Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lights out - Earth Hour

Lights out - 8:30 pm for one hour.
It will be good practise for Kenya - where power outages are very common.


I normally don't like to post these stories as it induces mass hysteria in my family. However... this is for my Kenya Adoption friends...

A big :(

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) -- A pair of grenade attacks rocked southeastern Kenyan Saturday night, killing one person and injuring at least 15 others, according to the Red Cross and a Kenyan intelligence official.

Two of 15 people hurt were in critical condition at a local hospital, said the official, who asked not to be named.

The Kenya Red Cross, on its official Twitter feed, similarly reported a single fatality as a result of a grenade attack in the coastal town of Mtwapa, which is about 15 kilometers (9 miles) northeast of the city of Mombasa.

A different, "twin grenade attack" occurred around the same time -- about 7:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. ET) -- at Tononoka Stadium in Mombasa itself, according to the Red Cross.
The non-profit organization originally reported that at least one person was injured in that attack, in addition to 16 hurt in Mtwapa.

But a short time later, the Red Cross tweeted that 24 people had been admitted to Coast General Hospital in Mombassa, two of them in intensive care.

The attacks occurred in the communities along the Arabian Sea, about 480 kilometers southeast of Nairobi, the intelligence official said.

It was not immediately clear if anyone had claimed responsibility.
The East African nation has been on edge since it sent its troops into Somalia to pursue Al-Shabaab militants after the abductions of tourists and aid workers in Kenya. It blames the abductions on Al-Shabaab, which has denied involvement.
Al-Shabaab, which the United States considers a terror group, has threatened to attack Kenya if it does not withdraw its forces from Somalia.
In January, Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement that "we believe that terrorists may be in the final stages of planning attacks" in Kenya.
U.S. Embassy officials in Kenya issued their own terror alerts last October and November, saying they had credible information of an imminent terror attack.

Al Jazeera newstory

Friday, March 30, 2012

A note to the adoptive family's loved ones...(part 1)

There is something weighing heavily on my mind. In fact, it has been weighing on my mind throughout this entire adoption. I know. I've spoken about it before. For every one of those posts that have touched upon it, I assure you there are 10 more that are drafted out on blogger or in my mind.

I read a post last night on a wonderful blogging friend's site. Candice, who is adopting from Russia. As I read her post, I felt like I had written it! And I think I did... almost word for word! I looked for the post today in my draft file and it seems it has disappeared. I likely deleted it upon the realization that I would never be able to 'tone' down the anger and negativity enough to post it.

Since she was able to capture my feeling so eloquently... With her permission, I would like to quote her post.

Three years ago if you had asked me what I thought about the orphan crisis in our world
I would not have had much to say.
Truthfully, I knew nothing about it
and if someone I knew had said to me, "I'm adopting"
I would most likely have said, "that's nice" and thought nothing more about it.
Today however, I have A LOT to say.
(as most of the people who see me on a regular basis can attest to, poor souls.)
Knowledge is a funny thing, isn't it?
The way it will sneak in there and change you.
In just a couple of years, my beliefs and my values have changed so freaking much
that I don't always feel like I am the same person.
I know things now, that I never dreamed could be happening.
And it makes things like paying $5 for a mocha
or worrying about where I buy my clothes seem really REALLY wrong.
It makes the years I spent acting and wanting with every little fiber of my being 
to tread the boards at the Stratford Festival
seem very inconsequential.
That was a hard pill to swallow, let me tell you.
And it has made me think of family, and what constitutes a family, very very differently.

The range of reactions I've received to the knowledge that I am adopting have been varied 
to say the least.
I had a mom at the studio hand me a little pattern book and ask me to pick my favourite one
so that she can stitch it up for LB as her gift to us.
(Come on! How awesome is that?)
And then I hear of a mom at the studio who was "completely offended" that I would try and sell 
my fundraiser tshirts at the studio.
Offended?  Wow.  The seems really harsh.
There are plenty of offensive things in the world, 
but raising money to bring an orphan into a family is not something I would necessarily call offensive.
Maybe its just me.
I have received donations from people I barely know
and then had a co worker at the lodge say to me, 
"I don't understand why you'd be fundraising.  Shouldn't they make sure you have enough money 
to adopt before you start the process?"
(that was a fun one to respond to.  Sheesh)
I had an 8 yr old student hand me a wrinkled little envelope with $2.86 in it to 
"help bring home my baby"
(Melt my heart)
and I have family that have never even bothered to ask how the process is going.

And I get it, or rather, I am trying to get it.
I understand that my priorities may not be your priorities
and that what I see as a ridiculous expense, you see as a necessity.
And vice versa.
I question your desire to own an expensive car 
and you question my desire to spend thousands of dollars to bring a child over from Russia 
when I could 'just make one myself'.

Where am I going with all of this mumbo jumbo?
Not really sure.
Truthfully, I don't think I even have a point.
(Isn't that gloriously anti-climactic?)

I believe she does in fact have a point. Perhaps several of them. Let me elaborate on one.
People who are adopting have experienced an 'awakening'. The plight of the orphan has been placed into our hearts. When you have this knowledge, you can no longer turn a blind eye to the suffering of millions of children around the world. We become dedicated and passionately driven to change the situation, even if for just one child. I cannot explain enough how this consumes our every waken moment. 

Please humor me for a moment while I try to explain to you how this feels. 

I recall the 'aha' moment when I first opened my eyes to the orphan crisis. It was when I acknowledged that these children... the ones orphaned, abandoned, struggling to stay alive, could very easily have been my own children. We are lucky to be born in the Western world, but the tables very easily could have been turned. These are children. Children, just as precious as yours or mine. 

I cannot fathom the thought that my 9 year old would ever feel hunger so deeply that she sells her young, innocent 9 yr old body for a piece of stale bread. 

It makes me sick to think of my son going to bed not just hungry, but scared and alone with no one to tuck him in at night and assure him that everything will be okay. 

Just step into our world for a moment.

 Imagine what it would feel like for me to take your child away for a couple years. Place them on the streets to beg for food. Place them in abusive homes. Place them in orphanages where it's survival of the fittest, and you can call yourself lucky if you get one meal a day. Strip them of any sense of security they have ever had. No family. No home. No education. No hope for the future. 

What would you do to bring them back to 3 square meals a day, adequate health care, a safe, loving family and a future? 

How personally and emotionally charged would your journey become to get them home? 

Would it offend you if I came to your house for coffee and didn't ask you how your journey was going? 

Would it offend you if I didn't ask if there is any way I can help you bring your child home? 

Would it offend you if I declined your plea for help, or declined the opportunity to support your fundraising endeavours? 

Would it offend you if I not only openly failed to acknowledge the fact that you are simply trying to give your child a home, but treated it as if it were absolutely unnecessary and indulgent? 

Would it offend you if I asked why you would want to do this? 

Would it offend you if I asked you why you don't look for a different child in a different country... perhaps China?

Would it offend you if I told you that you shouldn't bother bringing your child home if you have to fundraise to do it - because obviously you cannot afford it? 

Imagine how your view of me would be?


Now. I daresay that you think I'm being melodramatic, and this clearly is not the situation. Of course you would assist me if my child were to get kidnapped and be forced to live in such horrible conditions. Right? 

please.... Listen to me. 

This is my child. 
And this child is living in horrible conditions. 

This is how I feel. 
You don't have to understand it. 
If you care at all, you will take my word for it.  
This IS how I feel, and this is my journey to MY child. 

If you don't acknowledge it or support it - I will be deeply offended. I will never forget, not only the harsh words you said, but also the words you didn't say. These words and actions cut deeply. They are painful and they are ever lasting. Unfortunately, I already have too long a list of them carved out in my memory.  I fear they will never leave me.

I will try to forgive you and give you the benefit of the doubt. I will try to understand that you didn't realize the magnitude of your actions or lack of.  But here I am now... laying it all out in the open. Putting it out there in hopes that it will clear up any misunderstanding  you or I may have ever had... and in hopes that it will eliminate any in the future. 


I am putting every fiber of my being into 'giving an orphaned child a family'. 
Our family. 
Our child. 
I am not working towards going on some exotic cruise. 
I am not raising money to buy a hot air balloon. 

A child. 

An innocent child who needs a family and a future. 
It's that simple. 

If you would like to know how you can support your loved ones through the adoption process, please stay tuned for part 2, which I promise will be much more upbeat and positive!  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Call Me Hope

What's not to love about this video???

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Read a book - give a book - all for FREE!

Adding to the family requires preparation. Adding an adopted child of color requires even more preparation.

You become sensitive not only to the fact that this child will be joining our family by way of adoption, but also that this child will come from a different culture and race. We look at the toys and the books. Is there a good representation of cultural and racial diversity? What about books with adopted children, interracial families - families that may resemble ours? Do we have dolls that will resemble our child?

It is part of our white privilege to never have to think about these things when having 'white' children. If you have never had to think about it - you certainly have never tried to locate a black doll in small town Canada either! It's almost worse than trying to find the remote in my house!

SO... to get back on track... I was looking online for books targeted for the younger audience that fit the above description. Luckily, there are some amazing books out there - so my list is growing quite large. (Yes, you'll know what to get us for birthdays and Christmas! ;)

BUT... I stumbled on a very cool website that allows you to register for free, and read books online for free! And if that isn't good enough - every single time you read one book, they donate a book to a child in need! FOR FREE! Does it get any better? Not really - so you should head on over to We Give Books and start reading! ;)

*If you too are an adoptive parent looking for reading material to add to your library, you may find the video "The Danger of a Single Story" enlightening!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Confessions from the family bed.

It was never intended. In fact, I recall watching a spouse swap with my husband one evening where this one family were very earthy, basic folks. They had about 4 pieces of furniture maybe.. and they all slept in the same bed. Their son was 7. Dan and I, eyebrows raised, looked and each other and shook our heads. We would never even conceive of doing this.

Fast forward to the birth of our beautiful daughter - with her Father's large head. So large, she had to be vacuum extracted - 3 times! Because of the large bruise and wound on the back of her poor head, she couldn't lie on her back, and struggled to sleep. The lovely nurse told me the importance of skin to skin contact to speed her healing and showed me how to safely tuck her in on my chest, so we could both comfortably get some sleep.

Back at the house, I had a lovely little wicker bassinet set up beside my bed so I was able to conveniently check to make sure she was still breathing peek in on her in the middle of night with one eye. We got her all fed, changed and snug in her little bed. That lasted for all of 10 mins before the crying started. I consoled her, touched her, spoke softly to her... she would fall back asleep, and was up again 10 minutes later. This went on for about an hour, before I laid her down under the crook of my arm, with my head cocked over hers, breathing softly on her little head, and she slept, and slept. She needed my warmth and to feel my breath on her! As it turns out, we both needed the reassurance that we were both still breathing!! This is how it started.

At 7 months, I put the little monkey in her own crib, and the little monkey was caught teetering on the top rail at 8 months! (Yes the mattress was at the lowest level!! She was a climber!) So back to the family bed she came.

At 17 months, her little brother was born. I wasn't foolish enough to even bother wasting my time with a bassinet, I needed sleep. So I had one newborn under one arm and a toddler under the other. By the time Mister was able to roll, we had to move Muffin in her own bed for Mister's safety as a newborn.

I was able to nurse him much longer than Muffin, and there was no real deadlines or necessity to move him out of the bed. I hardly had to wake up to feed - it was so darn tootin easy.

Muffin slept through the night at 6 weeks, and Mister at 2 weeks - I give 80% credit to co sleeping. (20% to the fact that they were both big babies at birth.)

Moving forward, we have tried to move Mister to his bed. About every 6 months, we give it another go... and it always failed for one reason or another. The last time, the cat jumped through his window from the roof and scared the tar out of him.

We went through the phases of him kicking (I referred to it as the kidney massage!), sleeping sideways, upside down, and grinding his teeth (EEK).

He is now 7... and there hardly is a day where he doesn't wake up in our bed!

We are starting to force him to go to sleep in his own bed. We feel this is important for his independence and confidence. However, around midnight... he comes traipsing in with his blanket and pillow and wiggles himself into his spot in the middle of the bed.

I have to admit that I enjoy his cuddles. After 7 years, the bed feels empty without a child!

I'm okay with this arrangement. Why? Because I know this isn't going to be forever. I know one day soon will be the last time. (Sleeping with your parents becomes uncool at some age!!!) And until then... I'm gonna wrap my arms around him and hold him tight!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Croc SALE alert!!

Yes! Zulily now ships to Canada!!

My lil shopping advisor has alerted me to the wonderful news that Crocs will be featured tomorrow. We need some for Kenya... and getting them at more than 50% off appeals to my frugal ways! I believe the last sale they had listed them starting at $9.99. Crocs are a must in Kenya... light weight, water proof and easy to wash off!

Of course if you are in the market for VERY cute clothes for yourself or your kids - that can be accomplished there as well! (and other wonderful great finds!)

If you are new to Zulily - Check it out!!

Sale starts tomorrow at 6am P/T - (UGG!) they go fast though.... so make sure your on time!!
***It appears as they are up to 70% off and going fast - a huge selection, not just the regular clog type!!! Go now!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trayvon - and some great articles.

This is such a sad story. There are a few great articles that I would like to share with you.

How to Talk to Young Boys about Trayvon Martin

Let's hope that something good comes out of all this, and his death will have some meaning. There are too many 'white' people who don't acknowledge that there is white privilege or understand the implications of being 'black'. To quote this article 'When a White Boy Wears a Hoodie':

Yet we live in a world where people deny racial issues still exist. They do not even understand white privilege. They actively cry ‘reverse racism’ as if they are the victim. They even have the nerve to call those who fight for racial equality ‘race baiters,’ ’racers’ and have attempted to spin and twist and re-write history as if THEY have lost out because Americans owned slaves and those slaves were oppressed for generations, after which they were then oppressed under Jim Crow and then under the institutionalized racism that continues to permeate our culture today.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It was worth it all.

Today we were caught off guard with an adoption expense that we were not aware of and did not budget for. Today is a good day to remember that one day, it will be worth it all.

This is a great organization in Kenya, that is doing some great work. Check them out!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

So... what else do I have to do now but just sit and stew while I wait for the verdict that we have been approved?

Worry.... and remember... Remember every damn truth we put in our home study.

Seriously, if you know me well, you know I don't own a secret. No skeletons hiding out in my closet. (Which is a good thing, as there isn't any room!) I own my faults as much as possible, and I'm not afraid to own those of my family as well (to the SW anyway). What you see is what you get... I wear my heart on my sleeve - it's hanging out to dry. So when a social worker asks me a question - leave it to me to answer in brutal honesty, and add 10 other things she probably didn't want to know!

How do you describe yourself, she says to me? How do I answer? Not, "Fun, bright, creative, organized,  dedicated, passionate, honest..." etc. Nah, ... I answer with, "Perfectionist, Controlling and Negative." Yep... I did.... and so on and so forth. That's right folks - and if you are an important member in our lives (aka family), chances are she and Kenya now know all your downfalls and skeletons too!

I was telling the truth... and if you dissect this even a little bit - you will notice I did say 'negative'. That being said, I hope that the mighty adoption chiefs over in Kenya, realize that with my negative inclination - the picture is actually much brighter than I painted it. I am a perfectionist, controlling and negative - but those are my negative qualities! I have other, more appealing qualities. Really, I do.

 AND, the fact remains that I am not the average 'Jo' here... I didn't lie or beat around any bush during our interviews... I was brutally honest. No embellishments, exaggerations, glossy overview... nada! Who else does that!? (If you did - please make me feel better and tell me you did!!)

So now I got my knickers in a knot thinking that my home study is going to look horrendous compared to any other one they have ever seen! What are the chances that even 50% of home study questions are answered in honesty and then filed in the home study reports honestly?

Fact: If my home study report is the brutal honest truth coming from a negatively inclined person - I AM LOOKING PRETTY DARN GOOD!

Okay, so let's hope they don't even read it... ugg.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The gift of giving...

Throughout this journey we have been labelled many things. Outside of the number one label of crazy... we have been called Angels and Saints. I did a blog post awhile back on this called Rich, Crazy or Angelic?

I would like to further elaborate on this.

A month ago, a family friend had ordered one dozen of the bracelets we are selling for our adoption fundraiser and overpaid as a contribution to our expenses. This just stunned me, I cried.... I was amazed, I was thankful and so appreciative in a way that I could hardly express. It just meant so much that she would do this. It was so much more than donation of money - it was an affirmation that she supported us, and was fully behind us. It still makes me emotional that someone would go out of their way like this to help us. We have few people who really support us to this degree... so in more ways than one, this truly was such a huge gift!

Because we will be taking 12 suitcases on our journey, I had posted on Facebook that we were looking for used suitcases. The same family friend contacted me and told me of her plans to buy the kids their very own suitcases... I think I stammered and explained that it really wasn't necessary... I would find some used, free ones in the community. She insisted, and 3 days later these beauties arrived and the kids were so darn excited!

In chatting with her later that night... I struggled to really find the words that possessed the gratitude that I was feeling. A word came to mind... 'Angel', and then I realized how this felt to be on the other side of giving. She said to me... "You know what, this is something I would like to have done. I may not be able to do it now, but at least I can help you do it..." Later on she said that this made her heart glow.... and then I realized that this was doing her just as much good as it was us. Giving is a gift.

"The power of giving comes from a selfless act - where you simply give from your heart. This act of giving is not tied to any special event, holiday or celebration - it is merely a time when you give from the heart because you want to share what you have, show your appreciation and you give because you truly care. There should not be any other motive behind it. You don't give so that you can get something in return. You give because you want to. "

While it may be defined this way, there is also a selfish component. There is no better feeling in the world than giving and helping. It makes us feel good. I think it is God's drug of choice... it is a good 'high'. We aren't on this journey solely to help others, we are on this journey to help others because it nourishes our souls.

This morning I read a blog post about an amazing family who went to a waffle house and had their bill paid for by the sweet waitress that served them. What happened here is this woman took notice of this wonderful family who has done so much good in the world. Check out her blog - and you'll figure it out pretty quickly. This waitress was likely awe inspired. Did she have the means to do what this family did? Perhaps not... but what she could do in that moment, was to give to them, and support them in a small way in their journey. She closed her post with a final sentence saying that she was going to buy one waffle from her for $30 to repay her. I hope she doesn't.

By graciously sucking up our pride, and allowing others the freedom to help and support us... is allowing them to receive the gift of giving... nourishing their souls. To repay her for this meal would essentially be taking that gift away. The only way to 're-pay' this is to pass it on to the next person and allow one of life's most beautiful gifts to ripple across the globe.

*Follow up. I wrote this post prior to the sequel of Waffle house story. The waitress received her gift back in ten-fold - in a completely different way. Head over and read it for a feel good story!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A good news day!

This morning we had a Doctor appointment for Mister. His teacher had requested a hearing test. It turns out he had a big ol wax plug stuck in his ear. She was able to flush it out with water and he says it feels a lot better.

She also read me the results of my MRI - ordered back in September due to my brain fart. The concern was that I may have had a stroke, although they suspected it was an aura migraine. Due to the onset of headaches and a slight loss in vocabulary - I was sure it was going to be a darn tumor or some damn thing... Turns out my brain is perfectly normal! I know what your thinking... who woulda thunk it!? No sign of ever having a stroke. No tumor... nothing. They are associating my headaches, aura migraines and fluctuating minor speech problems with .... stress. Go figure. This pretty much started when our adoption process really started to take off. Of course there are other stresses in my life right now related to our business and how we are going to finance this adoption... but soon it will all be worked out and we can relax and de-stress in Kenya.

Speaking of Kenya... fantastic news on that front as well. KKPI has confirmed delivery of our dossier this morning!! This means that it will be available for April's NAC meet - however, there is no guarantee that it will actually be reviewed in April. I suppose that depends on how big that pile of is that sits in front of them!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


For real this time - the dossier has been picked up by Fedex and is currently on it's way to KENYA. No more pit stops or lay overs. According to my calculations, it should just meet the April 5th deadline to be presented for approval at the NAC meet at the end of April. 

And now enter my inclination to be overly realistic - what are the chances that the paper jam has been cleared and that our dossier will be seen in April? You know what they say - Prepare for the worst and hope for the best!

We have also received official confirmation that 12 months is the youngest a child can be proposed for adoption from Kenya to a foreigner. This means that our child(ren) will likely be between the ages of 12 and 24 months at referral. 

That is the scoop!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Waiting to exhale...

It's the... "Oh!... oh!.... wait for it.... wait for it...."

You know... like watching your child tumble down the stairs.

You take that one deep panicked breath "Huh!"...

Everything is in slow motion.

Your peripheral visions blurs.

Your ears go deaf.

The world around you stops. 

You wait.
 Holding your breath.
 Waiting for it to be over.
The moment you child moves or makes a sound - you exhale in relief. "Phew..."


I used to wonder how families who have been on the wait list for years can suddenly just end it and pull themselves off. I didn't understand why they would abort ship when they were so close. Well I understand it now.

When you are in the process of adopting, it consumes your whole life. You eat it, breathe it, live it, sleep it. It's no wonder we are all basket cases. The smallest bit of news can put us in to sheer, jumping up and down, can't take that smile of my face joy - and even just the lack of any news can be so very depressing. It's mood altering to say the least. Like some crazy, psychotic virus wreaking havoc on your brain!

Your world stops spinning, and you are in that state of holding your breath. Waiting for it to end... just waiting to exhale. It's been 2 years!!! I think I'm turning blue!! Give me some air!

I understand that those families who jump ship are just ready to get on with their lives. Live their lives without that extra weight on their shoulders and the uncertainty of what tomorrow may bring. They want off that emotional roller coaster. They want to breathe. Smell the roses. Smile for the sake of smiling and not having to depend on adoption good news for their happiness.

Ahh.... what do you do? Often times it feels like your throat is constricting, your blood pressure raises and you start grasping for anything. Anything to just breathe a little life back into you.

Yes, I'm a little on the edge. Yes the sun hasn't shone here for weeks. It snowed 8 inches last night and I am a bit sleep deprived with this time change. BUT... truly, what I speak of is the truth. Every day, this is how we live. Some days are just worse than others.

In all fairness to the rest of society, we seriously should be wearing warning labels on our heads...

Check out this post re-published on the online The Adoption Magazine

Monday, March 12, 2012

A start on the donations

One thing that we are really looking forward to is spending a lot of time volunteering at a couple of orphanages. We would like to help out at a baby orphanage and a children's home.

The kids wanted to get involved and start a collection. I gave them a challenge to come up with one thing each to hand out at the orphanage. They would have to be relatively small, light, and we would have to be able to have at least a hundred so we can ensure that they all get one, or it would have something that they could share.

They came up with silly bands. They have a ton, and their cousins are going to donate theirs as well. This fits the bill pretty well!! Mister also really wants to take mini sticks. He has a small collection now of 6 sticks. They are fairly light, and I think it would be something durable enough and the children would enjoy playing with them. Although, I'm envisioning some hockey stick fights and knocks over the heads. Hopefully, they are not turned into weapons! yikes! We are hoping to collect at least 20 sticks...

So now we have a start on the packing. A wee little start. I am so far behind everyone else in this regard. (Everyone who is currently at the same stage of this process that I am.) I'm the only one without flights booked, accommodations, and I certainly haven't started packing. I just can't bring myself to do any of this. I don't trust this adoption process enough to know that my toothpaste won't expire before I get there! Seriously!... and now I have lost faith in our gender and age request... so what the heck can I pack? I am waiting on a list of needed items from an orphanage I would like to donate to... just so I can start doing something.

No news on the dossier front - as far as I am aware, it still sits on a desk in Victoria. I am quite concerned about this as it was supposed to be sent to Kenya right away...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Addressing the 'problem' from a different angle.

Yet again, I was hit again with the 'typical' criticism, "The only problem I have with this (our adoption), is there are so many babies here in Canada who need homes."

My reaction this time was to ask who told him this. Who? Where did he get his information from? I was told the T.V.

Insert my explanation on the realities, the processes, the statistics, ... the facts. Some of which were...

"The Ministry of Children and Family Development has hundreds of children in its care who desperately need homes. They are known as BC's Waiting Children. These children are waiting for adoption for one of several reasons:
  • They are older than 2
  • They are part of a sibling group
  • They were exposed to drugs or alcohol prenatally and have behavioural or learning disabilities
  • They have suffered abuse or neglect
  • They have lived in so many foster homes that they have difficulty attaching to a new family"
Excerpt taken from Sunrise's website. (Please note that I do know the above isn't always the case... it is just the statistic of the majority. I don't want to discourage anyone to adopt from Canada. These children deserve a home just as much as any other child. There have been some wonderful placements and families successfully built from the Ministry's waiting child.)

I didn't get into why it wasn't right for our family, as I soon realized that I wasn't being heard anyway...

However, after stewing on it... I think next time I will answer differently.

We want to adopt a child who needs a family. Does it really matter where that child comes from? Why should I adopt a child from Canada over anywhere else - are Canadian children more deserving?

Wait a second... let's turn this around again. We are adopting to give a child a family! Isn't that amazing!? The world will have one less child to go to bed without parents to tuck them in at night! We will be adding another child to our family...a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter! On that note... where on earth is there any room for any criticism? It's a positive thing... no room for negativity.

Why do people feel they have to find something to be critical about? Why can't they just be happy and encouraged that you want to do something good? What is that all about?

We ended the conversation with ... "You know this a big thing, it will change your life forever (I'm sure he meant in a negative way)..."
I replied with... "Yes, I know... that's the idea. Wouldn't the world be a different place if everyone did one 'big thing' like this, or at least made an effort to assist others in doing a 'big thing'?"

Friday, March 9, 2012

New rules and trends...

As much as I hate posting 'hearsay' information... I think I'm obliged, and the fact is there likely is not a way to get 100% confirmation anyway.

Our assumptions on the NAC back log has been verified. Supposedly they were backed up from April. We believe that this has now cleared.

We have just heard of a new international adoption rule. Word on the adoption street is that the governing body is not approving adopters to adopt under the age of 12 months. This may seem par with the rest of the world, but Kenya is a bit different. Many babies are abandoned at birth. Orphanages are full of itty bitty, often malnourished and sick, babies. It is a shame that they are not made available to international adopters, as there really isn't enough local Kenyan's to adopt them all. I am also told of a trend, where many people are adopting toddlers and older children. This is fantastic on one hand, but on the other hand, it's also sad that infants have to stay in the orphanage for a full year before they can be adopted.

Another trend that is starting to surface... and please take this with a grain salt... is that requests for multiple children are only being approved for one child. I read about this months ago, and I wish I could remember where... but I can't. However, one family we know was just recently approved for only one when 2 siblings were requested. I am hoping to have more information about this in the upcoming week - but it does indeed concern me.

Yesterday, I had to come with terms with the fact that we likely will only be getting one child, and she will not be an infant, but rather a toddler. If you recall, our request was a female under 2 or twins (b/g or g/g) under 2. If you asked me right now what my first choice is - I would tell you infant twins g/b. But it doesn't work that way. We will simply have to trust that we are given what we are meant to have. We knew there was a high probability that it would be a single female toddler... but now that it is becoming more of a reality. I am happy with this, but still I am mourning the loss of an infant and the opportunity for them to have a sibling they can relate to and identify with. It's sad, and a bit of a double whammy. We know children are best to be in orphanage care the least amount of time, in addition to having a sibling they can relate to.

I hope I can better clarify this in time... but for now, we are feeling our way around in the dark.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Yes, finally our dossier is on it's way to Kenya!! There was a wee bit of a delay as the agency was waiting for a Hague letter from the Ministry. I wasn't even aware of this step... but there you have it, it's done. I have a tracking number and I'll be popping in updating you on it's travels - just like the Santa doppler! lol

Another fantastic piece of news is that a fellow adoptive friend - Tracy, just found out last night that her dossier was approved! This is most incredible news for her, as her journey has been long one. It is also great news for us, as it means that the NAC is through it's backlog! Technically speaking, ours should be submitted to the NAC in early April and seen in the third week of April. We could get notification as early as May 3rd!! (A nice Mother's day gift perhaps?)Then it's all quickly downhill from there... referral within 60 days and an almost immediate move!!

And on that note... I think I will move over and try to update that mammoth list!!

Kony 2012

Let's spread the word... and help these children! Please share this on your Facebook and blogs!

Check out the Invisible Children website here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Miss Monet and Mr. Picasso

3 Wise Men by Muffin

Poppies by Mister

And my personal favorite... "Elle" by Mister

Friday, March 2, 2012

My kids say the darndest things....

Mister -  "Mom, did you put the pink t-shirt in my bag for Saint Bullying Day?"
Spoken like a true Catholic school boy.

Muffin -  "Ah Mom, just to let you know - you have hair growing under your armpits..."
Isn't she just precious?

Off to shave now....

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Just another adoption update

I say 'just'... because I'm holding on for the update. You know, the one where our dossier has left the country, or has been approved... or referral (of course!). But for now, I only have little wee baby step updates... which are good too! Any movement in the right direction is a good thing!

Last update I told you that our dossier was still at Foreign Affairs after that little mess up. Well, I visited the FedEx website at least 8 times a day  twice a day, wondering what the heck could take it so long. What I didn't know, is that they used a different courier and tracking number to send it directly to the Kenyan embassy! On a whim, I checked the next tracking number (to agency from Embassy) and saw that it was due to arrive on the 28th! (just passed). In other words - the correction was made at FA, and the documents were all legalized at the embassy and returned in 7 business days! That's pretty awesome!

Last I heard from my agency, is that they have to sign off on it and send it to the Ministry in Victoria who then sends it to Kenya. I did not know about this little detour... I looked it up though and found this... The adoption steps for a HAGUE adoption in BC. So now we wait to hear back from our Agency... who, I believe is bogged down as of late with the new Hope clients. I am hoping they are able to get it out quickly though. We are too late to make it there in time for the March NAC meet, but we should get there for the April meet! Which would mean a June referral... however, currently NAC has not been approving recent dossiers. They appear to have a backlog, and have been a few months behind. Hopefully, this will clear up soon!