Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sid and I are greeting at the Christmas Eve service at church tonight and then we're flying on Christmas Day (gotta love availability with Air Miles) to visit my aunt in Florida. We haven't seen each other in over 10 years so I'm looking forward to catching up with her. I'm amazed that she has been down there for 17 years now and I've never once gone to visit her. Huh? Why you ask? I have absolutely no idea! It boggles my mind. I hope that we can make it a semi-regular occurance to visit her when we have a child. I have visions of playing in the sand and wading in the ocean with my little one. Such fun!
2009 will bring a lot of joy to many families and make a lot of dreams come true. I am looking forward to entering into the year I become a mom. It has been a long journey to get to this point and it is definitely overdue to be my turn.
Have a fun and wonderful Christmas. For all you awaiting court dates I will be thinking about you often and praying for good news when I return. Emily, Jenny, Leah and Dianne...you are in my prayers all the time.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
This Christmas I am a little more upbeat because I know that God will give me an incredible gift next year but for right now I really am not in the mood to decorate. I really do love it, but I'm just not in to it this year, maybe because we don't have family in the city and we're going to be out of the country over the holidays. I've done a little bit of decorating and that is it for this year. Now...next year will be a completely different story but this year I am going to visit my aunt in Florida and just simply relax and forget about the world for a week. Then I will come home to 2009, the year I become a mom. How amazing is that?
So for this year I share what minimal decorating I've done and wish you a very Merry Christmas!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.
I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.
Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.
Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.
--- Unknown ---
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I stepped into her room today
Knowing she’s not there
This waiting for referral
Is more than one can bear
But taking in the moment
I sit down on the floor
And dream of her here with me
When waiting is no more.
A little giggle fills the air
As I rub her feet
I place my hand upon her heart
To feel its every beat.
A song is sung so very soft
Her eyes begin to close
She’s meeting me in dream land
A place where love still grows.
My vision now is very blurred
The tears stream down my cheeks
I’ve dreamed of her quite often
Throughout these past few weeks.
Suddenly a sound is heard
The phone rings in the hall
Waking up I quickly pray
Please let it be “The Call”.
By Tom Fisher
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Keep the good news coming!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions you may need to be treated for Adoption Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (AOCD). You should immediately consult with family, friends, and especially fellow adoption bloggers.
Repeated actions over and over - Do you ritually check adoption blogs and forums MANY times a day; especially at the most unusual/inappropriate times like during work or before your coat and shoes are off when you get home from being out for any amount of time? YES!
Involuntarily persistent thoughts - Do you wake up every morning and go to bed each night (and most hours in between) thinking about adoption? Or do you find yourself trying to steer conversations onto the topic of adoption because it is the only topic you can seem to concentrate on for any period of time? YES and YES!
Arranging and having things orderly - Do you keep a tracker and/or spreadsheet tracking wait times and referrals (if you use a color coding system, add two points to your score)? Or do you check other peoples trackers and/or databases to count where you are "in line"? NO and DEFINITELY YES!
Aggressive or horrific thoughts - When people say "Hang in there!" and you smile and say "thanks", would you rather hang them? Or when people say "Good things come to those who wait", do you wonder if they have ever had to wait for something this important (we are talking about a baby, not dessert)? Or after someone says "Everything happens for a reason", would you like to smack them and say "I'll show you my reason!" YES, YES and YES!
Uncontrolled emotions - When you see beautiful black babies at the grocery store do you become overwhelmed with emotion? Do you get disappointed when someone doesn't comment on your blog, even when you know lots of people are reading it? Do you scream into your pillow for, what seems like, no particular reason? OH YES! YES! YES!
Repeated doubts - Do you wonder if your adoption will ever happen? Do you wonder if your file got lost/misplaced somehow, so technically, you are not on the "waiting list"? Do you ever think that they might forget you are waiting and skip your referral? ALL THE TIME. YEP. YEP.
Demanding reassurance - Do you depend on regular updates and correspondence from your agency for your sanity? And if you don't hear from your agency, do you email and/or call them to subtly remind them that you are still waiting? NOT YET. NOT YET...GIVE IT TIME.
Think we can get this listed as an actual disorder? Treatments prescribed by doctor are trips to warm, tropical beaches. What d'ya think? ;)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I am very sad to say this week has also had its downs. There are 4 families that I am aware of that did not have a successful court date due to a variety of reasons. This means their court date is rescheduled for January, adding more time to this crazy process. That just simply sucks! I am crying for them because I know how their hearts ache to know the face they've been staring at for months is legally theirs. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all better for them. I'm so angry that these delays are happening to them just because some paperwork was forgotten by a certain party.
(insert bad language here)
To my friends who are weeping today...I am weeping with you. I'm so sorry. There isn't anything I could say to help you and to make it better. Keep strong.
(insert more bad language here)
Monday, November 10, 2008
He asked if we owned a black cat with white paws. I own a black and white cat but not by that description and besides my cat was definitely in the backyard, I was just there with him when unloading the car. My neighbour said a cat just layed down in his backyard and was now deceased...could I come over and look.
I was nervous that it was my good friend's cat (same description) who was out of town. I have a key to their house so I went and checked. Both cats were in the house...phew!
I went across the street and into his backyard to see. It was really dark and I couldn't quite recognize the cat. I went to another neighbour's house and he graciously came out with gloves so we could take the collar and tags off to see who the cat belongs to (I just couldn't do it!). It turns out I did know the cat. His name is Zeus and he lives at the bottom of our street and we'd always talk with him and pet him when my husband and I would go for a walk. Very friendly and chatty. Crap...this means I had to tell the owner.
Here's the worst part...the neighbour who's yard this cat is in called Animal Control earlier (before coming to my house) to see if they could come deal with this cat. He was nervous and not being a cat owner didn't quite know what to do. You know what Animal Control said? They said the cat is on private property, just put it in a bag and leave it in the alley with the garbage. Excuse me? This is not just a cat, it is someone's life, someone's baby....you can't just leave it in the alley with the garbage! Outrageous and disgusting!
I knew that we couldn't leave the cat in the alley, the owner deserved to know...no matter how hard it is, I would want to know. Thankfully the cat did have tags, we knew Zeus...it was up to my husband and I to do it. We walked down and we were both so nervous ringing the doorbell...my knees were knocking. We told her (we'd never met previously) and... well....you can just imagine. The owner had just lost her other cat 2 months ago. I was crying with her.
We walked her back up the street, put Zeus in a box then walked her home. I felt so bad b/c she didn't have anyone at home that night...she was by herself. It was all I could think about last night and while trying to sleep.
I've been EXTRA cuddly with my babies...they don't quite know what to make of it. Arthur is on my lap while I sit at the breakfast bar eating oatmeal and writing this post, purring away. I can't imagine life without him.
Pets are our friends, our family, our confidantes, and sometimes the only 'person' who gives you unconditional love. They are not to be left in the alley.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Supporting an Adoption
Many times, well-meaning relatives, friends and co-workers do things or make comments that unintentionally cause pre-adoptive and/or adoptive parents unnecessary emotional stress.The following is a quick guide that may be copied and distributed to those people in an effort to educate them on how they can support you during the adoption process.
1. DO accept our decision to adopt without question.
2. DO accept our choice of a child regardless of his/her race, heritage, age, social background, etc.
3. DO remain positive and enthusiastic during waiting periods.
4. DO offer to give practical help if you don't mind giving us your time.
5. DO respect our choice not to disclose details about our personal life and our decisions.
1. DON'T tell us that if we adopt a child we will get pregnant and have a child of "our own."
Adoption does not cure infertility, and our adopted child will be "our child."
2. DON'T react as if adoption is a "second best" or "noble" choice.
3. DON'T question our capability or readiness to parent a child.
4. DON'T incessantly ask for news while we are waiting to adopt.
5. DON'T probe for details about the birth parents or the child. We'll tell you whatever we are
Some Tips on How You Can Help us During the Post Adoption
1. DO be happy for our new child and us.
2. DO respect that we may want and need quiet time with our new child to bond and adjust.
3. DO understand that we might not be able to fulfill your needs as quickly as we did before
we became parents.
4. DO respect our style of parenting.
1. DON'T feel sorry for our adopted child.
2. DON'T make demands for our attention or our time during our adjustment phase.
3. DON'T criticize the desire to have and maintain a relationship with our child's birthfamily.
For additional helpful suggestions, please read "Supporting An Adoption" by Pat Holmes and/or "When Friends Ask About Adoption" by Linda Bothun.
Thank you 'LittleOne' for allowing me to post this. I would link your blog with your blog name, but I don't know how yet...I will when I figure it out. :)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
I've been thinking about a few things that have been said to me in the past 6 years where I just have either looked stunned or just had to inwardly shake my head in attempt to avoid exploding.
1. "Once you adopt you'll get pregnant."
*Yep-we've all heard that one before. You know what? Some people just can't get pregnant! It isn't possible and will never happen. Give it up already. I have!
*When you are adopting it doesn't matter if you can or cannot get pregnant at that point. Having an adopted child is the same thing as having a bio child!!! Treat it as such!
2. "You just haven't prayed hard enough."
*Yep, someone actually said that to me. It deserves no comment.
3. "How can someone just give their baby away?"
*Placing a child for adoption has involved months of thought, heartache and tears. A mother doesn't just willy nilly place her child for adoption. She makes the biggest sacrifice for her child so her child can have a better life. She isn't 'giving' it away. I have a tremendous amount of respect for birth moms...I love my birth mom already. I think about her ALL the time and I don't even know her.
This is one added by a fellow blogger and one I've heard MANY times over:
4. "You are lucky, at least you won't have to deal with getting pregnant and being fat."
*Yes, I am lucky! Being an adoptive parent is a true blessing and gift from God! (My response)
*But I am getting fat! I'm gaining weight being depressed because I have no control over when I will have a baby. (My response)
Another from a fellow blogger:
5. 'Oh, you're adopting just like Madonna and Angelina Jolie.'
*Yep, just like Madonna and Angelina Jolie. Only they don't have to remortgage their house just to finance the adoption. (My response: ok, I'm exaggerating...just a home equity loan...)
There have been other comments made that I just can't remember at the moment. I'm sure you have others. Please let me know and I'll add them to the list. It is important that we help others understand what type of comments help and which do not. Saying something 'thoughtful' versus the first thing that comes into your head.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
But my friend's response was this: Your time will come and it will be great. All those people you have supported will come together and celebrate you in your journey as a family.
This has had a great impact on me the past week. She let me bitch and was there for me, continuing to be a tremendous support in this incredible experience and let me know that it will happen and she, along with everyone else who loves us, will also be there right along with us.
For anyone who doesn't know what it is like to experience infertility or the waiting pains of adoption it is hard because there is no belly showing off to the world that you are going to be a mom, there are no ooohs and aaaahs or shrieks of congratulations.
From the time a woman finds out she is pregnant she can pretty much guarantee that in less than 9 months there is a prize at the end of the labour (all going well, of course). She knows when she will hold her baby. With international adoption, not so much..it isn't as straight forward as that. A woman who decides she will become a mom by adopting internationally has already grieved the dream of being pregnant, suffered through infertility treatments (most likely) and is aching to be a mom and feels there is no end in sight.
When you decide to adopt internationally it can take almost a year to get a homestudy done and a dossier compiled, completed and to arrive in the country of adoption. Then she has to wait months and months for a referral, MONTHS to see the very first picture of her baby (similar to an ultrasound per se?). MONTHS! Some women have had to wait 15 months! Then before she can hold her baby in her arms (instead of the dolls she buys for her baby) she has to wait months longer and watch her baby reach milestones in photographs, in a country on the other side of the world. She thinks the end will never come. She crys and crys until she thinks she cannot cry any more. She shops and shops to fulfill the void because she just doesn't know when she can hold her baby.
I have grieved the loss of the dream of being pregnant (2 years ago, in fact). I have the blessing of becoming an adoptive mom, I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world! My friend's response helped me realize that the jubilation, the congratulations, the celebrations WILL happen. Over the past 6 years it seemed like it was never going to happen, I've been very depressed about it for the past 6 months. But now I am at the top of the roller coaster (for now). My friends and family WILL celebrate with us...we are not alone in this wait...they are waiting just as anxiously as we are. That the day we receive the call, they will also cry tears of joy (probably not the UGLY CRY that I will cry, but tears all the same).
Thank you to my friend for supporting me, letting me bitch when I need to and helping me though this. You know who you are.
To everyone else who is riding this crazy ride with us...thank you. Start buying bottles of champagne....we're gonna have one heck of a party! The day is coming!
Monday, October 20, 2008
I pray for this little baby and for its birth mother...for the trials and tribulations they are experiencing or will experience...for the difficult decision she will make for her child to have a life with us. My greatest joy in life will be her greatest loss and sacrifice.
I pray that God watches over them, keeps them safe and in good health. I love this child and its mother already, someone I don't know and haven't met...my heart aches for them. Please watch over them Lord.
Carol- Congratulations on a dream come true. I can't wait to meet your little guy. Here's the coolest thing...our kids will be soooooo close in age!!! Wish we lived closer...I would be over right away. Love you guys!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
- My first Parents magazine!!! (this means alot b/c it validates the whole process...that I am 'expecting'...I'm just waiting for my baby!)
- Body Shop Cranberry Body Lotion, Soap and Shower Gel! This is my favourite scent from the Body Shop! And a Loofah Sponge...I needed a new one!
- MMMM....Purdy's Chocolate (smiley faces...to brighten my day! ...matches the smiley faces on the card)
Thank you Secret Pal!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
2 toys...not sure what to call them...generously given to us from Heather (she also gave us her crib).
Looking at the items I've shown I'm relieved to see that they were all graciously given to us...makes me feel better to know I didn't buy them during one of my baby shopping sprees...that the reason I can't close the closet door in the nursery isn't all my doing! HA!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Ways to support an adoptive family.
1. If you're asked to write a reference letter for the Home Study or grant, do it promptly. It will mean a lot to the family to know their adoption is a high priority for you too.
2. Especially if the wait drags on a long time, don't constantly ask if they've heard any news. Some moms adore giving you the blow by blow during the wait. But many moms find the wait difficult, and get tired of saying, "No, we still don't know when he/she is coming home." Ask instead how the nursery is coming along, or invite her out to lunch.
3. Throw them a baby shower and/or bring baby gifts before the child comes home. Honor the adoptive mom with your faith that this will happen for her. But it is a good idea to ask the mom-to-be if she would like the shower before or after the child is home.
4. Do treat them like parents-to-be. If you would give a pregnant friend or family member something for Mother's Day (or Father's Day) then do the same for the adoptive couple. Or even Christmas. A special Waiting ornament.
5. Tell them you are praying for them. If there is a delay find out what it is so you can pray specifically and ask (once in awhile) if there is any new news. (paperwork delay, accreditation)
6. I liked it when people said things like "Getting excited?". It acknowledged we were "expecting" in a positive way. Another good thing to say was "Do you need anything" or "can I do anything for you"?
7. Keep your judgements to yourself. And don't question their decisions.
8. Do share any positive stories you know about adoption and suppress the desire to tell every adoption horror story you've ever heard.
9. The other thing that makes me feel like an "expectant" mom, is people asking what I need. "I have an exersaucer/stroller/high chair you can have?", etc.
10. Do give empathy: I got a hug and the simple words "this waiting must be so hard." from someone I hardly knew. It meant the world to me.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
We had a very nice Thanksgiving with my brother and dad (I had to tear apart the nursery and move everything to one side to make room for my dad to sleep...sometimes being too organized is not a good thing!). Sid and I made our 4th turkey ever and it turned out to be delicious...I even stuffed the turkey myself...my mom will be proud! :) I kept thinking that maybe for next year's Thanksgiving we'll have a little one to run after! Can't wait!
What are you thankful for? I am thankful for my family, friends and wonderful husband. I'm thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to become a mother through adoption. Here's to a great year ahead full of joy for all the adoptive parents-to-be out there! I hope your wait is short and blessings are many. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Sid was quite amazed by the price of beer $3.00...when he commented on this the waitress joked that she could charge him $15.00 per bottle. :)
We ordered a number of different dishes (Doro Wat, Gomen, Shiroh, Misir Wat, Alecha (sp?), lamb, ground beef) and shared from the same platter. My favourite always seems to be the Misir Wat and Shiroh. Mmmm!
I would definitely recommend Fassil Restaurant. The price was very reasonable, food was excellent the the staff were nice and very friendly, although not in a hurry to provide quick service. It was an evening to sit back, relax and enjoy the food and friends.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Off topic: One couple we met had their dossier sent to Ethiopia at the same time as ours and it arrived on the same day. I wouldn't be surprised if they were sent in the same package. This means we are both on the same timeline and we're hoping we'll be able to travel at the same time!
We learned how to make a number of different Ethiopian dishes: Tibs (Sauteed Beef), Shiroh (Ethiopian Pea Stew), Misir Wet (Red Lentil Stew), Gomen (Spinach) (and another dish with potato and cabbage but I don't know the name of it). I sure wish I brought my camera to share pics with you. The dishes were incredible! If you haven't yet tried Ethiopian, I would suggest it! Scrumptious!
While cooking, the 'instructors' shared with us the the way they would cook the dishes while in Ethiopia vs. Canada. To bring out the flavour of the food it is better to let the food simmer over a long period of time. You can cook it quickly (we are always in a rush!) but for gourmet flavour let it simmer slowly.
The main ingredients for Ethiopian seems to be tons of butter, tons of salt, and onions. Tomato, garlic and ginger are also important along with fresh spices (berbere).
We learned that it is better to buy the injera at a local Ethiopian store instead of trying to make it yourself. It is difficult to get the right consistency and the proper thickness.
Here are some websites that were provided:
We were able to take home some Shiroh (for the pea stew) and Bebere (mixture of spices) so that we can try to make these recipes at home! Give us a few trials before we invite you over!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Song of the Waiting Mother
I'm pregnant, but my tummy isn't growing.
And no one ever calls me "Little Mom."
The public simply isn't overflowing
With questions that I'd handle with aplomb.
There are no special clothes to mark my waiting.
Nobody stops and smiles as I pass by.
The absence of a due-date is frustrating
And looking at the nursery makes me cry.
When I'm overdue no one will worry.
The phone won't ring and ring as friends check in.
I can't induce my labor in a hurry,
My new life as a parent to begin.
Adoption is a worrisome endeavor,
And waiting all alone is not much fun.
To be "with child" a year seems like forever.
Dear God, we're ready! Please send us our little one!
Monday, September 8, 2008
I know many our family and friends may be interested in sponsoring a child in Ethiopia. Here is the perfect place to sponsor a child and we know where the money is going! Please consider helping Sandi and Meg help these children. Children that are HIV positive pretty much have no chance to be adopted or be part of a family. This orphanage, the caregivers and the other children will be their families and they need your help!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Being an adoptive mother is not for every woman. She must possess not only the natural mother instinct but an understanding and appreciation of the situation hat brought a child into her arms making her a mother. The adoptive family comes to be by choices made, choices made by the first parents and by the adoptive parents. This bond the adoptive mother has with her child grows over time, like the child did within his first mother’s womb.
Day by day, touch by touch, with each tear, kiss and memory made they become a family. Adoptive mothers have that special knack to let love grow.
Adoptive mothers know that she’s a mender of wounds, not just of the physical skinned knees with a band-aid and a kiss, but of the heart. She gives love, acceptance, and permission to ask and talk about the day he was born and of his first parents.
Adoptive mothers are embracers, not only of the child with many hugs and kisses, but of the child’s heritage and history. She embraces the facts of her child’s past with strength for herself and the child. She’s not only a memory maker planning family vacations, activities, and birthday parties, but also a memory keeper.
She’s a tier of shoelaces and of hearts. She weaves lives together into a tapestry of a new family, with many different brightly colored threads showcasing their individualities and family origins. Together they create one unit attached to each other.
Adoptive mothers are experts at finding lost objects, but understand and validate the profound, deep loss left by adoption. She allows the tears to fall and grief to be felt, allowing the mourning of the mom not there. She is secure in knowing that she’s not a replacement, but a finisher of a race for someone who, for whatever reason, could not run any longer.
This role is not for the weak of spirit, or the easily wounded. Loving a child not born to her but calling him her own, but this is what she does, it is her calling…..She is a mother.