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Sunday, December 28, 2008

The "Lucky One"

A friend emailed me this today... not sure where it came from or who wrote it (I'm sure Google would answer that question) but for me it summarizes my thoughts on waiting to bring home my little boy. Patience has never been my strong point... and this process will certainly test that before it is through. I came out of the gates ever the optimist thinking that surely a referral for an older boy would come quickly... all indications from yahoo groups and on line Russian adoption communities like FRUA were that referrals for boys up to 4 were happening sometimes immediately on submission of your documents to region but certainly within a few months. But those rules don't hold for here in my real world. Those are "other" agencies and "other" circumstances with agencies in countries I am not a citizen of. I have had a pretty big reality check just before Christmas in letting me know the wait could well take me into travelling when Russia will be much warmer. While not traveling in the dead cold of winter does have it's attraction, I keep hearing of the quick referrals for the healthy boy on FRUA and the sound of the pages of the calender flip by and those are both sounds I'd rather not hear. With that being said, I do trust the process and the people and life... it's not always fair but it's good... and because of that, I'll wait "patiently" for things to turn out like they should. In the mean time, I think this little poem is meaningful.
Do-brey No-chey (good night!)
The Lucky One
People often say how lucky my little boy is. See, he was an orphan in Russia until I adopted him. Imagine my little boy who didn't know how to play with the simplest toys, couldn't eat with silverware, wasn't able to color a picture, and had never even seen the moon or stars. Even though he grew up in the middle of Russia he had never touched snow. He wasn't even able to talk very much. My boy had never ridden in a car, seen a horse or a cow, eaten ice cream, or been to the park. Even worse, he did not have enough to eat or adequate clothes to wear. He had spent the majority of his years cold and hungry. Not because no one cared but because there were too many to care for. He had never been held or rocked to sleep. This little boy had no mommy to wipe his tears, or pick him up when he fell down. No one was there to read him bedtime stories or hold him when he was sick or afraid. There was never even any praise for a job well done. No one put his pictures on the refrigerator and gazed at them proudly everyday. Worst of all, he had never been loved. So when people tell me that my boy is lucky, I say no, I'm the lucky one. I am the one whose mom and dad held me when I cried, and kissed and hugged me everyday. They watched me blow out my birthday candles year after year. My parents fed me and made sure I had the clothes and education that I needed.Most of all, my mom and dad loved me every minute of every hour of every day. I am the lucky one not because I got out of the orphanage, when so many never do, but because: I was never there. Certainly, I am even luckier now because this little Russian boy, who was so unlucky in life, is now
my precious little boy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Six very small degrees...

They (whoever "they" are) say that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime (if you haven't read the poem google it... it's a good one) and I couldn't agree more. I think that I could identify many people in my life and categorize them into one of those three groups. When I meet someone new and they stick around for awhile, I begin to wonder if there is a reason for them coming along, and if they pass from my world just as quietly I recognize that they were here only for a season... there are those rare times when I meet someone new and right from the beginning I hope that they are a part of my world for a lifetime... Now I have this friend (I'll leave you un named for your own privacy but I want to capture this thought and this day for posterity down the road when we are old and reminiscing about today) who I met in professional circles a number of years ago (vague enough... too bad... you can't edit my blog) In fact, there were three of us who sort of became "the 3 amigos" as we learned new tricks of the trade and secrets to one anothers hearts. We talked of new loves, hopeful families, past lives, disappointments, heart break and hope. Years have passed since that day and I am still in touch with both of these wonderful women. Last spring, I sat across the table from one of them and she shared the news that her and her husband were in waiting to adopt twins from Ethiopia. I smiled and quietly listened to her excited story of waiting and wondering who would become their children. When she finished, I told her that I had news of my own and that I was in the early stages of preparing to adopt from Russia. We toasted and talked and laughed at the coincidence. Today, as I stood in the middle of an isle at Canadian Tire searching out Christmas deals on matching figure skates and helmets for my 6 year old nieces I got a text message that gave me goosebumps immediately followed by a huge smile. It said, "guess who just got off of the phone with an adoption agency :-)" It was the third member of the three amigos... If I could have I would have clicked my heels three times and hugged her myself but instead, I hit dial and we talked... as I hovered in the hockey section trying to look low key. There is so much story to unfold ahead of each of us but I feel so blessed to have such amazing, beautiful, strong and hopeful women in my world. I selfishly hope that this comes together for each of us this year and that we might celebrate the amazing gift that is born out of life's mis-steps, mistakes, and out of misgivings for the hand we are sometimes dealt together as new moms. To the latest passenger on this bus let me say this, You are an AMAZING woman who's eyes literally sparkle with life and laughter. You are that person that people NEED to know - the one with the infectious laugh and an angle on life reserved specifically for those who gracefully keep a stiff upper lip without limiting your ability to smile. I can't imagine a better mom out there. Your child will be a lucky little one without doubt. I know you will be an exceptional role model and a loving protector while instilling the value of humor, integrity and unconditional love into their little heart. Some people need words to tell the people in their lives what they mean to them... your eyes say it all... yours are truly the window to your soul. I hope that some day soon we are swapping stories of mom-dom and raising a glass together as we watch our children explore our brand new worlds. I couldn't ask for a better co-pilot on this journey... if you adopt a girl... I'll let my son date her because if she grows up to be half the woman that you are... he would be a lucky little man! You rock - you are one of the prettiest flowers I know! Wanna stick around for a lifetime?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's time to admit I am ever the optimist

OK so it's looking like the "build it and they will come" theory has limitations when it comes to international adoption. I've built (have the bedroom set, some clothes, some toys, and even new bedding to arrive before Christmas (not because I thought the gift with purchase might be a toddler Russian boy but because I found it on Ebay and didn't want to lose it )) but he's not coming. Perm region has been quiet for months... the Yahoo groups are full of advice, cheer leading and static... no one seems to be getting referrals. While I'm not particularly bothered by this YET, I am concerned that this may not pick up... as I wait patiently and continue to build this baby boy our field of dreams. I talk to my agency girls all the time and they continue to be wonderful but veiled in what they can or could say about the situation. Right now, there are 3 regions open: Vlad, NN and Perm... Vlad has had some referrals recently and some false starts as people prepare to travel only to have their little one adopted / fostered by birth family... NN is the new region and has not seen a referral and Perm... my agency hasn't had a referral since late summer. The Christmas news letter just came out and they are again looking at opening Novosibirsk and also St. Petersburg... I asked to be kept posted on advice regarding regions and if switching might become the best option - they said they would have news sometime in the new year. My SW also "did me a solid" and forwarded some information directly to the in country coordinator to have her look over and give advice on. While the answer wasn't what I had hoped for, it is encouraging to know that I can ask questions even if I think they might not be welcomed and have them answered.
So, for now, I prepare for Christmas by baking, shoveling (the snow can stop ANY time), and winding down from a busy work schedule. Every night I wonder where you are and if you had a good day. I imagine you being talked to and tickled by someone special to you and that you are laughing... I hope you are warm, safe, have enough food in your tummy, have someone to play with and for at least a moment no matter how fleeting each day, you feel special if not loved. I hope you dream of a home and a Mama and know that you deserve to be loved. I am starting a small collection of stuffed Lions for you. I can't stop thinking about how alone you are and how you must want someone to protect you and keep you safe... that will be me... and the herd of stuffed lions to remind you even in the dark that you will never be alone again. Good night (well actually it's 5:30am in your world) little man... I can't wait for next Christmas when our worlds will be so very different.

P.S. I got my skates sharpened today and saw little strap on bob skates perfect for a little skater... I can't wait to take you skating :-)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Crash course in parenting

Well this was a "fun" day. I some days feel like I'm on the Truman show (you know the one where Jim Carey's life is actually being set up and filmed and watched by thousands of TV viewers for their entertainment?) Yup. I think I star in the Tennant show lol. So here was today's episode (stay with me because there is an element of Russian adoption in this tale). I am helping out with a friends little guy in taking him to hockey while she is out of town. No biggie. I can tie skates, I know where the equipment goes, and I know not to yell like a rabid hockey mom in the stands (it annoys everyone around you and embarasses the hell out of the kids so it's lose lose... I digress). Everything is going well. Child delivered, dressed and deployed onto the ice. I make a break for a much needed coffee from Timmy's. Arriving back at the rink, I discover that the mom of one of the little boys (Sasha) is from Russia. We have a nice chat about learning English (they have only been here a year) and about where she is from. The nice adotion part of the story is that she is a Russian trained Cardiologist who I'd say is about my age! She was so interested in my adoption story and offered any sort of help I might need - even in reviewing his medicals! Whoo Hoo I'm thinking - this is a fantastic way to spend a Sunday. Then, I hear my name (which is weird because no one knows me here except my friends son who is still on the ice...) except he isn't. He's behind me crying his little eyes out. I launch into OMG he's hurt mode - which thankfully he wasn't, which was quickly followed by OK - what did you do mode... which he did. OK - question - am I supposed to actually WATCH the whole practice? (because lets be real - they are 9... it it's mostly flailing and falling as they swarm like bees around the puck) Now bearing in mind that the version from him followed by the team manager and then the coaching staff were pretty different, I'm sure that the truth resided somewhere in the middle. Suffice to say that I got a crash course in hockey mom today and I think I manged OK. The little guy cried, listened, apologised and I acted as a mediator in the situation. Wow... hockey will be interesting... thankfully I've seen what it's like for coaches on one side of the bench fending off rabid hockey parents and now from a stand in parent side seen what it's like to defend a poor little 9 year old who certainly didn't maliciously spear the other kid in the crotch... this is going to get interesting. Today, I think I might be given a B+ in handling of the situation. Bit my tongue which could have resulted in a failing grade should I have told the coach exactly what I thought of how he spoke to me and to the boy. (instead I told him that the way he spoke to me would terrify any 9 year old and then turned to the other coach and told him how much I appreciated his honesty, candor and kindness in retalling of the event and would be happy to bring the boy in to talk to him... as long as the angry bastard remained silent - OK I didn't say bastard). I mean C'mon... he's 9... he's not mean... they were goofing around and he was poking his friend with his stick (who happens to be one of the coaches kids) and someone got poked in the can... wrong - ok but he doesn't need to be kicked off the team for it!!! Thankfully the other 2 coaches were kind and understanding and realistic... Here's hoping I struck a good balance between ownership of his actions / remorse and the reminder that they are 9... with the suggestion of having him sit out the next game... who knows - I hope it doesn't end his fledgling career in hockey. That said, I can't wait until it's my little guy out there... :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's Officially Official!

I'm in... Perm that is. OK not physically, actually in Perm Russia but my documents are in and registered and ready to go. This happened a few weeks ago but I got official AB gov't notificatin that things are signed sealed and delivered. I guess that puts a date somewhere around early(ish) October for date registered. I fussed a bit with my agency about the time it was taking to translate my documents and send them off to be notarized, legalized, fanci-eyezed, and finally appostled and sent. Thank God I can say for sure that this is one of the things that the fees for this adoption go to pay for... keeping me in the dark as to the EXACT meaning of each of those words (except fanci-eyezed... I made that one up). I read so many PAP's stories of the hastle and heart ache that goes into getting all of those steps done on their own that I am so happy that is included in the fees for service. I did get my official copy of the dossier back a few weeks ago now and the letter from the Alberta government indicating that everything has been sent to my facilitator (who's named Maya I believe) in Perm and that my referral should be sent to them first to be forwarded on to me. Now, I need to talk to my agency and see what exactly that means - do they present me with my referral or does it come from somewhere else? What is the lag time in between when Maya identifies my boy to when I will review his file? More questions... but progressive exciting ones! I ordered his bedroom set a few weeks ago as well. I am looking forward to getting things sort of set up for him... but it feels strange because who knows when it will actually happen. Anyway, that's the good news for this post - which I thought I'd best lead with.





The bad sad news is that on Tuesday October 14th I had to put Chuck to sleep. I'll spare the sad details - if you know me, you know the story and how hard of a decision it was for me to send him home to Scott... but it was for the best. I miss him but do find it really easy to remember the great memories and smiles that we shared. I just hope his little shoulders don't hurt anymore and that he's been on a dozen mountain bike rides since he's been home. He gave me a gift in the last moments of his spotted brown life - Scott always gave me 3 kisses before he would leave for work, hockey, or pretty much anything... it was our thing. Chuck refused to give me a kiss for the 2 days before the end... and I did beg him - but no. As he layed wrapped in a blanket on my lap on the floor of the Vets office while I was saying my last good byes, he looked up at me and gave me 3 big fat licks on the face. Bye Bye bubby... I know you are happy - from one good home to another. Chuck June 15, 1995 - Oct 14, 2008. XOXO

Friday, August 29, 2008

I miss my friend...

Today is one of those bittersweet days that fills my heart with the most profound memories of love... and still... 10 years later... fills my eyes with tears. 10 years ago today I married my best friend yet I've 'celebrated' 10 wedding anniversaries alone. I guess it's a testament to the depth I loved Scott to the degree I can still miss him and remember the details of our time together. That day was filled with so many I love yous, smiles, tender moments and plans of forever. Those who shared the day will remember how hot it was, how Dickey Dee came along to save the day, the tormented gold fish, the mini train ride, pictures in the park, Chuck in the wedding party and the heart felt recognition that we had gotten it right... Days like this I wonder who we'd be today... if we'd ever contemplate this journey I'm on and what our family would be like. More than anything, today, I just try and remember what it felt like to be loved by you and imagine the moment when this time apart will be an uncomfortable memory as I recount this journey in your arms again. I miss you Boo... Wish you were here.
xoxo Kid.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Oh blah dee, oh blah da...La La La La Life goes on...

Life is funny. Not always the gut splitting, laugh and snort Coke out of your nose sort of funny, but more the curious "things that make you go hmmmm" sort of funny. I (true to my home study) think I'm the kind of friend a friend would like to have. The person who shows up with flowers when you need them, an extra set of legs (and sometimes a minivan) to help move, the one who makes you smile the moment you pick up the phone just becuase you know I'll have something wacky to say, and the one who will do the dirty work of friendship even if I really don't want to... I just do - that damn golden rule thing. I've been down the hard road once of figuring out who my friends really are - the ones who got on a plane broke and showed up to cry to sleep with me - the ones who didn't abandon me becuase my life was too hard or they were too scared of saying the wrong thing or thought that I was somehow just too much responsibility. Big life change seem like the right time to update the list of who is always there for me when I need flowers, a mini van, a laugh or a smile... So thanks for being that friend to me and thanks for the drop in visits, the glasses of wine shared, the early morning calls when I'm in the tub and we talk till the waters cold, the shoulder for frustrations, the new friends & old, my sister and fav S.I.L., the friend who drives across town later than you should just becuase you know I could use a hug (and a gallon of ice cream lol) and here's to wishing the east coast and islands were reachable by clicking my heels together 3 times. Here's to the hopes, the dreams and the tears we've shared and here's to the ones ahead - hang in here with me... I'm gonna need some help!

Funny - OK not really funny but it's the sort of humor that an old friend can get away with because I'm laughing right along with her: In conversation relevent to a topic for another day, a bible quote (residual from years of Sunday school and bible camp?) came up: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Jo thought that this was hillarious in that I have cornered the market on this one... I think perhaps Coke may have come out her nose... but I think you had to be there because it doesn't have the same effect now does it Jo???

P.S. no real news on the Paper shuffle. I talked to Marie on Friday and she told me that my Dossier should be translated in about a week or so and then will be sent to Ottawa for legalization (she said ~2 more weeks) and then off to Perm... where the wait really begins. Oh yeah - one more thing - I met a nice Russian lady at the coffee shop down the hill who made me promise to bring the little guy in for a visit so she can officially welcome him to Canada. She asked a lot of questions and when I told her I wanted to adopt a toddler boy she got big tears in her eyes and thanked me for helping her countries children... I smell some free coffee which will be nice when I'm broke and on leave from work!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Filling time

So there really isn't any news on the adoption front - no filling of forms, no following up with the agency, no questions to ask... nothing... except a little silence (which is OK I guess?). There have been rattlings of a few things in the past while with respect to the Russian adoption world: first, people seem to be starting to panic about the lack of girls available and the resulting wait times for infant girls. Some are contemplating the addition of "either gender" and some are making the switch. I'm hoping this won't affect me in that I'm still waiting for an "older" boy. Time will tell. Next is the Russian invasion / attack on Georgia. It's on the news every on air, but there is little specultion that it will affect adoptions - especially those of Canadians.
OK some fun stuff: it was the twins 6th birthday today and we celebrated with cake, icecream, popsicles, horse & buggy rides and of course gifts all around. I love how excited they get to see me and the hugs and kisses I get from them out of the blue. They love the dogs and are getting better wth them (or the dogs with them?) all the time. They were at my house last weekend and we told them that I am going to adopt a little boy. Of course this meant explaining the whole notion of adoption but I think they got it. They were very interested in, "what is his name?" and then offering up their suggestions (which by the way were either names of their friends or non names... things that weren't really names at all). I know they will be excited as things approach and once he is home they will love having a new little cousin. The Russian language learning is coming along well. I have mastered most of the essential baby words... hello, come here, don't be scared, sit down, I'm your Mama, I love you, good boy, juice, milk, toilet paper, bath, hot, cold, this is our dog... you get the idea. I practice on the dogs sometimes for fun... but their Russian is even worse than their English - go figure. Lyric will be one year old on Wednesday - boy time flies! She is turning into a really good dog. She still amazes me (ocassionally with her 'stupidity' and lack of listening skills) with how fast she is learning. Leash walks aren't a nightmare anymore and her greeting of strangers is way less of a hastle. I am liking hanging out with her more and more!

Well, I better sign off but I'm going to say this: I have this nagging idea in the back of my head... that I'll travel for trip one before Christmas and have him home sometime in the spring. Just throwing it out there - field of dreams.
spa-COIN-a NO-chee (Good night) it's pah-RAH SPAHT (time to sleep)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Vacations, vacations, vacations... then paperwork to follow

Well I took a little hiatus from the adoption paperwork slog over the last month and did some much needed recharging. Things started out with a girls Vegas trip for "low-towers" birthday. Some shopping and seeing and singing (George Michael was amazing!) was done and I am sad to report that I will no longer be speaking with my old freind Patrone... he came over un-invited and left me with a really sore head and queesy stomach the next day... damn hombre. Next stop on the vacation train was Shushwap Lake with Matt and Kari. Tianna came with me and the highlight of the trip (no - not me drinking Corona (my alternate Mexican friend who I still speak to) out of a straw while I wallowed in self pitty over my injured back from wake boarding) but Tinanna getting up behind the boat. I think we were both pretty stoked and I am very proud!!! Moving on to the final destination of this tour was Maui for Mindys' wedding. Michelle R (Low-tower) and I had a great time at the Papakea Resort (I'll post pictures when I can get them off of my camera - computer crashed while I was gone). It was by far the most relaxing vacation I have ever had.
Now, home and back at it. All documents (passport, birth certificate, home study, forms etc) were submitted on Friday to Choices. They will have been notarized and apostled by tomorrow and then things will be submitted for translation this week (should take 4 - 6 weeks - I'm banking on 4) then, the last stage here will be submitting for legalization to the Russian Consulate (another 3 - 4 weeks - I say 3) So with all of my expertise in the adoption arena, I am hoping to be submitted in region by mid(ish) September... then I wait. Ole is in Russia now and is bringing me home a Starbucks Mug from Arabat St. in Moscow. Will be a nice way to start my morning!

In other news, a great friend of mine told me she pregnant this morning. Even though we don't live in the same city it will be great to be on Mat leave at the same time. I laughed and told her it was great - she got knocked up and I knocked myself up all at the same time!!! Well, I better take stinky for a walk (Mangoes and soup bones - one was a self selected treat... one was not) make for a nasty aroma around the house. Cheers for now and cross your fingers for fast officials who don't take vacations to finish my dossier!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Surprise!

I love getting mail... I grabbed the usual bunch of bills and junk sent to the people that lived in my house 4 years ago and in it was a Canada Post notice for a package. I didn't really think much of it since I ordered a CD awhile ago and figured it had arrived. In fact, I drove around with it in my car for a day and remembered this morning to stop by the office to grab it. Nothing notable - plain brown envelope... but when I bent it... no CD. I thought that was weird... hadn't occurred to me until I was half way to the door that it wasn't the CD... it was my home study!!! Back from approval 6 weeks earlier than I could have anticipated!!! It took them 3 weeks to receive it, approve it and send it back. They said to expect 6 - 8 weeks - I was taken by surprise for sure! So, now I scramble. I thought I had weeks yet to sign on with the agency, get sponsorship applications underway and documents ordered... nope... scramble now! Let the paperchase begin!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

And then there were two

So my agency has worked in 2 regions for the last while (before re-accreditation last month) and were exploring opening up another one which I was REALLY excited about. The one they were talking about was Novosibirsk (New Siberia). My friend Ole has family there and I was excited about the potential of having someone I "knew" there. Long story short, they aren't expanding at this point. Everything on the Chat groups indicates that this is an 'easy' 'accessible' and 'IA' friendly region not to mention being open to single adopters but, Choices decided that for them, this isn't the case. Likly, they just don't have the support system in place there to make this easy for them to get access to the children there. So, now I'm back to 2 regions. Perm - a blind travel region where there seems to be plenty of 05/06 boys on the database and reports are that referrals are coming quickly for the boys and that they are healthy. OR - Vladivostock way South / East. This is a referral region and is pretty accessible from Vancouver. You don't have to go through Moscow and documents can be sent rather than travel. So... which am I leaning towards? Maybe it's because I'm adventurous or calculated (where are the odds better at being matched with a son the soonest), or just plain selfish (If I'm going half way around the world I want to see Red Square)... Yup, I'm leaning towards Perm. It will be scary as hell doing a blind referral (this means that you don't even get a picture or medical history before getting on an airplane to travel - just "healthy 3 year old boy" go to the airport...) but there are fewer families waiting (which means I could travel sooner) and really, until you meet the little guy to begin with you don't have much of an idea of health or "compatibility" (God I've been Internet dating for too long...). This isn't to say that the first child I meet will be 'The One' just that I can travel to meet the one they have first on the list for me. If there are health concerns or something just not right I think (need to clarify for sure but it's the way others have been treated in the same situation) I will be shown other boys files. So... I need to discuss this with the agency and keep waiting for my HS to come back from the province approved. So until then, there are lawns to mow, work to be done and laughs to be had.
S.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'm officially Pregnant

I'm not sure when it happened exactly - pretty sure it has nothing to do with when my last period was - but I picked up the first of many official documents from the HS agency yesterday and dropped it off completed today. So there it is... the little pink plus sign... Without the memento of the test. I know it's still so early on in things but I have a weird sort of calm about the whole thing. Sure, I did get a little testy about the extra week it took the HS folks to print out the copy of the file my SW worked so hard on but... I keep thinking of something that someone said to me after our accident... "God's trains are all on time". While I'm not a particularly religious person (in the dogmatic sense of the word) I would say that I am very spiritual and believe that things... yes... even really bad, sad, hurtful, agonizing, life altering things have a reason to be in our lives. So, if I can somehow accept those things, I can accept that maybe the week of "unrequired" waiting is required in some way that I don't know now. Jerri laughed really uncomfortably last night when I told her that I'm pregnant... she struggled out a "con... grat...ulations?" - you know the kind where the intonation goes wayyyyyy up at the end so it's more of a question than a statement. I laughed and explained the "Paper pregnant" term and suggested that perhaps I am in my first TRY-MESS-ter?
So, onto other life news - I get to meet a little boy and his family on Friday - they have just come home from Russia and I'll get to look life after adoption in the eyes and know it will be mine too sometime soon(ish) lol. If things work out right, my little guy and Jakob might be friends! But first - for tonight, I better finish cleaning the basement rug. I think God is getting even for me asking for a son who arrives potty trained. Lyric has developed a case of explosive diarrhea, managed to Houdini out of her kennel today, "decorated" the rugs in the basement and for reasons I'll never know chewed her mark into a doorway drywall... that should make her tummy feel better. Thank God for muzzles, little green carpet cleaners and red wine... just kidding... about the wine... in case there are any adoption agency moles on here... I meant warm milk.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Oiyvey... say what you mean!

OK - so I'm pissy (and I'm not saying that because I just finished rug doctoring my carpets after old dog christened them at 5am this morning and Lord knows I couldn't sleep with that in my rug - I digress) ... I went to the mail box every day this week to check to see if I'm pregnant... you know the peeing on the stick 4 days before your period kind of go to the mail box even before my home study should have arrived sort of preggers. Well, I talked to the coordinator a week ago Thursday about some "minor additions" she had to add in and that she would be sending it out on MONDAY... I was patient until Friday and gave the agency a call... turns out that she was 'so busy' that she hadn't completed it yet and it would be sent out NEXT week after the long weekend. Not that I imagine that sitting down and reading a third person account of who I am and what I'm about would bring down the house, but I wanted it here none the less. What I think really happened? I originally had submitted documents to the AB government for approval for Kazakhstan and then changed my papers to Russia after being rebuffed by CAFAC (agency) because I was single. I was told it wouldn't matter at all that the AB government doc cited Kaz but just to be sure I sent an email on Wednesday to have the form amended. I sent the reply as requested to the agency Thursday... at which point I think the coordinator went Oh crap...I knew there was something I was supposed to do. I say this because I got about 3 phone calls from her on Friday afternoon for stupid things that didn't matter at all... and she wasn't even working. Smells like a guilty conscience to me... So, looks like I'll have some light reading to do on Tuesday (they said they'd call and have me pick it up once the formatting was done). Good thing I don't have to wait a whole month for this preggers thing like normal couples... sometimes it's good not to be normal :-)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

And it begins...

From the beginning, I thought about adoption... about how giving a child who might never know a home or things of his own or opportunity in his life a place to grow up and be loved. I always considered international adoption because in my heart I want to go where I might do the most good... that lead me to research where I COULD adopt from. Who would entrust their orphaned children to a single mom? The list got considerably smaller... and smaller still when I wanted to choose somewhere that was consistent and established. So I chose Russia. Russia is a country of grand history and culture but also a country where over 200,000 children are in orphanages. LIttle girls are adopted more than little boys and the older they get... the less chance they have of ever knowing a life outside of the orphnage walls. I'm cheering for the underdog... a little toddler boy who might become my son.

I've taken the international adoption (IA) course twice... This time it's for real. In March 2008 I attended the course at Adoption Options here in Calgary and signed on to begin my home study a short time later. The home study was an interesting process that I felt blessed to have been partnered with my social worker. Talking to Chantelle was more like talking to a friend about the important things in life than being interrogated to see if I might be a good enough mom. A few more questions were clarified just 2 days ago and I hope to have a copy of it to read next week. From there, I wait for Provincial approval and then it's on to stage two... collecting dossier documents for my agency in B.C. "Choices". What I know for now is this: I was given a "favorable" review in my homestudy and have requested a 2 1/2 - 4 year old healthy boy... For now, I research regions in Russia, read books on IA and the challenges of adopting a toddler and I wait... I understand that I'll need to get good at that :-)

"Two wrongs might just make this right"

Welcome to my blog... I'm new to this so please bear with me as I create a place to record the adventure I'm on to adopting a son from Russia. This will be a place for me, for you and most importantly for him to come back to and see how this journey came to be. So, let's get started - how did this dream come to be?



Once upon a time, long long ago, I married the most amazing person I have ever known... I married my best friend. Some might say that "Love at first sight" is for dreamers or fools... well, I guess we were both. Scott was an amazing man full of life, light, passion, and humor - he was everything I ever dreamt of in a husband. We shared so many adventures in our time together but the best part was how he could make me laugh until my stomach hurt or smile by just walking into a room. He made me want to be a better person and together we wanted to raise a family. We knew we would be good parents and we knew that the adventures we shared as a couple would be made even better by sharing them with children... that was not to be. On April 30th, 1999, Scott died beside me in a roll over car accident. The years following that were the hardest I might ever have to endure. Through the tears, grief, pain, and sorrow I've learned that life and the dream of love and a family does go on... albeit in a different way. So here I am... 9 years later contemplating my family in a way so different than before but in my heart feels so right.

You see, I lost my family, my security, my love, my protection and my future when I lost Scott... and it took a long, long time to be able to picture my days without him... without my dreams. And I'm an adult. Somewhere, in an orphanage far away, there are children who, in ways that likely feel very much the same, lost their family, security, love, protection and future... perhaps this is one of the few exceptions to the rule where "Two wrongs might just make a right".