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, 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!