral request too. I think I'll accept 0-18 months. Baby will be with me before age two, and I will have plenty of time off for bonding after court passes, and besides, my referral will come earlier, so my kids will be more like 4 1/2 years apart. It seems logical and reasonable to me. Feedback, people?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sooo... anyone from Boston?

I'm pretty sure I don't have anyone out there I know from Boston, but my mam's taking a four-day Yoga course there at the beginning of June, and so I was wondering if anyone knows of a good, inexpensive place to stay? Or maybe would be interested in billetting her? She's clean and friendly and quiet enough. Just throwing it out there.
So my many plans in many directions continue and I'm pursuing several at any given time. Jonah wants to move to Ethiopia or the coast. He has discovered a new love: Injera, and asks me to make it on a regular basis. I haven't found a stew that I love yet. If you have a link to a good, not real spicy, vegetarian, tomato-free recipe, please comment! I followed one blog that posted recipes over a year ago, but I didn't bookmark, and now can't find them. We went for the first time to an Ethiopian restaurant in Edmonton (on the corner of 118 ave and 95 st) -- all vegan buffet every Wednesday -- my new favorite place to eat. When I asked Jonah what he thought of the food, he said, "I love it! I wish my mouth was bigger!" I love that kid.
We are continuing in our application to foster. The social worker came out this week and pointed out a few small things that need to be done (apparently not having covers on light switches is a problem? Though I know from experience, that not sticking your fingers in there is a lesson that teaches itself! Yes, I'm a terrible parent ;)), so we'll fix up those things, and should have a home study starting up in a month or so. This means we could start fostering over the summer. And with everything so up in the air for me, I think this is a great compromise: I'll be doing something that makes a difference, something I'll enjoy and I can still be secure in my job. We're getting a new principal. It's a good thing. This poor guy has been through the wringer. My town is not an easy place to live, much less hold a public position. When the Superintendent came out to chat with the staff about what we would like to see in a new principal, many qualities were listed. But I did email him after that I thought whoever the poor fellow is, he should be warned that he's about to be thrown into a pit of vipers and gnashing dogs. I wish I were kidding, but it really is like that. We'll see how it goes. Still hoping something will come up in E-town. Whatever. Something will come. Sometime.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bead Necklaces

I haven't posted in a bit. I guess not much to say. I'm at crossroads in my life -- have been for months -- and still have no firm plan. I'm pursuing multiple avenues and still have no solid direction. It's okay. I'm a roll-with-the-punches kind of person. I'm starting to realize that I have not so much control in my life and so I'm just seeing where life takes me. I have plans, ideas, ambitions, and am reaching in so many directions, but it's hard to say what'll happen.
I wanted to turn your attention to Katie's blog (in my directory to the right). "Amazing Katie" is how it is labelled. And I don't give that title often. But this girl will blow your mind. If you don't already read what she's up to in Uganda, you really should. One post, and I'm telling you, you'll be hooked. I've just bought some necklaces from the women she works with. It's money well spent. And I have to think that everyone, regardless of budget, that reads this post can afford it. I bought one for each of the gals in my family. Check it out. If not to buy a necklace, then to be awed and inspired by this remarkable 21-year-old powerhouse.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Good News

I can't believe our good fortune! In a recent email, it was announced that the NIA is doing away with a previous policy which called for visas to have been issued parents could take their kids from the transition home. And now, as long as you don't care how long you are in Ethiopia (I don't) and you are willing to be there without any further support of the agency, then you may pick up your sweet pea once you are deemed an acceptable parent according to Ethiopian courts. Hey! I am so glad to have heard this announcement. For a couple of reasons:
1. I was going to make myself a pain, challenging the policy, and now I can continue being my nice self.
2. I want to live in Ethiopia, and what better reason than to be with my girl?
3. I will take custody of my girl much earlier than I otherwise likely would have. Bonding Bonding Bonding! It's all about the bonding.
4. It's good news. And I can always use a little more good news!
And also, congratulations to the seven NIA families that received referrals in March. Slowly but surely, they are coming.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Well, Easter is almost here! I'm thrilled to have the week off, and my sister was good enough to keep that baby in her belly, so I get to be at the delivery of her fourth and final munchkin. I've been there for all except number three. I missed her by two days, two years ago. She was born right after I went back to school after spring break. If you met her, you might think it was on purpose. She's a sweet little firecracker, that one. She wasn't named for the first four days of her life. I hope Melanie and Jim are better prepared this time around!
I'm hanging out for the week at my mam's which is nice, because I miss her when I'm home. We get along really well, and have such a good time together. We usually laugh a lot. Usually I'm making the jokes, but today we were playing Scrabble, and it was the end and I was getting crushed, and was on the last turn. And my mam pointed out where I could go, but I said, "I want to find something brilliant." Her response: "Why start now?" Yeah. Boy do I love hanging out with her! ;)
Lent is almost done. I did my hardest ever lent this year. I gave up processed foods. Well, to a point. I mean, I need flour and milk and stuff, and I know they are technically processed, but I didn't count stuff like that. I did count yogurt, cheese, sauces, breads that I didn't make, etc. It was a bit of a famine time at the beginning, but toward the end, I got a little more motivated (by hunger -- I lost about ten pounds in the first three or so weeks), and learned to make pasta, even cheese! But I'll be glad when Sunday rolls around. My plans for the day basically look like a menu: cereal from a box (oh yeah!), croissants for lunch, and the Old Spagetti Factory's browned butter and mizithra cheese pasta for supper. I'm anticipating a tummy ache, even though I'll pace myself. It's funny that when you clear out your system of processed food, your stomach reacts very unhappily when reintroduced to such delicious foody gems. I'm sure I'll soldier through the pain in the name of cheddar and gouda! Yummina!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Decision and a Final Wish

I finally called NIA. I've been so anxious about the process and lack of progress, and really, just needed a human voice on the other end of the line, to let me know that, in fact, things are continuing. That someone is actually there working. I talked to Jo Ann, about time lines and policy and my desire to do missions.
I've been thinking and planning on doing missions when my parental leave is finished. Only, it keeps getting pushed back, what with delays, and I've been frustrated because I've felt like I have to choose between missions (serving God) and this adoption (serving me). And I don't want to choose, basically. I know I should just choose God, but I've invested a lot, and don't want to walk away from my girl. It's hard to explain how I feel, exactly, except that I'm just edgy. I'm putting God on hold. I don't like it, and I've done it before (not good), and I'm just hoping the second coming doesn't happen while I'm doing it. Okay, an now my non-Christian readers officially think I'm crazy. I don't care.
So I talked to Jo Ann about it, and she said it'll be a while (like a year, maybe) before my referral comes. No surprise there. And so if I want to do missions, well, I have to be in Canada to accept the referral, but otherwise, I can go. So I'm applying. I'll see how it goes. Maybe I'll have to come back once my referral comes; maybe I'll have to put my adoption on hold; maybe I won't even find a suitable missions job right away. Whatever. I'm leaving it in God's hands now. I'll do my thing and His thing. It's not the most easy, convenient way, but such is life. God's way is rarely the easiest.
And having made the decision, the truth is, my heart is lighter. Sort of. Except for the missions brochure I read yesterday that told me I have to let them know my Final Wish: if I want to be buried abroad or have my body shipped home in case of death. A fair question, but one that elicited a nervous laugh from me. Anyway, what will be will be. I'm tucking up again; getting ready to roll with the punches (and there's bound to be a few).
Wish me luck!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Don't Know.

So much about this whole process has been filled with uncertainty. The bankruptcy, the new court policy requiring parents to now be at court... I'm honestly waiting for them to pass legislation disallowing single women from adopting. I don't even want to think about it, but I am now so on edge about this adoption.
For the first time since the summer/ bankruptcy, I honestly don't know if this is the end for me. I want to be positive and let it roll off my back, but I'm under so much weight and stress from this whole thing, that I'm crushed flat. I bawled my eyes out on Friday. I did not know how I could go on, given the new policy. I don't have the money. I'm in debt up to my eyes and just feel so overwhelmed by it. When this first started, I thought it'd be about 20000, including travel. And now, add to that another 4000 for bankruptcy and 5000 for travelling twice. Wow. That is a huge difference.
It shouldn't be about the money. But how can it not be? 29000 is almost half of what I paid for my house! Yes I live in the sticks. I have a few days to decide, because I still have to fork out 2000 this month for my last (so they say) agency fee. I don't honestly know if I can hang on much longer. What with orphanages not sending referrals, and increasing costs, and the ever-looming threat of changing policy to exclude single women from adopting... I'm a wreck. Can I hang on for another year for a referral? I doubt it.
The stupid thing is that my whole heart wants to be doing missions work right now. I'm waiting until this adoption is through to go and do it, because I can't do an adoption when I'm not living in Canada, according to agency protocol. But if I were living and serving in Africa, I could probably adopt, oh, next month! But I can't walk away from this. It's like I'm stuck in the mud. I can't move at all.
I know that in the end, I'll soldier on. Really, do I have much choice, when I'm in it so deep already? But this is getting to be too much.
On the upside, I've realized I need to distract myself, and with this month's free preview of the DIY Network, I have decide to take on a series of projects to keep me sane. I'm starting a new blog, where you can check in with what I'm doing while I wait, and wait,, and panic, and throw up a little, and cry, and wait. Here it is, though I haven't really started:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Small Heart Attack

Wow. This is really big news. Really. Big. News. I don't know what this will mean when my time comes, but I am suddenly a lot more anxious about pestering the government to pick up the damn pace in Nairobi and get proper staffing so we will only require one long trip. Oh my. Here is a snippet of the email I received this morning:
"On March 10, 2010 a notice was posted at the Federal Court of Ethiopia stating that all adoption agencies would be required to have prospective adoptive parent(s) appear in court for the adoption hearing. The Adoption Agencies in Ethiopia received no notification of this notice."
Yeah. I'm actually stressing about his most recent change to the system. I don't really understand why I have to be there if I have a lawyer there to represent me. And actually, I don't even mind being there, except that if immigration keeps dragging their heels like they have been know to, it'll mean a very long, very expensive, unpaid time in Ethiopia. Sigh. What next?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


We had Teachers' Convention this past week, and I am feeling energized and ready to power through to the end of the school year. I am throwing out testing in my Social 6 class, as the studies show that testing students causes teachers to teach to the test, which in turn does not allow students the same depth of learning as if they had no tests. Apparently in Japan, the government tried to institute achievement tests and the teachers rebelled. Refused to break the cellophane. And so they were not implemented, and haven't been. And the Japanese system is one to look at for in-depth understanding by students. We're upping the number of projects, and decreasing the amount of reading from the text. The text is a reference. Not a Bible. So we'll see how this goes, and how many frantic parents call.
A great site for teachers, if you happen to be one, is BigHugeLabs. I love it. So many things you can do with the programs on that site. I'm using the magazine maker to have students research and present a Current Events news story. And they are pumped about it! I had a line up of students asking if they could go first! Now that is good news to me!
Slow progress on the adoption front, but I've got my emotions in check and I don't think the wait will kill me any time soon. I have other things to worry about now -- like revamping my entire year plan! I'll post again once I've dug my way out of curriculum!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


That's how I'm feeling lately, which is why I haven't been blogging. I don't want to throw a wet blanket out, when people are starting to get hyped and pumped about the possibility of referrals coming their way. But I'm. just. tired. Tired of waiting, of having people ask, "I thought you were adopting? When's that happening?" And all I can say now is, "Someday." What else can I say? Even in light of referrals coming, it feels like it's a very distant thing for me.
I'm not real proud of how I'm feeling, but a big part of me goes, I wish I'd done the foster-to-adopt through the Alberta government. Because I'd have had my second child oh, probably a year and a half ago. And I wouldn't be paying of this giant line of credit that weighs me down. And I wouldn't have to keep thinking about this hypothetical daughter, because I'd have the real deal. I'm not real patient, and I know many months from now when my referral comes, I'll have to wait even longer. And it'll only get harder.
I'm tempted to keep myself from looking at my daughter's pictures until the visa is issued and I can travel. Because for me to think of this real little girl, growing up in an orphanage when she should be in my arms, is going to kill me. I thought for a long time, that I could wait and wait, but I'm past 15 1/2 months now, and I still see no light in the tunnel. And I'm getting discouraged. I need to harden my heart a little, which doesn't sound like a good thing, but when the alternative is to be crushed by the wait and the discouragement, maybe toughening up isn't so bad. I need to be able to see that there will be an end to it. And while in my head I know it, my heart is not convinced.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January in Pictures

Inspired by fellow blogger Laura, I am trying to take a picture a day, but it's not really been so successful. It's more like several pictures taken every other day. These are the first couple of weeks of January for us (from most recent to least -- that's just the way it worked out when I uploaded the pics).

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Reading Ready? Not So Much.

So my sister and I are pretty close in age. And we're pretty competitive. About pretty much everything. I called her last week, and told her about my experience in Jonah's preschool, and how kids were constantly calling out to him, "Jonah, come play with me!" "Jonah sit with me!" "Jonah, make me a sandwich!" (this last one was loud, from across the room, while my favorite guy was "cutting" wooden veggies in the play kitchen). My niece is more reserved and is a watcher of others, from what my sister has said, and when I mentioned this, she told me about her not-so-outgoing little girl. I knew that my niece was quieter, and didn't tell her about Jonah to be any way, but my sister did mention about how well her son (who is a year younger than Jonah) is doing with his letters. At three, he can sound out 3-letter words with obvious middle vowel sounds. I was super impressed. Give him a word like "bug" "hat" or "gum" and he can probably get it. But it made me a little more aware of how uninterested my guy is in letters. If it's a letter outside of his name, except for i, he probably doesn't know it. And at four, with some in his class that are really much further along in that department than he is, I thought maybe I should initiate a little more activity relating to letters and sounds. In the car this afternoon, we he agreed to work on it. We started with the letter B and talked about the sound it makes; then this:
M: Jonah, can you think of a word that starts with B?
J: Ummmmmm...
M: Buh buh buh
J: Buh buh buh beak! Beak! Seagull!
Sigh. It's a good thing he's athletic!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The List

On the list for a single child with IA, I am #74. Anyone else care to share?
I actually thought I might be in the mid 60's, but really, this is not so far off. I'm okay with it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Kicked a Disabled Man

Made you look.

So In Taekwondo last night, they had us actually sparring, and I was paired up with my friend Daniel, who is pretty severely delayed. He's big, but a real gentle guy with soft little kicks. I told the ref I really didn't want to kick him, and she assured me, "Kick him a few times, and he'll start kicking back." So I reminded Daniel that we were going to kick each other hard, and after a couple of kicks from me, he was kicking right back. Managed to kick me in the gut under my padding somehow, and left a big blue bruise on my upper thigh, but is all fairness I accidentally stepped on his toe while kicking him, so he couldn't retreat! His toe was pretty pink too, from trying to pull away. All in all it went well though.
My next match was against my friend Muriel, who can kick sort of hard, but lacks aim, and sometimes appears to be flailing. In her wild attack, she boxed me right in the crotch. Not impressed. I sort of told her off. I apologized later, but seriously! I have a few big circle targets on my padding. Not on my pants! Ow.
Jonah is all about superheroes right now, especially Batman since he got a Batman shirt from his dad. I was getting ready for work this morning, and I put on my new black skirt with grey chemise and black tee over it, and was feeling pretty good. And Jonah says to me, "You look pretty. Just like Batman." I guess when you don't have a ton of people in your life complimenting you, that'll do! I know in his mind, it was among the greatest of compliments.
I've been thinking more about my sweet girl and what I will name her. I thought I had it picked, but after this summer, I feel a bit like that girl I might have had is going elsewhere and my someday girl is not the same someday girl as before. I don't know if that really makes sense. But I feel a bit like the girl I will someday have is not the same one as I might've, so I'm debating whether a new name may be in order. But I'm thinking more and more about the names of referred children, and some of them are beautiful too, and I would certainly consider keeping one if it was as adorable as Hana, Eden or Biset. So stinking cute.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Best and worst of 2009:

  • Zip-lining with my favorite guy in Rockridge this summer
  • Finding out that my adoption will go ahead
  • Spending time at the cottage in Ontario this summer
  • Teaching Art and Drama
  • Relaxing with my friends at our monthly scrapbooking club


  • July 14
  • Finding out my ex was getting married
  • Hoards of obnoxious and righteous parents
  • Fattening up

Well, the year started out stressful, dipped to an all-time low this summer, but has ended on a relative high note. Things are okay, though nothing seems stable or certain in my world. But it's all good. It would take the fun out of life if I knew everything that was coming my way.

So my son's dad is getting married in 50 minutes. Walking down the aisle. And my guy will be there suited up as ring bearer. My mam is going just in case she is needed to help out with Jonah. I jokingly told her to leave her cell on so I could call at 7:10. I was kidding though.

My favorite guy got his hair cut today (still unruly, but less so than before -- just how I like it), and we picked up a couple of pairs of shoes: dress shoes for the wedding (I forgot to bring his from home when we came to town, but found a pair for 4.99 at Good Will -- lucky us), and a pair of tap shoes. We were told they were $33 but then found out the boys' shoes were actually $50!!! WHAT? Seriously. Fake leather shoes for $50. Thankfully they hurt his feet and he opted for the much shinier patent-leather Mary Jane style usually worn by the girls. He knows they are girls, but he doesn't care. Neither do I. He's four.

But in combination with the hot pink paint he picked out at Home Depot to paint his room? Oy. I know he's all boy, but he certainly has a feminine side that is alive and well. He also wants to join Sparks (like mini Girl Guides). Who wouldn't? They have snacks, do crafts and sing songs. It's ideal for my boy. But they said he couldn't join. And even though I emailed the head office, they have not responded. Nice.

Anyway. Happy New Year to all. May your lives be rich with family and friends, your hearts at peace and may each of you in the adoption world experience the joy of parenting.