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

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Yes I Did

So, if anyone still checks in, I thought I'd better let you all know how things went after my last blog post. 
I was indeed found to be the most suitable home for young B, who was a little munchkin that I worked with at the group home when I moved back to Edmonton last summer.  I spent several 12-hour Saturday shifts in his unit, and got to know him pretty well.  It's funny, because when I first met him, I thought he was one of the toughest little ones in there, because he was so stand-offish.  But as he became more comfortable with me and got to know me better, he started wanting to be around me more.  And he responded well to me as I am (generally) calm and straight-forward, logical in consequencing, and consistent, which always works best with kids in care. 
Jonah in the Dominican February 2012
Anyway, long story short, after several conversations, and behavior which may have bordered stalking (via phone -- me to the social worker), the social worker was pushed pressured bribed coaxed into making up his dang mind.  He takes a frustratingly long time to do anything (so it seems to me).  A week after Jonah and I returned from a sweet eight-day all-inclusive getaway to the Dominican Republic ($570 each!!), young B was placed in our home.
And it's been a total crazy house ever since.
One of the reasons I haven't updated, is that I'm ridonkulously busy with the boys and my new job (subbing for Edmonton Public!  Yay!!!), but the other reason, is that since the end of the really short honeymoon, it's been pretty much awful around here.  Yep.  Crappy.  I couldn't find a euphemism for crappy.
It's not that there hasn't been gains.  B is settling in alright.  He knows the routines and expectations, and is doing okay with following them.  I wasn't much of a parent for routine before, but I didn't have to be with just Jonah.  B, on the other hand, needs it.  He can be a very likeable little guy, but he can also escalate so quickly and loudly that you'd never have seen it coming.  That's tough to deal with: the screaming.  There are other things too:  pooping his pants, whining constantly, manipulating, ignoring, etc.  And it's been really hard on Jonah, which is difficult for me to see.  He's easily frustrated by B, constantly being rejected (because everything has to be on B's terms -- he has spent a lifetime having very little power over his life, and so what he can hang on to, he does), and probably feels like B is a threat to his formerly secure spot as #1 kid in my life.
So yeah, it's been tough.  And some days, I didn't think I could do it.  And so I didn't want to announce it until I was sure I could actually parent this boy.  I still honestly don't know.  It's been nearly four months, and he seems no more attached to me than when he came.  We're in attachment counselling, but I don't know if he'll ever stop loving whoever gives him sweets, and hating those who deny him.  That's really how he is right now.
So that's where we're at.  The actual adoption of B is on hold until I am more certain of its stability, and Ethiopia is on hold until the family stabilizes.  I can see why they make you wait!  And the other reason I need to be very sure before signing any permanency papers is that if I do, and then I was not successful at parenting him (like, say when he's a teen), and the adoption were to break down, then according to the government, I would be responsible for causing a child to come into the care of the department, and I would no longer have a clean child welfare check (without which I cannot get a teaching job).  It all seems so much more complicated now than it did half a year ago.
I know this seems like a sort of downer update, but it's honestly not.  He does show progress and the people who know him well all agree that with the proper upbringing, this boy has loads of potential.  I just need to remember that when he's screaming his head off, smelling like feces.
Eye on the prize ;)

B getting ready to wall climb at single moms`camp May 2012

With my boys on the beach May 2012 (you`d never guess by the size
difference that they`re only nine months apart, would you?)

Note:  B's face can't be revealed until the adoption goes through completely.


Dianne said...

It's only fair that I get to wish you a belated congratulations too. :) Congratulations! I'd been wondering how things were going, and I'll be praying for you, J and B, that everything stabilizes into a happier norm soon.

Single PAP said...

wow, i am so amazed by your open heart and willingness to do this as a single mom!!

btw, what is the single moms camp??

Anonymous said...

Well congrats family of 3!

It's going to be hard, that tough stuff is going to take a while to deal through. One day at a time!


Karen said...

Wow. Thanks for the update- I have indeed been wondering how things have been going. I can well imagine the emotional rollercoaster. There have been many days I have felt like I am on a similar ride- my boy was so calm and mellow and enters P. into the family, with an ability to throw a screaming hissy fit of ginormous proportions...and then you are also coping with the attachment piece. Wow. I would say the fact that you aren't sitting in a heap and banging your head against a wall is testament to your tenacity and courage and your ability and capacity to love. Big hugs to you and prayer for strength and wisdom.

Melissa said...

Thanks for your encouraging words all :)
I'll be sure to post a summer update, and let you all know how it goes.
Laura, single moms camp is a ministry of a local camp near St Paul AB called "Bellevue Lodge" and it runs every May long weekend. Best time ever :D

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Janice said...

Big belated congrats. from me. I am guilty of not tuning into any blogs for a very long time now. I'm so happy that your journey led you to this little boy.

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