Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Breast Feeding Doll... creepy or natural?

The latest controversy is a doll that was release in Spain in 2009, but now hitting American toy stores this spring. It is a doll that mimics breast feeding with a sucking motion and sound when the mouth is placed against a special bib worn by the child. The baby also cries and burps.

I want to preface this post by saying that I grew up in a family where circumcision is a norm, and breastfeeding past 8 months is not (etc.). These were known to me as "right" and "wrong". Why? Because that's what my Mom believed. Why? Because that's what her Mom believed. And so on. So many of us have been brainwashed with certain societal beliefs... but when we stop to think, there is not a lot of logic in these beliefs. "Because it's gross", "Because that's the way it is"... "Because".

When I became pregnant and introduced into the world of parenthood, I found myself questioning my thinking and the thinking of my parents and the parents before them. Why did they circumcise? Why is it considered "gross" to breastfeed a 14 month old infant? I found that I had to completely erase any previous notions or thoughts and come to all decisions with a clear head. I wanted my decision to be made from logical thinking, not brainwashed preconceived notions. I still have to "check" myself and back up every once in awhile. I think as a society we are terribly guilty of forming opinions and beliefs not based on any logic, because society says.

Back to the doll. We have dolls that eat, drink a bottle, pee, poop, burp, cry and dolls that are anatomically correct. Why? Because children love their dolls to be realistic. It makes the mimicry of "house" more real and engaging for them. My children are 17 months apart. I breastfed both of my children. When my son was born, my daughter breastfed all of her dolls for 2 years! She would lift up her shirt, put the baby to her chest and watch TV. Just like Mommy. Why would she give her baby a bottle? That wasn't how a baby was fed in our house. It was only natural for her to feed her baby the natural way that Mommy did!

So now we have a doll that makes this act of mimicry even more real. Just like the babies that drink from a bottle... these babies make a sucking motion and sound. So what is wrong is that?

Critics say that this will cause teen pregnancies. Really!? Please! Where is the logic there?

One comment taken from the internet is "...I don't want my daughter to go around pretending a doll is sucking on her boob." This is what is wrong - society has sexualized breasts. Last time I looked "boobs" ahem... breasts were put here to nourish our babies. They are nature's bottles. Breast is best, and I think it's actually good to advocate and encourage our daughters to perceive breastfeeding as natural and positive.

The fact is, many little girls are going to be "breastfeeding" their dollies anyway. I don't think there is anything wrong with a doll that makes it sound like the real deal - perhaps if society thinks about it, they may think it may be a better alternative than a child lifting her shirt and baring it all to breastfeed - as all these girls naturally do!

I know there is going to be a wide variety of thoughts on this. I'd love to know your thoughts... and why you feel that way. Natural or creepy? Let me know...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The cutest thing. Ever!

 If you haven't already seen this on Facebook (or the news), check it out! It is absolutely adorable!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One step forward... the right direction! My agency has agreed to allow us to take the AFABC plus self study class, with the stipulation that we receive some one on one time with a social worker to go over the AEP. Yay! That sure saves a round of headaches and many km's travelling!

I have rec'd the documentation list for the US dossier. Piece of cake! I'm not quite sure why this step is known to be so gruelling and time consuming. I need to get one more reference and a letter stating that our dogs vaccinations are up to date. That. Is. It. Everything else has been done, or I already have! Yippee!

Now, on to digging for buried treasure so we can afford to pay for it all...;)

Friday, March 25, 2011

No "Poo" Shampoo - Green Series

Finally, I have time to start the Green Series that I've been saying I would get to weeks ago.
Yesterday the kids and I made a couple batches of shampoo and some toothpaste. We will start with the Shampoo.

Why would you want to make your own shampoo?

Better for my hair - I don't know about you, but my hair gets disgusting after using one type of shampoo for too long. I always buy those bottles (of the good stuff) from the salon, and by the end of the bottle my hair is always greasy and weighed down. I don't use conditioner because this problem has gotten so bad. It typically clears up once I switch brands or types, but then the problem starts all over after a couple months.

All shampoos strip the sebum from your hair. Sebum is natural oils that are good for your hair and protects the hair shaft. Because a shampoo strips the sebum, ingredients are added to replace them. Silicones like dimethicone are added to coat the shaft of your hair. When your sebum is stripped, it tells your hair to make more - thereby creating more grease than necessary... while the silicones slowly build up on your hair, weighing it down.

Because it's healthier! Have a look at the ingredients in your shampoo. All those words that you can't pronounce are chemicals, and some are toxic. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so when you apply shampoo to your scalp, your pores just soak all those nasty chemicals in to your body. Here are some chemicals to avoid:

Common Ingredients

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
Ammonium Xylene Sulfonate
TEA Lauryl Sulfate
Sulfur (in dandruff shampoos)
Selenium Sulfide (in dandruff shampoos)

Less common ingredients
Magnesium Sulfate
Sodium Thiosulfate
Sodium C14-16
Olefin Sulfonate
Alkyl Sodium Sulfate
Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate
Sodium C12-15 Alkyl Sulfate
Sodium Dodecyl Sulfonate

Some of these ingredients not only cause allergic reactions, cancer, nerve damage, hairloss etc. (the list goes on...), but they are also very bad for marine life and the environment. Which brings me to the next reason:

It is better for the environment! The chemicals that go down your drain do end up in the rivers, lakes and oceans. By making your own shampoo, you are using less plastic and just less consumption all around...

What can you expect from using no "poo" shampoo?

Your hair is going to go through a detox period for a couple weeks. It may get greasier as it adjusts back to "normal". After this breaking in period, you can expect that your hair will become:
  • shinier
  • have more body
  • less frizzy
  • less greasy!
And your pocket book will be heavier!

Ready to learn how?? It is so easy... you won't believe it!

First, get your ingredients.

Baking Soda
Apple Cider Vinegar
Essential Oils/cinnamon stick (optional)
Empty shampoo bottle

Mix one cup of hot water to 1 tbsp of baking soda.
That is it for the shampoo! Of course, if you like, you can add an essential oil or a cinnamon stick to give it a nice smell. I used cinnamon the first time, and this last time I added a bit of lemon juice and citrus oil to help combat with the grease... and it smells fresh!

For your conditioner, you are going to mix 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water. I also add a couple drops of essential oil, just for a nice smell. You don't need to though. Don't worry, you won't smell like vinegar.

To use it, you shake the shampoo and add it to your dry hair (I've done it on wet hair, and it worked fine too). Squirt it all around your scalp and rub it in. This is not going to feel right at all! No suds, no lather... but trust me, it's working! After a good scalp massage, rinse it out with water. Your hair will feel amazingly squeaky clean! You will be surprised!

To condition - rinse just the ends of your hair with your vinegar solution -if you are prone to greasy hair. If you have dry hair, go ahead and rinse your whole head. Rinse with water and your done!

I was so happy with the results the very first time! I took this picture right after my hair dried. It was the first time in a long time that my hair was light and shiny.

I just love this discovery! Not only is it working so much better for my hair, but I am saving a lot of money not buying those expensive organic shampoos in addition to keeping my family healthy! I really encourage you to try it! Let me know how it works out for you!

*EDIT - May/2011 - I have recently died my hair darker and have discovered that the baking soda will strip the color! (Yes, my roots were getting lighter! - lol) So, I have had to switch back to an organic poo until I go au natural again.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday update

Things are progressing ... little by little... slowly. I presented my director with the course that I found. It is put on the AFABC and is called AEP Self Study Plus. It is a new program, started on the 1st of this month. The next session is full, but there is room in the April session. My director is reviewing this with the executive director. I presented this to her on Tuesday - I am hoping she gets back to me by today the end of this week. The other option I presented is what the Adoption Centre does for their interior clients - they hire a local social worker to do the course with the client. I must say it is nice of these agencies to have some consideration for the clients who do live in the interior and make an effort to accomodate them. I hope my agency will do the same.

On the other side of the coin, one of the US agencies I have been speaking with has said that they could start presenting my profile to parents who are due after my expected home study completion. This is awesome! But... I am treading lightly. Knowing by now - not to get my hopes up. I have to make sure this is the right agency! They only placed 3 in Canada last year and they have yet to get back to me with my other questions. She did say that they only have 7 families who are willing to accept an African American baby. But I need confirmation on this as well as a few other things. The other hurdle is the next set of fees $11k! to be presented. I am currently working on my dossier while we figure out what pocket we are going to be pulling that out of!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Things I love! (with a side of adoption blahs)

I seem to be having an adoption "blah" day about once a week. Granted, it is because every day seems like a week, and every week a month, because I relentlessly try to push this another step forward every day. I speak with agencies, research, and browse. I can be a very patient person - heck, I waited and sat around for Ethiopia for a year, but only because I knew there was absolutely nothing to speed up the process or to change anything.

In January this year, I had decided that I had enough - and I needed to make this adoption happen. I have rec'd some sage advice telling me not to push it, just let it happen. I understand that logic, but I also wonder if the results would be similar to not being pro active about your own health care. It would be like committing adoption suicide... I know that I am the only one who can make this happen. The agencies are happy to take your money and the rest is left up to you sort out. I feel like I need to do everything in my power I can to keep the wheels in motion. Almost everything in adoption is going against you, there are so many obstacles and issues, changes and failures. If you don't keep pushing forward, you will be pushed back and out that proverbial door.

I am so looking forward to the day when there is nothing more I can possibly do but wait.... leave it on the lap of fate and faith. Until then, I know these up and down days are my reality. So, in an effort to try to keep positive, I am going to post about things I love on my down days.

I will start with how I started my day this am. A smoothie. I love my breakfast smoothie!

I start with frozen blueberries, followed by plain yogurt, ground flax seeds, lemon flavoured krill omega oil, a scoop of Dr Mercola's strawberry Pro Optimal Whey, (which I LOVE), then half a banana and some almond milk. I will also sometimes add a raw egg, or coconut.

I whip it up in my magic bullet... and then enjoy. Pure goodness!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Meeting your child for the first time - love at first sight?

I had different experiences with both of my children and can't help but wonder what it will be like to meet the third. In fact, I stayed awake late into the night last night thinking about it. (And still was unable to catch the moon - with the overcast - grrr.)

With my daughter, I had a very hard and long labour (with no drugs or epidural). When she finally graced us with her presence, I honestly did not have much left in me to have the capacity to fall in love with her at that moment. Don't get me wrong... I loved her and thought she was the most beautiful thing, but more than anything - I was just glad she was out!

The next day, I remember feeling this amazing feeling of how nothing else in the world mattered, life was about her. I recall Dan saying that he felt the very same way, even before I had a chance to tell him what I felt. However, it wasn't until she was about 2 weeks old (and I was well on my way to recovery) that I recall the moment when it all clicked and we had bonded so tightly that I would give my life to protect hers. It was a moment when I had realized how much she loved and needed me. I was always in love with her but it took 2 weeks to get that full on fiercely lovin Mother bonded feeling. (That only another Mother would understand). Part of me thinks because of the birthing trauma, I was unable to get there any faster. I was in a great deal of pain, nursing was extremely painful and I was so sleep deprived from labouring 2 nights in a row. And, another part of me thinks that being a first time Mother, this feeling had to work itself out - it isn't an instantaneous thing.

Muffin - Hours old, but looks like she is a month old!

Muffin at 4 weeks old and able to hold her head up!

Then my son was born. Instantly, I loved and was bonded to that little man. I did choose an epidural, the labour was relatively easy compared to my first and given the fact that it was my second rodeo, those mothering feelings were already there. It didn't take time for me to figure them out. Not to say it was completely easy going - I did get a terrible flu the day I delivered and my son was instantly taken to the special care unit for a fever. They were concerned he may have had an infection, and he was jaundice. He was a big boy at 9lbs 8oz and his blood type was battling mine a little bit (no RH negative conflicts or anything)... so given that he was already predisposed to jaundice, that was all it took to tip him over. I remember seeing him for the first time after they had taken him. He totally did not look like my child, or the way I thought he should! I actually asked if they were sure that was the right baby! (I totally checked the arm band too!) He had a full head of black hair, had black eyes, dark skin and they had shaved his head for the IV - so he had a mohawk. He looked Native! In fact the nurse asked me if the father was caucasian! lol. However he looked and despite the fact he was so un-photogenic compared to his sister (who looked like the Gerber baby the moment she was born!)... I loved him fiercely from the moment he was born. It was instantaneous. He could have been born with a third eyeball and it wouldn't have mattered - he was mine and he was nothing short of perfect.

Doesn't he look like a Native cabbage patch doll? Look at him looking at me... Aww.

Mister at 4 weeks old... healthy chunkiness. So cute!

Now I wonder how this will compare to an adopted baby. It very well could be under strange circumstances. For example, if we are at the birth... they baby will not be ours until the papers are signed days later. I dare say that our hearts will be guarded some and we will not allow ourselves to love that infant so fiercely at first sight for fear of the birth Mother changing her mind. Also, I can't help but wonder if you would feel like that baby belonged to her, not you. It would be a very emotional time... filled with many fixed feelings. However, what if we meet the infant after the papers are signed? Will it be love at first sight... or will it take a little while to settle in? I think in the second situation, it would be love at first sight... The moment you lay eyes on that infant, it will not only be yours, but you would have so much love and concern for that child for the simple fact that it is alone and really needs you.

It's strange and so foreign to me. I don't know, I really don't. I can only speculate. This is one topic that I really haven't had a chance to read about anywhere. I have read of the feelings of a first time adopted parent - many of them. But I have not read of an experience of an adoptive Mother who has bio children first and can articulate how the two experiences compare or differ.

I did read somewhere that professionals say there is a greater risk of failed adoptions (from the adoptive parent side) if you adopt first and then have bio children second. Does this mean that you can't love an adopted child as much when you have a bio child second? Where is the logic? Personally, I think that is insane. How you can give a dog away is beyond me, let alone your very own child. (And - yes, it is your own after adoption!)

If anyone knows of any blogs or articles about this - please let me know. Not that I am at all worried, just curious. I know one way or another - I will love that child as fiercely as I do my bio children - whether it is instantaneous as it was with my son or develops over a couple of weeks as it did with my daughter.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Foto Friday

A blast from Nursery past. This was Muffin's nursery... 8 years ago. I had so much fun decorating it and making the crib set. I love the African jungle theme!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The guilt of adoption as a first choice...

Considering adoption from the US, has invoked a new wave of feelings. In the US process, a family needs to create a family profile, or dear Birth Mom letter - which is essentially a marketing tool to show a birth mom what kind of life you would provide her unborn child. Families spend thousands of dollars to have their profiles professionally done, websites created, advertising spots on adoption websites, and even 1 800 numbers! It is a tight market!

As a mother who has been fortunate enough to have the option of adoption, and has not had to to struggle through the painful world of infertility - I feel like the fat kid in the candy store. It's a world that I sometimes feel like I don't belong in, with a prize that I am not deserving of. Everyone automatically assumes that even despite our bio children, we have fertility issues. Most of the time, I won't interrupt to correct them because I am well aware that they likely struggle or have struggled with those issues. When I do correct them, or mention it, I feel like I'm rubbing it in their face or that they will perceive me as someone who is not deserving of adoption.

Most profiles go on to describe a couple's challenges with fertility and medical issues... painting a highly deserving situation. You can't help but feel for them. Heck, some of them make me feel like handing over a child! lol. Then there is our profile. I skip right on past that topic, not even mentioning our motivation for adoption... pretending like the question will never be posed, and hoping it never will.

I was advised by a US agency to market our profile on the internet at various sites. I just can't bring myself to do that. I feel like I haven't earned my stripes to be up there next to everyone else - trying to sell myself to a potential birth mom. What would I say? White family seeks black child, or biracial - for reasons of we don't want to add to the burden of the worlds population, and because we feel this is the right thing to do to expand our family...?

What if a Caucasian birth mom chose us? I would feel terrible because there are so many couples without children who have been waiting years for a healthy Caucasian baby that would look like them. Color does not matter to me, I am open to a child of color... and would rather go that direction for the simple fact that there are not many adopted parents who will.

While trying to make sense of my new found sense of "guilt"... I googled. I went looking to see if I was the only one in the world without medical reasons etc. trying to adopt.

Then I found this article... which could not have explained any more to the point of exactly what I feel!
I have to quote one of the comments that a reader left behind.
"Adoption is not primarily for infertile couples any more than water is primarily for recovering alcoholics."
I love it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Helping Japan's youngest victims

As we all know Japan is in a state of emergency... with an escalating death toll. Here are the facts:

Japan Disaster Facts

  • An estimated 100,000 children have been displaced from their homes
  • Japan facing three disasters: earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation
  • Japan is on high nuclear alert for two nuclear reactors in Fukushima
  • Many tsunami-affected areas are still cut off from relief
  • More than 465 roads, 43 bridges and seven railways washed away
  • More than 380,000 people evacuated across the country

If you would like to help, I encourage you to go here to donate now to the Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund to support Save the Children's relief efforts and responses to children's ongoing and urgent needs. And please add a prayer - these children are going to need it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Meet Rosie and Og

We have been going to a parent and child art class every Sunday as a family for the last 4 weeks. This is one of the creations we made. Paper mache puppets. This is a really great project to do as a family - easy and fun!
Unfortunately, I did not take photos during the making process, but it is easy enough that I can give you the basic instructions.

Required materials
toilet paper roll
fabric or an old t-shirt or handkerchief etc.
hot glue gun

1. Blow the balloon up the size of a large grapefruit or small cantaloupe. The temptation is to make it bigger - but bigger is not better in this case. Remember it is a the foundation for a head the will be held up by your child's little fingers.
2. Cut a toilet paper roll in half and tape it to the balloon. This will form the neck of your puppet and the place for fingers to be inserted to control the head.
3. Form the structure of the head with balled up or rolled paper taped to the balloon. For a face you will want to add nose, cheek bones, chin, eyebrow bone etc. For an animal, you can add a rolled up paper (like a tepee) to the nose area for a snout. Be creative... and remember you are not looking for perfection, but character.
4. Cut or rip a large amount of strips of newspaper.
5. Make the paste by mixing one part flour to two parts water. Mix well to get rid of any lumps. the consistency should be like runny thick glue (if that makes any sense?).
6. Dip a paper strip in the paste and run it between two fingers to remove the excess. You don't want it to be dripping. Apply a layer of wet paper strips all over the head and running down to and on to the paper roll.
7. Once you have a nice layer applied, let it dry for a day.
(You may skip the above step, but it will make no promises on the strength or long it will take to dry.)
8. Apply a finishing layer of strips to the face once the first layer is dry.
9. Once dry, paint the face (you can speed dry with blow dryer).
10. Add the hair with a hot glue gun.
11. If you sew - you can make a simple dress, or you can glue gun a dress together.
12. Attach the dress to the head (with the glue gun), leaving some neck exposed, so it is easy to access the arms with your fingers.

Tada! You are finished!

My kids loved this project so much! They were just both so very proud of their creations. At one point Muffin said, "I just can't believe that I made this!"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring, where art thou?

It is spring break, and now we have sprung forward. I am having a very difficult time springing this one! It just doesn't feel right when 2 feet of snow remains in my back yard and we hardly are able to catch a glimpse of the sun! The poor squirrel in our backyard has succumbed to literally damn near begging for food as I am sure his winter supply is depleted. I bought him a bag of peanuts... which he seems very grateful for.

So, I am burying my head in my paperwork and I have acquired a new hobby - sewing! - making really cute baby stuff. I'll post some photos and instructions hopefully this week.

Hopefully spring will make an appearance sooner than later.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Foto Friday

A day at the beach on our holiday at Dreams in the Mayan Riviera in '09

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The evolution of our adoption...

The ever evolving... crazy... adoption.

It's interesting to look back and see how exactly things have changed. One year ago I was devastated by the photos of the Haiti orphans and felt compelled to try to adopt a Haitian child. Haiti was closed, and in my research I became interested in Ethiopia. Ethiopia was wait listed for a year - so I added my name and then actively tried to pursue US facilitators to help me. Obviously, nothing came out of it - however, I was damn determined. Then I sat, waited and followed the stories of many others in the process. Before too long, I decided to just "look" into other African countries to see what was available. Lesotho and Rwanda were 2 places that I seriously considered, but for various reasons they never worked out either. Then I fell in love with a photolisting of twin girls in DRC. DRC was a new program and they were taking new clients - so we jumped on the wagon and started our home study. Eventually along the way, my excitement has dwindled for this program. For many reasons; travel to the country is unsafe and we would not be able to bring our children, I ponder the longevity of the program and am afraid that it could very close at any time, and if I was still willing to push my way through - our agency is not accepting clients to the program for 5 months +.  So, I slowly dip my toes into the US adoption pool, and little by little, I am warming up to it.

One year ago, an adoptive Mother suggested that I just save myself the trouble and adopt a black baby from the US. I was appalled. Really, I was offended. All I could think was - "Is that what you think this is?... I am looking for an accessory to my wardrobe? My focus is not narrowed to "wanting a black child", I am wanting to adopt an African orphan. Yes, I want another child, and want to add to my family - but I can kill 2 birds with one stone and save an orphan!" I love Africa, and I love the people of Africa... I fell in love with them years ago...  My plight was about helping Africa, having a connection to Africa, travelling to Africa, re-visiting and volunteering. How quickly that was swept away from me.

 MOWA in Ethiopia has just reduced adoption case processing by 90%! This is a huge amount! I hope for all of the families that are involved, that this is corrected quickly! However, whether it does or not - it is a testament to the instability in the program. There have been so many crazy changes over the past few months, that literally make this program a pipe dream at best.

DRC in my opinion and situation is a very unsure program to lay any chips on at this point, and I really don't have the patience to sit and wait and watch the program fall to pieces like I have with Ethiopia.

In a last ditch effort - I called a few Canadian agencies and inquired about any other possible programs or countries... and came up empty handed. There is one new program - St. Vincent island. However, it is very much similar to the US program, but the wait can be 1-2 yrs just to get started!

So... I research a little more on US adoptions. I spoke with a few US agencies. I uncover the fact that while the wait list for Caucasian babies are years and most agencies are not even accepting new families, there are very few families who want to adopt black babies. Some birth moms don't even have a choice - only given the profiles of 1-4 families to chose from! This is ludicrous!
Then... I saw this video.

... and it all came together. I feel the need. I understand where that adoptive Mom was coming from a year ago when she suggested I look to the US. She understood something I didn't yet grasp!

I want to save a life, yes! I want to save a child from famine and poverty! I want to save a little girl from a terrible future. But. I. Can't. The doors are locked and I can't enter. I now realize that with the demand and interest in Africa, I am not changing anything from stepping out of line. The person behind me will take my place. A child will not be left to starve because I chose not to wait this out for years. The demand is certainly outweighing the amount of children available for adoption in Africa - especially in the case of Ethiopia. Now, if I lived in the US and had more options and resources, I would be in a program already. But I don't. I can accept that I have no future with Africa, and am starting to realize that my future is in the US. It may not mean saving a child from an illness and famine, but it will mean giving a child a safe, secure loving family and a bright future. A couple months ago, we were not interested in adopting an infant. We didn't want to diaper all over again. But now we are starting to look forward to it, and can see the advantage of doing so!

I will make one last program inquiry prior to signing on to the US, but inevitably - it is 98% likely that we will be going with the US. At the end of the day, the priority has always been to add another life to our family, and so really it doesn't matter how they get here or where they come from - we will love them the same!

I know that everything will work out in the end. I can't help but laugh at all that I have done and gone through this last year. The rejoicing and mourning of every program... I realize that it all needed to happen the way it did, otherwise I would not have gotten to where I am today - and an US adoption would not have even crossed my mind. It started with Haiti, and will end with the US - and for a Mother who is fertile and capable of bearing a bio child. I know some people still think we are crazy... and I still get the "Why don't you just have one of your own..." And we could, but I don't feel that is the way that our family is meant to come together. We have been led down this path for a reason... , and I certainly feel that what is meant to be is happening. Somewhere, there is an unborn child that is meant to be a part of our lives. (And yes, we would be happy to have twins!)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In my tub...

I decided to have a shower last night before bed... incidentally, the kids had just had a bath hours prior. I pulled back the shower curtain and was a bit surprised by the "stuff" lying in the bottom of the tub. Where would I stand!? So I shoved it all aside and took inventory...

1 blue whale
1 wooden elastic propelled boat
1 killer whale
1 blow fish
1 sea turtle
1 baby sea turtle
1 frisbee
2 wet socks
1 alien
1 half of rocket ship
1 red london transport double decker bus
1 little green bucket
1 yogurt container
1 pink princess cup
1 lobster
2 seashells
and 1 barbie high heeled shoe.

And the funny thing is... it makes me smile. There won't be too many more years before I am just left with the ring around the tub!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Girl Effect - video finalist #3

Last but not least... Lucky Girls. This documentary reminds me of a new book I am reading, Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. A story of Indian female orphan and her adoption by an American woman and her Indian husband. It is a story of the complexeties of raising a child through international adoption. It is so far, very good.

Lucky Girls from Lucky Girls on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mommy Love

My son has been going through the "germ" phase, he won't share anything with anybody and won't get close if he thinks a kiss may be detonated his way. If I ask for a taste of his yogurt or pudding, he'll go get a fresh spoon for me, so his doesn't get contaminated. If I land a kiss on his cheek... he's quick to wipe it off. lol. ... and you should the mayham that occurs if his sister pelts him with a kiss! lol.

I have such a good time teasing him about this... scooping his 56lb self up and smothering him kisses. He hates it! But... it's all in fun.

Last night, I was sitting down watching a movie and doing a puzzle, and he came in, plopped himself on my lap, grabbed my head with his hands and gave me the hugest, WETtest kiss ever! Shocked - I said playfully - "Oh- oh, C....., now you have Mommy germs!!" and he replied "No. Now I have Mommy Love!"

Awww... melt my heart that child does!!

Here's a picture of the little Kermujun as an infant. I wish I could turn back time and have a few minutes to just hug and squeeze his baby self. So cute.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Girl Effect

Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE Girl Effect. Not that I don't cheer for the boys, but the Girl Effect message is very profound. Check this out if you haven't already.

Isn't it a great video!?

Yesterday, Girl Effect announced their 3 video finalists for a video challenge they have launched. The videos are rated on Facebook which you can find here. This is the first video announced.

15 years old! It is so inspiring! You can find Shannon's website here. I'm looking forward to the next 2 videos! I'll be sure to post them, when they become available. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Selling it all!

There are so many uncertainties with adoption. I struggle with this a bit, as I am very driven and determined. I prefer to control the situation. I have never felt so hands tied down... helpless, as I do in this journey. With anything else... I can forge my own path and make it happen.

 However, there is one thing that is for certain, and that is - this adoption is going to cost a lot of money! I was making some serious inquiries to the cost of the different programs. Not taking into account the fees spent on the home study; DRC will cost approx. $24k with travel, US adoption will cost a minimum whopping (are you ready for this?!) $40k without travel and hotel! I suspect that Ethiopia and other African programs will be in the DRC ballpark of $24k. $10k of this we will need soon to send our dossier out. (For those who don't know, a "dossier" is a set of appropriately authenticated and translated legal documents which are sent to the country you wish to adopt from. Home study report, medical reports, financial reports etc.)

So... not wanting to sell property, or mutual funds... we need to think outside of the box. We could try to fundraise, sell shirts, baking etc... however - we just don't have a large enough community etc. to ever make that work. So, we have decided we need to start selling stuff. I have a piece of jewellery that I think may be have a fair chunk of value in it - so I am going to work on getting an appraisal and figuring out how best to sell it. We have also decided to sell half our boat that we are in a partnership in on. Those are the larger valued belongings we have.. however, it's all up for grabs. If we have something you want... let me know! Children and mutts not included!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Orphan Lullaby

I had been hoping to post "how to" make green shampoo, toothpaste etc. this week, but alas... tax season is upon me and I am buried in books.

We had our last home study yesterday... it all went great and much faster than anticipated. I have been very diligent with my research and reading... and she just so happened to be on vacation and therefore had extra time to fit us in over the last 2 weeks. She is hoping to get the report started this weekend... and then she will meet with us one more time. We see the light at the end of the home study... The home study that I have done everything in my power to expedite - and now I can't help but wonder. "What now?" Nothing is available or open to us right now. The only place we can submit a dossier is Japan and the US. I have a 6 month wait for DRC, and Ethiopia is so up in air... I am wondering if it will ever come back down. I am seriously starting to consider sending an application to the US while we sit and wait for Africa. Anyway... I will leave you with an "Orphan Lullaby".